Interview: Cruising New Hampshire History

by GSA Michael Bruno, Mountain View Grand Class of 2018

The idea of “Cruising New Hampshire History: A Guide to New Hampshire’s Roadside Historical Markers” began in the fall of 2015 while discussing the lack of a user-friendly, interactive state website, or a previously published book. For nearly three years, I had devoted my efforts to not only visit, photograph, collect GPS coordinates, and research each of the 255 markers installed; but to include the back story and detail other points of interest in the Granite State.

Since publishing this book on May 15th 2018, I have been humbled by the overwhelming response to the book. I have met an incredible number of New Hampshire historical marker fans and others who have a sincere love for our beautiful state.

Emily interviewed Mike recently about his book:

Over 1800 dedicated individuals have embraced the “It’s Always Sunny in New Hampshire” spirit since its inception in 1996. Michael Bruno, a proud GSA, exemplifies the commitment to promoting the essence of New Hampshire hospitality.

Professional Certification Program: The robust GSA certification program not only instills the sunny New Hampshire attitude in its graduates but also provides a comprehensive overview of the state’s industries and recreational resources. With insights from over 20 speakers across New Hampshire, volunteers become well-versed ambassadors of the Granite State.

Passionate Volunteerism: Collectively serving an average of 20,000 hours annually, GSA volunteers passionately assist over 100,000 guests at more than 20 visitor information centers and 20 special events. They are the true Information Specialists, dedicated to meeting and exceeding the informational needs of both guests and residents.

Mission: The Granite State Ambassadors program is on a mission to actively engage and train certified Ambassadors, ensuring they go above and beyond to meet the informational needs of everyone who experiences the wonders of New Hampshire.

Core Values: The organization’s values are rooted in volunteerism, participation, and cooperation. There is a belief in training and embodying the essence of NH Hospitality, grounded in the following two themes:

  1. Citizen Responsibility: A firm belief that individual citizens can and will take responsibility for shaping the state’s future.
  2. Living Landscape: A profound attachment to the state’s environment, encompassing its natural resources and built environments.

In essence, the organization believes that New Hampshire’s allure as a destination is intricately tied to its quality of life. By proactively preserving scenic open spaces, rich historical and cultural attractions, and livable communities, they ensure that visitors experience the true essence of the Granite State.

Award-Winning Organization: Granite State Ambassadors has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2022 Volunteer Service Award in the Volunteer Champion category. The commitment to volunteerism, hospitality, and preserving New Hampshire’s heritage has earned accolades such as the “Tourism Person of the Year” and the “Governor’s Commendation.”