Love of graphic design guides business decision

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Kevin and Shannon Buttermore took ownership of Gator Sign Shop in Gilford last month, and say that it will be a welcome complement to their other business, Hi-Gloss Boat Restoration. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

Gator Sign Shop now owned by Gilford couple who see synergy with Hi-Gloss Boat Restoration

By Adam Drapcho, The Laconia Daily Sun

GILFORD — Kevin and Shannon Buttermore are seasoned business owners, as he has owned Hi-Gloss Boat Restoration for five years and she ran her own hair salon. By taking over Gator Signs from prior owner Mike Mello, the Buttermores are returning to what was a first love for both of them: graphic design.

Kevin will continue to run his boat restoration business, while Shannon is leaving the shears and hairspray behind to operate Gator Signs, located on Gilford East Drive.

“This was my first passion,” Shannon said.

Shannon grew up in Belfast, Maine, and met Kevin, a Laconia native, while they were both studying graphic design. But both were diverted from that interest by a need to put food on the table for the family they soon created. She started cutting hair, and he got into the mortgage industry.

Kevin’s career in lending was upset in 2007 by the national mortgage fiasco. As a means to make a few dollars until he could find his next line of work, he approached the owner of Hi-Gloss Boat Restoration, a business he had worked for as a teenager. After a few more years of working there as an employee, he ended up buying the shop.

A boat restorer has a frequent need for the services of a sign shop, it turns out. Kevin developed a close business relationship with Gator Signs, which provided him with bow numbers and other vinyl lettering and graphics for his antique boat clients.

So, when Mello told Kevin that he was looking to sell the business so that he and his wife, Maureen, could open the Mello Moose Coffee House in Meredith, he brought the idea to Shannon. The Buttermores took over last month.

Kevin and Shannon expect that the two businesses will complement one another. The sign shop can provide lettering for the boat shop, while Kevin’s wood shop can build custom signs for Shannon’s clients.

Gator Signs has built its customer base through services as a vinyl sign printer, which leaves plenty of ways for the new owners to expand. But, for now, they plan to continue operating as Mello had. Gator Signs makes marquees for realtors, towns, magnetic signs for contractors’ trucks, A-frame signs, wall decals, political signs, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, and can facilitate custom-embroidered T-shirts.

“Right now, we’re going to continue to run it as it is,” said Kevin.

“We’re still going to offer what (Mello) offered, the pricing isn’t going to change for the most part,” Shannon said. “We’ve got a lot of different ideas and a lot of ways we can expand – eventually.”

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Patrick's Pub & Eatery receives Restaurant Neighbor Award

GILFORD — Patrick's Pub and Eatery has received the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s 2018 Restaurant Neighbor Award at the state level and now goes on to compete for the national award. This prestigious national award honors restaurants that go above and beyond in community service and philanthropy and aims to inspire other restaurateurs to get or stay involved in their local communities. Three national winners will receive a $10,000 award to help support their favorite charities or community projects. In addition to the award, the national winners will be flown to Washington, D.C., to receive the award at an awards dinner in April. All state winners receive a commemorative plaque to display in their restaurant and will be profiled on the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s website highlighting their community activities.

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Russ Wiles receives Spaulding Youth Center’s Spaulding Spirit Award

NORTHFIELD — The Spaulding Youth Center has presented the Spaulding Spirit Award for the fourth quarter to Russ Wiles, family aide. The Spaulding Spirit Award honors employees and acknowledges their hard work. This peer-nominated award is given at each quarterly staff meeting to a staff member who exemplifies Spaulding Spirit and makes peers proud to be working by their side.

Russ was chosen as the Spaulding Spirit Award recipient because of his commitment to the children he works with and the determination he demonstrates to make a difference in their lives. He works diligently to develop trust and lasting relationships with children in the community and their birth parents or guardians. “I was happily surprised to hear my name announced as the Spaulding Spirit Award winner,” Wiles said. “Despite the heartache many of the children I work with have faced in life, all of them are still able to find something to smile about every day. These kids are an inspiration and are the reason why I love doing what I do.”

