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Chamber Looks Ahead to Lieberman Visit

Chamber President Larry McHugh recaps a very busy week in Middlesex County and addresses some recent economic news from the region.

 

Last week was quite a week in Middlesex County and around the State of Connecticut. 

Wednesday brought us to Water’s Edge Health and Rehabilitation Center for another great Member Business After Work event.  Over 200 Chamber members enjoyed visiting this fine facility, and I want to once again thank Lew Abramson and Laura Falt from the Water’s Edge staff for their support of not only this annual event, but of our entire organization. 

The event featured great food, including a fine assortment of pizza and drink choices, and of course, unmatched Networking.  Lew will be leaving the Water’s Edge facility to take a new position down in Fairfield County.  I wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor and thank him for his great work here in Middletown. 

The Chamber’s Board of Directors met on Thursday of last week at the Middletown Elks Lodge #771 where we welcomed guest speaker James Redeker, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  Commissioner Redeker provided our board with an update on the various transportation projects going on around the state and most importantly for us, the final phase of the Arrigoni Bridge project.  I would like to thank Commissioner Redeker for visiting with our group and for his leadership during these challenging times. 

Following the Chamber board meeting, I traveled to the UCONN campus in Storrs where I was honored to introduce the legendary Jim Calhoun as he officially announced his retirement as Head Coach of the UCONN Men’s Basketball Team.  Jim Calhoun is one of the finest coaches in the history of men’s basketball and is someone who has done so much for not only UCONN, but for the entire State of Connecticut.  Our Chamber is looking forward to welcoming Coach Calhoun as guest speaker at a Member Breakfast meeting on Monday, October 1st, where the Middlesex business community will have the opportunity to thank him in person for the great work he has done since he took the program over in 1986.

Late Thursday afternoon, it was my pleasure to attend the ceremony which officially marked the hand over of the Powder Ridge property from the Town of Middlefield to Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort, LLC, a group of committed investors led by Sean Hayes.  As I noted in my remarks at the ceremony, this is an exciting project for not only Middlefield, but for the State of Connecticut and the entire northeast. 

The people of Middlefield voted emphatically to approve the sale and we are all looking forward to the return of skiing, snowboarding and other popular tourist driven activities to the area.  I want to take a moment to recognize the hard work of Sean Hayes and his team, and also the leadership and perseverance of Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw.  The Chamber has supported this initiative since the beginning and it is very exciting to see the sale finalized.  I want to congratulate the 1,132 Middlefield residents who stood up and said YES! to a new era for Powder Ridge. 

Thursday evening brought me across the river to St. Clements Castle in Portland for a celebration honoring the retirement of Judge Robert Holzberg.  Judge Holzberg has not only been a fine judge for many years, but he has given back so much to the Middletown community.  I want to thank Judge Holzberg for his years of service and wish him the best of luck on his retirement from the bench.  He is moving on and entering the private sector and I look forward to working with him in his new position. 

On the economic front, last Tuesday I was happy to talk with George Keithan, President and CEO of Consulting Engineering Services (CES), whose facility is on Middle Street in Middletown.  CES has been very active in the past few months and has generated a lot of new business.  Also, Bill Warner, Art Higgins and I visited a new business in Middletown, ModSpace, and we are looking forward to celebrating their official grand opening on September 26th

Looking ahead, the Chamber will welcome U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman as guest speaker at our Member Breakfast Meeting on Monday, September 24th at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell.  This will be one of the final major speeches that Joe will give as a sitting member of the U.S. Senate.  Senator Lieberman has served this state well for many years and we look forward to hearing his remarks.

For more information on Chamber events and activities, please contact Jeff Pugliese at jpugliese@middlesexchamber.com.

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