BATH — Amanda Stanley said being Main Street Bath’s new director makes her want to pinch herself.

The mission of the program – which has been promoting events, businesses and organizations around the City of Ships for nearly 20 years – is one that dovetails well with who she is, the Topsham resident said in an interview.

Stanley is the first permanent director since Jake Korb’s departure in September 2017. Mari Eosco, chairwoman of the City Council and a past director, has filled the interim role since then.

“I’m a huge people person, I’m an extrovert by nature, I genuinely want to know what’s going on with people, to see if there’s any way that they can be helped by being connected to information they may not know, (or) to each other,” Stanley said in her office at the Bath Regional Information Center.

She  called herself “a huge resource networking person,” adding, “if somebody has a problem and I know somebody else can fix it, I want to connect them. I feel so much better as a human by interacting that way.”

Stanley moved to Maine from Missouri when she was 6. She said  her love of the state was fostered from the beginning by her parents.

“It was always lupines, and seagulls, and ‘look at the windjammers,'” Stanley recalled. “… I’m bringing up my kids like this.”

It goes without saying that she’s pretty psyched about Bath.

“The best part about Bath is the maritime history that we have, and the depth of that,” Stanley said. Maine’s first governor lived here, she noted, and the streets are lined with “beautiful historic homes.”

But the city is also considered undiscovered, Stanley said, so she is looking forward to showing people what they’re missing.

“Everybody’s just driving by,” she said – over the U.S. Route 1 viaduct, past the giant Bath Iron Works crane, against the backdrop of the Kennebec River.

“They’re always looking (that) way; they don’t think to look this way,” toward Bath’s vibrant downtown, she said with a shrug and a smile. “That’s kind of a special thing for me to work on.”

Stanley grew up in Damariscotta, where she spent 2007-2012 as a department manager with Hannaford Supermarkets.

“Hannaford was a wonderful experience for learning about management, people, customer service, retail (and) seasonality,” she said, “which I think is one of the biggest things that you need to understand about Maine if you’re going to survive up here.”

Stanley went on to become an advertising executive for Portland Magazine, and then an advertising and marketing executive with Dispatch Magazine, before joining Goodwill Industries of New England in January 2015.

Working in social services was “a real eye-opener into how state funding works, how grants work, how a demographic of this state is really needing to be paid attention to,” Stanley said. “So, making sure that we’re looking at all the pieces, not just the ones right in front of us.”

In her new position, Stanley said she would like to bring greater “clarity for involvement” for people around Bath, informing them how they can be a part of Main Street, and how the program can continue to be vital to businesses and the community.

She compared Main Street to the mortar between the bricks.

“We make things happen; you don’t really pay attention to us, but we’re doing stuff,” Stanley said. “Without Main Street, I think that Bath would be suffering.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 780-9085 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Amanda Stanley of Topsham is Main Street Bath’s new director.

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