Rick Wyman, left, president of Meredith Village Savings Bank, which sponsored the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce’s annual membership meeting at Church Landing in Meredith, and Karmen Gifford, right, executive director of the chamber, present a Golden Trowel award to David Kennedy, co-owner of the Holy Grail restaurant in Laconia. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)
MEREDITH — The city of Laconia received two awards for recently completed projects at the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce's annual awards luncheon and membership meeting held at Church Landing in Meredith yesterday and was also praised by several speakers for helping bring the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival to the Lakes Region.
Outgoing chamber president Lindsay Cota-Robles of the Bank of New Hampshire told the sold-out gathering of 350 people that hosting the pumpkin festival brought "tremendous visibility to our region and over 40,000 visitors."
As a result the chamber, which organized the event, was able to distribute $10,000 to the nonprofit organizations which volunteered for the event. Chamber Executive Director Karmen Gifford said that the chamber is looking forward to involving even more people in the event this year.
The city received a Golden Hammer Award for the $4.2 million addition and renovation to the Laconia Fire Department and was honored for it's Downtown Beautification Community Park, a $3.5 million project which included the Gateway Project and Millstone Park, an 18-month project which saw the rehabilitation of the Main Street Bridge and expanded green space in the downtown area.
During the business meeting the chamber elected a new slate of officers. Warren Bailey will replace Lindsay Cota-Robles as president and the new first vice chairman will be Jay Bolduc of T-Bones and Cactus Jack's. Second vice chairman will be Heidi Laramie of Barons' Major Brands with Penny Raby of Malone, Dirubbo and Company serving as treasurer and John Giere of Wescott Law as secretary.
New board members include Bob Fitzpatrick of Vista Foods, Shanna Saunders of the city of Laconia's Planning Department, Patrick Clausen of Proctor's Lakehouse Cottages and Eric Petell of Meredith Village Savings Bank.
Sue Gaudette of Gunstock Mountain Resort was presented withy the Blinn Ambassador of the Year Award.
Golden Trowel awards for outstanding rehabilitations included:
• The Franklin Studio in downtown Franklin , a nonprofit business which is part of a revitalization project offering locally made arts and crafts and a full cafe,
• Laconia Country Club for its renovations, which replaced all fixtures and furniture and flooring while enlarging its deck and creating a new small function room,
• The Landing Zone at Gunstock Mountain Resort, which created a 3,000-square-foot outside dining area,
• Baron's Major Brands, which completed a major store remodel, a major investment by a local, family-owned business,
• The Gilford Police Department for its 6,000-square-foot expansion, which included a state-of-the-art communication system as well as a new emergency operation center,
• Edward Jones, which moved its business to a more visible location at Union Square and upgraded the building exterior and landscaping,
• GC Engineering and Levendi Properties, which purchased and renovated a three-story business property at 633 Main St. in Laconia and made major improvements to the building, which is now completely occupied,
• Fratello's Italian Grille, which completed a major renovation which added a new deck for outdoor seating, and
• Holy Grail of the Lakes, which completed a major renovation to a historic church and opened a new downtown restaurant,
Golden Hammer Awards for new construction were awarded to the following:
• AutoServKia, which relocated from its Belmont location to a new 5,729-square-foot faciliity on Route 140 in Tilton,
• CruCon Cruise Outlet in Moultonborough, which purchased the former Meredith Village Savings Bank branch next to its world headquarters, and completed a rehab project which turned it into the Learning Center at CruCon,
• Foley Oil Company, which sold its South Main Street office in Laconia and built an addition to its existing garage on Old State Road in Belmont, which consolidated all of its operations, and
• McDonald's in Tilton, where the Napoli Group and its contractor, Marceau Construction, completed a remodeling project while the existing restaurant remained open.
The Environmental Award was presented to the Laconia Area Community Land Trust, which has added many green features to its projects in Mer edith, Tilton, Wolfeboro and Laconia.
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