Chamber Raises Profile of Business Community at Recent Annual Meeting
On March 27, 2019, the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT was pleased to recap a year of successful 2018 activities, and share our vision for the future, at our Annual Meeting and Awards Reception. Over 230 regional representatives maxed out the meeting space at The Spa at Norwich Inn, demonstrating the breadth and importance of the Chamber’s work.
Official business included Board elections, finance updates, and a report from our Foundation. We welcomed 17 new Trustees to our 93-member Board of Trustees, made up of local leaders elected by our membership, as well as 18 members of our Board of Directors.
This year’s meeting was marked by several new components, and emphasized our ongoing efforts to strengthen partnerships with regional organizations. We recognized some of the region’s first “certified tourism ambassadors,” individuals who completed the Connecticut Tourism Coalition's "CHAT" (Connecticut Hospitality Awareness Training) program. The Chamber is a partner to the Coalition, and is currently developing the regional component of this program. Rodney Butler, Chair of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council/Interim CEO of Foxwoods (as well as our Citizen of the Year) and David Quinn, President of Quinn & Hary Marketing and Secretary of the Coalition, presented certificates to five Chamber employees and two Foxwoods employees in attendance.
Another well-received addition to the meeting was an expanded award presentation, recognizing the diversity of the outstanding businesses, organizations, and individuals who enhance our region. State Senator Cathy Osten, State Representative Holly Cheeseman, and State Representative Kevin Ryan presented citations from the Connecticut legislature to congratulate the honorees. We were proud to present awards to:
- Small Business of the Year: SAVA Insurance Group
- Business of the Year: Dime Bank
- Community Revitalization Leader: Vinnie Scarano and Hygienic Art, Inc.
- New Business of the Year: Fresh Men Spa Lounge
- Nonprofit of the Year: New England Science and Sailing Foundation
- Best Place to Work: Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Southeastern CT, P.C.
- Tourism Leader of the Year: Whaler's Inn
- Volunteer of the Year: Anne Ogden
- Young Professional of the Year: Sarah Patella
- Board of Directors Special Award: New London Mayor Michael Passero
- Outstanding Arts and Cultural Organization: Otis Library
- Outstanding Business Supporter of Arts and Culture: Dominion Energy
Incoming Chair B. Michael Rauh, President & CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank, closed the program by outlining three key components of his vision for the Chamber under his leadership, which are:
- Support the creation of new businesses and new jobs
- Work with youths and schools to form partnerships to help improve graduation rates and educational attainment
- Commit to diversification among our membership
In addition to our Regional Benefactors, who support our programs year-round, the Chamber thanks the dedicated sponsors of the 2018 Annual Meeting:
- Platinum Sponsor: Pat Munger Construction Company
- Awards Sponsor: Connecticut Airport Authority
- Business Toast Sponsor: Coastal Wealth Management
- Gold Sponsors: The Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board and Morin Associates
- Silver Sponsor: Naval and Maritime Consortium
- Bronze Sponsors: Norwich Public Utilities and the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition
Click here to download the 2018 Annual Report