LOCALS OF LACONIA 

the people

CARLOS CARDONA

Old North Main (Ward 1), Transplant 

How long have you lived in Laconia?

Since 2009.

What brought you to the area?

The community that I love.

Use one word or sentence to describe Laconia.

A great city on the lakes.

What is your favorite Laconia restaurant and what do you order when you go?

Lanna Thai - I love my Tamarind Chicken.

Tell us your favorite movie.

Aladdin - Disney 😁

 

Tell us your favorite band or musician.

My favorite musician - John Legend.

What are you up to these days (i.e. professionally, personally, projects, etc.)?

I am currently Vice President of JCSwain Enterprise and Chairman of Laconia City Democrats. Official surrogate for Senator Bernie Sanders. I have been busy promoting our city with the elections coming up, and talking about the issues we face as a city and also highlighting the beauty and great success we have had. I came to Laconia as an AmeriCorps member, so to me, Laconia is a city very close to my heart and the teachers in our schools are people I admire. Also I have a new baby named Jack who is now 3 months old so between him and my daughter Sofia, I keep plenty busy.


Any advice you would give to your younger self?

Move here sooner. Don’t be afraid to stand up for others. I am also LGBT so I would tell my 15 year old self It gets better don't be afraid to come out and be yourself - there is a whole world that will accept you for who you are, and the people that don’t remember...they are on a different path and journey.


What's your secret talent? 

Dancing.

In your opinion, what is Laconia's hidden gem? 

The people. I have met so many talented, friendly, and good hearted people hear that I call family and friends. Of course also the beauty of our downtown.

Who in our community would you like to have coffee with? 

Peter Spanos.

If anything, what do you find is missing in Laconia? 

A train. I really do think if we had a train our city would move forward and bring people from everywhere to learn and enjoy our city.

Tell us something most people don't know about you. 

I love farming. It’s actually what I love about NH - our small farms. Especially Heritage Farm in Sanbornton.

CHERYL HEBERT

Woodland Heights area, Native

How long have you lived in Laconia?

Forty years.

What brought you to the area?

I was born and raised in Laconia. Now I am raising my family here.

Are you a native, boomerang or transplant? If boomerang/transplant - what brought you (back) to Laconia?

Native.

Use one word or sentence to describe Laconia.

Diverse.

What is your favorite Laconia restaurant and what do you order when you go?

The 405 Pub & Grill for dinner (their steak tips are the best), Soda Shoppe for their omelets, and The Brick Front during the warmer months to sit on the patio.

 

Tell us your favorite movie.

Dirty Dancing.

 

Tell us your favorite band or musician.

I love all genres.

What are you up to these days (i.e. professionally, personally, projects, etc.)?

I have worked for the City of Laconia for almost 5 years, and for the past two years as the City Clerk. I also love going to the Downtown Gym where my second family pushes me to the limits.  


Any advice you would give to your younger self?

Volunteer more. 


What's your secret talent? 

Not sure I have one. 

In your opinion, what is Laconia's hidden gem? 

Laconia's hidden gem would be how the community comes together like one big family to show support or comfort to someone in need.

Who in our community would you like to have coffee with? 

If I were to choose one person in Laconia to sit and have coffee with it would have to be someone that deals with drug addicts to help me understand the addicts side of things.

If anything, what do you find is missing in Laconia? 

Laconia is missing places for the youth to go and hang out at that is safe and supervised. A place where the kids that are too old for daycare but too young to work to go and hang out on school vacations.

Tell us something most people don't know about you. 

My favorite sport to play is Volleyball.

SKYLOR BEERY

South End, Transplant

How long have you lived in Laconia?

Almost two years.

What brought you to the area?

A new adventure!

Are you a native, boomerang or transplant? If boomerang/transplant - what brought you (back) to Laconia?

Transplant! A job brought me here.

Use one word or sentence to describe Laconia.

Inspiring.

What is your favorite Laconia restaurant and what do you order when you go?

Soda Shoppe! (Before these times) I was trying the whole menu. I'll report back when finished on what is my favorite.

