Navigate archive
first first August, 2017 first first
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
Newsletter
Email:
Home | Current News and Features | Matt Morrison New COO of Linda Bean Companies

Matt Morrison New COO of Linda Bean Companies

Matt Morrison New COO of Linda Bean Companies

Freeport -- Linda Bean has promoted Matt Morrison to be Chief Officer of Operations her 7-year old Maine business enterprise ,  Linda Bean's Perfect Maine LLC.   The companies within the umbrella entity have just been made into two interacting
divisions:  Maine Lobster and Maine Hospitality, each with its own president to be served by the new COO.
 
In making the announcement, Bean said, "Matt came into our young company as a Freeport friend wanting to help and has emerged as one of our most energetic and successful leaders both here in Maine and in our national outreach. He is a local Mainer with a gift that has advanced our brand to march alongside others of state and national prominence and to take a leadership role in Maine job creation."
 
Morrison's job title has been Director of Brand and Community Outreach, a function he will effectively continue as COO, while adding  hands-on operations streamlining at Bean's wharves, plants, restaurants, and manufacturers of product for her two company presidents, John Petersdorf (Lobster) and Veronika Carlson (Hospitality).
 
Morrison grew up from age 3 in rural Oxford County and was graduated from Oxford  Hill High School,  going on to Middlesex Community College in Connecticut.  His first job was as rural part time mail carrier in Naples, Maine, and from it he grew a 16 year career with the US Postal Service, through supervisory positions that reached level 20, culminating as OIC Postmaster of Carrboro,  North Carolina.  After moving his family back to Maine in late 2011, he  joined Linda Bean's Perfect Maine to advance her brand and assist her in her restaurant activities.  He has just completed a very successful 2013 year as General Manager of her 240-seat restaurant in the village square of Freeport.
 
"I have been so happy here," he said.  "It's very different from government work, but the same skills are needed of me to 
watch for and advance our best workers, shepherding their development in meaningful ways for them so that they take pride
in what they are doing, put out a beautiful product, and set the example for others coming along in the organization."
 
Bean noted that many of Morrison's achievements for her have been a byproduct of his personal participation and contacts made in local service organizations including the Chambers of Commerce in Freeport, Yarmouth, Brunswick, Rockland, and Delray Beach, Florida.   "The effect of those relationships, coupled with his keen observation of new community dynamics such as with the arrival of Amtrak's Downeaster train service,  cannot be overstated. He's locally active in Rotary International, and he sits on the Board of Freeport USA.   He's been made an ambassador for the Freeport Chamber of Commerce. 
 
Morrison, 46, is a Freeport resident married 24 years to his wife Michele, originally of Alexandria, VA.  They are parents of twins,  Freeport High School graduates Hannah and Clayton Morrison, who are first year college students at Champlain College in Burlington, VT,  and Maine Maritime Academy at Castine, respectively. 
 
Bean's Lobster Division President, John Petersdorf, stated in welcoming Morrison into a new position to assist at all levels, noted Morrison's advancement of public excitement for using Maine lobster in new ways.  "Matt has a gift in reaching out and putting together new partnerships for us, like our lobster sponsorship and participation in the Yarmouth Clam Festival, adding it to our major participation in the annual Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland.  He's responsible for our sponsorship and court mascot for the Maine Red Claws farm team for the Boston Celtics;  and for partnering our brand with Maine brewer Richard Pfeffer, founder of Gritty's, at his restaurant locations. I'll be looking for him to head up our trade show presence and coordinate wholesale lobster in new ways into our Hospitality Division. This company is growing fast." 
 
