Weathervane Seafood Restaurants Recognizes Longtime List of Employees

weathervane restaurant 20 year employees

It’s been said that employees are a company’s greatest asset. We couldn’t agree with this statement more. The employees who work for Weathervane Seafood Restaurants are undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons why our family-owned seafood restaurant business has been so successful over the years.

So in recognition of our 45th year as a seafood restaurant providing guests with some of the best New England Seafood around, we’ve decided to pay tribute to some of our most loyal and longstanding employees. Each of the 20 employees included in this list represent a combined 400 years of dedication to the Weathervane Seafood family. Join us in recognizing them for their years of service.

Why Our Seafood Restaurant Boasts 20 Employees Each With Over 20 Years Experience

Jeremy Gagner
Chief Operating Officer

Jeremy started at Weathervane in 1994 after returning from his first year in college. He started as a host in the Kittery, ME restaurant location, but also worked as a plant worker in the Weathervane Seafood Distribution Center helping buy, sort, grade and pack fresh Maine lobster for all of the restaurant locations throughout New England and New York. In the same year Jeremy started at Weathervane, Nelson Mandela was elected President in South Africa, millions of people watched OJ Simpson try to escape authorities in the white Bronco, and Tom Hanks ran away with an Oscar for his role in Forrest Gump.

Upon graduating from college in 1998, Jeremy became the Assistant Vice President of Site Development responsible for advancing the growth of the company through management of new store openings, renovation projects and corporate programs. This opportunity provided him with completely different insight into the inner workings of Weathervane.

Eventually he took over as the VP of Site Development and opened his first ground-up restaurant location in 2001. He then spent the next six years in this capacity expanding his experience by taking on additional corporate operational programs and purchasing responsibilities from Fresh Seafood to Restaurant Equipment. In 2007, Jeremy was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Throughout the years, Jeremy believes the most rewarding aspect of his employment has always been the satisfaction shared, the feeling of accomplishment and the camaraderie created with coworkers following the completion of a project, the end of a profitable busy shift or the response from guests that have enjoyed a great meal.

“I am so proud to have the opportunity to carry on the traditions established by my Grandparents 45 years ago. I miss them dearly having spent countless hours fishing, cooking and playing cards with them as a child. At the time, I thought I understood the restaurant business just from having been around it since my earliest memories. As I continued my development working during breaks in my college schedule, I realized that there was so much more to managing a business that combines education, sales, purchasing and production all under one roof. It is unlike any other business model that I studied in school and only through long hours and great mentors did I come to appreciate what it took to operate a multi-unit restaurant company like Weathervane Restaurants. These constant challenges and the great people that I work with every day keep me focused on my responsibility to continue the legacy that has been part of my family’s success for the past 45 years.”

Favorite Menu Item:Unfortunately I cannot pick just one–but if I was going to enjoy one last Weathervane meal I would start with an order of fresh Maine steamers and spicy Rhode Island Calamari, a cup of fish chowder and side Caesar salad with tomatoes followed by a fried half & half combination plate of golden brown haddock and batter-dipped chicken (a secret recipe known only to a few guests and staff) with our signature honey mustard and bbq dipping sauces. I probably would have to have at least a taste of the delicious baked staffed seafood combination platter and finish with a bite of blueberry cobbler before I was done.”

Bill Kurkul
Chief Financial Officer

Bill started working at Weathervane in July of 1993, the same year Beanie Babies took over the scene and Jurassic Park was released. At the time, Bill had just turned 40 years old and was the proud father of three children ages 8, 6, and 4 years old. Today, all of his kids are college graduates with full time jobs living and working outside of New England.

Bill has always been the chief financial officer for Weathervane, a position focused on helping the company find financial success. What’s kept him in his position for going on 21 years has been the respect, kindness and understanding he has always received by all members of the Weathervane team. In addition to enjoying the dedicated, intelligent and nice people he works with, Bill also enjoys the everyday challenge of working at Weathervane.

“Helping others to succeed, and thereby helping Weathervane to succeed, is the most rewarding part of my job.”

Favorite Menu Item: “The Cajun salmon sandwich, its good for you and it tastes good too!”

Meg Cloud
Marketing & Guest Relations Manager

Meg started at Weathervane in 1992—a year she quips was so long ago that she recalls serving her current boss, Jeremy, onion rings and chicken tenders after school. before he would go next door to the Kittery restaurant to catch up with his father or grandfather. Meg first started as a cashier in the Fish Market/Take Out section at the Kittery location. Not long after starting her career with Weathervane, Meg was promoted to a supervisor and then eventually became a marketing assistant and moved to the corporate office. In addition to her role as a marketer, Meg also assisted decorating new locations.

“The number one reason I have stayed is the people! The people that I work with are an unbelievable group of individuals that help take the chore out of coming to work. We are a tight knit group that works together in any way needed to get the job done, and as an added bonus they make me laugh until I cry on a regular basis! Twist my arm… I also stay because I love what I do. Last but certainly not least, it is easy to stay at a job where I have the flexibility to indulge in my passion—golf—so that aspect of my job is priceless to me!”

Favorite Menu Item: “Haddock Fish & Chips with a side of Pa’s Onion Rings is my all-time favorite. Why? Taste them and you’ll know why!”

Diane Pearson
General Manager

Diane began her career at Weathervane in August of 1994, the same year the infamous Whitewater scandal began and Netscape Navigator was the worlds’ leading web browser. Having just returned from a three-week vacation to Germany, Diane was looking for a change and a job closer to home.

