BAR HARBOR — Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” came over the sound system as this year’s Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Cadillac Award dinner, still a little stunned, made her way toward the Bar Harbor Club stage Friday.
Kim Swan of Swan Agency, Sotheby’s International Realty was the honoree. The award is given annually to “a person who epitomizes the virtues of leadership, service, sacrifice and the quest for personal excellence.”
She thought she had been invited to the dinner to give a speech on behalf of the Hancock County SPCA, she said, encouraging people to adopt animals.
Chamber director Martha Searchfield said it had been a group effort, including family, colleagues and SPCA Director Diana de los Santos, to keep the award a surprise.
Helene Harton and Roy Kasindorf, former owners of Ullikana Inn, were among those to offer tributes in a video by Jeff Dobbs.
“It’s been always such a pleasure to work with her,” Harton said. The pair met Swan in 1991 when they purchased the inn.
“We’ve had other business ventures with her since then,” she said, “and all along, Kim has proven to be the most accomplished person that you could ever meet. But also I think what makes her very special is the generosity of her spirit.
“Even when she deals with you in a business aspect, she’s always very generous with her time, with her expertise. But also this generosity kind of spills over. She has embraced many, many causes. Everything she touches turns to success.”
Swan was the executive producer of the “Fire of ’47” film this year, a project of the Bar Harbor Historical Society, where she serves on the board of directors. She also has supported the Parish House group home and many other initiatives.
Doug Maffucci of Atlantic Brewing Company thanked Swan for her encouragement as his company worked to develop its new Midtown facility on Cottage Street. She has a strong vision for the town, he said, and builds effective teams to help realize it.
Searchfield described the chamber’s new strategic plan, which the board developed this year. It focuses on representing member businesses to various levels of government, promoting the town’s brand and engaging with issue-related communication.
Chamber staff assisted 198,000 visitors at kiosks and welcome centers this season, she said, and fielded 10,000 phone calls.
Board President Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko of the Abbe Museum officially handed the reins to incoming President Jena Young of Side Street Cafe and Thrive.
Denise Morgan and Larry Sweet of Oli’s Trolley accepted the Business of the Year award, presented to a member business that has demonstrated excellence in operations and performance over the past year.
The Bar Harbor Catering Company received the Rising Star Award, given to a business demonstrating marked growth and prominence. The Neighbor Business of the Year Award, for a business member located outside of Bar Harbor, went to Castine Kayak. Thrive Juice Bar & Kitchen was the winner of the Environmental Leader Award.
The annual dinner was presented by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and sponsored by The First and Machias Savings Bank. Additional contributions were made by Bar Harbor Catering Company, Dobbs Productions, Queen Anne’s Flower Shop, Cape Air and Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars.