20 Years Later… A Note from our Executive Director

Jack Dugan sat on my couch 20 years ago in March of 1997 dodging ladybugs.  They had suddenly come to life on that warm and sunny day to crawl out of the delightful crevices only a 200 year old house can offer up.

I had started the NH Traditional Craft & Industry Fair (later to become the Thanksgiving Farm Fare) in my home – or should I say the home of Hannah Grimes.  Jack was renovating a space downtown in the former Woolworths building.  And his wife who is a wonderful spinner, weaver and artist had kept nudging him to get in touch with me to see if something might happen in that space.  Later that year, on November 22, Hannah Grimes Marketplace opened.  Almost ten years later, Hannah Grimes took over a building owned by MEDC and the Hannah Grimes Center was born.

Hannah Grimes Marketplace and the Hannah Grimes Center – along with a myriad of other impactful organizations and buildings and projects in our region and in our state– are all here because of the vision, drive and persistence of Jack Dugan.  I’ve often commented that Jack just waves his wand and sprinkles magic dust and, POOF!, things happen – he makes it look that easy.  We celebrate and recognize his contribution to the vibrancy of our downtown on November 7 from 5:30 – 7:30 at CONNECT: Main Street 2.0.

Thank you, Jack, and I hope all of you who know him, or want to get to know him, will join us as we introduce him as the Hannah Grimes 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year.  With our Entrepreneur of the Year Award, we recognize individuals with a strong entrepreneurial spirit that contributes to our thriving local economy and vibrant community.   Jack commented that sunny day in 1997 that the ladybugs were good luck.  I guess he was right.

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