Column- October 29, 2012
The 2012 Middlesex County Business to Business Expo is upon us.
With over 110 exhibitors, and featuring a full day of events and activities, the Expo will be held tomorrow at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell. The event will be open to the general public from 10:00 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 panel is comprised of: Kevin Counihan, Chief Executive Officer, Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange, Arthur “Buddy” McDowell, Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Middlesex Hospital, Lynn Giroux, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Essex Savings Bank, Marta Maciuba, Small Group Sales and Service Director, Aetna Inc., John Porter, Vice President of Client Services, Nurtur, and Margaret Flinter, Senior Vice President and Clinical Director, Community Health Center.
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. We received over 30 nominations from Chamber members throughout Middlesex County. I would like to congratulate all of our winners on these well-deserved awards. The Make a Difference “Shoot for the Stars” Award goes to the Crowne Plaza Cromwell. The Crowne Plaza hosts many of our major events and their professional staff is a pleasure to work with throughout the year. The Business of the Year Award, 1-30 Employees, goes to gener8or communications and the Studios of Moving Pictures. Darlene Scirpo and Steve Lovelace are very active in the Middletown community, and have won three local Emmy Awards for their outstanding work. The Business of the Year Award, 31+ Employees, goes to Lorensen Auto Group which has three dealerships in the Town of Westbrook. Lorensen is a strong corporate citizen and is a major economic generator on the shoreline and throughout the state. The Minority Business of the Year Award goes to Cindy Gondek and Advanced Copy Technologies, Inc. Advanced Copy, located in Cromwell, is a fast growing company that has become a leader in office equipment and document management services. The Business Growth & Expansion Award goes to Jarvis Products Corporation of Middletown. Jarvis, a manufacturer of highly specialized meat processing products, is constructing a 30,000 square foot addition to its high level facility which will bring significant jobs and economic development to the area. Finally, The Hometown Main Street Business of the Year Award goes to NoRA Cupcake Company which is located north of Rapallo Avenue, on Main Street in Middletown. Carrie Carella is doing a wonderful job producing delicious cupcakes and helping to spark a revival in the North End of Middletown.
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. The companies that have committed to this event are: Adelbrook – The Children’s Home, Advanced Business Banking Solutions, Advantage Career Training, AFLAC, APS Technology, ARC Of Meriden/Wallingford, AT&T, Avon Products, Inc., A/Z Corporation, Banc Insurance Agency, Beekley Corporation, Clear Channel Media Entertainment, Combined Insurance, Community Health Resources, Connecticut Air National Guard, Cox Communications, Crowne Plaza Cromwell, DATTCO, Inc., FedEx Ground, First Investors Corporation, FTD, Inc., Genworth Financial, IKEA New Haven, Letter Concepts, Liberty Bank, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Light House Home Care, Macy’s Logistics & Operations, Marrakech Inc., Mosaic, MTU Aero Engines North America, New York Life Insurance Company, Nutmeg State Federal Credit Union, Post University, Primerica, Safe Home Security, Seasons Federal Credit Union, SEI/Aaron’s, Signal 88 Security of New Britain, The Jack Farrelly Company, Ticket Network, Workforce Alliance, and Zygo Corporation.
This year’s Expo will also include a Health and Wellness Fair which will run from 10:00 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 exhibitors for their great support. I especially want to thank our sponsors for without them, this whole event would not be possible. 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 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 at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell for the 2012 Business to Business Expo!
Last week was another busy one in Middlesex County. Tuesday afternoon brought me over to Commerce Drive in Durham for an Open House which celebrated the new Connecticut location of TMC Environmental. TMC is a fast growing environmental remediation firm based in Massachusetts. I was happy to spend some time with Matt Clark, President and CEO, and Tom Clark, Executive Vice President, and I welcome them to Middlesex County.
On Thursday, I met with Andrew Gibson, CEO of AeroCision LLC in Chester, and Greg Guay and Paul Hughes from the Middlesex County Revitalization Commission. AeroCision is a high level aerospace component manufacturer which is expanding in Chester. We look forward to working with Andrew on some of his exciting new initiatives in the near future.
Later on Thursday, I attended an open house at the Middletown offices of ARCADIS which celebrated the company’s recent expansion. ARCADIS is an international firm that provides consultant services in the fields of infrastructure, water, environment and buildings. I want to thank the ARCADIS team for their great work and for inviting me to this function.
On Monday, November 5th, the Chamber will hold its 11th Annual Support the Troops/Honor the Veterans Member Breakfast Meeting. This year’s event 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 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. Buddy Bucha is a terrific speaker and we are thrilled that he has agreed to once again address our membership.
On Friday morning, I had a productive meeting at the Chamber with the owners of Ramani’s Menswear and Formal Wear, and Lastrina Girls Bridal Salon. This combined store will offer men’s tuxedos and women’s bridal gowns, and will be located at 308 Main Street. I am happy to welcome my former player Scott Colavito, who manages Ramani’s Menswear and Formal Wear, and Krista Lastrina Matthers, Owner of Lastrina Girls Bridal Salon, to the downtown community.
Friday evening brought me to the Northeast Collaborative Architects office in Middletown for a reception celebrating Oddfellows Playhouse and its National Endowment for the Arts: Our Town Grant. It was a great event that recognized quite an achievement for Matt Pugliese and Oddfellows.
I must close this week’s column on a sad note. Jack Spangler, a longtime friend to me and strong supporter of the Middlesex Chamber, passed away recently. Jack was a veteran of The United States Navy who served on the Destroyer USS Jeffers during WWII. He was a fine businessman and a longtime member of the Chamber and our Board of Directors. Jack was the former owner of Esico-Triton International in Deep River, a manufacturer of hand soldering tools. He was a terrific man, and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family during this difficult time.
For more information on Chamber events and activities, please contact Jeff Pugliese at email@example.com