As a lifelong resident of Belfast, Karen Mehorter knows what it takes to make a successful business in Waldo County.
Mehorter began honing her skills in advertising and marketing after attending the University of Southern Maine and studying business administration. She started working for the Camden Herald when it was still an independent newspaper and became the Waldo County Advertising Representative.
“I was always a major multi-tasker because one minute I would be doing advertising sales in Waldo County, then I might assist with sales in Knox County, and the next I might be helping in the circulation department,” Mehorter said.
Mehorter said she is happy to be working in newspaper advertising again, this time for The Republican Journal selling advertising, since it gives her the opportunity to reconnect with area businesses and people she grew up. It also gives her the opportunity to work in advertising on-line for VillageSoup in both Waldo and Knox Counties and help businesses reach outside their back yard and target their market online with web ads and the VillageSoup Bizmembership Program.
“I’ve dealt with a lot of businesses in this area and it’s nice to see old faces. I’ve always had an interest in advertising, marketing and computers,” Mehorter said.
Besides her experience with newspaper advertising, Mehorter also worked as an Advertising Representative for the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce in 2008 working with them to help them sell their newly formatted magazine. Prior to this she worked nine years in Retail Management working for a local Maine company Monroe Salt Works (under the ownership of Ron Garfinkel).
“This was a really great experience because I was overseeing management of more than one store and staff,” she said. “I was responsible for managing an advertising budget and working with all media buying advertising with newspapers, radio, magazine and television stations.”
The experience of working in the retail world and as an advertising representative is something Mehorter feels gives her an extra edge when working with local businesses.
“I can help on both sides of retail and advertising because I’ve had the experience working in both sectors,” Mehorter said. “I really enjoy helping people sell a product or brand.”
One of Mehorter’s favorite aspects of handling advertising in Waldo County is the opportunity for her to work with all of the businesses — both new and old — in the area.
“There are so many new businesses in town now and there is a really vibrant market here,” she said.
As an advertising representative, Mehorter acknowledged it can be challenging to make advertising effective, but it’s a challenge she is more than willing to meet. However, Mehorter noted computers and the internet have changed how advertising is approached. "You really must have an on-line presence and marketing campaign".
“When I started selling ads we didn’t have computers but now the internet has made advertising even more accessible to customers,” she said.
When she isn’t pounding the pavement in an effort to sell advertising, Mehorter said her next greatest passion is being on the water. “I have a 29 foot Sea Ray bay boat and I love being out on the waters of Penobscot Bay. I also have a camp on Swan Lake and enjoy the serene peacefulness of being on the lake - swimming or ice fishing,” she said.
Whether she is out selling advertising and helping businesses market themselves to more customers or enjoying the day on the water, Mehorter is passionate about being in Belfast.
“This is such a stimulating area to live in and with a lot going on. Belfast really is a melting pot of so many different people and cultures. And with all the changes taking place, especially on the waterfront, it's an exciting time to be here,” she said.