Conference Center Dedicated to Arlene and Robert Kogod

Mount Desert 365 is excited to announce the dedication of its conference center to Arlene and Robert Kogod, longtime summer residents of Seal Harbor and ardent supporters of the Mount Desert Island community. 

Arlene and Robert Kogod pledged $5 million over five years in 2017 when Mount Desert 365 was founded. That incredibly generous donation allowed for the design, construction, and operation of the building at 6 Old Firehouse Lane which now houses Mount Desert 365’s offices, the Maine Seacoast Mission, and two apartments that are leased to year-round families.

An Acadia Senior College class meeting in the conference room in September 2023

The Kogod Family Conference Center sits on the building’s second floor and consists of a large meeting room overlooking Northeast Harbor and the mountains beyond, plus a prep kitchen, restrooms, and an entry space with additional seating. Originally designed for use by both Mount Desert 365 and the Maine Seacoast Mission, the space has been made available to other MDI nonprofits since 2020. It has hosted dozens of events and meetings including board meetings for the local nursery school and classes for Acadia Senior College, retreat/meeting space for College of the Atlantic and Friends of Acadia staff, and social gatherings for the Mount Desert Chamber of Commerce. The room seats up to 25 people and is outfitted with large TV screens and technology to make hybrid meetings possible.

A native of Washington D.C., Robert Kogod led the real estate firm that developed Crystal City, VA across the Potomac River from the Capital, from former brickyards, junk yards, and rail yards, into a neighborhood known for its creative mix of commercial and residential buildings, and now home to Amazon HQ2.

Arlene and Robert’s philanthropic spirit is present at many DC-based institutions, including American University’s Kogod School of Business (Robert’s alma mater), and the Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum.

Arlene and Robert have spent many years at their home on Cooksey Drive in Seal Harbor, reflecting their love and appreciation for this area by giving generously to other local organizations such as MDI Hospital, Friends of Acadia, and College of the Atlantic. They also led the effort to create an enclave of homes in Seal Harbor dedicated to being affordable, year-round homes for local residents. Three other Seal Harbor seasonal families joined the Kogods in that effort – the Rockefellers, the Fords, and the Leedes.

“It is always a pleasure and an honor to welcome new people into this Kogod Family Conference Center. It is a beautiful and functional space in which to meet, plan, and learn, and each new visitor appreciates that instantly. We are very grateful to the Kogods for making this space possible, and for their ongoing generosity to this island,” said Kathy Miller, Executive Director of Mount Desert 365.

Mike Hastings, Candy, Emlen, and Richard Cohen of Acadia Senior College with Kathy Miller next to the plaque

A wooden plaque was created to welcome visitors to the conference space and acknowledge the spirit of the Kogods. The plaque was sourced and prepped by Somesville-based fine furniture craftsman Joseph Tracy, with the lettering engraved and gilded by Erik Hill of Maine Maker 3D in Hancock.