Summer youth employment open for 14- 21-year-olds

April 3, 2017

By: Larry McHugh

The month of April is off to a fast start in Middlesex County as the chamber team continues to be on the move.

Before looking ahead to the many events activities that are scheduled for this month, I want to take a moment to recap the very successful 33rd Annual Business After Work Auction & Taste of Downtown which was held last Tuesday at the Italian Society Hall. We had a great turnout of over 250 for this major event, and I want to take a moment to thank the Auction Planning Committee, led by its Chairman Al Santostefano and Vice Chairman Rich Greco, and all of the event’s supporters for their hard work. I also want to thank the following restaurants for providing the delicious food for the evening: Celtic Cavern, First and Last Tavern, Illiano’s Ristorante & Pizzeria, Lan Chi’s Vietnamese Restaurant, Mondo, NoRA Cupcake Co., Perk on Main, Tavern at the Armory, and Tuscany Grill. The 33rd Annual Business After Work Auction & Taste of Downtown raised funds that will support this year’s Holiday on Main Street which is another outstanding Middlesex County tradition. Another successful Business After Work Auction & Taste of Downtown is in the books.

The City of Middletown Common Council holds its April meeting on Monday night at 7 p.m. at City Hall. I want to take this opportunity to reiterate my support for the nomination of Joseph Samolis to serve as Middletown’s new Director of Planning, Conservation and Development. As I have noted in previous weeks, I have had the privilege of working with Joe Samolis on a number of important economic issues over the past few years. He has always been accessible and responsive to questions and input from a number of different constituent groups and has conducted himself in a sincere and professional manner at all times. He is intelligent, dedicated and hard working. I am confident that Joe Samolis will do a great job as the new director of this important city department. We look forward to working with him and his team as we continue to move Middletown toward a bright and prosperous future.

The beginning of April means that the chamber is gearing up for another installment of the Middletown Summer Youth Employment Program. This program continues to be a key workforce development initiative that puts kids into constructive employment situations in the summer months. Program applications are now available at the chamber and at all of Middletown’s public high schools and middle schools. For more information, please contact Lorenzo Marshall at the chamber.

Chamber divisions and committees continue to be very active throughout Middlesex County. Our Portland & East Hampton Division will meet on Wednesday at the Portland Library at 8 a.m. This meeting, hosted by Liberty Bank, will feature remarks from Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman who is a longtime supporter of our chamber going back to her early days as State Comptroller. We look forward to welcoming her back to Middlesex County. At the chamber office, our Environment, Land Use and Energy Committee will hold its April meeting at 8 a.m. This active chamber group will continue to cover environment, land use and energy issues that are of great importance to the business community in Middlesex County. The chamber’s Central Business Bureau (CBB) will meet on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. in the chamber conference room. The meeting, hosted by Perk on Main, will feature a report on the 33rd Annual Business After Work Auction & Taste of Downtown, and an update on the planning for the 20th Annual Cruise Night on Main St, powered by NAPA, and the 12th Annual Middletown Motorcycle Mania, presented by Hunter’s Ambulance, Hunter Limousine & The Hunter Family. The meeting will also feature reports from Mayor Drew and many city directors. We look forward to another productive gathering of the Central Business Bureau. Our Chester, Deep River, and Essex Division meeting is scheduled for this Friday at Camp Hazen in Chester. The meeting will feature town and chamber updates, along with a tour and program presented by Denise Learned of Camp Hazen. As you can see, these important chamber groups are very engaged in what is happening on the ground throughout our region.

A Grand Opening celebration for Disco Chick is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. at its Main Street location. Disco Chick, a dine-in and takeout restaurant specializing in gourmet chicken wings and "disco fries”, is the newest endeavor for The Hop Knot co-owners John Schauster and Michael Boney. I look forward to attending with Mayor Dan Drew and other city dignitaries and we all wish John and Mike and their entire team continued success as they launch this new phase of their business.

The Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half will return to the city this coming Sunday, April 9. Runners and spectators will enjoy the beauty of country roads and the grandeur of a downtown finish in newly designed 13.1 mile and 4.5 mile race routes. The new Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half runs through Wesleyan University and out past Wadsworth State Forest before looping back to finish on Main Street. The Legends 4.5 offer a scenic route through Wesleyan campus before a fast finish on Main Street. The Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half is the Half Marathon Championship race of the USATF Connecticut Grand Prix Series. We wish our friends at the Hartford Marathon Foundation, Harvard Pilgrim, and all of the sponsors and supporters nothing but success as race day approaches.

Our 2017 Legislative Event Series continues next Monday, April 10 at 9 a.m. when welcome Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff to the Courtyard by Marriott in Cromwell. At this special meeting, sponsored by Eversource, Sen. Duff will visit with chamber members to discuss the 2017 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly. Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about the session, and discuss some important issues on our 2017 Public Policy Agenda. I appreciate Sen. Duff’s willingness to once again come and visit with our members during this very busy legislative session. The Legislative Event Series concludes on Tuesday, April 25, when we welcome House Minority Leader Themis Klarides to a special leadership event at the Inn at Middletown. The event, sponsored by Kronenberger & Sons Restoration, will begin at 8 a.m. These important events are follow-ups to our 2017 Legislative Breakfast with our legislative delegation, and special leadership events with Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz and Senate Republican President Pro Tem Len Fasano. The chamber’s Legislative Committee will continue to stay engaged throughout this legislative session.

The KeyBank Workshop Series continues next Tuesday, April 11, 2017 with a session on Connecting with Your Customers for Business Success presented by TGezo Business Consulting. This important workshop will focus on identifying and connecting with ideal customers, identifying and responding what truly matters to those customers, growing and retaining a vibrant customer base, managing social media to grow and retain customers, and optimizing website content for customer engagement. More details and registration information is available at www.middlesexchamber.com. We again thank KeyBank Market President Jeff Hubbard and his entire team for their continued support of this important initiative.

April’s Business After Work, hosted by Lady Katharine Cruises, will take place in Middletown on Thursday, April 20. Beginning at 5 p.m. on the ship “Mystique”, the event will feature fantastic river views with a terrific spread of food and drinks, and outstanding spring networking for chamber members and their guests. Parking is available at Middletown’s Melilli lot with tunnel access to Harbor Park where the ship is docked. Limited parking will also be available at Harbor Park. The Mystique is a terrific place to meet and network with other business people because as our friends at Lady Katharine Cruises’ say, “Everything is better on the water.” I would like to thank the Lady Katherine Cruises team for hosting this outstanding Business After Work networking reception.

Finally, our April Member Breakfast Meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 24 at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell. We look forward to welcoming Congressman Joe Courtney as keynote speaker at this event which is sponsored by Pratt & Whitney. Congressman Courtney’s district includes some important down county towns within the chamber’s service area. His remarks will touch on the many important issues that he is working on as he represents his constituents in Washington D.C. Congressman Courtney serves on some very important committees including the House Armed Services Committee, the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, the Readiness subcommittee, House Education and Workforce Committee, the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions subcommittee and the Higher Education and Workforce Training subcommittee. The Member Breakfast Meeting will kick off Connecticut Export Week 2017, which is a unique initiative of the District Export Council and U.S. Commercial Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. I want to thank Congressman Courtney for speaking to our membership once again, and Pratt & Whitney for its support of this event and of so many community-based initiatives.

April is upon us, spring sports fans are rejoicing, and the sun continues to shine on Middlesex County.

Comments