Chamber Announces Antonino Acura, Comcast as Military Community Support Award Recipients

Businesses to be Recognized at Nov. 2, 2018 Military Appreciation Breakfast  
Eastern CT – The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT’s Military Affairs Council has selected Antonino Acura of Groton and Comcast NBCUniversal as the recipients of the 2018 Military Community Support Award. Both businesses will be recognized at the Chamber’s 9th Annual Military Appreciation Breakfast, which will be held Friday, November 2, 2018 from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. at Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa in Groton.
The Military Community Support Award is given annually to Chamber member businesses which have gone above and beyond to show support of the region’s men and women in uniform.
Through the support of the breakfast’s Presenting Sponsor General Dynamics Electric Boat and Supporting Sponsors Dunkin’ Donuts and Community Concierge, the Chamber is able to extend complimentary invitations to local servicemen and women as a token of appreciation for their dedicated service to the country.
Antonino Acura of Groton was selected for the Military Community Support Award because of their commitment to serving eastern CT’s military community and eagerness to partner with other businesses to support personnel at U.S. Naval Submarine Base New London.
Antonino Acura offers a number of deals and discounts to military personnel with a focus on superior customer service. Their nomination came from a U.S. Marine customer who cited how often team members go out of their way to help local military clients understand credit and find the right car for their budget – even if it means sacrificing a sale. The dealership reaches out actively to see that their military customers' needs are always met.  

Antonino Acura also partners with the Chamber and other eastern CT businesses to offer rewards for an active-duty “Service Person of the Month.” To honor exemplary service members each month, the dealership donates gift certificates for auto detailing, oil changes, and other services as a token of recognition.
Furthermore, General Manager Tony Eber has family members in the military, as do many others on the Antonino Acura staff. This ensures a personal connection with their customers and a shared understanding of the unique challenges that military personnel face.
Comcast NBCUniversal was selected for the Military Community Support Award because of a strong culture of military support that runs throughout the organization from top to bottom. Founder Ralph Roberts served a four-year tour of duty in the Navy, and Senior Vice President for Military and Veteran Affairs Carol Eggert is a retired Brigadier General. Impressively, over 10,000 veterans, National Guard members, and military spouses were hired by the company between 2015 and 2017.
In addition to large-scale hiring efforts for members of the military community, Comcast’s Western New England Region (headquartered in Berlin, CT) has coordinated a veterans’ network – VetNet – and its Community Impact Team to support eastern CT’s military community in a variety of impactful ways, including: 

  • Conducting food and personal item drives to benefit food donation centers and care packages to service men and women stationed overseas
  • Holding a PTSD Seminar for VetNet members and company leaders
  • VetNet members Kristen Roberts, VP of Communications and Sean Sexton, Manager of Project Management and VetNet Community Lead, participated in a BossLift with the CT National Guard in November 2017
  • Broadcasting Public Service Announcements for veteran organizations throughout the region
  • Planning a Veterans Day event at the New England Air Museum for VetNet members
  • Coordinating “Comcast Newsmakers,” a regional public affairs program featuring elected officials, policymakers, business, and non-profit leaders discussing current issues, which has featured leaders from the local chapters of House of Heroes, Veterans in America, the VA Healthcare System, CT Department of Labor’s Office for Veterans' Workforce Development, and the Connecticut Office of Military Affairs. 
“These organizations go above and beyond in demonstrating support for the military,” said Tony Sheridan, President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT. “Whether it’s giving service people the time and attention they need to make the right automobile choice for them, recognizing military personnel for their efforts, hiring veterans, or getting the wider community involved with the military, Antonino Acura of Groton and Comcast remind us of our duty to thank the men and women in uniform who protect us at home and abroad. The Chamber is proud to recognize both of these organizations on November 2.”
“Antonino Acura is very grateful for this award,” said Tony Eber, General Manager of Antonino Acura. “We consider this an honor and we would do anything to support any military program that the community puts forward. We not only respect any service person, we do our best to go above and beyond in order to show how much we appreciate their service and their commitment to their country.”
“Comcast is humbled to receive the Chamber’s Military Community Support Award,” said Michael Parker, Regional Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Western New England Region.  “We are most grateful to our Comcast military community, who have given so much to our country. Together, we share the values of leadership, service, teamwork, and ethics, and we are honored to hire and partner with those who are serving or have served our Nation, including military families.”
The public is invited to attend the 9th Annual Military Appreciation Breakfast taking place November 2 at Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa. Guests will see a Color Guard by the U.S. Navy Silver Dolphins, hear a rousing medley of armed service songs performed by the Fitch High School Chamber Choir, honor Service People of the Month from the past year, award Antonino Acura and Comcast for their good work, and hear remarks from senior service representatives from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Army.
Admission is $20 for Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT member businesses and their employees, $25 for non-members. Admission for veterans or retired military personnel is $10. The Chamber encourages registering in advance to avoid a $5 fee for walk-ins.
Learn more and RSVP online at or call the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT office at (860) 701-9113 to reserve your spot.
Previous recipients of the Military Community Support Award include High Hopes Therapeutic Riding (2017), GEICO of Waterford and Mohegan Sun (2016), Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe/Foxwoods Resort Casino (2015), Navy Federal Credit Union (2014), Fields of Fire and Country Glen Apartments (2013), Black Hawk II Party Fishing Boat (2012), and MJ Sullivan Automotive Corner and Harp & Dragon (2012).
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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