Fort Kent hires new parks and recreation director
FORT KENT, Maine — A Fort Kent logging business owner who has long dreamed of a career in sports and recreation has been hired as the Fort Kent Parks and Recreation director.
Jason Nadeau will fill the position previously held by Ann Beaulieu, who retired last December after 21 years of service to the greater Fort Kent community.
Nadeau, 43, is a 1996 Fort Kent Community High School graduate and has a bachelor’s degree in sports management with a concentration in recreation from Franklin Pierce University.
“Sports have always been a huge part of my life and working within the sports field always seemed like the natural progression. And I’ve always liked working with kids so that’s a bonus working within the recreation scope,” Nadeau said.
“The most important thing I can offer the kids in the program is to have fun, and while having fun, teaching skills to make kids fall in love with the sport or activity they are participating in,” Nadeau added.
Nadeau said his childhood growing up in the Park Circle neighborhood of Fort Kent had a formative influence on his love of sports and decision to pursue a career in recreation management.
“We had a bunch of kids with a wide age range,” Nadeau said. “We played many sports — baseball, basketball, football, etc.– the competition really pushed the kids to want to be better athletes. It was a great place to grow up.”
At the NCAA Division 2 Franklin Pierce, Nadeau started on the baseball team as a freshman.
“Like most kids dream, I wanted to go pro in baseball,” Nadeau said. “I knew I wanted to be in sports somehow, so in my mind I either wanted to work for a sports team or get into recreation.”
Nadeau said he will build on Beaulieu’s successful program design, and plans to expand upon it.
“There’s a great base in place for the rec program,” Nadeau said. “I’m looking to offer more programs for people of all ages, not just the kids. Everyone should be given the opportunity to be active.”
He said he is open to suggestions from community members about activities they would like to see added to the town rec program.
Nadeau is also president and owner of Nadeau Logging Inc., the family business he purchased from his father, Paul Nadeau, in 2015.
“Moving forward, the logging company is going to be taking a break so I can focus my full attention and efforts on the rec program,” he said.
Jason Nadeau is married to Liane Nadeau, an art director. The couple met as co-workers at the Keene, New Hampshire, rec department.
Jason Nadeau’s son, Kayden Nadeau, attends Thomas College where he studies criminal justice and forensic psychology. Daughter Emlyn Nadeau is a seventh-grade student at Valley Rivers Middle School.
In his free time, Jason Nadeau enjoys camping and playing games with his family, as well as golfing and hanging out with the family dogs — black lab Phoenix and golden doodle Ollie.
Nadeau will officially take over the role of parks and rec director on Monday, May 3.
“I’m very happy to be given the opportunity by the town of Fort Kent, and I’m eager to get started,” he said.