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Richard Greco Gets Chamber's 'Al' Award

Second annual honor given to longtime volunteer, coach.

Congratulations to the recipient of the Chamber Central Business Bureau’s (CBB) Al Award, Richard Greco.

The award is named after Middletown Fire Marshal Al Santostefano, who has been a member of the CBB for 26 years, and is given to a member of the CBB who provides service above and beyond what is required or expected.  The CBB began giving this award in 2010; this is the second year of the award.

Rich, who works for Nationwide Insurance, has always been involved in his community.  He has kept busy coaching and directing youth soccer programs in Simsbury, Oxford and Durham.  He was also chairman of the Middlesex Chamber’s Durham Division in 2005 and 2006.

He presently serves as an active member of the Chamber’s CBB and is co-chairman of Holiday on Main Street, Auction Committee and most recently served as chairman of Middletown Motorcycle Mania — an event that brings in thousands of dollars for youth programs in Middletown each year.

Richard has also spent the last 10 years as a volunteer at the Travelers Golf Tournament in Cromwell.

Also, congratulations to the Middlesex County Substance Abuse Action Council (MCSAAC) for successfully kicking off its Responsible Hosting campaign on Wednesday in Cromwell.  The campaign is designed to curb “social hosting,” which can be defined as parents purchasing alcohol for their children to drink in a supervised setting.

The campaign centers on the premise that, although the majority of parents find social hosting to be unacceptable, public perception is just the opposite.  Therefore, the mission of the campaign is to activate and engage this silent majority of parents.

At last week’s event at Willowbrook Spirit Shoppe, students from Cromwell High School were in attendance to hang Responsible Hosting campaign flyers inside of the business, which is owned by Jay Polke.  Thanks to State Senator Paul Doyle, State Representative Christie Carpino, Cromwell First Selectman John Flanders and Cromwell Chief of Police Anthony Salvatore for coming to this event to lend their support.

I was impressed with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s economic summit, an event that I attended, last week at the Connecticut Convention Center.  The summit featured a full morning of presenters that keyed in on specific areas of our state’s economy.

The presenters were all leaders in their respective fields and outlined economic development best practices, the role of academia in economic development and innovation and job growth amongst others.

This was a great way for the governor to follow his jobs tour of the state and shows he really is walking the walk when it comes to getting this state on the right track.

Also last week, I was honored to attend the NAACP’s Freedom Fund celebration on October 6.  I presented the organization’s business award to Suburban Stationers of Middletown.  This award goes to a business that promotes entrepreneurship while working to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities.  Suburban Stationers is an organization that fulfills this mission and I am proud of the entire staff there.  Ray Bourret and Dave Shulman are outstanding examples of what is good about our business community who are always looking toward a better quality of life for our citizens.

In addition, there are major goings on in the town of Middlefield.  The town received the final closing documents for a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) for the restoration of the Powder Ridge ski area for the ongoing development of the property.

First Selectman Jon Brayshaw applied for the grant over two years ago, which is designed to provide towns with utility and infrastructure development funds.  Jon sought out the grant for financial assistance in infrastructure restoration of the property, which is presently under contract of sale to Alpine Ridge, LLC.  I am very excited that the revitalization of the Powder Ridge property is underway.

Last week, as well, over 1,000 of our members attended the Yale-Dartmouth game on Saturday compliments of Yale University.  Big thanks to Tom Beckett, athletic director, and Wayne Dean, associate athletic director, for hosting our group.

Our own Business to Business Expo on Oct. 28 will also have seminars that key in on these topics and will also include what I think is the best way to develop our economy:  a job fair.  The event will be, as usual, at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Cromwell and is shaping up to be the best-ever Expo.  There will be more information to come on the great activities that we will feature.

Finally congratulations to Joe Klimas, who will celebrate the grand re-opening of Midletown Toyota today at 5 p.m.  at 634 Newfield Street in Middletown.  There is a brand new setup at the dealership with an all-new addition to the building.

For more information on Chamber events and activities, please contact Matt Fraulino at matthew@middlesexchamber.com or call him at 860-347-6924.

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