Stage, Screen Legend Julie Andrews Guest at Chamber Lunch Today

Also, the Middlesex County Business to Business Expo will now be held Nov. 26.

Last Monday, the Chamber held its 11th Annual Support the Troops & Honor the Veterans’ Member Breakfast Meeting.  Unfortunately, our crowd of over 500 people had to evacuate the ballroom and we could not finish the event. 

We did not get to hear from our guest speaker, former Army Captain and Medal of Honor Recipient Paul W. “Buddy” Bucha, and we were not able to give out the 2012 William J. Pomfret Veteran Community Service Award to Bill Currlin of Middlefield. 

While we are disappointed that the event was interrupted, I am very proud of the way our membership and the representatives from the many different Veterans’ organizations in the area conducted themselves. Everyone remained calm and evacuated the Crowne Plaza Cromwell in an orderly fashion.

Many of our guests made sure that older members of the audience were safely escorted outside. 

I want to publicly thank all of our members for their understanding and their cooperation.  Most importantly, I want to thank all of our Veterans for not only their understanding and their professionalism during this event, but for their unending service to our community and to our nation. 

We will be honoring Bill Currlin, the 2012 Recipient of the William J. Pomfret Veteran Community Service Award, at the upcoming Member Breakfast Meeting with Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  We also hope to someday bring back Buddy Bucha as guest speaker. Bud spoke at this event last year and was terrific.  I want to publicly thank him for making the trip to Cromwell last Monday morning, and more importantly for his heroic service to our nation. 

Today, we are honored to hold a Special Luncheon Event featuring legendary singer and actress Julie Andrews, a beloved star of stage, screen, television, and recordings.  Sponsored by AT&T, the Luncheon will be held at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell and will begin at 11:30 AM.    

In addition to the Luncheon, two signed books will be available for sale: Julie Andrews’ Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year, and The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl!

Julie Andrews has been a beloved star of stage, screen, television, and recordings for more than half a century. Ms. Andrews spent her youth in England as a stage and radio performer before making her Broadway debut in The Boy Friend. Her subsequent theater credits include My Fair Lady (NY Drama Critics Award, Tony nomination), Camelot (Tony nomination), and Victor/Victoria.

Once established as a Broadway star, Ms. Andrews made her iconic film debut in Mary Poppins, which earned her an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award. Her other film credits include The Sound of Music (Academy Award nomination, Golden Globe Award), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Darling Lili,10, Victor/Victoria (Academy Award nomination, Golden Globe Award), The Princess Diaries films, and, most recently, the Shrek films, Enchanted, The Tooth Fairy, and Despicable Me, to name a few.

Ms. Andrews has also been honored for her work on television beginning in 1957 with her Emmy-nominated performance in “Cinderella.” Her television credits include “The Julie Andrews Hour” (Emmy Award), “The Julie and Carol” Specials (Emmy nomination), “Sounds of Christmas” (Emmy nomination), “Eloise at the Plaza,” “Eloise at Christmastime,” and “On Golden Pond.” In addition to her stage and screen work, Ms. Andrews is an accomplished best-selling author. She joined forces with her daughter to create the best-selling children’s book imprint The Julie Andrews Collection, which has released 27 books to date.

Ms. Andrews was honored as a Dame of the British Empire by Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II on New Year’s Eve 1999.  She received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2001.

As I noted last week, this is a very unique event for us, and we are excited to welcome Julie Andrews to Middlesex County.

The 2012 Middlesex County Business to Business Expo will now be held on Monday, November 26, 2012.  This event was originally scheduled for Tuesday, October 30th, but Hurricane Sandy forced us to postpone.  With over 110 exhibitors, and featuring a full day of events and activities, the Expo will be held at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell.  The event will be open to the general public from 10:30 A.M. until 3:00 P.M, and will re-open at 4:00 P.M. for a Middlesex Chamber Members Only Executive Evening Event.

Our Health Care Reform Breakfast Meeting, sponsored by Comcast Business Class, will begin at 7:45 A.M., and will end at 9:30 A.M.  The program will focus on where we are headed now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act.  A distinguished panel of experts will provide valuable information for businesses as they prepare for full implementation of the law. 

Our first ever Small Business of the Year Awards Luncheon, also sponsored by Comcast Business Class, will begin at 11:30 A.M., and will feature guest speaker, Commissioner Catherine Smith, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.  The Small Business of the Year Awards program is designed to recognize the dedication, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by Connecticut's small businesses. 

The Middlesex County Career Fair is another critical part of this year’s Expo.  The fair, sponsored by the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, the Connecticut Department of Labor, and Workforce Alliance, will run from 10:00 AM until 2:30 PM. The Career Fair will feature over 50 companies with positions available, which is great economic news for our region. 

This year’s Expo will also include a Health and Wellness Fair which will run from 10:30 A.M. until 3:00 P.M. for the general public, and 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. for members of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.  The Health and Wellness Fair, sponsored by Middlesex Hospital and Aetna Inc., is a great way to promote better health in your life and in your company.  The fair will feature a flu vaccination clinic, blood pressure screenings, cholesterol screenings, bone density testing, and much more.  Important information will also be available on cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, sleep disorders, rehabilitation, diabetes, adult and pediatric asthma, weight management for children, chronic heart failure and smoking cessation. 

The Expo is our Signature Event and I would like to thank all of our sponsors and exhibitors for their great support and for sticking with us through the postponement.  This year’s sponsors are: Title Sponsor: Comcast Business Class, Platinum Sponsors: Advanced Copy Technologies, Inc., Aetna Inc., Chamber Insurance Trust, Crowne Plaza Cromwell, Northeast Utilities, People’s United Bank, Tower Laboratories Ltd., Gold Sponsors: Ameriben Alliance, LLC, Associated Medical, Inc, Bank of America, Beacon Retiree Benefits Group, Community Renewal Team, TD Bank, The Mattabassett District, U.S. Small Business Administration, Silver Sponsors: A&A Office Systems, DATTCO, Inc, Pratt & Whitney, Bronze Sponsors: A Second Chance CPR & First Aid Training, Arborview Dental Care, Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park, Dutch Oil Company, Executive Offices, Harriet Amanda Chapman, Inc, Lyman Orchards, PrimePay LLC, Suburban Stationers, Inc., The Durham Manufacturing Company, and The Entrepreneur's Source.

I will continue to provide updates on the Expo as we get closer to the event.

For more information on Chamber events and activities, please contact Jeff Pugliese at jpugliese@middlesexchamber.com.

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