 

Tell us your favorite movie.

Matilda!

 

Tell us your favorite band or musician.

Logan Mize!

What are you up to these days (i.e. professionally, personally, projects, etc.)?

I work full-time at New Beginnings, I'm President of Fusion, and on the Board of Directors for Stand-Up Laconia. As well as volunteer in my free time. 


Any advice you would give to your younger self?

Don't let your past define you. You'll be such a bright light for so many people experiencing dark times. 


What's your secret talent? 

Karaoke. 

In your opinion, what is Laconia's hidden gem? 

Ahern State Park.

Who in our community would you like to have coffee with? 

Hmmm...can I think on this? 

If anything, what do you find is missing in Laconia? 

Affordable housing.

EMILY CLEMENT

Loud and Proud McGrath Street, Boomerang

How long have you lived in Laconia?

Since the summer of 1975 with a ten-year hiatus after high school. This winter I am a snowbird down south. Praise be to sunshine!

What brought you to the area?

I was born at LRGHealthcare. My parents were transplants from Woburn, MA in the early 70's.

Are you a native, boomerang or transplant? If boomerang/transplant - what brought you (back) to Laconia?

Boomerang! I only returned to finish my graduate degree at Plymouth State and ended up staying. When I returned I recognized so much goodness I'd overlooked as a kid.

Use one word or sentence to describe Laconia.

Does everyone say "potential"? Laconia is gritty - we maintain old fashion perseverance and passion like true Yankees!

What is your favorite Laconia restaurant and what do you order when you go?

A pile of chicken nachos at el Jimador.

 

Tell us your favorite movie.

Airplane. Surely you can't be serious.

 

Tell us your favorite band or musician.

Zac Brown Band, especially at Bank of NH Pavilion. Sunday morning sermon on stage and old home day in the parking lot. Bliss.

What are you up to these days (i.e. professionally, personally, projects, etc.)?

It took two years for me to move the core of my coaching business online. I facilitate Midlife Redefine, an online membership community for women at a pivot point. I LOVE the content and community, as well as the freedom to travel and work.


Any advice you would give to your younger self?

You've got a nano-second on this planet - have fun!


What's your secret talent? 

My organizational skills! You should see my office supplies.

In your opinion, what is Laconia's hidden gem? 

Ahern State Park and the State School campus for walking, swimming, and socializing. Tootsie and I love it!

Who in our community would you like to have coffee with? 

My mum and dad!

If anything, what do you find is missing in Laconia? 

Loaded question! There are lots of gaps - it depends what I'm seeking.

 

Tell us something that most people don't know about you.

I saw Michael Jackson at Disney in 1989. WHAT?!?! Now you know!

ANDREW HOSMER

Weirs Beach (Ward 6), Transplant

How long have you lived in Laconia?

24 years.

What brought you to the area?

Work.

Use one word or sentence to describe Laconia.

Community.

What is your favorite Laconia restaurant and what do you order when you go?

The Union Diner - any benedict!

 

Tell us your favorite movie.

The Godfather.

 

Tell us your favorite band or musician.
Eric Grant.

What are you up to these days (i.e. professionally, personally, projects, etc.)?

Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region, the Belknap Mill and soon The Carey House. (The questions were asked prior to the recent Inauguration)


Any advice you would give to your younger self?
Don't wish the days away, stay focused and connect more with those around you.


What's your secret talent? 

I like to bake.

In your opinion, what is Laconia's hidden gem? 

The WOW Trail

Who in our community would you like to have coffee with? 

Penny Pitou.

If anything, what do you find is missing in Laconia? 
More businesses and recreational activities downtown. 

Tell us something that most people don't know about you.

I can neither dance or sing.

EDWARD ENGLER

Pleasant Street area, Transplant

How long have you lived in Laconia?

19 years.

What brought you to the area?

Start a business - The Laconia Daily Sun.

Use one word or sentence to describe Laconia.

Welcoming.

What is your favorite Laconia restaurant and what do you order when you go?

South End Pizza & Seafood - the fried shrimp.

