A month into her job as Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce’s marketing and membership coordinator, Newcastle’s Rebecca Telega was smiling and getting to meet people at Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours at Wiscasset Woods Lodge. She said her goals Thursday night included “getting my face out there” and getting advice and ideas from WACC’s administrative assistant, Pat Cloutier.
The two shared a table as Cloutier manned the name tags attendees picked up or filled out. She was happy to talk with Telega, as working together is good for chambers, and WACC and DRCC are both in the MidCoast Chamber Council, Cloutier, of Wiscasset, said.
Davison Construction belongs to both WACC and DRCC. Owner Chip Davison said the Wiscasset business gets a lot of jobs in Damariscotta and buys a lot of materials there.
“The value for any business to being in a chamber is the networking,” Davison said.
To get the most out of membership, be active, attend events and have a say, DRCC board member Amanda Reibel said when asked about issues chambers are facing today. “It’s a struggle for all chambers” to help members see that, she explained. DRCC is working to encourage participation, including holding “lunch and learn” events, Reibel said.
Owners and representatives of area businesses checked out some of the business’s 29 rooms and enjoyed pancakes and other breakfast offerings co-owner Saundra Neperud said the lodge makes from scratch for its guests. The blueberry cobbler was a hit among those interviewed. The only things made from a package are the muffins, said Neperud, who owns the lodge with husband Eric.
Some said they had been passing the lodge on Route 1 for decades, and enjoyed the chance to see it up close. “I’d never needed a motel room in Wiscasset, so I had never been here,” Wiscasset’s Katharine Martin-Savage said. “It’s fabulous,” and bigger than she had thought, she said.
Cloutier’s husband Russell Cloutier was looking forward to another season of WACC’s information center on Main Street Pier. He’d been vacuuming ahead of the May 18 opening. More than 1,000 people visited the center last year, he said.