Greater Mystic Chamber Member News

Jennifer Pensa
Katherine Allingham
Kathryn Alves

Alex Masse

Jessica Todd

Barbara Curto

Beth Glynn

Jamie Goulas

Jean McGran

Kristin Zummo

Michele Mogowan

Mario Siciliano

Chelsea Groton Bank Promotes 20

GROTON, Conn. – Chelsea Groton Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of 20 employees following a Board of Trustees meeting.

“Chelsea Groton Bank has been successful for over 165 years because of the hard-working team of people we have here,” said Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank. “Each of the employees earning a promotion exhibits the traits and behaviours we value – innovative, collaborative, trustworthy, professional, knowledgeable, versatile and positive – and has shown a high level of dedication to their job and the communities we serve. Congratulations to these well-deserving members of the Chelsea team.”

Jennifer Pensa of Stonington, CT, Director of Operations and Technology, has been promoted to Executive Vice President. In her role, Jenn has oversight of Risk and Compliance, Facilities, and the Business Intelligence team as well as Operations and Technology. Jenn joined Chelsea Groton Bank in February, 2018 after three years at WSFS Bank in Wilmington, DE, where she was Vice President of the Contact Center and Customer Experience department. Jenn earned her bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Penn State University. She is a 2015 graduate of the CT School of Finance and Management and a 2017 graduate of the Academy Leadership Executive Leadership Excellence course.

Katherine Allingham of Preston, CT, Director of Risk Management, has been promoted to First Vice President. Kate joined Chelsea Groton in 1999 and worked in Retail Banking, Financial Services, and Marketing before joining the Risk Management department in 2008. In 2015, she assumed the role of Assistant Director of Risk Management. Kate is a cum laude graduate of Wellesley College and was awarded the John G. Shortell Award for outstanding academic achievement when she graduated from the CT School of Finance and Management in 2007. Kate is also a graduate of the ABA National and Intermediate Compliance Schools, the ABA Graduate School of Compliance and Risk Management, and the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking. She is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM).

Kathryn Alves of Groton, CT, Credit Department Manager, has been promoted to First Vice President. Kate joined Chelsea Groton Bank in 2005 and worked in Loan Servicing and Risk Management before moving to the Commercial Credit department. Kate earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Merrimack College. Kate is a 2008 graduate of the CT School of Finance and Management and a 2011 graduate of the Chamber ECT Leadership Program. Kate has received several awards including the 2012 Chelsea Award, 2013 40 Under Forty, and 2015 Connecticut Banker’s Association (CBA) New Leader in Banking Award.

Alex Masse of Baltic, CT, has been promoted to Director of Operations and Business Intelligence, and First Vice President. In this new role, Alex will be assuming responsibility for Business Intelligence, in addition to his responsibility for the Business Banking and Deposit Operations departments. Alex joined the Bank as a teller in 1998, and held various branch positions for 15 years. Since 2013, Alex has overseen the suite of treasury management tools and services offered at the Bank. In 2011, Alex was named a New Leader in Banking by the CBA and in 2014, he was named a 40 Under Forty honoree. Alex graduated from the Connecticut School of Finance and Management, the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Leadership Program. He serves on the Town of Sprague Board of Finance and is a Board member for the Sprague, Franklin, Canterbury Little League.

Jessica Todd of Niantic, CT, Director of Finance, has been promoted to First Vice President. Jess has been with Chelsea Groton Bank since 2004 and is responsible for all aspects of the finance function including staff, systems, and financial reporting. Jess has a master’s degree in Accounting and a CPA license. In addition, Jess completed the ABA Stonier Graduate School in 2014 and was named a CBA New Leader in Banking in 2012. Jess is President of the East Lyme Public Trust Foundation and serves as Treasurer for the East Lyme Middle School PTA.

Barbara Curto of Mystic, CT, Marketing Manager, has been promoted to Vice President and has assumed responsibility for management oversight of the Bank’s community education programs. Barb joined Chelsea Groton in 2015 as a Marketing Representative. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Maryland and earned a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication from Villanova University. Barb graduated from the CT School of Finance and Management in 2019, and was a recipient of Banking New England’s 2019 Women of Fire Award.

Beth Glynn of Oakdale, CT, Retail Loan Originator, has been promoted to Vice President. Beth joined Chelsea Groton in 1995 and has spent the past 25 years as a Retail Loan Originator. Beth is an Ambassador for Safe Futures and a member of the Southeastern CT Women’s Network. She is also an active Board Member for the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Eastern Connecticut (HBRAECT). She was a 2014 New Leaders in Banking award winner, 2016 George W. Strouse Spirit Award recipient and was recently honored with the 2019 HBRAECT Affiliate of the Year Award.

Jean McGran of Norwich, CT, has been promoted to Member Experience Market Manager and Vice President. She will have responsibility for regional management. Jean joined the Bank in 2017 as a Regional Sales and Service Manager. She graduated from Furman University’s School of Retail Bank Management and has over 30 years of retail banking experience. Jean is a 2018 Chelsea Award recipient, and in 2019, graduated from the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce L.E.A.D. Program.

Kristin Zummo of East Lyme, CT, Learning and Development Manager, has been promoted to Vice President. Kristin joined Chelsea Groton in January 2018 after several years at Electric Boat, where she spearheaded Training and Employee Development. Kristin has a bachelor’s degree from Messiah College and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Mansfield University. She is a certified DiSC Assessment Facilitator and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt.

