GROTON -- Local doyenne Jane Bouvier promises that going into business for herself will not interfere in planning for this year's edition of the popular Grotonfest celebration.
In fact, far from being a conflict, her new business, Groton Networking LLC, is more likely to be a help than a hindrance.
"My new business will not interfere with my other projects," explained Bouvier. "It will complement them. In fact, it will complement everything I do."
"It's something I've done as a volunteer for about a million years," said Bouvier of her new endeavor. "I'll be helping small businesses, politicians, or anybody to change their image so that they can be elected or whatever. I can also help performers get their name out. 'I'm not doing well,' people sometimes ask me. 'What do you think I can do to change that?' I can also handle what I call 'crisis management' or saving people from themselves. If someone does or says something stupid or if they're thinking about doing something like that, I can tell them that it might not be such a great idea. That they might want to think about it first. I'll also be producing things including this year's Grotonfest."
Now open for business, Bouvier's Groton Networking is located in Mill Run Plaza.
"It wasn't difficult to get into business for myself because it was something I've always done," said Bouvier, who has hosted Around Town, her cable television program covering local news and personalities, for the past 15
Bouvier, who has worked for the Groton Herald newspaper and dabbled in real estate over the years, said in her association with local business groups and Grotonfest over the years, she has come to know most of the business people in Groton.
"I've met most of the business owners in town doing advertising for them and know what they do and what they can afford," said Bouvier. "Because of that, I don't have to pressure anybody into doing something for Grotonfest. If somebody says to me I really want to be there but don't have the money, I'll find a way for them to do it. I've never turned anybody down. Grotonfest is for everybody. That's what it's all about."
Indeed, Grotonfest, which has had a venerable tradition going back decades, will now be even more closely associated with Bouvier than it has in recent years.
"Originally, Grotonfest was put on by the Groton Center for the Arts, then the Groton Business Association took it over until that kind of fizzled out," recounted Bouvier. "At that point, I went to a couple of people from the Groton Board of Trade, of which I'm vice president, and we did it for two years. The group wanted it to be a fundraiser but Grotonfest really wasn't that kind of thing. It was a community event that gives everybody a chance to shine. I don't consider it a fundraiser. This year, the Board of Trade will do a different kind of fundraiser on its own and they gave Grotonfest back to me. It'll be a whole new day for the event."
Bouvier will team with partner Dale Martin in putting Grotonfest together with the two already having secured the event's first major sponsors including the Groton Dental Wellness Spa, Three Rivers, Donelan's Supermarkets, the Blackbird Cafe, David, Alexander Wealth Management, and the North Middlesex Savings Bank.
"So I finally have the freedom after doing Grotonfest for so many years to run it the way it should be run," said Bouvier who has gone so far as service marking the name "Grotonfest." "I'm going back to having more cultural attractions while still highlighting all the businesses.
"We're going to have different kinds of entertainment, too," continued Bouvier. "We're going to have a country western and blues band for instance. We might have a little more for children and also different kinds of artisans."
Although not strictly a fundraiser, any proceeds realized from this year's Grotonfest, said Bouvier, would be given to the Groton-Pepperell Rotary.
In the meantime, things have been moving apace for the Sept. 21 event, with Bouvier and Martin hard at work booking entertainment and advertising.
Bouvier herself is no stranger to performers in general or promotion in particular having been raised in a theatrical environment.
"I grew up in New York City, basically in the theater business," recounted Bouvier. "My father was a theatrical agent and at one point worked for Ed Sullivan. I went to college for a year before he died and then went into theater myself. I did fairly well in small parts and doing commercials before I got married and moved to the Boston area. That's where my family was."
Bouvier's son, William, has chosen to follow in the family tradition, pursuing an acting career and currently appearing in the independent film "Black Rock."
Anyone interested in availing themselves of Bouvier's promotional services via Groton Networking or wishing to find out more about this year's Grotonfest, can either look the new business up on Facebook or call 978-732-8892.