We have reached the final week of January, and the Chamber is off to a real fast start in 2013. This morning, Michael Aresco, Commissioner, BIG EAST Conference, will serve as Guest Speaker at our January Member Breakfast Meeting, sponsored by Webster Bank. Aresco came to the BIG EAST from CBS Sports where he was Executive Vice President of Programming. He is a Middletown native who attended Xavier High School so this is a homecoming of sorts. We are expecting a big crowd at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell and we look forward to what Mike has to say about this busy time in college athletics.
The Chamber will be well represented at tomorrow’s Annual Meeting of the Middlesex United Way, being held at the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam.
I would like to publicly congratulate the morning’s honorees: Wilfredo Nieves, Community Service Award Recipient, Joan Youngs, Community Leadership Award Recipient, Welles and Lillian Guilmartin, Tocqueville Society Philanthropy Award Recipients, and Middletown Adult Education’s Even Start Family Literacy Program, Community Impact Award Recipient. The Middlesex United Way, under the leadership of Kevin Wilhelm, continues to do outstanding work in our region for all of our citizens.
Tomorrow also brings us to Whelen Engineering in Chester for an important meeting of the Chamber’s Manufacturers’ Council. The meeting will focus on the manufacturing partnership that exists between the company and Regional School District 4. Students from Valley Regional High School go to the Whelen facility once per day from 11:30 AM until around 12:30 PM for a class titled, Introduction to Manufacturing. The class is a credit elective that is running all four marking periods this school year.
14 students per quarter are in enrolled in the class for the 2012-2013 school year, with 50 students on the waiting list for the 2013-2014 school year. The Introduction to Manufacturing class is designed to make certain that students develop career awareness as related to the world of manufacturing while participating in real life on the job experiences.
The visit by the Chamber’s Manufacturers’ Council is designed to expose the business community to this program. Top Middlesex area manufacturers, along with three local superintendents, and other education officials in our county will attend. This program hopes to be a model that is adopted by other communities. We are looking forward to a great event and will continue to support this initiative. I want to publicly thank Whelen President and CEO John Olson, along with his entire team, for hosting this event and this program.
The 20th Annual Middletown Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner will be held this Thursday evening at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell. Cocktail Hour begins at 5:30 PM and Dinner will be served at 7:00 PM. While I always enjoy this annual event, this year will be particularly special for me. The 1971 undefeated Xavier High School Football Team will be officially inducted into the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame. I was so honored to coach that team and am thrilled that so many players, coaches, managers and friends will attend Thursday’s event. I would also like to congratulate all of the other inductees on this high honor:
Fred Balsamo, Joseph Ferraro, Christine Hickey Fritz, Art Hatje, Sr. (posthumously), Louis Labbadia, Paul LaBella, Michael Muraca, Orville Palmer, William Piantek, Thomas Prue, Sr. (posthumously), Jason Schuberth, Robert Sienko, Alexander Tucci, Reuben Wilson, and Laurence Woods.
I want to publicly thank the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors, led by Tom Serra, as well as Johanna Bond from the Chamber staff for their hard work and dedication to this big event.
As January nears its end, the Chamber staff is looking ahead to February and beyond. Our next Member Breakfast Meeting, sponsored by Pratt & Whitney, will be held on February 25th and will feature United States Senator Richard Blumenthal. This event will be followed by an Energy Forum titled “Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Plan: What Impact Will It Have On Your Business?” This event is hosted by our Environment, Land Use and Energy Committee and sponsored by Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. I will have more information on the content of these events as we move into February.
On Tuesday, February 19th, the Chamber will hold a Member Business After Work Networking Event at the Hawthorne Inn, 2421 Berlin Turnpike, Berlin. This event, as always, will feature free beer, wine and soft drinks, along with a great spread of food and the best networking around. The event will run from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM.
Finally, save the date of Tuesday, March 19th, for the 29th Annual Business After Work Auction & Taste of Middletown. This huge event will be held at the Italian Society of Middletown and will once again feature a great spread of food and some terrific items to bid on.
2013 is moving right along, and the Chamber calendar is full of events and activities.
For more information on Chamber events and activities, please contact Jeff Pugliese at firstname.lastname@example.org.