New Management Collaboration Announced for MEIA & MERA
For Immediate Release Contact Greg Dugal
June 20, 2013 207-653-8828
Augusta - The Chairman of the Board of the Maine Restaurant Association (MERA), Todd Maurer, operator of King Eider’s Pub in Damariscotta, has announced the retirement of long time association President and CEO, Richard “Dick” Grotton, effective at the end of this year.
In a joint statement, Maurer and the Chairman of the Board of the Maine Innkeepers Association (MEIA) Jim Ostrowski, operator of The Inns at Blackberry Common in Camden, announced that the Boards of Directors of each association have agreed to create a separate, jointly owned company to provide management services for both of these two, prominent, Maine hospitality associations beginning in 2014.
The current Executive Director of MEIA, Greg Dugal, will lead the new management company and become Chief Executive Officer of both associations. In commenting on the move Dugal said, “This management arrangement is common with associations across the country. This is a collaboration of two prominent, closely aligned hospitality associations, not a merger of the organizations. Each association will maintain its own independent board of director, committees, staff, budget, identity, character and independence.”
Maurer commented, “In his time with the Maine Restaurant Association, Dick Grotton has been a stalwart advocate for the state’s restaurant industry. He has given heart and soul, countless hours and invaluable leadership to Maine restaurateurs since he took the helm in 1994. We’re pleased that he has agreed to play a limited consulting role through 2014 and feel confident that our Association will continue to prosper under the direction of Greg Dugal.”
Ostrowski added “We are delighted to have this opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Maine Restaurant Association while maintaining our independent identity. This is also a great opportunity to move the offices of our Association to Augusta from our current Freeport location in order to be closer to policymaking at the state level.”
In commenting on his retirement and the leadership change, Grotton said, “I have enjoyed my time at the Maine Restaurant Association and I hope I have made a difference. I believe Greg Dugal will be a terrific CEO. He is a past Chairman of our association, has a very strong restaurant background and many years of successful association management and government affairs experience. The Associations will back him up with a strong COO and I feel this will best serve the Maine Restaurant Association, the Maine Innkeepers Association and our respective members.”
A search will commence in early July to seek a Chief Operating Officer to assist Dugal with management responsibilities for these two, 60 plus year old, statewide hospitality organizations.
The two associations will be located in adjoining office space in Augusta by no later than June 2014, equally sharing the cost of management services, rent, equipment leases and other expenses where appropriate.
The Maine Restaurant Association’s non-profit mission is “To represent, promote and educate the foodservice industry in Maine. Their vision is “To enhance prosperity for Maine’s restaurants.” The Maine Innkeepers Association’s mission is “to improve, promote and protect the welfare of the lodging industry in Maine. Through communication, education, promotion and government affairs, we help our members achieve prosperity and deliver a quality product to the consumer.”