Chambers, execs, part company


Nancy McKechnie

BAR HARBOR — The Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce are both in need of new executive directors.

Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce President Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko confirmed on Monday that Nancy McKechnie, who took the group’s reins last spring, is no longer with the organization. That decision was made Dec. 8.

“Nancy McKechnie and the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce have parted company,” she said. A statement from the chamber on Tuesday indicated that McKechnie left for personal reasons.

A resident of Swans Island as a child, McKechnie has been a frequent visitor to Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor.

Prior to coming to Mount Desert Island in May, McKechnie lived in Hampden and worked at the Eastern Maine Development Corporation in Bangor where she was deputy director of workforce development. She also worked as youth program manager for that organization.

On Tuesday, Catlin-Legutko announced that chamber Vice President Martha Searchfield, co-owner of the Canterbury Cottage Inn, will serve as interim executive director. “She will serve in this capacity until a permanent executive director is hired in 2016,” Catlin-Legutko said. “As always, the current staff at the chamber is poised and ready to seamlessly handle the day-to-day operation of the organization.”

On Monday, officials with the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce confirmed that Executive Director Susan Farley is no longer the head of that organization.

“Susan is no longer executive director of the chamber,” said Jeff Clark, president of the chamber’s board of directors, late Monday afternoon. “She’s no longer employed by the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce.”

Clark declined to share additional details around Farley’s departure, such as whether the departure was her choice or not, other than to indicate a time frame.

Susan Farley FILE PHOTO

Susan Farley

“This all happened Friday,” he said.

Board members have not had a chance to meet as a group since then, Clark said, but he said he is working with them “on a short-term and a long-term plan.”

“We at the chamber are working diligently to make sure things keep moving forward,” he said.

Farley was hired as executive director in May 2014, succeeding interim Executive Director Gail Kelly and former Executive Director Tony Cameron.

She worked at Washington Hancock Community Agency and WABI-TV prior to coming to the Chamber. A native of Hancock County and graduate of Mount Desert Island High School, she said at the time of her hiring by the Chamber that she considers the area her home.

Earl Brechlin

Earl Brechlin

Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.
Earl Brechlin

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