June 18, 2018
By: Larry McHugh
We have once again reached one of the most exciting weeks of the year in Middlesex County and in the State of Connecticut, Travelers Championship Week.
This year’s tournament is packed with an outstanding player field which includes Patrick Cantlay, Paul Casey, Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau, Jim Furyk, Charley Hoffman, Zach Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Zander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson, and Keegan Bradley, who will serve as guest speaker at Tuesday morning’s Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Travelers Championship Member Breakfast Meeting at the Red Lion Hotel in Cromwell. Keegan Bradley, a New England native, has three career PGA Tour victories and was on the 2012 and 2014 United States Ryder Cup Teams. We are looking forward to welcoming him to Middlesex County for this important event, and wish him the best as he gears up to take on the course at TPC River Highlands. The chamber’s Member Breakfast Meeting has become a key part of tournament week and we very much appreciate the longtime sponsorship of The Travelers Companies. As I have repeatedly noted during the lead up to tournament week, the Travelers Championship is a major economic generator that fills our area hotels, restaurants and other businesses. This major PGA event not only attracts most of the best golfers in the world, but it also attracts huge crowds to Cromwell and generates millions of dollars for charity. It is hard to believe, but this is now the 12th year that Travelers has served as title sponsor of the event. I would like to take a moment to once again thank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan Schnitzer, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Bessette, and the entire Travelers family for their strong and continued support. We also have to once again recognize the year-round effort put forth by Tournament Director Nathan Grube and his team. Nathan has provided a countdown to the tournament at every chamber Member Breakfast Meeting in the past year, a countdown that has led to this week. Director of Business Development Jason Soucy sits on the chamber board and is very active with our organization. We appreciate Jason’s year round effort and support as well.
I am honored to have been invited to once again participate in Monday’s opening ceremonies at the course, and I look forward to joining the huge crowds that will head out to the TPC throughout this exciting week. For more information, visit www.travelerschampionship.com.
In addition to the Member Breakfast Meeting, Tuesday also features the Middlesex County Spring Career Fair at the Red Lion Hotel from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Over 45 companies from throughout the labor market area will be seeking people whose skills run from professional, technical, manufacturing, and administrative. Attendees will be able to find all types of job opportunities, from entry level to highly skilled positions. The unemployed, underemployed, as well as individuals seeking new career opportunities are invited to come meet with prospective employers and receive advice from career counselors. Manufacturing, health care and temporary employment agencies are just a sampling of some of the industries that will be on hand. The chamber is proud to partner with the Connecticut Department of Labor and Workforce Alliance on these important workforce development initiatives. I want to take a moment to once again thank the Department of Labor, under the leadership of Commissioner Scott Jackson, and Workforce Alliance, under the leadership of President and CEO Bill Villano, for not only their support of the Middlesex County Career Fair, but for their longtime support of workforce development in Middlesex County and throughout our state. We look forward to a productive day in Cromwell on Tuesday.
Rounding out a busy Tuesday, a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening for the MEWS+ will be held at 5:00 p.m. at its second floor headquarters at the chamber building on Main Street. The second floor of our facility has been converted into a co-working space for use by Middlesex County’s Entrepreneur community. Our goal is to turn the MEWS+ into a great place to start a new business, or grow an existing company. As a co-working initiative, it provides not only a place to work, but also a collaborative working environment. We expect this shared workspace environment to attract a creative class of developers, designers, strategists, artisans, writers, inventors, engineers and professional office nomads. This initiative is designed to be a resource for freelancers, start-up businesses and small businesses, and the Wesleyan University community. In addition to the co-working space, the MEWS+ will develop a series of “Meet-ups” in Middletown that will attract businesses and entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes. The MEWS+ represents the chamber’s effort to develop an innovation eco system in Middletown, with the larger goal of developing an innovation economy in Middlesex County. The MEWS+ space includes: Over 600+ Sq. ft. of dedicated Co-working space, Shared Work Stations & Collaboration Tables, High Speed WiFi, Access to the Chamber Conference Space with Smart TV, Pitch Nights, Entrepreneurial Peer Networking, Business Mentoring, and much more. On behalf of The MEWS+ team, I would like to thank the founding sponsors, The City of Middletown, Wesleyan University, Liberty Bank, and Middlesex Hospital. At the grand opening will be Chamber Chairman Jay Polke, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, Wesleyan President Michael Roth, Liberty Bank President Chandler Howard, and a member of the Middlesex Hospital leadership team. Immediately following the Ribbon Cutting will be a MEWS+ “Innovation Meet Up” at The MEWS+ headquarters.
