Travelers Championship, Cruise Night on Main among June events

June 5, 2017

By: Larry McHugh

The first full week of June is upon us in Middlesex County, and the chamber calendar is hot with events and activities.

Our sold out, 34th Annual Golf Tournament, was held last Friday at Portland Golf Course. It was a great day on the course for our golfers, staff members, and other tournament supporters. This major event for our organization would not be possible without all of our sponsors and supporters. I want to extend a special thank you to all of our event sponsors; Cart Sponsor Middlesex Hospital, Dinner Sponsor KeyBank, Fairways Sponsor Chamber Insurance Trust, Hospitality Cart Sponsor Hospital for Special Care, Mulligan Sponsor Pratt & Whitney, Lunch Sponsor ConnectiCare, Putting Green Sponsor People’s United Bank, Scorecard Sponsor Liberty Bank, all event supporters at the platinum, titanium and gold levels, those who purchased tee signs, our snack cart sponsor, those who donated the terrific items we were able to auction off at the dinner portion of the event, and members who donated gifts for each of our golfers to take home. John Kelley and his team at Portland Golf Course were true professionals as usual. The food for the dinner was supplied by Farrell’s Restaurant & Caterers in Portland. The Farrell’s team led by Art & Mary Ellen Hetrick provided a delicious spread once again. Chamber Vice President Johanna Bond did another outstanding job with the planning, organizing, and execution of this event with the support of our staff. One of the highlights of the day was the presentation of the 2017 Robert Briggs “Good Guy” Award to 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 does a great job at Lymans, and we continue to appreciate his support of our tournament and our chamber. Another chamber tournament is in the books, but a busy June is only beginning.

On Sunday afternoon, I attended a Retirement Party for Xavier High School Headmaster Brother Brian Davis who is retiring after a strong eight year run as the leader of Xavier. I congratulate Brother Brian on his retirement, and wish him all the best as he enters a new phase of his life. He was a wonderful leader, truly dedicated to the young men who have attended Xavier.

Looking ahead, tomorrow morning, Tuesday June 6, our Prevention Committee will host a seminar focusing on When PTSD Trauma Leads to Substance Abuse. Employers will have the opportunity to hear from a panel of experts who will discuss how to better understand PTSD. The seminar will explore healthy ways employees can respond to, and recover from, traumatic incidents. The panel includes a veteran of the U.S Armed Forces who suffered battlefield PTSD and found his way back to health, along with psychologists who treat patients with PTSD related addictions in both the military and civilian worlds. On behalf of Prevention Committee Chairman Harry Burr, I would like to thank Baci Grill in Cromwell for hosting this informational seminar, our guest veteran speaker, Dr. R. Ross MacLean and Ms. Joanna Crowell for speaking on this very important topic. For more information, please visit www.middlesexchamber.com.

The second in a stretch of major June events is the 2017 Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner which will be held this Wednesday at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell. This year’s dinner will honor four outstanding Middlesex County individuals with our prestigious Distinguished Citizen Award. Our honorees are: William F. & Sharon K. Griffin of Durham who do amazing community based work through the Peach Pit Foundation, Kenneth W. MacCormac who is a past chamber chairman and major community supporter, and Eli Cannon’s Tap Room Owner Phil Ouellette who is the definition of a strong corporate citizen. We will also honor the recipient of the 2017 Chief Michael L. Green Award, William J. Warner of the Middletown Police Department, who has performed his duties as a Police Officer with dignity and professionalism while supporting many chamber and community initiatives along the way. In addition to honoring these outstanding local individuals, the chamber will also present three graduating Middlesex County high school students with scholarships as they enter their collegiate careers. Arianna Masotti of Haddam-Killingworth High School will be honored with the 2017 Judge Raymond E. Baldwin Scholarship, Meghan Long of Mercy High School will be honored with the 2017 Harry H.S. Phillips, Jr. Scholarship, and Andrew Tammaro of Portland High School will be honored with the 2017 Lorraine C. McHugh Scholarship. We are very proud of these fine young students and look forward to celebrating their scholarships with them and their families on Wednesday night. Finally, the Annual Awards Dinner will mark the official changeover of the chamber’s chairmanship. Essex Savings Bank President Greg Shook, who has done a wonderful job in this important leadership position, will pass the chairman’s gavel to Rick Morin of Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski. The Annual Awards Dinner gives our members and our staff the opportunity to acknowledge Greg’s great work and leadership in this past year. It is also an opportunity to honor top notch individuals, and to send a few high performing Middlesex County high school students off to college with some additional funds for tuition and books. We look forward to a terrific evening in Cromwell on Wednesday night, and I appreciate the support of our members who are registered to attend.

