10 to join Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame

November 13, 2017

By: Larry McHugh

A busy November continues this week in Middlesex County and throughout the great State of Connecticut.

Starting on the home front, the KeyBank Workshop Series last presentation of 2017 takes place on Tuesday morning at the chamber office with a session on Conflict Management from 8-10 a.m. Conflict management is the process of resolving a conflict or dispute by identifying and satisfying some or all of each side’s needs and addressing their interests. Knowing how to manage and resolve conflict is essential for leading an organization, managing a department, and building and enhancing your interpersonal relations. This workshop will explore how to best manage difficult encounters with diplomacy, tact, and credibility. I encourage our members to take advantage of the KeyBank Workshop Series and the terrific content it provides. I would like to thank Pullman & Comley, LLC for leading this important session, and our friends at KeyBank for their sponsorship of this very successful chamber initiative.

Switching gears a bit, I have noted many times that traveling around Middlesex County to attend business grand openings is one of the most rewarding aspects of this job. On Tuesday afternoon in Portland, I look forward to joining chamber Chairman Rick Morin and Portland First Selectwoman Susan Bransfield for the Grand Opening of Cara Mia Skin Care Studio at its Portland-Cobalt Road location. On behalf of the chamber, I would like to wish the entire team at Cara Mia nothing but success as we move forward. We look forward to working with them.

This busy week also features a number of chamber committee and division meetings at various times and locations throughout the region. Our Women’s Business Alliance meets on Wednesday evening at Whole Harmony in Haddam, our Haddam & East Haddam Division meets on Thursday morning at Old Haddam Town Hall, our Board of Directors and Tourism Steering Committee meet on Thursday afternoon at the Middletown Elks Lodge, and our Legislative Committee and Affordable Housing Committee will meet on Friday morning at the chamber office. The chamber’s county based divisions and industry specific committees continue to play critical roles in the operation of the chamber. Finally, also on Friday morning, the Advisory Board for the Middlesex County Substance Abuse Action Council will meet at the chamber office. MCSAAC works to reduce substance abuse in Middlesex County and it has become a valuable resource for employers, municipalities, and other key stakeholders in our region. We look forward to another productive meeting and appreciate the strong support of the Advisory Board.

Prior to attending the chamber board meeting on Thursday in Middletown, I will attend a meeting of the Workforce Alliance Executive Committee where we will continue our discussions on developing a prepared productive workforce in our state. Workforce Alliance is committed to delivering employment solutions that connect people with jobs or training, and employers with skilled workers in South Central CT. The chamber is proud of its relationship with Workforce Alliance and we will continue to work to connect job seekers to employers in our region. 

A packed Thursday continues in the evening at the Aqua Turf in Southington where I have the honor of serving as Master of Ceremonies at the 41st Annual CT. High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) Hall of Fame Induction Dinner. This year, ten individuals will be inducted into the CHSCA Hall of Fame. While I look forward to sharing this special night with all of the inductees and their families, I am especially proud of Al Dadario who played football for me at Xavier High School. Al went on to become a highly successful coach of girls cross country and track and field at Avon High School. He has captured five state championships during his tenure, and his teams have amassed over 430 victories since his coaching debut in 1996. Al was a great player for me but more importantly he is an even better person. He is a terrific coach and his runners are lucky to have him, just as I was. I congratulate him on this well-deserved entry into the Hall of Fame.

The work week closes on Friday evening with a major event commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Community Foundation of Middlesex County. The dinner event, to be held at the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam, will celebrate the pillars of CFMC, Philanthropy, Leadership, and Legacy. The organization’s mission has always been to improve the quality of life for the people of the county, now, and in the future. President and CEO Cynthia Clegg and her team do an outstanding job of supporting a number of important community initiatives. They are indeed, helping good people, do good things. I appreciate their longtime support of our chamber and congratulate them on 20 years.

Now that we are into mid-November, it is almost Holiday on Main Street time in Middletown. Holiday on Main Street is an annual Downtown Middletown event which begins the day after Thanksgiving, and this year continues on Saturday, November 25th, Saturday, December 2nd, Saturday, December 9th and Saturday, December 16th. Holiday on Main Street has attracted local folks of all ages to celebrate the holiday season in Downtown Middletown for over 30 years now. With a variety of entertainment every week ranging from free horse and wagon rides to Santa Claus, there is certainly something for everyone. I will have more details as we get closer, but please save the dates, and visit www.holidayonmain.com for more info.

The final major chamber event of 2017, which will be another sold out chamber event, is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 12 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 look forward to welcoming a sold out crowd of businesspeople, public officials and other chamber supporters for our annual Governor’s Breakfast. This event, sponsored once again by Eversource, will begin with networking at 7:00 a.m., breakfast buffet at 7:30 a.m., and meeting program 8-9:00 a.m. I will continue to share details about the Governor’s Breakfast as we get closer, but members should be sure to save the date.

I want to close by thanking the members of the Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission for approving the proposed active adult community with 53 unit condominiums on Ridgewood Road. This important local project, Phase Two of Founders Ridge, will help attract and retain individuals who are valuable members of the community who also have disposable income that will support the local economy. Furthermore, the developer is a highly respected local stakeholder who has a history of producing quality projects. The chamber has supported this project all along the way, and we look forward to being a constructive partner as we move forward. I also want to thank the Cromwell Planning and Zoning Commission for its unanimous decision to approve a zone change that will allow the planned redevelopment of the Nike Site to move forward. This development has the potential to add over half a million dollars in tax revenue to the town in the coming years. Furthermore, the property has been blighted for the same amount of time, and this development means that it will finally be cleaned up and put to a productive use and will also lead to infrastructure improvements in the area. We will certainly stay on this important issue.

There is a chill in the air and Thanksgiving is almost here, but the sun continues to shine on Middlesex County, and the chamber continues to be on the move.

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