Middletown’s Tom Goglia wins Pomfret Community Service Award

October 30, 2017

By: Larry McHugh

A busy October comes to an end this week in Middlesex County and a busy November begins.

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Middlesex County Substance Abuse Action Council’s 27th Annual Meeting at The deKoven House in Middletown. It was a terrific event that featured the presentation of the MCSAAC Annual Awards, and a Keynote Presentation from Jonathan A. Phol, PhD, CCSU Health Services. The 2017 Annual Award Recipients are as follows: Best Prevention Program- “EDGE Marijuana Education Campaign” produced by EDGE Students of Coginchaug High School; The Father O’Hara Volunteer Award- Tracey Leary, RPh, of Clinton; The Young Adult Leadership Award- Alexis McGuigan of East Hampton; The Youth Leadership Award- Skyler Jacobs of Westbrook High School; The Terry Concannon Elected Official Award- State Rep. Christie Carpino of Cromwell/Portland; and The Harry Eben Burr Business Award- Middletown Oral Surgery & Implant Center of Middletown. I would like to congratulate all of the award recipients, and thank MCSAAC President Anthony Salvatore, Director Betsey Chadwick, and the many other individuals who make MCSAAC an effective advocacy organization in Middlesex County.

The week kicks off in the chamber conference room with a meeting of our Support the Troops and Honor the Veterans Committee. This group, over the past 16 years, is responsible for planning and executing the chamber’s annual Support the Troops and Honor the Veterans Member Breakfast Meeting which is scheduled for next Monday, November 6 at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell. This special breakfast is sponsored by Middlesex Hospital, and will feature as Keynote Guest Speaker, Colonel Christopher H. Beckert, Director at Center for Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, PA. Colonel Beckert, the son of past chamber Chairman John Beckert, has a terrific military resume which includes among a number of other distinctions, service as Aide-de-Camp for the Commanding General at Fifth Corps in Heidelberg, Germany, and as Strategic Advisor for Leader Development in the Pentagon to the 36th and 37th Army Chiefs of Staff. He has also served in a variety of tactical, operational, and strategic leadership and staff positions, in over 23 separate countries and in four combat deployments. We look forward to welcoming Chris back to Middlesex County, and are certainly excited to hear his remarks. Each year as a key component of this event, the chamber presents the prestigious William J. Pomfret Veteran Community Service Award to a local Veteran of the United States Armed Forces, in recognition of his or her distinguished service to the citizens of Connecticut and selfless commitment to public service. I am proud to announce that this year’s winner is Thomas Goglia of Middletown. Tom Goglia is a proud veteran who served our country with distinction. He also has a remarkable record of community service and is a deserving recipient of this prestigious award. Tom is an active and engaged member of a number of local Veterans Organizations. He is the Adjutant and Treasurer, and Past Commander, of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 7, and is a member and Past Commander of the Middletown Council of Veterans. He is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion Post 75, and the Vietnam Veterans of Middletown. Tom volunteers his time in a number of capacities including as the City of Middletown’s Chairperson for American, P.O.W. and Connecticut flags. This means that Tom is responsible for all the flags that are flown at all city schools, fire departments, police departments and anywhere flags are needed. This is just a glimpse of Tom’s record, and we look forward to honoring him at this year’s Support the Troops & Honor the Veterans Member Breakfast Meeting next Monday. Middlesex Hospital has sponsored this event for a number of years now, and I want to thank Vin Capece and his team for their strong support. Vin always does a terrific job introducing our guest speaker, and I know that he looks forward to introducing Colonel Beckert on Monday morning. Vin will also accept, on behalf of the hospital, the chamber’s AT&T Veteran Support Business of the Year Award. This award, established last year with the support of AT&T, honors a Middlesex County business that goes above and beyond in support of our nation’s active duty and guard personnel, and our veterans. AT&T Connecticut President John Emra will present Vin with the award and will share the thanks of all of us for the good work of Middlesex Hospital. We have a busy morning planned, and we certainly look forward to the 16th Annual Support the Troops and Honor the Veterans Member Breakfast Meeting.  

This week will feature three important meetings of our county based divisions which continue to be important pieces of the chamber puzzle. Our Portland and East Hampton Division will meet on Wednesday at Disaster Restoration Services in Portland, the Central Business Bureau will meet in the chamber conference room on Thursday, and our Chester, Deep River, and Essex Division will meet at Aaron Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Chester on Friday. We look forward to three productive meetings with our members.

Attending Grand Opening celebrations for new Middlesex County businesses continues to be one of the most rewarding aspects of this job. I look forward to joining chamber Chairman Rick Morin, Vice Chairman Jay Polke, Cromwell Division Chairman Rodney Bitgood, Cromwell Mayor Enzo Faienza, Cromwell Town Manager Tony Salvatore and Cromwell Town Planner Stuart Popper at two exciting Grand Openings in Cromwell over the next two weeks. Art Splash Smoothies will hold its celebration on Wednesday, November 1 at 4 p.m. at its Berlin Road location. Art Splash Smoothies provides delicious, fresh and healthy smoothies that are made from 100 percent fresh fruit that can be enjoyed in store, or to-go. The store also features art from local artists, paint nights, and art classes throughout the month. I would like to congratulate Samantha Jenkins and her team on a job well done and wish them great success moving forward. Next week, on Monday, November 6, My Hair Studio will hold its celebration at 4 p.m. at its Main Street location. My Hair Studio is a full-service salon that is dedicated to excellent customer service and high quality hair products. I would like to wish MyHang Phan and her entire team good luck and sustained success in the great town of Cromwell.  

In addition to the Support the Troops and Honor the Veterans Member Breakfast Meeting, next week features a terrific chamber member Business After Work Networking Reception and the annual Festival of Wreaths Silent Auction on Wednesday, November 8, at the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam. The Riverhouse team always puts out a delicious spread of food and drink, and this event always features outstanding networking and a huge crowd. This year’s Festival of Wreaths Silent Auction will once again feature beautifully decorated artificial wreaths which will be displayed for viewing and bidding until the auction closes at 6:45 p.m.  The funds that are raised from the auction will benefit the Annual Holiday on Main Street, presented by Pratt & Whitney, and the Hal Kaplan Middletown Mentor Program.  Liberty Bank donated the artificial wreaths for chamber member businesses to decorate, and we certainly appreciate that. We look forward to a fun evening in Haddam on November 8, and I thank Jim Bucko and the entire Riverhouse team for once again hosting this outstanding annual event.

I would like to take a moment to ask that chamber members save the date of Tuesday, December 12 for our annual Governor’s Breakfast at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, now approaching his eighth and final year in office, has appeared at our December Member Breakfast Meeting in every year of his administration, as have all of our sitting governors, going back to the administration of Governor William A. O’Neill in the 1980’s. We appreciate the strong support of Eversource, who not only sponsors this breakfast meeting on an annual basis, but supports a number of other chamber programs and initiatives. We look forward to welcoming Gov. Malloy and a number of other key state officials as part of a sold out crowd of chamber members and their guests.

I want to close this week’s column by publicly thanking all of the candidates that are on the ballot in the upcoming municipal elections that are scheduled around our region and around the state. The chamber’s divisions hosted a number of successful candidate forums throughout the month of October and I appreciate the fact that we had such good turnout from our candidates. It is not easy to run for, and serve in public office these days, and these folks have our sincere thanks for being willing to put themselves out there. We wish them all well.

Fall is in full swing in Middlesex County, and the chamber continues to be on the move.

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