Bean's Hospitality Division President Veronika Carlson, says Morrison is anything but a desk guy.  "Matt is hands on and moving all the time.  He has two great attributes for all the areas where we are active:  unflagging confidence and follow through.  He has done an outstanding job learning the restaurant business as General Manager of Linda Bean's Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern, with sales now topping $3.5 million a year as an anchor restaurant in downtown Freeport.  He's streamlined the operation that runs three shifts in the kitchen and three shifts of servers and bar tenders from breakfast to late night, making the open tavern upstairs welcoming for annual celebrations and corporate events.  My division will now be looking to him to serve as our lead liaison to manufacturers of added value Maine seafood, agricultural products, and maple syrup to back a growing food service and retail business carried by distributors in Maine, New England, and nationwide."
 
In assuming the new role, Morrison will be traveling 7 counties in Maine and beyond.  The midcoast and down-east lobster procurement and processing division has undergone exponential growth since Bean's 2007 start-up in Port Clyde, now purchasing 6 million pounds annually off Maine small local boats.  Bean's own commercial wharves are located on the mainland and Vinalhaven Island, and she buys way beyond those from co-ops and other coastal buying stations.  In  Rockland, Morrison will oversee three operations of plants that grade, process and ship lobster, shrimp and crab.  Additionally, he will be charged with streamlining the costing and manufacturing of  fresh and food specialty lobster products and chowders Bean has developed since 2007, including some introduced at the Disney Epcot Food and Wine Festivals.
 
"Over a million of her unique lobster roll with proprietary herb dressing have been sold," said Morrison, recognizing the market may be ready for more locations across American now.   "She started at a small kiosk in Freeport in 2008.  Her hot toasted and buttered lobster roll is her best seller everywhere she has a start up.    Her branded lobsters are MSC certified for sustainability and traceability, and are featured for air and auto travelers in live retail tanks at the Kennebunk Plaza of the Maine Turnpike and at the Portland Jetport for carry-on from her lobster restaurant in the new terminal. This is truly exciting for us and for Maine lobstering families."
 
Morrison points out that Bean, although highly active in Maine real estate, has a light touch on Maine -- not one that changes the traditional look and feel of a place, and she has a history of saving vulnerable places it from more intense development.  With an interest in American and Maine art also, she has promoted the connection between Pennsylvania and Maine of the Wyeth family of artists, and in 2013 initiated Wyeths by Water, a lobster boat tour out of Port Clyde.   "I appreciate the way she has woven that interest into her business ventures as her unique way of placing it before people outside of museums," says Morrison. 
 
Morrison's duties will take him to western Maine, specifically Franklin County.   "In western Maine Linda is now focusing on the unique Maine community of Weld where she has been investing in forests and farmland for some 20 years.  At the head of Webb Lake surrounded by a ring of mountains at the former Stowell homestead, she has a concept of wedding packaging, farm food production, and an emerging new venture into maple syrup on her family timberlands there to serve not only her natural food restaurants but also to market with her retail name brand.  We're going to start this spring with 1,000 maple tree taps.   And a couple hours away in northern Maine she owns Wapiti, a lakefront log cabin sporting camp 20 minutes from the north entrance to Baxter State Park established the same year are her grandfather established LL Bean, Inc.   I have a lot to do!"
 
In summary of his new challenges, Morrison is very much in sync with Bean.  "Maine is a grand and beautiful state, beloved of artists, writers, photographers.  To Linda Bean there are iconic elements in its natural and human resource production of fish, forest products, and farmland foods.   She has a light touch on Maine -- not one that changes the traditional look and feel of a place but which preserves and hopefully provides more jobs and job stability. With her grandfather's legacy of entrepreneurship shining through everything she touches, I am excited to be part of her  top enterprise team to prosper and grow more opportunity for our own Maine people.   Bottom line, that is what Linda Bean's legacy should be.  That is our message and my job to carry forward.  Our brand is all about Maine's natural resource history and traditions,  Maine's native goodness,  and good Maine jobs from the land and sea to the table where we eat with our families.   I have accepted the newly created position of COO with enthusiasm."
  • email Email to a friend
  • print Print version
  • Plain text Plain text
Tags
No tags for this article
Rate this article
5.00