As we enter the most joyous time of year, a time to be spent with family and friends, let us continue to remember our friends in Newtown who are still grieving.
I would like to send out special holiday thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims who lost their lives on that awful Friday morning. The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce will continue to stand with Sandy Hook and Newtown throughout this holiday season, and throughout every season.
I continue to feel truly blessed this holiday season both personally and professionally. I am very grateful for my terrific friends and colleagues, from my role as President of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of the UConn Board of Trustees, and beyond. The loyalty and support of my family is very special, and I thank them for always being there for me.
I feel equally as blessed that the Chamber continues to grow and thrive through the efforts of our dedicated members. I am proud to say that over the last year, we have had a large number of successful events and initiatives.
The Chamber’s Member Breakfast Meetings continue to be extremely popular events, regularly filling the Crowne Plaza Cromwell with crowds of 500 to 900. Our most recent event, held Dec. 11 was no exception. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy addressed our membership for the second time during his tenure as we continued a great holiday tradition of welcoming our state’s sitting Governor to our December Breakfast Meeting. I want to once again thank the Governor for not only making this event a priority, but for the strong leadership he has shown throughout this challenging year.
Our Business After Work events continue to offer fantastic networking opportunities for Chamber members, and we are now holding these events almost every month. We are looking forward to a terrific event on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam. Our friends at the Riverhouse always provide a great spread of food and drinks and we will undoubtedly have another large crowd.
Our Annual Golf Tournament, under the direction of our dedicated Golf Committee, was a huge success and sold out for the 28th straight year. The Middlesex County Business to Business Expo, chaired by Brian Armet and Pamela Luchka, also sold out, occupying over 120 booths at Crowne Plaza Cromwell in late November.
There is already a waiting list for new exhibitors for Expo 2013. Finally, we just ended a successful four-week run of Middletown’s 27th Annual Holiday on Main Street, which brought thousands of visitors to downtown Middletown for shopping, dining, and some good ole fashioned holiday spirit. The Chamber’s 2012 Membership Drive Challenge was very successful as well. Our organization is proud to welcome 106 new members, a development that is critically important as we move forward. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of this organization, and they have our unending thanks.
Exciting things are happening in Middlesex County. Working with our elected leaders throughout the county has been really positive and productive. I am continually amazed by the sweeping improvements in our region. Thanks to strong leadership and tremendous community support, Middlesex County has developed into one of the most desirable areas to live and work in the country.
We have been very fortunate this past year. This prosperity is a tribute to the working relationships we have cultivated with our state and local leaders and our business community. I would like to thank the elected leadership in Middlesex County, and throughout the state, for being so proactive and providing important leadership. We have had to collectively deal with major challenges in the 2012, and we tackled them head on.
I want to once again publicly thank the Chamber’s Board of Directors, and our outstanding staff, for their unending support. Our Board, led by Chairman Chandler Howard, is comprised of some of the most hard working and professional people in our region. I am very blessed to lead a hard-working and loyal staff that has my back every day of the week. The Middlesex Chamber looks ahead to 2013 with optimism and hope, and deep sense of pride in our county, our state, and our nation.
Before signing off, I want to remind everyone of a wonderful event that is happening downtown next Monday night. It is hard to believe, but the 2nd Annual Middnight on Main is upon us. On New Year's Eve, downtown Middletown will be filled with people of all ages enjoying over 100 fun events. The evening’s activities will include music, dance, games, art, film, and entertainment and the free 6:00 PM rooftop fireworks show will again be the main attraction. Downtown Middletown will be rocking on New Year’s Eve so don’t miss out. For more information on Middnight on Main, please visit http://www.middnight.org.
In closing, I would also like to extend holiday wishes of peace, joy and health to the men and women of our armed forces who are away from the comfort of their homes this holiday season. During the holidays, we civilians spend our days and nights with our friends and loved ones. While we enjoy the spirit of the season, we should recognize the freedom that these men and women provide. A special thank you goes to out to these brave individuals who protect our freedom on a daily basis.
On behalf of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, I want to wish everyone a happy, safe, and joyous holiday season.
For information, contact Jeff Pugliese at firstname.lastname@example.org.