As a full-time family aide, Wiles’ responsibilities include providing supervised visitations, transportation, support, education, advocacy, and guidance for children and their families. He joined Spaulding as a part-time family aide in June of 2013 before he made the jump to a full-time employee. Prior to his time at Spaulding, Russ spent 11 years at Casey Family Services. He began his career in human services at New Hampshire Hospital and then worked at both the Lakes Region Community Mental Health Center in Laconia and Riverbend Community Mental Health Center in Concord.

“Russ embraces the challenges of developing relationships with our students’ birth parents, foster parents and extended family members,” said Susan C. Ryan, CEO & President of Spaulding Youth Center. “He loves his work and truly makes a positive difference in the lives of the children he works with. I’m proud to have Russ as part of our staff. He absolutely deserves this award.”

In his spare time, Wiles enjoys sports, reading, playing tennis, and spending time with his family and grandchildren.

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Russ Wiles

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Penny Pitou hosting major travel show on March 24

LACONIA — Penny Pitou Travel will once again be hosting the largest travel show ever in the Lakes Region at a new location: Contigiani's Event Center, 140 Country Club Road, Gilford, on Saturday, March 24.

The doors will open to the public at 10 a.m. Admission will be free. The first 50 people through the door will receive a custom travel pouch with supplies, courtesy of Penny Pitou Travel. There will be door prize drawings throughout the day, culminating in a grand prize giveaway - a trip
for two to New Orleans, which includes round-trip transportation to the airport courtesy of Lakes Region Airport Shuttle, a choice of activities in New Orleans, round trip air on Southwest Airlines, three nights at Hotel Monteleone or similar and transfers in New Orleans. No purchase is necessary to win.

The show will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The show will feature travel experts from across the travel spectrum which organizers at Penny Pitou Travel say can help answer questions and help people decide about their travel plans. Featured travel experts attending the show are Lakes Region Airport Shuttle, Silversea, Trafalgar, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, Princess Cruise Line, Collette, Sandals & Beaches Resorts, CIE Tours, Celebrity Cruise Line, Holland America, Paul Gauguin Cruises, AMA Waterways, Key Tours, Club Med, Viking River Cruises, Abercrombie & Kent, Rocky Mountaineer, Norwegian Cruise
Line, Travel Guard Insurance, Aruba Department of Tourism, African Travel, Travel Impressions, Oceania Cruise Line, Delta Vacations, Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic and Pleasant Holidays, Globus Journeys and Avalon Waterways.

Penny Pitou Executive Vice President Kim Terrio said, "If you want to learn about destinations you have been interested in or just love travel, or maybe planning your honeymoon or next adventure, we have you covered."

More details are available on the Penny Pitou Travel Facebook page or at

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Penny Pitou, front row center, stands with members of her staff at a previous Penny Pitou Travel Show. On Saturday, March 23, the agency will host the seventh annual show at Contigiani's Event Center in Gilford. The show will feature representatives from cruise lines, and various vacation destinations. (Courtesy photo)

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SCORE chapter offering QuickBooks workshop



LACONIA — SCORE Lakes Region is sponsoring an introduction of QuickBooks workshop on Wednesday, March 21, at the chapter's offices located in the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce building, 383 South Main St.

Charlene Smith will lead the workshop which will cover such topics as setting up QuickBooks, accounts receivables/accounts payables, and ways for recording important transactions, and information for a business's accountant.

The workshop will last from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Smith has experience in banking, financial services, insurance, nonprofit, and public and professional organizations. She is a QuickBooks expert and is QuickBooks certified, including Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Online, Point-of-Sale, QuickBooks Enterprise.

To register or for more information contact Randy Hylek at 603-524-0137 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Charlene Smith

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