Name: Angela Iannicelli
Business: Monhegan Trucking
How long have you lived year round on Monhegan? It will be 12 years in June. My parents brought me out to the island when I was an infant and we came to the island every summer after that. My mom was brought (by a friend) out to Monhegan when she was 16 and worked seasonally on the island until 1993 when she became a year round resident.
What made you want to move to the island? After living in Alaska for almost ten years, I wanted to be closer to my family in New England. My mom was living on the island full time so that made it possible for me to relocate to Monhegan in June 2004. Originally, the move to Monhegan was meant to be temporary but once I put my two boys in the Monhegan School I knew we weren’t leaving anytime soon.
What was your first job(s) on the island? I babysat and mowed lawns starting at age 11. In my teens I cooked at the Blue Bird Café and at the Island Inn. When I moved to the island year round in 2004 I was asked to be the coordinator for the solid waste and recycling program. This led to managing and improving that program. I became the Third Assessor in 2005 and continued that for four years. In 2004 I started sterning for Matt Weber on his lobster boat so I could log time in to get my own license someday. In 2007 I received my license and started lobstering with my own boat, Sinful, which I did for 5 seasons. During the summer months I worked as a gardener and lawn mower. In fall of 2013 I took over Monhegan Trucking full time. Those who make a living on Monhegan often have many jobs, most of which are seasonal. Even though I was a single parent for the first six years on Monhegan, I still had to have many jobs to make island living possible.
How long have you operated your business? I am going into my 3rd summer season. I worked for Susan McDonough (former Monhegan Trucking owner) for 6 years before I took over the business in 2013.
What are the advantages of this business? It’s a family business. We are able to make a living as a family and live here year round. Most recently, we were able to buy our MISCA house. The benefits to the community include free trucking services to year round residents and the Island Farm. Our services reduce the need for more trucks on the island and help lessen the impact on our island environment.
What are the challenges do you face? The increase of personal golf cart use on the island in recent years has decreased business for Monhegan Trucking and increased vehicular traffic on our very narrow roads. Additionally, due to our remote location, truck repair and maintenance can be time consuming and costly. There is no mechanic or car parts store on the island, so parts and labor are difficult to come by. Storage of fuel can be a challenge since there are no gas stations on the island. All gasoline has to be treated, stored, and rotated in many 5 gallon containers.
How do you market your business? I try to communicate my services to all the island business owners, cottage rental managers, hotels, boat lines, etc. Word of mouth recommendations, signage on Rope Shed and Freight Shed, and signage on all the boats are all ways I try to market my business. I also have a website and Facebook page that I update regularly.
How has the improvement in access to technology, such as computers and the internet, impacted your business? I am satisfied with our current technology capabilities and internet access. I am able to reach my customers all year long by keeping my website and Facebook pages updated. I just started Wisdom Wednesdays on my Monhegan Trucking Facebook page. Each week I pick a topic relevant to Monhegan's infrastructure as a way to educate people who don’t live on the island year round. I am a big advocate of educating people about how our community works and what struggles Monhegan faces. I hope visitors learn something by coming to such a remote location and then carry it back to their own communities. Computers allow me to continue my business and communicate with people off island, like my kids!
Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? I do not see much growth since our seasonal population cannot expand. We depend on weekly rentals and summer homeowners for the bulk of our business and this population remains consistent. My hope is that we find a greener, more renewable way to operate our trucks. I have been doing some research but nothing besides biodiesel makes sense for the heavy loads and steep hills that we have to deal with.
What does island sustainability mean to you? The Island Farm is a perfect example of island sustainability: using land and resources on the island to produce healthy food for our community. To me, Monhegan sustainability means being able to remain as independent as possible to run our community.
How has MISCA supported you? Although it took 10 years to find a good fit for me and my family, MISCA gave us an opportunity to rent to own in March 2014. Prior to securing our MISCA house, we lived with my mom and in rentals. Last week we purchased the Jacobson house on Horns Hill. This was a summer home that was winterized (electrified, water well, cistern, insulation, phones, new windows) by the previous owners. We plan to build an addition to the house for my mom. This opportunity has made it possible for my family to continue to live on island year round.
To read more about Monhegan Trucking, please visit Angela's website.