Social media marketing class set for Tuesday

February 13, 2017

By: Larry McHugh

Despite the snowy and cold winter weather, the chamber calendar continues to be filled with events and activities.

The second session of KeyBank’s 2017 Workshop Series is scheduled for this Tuesday, Feb. 14. The workshop will explore Social Media Marketing and will be presented by Patrick Ganino. Patrick will focus on making social media work for your business and will share information on best practices for a posting schedule, proper posting techniques, effective e-blasts and effective Facebook ads. Please contact the chamber for registration information and keep an eye out for future sessions of the KeyBank Seminar Series. I want to again thank KeyBank Market President Jeff Hubbard and his entire team for their continued support of this important initiative.

I look forward to attending the Connecticut Tourism Advisory Council meeting that is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Hartford. Tourism is a major economic generator in Middlesex County and throughout our great state. The meeting on Tuesday will continue the important discussions about how tourism marketing and promotion will be administered in this challenging budgetary environment.

Two exciting grand opening celebrations are scheduled for Wednesday in Middletown. Dutch Point Credit Union will celebrate its newest branch on Wednesday morning in Middlesex Corporate Center at 213 Court Street. DPCU aims to improve members' financial well-being through financial solutions and education. I look forward to attending the grand opening event with Mayor Dan Drew and other community leaders. We wish Dutch Point well as they establish their presence in Middletown. Fino’s Restaurant and Pizzeria on Newfield Street in Middletown will host their event on Wednesday afternoon. I would like to congratulate owner Alex Cecunjanin and his team for opening this terrific new dining establishment. Alex and his family already do great work at Red Fox Restaurant in Middletown, and I look forward to joining Mayor Drew, Middletown Small Business Development Center Counselor Paul Dodge and other leaders to celebrate the opening of Fino’s. We wish them the best and thank them for their commitment to Middletown.

The Distinguished Citizen Committee will meet this Wednesday at Noon to select the recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Citizen Award. Each year at the chamber’s Annual Dinner, a special award is presented to one or more members of the business community who have demonstrated outstanding and unselfish service to the community. Candidates must live or work in Middlesex County, must be at least 21 years old, must be recognized as having been an inspiration to others,  and must be generally recognized as having unselfishly given his or her time and talent to produce a lasting benefit to the area. The committee is comprised of previous recipients of this award. I look forward to seeing them all and thank them for their continued service to our community.

A busy week continues on Thursday morning as the Executive Committee for Workforce Alliance meets in New Haven. Workforce Alliance, under the leadership of Bill Villano, strives to deliver employment solutions that connect people with jobs or training, and employers with skilled workers in South Central CT. The chamber enjoys a strong and longstanding partnership with Workforce Alliance on a number of workforce development fronts.

Our Board of Directors’ February Luncheon, sponsored by Pratt & Whitney, will be held on Thursday afternoon at Baci Grill in Cromwell. The chamber board is truly representative of the business community in Middlesex County. We have members from all industry sectors and from all towns in our region. I know they all look forward to another productive meeting and I continue to appreciate their support. I also want to thank Pratt & Whitney for sponsoring the luncheon and for their ongoing support of our chamber.

Goodspeed Musicals’ Board of Directors meets on Saturday morning in East Haddam. The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam and The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester continue to be very important tourist attractions in our region. I am honored to serve on the board for Goodspeed Musicals and I look forward to another good meeting this weekend.

February’s Member Breakfast Meeting, featuring United States Senator Richard Blumenthal will be held on Friday, February 24, at the Radisson Hotel Cromwell. Networking begins at 7 a.m., Breakfast Buffet opens at 7:45 a.m., and the Meeting Program runs from 8 to 9 a.m. Sen. Blumenthal has some important committee assignments down in Washington D.C., including Veterans Affairs, Judiciary, Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Armed Services. We look forward to welcoming him back to Middlesex County for this important event. I would like to thank Hospital for Special Care for sponsoring the event and for their continuing support of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. Hospital for Special Care is a fantastic hospital, and their team continues to do terrific work addressing the special health needs of the many communities they serve. We look forward to another successful chamber Member Breakfast Meeting on Feb. 24. 

Immediately following the breakfast meeting, the chamber will host an economic development session in partnership with the Connecticut Small Business Development Center. The CTSBDC provides no-cost advising services to both prospective and existing business owners to help them start or expand their business. This session will feature a presentation from James Jackson, Business Advisor for Middlesex County, on CTSBDC’s services that are available in our region, and from Joe Ercolano, statewide Associate Director, on business resilience and disruption planning. We value our strong partnership with CTSBDC and look forward to a productive session on Feb. 24. 

2017’s Legislative Event Series continues on Monday, February 27, 2017 at the Inn at Middletown. The meeting begins at 8 a.m., and will end at 9:30 a.m. Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz will serve as keynote speaker and will participate in a question and answer session. At this special meeting, Speaker Aresimowicz will visit with chamber members to discuss the 2017 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly. The chamber’s Board of Directors and Legislative Committee will have the opportunity to ask questions about the session, and discuss some important issues on our 2017 Public Policy Agenda. This event is sponsored by our friends at Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. We thank UKS, especially chamber Executive Committee member and Legislative Committee Co-Chair Rich Carella, for its strong and continued support of this event. 

The next Business After Work networking reception will be held Monday, Feb. 27 at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel in Rocky Hill. In addition to a great spread of food and drink for our members and their guests, this event will feature outstanding networking and will provide our friends at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel with the opportunity to showcase their terrific facility. I want to thank General Manager Lori Brooks, Director of Group Sales and Business Travel Gina Molde, Director of Sales Jamie O’Connor, Director of Catering Jen Gokey, and the entire team for hosting our group. We look forward to this great networking event on Feb. 27.

Middlesex County Substance Abuse Action Council (MCSAAC) is offering several two-part workshops to prepare the community for the possibility that a bill to legalize marijuana will come before state legislators this spring. The workshops will be held at the Middlesex YMCA in Middletown and at the Valley Shore YMCA in Westbrook. The first workshop offers participants the latest news on marijuana and its impact on youth, health, and society. In the second workshop, participants will write and practice giving their three-minute testimonies to several volunteer legislators. The Middlesex YMCA will hold the first workshop on February 22 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with the second workshop to be held March 2 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Valley Shore YMCA will hold the first workshop on March 8 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with the second workshop to be on March 15 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. We thank MCSAAC under the leadership of President Tony Salvatore and Director Betsey Chadwick for focusing on this critical issue.

We are in the heart of winter, but the sun continues to shine in Middlesex County.

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