Northfield firm co-sponsors new apprenticeship program

NORTHFIELD — EPTAM Plastics, an advanced manufacturer, recently partnered with Lakes Region Community College and the Community College System of New Hampshire’s ApprenticeshipNH, a program that seeks to address workforce needs in various sectors throughout the state, to create registered apprenticeship opportunities to provide individuals the opportunity to be trained as CNC machinists. “This new partnership with EPTAM Plastics, ApprenticeshipNH and LRCC is helping address EPTAM’s current workforce shortage. EPTAM is first offering the opportunity to its current employees, demonstrating a dedication to its existing workforce to move into higher level positions. As a result, this will create new opportunities for individuals to fill the resulting vacant positions,” said Emily Zeien, grant manager for ApprenticeshipNH.

The Registered Apprenticeship program at EPTAM Plastics puts apprentices in training to become CNC machinists. The program includes a required 296 hours of classroom instruction, which will be completed at EPTAM facilities and taught by EPTAM employees who have been hired as adjunct faculty at Lakes Region Community College. The program also includes 3,000 hours of on-the-job training.

“All of the EPTAM employees in this program will be eligible to receive college credit that is transferrable towards a Certificate in Advanced Manufacturing at Lakes Region Community College,” said Larissa Baia, interim president at Lakes Region Community College. “The college is proud to be able to partner with area employers to provide a viable career and education pathway for New Hampshire residents.”

Apprentices participating in the program will be paid a progressively increasing schedule of wages based on a percentage or dollar amount of the current hourly journey worker wage rate. The apprentices will receive $12 per hour for the first 1,000 hours, $13 per hour for the second 1,000 hours and $14 per hour for the third 1,000 hours.

To learn more about the ApprenticeshipNH program, including additional opportunities, visit, or contact Emily Zeien at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Franklin Savings Bank's Buzz Points result in $123,000 for nonprofits

FRANKLIN — Franklin Savings Bank's Buzz Points debit card rewards program has funneled over $123,000 back into the local community. Since the program was introduced in July 2015, $116,095 in points earned have been redeemed at local merchants enrolled in the program. The Buzz Points program allows FSB debit cardholders to donate their earned points to local charity as well. In 2015 and 2016, FSB was the top financial institution with the most points donated to local charities with $1,250 and $5,000, respectively, as part of a holiday season donation challenge.

“We have experienced remarkable growth with Buzz Points since we launched the program almost three years ago,” said Ron Magoon, president and CEO. “The growth in our network of preferred local merchants and points redeemed to these businesses is truly amazing. Since we launched Buzz Points, the top three businesses with the most points redeemed towards rewards have been Smitty’s Cinema, Tilton House of Pizza and May Garden.”

Established in 1869, Franklin Savings Bank is an independent, mutually owned community bank, offering a full array of commercial lending, personal banking and investment services throughout the Central Lakes Region and southern New Hampshire.

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Mello couple to revive Route 3 coffee house

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Maureen and Mark Mello are planning to open the Mello Moose Coffee House, located on Route 3 in Meredith, by March 1. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)


MEREDITH — Mark and Maureen Mello first met in a restaurant more than 20 years ago. Now, they’re preparing to open a dining establishment of their own, the Mello Moose Coffee House, just south of the Meredith traffic rotary.

The Mello Moose will be a coffee house first, Mark said, though the Mellos will also offer a few food items that will be made in-house and will feature their expertise and creativity. The business will be open by March 1.

Mark and Maureen Mello live in Gilford, where the two of them have built names for themselves in different businesses. Mark has run Gator Signs for 21 years, while Maureen has managed the Silver Sands Motel for 20. But, they’re transitioning out of those roles to take on a new challenge, opening the Mello Moose in the property on Route 3 that was once home to the Meredith Bay Coffee House.

“For us, this is a whole new venture. We’re trying to find a change that’s more comfortable,” Mark said.

“We wanted to have a change in our lives and do something together again,” said Maureen.

Mark is a graduate of the culinary program at Red Rocks Community College, in Lakewood, Colorado, and, in 1995, he was the kitchen manager at the 99 Restaurant in Milford, Massachusetts.

Maureen, who had just graduated from the hospitality program at the University of New Hampshire, had been hired into the management program for 99 Restaurants, and was placed in the kitchen of the Milford store so she could learn that end of the business. Instead, she found romance.

Because the company forbade relationships between their employees, Mark left the 99 and found a job as the sous chef for the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta, Georgia, for the six months leading up to the ‘96 Olympics, held in that city.

It was exhausting for Mark to cook in Atlanta at that time, and once the games were over, so, too, was his desire to stay in the city. The couple relocated to Gilford, where Maureen became the manager of Silver Sands, the same motel that she had worked as a housekeeper when she was 13.

After two decades of working apart, Maureen and Mark find themselves back in the kitchen together as they prepare to open the Mello Moose.

The Mello Moose will traffic in coffee, wi-fi and a space to gather with friends. The Mellos will be serving coffee roasted by Cafe Monte Alto, in Plymouth, and will be serving a short selection of foods they’ve baked or made themselves.

