Bank of New Hampshire supports Family Resource Center

GORHAM – Bank of New Hampshire recently presented the Family Resource Center of Gorham with $2,000 towards their Working Families Program. "The Family Resource Center is a true asset in the North Country," said Diane Alinovi, VP – regional office manager for Bank of New Hampshire. "Bank of New Hampshire knows the importance of helping New Hampshire families and communities and is happy to be able to help."
The Family Resource Center's goal is to build healthier families and stronger communities through positive relationships, programs and collaborations in the North Country. One of the primary branches of the Family Resource Center is the Working Families Program which supports families and individuals of all ages in managing their personal financial stability through the North Country's only Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
The Family Resource Center's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides federal income tax preparation for those earning below $58,000, free of charge. IRS-Certified volunteers with approximately 40 hours of training save taxpayers an average of $300 each year allowing families to keep more of their hard earned funds in their own pockets.
For more information on the Family Resource Center, visit www.family-resource-center.org.
Bank of New Hampshire, founded in 1831, provides deposit, lending and wealth management products and services to families and businesses throughout New Hampshire. With 21 banking offices throughout New Hampshire and assets exceeding $1 billion, Bank of New Hampshire is the oldest and largest independent bank in the state. Bank of New Hampshire is a mutual organization, focused on the success of the bank's customers, communities and employees, rather than stockholders. For more information, call 1-800-832-0912 or visit www.BankNH.com.

Gill's Flowers and Candy celebrating 112 yrs. in business

BERLIN -- Gill's Flowers and Candy Shop is celebrating 112 years of doing business in the Androscoggin Valley. In order to commemorate this special event, the shop has decided to provide free delivery for all orders in Berlin.
After 44 years in the floral business, Barbara Guay sold the store to Cindy Griffin in February of this year. However, Barbara maintains her presence by working at least two days a week doing what she enjoys the most - making floral arrangements. Also still in the store is Lori Lacasse who has been part of the operation for eleven years. Lori manages the floral design area of the business.
Since purchasing the business, Griffin has hired Kimberly Harris as General Manager. Through her efforts, candles, fudge, candy and gifts have been added to the shop to diversify the product lines in an effort to increase sales.
Everyone at Gill's is looking forward to the holiday season with a new line of candles coming in that will fit into the floral/candy aspect of the shop.
Stop into Gill's to wish the folks a happy 112th birthday, and remember there is now free delivery on all orders in Berlin.

Morrissette Financial makes move to Ameriprise

BERLIN — Certified Financial Planner Stephen Morrissette has a new partnership at his financial planning business on Riverside Drive. As of August 31, the long time LPL Financial franchise became an Ameriprise Financial franchise, signing on with the high-profile national agency in order to provide more efficient and streamlined services to his local customers, according to Morrissette. "(We're) making a major change in our operation," he explained.  MorrissetteStephen Morrissette, CFP, recently transitioned his financial planning business on Riverside Drive, to an Ameriprise franchise. (MELISSA GRIMA PHOTO)
The move comes after 25 years with LPL, but Morrissette says it will improve operations and the overall customer experience. One major change clients will notice is that the financial planning process now uses substantially less paper. Morrissette said he went from 60-80 pages per client down to about six, leaving the company saving money on supplies while reducing their carbon footprint.
"What we're trying to do is move our business ahead," he noted, and in order to do that an informal community survey was undertaken. As a result of asking around Morrissette learned that local people were looking primarily for help in retirement planning and managing their investments. "Basically helping them to achieve their goals," he said.
The purpose of financial planning, he explained is to take people from where they work their whole lives and then try to live on what they have, to a situation where people are planning ahead and deciding how they would like to live when they are done working and working toward that goal. Morrissette said he does this and also works to help those who are already retired manage their investments to their best advantage.
"We can put their investments to better use," he said. "We're trying to offer them some alternatives to what they're doing that can make their life a little better."
In looking for ways to grow the business he found Ameriprise to fit in most with what his customers were looking for and methods that would flow with his existing business model while increasing efficiency, he explained. Morrissette said that he looked at a lot of companies and Ameriprise fit in with his philosophy of how he wanted his business to grow.
"We've been lucky," he said, pointing out that his company had been a consistently high performer with LPL. "Hopefully, Ameriprise will allow us to do even better."
The change came with all-new computer systems, a streamlined approached that allows Morrissette to spend more time with clients helping them realize their dreams, and a means to transition the business when he eventually decides to retire — a prospect Morrissette says is years away. He explained that aligning himself with Ameriprise solidified the ownership succession to ensure the business survives with responsible stewardship when he does retire, giving him the peace of mind that his customers will be in capable hands that he will have a say in.
Calling the move to Ameriprise more of an "internal streamlining," Morrisette said customers won't notice much of a change in service. There will be a new sign out front and a new website, but customer investments will stay the same. Licensed in 10 states, Morrissette has customers all over the country and the fact that Ameriprise is a 115-year old national organization helps in other areas too. One noticeable area of change will be electronic communication, which ties in with the new website.
So far, Morrissette said, feedback from customers on the new alliance has been positive. Part of the transition has been to "re-paper" 750 accounts, so he's been catching up with everyone. Morrissette added that he thinks it is important for people to enjoy the process while he helps find a way to help them fulfill their goals.

AVH Relay For Life Team Scrapbooking Crop Benefit event to be held at AVH

BERLIN -- Do you have an interest in scrapbooking but haven't tried it yet? Do you need a little motivation or guidance with your scrapbooking project? Or would you just like to scrapbook with other scrapbookers, have a little fun, and share ideas?
The AVH Relay For Life Team welcomes you to join them on October 6 anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the AVH first floor Lecture Room to help you accomplish your scrapbooking goal. All ages are welcome, as well as all skill levels, whether beginner or advanced. A $10 donation will benefit the American Cancer Society.
Come with your photos and scrapbooking tools and supplies. The Team will be happy to meet you and assist you with your project.
Raffles will be held, and the AVH Auxiliary Sunny Corner Gift Shop will be offering a 20% discount on all of their scrapbooking supplies during the event.
If you are unable to make it to the October 6 event, future events are scheduled for November 3 and December 8.
For more information, please call Scrapbooking Crop Benefit Event Chairpersons Debbie Alonzo at 326-5885 or Brenda Aubin at 326-5955.