Chamber veteran to mentor interim director 



Maddie Bierman
PHOTO COURTESY OF MOUNT DESERT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

MOUNT DESERT — Micki Sumpter, the part-time director of the Mount Desert Chamber of Commerce for the past three and a half years, is retiring at the end of this month, but she won’t be leaving the chamber high and dry. 

Starting in January, she will spend 15 hours a month for the next 10 months mentoring Maddie Bierman, who will be interim director. 

Bierman, who lives in Sorrento, graduated earlier this month from the University of Maine at Orono with a degree in political science. She worked this past summer at Sea Princess Cruises, which is based in Northeast Harbor. 

I was able to interact with visitors and community members and see what it takes to run a successful business,” Bierman said. “This job also allowed me to work with Micki Sumpter, who showed me firsthand the work the Mount Desert Chamber does. I’m looking forward to being involved with the chamber and the community further.” 

Sumpter said that when she informed the chamber board that she planned to retire, “I told them I wasn’t just going to leave them. I said we could do a mentorship, and I could stay with that person for a period of time every month and make sure it works. And that gives (the board) time to look at the whole picture and think about how they want things structured going forward.” 

A former executive director of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, Sumpter said she has done mentoring in the past. This fall she developed a proposal for mentoring an interim director for the Mount Desert Chamber, which the board approved. 

Sumpter said she asked Bierman if she would be interested in the position, with Sumpter as her mentor. 

“She said she would love it. When she worked with us during the summer, she was excellent with people, and she helped me on days I needed coverage.” 

The chamber operates the visitor information center at the Northeast Harbor Marina, as well as overseeing economic development projects, organizing special events and providing support for local businesses. The chamber has about 140 business members. 

Sumpter wrote in her proposal for the chamber’s mentorship program: “This type of mentorship will assist twofold, assisting the young professional in their growth and development professionally and supporting economic development in the town of Mount Desert, the region and the state.” 

While at the University of Maine, Bierman took time out to study at London Metropolitan University. She also had an internship with the NATO Innovation Hub, with a focus on cognitive warfare research. The Innovation Hub is based in Norfolk, Va. 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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