Belknap Mill Society announces new slate of officers for 2014

LACONIA — The Belknap Mill Society Board of Trustees has named new officers in anticipation of an improved vision in leadership for 2014.

The trustees named Peter Ellis as president, Christine Santaniello as vice-president, and David Stamps as treasurer. Steve Cotter will continue serving as secretary for the organization.

President Peter Ellis is retired. He and his wife, Jane, have run their Gilford vineyard for several years. Ellis' last cases of wine were donated to the 2013 WLNH Children's Auction where bottles of Stone Gate Vineyard varieties auctioned for more than $100 a bottle. The board anticipates that his management expertise in private business will serve the trustees well as they take on a new direction in preserving the Belknap Mill.

Christine Santaniello is executive director of the Lakes Region Community Services Council. Her expertise in non-profit management and public funding opportunities will continue to be a welcome asset to the Mill board.

David Stamps will continue as Belknap Mill Society's treasurer. As past president, Stamps was instrumental in improving the Society's foundational documents. Under his leadership, the board developed a strategic plan and a development plan which were instrumental in guiding the Mill in its current direction.

Andre Paquette, a long-time Society supporter, recently stepped down as acting executive director. Paquette has served in that position for the last two years as well as serving as vice-president of the board. Denise Sharlow, recently hired as development director, will serve as executive director, giving Paquette the opportunity to serve as an active board member.

In the last five months, the Society has secured funding for its continuing preservation projects and internal projects that will enhance the banquet facility and provide additional concerts during the summer. The Belknap Mill Society will continue to partner with other organizations that want to support a creative economy and produce programming in humanities and education.