Originally published in Castine Patriot, June 8, 2017
New Visitors Center director ready for summer season
by Monique Labbe
The Castine Visitors Center is in its second year, and with that comes a new face to take the reins as director of the center and its volunteers.
Jane Awbrey, who has lived in Castine for seven years, was hired earlier this spring to relieve co-coordinators Jeannie Reed and Sue Macdonald, who started the center in 2015.
Reed announced in March that because of personal commitments she would no longer be able to assist in the coordination as closely as she had been. That announcement sparked the search for the director, and ultimately the hiring of Awbrey.
“It is an exciting place to be,” said Awbrey, who has been busy getting the center ready for the summer season.
A docent for the Wilson Museum a few times a week, Awbrey will split her time between the museum and visitors center during the summer months. Over the last couple of weeks, she has been busy collecting dues from merchants in town who have displays at the center, as well as getting things such as the coming events board and Internet up and running.
“There’s a lot to do,” said Awbrey. “But the volunteers, they’re the ones who really do the leg work once the season gets going. I’m a nobody, they’re the really important ones.”
In addition to collecting dues and updating the website, which Awbrey says she hopes will be up in the coming weeks, the new director is also in charge of coordinating the volunteer schedule. Each volunteer will fill a specific slot, and if slots cannot be filled, Awbrey will sit in during that slot.
“We have a great number of volunteers already, but we’re always looking for more people who want to tell visitors about all the great things Castine has to offer,” she said.
Macdonald noted that when looking to fill the position, she and Reed knew they wanted someone who was a year-round resident of Castine.
“That was important to us because we wanted someone who was very aware of how this town operates on a year-round basis, and not just for those four months during the winter season,” said Macdonald.
“That’s one of the things that is most amazing about this town, that a lot of these little businesses are able to stay open throughout the year, or, on the other side of that, businesses that only stay open during the summer are still able to make it work. I am in awe of them,” added Awbrey.
Awbrey will not be at the center year-round; however, she will still update social media and website as needed.
With the summer season right around the corner, Awbrey is looking forward to the countless hours she intends to spend at the visitors center.
“I really just am excited to tell people about the things going on here. This is an exciting town, and it’s more than just the waterfront and the shops. It’s an incredible area, and I can’t wait to meet people and share this town with them,” she said.