ELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce has named award-winning weekly newspaper The Ellsworth American as this year’s recipient of the chamber’s Top Drawer Award.
The chamber will present the award to American and Mount Desert Islander Publisher Alan Baker at the annual chamber meeting Thursday, May 2.
The Top Drawer Award is given annually to a member of the Chamber of Commerce that has made a substantial contribution to the growth, development and improvement of the chamber region.
“The Ellsworth American is one of the most prominent and defining business in our community,” said Tony Cameron, the chamber’s executive director. “The newspaper has touched the lives of practically everyone in some capacity or another.”
Terry Carlisle, The American’s general manager, said, “Well it’s certainly gratifying to be recognized as ‘top drawer.’ We’re pleased to named and pleased to join the ranks of other ‘top drawer’ businesses in the greater Ellsworth Area.
“It’s the folks who work here, really, that make the company ‘top drawer’ Each and every one of them is pulling for the team.”
While the national trend in newsprint is to reduce the work force thru automation and the use of wire services and syndicated columnists, The Ellsworth American believes the opposite is the way to continued success.
Judging by the numerous state, regional and national print awards in recognition for everything from editorial content to layout and photography, The Ellsworth American continues to buck the trend that newspapers are a dying breed.
Printed every Wednesday in-house, The Ellsworth American and its younger sister newspaper The Mount Desert Islander cover all the local community news, sports, arts and politics as well as running advertising and public notices, all the while keeping an eye on national and international stories that may affect our shores.
In recent years, The American has embraced new methods of communicating with its readers through its award-winning community website, fenceviewer.com, digital subscriptions, video and social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
One of the oldest running newspapers in Maine, and the oldest continuously run business in Ellsworth, The American has garnered a national reputation for excellence in journalism.
A great deal of The American’s reputation is due to its late publisher, James Russell Wiggins, who in 1966, after retiring as the longtime editor of the Washington Post, purchased The Ellsworth American.
Wiggins sold the paper to publisher Alan Baker in 1991, but stayed on as editor until his death at age 96.
Unlike many local papers in the age of the Internet and portable devices, The American continues to employ a healthy work force of 50-plus spread out over several departments including advertising, Internet, circulation, accounting, creative services, press, mailroom and administration.
The paper’s content is written in-house or by local columnists employed by The Ellsworth American, bringing their community the news and events from a community perspective.
Every Wednesday afternoon as the paper is dropped at stores large and small across our region, customers can be seen waiting to pick up a fresh copy even before the large bundle is snipped open and on the stands.
The Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting, co-sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, will take place at Ellsworth High School on May 2, beginning with a social hour in the cafeteria from 5 to 6 p.m.
Appetizers and beverages will be provided by the students at Hancock County Technical School and the Ellsworth Lioness Club, with food and beverage sponsorship by Cape Air.
The meeting will then move into the auditorium for a short business meeting and video presentations of the award winners sponsored by First Wind. Award sponsors for the event are Eastern Maine Health Services, Machias Savings Bank, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, R.F. Jordan and Sons Construction, Trenton Lamoine Marketplace, and WABI TV5 and the CW.
Tickets are $35 per person and can be reserved by calling the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce at 667-5584.