I would be remiss if I did not begin this week’s column by addressing Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. The storm brought major devastation to the shorelines of Connecticut and New Jersey and major sections of New York City. Our thoughts are with all of our fellow citizens who continue to deal with the storm’s aftermath and those who face a long rebuilding process.
Locally, I am very proud of all our first responders, all of the municipal officials in Middlesex County, and Connecticut Light and Power personnel. They continue to show true professionalism and they have our unending thanks and support. I also want to publicly thank Governor Malloy for the great leadership he has shown during this difficult time.
This Chamber will do whatever it can to assist our members who have been affected by the storm, especially those on the shoreline. We are all in this together.
Today is a big day in Middlesex County as the Chamber holds its 11th Annual Support the Troops/Honor the Veterans Member Breakfast Meeting. This year’s event, sponsored by Middlesex Hospital, will once again be held at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell, with Networking beginning at 7:00 a.m., Breakfast Buffet opens at 7:45 A.M. and the Breakfast Meeting Program 8:00 to 9:00 A.M. We are very pleased to welcome back as guest speaker, former Army Captain Paul W. “Buddy” Bucha, a recipient of the Medal of Honor.
The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor. Each November, we gather to honor the Veterans who have served our country so bravely, and show our unwavering support for the troops who are currently serving. Also at this annual event, we are proud to present the William J. Pomfret Veteran Community Service Award.
The William J. Pomfret Veteran Community Service Award is presented annually to a Veteran of the United States 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 this morning.
Next Monday, November 12th, the Chamber will 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, beginning at 11:30 A.M., and will run until 1:00 P.M. 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!
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, originally scheduled for last Tuesday, October 30th, was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. The event will now be held on Monday, November 26, 2012. 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.
Finally, I want to once again send out a special thank you to our Expo Committee and especially to Co-Chairs Brian Armet and Pamela Luchka. This committee works throughout the year on this event and we appreciate their efforts very much. Also, I would be remiss if I did not thank the Chamber staff for their hard work and especially our Director of Events Johanna Bond who puts in countless hours to make sure that this major event is a success. We look forward to seeing everyone on Monday, November 26th at the 2012 Business to Business Expo!
For more information on Chamber events and activities, please contact Jeff Pugliese at firstname.lastname@example.org.