On the menu will be fresh-baked sourdough loaves, breakfast sandwiches and parfaits with granola, yogurt and fresh fruit. For lunch, they will offer sandwiches, soups and quiches. They intend to keep the food selection limited so they can focus on quality over quantity.

“We’ve got tough shoes to fill,” said Mark, noting that Ellen and Mike Giguere, who owned the Meredith Bay Coffee House, built a reputation for good food over the four years that they were in business.

The Mello Moose will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. The hours will expand to six days a week for the summer season.

“We’re hoping people will come in, get a cup of coffee, chat and relax,” said Mark.


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MillRiver Wealth Management, Meredith Village Savings Bank and Merrimack County Savings Bank Sponsor NH Jump$tart Coalition

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Marking their partnership are, from left, Linda Lorden, SVP retail banking officer, the Merrimack; Philip Emma, president, the Merrimack; Daniel Hebert, president, NH Jump$tart Coalition; Rick Wyman, president, MVSB; Paul Provost, president MillRiver; Marcus Weeks, SVP senior retail banking officer, MVSB; and Kimberly Carter, VP loan servicing, New Hampshire Mutual, and NH Jump$tart board member. (Courtesy photo)

Sister companies Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB), Merrimack County Savings Bank (the Merrimack) and MillRiver Wealth Management (MillRiver) have joined together to support the NH Jump$tart Coalition. As gold level sponsors, each company contributed $3,000 to NH Jump$tart, which aims to improve the financial literacy of pre-kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, activities, standards and educational resources.

Additionally, employees of MVSB, the Merrimack, MillRiver and New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp (NHMB), the holding company for the sister organizations, previously contributed to NH Jump$tart through a recent Jeans Day. Each NHMB Jeans Day allows employees the opportunity to wear jeans on a Friday, in exchange for a personal donation to the nonprofit being honored that day.

“Beginning financial education early and reinforcing those skills throughout a student’s educational career carries tangible benefits into adulthood and beyond,” said Paul Provost, President of MillRiver. “NH Jump$tart has been incredibly successful at teaching practical habits such as working toward goals, spending less than one earns and avoiding and eliminating debt.”

“MVSB, the Merrimack, MillRiver and NH Jump$tart share a commitment to the financial education of our youth. By collaborating, more resources and expertise are available to accomplish this task,” added Rick Wyman, President of MVSB. “Analyzing real-world concepts such as credit rating helps our children and teens adopt good lifelong habits.”

“Jump$tart’s FinLit300 competition is a unique consumer knowledge tournament for high school students,” continued Philip Emma, President of the Merrimack. “There, they are able to apply classroom-based financial education in a contest of knowledge and skills. Teaching students about financial responsibility from a young age paves the way for an independent and self-sufficient adulthood.”

“Our vision is for personal finance to be included as part of the educational curriculum for all students,” said Daniel Hebert, President of NH Jump$tart Coalition. “We’re made up of organizations and individuals that share a common commitment to this mission. Thanks to the wonderful support from like-minded companies such as MillRiver, MVSB and the Merrimack, we’re much closer to reaching that goal.”

FinLit300 empowers high school students to apply classroom-based financial education in competitions that culminate in an annual championship each May. Topics are based on the Jump$tart National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education, which include spending and saving, credit and debt, employment and income, investing, risk management and insurance and financial decision making. This year’s event is scheduled for May 1 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord.

NH Jump$tart is dedicated to improving the personal financial education of students. Founded in 2000, NH Jump$tart has reached thousands of children and teens with information about financial literacy and smart consumer behavior, preparing young people for a lifetime of sound financial decision-making.

Its success can be traced back to volunteer efforts of individuals bound by the common passion of teaching sound financial habits. For more information, visit


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Local firms receive awards for design

MANCHESTER — New Hampshire Home magazine recently honored designers from around the state with its 2018 Design Awards. Belknap Landscape Company Inc. of Gilford won the award foir outdoor design; Wood & Clay, Inc. of Gilford won the award for small home design; and Samyn D’Elia Architects of Ashland received honorable mention for remodeling/renovation design.

“New Hampshire is fertile ground for the architects, designers and builders working here, and this year’s award-winners are truly outstanding,” said Andi Axman, editor of New Hampshire Home. “We thank our award recipients and members of the design community for joining us to celebrate, and wish everyone continued success.”

Each year, Axman selects a panel of out-of-state judges. This year’s jurors, for the magazine’s fifth annual design awards competition, were from the Burlington, Vermont, area and included John McLeod, of McLeod Kredell Architects in Middlebury; H. Keith Wagner, of Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture in Burlington; and interior designer Kim Deetjen, of TruexCullins in Burlington.

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New Hampshire Home recently recognized the state’s most creative architects, designers, and builders at its 2018 Design Awards celebration at the Manchester Country Club. Pictured is a project called Newfound Lake Retreat, which won the Excellence in Outdoor Design award. Belknap Landscape Company, Inc. in Gilford designed the project, which features a masonry fire pit with stone slab benches and several levels of seating facing the lake. (Courtesy photo)

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