Chamber Announces GEICO and the Mohegan Tribe as Military Community Support Award Winners

Businesses to be Recognized at Nov. 4, 2016 Military Appreciation Breakfast
Eastern CT  – The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT’s Military Affairs Council has selected GEICO of Waterford and the Mohegan Tribe as the recipients of the 2016 Military Community Support Award. Both businesses will be recognized at the Chamber’s 7th Annual Military Appreciation Breakfast, which will be held Friday, Nov. 4 from 7:30 to 9:00 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 Sponsor Dunkin’ Donuts, the Chamber is able to extend complimentary invitations to our local servicemen and women as a small token of our appreciation for their dedicated service to our country.
GEICO of Waterford was selected for the award because of its constant and vigilant support of military personnel and their families through sponsorships and participation in various activities including youth sport programs, serving as ombudsmen, supporting the U.S. Navy Dolphin scholarship program, and coordination with the Navy’s Public Affairs Office. GEICO’s Waterford office was involved with the original “Save Our Subase” group when the base was threatened with closure in 1991. 
Mark Nickerson, Representative for GEICO in Waterford and current East Lyme First Selectman, is President of the Eastern CT Council’s Navy League, is an honorary Chief Petty Office of both the Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, received the Military Child and Family Annual Award in 1999 and was named an honorary Sailor of the Year in 2005.
The Mohegan Tribe, under the leadership of former Army Colonel Kevin “Red Eagle” Brown, developed “Vets Rock,” a career fair and concert at Mohegan Sun held annually around Veterans Day. Vets Rock provides a multitude of services for former military personnel, including job training, free healthcare, and job matching. In 2015, Mohegan Sun hired over 120 veterans through this event.
The Mohegan Tribe also proudly displays its support of the military community through many year-round programs, fundraises for veterans’ agencies, and encourages Mohegan Sun staff to wear pins on their uniforms representing their branch of service they have served. Mohegan Sun also hosts a stop for the annual Holiday Wreaths Across America truck convoy on its way to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
“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. “By organizing events for active-duty and former personnel, fundraising for numerous veterans’ agencies, and working hard to ensure our military community receives the best possible care, GEICO of Waterford and the Mohegan Tribe have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving eastern CT’s men and women in uniform. They remind us of our duty to thank our military community, who protects us all at home and abroad. We’re very proud to recognize both these organizations on Nov. 4.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a great company that supports and encourages its agents to serve the communities they serve,” said Mark Nickerson.  “Paying it forward and giving back to the military community and the region at large has been by far the most rewarding part of my twenty-six year career with GEICO.  Our region is great and our local military relationships are strong because of the many people who step up and do so much to add to the quality of life here in southeastern Connecticut.  It’s an honor to have worked alongside so many great community leaders and to become friends with so many great military families.” 
“We are honored to receive the 2016 Military Community Support Award,” said Mohegan Tribe Chairman Kevin Brown, a twenty-five year veteran of the U.S. Army. “The Tribe’s relationship with our military dates back hundreds of years. Members of our tribe have served in every major U.S. conflict since before the Revolutionary Way. In fact, the first Native to fall in defense of our country was Mohegan Samuel Ashbow, who died at Bunker Hill in 1775. For these reasons, among many others, we are proud and honored to continue the Tribe’s longstanding relationship with our military, and to show our support through efforts like Vets Rock, Wreaths Across America, and more.”
Help celebrate these organizations on Nov. 4 from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. at Mystic Marriott. Guests at the 7th Annual Military Appreciation Breakfast will enjoy a rousing musical performance of the national services’ songs, a color guard by the U.S. Navy Silver Dolphins, and 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. The Chamber encourages registering in advance to avoid a $5 walk-in fee on Nov. 4.
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 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