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Northern N.H. Conference on Tourism, Nov. 4 at Mountain View Grand

Alex Ray to be keynote speaker at first-ever event

The first-ever Northern New Hampshire Conference on Tourism is scheduled to be held at the Mountain View Grand Hotel in Whitefield on Thursday, Nov. 4. (Courtesy Photo). (click for larger version)
October 14, 2010
Ray will provide insights and share his experience in building a business from its humble beginnings to what it is today, including lessons he learned along the way as well as the value of giving back to the community.

Ray is known just as much for his family-style restaurants across New Hampshire as he is for his tireless philanthropic work in communities across the state. Ray's mantra for The Common Man family has always been "Do Good," and he encourages all employees to get involved with their local communities through hosting fund-raisers at each location and volunteering their own personal time. He allows employees a paid day off to contribute to a charity important to them, and supports employee efforts to raise funds for local organizations, sometimes making his own personal contribution.

With 18 restaurants, two inns, a spa, company store and movie house. Ray never sits still for long. He recently completed a Common Man Inn and Common Man Restaurant in Claremont, having partnered with Meredith entrepreneur and long-time friend Rusty McLear to revitalize old mills that stood decrepit and defunct for decades. Ray also renovated the historic Daniel Webster homestead in Franklin, preserving the historic structures and converting them into a non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center called Webster Place Center.

"We are thrilled that Alex has agreed to serve as our keynote speaker at the conference, and are excited to hear his inspirational insights on establishing and growing a business. We believe that it is vital to the success of our businesses that this type of event is available for businesses in the North Country," said Samantha Kenney Maltais, the Northern N.H. Marketing Project Manager. "This conference will provide businesses the opportunity to collaborate, network and learn about the opportunities that are available to them."

According to organizers, the conference will feature a daylong itinerary of programming, speakers, workshops and networking. Sessions will be facilitated by local experts in the field, including Veronica Francis of Notchnet, Carrie Gendreau of The Training Connection, and Alice DeSouza, formerly director of N.H. Travel and Tourism, and Colleen Cowette of Silvertech. The conference includes lunch with entertainment by renowned local fiddler, Patrick Ross.

According to Kenney Maltais, the Conference will host dynamic, informative workshops designed to help tourism-based businesses network and learn strategies to improve their business practices and help increase revenues.

"We're really excited to be able to help organize an event of this caliber for the North Country," said Marilinne Cooper, Executive Director of WREN, "and we've managed to keep it extremely affordable so everyone can attend. This promises to be a dynamic day of learning and networking in one of the White Mountain's most beautiful locations."

The cost of registration for the conference is $35 until Oct. 11 for the day's activities including a buffet lunch at the Mountain View. The cost will increase to $45 on Oct. 12. There are scholarships available to businesses in need. Topics for the workshops include useful tips on curb appeal, website design, social media sites, customer service and vacation packaging.

For more information, visit the "About Grand North" section of www.nhgrand.com. Updates and announcements will continue to be posted.

Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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