Before becoming a general manager, Diane worked as a server, hostess, bartender, cook, and assistant manager.

“I love working in the hospitality business. I have established a career at the Weathervane and enjoy coming to work every day.”

Favorite Menu Item: “My favorite item is the fish chowder. It has great flavor, is creamy and when you add a bit of salt, black pepper and oyster crackers it’s out of this world!! The best in New England and better than my Mom made back when.”

Jeanne Chickering
Server / Trainer

Jeanne started at Weathervane in 1984—the same year The Cosby Show premiered and Steve Jobs unveiled the Macinstosh computer system. At the time, her daughter was only 4-years old and Jeanne was looking for a part-time job that was close to home. Jeanne worked in the front of the house as a hostess; greeting guests, doing line-ups and cashing guests out before there were computers. As a trainer, Jeanne has been responsible for ensuring all of the new hires over the years were trained on all of the in’s and out’s of the Weathervane Seafood tradition.

“I have always enjoyed the people I work with and the diverse guests that I wait on. Flexibility with the schedule and I have a lot of ‘regulars’ and have come to know their families.”

Favorite Menu Item:Broiled Sea Scallops have to be my favorite and the Apple Harvest Chicken & Sea Scallops is to die for. The flavor combination is delicious!”

Shelly Rackley
Accountant

Shelly started at the Weathervane in 1990—the same year the World Wide Web was created and Macaulay Calkin starred in Home Alone. Shelly has worked as an accountant working in the company’s corporate office throughout her 24 years with Weathervane.

“I enjoy the people I work with. We all get along and have a good time working together.”

Favorite Menu Item: “The onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and steamers. They’re yummy.”

Debbie Longa
Accountant/Payroll Supervisor

Debbie started at Weathervane in 1991—which was the same year Michael Jordan won his first NBA championship with the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jackson released his hit, Black or White. Debbie joined the Weathervane family after her previous employer decentralized their accounting department and she was in need of a job. In addition to her role as an accountant, Debbie also serves in the capacity as the Payroll Supervisor, ensuring all of the employees get their paychecks on payday.

“I have worked here so long because I work with an amazing group of people that have become my work family. I certainly couldn’t have stayed this long if I didn’t enjoy what I do and respect who I work for.”

Favorite Menu Item:I have many favorites on the menu. I would have to say I really enjoy the Fried Seafood Combo because I love seafood and this way I can have a variety of all of them and of course a side of PA’s Onion Rings because yeah they are that good.”

Linda Burrall
Server

Linda began her career with Weathervane in 1985, the same year the first Nintendo Entertainment System was released and Microsoft unveiled its first version of Windows 1.0. At the time, Linda was a mother of two children and decided to take a job to help out with her family’s financial responsibilities. The flexible schedule allowed her to stay at home with her kids and then go to work once her husband came home. Her experience working at Weathervane helped her become the hard worker she is today.

“I consider myself to be an honest hard worker and hope that I have led by example. I would characterize myself as quietly efficient and willing to step­up to tasks such as doing dishes when the need arises.”

Favorite Menu Item: “Love our stuffing on anything and our salmon.”

Marcia Houde
Admin/Accounts Payable

Marcia first started at Weathervane in August of 1993, At the time, Marcia had just moved back to the area after living in California for many years. Looking for work, Marcia decided to work at Weathervane because she had heard it was a good place to work and because it had a good reputation as a well-established local seafood restaurant. Prior to starting at Weathervane, Marcia recalls eating at the original take out stand with her family in the early 1970s.

Throughout her time with Weathervane, Marcia has worked as a server, bartender, dishwasher, cook, dining room manager and assistant manager—all of which were positions that allowed her to interact with guests, meet people from all over, and interact with old friends and acquaintances. She is now part of the administrative office staff, primarily working in Accounts Payable.

“I established good working relationships with my supervisors, and my co workers. I’ve been treated well, made lasting friendships, and I’ve really never had any reason to leave.”

Favorite Menu Item: “I have several favorites, but if I had to pick just one, I would have to say the clam chowder. Consistently delicious and creamy, perfect for any meal, any season.”

Michael Paul Cardin
Kitchen Manager

It was June of 1986, Ronald Regan was President and Madonna was everywhere, and Michael had just finished his junior year of high school. During this same year, Mike Tyson became the youngest Heavyweight Champion in history of the sport, and IBM released the worlds first laptop computer. Michael decided to quit his paper route to work at Weathervane because his friend told him it was a great place to work.

Michael has worked as a cook, a supervisor, host and server. As the kitchen manager, Michael enjoys running the kitchen his way, coaching others and solving problems when they arise.

“I’ve really never had another job (except delivering papers as a teen). I love the atmosphere in the kitchen, enjoy cooking, meeting and working with all types of people. I learned a lot about life working in one location and the people were the nicest I’ve ever met.”

Favorite Menu Item: “Fried Chicken Tenders. They got me through many hot summers back in the 80’s and remind me of when I first started cooking.”

We hope you enjoyed hearing from these 10 employees about their experiences working at Weathervane over the years. Check back soon to see what the remaining 10 employees have to say about their longstanding careers at New England’s favorite family seafood restaurant.

Also be sure to check out this recent post, A Seafood Restaurant That’s All About Tradition, to learn even more about what makes Weathervane one of the most loved family restaurants around. And if you want to see for yourself, be our guest and visit one our many restaurant locations all throughout Maine and New Hampshire.

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