Westbrook will Soon Have Middlesex Hospital Shoreline Medical Center

Chamber President Larry McHugh recaps the Chamber's October Division meetings featuring the legislative candidates and looks ahead to the 2012 Business to Business Expo.


Oct. 4 was a busy day as I attended multiple events throughout Middlesex County.  I was honored to attend the 40th Anniversary Open House for Nathan L. Jacobson & Associates in Chester. I would like to congratulate this fine company on 40 great years. Jeff Jacobson is the Co-Chair of the Chamber’s Chester, Deep River, and Essex Division and has done a great job in leadership for our Chamber.

The Day Club Adult Day Center in Middletown celebrated its 20th Anniversary on the 4th. I was happy to congratulate Ed and Annette Margnelli on 20 years of outstanding support of our senior citizens.

The Annual Meeting of the Middlesex Hospital Coporators was held on Thursday, October 4th, on the hospital campus before a large crowd. Last Wednesday was another big day for the hospital as it officially marked the start of construction for the new Middlesex Hospital Shoreline Medical Center in Westbrook. 

I was honored to attend the ceremony celebrating the occasion which took place at the entrance to the Tanger Outlets.  Middlesex Hospital has taken an outstanding leadership position in health care service in our state and I want to commend President and CEO Vin Capece on his leadership and thank him for his dedication to our region. 

On Friday October 5th, I attended an Open House at LABCO Welding on Industrial Park Road in Middletown which celebrated 42 years in business. I would like to thank Vin and Michael LaBella for their great work and for their long time support of our Chamber. Vin and I go way back, and I appreciate his friendship and advice.

Last Thursday night, I attended the 27th Annual Membership and Freedom Fund Awards Dinner of the Middlesex County NAACP Branch. This year, the Chamber and its Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program was honored with the Community Service Award. Now in its 16th year, and fully funded with a grant from Aetna, Inc., the Side Street to Main Street Business & Leadership Development Program is a unique, award winning entrepreneurial development course, with a rigorous curriculum, designed to assist minority small business owners in Middlesex County and beyond.

With a focus on personal and business planning, and leadership, the Program accepts only 16 qualified applicants each year to assure maximum impact and effectiveness. I would like to thank the Program’s Facilitator, Jim Jackson of The Essex Group and Chamber Staff Member, Jennifer De Kine for their great work making this a very effective Program, and I congratulate them on this honor.

An important mission of the NAACP is to promote entrepreneurship and to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities. All people, regardless of race and ethnicity should have access to livable wages and a discrimination free employment environment that is fair and healthy. Each year, I am honored that the NAACP presents the Larry McHugh Business Award to a business that exhibits this belief. The Lyman Farm, Inc., of Middlefield, was honored with this year’s award.  I would like to congratulate CEO Steve Ciskowski, Executive Vice President John Lyman, all members of the Lyman family, and their great staff.

Last Friday, I was honored to attend the official groundbreaking for WinWholesale, Inc, a plumbing distributor based in Ohio, planning to move into a large facility in Middletown that will service the entire Northeast.  This proposed 198,000 square foot facility on Middle Street will add to the city’s grand list and will bring jobs and more economic development to the region.

October in Middlesex County means that the Chamber’s Business to Business Expo is near. The 2012 Expo will kick off with a Breakfast Meeting focusing on Health Care Reform.  Sponsored by Comcast Business Class, the breakfast will begin at 7:45 A.M. and 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.

This year, the Chamber is excited to announce, as a key part of the EXPO, our first Small Business of the Year Awards Luncheon. Sponsored by Comcast Business Class, the Luncheon featuring guest speaker, Commissioner Catherine Smith of the CT Department of Economic and Community Development will begin at 11:30 A.M.  The Small Business of the Year Awards Program is designed to recognize the dedication, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by Connecticut’s small businesses. If you would like to submit a nomination for a 2012 Small Business Award, please contact Johanna Bond at the Chamber office, Tel:860-347-6924 or Email: Johanna@middlesexchamber.com.

Throughout the month of October, the Chamber’s geographically based divisions are hosting Legislative Forums featuring Middlesex County candidates, seeking seats in the Connecticut General Assembly. 

I would like to take a moment to thank all of the candidates who have attended these meetings.  We have had great crowds at these forums and our members appreciate the opportunity to network with the candidates.  Regardless of political affiliation, it takes real courage to run for public office these days, and we appreciate the candidates’ willingness to run and to serve.

For more information on Chamber events and activities, please contact Jeff Pugliese at jpugliese@middlesexchamber.com.

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