Jeff Dobbs, left, was honored with the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Cadillac Award at the group's annual dinner Monday at the Atlantic Oceanside. The announcement was a surprise for Dobbs, who thought Matt Horton, right, was the award winner and had made a tribute video about him. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Chamber honors leaders

BAR HARBOR — When Chris Fogg was the director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, he reportedly told Jeff Dobbs a few times that he was on the list for the chamber’s Cadillac Award. The equivalent of a Citizen of the Year award, the honor goes to “a person who epitomizes the virtues of leadership, service, and sacrifice and the quest for personal excellence,” according to chamber materials.

“But we can’t give it to you, because you make the videos!” Fogg said.

For many years, Dobbs’ production company has produced tribute videos about each Cadillac Award winner.

This year, the chamber found a way around that hurdle and presented Dobbs with the 2018 Cadillac Award at its annual awards dinner Monday at the Atlantic Oceanside.

But preserving the surprise took some doing.

Dobbs did make a video for the person he thought was the honoree, Matt Horton of Machias Savings Bank, a former town councilor and longtime volunteer firefighter.

“What am I supposed to do with these?” Dobbs joked when he reached the podium, waving a stack of DVDs of the video about Horton.

“I was glad to have a part in making it come about,” Horton told the Islander about the switcheroo.

A video honoring Dobbs was made by Mount Desert Island High School students, led by teacher Jeff Zaman. It included archival footage from Dobbs’ work over the years on the Acadia Channel and a video greeting from Senator Angus King as well as interviews with Dobbs’ friends, family and colleagues.

Yellow Light Breen of the Maine Development Foundation addressed the gathering, sharing results of a recent Making Maine Work report commissioned by his office.

The Business of the Year award, recognizing excellence in operations and performance, was presented to Kebo Valley Golf Club. ArtWaves MDI was the recipient of the Rising Star Award, recognizing the nonprofit’s recent growth.

The Naked Blueberry will receive the Environmental Leader Award for the company’s work to create a pollinator sanctuary at its Dedham farm. The Restaurant Barn in Ellsworth was named Neighbor Business of the Year. West End Drug received the President’s Award from outgoing chamber board chair Jena Young.



Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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