Kate Steed and Steve Markowitz are Boothbay Railway Village’s newest staff members. Steed, director of development and marketing, and Markowitz, director of operations, are busy with this year’s programming and planning ahead for 2020 and beyond.
Markowitz, originally from New Jersey, moved to the Boothbay region about five years ago. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years. His wife's family has lived in the region 30 years.
"They know a lot of folks and I've been coming up here for close to 20 years, now. My wife would summer up this way and when we got together, we would come up and visit her family just about every summer."
Markowitz, a lifelong baseball fan and player, also coaches one of the local Little League teams. Both his son and daughter are extremely active in sports, with his daughter competing in gymnastics in Augusta and his son playing about every sport, Markowitz said.
Steed said her experience in marketing and communications started when she dropped out of college in 1973 to help a childhood friend run his campaign for Massachusetts' 16th House District.
After a successful campaign and learning the ropes of policy, messaging and influencing, Steed was offered the job of press secretary for the city of Boston. After three years, Steed’s friend decided to run for Congress, so she quit her job to work on his new campaign.
“And now he is a U.S. Senator alongside Elizabeth Warren,” Steed said. “Ed Markey – and I figured if he's still working every day, I suppose I can go to work.”
Steed worked in media relations for ABC in Washington, D.C. When her father fell ill, she returned to Massachusetts for a job in public relations and advertising for the local news channel. After segueing into corporate work in energy and environment, Steed’s last job was as executive director for the Massachusetts healthcare reform movement for the Massachusetts Hospital Association.
“Then I decided I was going to retire. My daughter was grown. I had been a single parent … I renovated a house, finished college, raised a child and I worked at these jobs and then I said, 'I'm done.'”
Steed said her daughter quit a job in Colorado to help her move up to Maine and after working in the Boothbay region for a while, her daughter found a job in Boston and moved away.
“I'd look around once in a while to see what was out there for work and so I saw this and said, ‘Well, maybe' …”
Steed and Markowitz said the hiring process took a long time, but in March, President of the Board of Directors Charlie Bamberg and member Tom Minerich called both to say they got the jobs. Steed said they were not supposed to start until mid-April, but she and Markowitz started immediately wanting to come into the Village and settle in so they would be ready to go.
Both Steed and Markowitz are taken by the dedication and passion of BRV’s staff and board.
“I am a big believer in the fundamentals of life. I do believe there is a lot of love around this place … This place is preserved and it's not just a place for little kids to come, it's not an amusement park,” said Steed.
“It's a museum,” Markowitz continued. “And if you speak to the people whose lives are here – the two guys out there fixing the roof right now, David and Josh? They love this place and have been here for years and years. It's all about preservation and we want to foster that going forward.”
Steed said the main goal was to keep last year's commitments and programming with an eye toward increasing the scope for 2020 and to examine what community service means to BRV.
“We are looking at every single thing we do – why do we do it, how do we do it, can we do it better, is it over? … I'm not here just promoting events and it's not about me,” Steed said. “I don't think this place is here just to be a train ride. It's memorable, it's wonderful what they've done with the trains. It's amazing what they've done … But it's more than that.”