 

Tell us your favorite movie.

Out of Africa.

 

Tell us your favorite band or musician.
Dire Straits.

What are you up to these days (i.e. professionally, personally, projects, etc.)?

Serving as mayor. (The questions were asked prior to the recent Inauguration)


Any advice you would give to your younger self?
Be patient, you'll get better at all kinds of things.


What's your secret talent? 

Understanding what people are trying to say.

In your opinion, what is Laconia's hidden gem? 

Great trees and the Lakeport Dam area. 

Who in our community would you like to have coffee with? 

Former mayors.

If anything, what do you find is missing in Laconia? 
Young, middle class families. 

Tell us something that most people don't know about you.

I was born and raised in the tiny prairie town of Ipswich, South Dakota.

LEAH DRZEWIECKI-STEUER

Lakeport, Native

How long have you lived in Laconia?

26 years.

What brought you to the area?

Born and raised.

Use one word or sentence to describe Laconia.

Ever-changing and evolving.

What is your favorite Laconia restaurant and what do you order when you go?

Absolutely love the Soda Shoppe's breakfast. A veggie omelette or blueberry pancakes are always amazingly delicious.

Tell us your favorite band or musician.
Just about any 1980's hair band, you can never go wrong.

What are you up to these days (i.e. professionally, personally, projects, etc.)?

I have been with SunDay's Salon and Spa for seven years, which has flown by. Everyday is a little bit different and so much fun. And, in addition to that, I also run a fashion blog called Magic Mirror on the Purple Wall!


Any advice you would give to your younger self?
There's more than plan A; more often than not, plan B or C are way better.


If anything, what do you find is missing in Laconia? 
A vintage store focusing on vinyls and books. A little niche, but would be my heaven.

Tell us something that most people don't know about you.

When I was 15, I had back surgery for scoliosis. To correct it, they replaced the middle discs in my spine with one of my ribs and titanium plates and screws. Plus, I earned an incredible scar. 

AMY LOVISEK

Wildwood Association Neighborhood, Boomerang

How long have you lived in Laconia?

Over 40 years!

What brought you to the area?

I was born at LRGH - I won't tell you the year though!!

Are you a native, boomerang or transplant? If boomerang/transplant - what brought you (back) to Laconia?

I did go away for college and I moved to San Diego, CA, for a year, with every intention of moving back. Laconia is home and where I wanted to raise my children.

Use one word or sentence to describe Laconia.
Potential!

What is your favorite Laconia restaurant and what do you order when you go?
It's hard to pick just one, but Hector's has the best nachos!!!

Tell us your favorite movie.

Star Wars: A New Hope.


Tell us your favorite band or musician.
Almost any classic rock.

What are you up to these days (i.e. professionally, personally, projects, etc.)?

Professionally, I have recently been promoted to Director of Recreation & Facilities for Laconia Parks & Recreation. I have been with the department for over 20 years, but this position has given me new challenges, which I love. Personally, I have been happily married to my husband, Phil, for over 17 years with two amazing boys, Maximus (16) and Hunter (11). We enjoy a lot of outdoor recreation, such as camping, boating and snowmobiling. We love the Patriots, but my favorite team is the one my kids are playing for at the time!


Any advice you would give to your younger self?
Choose a "life-long" sport to be proficient with. The sports I was active with in my youth are most certainly not life-long sports that I can continue playing (rugby). I should have played tennis or golf, in addition to my team sports!

What's your secret talent? ​

I love to bake! I can also cross stitch and crochet! I'm crafty when I want to be!

In your opinion, what is Laconia's hidden gem?

Bond Beach, in my humble opinion, is quite a treasure! Many Laconia residents know about the beach, but many don't. It's a wooded, quiet and charming beach that is about to receive an upgrade to help alleviate the erosion. A beach parking pass is required to access the beach, but it is worth the effort. 

Who in our community would like to have coffee with?

Beth San Soucie is who I would like to sit down with. She is full of energy and ideas that only enhance our city and make it a place worth returning to.


