Chamber Announces 2016 Crawford Award Recipient

Maggie Jones of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center to Receive Prestigious Award at Dinner Celebration This Fall

Eastern CT – The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut has announced that Maggie Jones, Executive Director of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the William Crawford Distinguished Service Award. She will be honored at a dinner celebration held later this fall at a time and location to be announced.
The William Crawford Distinguished Service Award is presented periodically to outstanding individuals who exemplify the spirit of service to one’s neighbors, and who have contributed to improving the quality of life in eastern CT. The award is named for William Crawford, General Manager of Southeastern CT Broadcast Corporation, who became well-known for generating community interest through his station’s programming.
Jones was selected as this year’s recipient because of her devotion to eastern CT’s communities, children, wildlife, and history. As Executive Director of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center (DNPC), Jones shepherded the organization from three full-time employees to thirty-five full and part-time employees and a $1 million budget. Under her direction, the DPNC opened its restored Coogan Farm property, a 45-acre expansion that preserves wildlife while showcasing Mystic’s natural beauty to residents and tourists alike. Jones spearheaded the effort to conserve the Coogan Farm property, uniting local residents, politicians, foundations, and more through her vision and drive for improving her local community. The land is now used as a nature preserve, wildlife habitat, educational space, and meeting destination.
In addition to her work for DPNC and restoring Coogan Farm, Jones is well-respected in the fields of wildlife and natural land conservation. She is a member of the CT Botanical Society, the CT Forest and Park Association, the CT Butterfly Association, the New England Wildflower Society, the Groton Open Space Association, and many other organizations. She is a federally-licensed wildlife rehabilitator who specializes in birds of prey.
Jones is also a member of the American Museum Association, the New England Museum Association, the Association of Nature Center Administrators, and the CT Outdoor Environmental Educators Association.
“Maggie Jones works tirelessly on behalf of eastern CT,” said Tony Sheridan, President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT. “Her sense of community and her drive to protect and preserve the region’s natural resources for residents and visitors is an inspiration to us all. Her work in devising programs, camps, events, lectures, and efforts in children’s education adds significantly to the quality of life in our region. The Chamber is very pleased to recognize Maggie for her lifelong commitment to preservation and community wellness. We look forward to honoring her later this fall.”
The Chamber of Commerce will recognize Jones for her accomplishments at a banquet dinner in fall 2016. A date and location will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets will be available for $75 per person.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for the William Crawford Distinguished Service Award. Contact the Chamber at (860) 701-9113 or email to learn about sponsorship benefits.
Visit the Chamber’s website at or call the Chamber office at (860) 701-9113 for the latest event information and ticket availability. News will also be posted on the Chamber’s Facebook page at and on the Chamber’s Twitter feed at
Previous Crawford Award recipients include Reverend Michel Belt of St. James Episcopal Church in New London and Reverend Catherine Zall of the New London Homeless Hospitality Center; Stephen Coan of Mystic Aquarium & Sea Research Foundation; Jeanne and Steve Sigel of New London’s Garde Arts Center; Ulysses B. Hammond, former Vice President for Administration at Connecticut College; Dr. Raymond Johnson, former Senior Associate Director of Clinical Research at Pfizer; and Three Rivers Community College President Mary Ellen Jukoski.   

* * * 
About the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut:
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut is a collaborative of business and community leaders dedicated to securing and enhancing the economic vitality of eastern Connecticut. The Chamber works to create value for its members and the region by providing forums for business networking, leadership and discussions of issues that affect the region; providing opportunities for members to showcase their products, services and accomplishments; helping small businesses succeed through educational programs; and working to reduce the costs of doing business in Connecticut.  For more information, visit