Switching gears a bit, Middletown’s 21st Annual Cruise Night on Main, powered by NAPA, was postponed from its original date last Wednesday and will now be held this Wednesday, June 20 from 4:30-8:30pm in downtown Middletown. In addition to the City of Middletown and the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, sponsors for this free annual downtown event include Title Sponsor: NAPA Auto Parts; DBD Sponsor: Downtown Business District; Hot Rod Sponsors: Jackson Chevrolet and iHeart Media; Show Car Sponsors: Apple Rehab Middletown, Eli Cannon’s Tap Room, Liberty Bank, and MedExpress Urgent Care; and Cruiser Sponsors: City Church, SERVPRO Middletown/New Britain and The Flood Law Firm. Additional event supporters include: First & Last Tavern, Middlesex Music Academy, All American Productions, Lyman Orchards Golf Club, The Garage Guys Car Club, The Eastern Chapter Over the Hill Gang Car Club and the Connecticut Military Car Club. While downtown Middletown undergoes some changes on the parking front, we are advising spectators for the evening to park at the MiddleOak Corporate Center Garage on College Street, which will be free for the event. A full list of public parking locations is available on the city’s website, www.middletownct.gov. Main Street will be closed between Washington Street down to the South Green. Main Street will be packed with vintage cars for viewing, band entertainment and outstanding vendors. Music and food, combined with an array of pre-1993 classic vehicles, will make this a family-friendly and fun event for everyone. Entertainment on the Showmobile from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., includes music from Shaded Soul Band, an All American Productions Fashion Show, and WMRD/WLIS Radio which will be in front of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce playing oldies music. The Over the Hill Gang Car Club DJ will be located by Brew Bakers, spinning tunes from the 50’s & 60’s; Harvest Wood Audio will provide sound on the Showmobile in front of Bank of America, and iHeart Media will be in the Gazebo on the South Green. Sponsor awards will be announced at 8 p.m. The awards include Best In Show Award – Powered By NAPA, Main Drag Award - presented by Middletown Downtown Business District, Jackson Chevrolet Choice Award – presented by Jackson Chevrolet, Apple Rehab Choice Award – presented by Apple Rehab, The Fat City Cycle Award – presented by Eli Cannon’s Tap Room, Liberty’s Choice Award - presented by Liberty Bank, MedExpress Choice Award – presented by MedExpress Urgent Care, The Restored to Glory Award – presented by City Church; Flood Choice Award – presented by The Flood Law Firm, the Smokin’ Hot Award presented by SERVPRO Middletown/New Britain and Mayor’s Choice Award- presented by Mayor Dan Drew. This event will benefit Middletown youth programs, including the Hal Kaplan Middletown Mentor Program, Middletown Recreation Programs, and the Middletown Summer Youth Employment Program. I want to take a moment to thank all of our sponsors and supporters, along with our Cruise Night Planning Committee, for their hard work and dedication to the event. Please join us downtown on Wednesday night for what is sure to be an outstanding 21st Annual Cruise Night on Main. Mother Nature didn’t cooperate last week, but we expect to be all systems go this week for a fun Wednesday night on Main Street.
A very busy week is upon us, but our team is on the move and the sun continues to shine on Middlesex County.