New CFO

Wayne Bennett to succeed Henry Lipman at LRGHealthcare

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

01-24 Wayne Bennett - LRGH CFOLACONIA — Wayne Bennett, who has served as chief financial officer of Franklin Community Heath Network in Farmington, Maine, since 2012, has been appointed to succeed Henry Lipman as chief financial officer of LRGHealthcare. Lipman will leave LRGHealthcare at the end of the month after 32 years with the organization, and Bennett will begin his tenure on Feb. 13.

In a prepared statement Kevin Donovan, president and chief executive officer of LRGHealthcare, said that "we are fortunate to have an individual of Wayne's caliber join our organization. I know he will have a meaningful impact on our continued evolution as a high-quality and well-functioning health care provider."

Likewise, Bennett said, "I look forward to joining the community and working with the outstanding medical staff, dedicated employees and board of directors of LRGHealthcare, who have demonstrated to me their commitment to continue to provide the Lakes Region with the quality health care it deserves."

Bennett has spent three decades directing and planning the financial affairs of health care care systems. The Franklin Community Health Network, with net revenues of $80 million, is a rural, nonprofit health care system. Under Bennett's direction, the financial performance of the organization has consistently improved and he also played a key role in integrating the organization into the Main Health, a consortium of more than a dozen providers working together to ensure the highest quality of care and treatment for the communities they serve.

Bennett has also served as vice president of finance at Central Main Healthcare in Lewiston, director of finance at Prince George's Hospital in Cheverly, Maryland, and as chief financial officer at both Mercy Health Systems in Portland, Maine and Mt. Ascutney Hospital in Windsor, Vermont, where Donovan was president and chief executive officer before joining LRGHealthcare.

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Laundromat emptied of all cash

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(Images courtesy of The Gilford Police Department)

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — Lending a twist to "money laundering," two men allegedly emptied the coin boxes on the washers, dryers, money changer and soap dispenser in the laundromat at Patrick's Place around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday and made off with as much as $3,500 in small change and dollar bills.,

Steve Parsons, the owner of the business, said Monday that the pair entered the laundromat, tossed some clothes in a machine and sat down among other customers. Then, as others drifted to the front of the laundromat, one of the men went to the back of the rank of machines and began jimmying the locks on the coin boxes on the washers and dryers while the other kept an eye out. Once they were alone, they opened the coin boxes and emptied the change into a bag and left in what a witness described as a black two-door Honda Civic.

"They didn't leave a thing for me," Parsons said, who added that in the decade he has operated the laundromat only a remote control for the television had been taken.

"This just doesn't happen around here," he remarked. "I was shocked."

Parsons said the security camera recorded the theft and vandalism, and doubted "these guys are from around here. They looked right into the camera." He estimated that the loss and damage could amount to between $6,000 and $7,000 and said the laundromat would be closed for week while the machines are replaced and fitted with alarms.

Gilford Police are asking anyone who can assist in identifying the two men or providing information about their whereabouts to contact the department at 603-527-4737. Parsons has offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the thieves.

Upgrades planned for Winnipesaukee Pier after $2M sale to East Coast Flight Craft

01-24 Weirs Pier

The Winnipesaukee Pier. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — After lingering on the market for years, the Winnipesaukee Pier has been acquired by East Coast Flight Craft, Inc., a recreational boat dealer with a showroom in Meredith and similar operations in Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut. Doing business as Winnipesaukee Weirs Pier, LLC, Flight Craft purchased the landmark property from the estate of George "the Chief" Abdulla for $2 million, less than listing price of $2.6 million.

Ryan Cardella, operations manager at East Coast Flight Craft, said Monday that that the pier will undergo an immediate facelift, which will include replacing the miniature golf course with parking spaces and adding picnic areas. He said that space will be leased to new vendors, a smoke house serving Texas-stye barbecue and a pizza parlor. The firm will also manage boat sales, service and fueling operations from the pier.

Cardella said that what he called "a five-year plan" will ultimately include reconstruction and reconfiguration of the pier into a more upscale recreational and dining venue together with recreational attractions and marina operations. Altogether he anticipated that Flight Craft will invest $3 million to $4 million in the property.

The pier originated as a boat livery, which in 1919 was acquired by Jim Irwin, the bandleader, impresario, stockbroker and boat dealer whose energy and panache ushered The Weirs into its "Golden Age." On Memorial Day in 1925, a year after fire destroyed the New Hotel Weirs, Irwin opened the Winnipesaukee Gardens, built atop the wharf, which for the next four decades served as a popular venue for the best big dance bands in the land. In 1976, after rock 'n roll eclipsed the big bands and while the boat business was flourishing, the Irwins sold the pier.

The property consists of about 0.6 of an acre of land with a little more than 14,000 square feet of usable space, excluding an unfinished basement of more than 6,000 square feet. In 2016 the property was assessed at $1,642,600.

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