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Rusty McLear honored with Profile Award

June 17, 2011
By Jeff Woodburn

FRANCONIA—The eighth annual Profile Awards were presented on Sunday at the Peabody Lodge at Cannon Mountain. This year's recipients were Rusty McLear of Meredith; the Vietnam Veterans of America - New Hampshire Council, and the city of Rochester.

Created in 2003 after the fall of the Old Man of the Mountain, the Profile Awards are given annually to an individual, an organization and a community, to recoghnize their work in preserving the resources and character of New Hampshire in the spirit of the state's icon.

The individual recipient was McLear, who owns the Inn & Spa at Mill Falls and has several other hospitality related partnerships. He was recognized by Union Leader Corp. President Joseph McQuaid, who serves on the Profile Awards' selection committee of the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund, for "turning vacant mills to premier hotels and helping to inspire others in preserving their own properties."

McLear said he was "honored and surprised by the award," but added, "I should be standing here with a lot of other people. One person can't get a lot done by himself." He came to the Lakes Region in 1971 to work at the Brick Yard Mountain Inn, at Wiers Beach. "I came to learn the business," he added but never left. "Meredith really became more than a business."

McLear is also chairman of the NH Music Festival and Board Member for the Land & Community Heritage Investment Program.

The organization recipient was the Vietnam Veterans of America - NH Council for their work assisting veterans get the support and assistance they need. McQuaid also noted, "Franconia Notch Forest Reservation and Memorial Park was dedicated in 1928 as a memorial to the men and women of New Hampshire who served the nation in times of war."

The community recipient was the city of Rochester, for protecting their historic, scenic and cultural assets, while attracting high quality commercial, residential and industrial development.

Franconia Notch State Park Manager John DeVivo served as the master of ceremonies. Vice Chairman of the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund Frank Grima recognized the Dick Hamilton for his leadership in completing the first phase of the Old Man memorial and Brenda Brown and Myram Emmons performed their song, So Long Old Man. For video highlights of the ceremony, visit www.WhiteMtNews.com.

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Varney Smith
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