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MEIA 2009 Awards & 88th Annual Meeting & Conferenc


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Contact information: Rauni Kew 207-602-8500 Greg Dugal, Executive Director Maine Innkeepers Association (207) 865-6100 MAINE INNKEEPER'S ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES 2009 AWARDS & CELEBRATES 88TH ANNUAL MEETING & CONFERENCE AT ATLANTIC OCEANSIDE HOTEL, BAR HARBOR Freeport, ME.... December 4, 2009.... The Maine Innkeepers Association (MEIA) honored industry members at the 88th Annual Meeting and Conference held at Atlantic Oceanside Hotel in Bar Harbor, on November 3rd, 2009. Innkeepers recognized the accomplishments of their peers with the presentation of annual hospitality awards and attended educational seminars. "The Maine Innkeepers Association is pleased to announce the 2009 awards recognizing the achievements of six outstanding members of the hospitality industry. Each recipient has greatly contributed to both their community and their industry," stated MEIA Executive Director Greg Dugal. The Innkeeper of the Year Award, presented to Scott Cowger of Maple Hill Farm Inn Bed & Breakfast & Conference Center in Hallowell, recognizes an active lodging operator who has contributed significant time and effort toward the improvement of the Association. Cowger is a recognized leader in sustainable hotel operations, being co owner of the first Maine property to be certified as a green lodging by the Maine DEP. Cowger, a certified engineer, has also served in the Maine House of Representatives from 1996-2004, and the Maine State Senate from 2004-2006. Cowger is active in several tourism organizations and serves on the MEIA board. The Special Service Award, presented to Pat Eltman, Director of the Maine Office of Tourism, recognizes contributions made to the improvement of the lodging/hospitality/tourism industry as a whole. MEIA recognized Eltman for her efforts not only in support of the lodging industry but for her leadership for the entire tourism industry in Maine. Eltman has a clear understanding of legislative issues which impact tourism, having been chief of staff for three House Speakers. Eltman was instrumental in Governor Baldacci’s reelection campaign. Community Service Award, presented to Jeanne Carpentier of the Hilton Garden Inn Freeport Downtown, is made to an active lodging member who has taken part in community activities, and who has made a contribution, personally or in the name of the industry or property, toward that community. Carpentier has been affiliated with the MEIA Education Foundation since its inception, and has chaired the Education and Scholarship Committee. She has influenced the hospitality curriculum and has mentored hospitality interns. She is 2nd Vice President of the MEIA board, and serves on the Portland Convention and Visitor's Bureau and Freeport Chamber of Commerce boards. Hall of Fame Awards were made to Bernard "Sonny" Cough of Atlantic Oakes by the Sea, and Jim Littlefield of Oakland House Seaside Resort, recognizing retired tourism professionals who have contributed to the betterment of the Association as well as the lodging/hospitality/tourism industry in Maine. Bernard Cough is recognized as a hard working hotelier, beginning his working life unloading boxcars of salvaged goods for his father, he later became one of Maine's most successful hotel owners. Cough served on the Town of Bar Harbor planning board for 20 years, and also on the MEIA board. He supported many causes including College of the Atlantic, MDI YMCA, and Acadia National Park. The recognition was awarded posthumously and accepted by his four children. Jim Littlefield has been in the hospitality industry for over 40 years, and Oakland House Seaside Resort has been operated by the family since 1889. Jim began working at the property in his teens, and has served on the Maine Restaurant Association Board. Both Jim and his wife have been instrumental in assisting with legislative issues pursued by the MEIA board. Presidents Award presented to Cornelius "Connie" Russell, is given to the outgoing President for meritorious service during his or her tenure. Russell served as MEIA board President in 2008 and 2009, has served on the board of directors since 2004. He joined Ocean Properties in 1987 and has held managerial positions at a multitude of flagged and independent properties. He became General Manager of the Samoset Resort in 1999 where he has overseen several capital improvements. Russell has served or serves on the board of directors as Past President of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, State Vice President of the New England Inns and Resorts Association, Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Rockland Rotary Club. Allied Member of the Year Award, presented to Barton Brass, Owner The Turkish Towel Company, recognizes an active allied member who has made a significant contribution on behalf of the supplier community. Brass has supported and sponsored one of MEIA's Education Foundation scholarships for several years, and has generously supplied the Hospitality Golf Classic with golf towels. Brass works with a Turkish towel manufacturer producing high end organic towels for the hospitality industry. Photo: Peter Daigle (left) of Lafayette Hotels awards Scott Cowger (right) of Maple Hill Farm Inn Bed & Breakfast & Conference Center in Hallowell with the prestigious Maine Innkeepers Association 2009 Innkeeper of the Year Award. About the Maine Innkeepers Association The Maine Innkeepers Association, a leading provider of tourism information to both Maine's lodging industry and its visitors, represents nearly 700 B&Bs, camps, cottages, hotels, inns, motels and resorts across Maine, and their suppliers. Through communication, education, promotion and government affairs, the Association helps its members achieve prosperity and deliver a quality product to the consumer. Maine Innkeepers Association is located in Freeport, ME and can also be found at

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