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Irwin Marine technician earns master certification

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Matt Durling, a technician at Irwin Marine, earned a master certification with Mercury Marine, a rare accomplishment. (David Carkhuff/Laconia Daily Sun)


LACONIA — Matt Durling practices what he teaches.
A technician at Irwin Marine, Durling helps teach classes as a part-time instructor at Lakes Region Community College in the marine technology program.
But Durling recently went to school himself to acquire a rare certification of master technician with Mercury Marine.
"Master status is the highest technician honor you may achieve," Mercury Marine reports. "This is Mercury University's premier status. When you achieve this premier status you are recognized as demonstrating outstanding performance, professionalism and providing the highest standards of service."
Brian Morgan, associate professor of marine technology at Lakes Region Community College, said Durling fits right in as a part-time instructor.
"He not only has excellent technical skills, he has the perfect attitude for the teaching world," Morgan said.
"We're extremely pleased to have Matt here, and he has all the makings of being an excellent instructor," he said.
A Mercury Marine program coordinator, Morgan has served as a Mercury Marine instructor at LRCC for 15 years. The college offers all of the training for Mercury.
"There are very few technicians in the Northeast that pass the master technician test, and I would say that, if I'm going to guess, only two or three were awarded this year out of the Northeast," Morgan said.
Standards for achieving this status include being employed at a Mercury Marine dealership and passing the current Master test with a 90 percent score, according to Mercury. Qualifications include work experience and training background, job performance and technical skills, personal attributes, service assistance, customer service and the dealership's ability to serve Mercury customers.
Probably under 2,000 people worldwide hold this certification, according to Irwin Marine.
Jason Marceau, service manager at Irwin Marine, said Durling has worked there since March of 2007.
"In today's times it is very hard to find good qualified technicians in our area. Matt is a dedicated, hard-working individual. Always has a great attitude," Marceau noted.
Durling said he received the certification in February, which allows Irwin Marine to be a platinum dealer.
Mercury Marine, "the world leader in marine propulsion and technology," trains master technicians in topics such as software and system orientation, Mercruiser systems, fuel and electrical systems and various other aspects of the marine products.
Durling lives in the Lakes Region.

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Travel professionals, enthusiasts unfazed by snowstorm


LACONIA — Even an early spring snowstorm did not prevent the Penny Pitou Travel Show from taking place as planned.

The storm, which dumped about 10 inches of snow, hit ironically on April Fools Day. Nevertheless, because bringing all the moving pieces together for the travel show entails a lot of advance preparation it is impossible to rescheduling such an event, as vendors fly in from all parts of the country to bring their products and and knowledge to the Lakes Region, organizers explained.

So, storm or no storm the show had to go on. However, the people of the area came out to support the efforts of Penny Pitou Travel and its staff to bring the show to the Lakes Region.

Of the 35-plus vendors who planned to attend there were only a couple that could not make the drive from southern New England.

The Grand Prize winners, Kathy and Roland Berthiaume, were glad they made the trek in the snowstorm, and listened to presentations, the vendors, and had their passport stamped for a chance to win a vacation to Jamaica. Their prize was five nights at the all-inclusive, five-star Melia Braco Village on Jamaica, round-trip transportation from Lakes Region Airport Shuttle to Manchester airport, two round-trip tickets to Jamaica, as well as transfers to the Melia.


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Raymond Berthiaume and Kathy Berthiaume, center, won the grand prize awarded at the sixth annual Penny Pitou Travel Show. Flanking the Berthiaumes are Penny Pitou, left, president of Penny Pitou Travel, and Kim Terrio, executive vice president of the travel agency. The Berthiaumes won a five-day, all-expenses-paid vacation to Jamaica. (Courtesy photo)


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Belknap Subaru shares the love with Veterans Count

TILTON -- Belknap Subaru has presented $20,000 to Veterans Count, an Easter Seals program dedicated to providing emergency assistance and financial support for service members and Veterans of all eras across the state of New Hampshire.

Mark Johnstone, president of Belknap Subaru, with his staff, and John Hayes, and Bill Bergeon, representing Subaru of New England, presented a check to, Joe Emmons, executive director of Veterans Count. The $20,000 was raised by Belknap Subaru's customers, selecting the local charity to receive donations under Subaru's National Share the Love Program.

Johnstone, thanked their customers for participating, and the sales staff, at the dealership for creating the awareness of the critical work done by Veterans Count, and Easter Seals, in the Lakes Region.

"This is an amazing partnership, customers, local business, and Subaru, coming together to do the right thing for our veterans," said Johnstone.

John Hayes, expressed his excitement for the annual program, and acknowledged the company's delight in being able to help fund local organizations, and be a part of the community.

Belknap Subaru selected Veterans Count, as its local partner, and customers could also select from their choice of the following charities: ASPCA, Make-A-Wish, Meals on Wheels Association of America, and the National Park Foundation. From Nov. 17 to Jan. 3, Subaru donated $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold, or leased, to the customer's choice

"We are grateful that local businesses like Belknap Subaru are willing to go the extra mile for our veterans! Their efforts will help us continue our mission, helping Veterans and their families," said Veterans Count board member Jane Love.


04 21 Belknap Subaru-Vets

A check for $20,000, is presented by Mark Johnstone, president of Belknap Subaru, to Joe Timmons, executive director for Veterans Count. The money represents donations made by Belknap Subaru customers through the Subaru Share the Love program. (Courtesy photo)  

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Divine Inspirations celebrates its fifth year

MEREDITH — Divine Inspirations design studio at 413 Daniel Webster Highway, is celebrating its fifth year in business at this location. They continue to offer original custom clothing design and alterations services, specialty linen rentals, and have expanded its ladies boutique section to include ready-to-wear clothing from high-end design lines such as Frank Lyman from Montreal and ICC Collection from California.

According to owner/designer Michele Morrissette Wiggs, "There are very limited upscale clothing stores in the Lakes Region and this gives us an opportunity to provide an extra resource to our existing and new customers, as well as introduce them to our regular services"
The business began in Fort Lauderdale, Floriday, 25 years ago, and when Wiggs returned to her home state of New Hampshire 15 years ago, her custom sewing business came with her and was headquartered in Alexandria. Five years ago, it expanded to manufacture and rent chair cover and linen rentals and outgrew the location, and moved to Meredith, into a former church on Daniel Webster Highway. The Meredith location has made it much easier to serve customers all over the Lakes Region and beyond.
"We enjoy preferred vendor status with many wedding and event venues in the Lakes Region and beyond," said Wiggs, "due to our ability to customize just about anything a bride needs, from special colors and fabrics to tent and barn draping and beyond. We work with brides coming from around the country who want attention to detail and personal service. We have also been awarded the "best custom dressmaker in New Hampshire" the past three years by NH Magazine Bride magazine and love what we do here!"
They offer professional alterations service as well as redesign of heirloom gowns and accessories like garters, veils and monogrammed items.

Reach them at 527-8019 or www.facebook.com/mydivineinspirations.

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Custom-designed gowns like this one are available at Divine Inspirations. (Courtesy photo)

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Meredith Chamber's latest promotional brochure coming out

MEREDITH -- Distribution of the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce's 2017 promotional brochure will begin soon.

Chamber Executive Director Susan Cerutt said the brochure is the centerpiece of the Chamber's marketing program and is aimed at attracting visitors to the area.

The 2017 brochures are distributed at high-traffic tourist locations as well as at various travel shows. In addition, the brochure is sent out to inquiries received at the Chamber. In-state distribution will be at the state rest areas and in selected locations frequented by the traveling public in the White Mountains, the Seacoast, and the Merrimack Valley.

The brochure is a 24-page, four-color guide listing the area's attractions, restaurants, specialty shops, accommodations, and local services. In keeping with the theme of attracting visitors to the area, the brochure features information about the major events taking place in the area as well as a map showing the major routes into Meredith.

Copies are available for distribution at the Chamber office at 272 Daniel Webster Highway (Route 3) in Meredith. The office is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the spring. A copy can also be downloaded from the Chamber's website www.meredithareachamber.com.


04 21 Meredith Chamber Brochure

Distribution is about to begin for the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce's 24-page, four-color guide listing the area's attractions, restaurants, specialty shops, accommodations, and local services. (Courtesy graphic)

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