Community Health Center to launch knowledge, tech center in Middletown

May 1, 2017

By: Larry McHugh

The chamber team continues to be on the move as a busy month of May begins in Middlesex County.

I look forward to attending today’s Ground Breaking celebration for the Community Health Center’s new 30,000 square foot Knowledge & Technology Center at 675 Main Street. The event will also celebrate the 45th Anniversary of CHC. The Community Health Center has been a long time member of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce and has been a key player in our community on a number of fronts. This project will be an important economic and community development initiative for a critical Middletown neighborhood- the North End. The chamber supported this project since its inception, and I congratulate Mark Masselli and his team and look forward to being a constructive partner as it moves towards completion.

Tomorrow morning, May 2, our Manufacturers’ Council will meet at Whelen Engineering Co. in Chester. The meeting will feature a brief presentation from DECD Deputy Commissioner Bart Kollen on the many incentives that are available to manufacturers in the state, in addition to a guided tour of Whelen’s outstanding facility. Whelen designs and manufactures reliable and powerful warning lights, white illumination lighting, sirens, controllers, and high-powered warning systems for Automotive, Aviation, and Mass Notification industries worldwide. It is an outstanding company that we are lucky to have in Middlesex County. We have a number of terrific member manufacturing companies that plan to attend along with a number of other interested members from related industries. I know our members certainly look forward to the visit and the tour, and I thank company President George Whelen V for hosting us.

This week also features two important chamber division meetings. Our Portland and East Hampton Division will meet on Wednesday, May 3, at Angelico’s Lake House Restaurant in East Hampton. This meeting, co-sponsored by Belltown Motors, will feature local updates from key town officials along with an update from chamber Legislative Committee co-chairman Rich Carella. On Thursday, our Central Business Bureau will meet at the chamber office from 8 am - 9 a.m. Hosted by Adelbrook Behavioral & Developmental Services, the meeting will feature updates from key city department directors along with Mayor Dan Drew and will preview the major downtown summer events, Cruise Night on Main and Middletown Motorcycle Mania. Our divisions continue to play a critical role in the operation of the chamber.

The sold out, 34th Annual Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament will be held this Friday, May 5 at Portland Golf Course. I would like to take a moment thank all of our sponsors and supporters, our Golf Committee which meets throughout the year, all members who donated gifts and prizes, the terrific team at Portland Golf Course, and chamber Vice President Johanna Bond who does a wonderful job with this Tournament on an annual basis. We also look forward to honoring our 2017 Robert Briggs “Good Guy” Award Recipient, Lyman Farm Inc. CEO Steve Ciskowski. The Robert Briggs Good Guy Award is presented annually in recognition of contributions made to the community and also to the chamber’s Golf Tournament. Steve has done a fine job in a professional capacity at Lymans, and we continue to appreciate his support of our Golf Tournament, and of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to the sun shining on Portland on Friday!

The Annual Meeting for The Lyman Farm Inc. is scheduled for this Saturday at the Lyman Orchards facility in Middlefield. Owned and operated by the Lyman Family since 1741, Lyman Orchards is recognized as the 12th oldest family-owned business in America. For generations of Connecticut families and visitors, Lyman Orchards has been a year-round destination for great food, family fun, and championship golf. Lyman Orchards is indeed, Connecticut’s sweet spot. I look forward to attending the meeting and celebrating the company’s continued success.

A 95th birthday celebration for George Hamrah is scheduled for this Sunday, May 7 at the Waverly Inn in Cheshire. I look forward to attending with my wife Patty and a number of George’s family members and friends. George, along with his brother Albert, an outstanding corporate citizen and a longtime supporter of me and of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. I’m sure the party will be full of laughs as we celebrate George and this milestone birthday. We look forward to a good time.

The 30th Annual Business & Education Partnership and Hal Kaplan Middletown Mentor Program Recognition Breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, May 11 at the Radisson in Cromwell. The chamber’s Business & Education Partnership Advisory Council serves as a link between member businesses and educational leaders from Middlesex County Schools. This important chamber group also puts on the Annual High School Career Fair Expo. The 2017 edition of the High School Career Fair Expo was held last week and was a smashing success. The Hal Kaplan Middletown Mentor Program is a partnership between the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce and the Middletown Board of Education that provides students with mentors from the community. The keynote speaker for the Business & Education Partnership and Hal Kaplan Middletown Mentor Program Recognition Breakfast on May 11 will be UConn President Susan Herbst. We look forward to welcoming President Susan Herbst back to Middlesex County. Liberty Bank is a longtime sponsor of this important annual chamber event. I continue to appreciate the work and community support of Liberty’s CEO Chandler Howard and his entire team. Liberty Bank is an outstanding corporate citizen in our region and throughout the state. We look forward to another successful Member Breakfast Meeting.

The chamber’s May Business After Work Networking Reception will be held on Thursday, May 18 at the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat facility in Essex from 5-7 p.m. This event will feature a terrific spread of food and drink for members and their guests, and as always, the best networking around. The Valley Railroad Company, operating the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, has been serving the lower Connecticut River Valley since 1971. The company’s mission is to keep alive the rich mechanical, industrial, and transportation heritage of our state through the ongoing operation of vintage steam and diesel locomotives, passenger coaches, and the facilities and infrastructure that support these. Their unique facilities and programs attract visitors from all over the state and the northeast region. In fact, Essex Steam Train and Riverboat is one of the top tourist attractions in Connecticut. We are very proud of the work that Kevin Dodd and the entire team is doing to make sure that Middlesex County continues to be a great place to live, work and play. Our membership certainly looks forward to the Business After Work event on May 18.

The calendar is packed with events and activities, and the sun continues to shine on Middlesex County.


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