Last Monday, we were honored to welcome our state’s senior US Senator as guest speaker at a Member Breakfast Meeting. Senator Richard Blumenthal gave a great talk and touched on many of the critical issues that are being discussed in Washington D.C. This event, sponsored by Pratt & Whitney, attracted a crowd of over 500 Chamber members to the Crowne Plaza Cromwell. As I have done many times in previous weeks, I want to publicly thank Senator Blumenthal for speaking to our group, and Pratt & Whitney for not only sponsoring the event, but for being a terrific corporate citizen in Middlesex County and throughout the State of Connecticut.
Following the Breakfast with Senator Blumenthal, our Environment, Land Use and Energy Committee hosted a terrific Energy Forum which focused on the Governor’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy and the effect it will have on the business community in Connecticut. The event featured two panels, one which focused on the Regulatory and Administrative side of the discussion and another which focused on the Industry and Technical side. This event was attended by over 90 Chamber members. I would like to once again send out a special thank you to Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. for sponsoring the event, and Bill Corvo, President, William Corvo Consultants, Inc., for serving as our moderator. I also want to thank our speakers for taking the time out of their busy schedules to appear at this important Chamber event. Our speakers included: Alex Kragie, Deputy Chief of Staff, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Michael Caron, Director, Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), Peter Gioia, Economist, Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), State Representative Lonnie Reed, House Energy & Technology Committee Chairwoman, 102nd District, Michael Collins, Manager of Sales, Yankee Gas, Michael Dirrane, Director of Northeast Marketing, Spectra Energy, David Foster, President, Wilcox Energy, Jonathan Gordon, Board of Directors, Renewable Energy and Efficiency Business Association, Inc. (REEBA), Tom Santa, CEO, Santa Energy Corporation, and Joe Colella, Vice President of Pipelines, Buckeye Partners, L.P.
On Thursday morning of last week, we were honored to welcome Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman to a special meeting of our All Middletown Divisions. This meeting, held at the Village at South Farms, turned out to be a great event. There is a reason Nancy Wyman is so popular in this state. She is a hard worker, always treats people with respect and provides honest and well-presented remarks every time we meet with her. I would like to publicly thank her one more time for her leadership in our state and for her continuing support of our organization.
Later in the day on Thursday, I attended a Grand Opening event at Kids Art Space on South Main Street in Middletown. Kids Art Space is a hands-on, creative art studio developed to stimulate children’s imaginations and innate artistic abilities. I would like to again thank Tami Mendez for hosting me at the Grand Opening, and I wish her and her team nothing but success as they support artistically gifted students at this new Middletown business.
We have reached the beginning of March and the Chamber is preparing for another busy month. This Wednesday, March 6th, a group of Chamber Members will head up to the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building for Connecticut Business Day. Sponsored by CBIA and the Connecticut Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, Connecticut Business Day will be the largest gathering of employers at the Capitol during the legislative session. The event runs from 8:00 A.M. until Noon and will feature an address from Governor Malloy, a panel with legislative leaders from both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and a meeting with members of the Middlesex County delegation. A bus will depart from the Chamber at 7:00 A.M., and the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell at 7:20 A.M. There is no charge for the bus or the event. For more information on Connecticut Business Day, please contact Jeff Pugliese in the Chamber office.
This Wednesday, March 6th, is also the first meeting of the Middletown Riverfront Redevelopment Commission. I was honored to be selected for the commission by Mayor Dan Drew and the Common Council and I look forward to working with my fellow members on the critically important issue of redeveloping the riverfront here in our city.
I am also looking forward to attending a reception hosted by Kelly Smith and Lizz Milardo this Thursday, March 7th, at the KGS Insurance Services office on Court Street in Middletown. This reception will celebrate a joint initiative between Kelly, Owner and Operator of KGS Insurance Services, and Lizz, a Financial Planner with Barnum Financial Group. I am looking forward to this event which will celebrate two terrific Chamber members who are even better people.
Next Tuesday, March 12th, the Chamber’s Legislative Committee will host the new Speaker of the House, Brendan Sharkey of Hamden, for a Special Legislative Event at the Inn at Middletown. At this special meeting, Speaker Sharkey will visit with Chamber members to discuss the 2013 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly. The Chamber’s Board of Directors and Legislative Committee will have the opportunity to ask questions about the session and discuss some important issues on the Chamber’s 2013 Public Policy Agenda. We look forward to welcoming Speaker Sharkey to Middletown. I would like to send out a special thank you to our friends at Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. for sponsoring this important event.
That same morning, Tuesday, March 12th, the Middlesex Businesswomen’s Alliance is holding a meeting at Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy in Middletown. This meeting will feature networking and a complimentary Continental Breakfast, courtesy of Disaster Restoration Services (DRS), along with a presentation on Women’s Self Defense: Techniques, Movements and Ways to Defend Yourself. Daniel Ostrow, SIFU instructor at Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy and Chairman of the Chamber’s Central Business Bureau, will lead the presentation. The Middlesex Businesswomen’s Alliance (MBA) 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.
On Monday, March 18th, the Chamber will welcome UCONN Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma at our March Member Breakfast Meeting. We are expecting a huge crowd at this event, to be held the day after the Selection Sunday telecast which will lay out the road to the Final Four in New Orleans.
Finally, save the date of Tuesday, March 19th for the 29th Annual Business After Work Auction and Taste of Downtown. This year’s event will run from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. and will once again be held at the Italian Society Hall in Middletown. The event will feature samplings from approximately 15 downtown Middletown restaurants along with a live auction, silent auction, complimentary beer, wine, soda and even Chamber Hurricanes. This year’s event has a Mardi Gras theme so don’t miss out. I will have more information on this major Chamber event as we move through the month of March.
The calendar is moving right along, and the Middlesex Chamber is on the move.
For more information on Chamber events and activities, please contact Jeff Pugliese at email@example.com.