BAR HARBOR — Scott Planting, president of the Maine Seacoast Mission since 2010, has announced he will retire at the end of this year.
“The primary reason is that we have several program directors who are nearing retirement age, and I felt it was important for the next president of the mission to be able to hire their own senior management team,” Planting said.
The Seacoast Mission, founded in 1905, serves residents of Downeast Maine’s island and coastal communities with health care, food assistance, youth development and spiritual programs.
Asked what he is especially proud of having achieved as president, Planting said, “We’ve had a lot of programmatic and administrative accomplishments to keep things going into the future, but beneath all that is the very deep and profound care that the mission shows the residents of Eastern Maine through our educational and service programs.
“I follow in the footsteps of great leaders of this organization,” he said, “and I think I have continued to build upon the legacy of the Seacoast Mission.
“The one thing the mission has is trust; I feel that I’m a steward of trust. We are built on relationships with the families living in Downeast Maine.”
In a letter to mission supporters announcing his retirement, Planting referred to several of the mission’s programs, including EdGE, an academic support and career preparation program for young people in coastal Washington County.
“During my tenure, we’ve worked hard to build a secure financial base for EdGE, so Downeast children for generations to come receive first-rate educations, and so the [mission’s vessel] Sunbeam V continues to bring state-of-the-art tele-health services to the outer islands,” he wrote.
“In Cherryfield, we’ve developed an active campus that supports children, families and elders with food, shelter and community. An expanded scholarship program is preparing high school students for successful college careers.”
Last summer, the mission announced that it was putting its headquarters, the Colket Center in Bar Harbor, up for sale to generate more revenue for its service programs. And in February, it announced it would be moving its administrative offices to a building in Northeast Harbor to be constructed by Mount Desert 365, the nonprofit created to promote economic development and create workforce housing.
Planting said the mission’s board of directors has begun the search for his successor.
Asked about his postretirement plans, he said, “There are lots of parts of Maine I would like to spend more time in. I love the eastern Washington County area, and I would really like to have some time to explore it, to get to know some of the communities a little bit better.”
In addition to that, Planting said, “I’m sure there will be other interesting [professional] opportunities.”