In addition to the Prevention Committee Seminar and the Annual Awards Dinner, this week also features meetings of our Executive Committee, Business & Education Partnership Advisory Council, Portland & East Hampton Division, Environment, Land Use & Energy Committee, Cromwell Division, and Chester, Deep River & Essex Division which will include remarks from DECD Deputy Commissioner Tim Sullivan. Also, I want to take a moment to thank Goodspeed Musicals for hosting our Young Professionals’ Alliance at Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre in Chester on Friday night. The event will feature a cocktail reception and a ticket to see Deathless, A New Musical. The Terris Theatre, named after actress Norma Terris, was inaugurated in 1984 by Goodspeed Musicals. Deathless, which is running from June 2 - July 2, 2017 in Chester, is written by Zack Zadek who is 24 years old. This represents a great opportunity for our YPA and other interested members who are excited about Friday night’s event in Chester. I also want to thank Riverhouse Hospitality for providing the hors d’oeuvres for the cocktail reception. For more information on Goodspeed Musicals, please visit http://www.goodspeed.org.

The chamber calendar continues to hop next week with big events in Middletown and throughout the county.

Mattabesett Canoe Club at Harbor Park will host a members-only Business After Work networking reception next Monday, June 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. We expect a nice crowd for what is sure to be a fun night of late spring networking on the Connecticut River. Danny Cronin and his Canoe Club team will put out a great spread of food and drink, and the atmosphere on the water will undoubtedly be top notch. Also, be sure to save the date for our July Business After Work on July 12 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Cromwell, and our August event on August 22nd at Water’s Edge Resort and Spa in Westbrook.

Middletown’s 20th Annual Cruise Night On Main, powered by NAPA, will be held next Wednesday, June 14, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hundreds of cars are expected to line both sides of Middletown’s scenic Main Street from Washington Street to the South Green. Music and food, combined with an array of pre-1992 classic vehicles, will make this a family friendly, and fun event for everyone. Cruise Night will benefit Middletown youth programs, including the Hal Kaplan Middletown Mentor Program, Middletown Recreation Programs, and the Middletown Summer Youth Employment Program. I will have much more on the 20th Annual Cruise Night On Main in next week’s column, but in the meantime, visit www.CruiseNightOnMain.com for more information and plan to join us downtown next Wednesday evening.

After a one year visit to the month of August, the Travelers Championship returns to June in 2017. This year’s tournament is now only two weeks away, and Tournament Director Nathan Grube and members of his team have once again attracted an outstanding player field to Cromwell. This major PGA event not only attracts most of the best golfers in the world, but it generates millions of dollars for charity and serves as a major economic and tourism driver for our state. The chamber’s 2017 Travelers Championship Member Breakfast will be held on Tuesday, June 20th. The event, sponsored by Travelers Companies, will be held at the Radisson Hotel Cromwell and will feature PGA Tour Pro Russell Knox, winner of the 2016 Travelers Championship, as guest speaker. Discounted tickets for the Travelers Championship are still available on the chamber website. All tickets available are general admission “Grounds” tickets. Cost is $28.00 per ticket. For more information, visit www.middlesexchamber.com/pages/TicketPromotions.

Finally, employers and job seekers should save the date of June 20 for the 2017 Middlesex County Career Fair.  Employers can connect with qualified, eager job seekers and learn about state and federal hiring incentives. Employers in the key fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Advanced Manufacturing, Finance and Healthcare can also attend the invitation-only Candidate Meet & Greet event directly before the Career Fair. I will certainly have more on the Travelers Championship and related events, and the Middlesex County Career Fair as we move through the month. As always, more information can be found at www.middlesexchamber.com.

In closing, I was very sad to learn of the passing of Buzzy Levin who was a dear and close friend. I will have much more on Buzzy in next week’s column, but our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.

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