If anything, what do you find is missing in Laconia? 
The old neighborhood charm. Where everyone knows each other and watched out for their children. Neighbors knew if something happened with a family and would bring over a casserole! I would very much like to see neighborhoods return to this way of life. I guess I'm a bit old-fashioned. 

Tell us something that most people don't know about you.

I love to read romance novels!!

TARA SHORE

South End, Transplant

How long have you lived in Laconia?

20 years

What brought you to the area?

The lakes brought us to Laconia. We had a boat and needed to be able to get to it easier.

Are you a native, boomerang or transplant? If boomerang/transplant - what brought you (back) to Laconia?

Transplant. Originally from southern Vermont, met my husband who grew up in Concord, and moved here about a year after college - he had the job!

Use one word or sentence to describe Laconia.
Abundant.

What is your favorite Laconia restaurant and what do you order when you go?
I'm sorry, I don't have ONE. Our area has so manny wonderful restaurants and so many great dishes at all of them. Tavern 27 - Bread Pudding, Brickfront - Stir Fry, South End Pizza - Greek Salad, Annie's Cafe - Chocolate Chip Cookies & Salads, Happy Cow - Any!, Fratello's - Chicken Marsala, O's - O's Chips, Hectors - Blueberry Yum Yum...

Tell us your favorite movie.

National Treasure - either one.


Tell us your favorite band or musician.
REM and Billy Joel.


Any advice you would give to your younger self?
Don't spend so much, save more and take time for yourself first.

What's your secret talent? 

I do not have one.

In your opinion, what is Laconia's hidden gem?

Bond Beach (which truly is quite hidden) and Rotary Park (which is right in the open and so many people don't realize how beautiful it is).


If anything, what do you find is missing in Laconia? 
Solid ideas to attract young people and young families. And then actually following through on those ideas.

How long have you lived in Laconia?

5 1/2 years

What brought you to the area?

Work, family, and I've always wanted to live at the lake!

Are you a native, boomerang or transplant? If boomerang/transplant - what brought you (back) to Laconia?

I'm a transplant, but I grew up coming up year-round to "the lake" for my entire life. It had always been a 

goal of mine to live here. Who doesn't want to live where everyone else comes to vacation?!

Use one word or sentence to describe Laconia.
The Laconia community is ALWAYS there for each other.

What is your favorite Laconia restaurant and what do you order when you go?
Impossible to pick just one! We are so lucky to have so many awesome options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Tell us your favorite movie.

The Princess Bride.


Tell us your favorite band or musician.
I'm not-so-secretly a huge Kesha fan. It's just fun music!


What are you up to these days (i.e. professionally, personally, projects, etc.)

Professionally, I have been having a great time settling in to my new position as National Register and Tax Credit Programs Coordinator at the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources. Personally, I have been continuing to participate as a board member for Fusion, co-captaining our Pub Mania team, trying to get more practice in on my motorcycle, and in general take advantage of living in NH.


Any advice you would give to your younger self?
Don't rush things! You'll always be in a different place than those around you - because everyone is always in a different place. It's ok, your time will come.

In your opinion, what is Laconia's hidden gem?

Our people. It sounds a little corny, but it's true. I have lived in a lot of different places (moved 9 times in 12 years!) and I have never come across a community that supports and cares for each other like Laconia. It's incredible to witness and a humbling privilege to become a part of, especially as a transplant (from Mass!).


If anything, what do you find is missing in Laconia? 
I'd really love to see Laconia recognize and harness its amazing assets. I feel like I hear and read a lot of negative things about what truly is a lovely place to live, and its very frustrating. I think that Celebrate Laconia is doing an amazing job of helping people see our community through a different lens - one of positivity and celebration. I want to see more pride and promotion of our awesome community!

Tell us something that most people don't know about you.

I'm obsessed with brunch buffets. If I have to choose between a breakfast item or a lunch item, it's not brunch!

Weirs Beach, Transplant

BRANDEE LOUGHLIN

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Celebrate Laconia
P.O. Box 6502
Laconia, NH 03247-6502

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