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Malloy Guest at Chamber Breakfast Tops Middlesex Chamber Weekly Highlights

Chamber President Larry McHugh looks ahead to a sold out Governor's Breakfast.

 

Tomorrow morning, Dec. 11, the Chamber will hold its annual Member Breakfast Meeting featuring the Governor of the State of Connecticut. 

Governor Dannel P. Malloy will address the Chamber membership at an event that sold out early last week, the earliest it has ever sold out. The Breakfast Meeting is sponsored by Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas and will be held at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell. 

This event featuring the sitting Governor has become a holiday tradition in Middlesex County, and we are certainly looking forward to an exciting morning.  Before the Governor addresses the crowd, we will be presenting the 2012 William J. Pomfret Veteran Community Service Award.  

This Award is presented annually to a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces who has shown a selfless commitment to community and public service in Middlesex County. 

Bill Pomfret served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II and was a member of the American Legion for over 60 years, holding the offices of State Commander, State Treasurer, and Commander of Middletown Post 75. 

He served in many other civic, Veteran, sports and youth organizations. This year’s recipient of the award is William E. Currlin of Middlefield.  Bill Currlin is one of those truly special people in Middlesex County. 

This prestigious award, which is chosen each year by a committee of its previous recipients, is a testament to not only Bill’s service to our country, but his ongoing commitment to the people of Middlefield and Middlesex County. We are thrilled to be honoring Bill at this major event.    

Following the Breakfast, the Chamber’s Affordable Housing Committee will host a symposium titled Planning for a Vibrant Downtown. The event will feature a panel of experts with experience in successful downtown housing and commercial initiatives. 

The group will discuss ways to successfully navigate the political process; successfully build public support, how to attract developers, how to engage the local business community, what to avoid during the process, and other important issues. 

Panelists include: David Fink, Policy and Communications Director, Partnership for Strong Communities, Hiram Peck, Director of Planning, Simsbury, CT, Adam Turner, Town Planner, Colchester, CT, Bill Ferrigno, Owner and Operator, Sunlight Construction, Inc., and Carl P. Fortuna, First Selectman, Old Saybrook, CT.  The symposium, sponsored by Liberty Bank Foundation, will be held at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell, 100 Berlin Road, Cromwell, beginning at 9:30 AM and ending at 11:00 AM. 

Last Saturday was another successful day for Middletown’s 27th Annual Holiday on Main Street.  We had a full day of family oriented events including breakfast and free pictures with Santa, a Holiday Book Fair at the Russell Library, free hayrides on Main Street sponsored by Webster Bank and Pratt & Whitney, The Fun Train, courtesy of Middletown Downtown Business District, and The Giving Tree sponsored by Webster Bank for the benefit of Middletown Park & Recreation’s Holiday Program. 

We were also lucky to have Holiday Story Time with Middletown Police Chief Bill McKenna, and The Poky Little Puppy, sponsored by Broad Street Books.  I would like to again thank Harvest Woods Audio for providing the terrific holiday music throughout the day. 

Finally, another special thank you goes out to our sponsors: City of Middletown, Middletown Downtown Business District, Pratt & Whitney, Apple Rehab Middletown, Eli Cannon’s Tap Room, Greco Design, Kidcity Children’s Museum, Liberty Bank, Malloves Jewelers, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, Middlesex YMCA, Middletown Area Transit, Oddfellows Playhouse, One MacDonough Place, Rag & Bone, Russell Library, St. Vincent dePaul Middletown, and Webster Bank.  Middletown’s 27th Annual Holiday on Main Street continues on Saturday, December 15th

Last Thursday was the Chamber’s Real Estate Council Holiday Luncheon, held at the Middletown Elks Lodge, and sponsored by McCue Mortgage. 

This was a terrific event that featured a toy drive to help support the Riverview Hospital for children, a fun raffle for our member realtors, and some great holiday spirit.  The Chamber’s Real Estate Council excels throughout the year under the strong leadership of Co-Chairs David Gallitto and Diane Sayers.  I would like to once again thank the Middletown Elks for hosting our group, and especially McCue Mortgage for their outstanding support of the event. 

Looking ahead, the Middlesex Businesswomen’s Alliance is meeting tomorrow evening at the Inn at Middletown for some good old fashioned Holiday Social Networking.  The group will be joined by Mayor Dan Drew, who will officially welcome the Alliance to Middletown. 

The Middlesex Businesswomen’s Alliance is a council of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce that provides challenges and opportunities to educate, enrich, and explore issues for women in business.  MBA has been a very active group within our Chamber and I want to publicly thank our Co-Chairwomen, Isabel Jackson of The Essex Group, and Terresa Long of LogoRhythms, Inc for their hard work and dedication. 

The Chamber’s geographically based division structure is a critical part of our organization. I would like to publicly thank Bernie Sweeney, District Director, Connecticut SBA District Office, for visiting each of our divisions over the past month to discuss the different disaster relief programs that are available to businesses through the federal government. 

Bernie reached out to us after Hurricane Sandy and I appreciate him traveling around the county and thank him for his consistent support of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. 

I must close this week’s column on a sad note. Eileen Matterazzo, a long-time employee of Bob’s Surplus in Middletown, recently passed away. She was a wonderful person who was always there for many in our city. Eileen will be missed by not only her husband, Caba, daughter Pamela, grandchildren, and entire family, but by many others who were lucky to be blessed by her positive attitude towards life. 

For information, contact Jeff Pugliese at jpugliese@middlesexchamber.com

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