Michele Magowan of Groton, CT, Retail Lending Sales Specialist, has been promoted to Assistant Treasurer. She started her career at Chelsea Groton as a teller in 1988. In 2000, she became a Residential Loan Representative and has held various roles in the Residential Lending department since that time. In 2013, Michelle assumed the responsibility of the Retail Internet Lending Specialist. Michelle is a 2003 graduate of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Leadership Program.

Christina Nocito of New London, CT, BSA Manager, has been promoted to Assistant Treasurer. Christina joined Chelsea Groton Bank in 1998 as a Checking Account Representative, and went on to hold various roles in Deposit Services, including the Risk and Compliance Specialist for the Deposit Services department. In 2015, she joined the BSA department. She has a bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies from Southern New Hampshire University. Christina graduated from the CT School of Finance and Management and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Leadership Program. Christina is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the OIC of New London, is Treasurer of Shoreline Roller Derby Inc., and volunteers at New London Community Meal Center and Habitat for Humanity. She is a 2018 George W. Strouse Spirit Award recipient.

Matthew Benoit of Westerly, RI, has been promoted to Project Management Specialist and Assistant Secretary. In this new role, Matt will be responsible for bank-wide project management. Matt joined Chelsea Groton in 2015 as the Business Process Analyst. Matt has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.

Jamie Goulas of Moosup, CT, Retail Loan Originator, has been promoted to Assistant Secretary. Jamie joined Chelsea Groton in 2015. She graduated from Three Rivers Community College with a Marketing degree and an Accounting concentration. In 2018, Jamie graduated from the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce L.E.A.D. Program.

Matthew Hastava of West Hartford, CT, Security Manager, has been promoted to Assistant Secretary. Matt joined Chelsea Groton Bank in 2019 as the Operations and Technology Coordinator. Matt has a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Connecticut State University. He is a Family Counseling Center board member and assists with the fundraising efforts for the United Way.

Becky Jacoinski of Westerly, RI, Benefits and Wellness Specialist, has been promoted to Assistant Secretary. Becky joined the Bank in 1995 as a Loan Servicing Representative, and has held various roles in lending and customer service. A few years later, she transitioned to Human Resources, where she currently oversees employee benefits and all wellness programming. Becky graduated from the CT School of Finance and Management in 2001 and was a 2015 Chelsea Award recipient.

Sara Lundy of Oakdale, CT, Compliance Administrator, has been promoted to Assistant Secretary. Sara joined Chelsea Groton in 2016 as a Risk and Compliance Specialist. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Thiel College and a MBA from New England College of Business and Finance. Sara is a graduate of the ABA Foundational, Intermediate, and Advanced Compliance schools, and is a 2019 graduate from the CT School of Finance and Management. She is a board member of the Bank Compliance Association of Connecticut.

Jessica Mazzaccaro of Newington, CT, Retail Lending Production Administrator, has been promoted to Assistant Secretary. Jessica joined Chelsea Groton in 2015 when the Bank opened a Lending Center in Glastonbury. Jessica has a bachelor’s degree from Assumption College in Foreign Affairs with a minor in Spanish and Politics.

Damen Norton of Groton, CT, Lending Compliance and Encompass Administrator, has been promoted to Assistant Secretary. He joined Chelsea Groton in 2018 as the Loan Servicing Team Lead. Damen graduated from the CT School of Finance and Management in 2012 and he is Lending Compliance certified through the American Bankers Association.

Elizabeth Owen of Norwich, CT, Senior Credit Analyst, has been promoted to Assistant Secretary. Liz joined the Bank in 2010 as a temporary employee in the Human Resources Department and moved to Loan Servicing in 2011 as the Escrow Representative. This past October, Liz was promoted to the position of Senior Credit Analyst. Liz was awarded the Chelsea Award in 2017.

Mario Siciliano of Westerly, RI, has been promoted to Technology Operations Manager. Mario joined Chelsea Groton in 2016, and was promoted to Technology Services Specialist II last year. He has been instrumental in providing Bank-wide technical support, development of the Bank’s employee intranet, and migration to VDI among other projects. Mario has a degree in Information Technology, Network Engineering, from the New England Institute of Technology along with several certifications from industry-leading companies.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education classes. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Connecticut Water Helps The Arc Eastern CT with Energy Assistance Project

The Arc Eastern Connecticut received $2,500 from Connecticut Water as part of Connecticut’s 2019 Neighborhood Assistant Act Tax credit program. The company’s participation helped The Arc ECT to begin upgrading aging and drafty windows at its Mechanic Street, Danielson building, which houses day supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “Connecticut Water has been an an annual participant in the Neighborhood Assistance Act program,” said Judy Daviau, Deputy Quality Assurance Officer for Day Services at The Arc ECT. “They give back to so many deserving agencies throughout the state; we’re honored to have been a recipient of their support this year. ” Connecticut Water is dedicated to providing its 95,000 customers in 56 towns throughout the state with high quality drinking water, and is committed to conservation, health, and safety.

The Connecticut Neighborhood Assistance program allows certain firms to invest in community programs and receive 100% tax credit for energy conservation initiatives. Businesses interested in participating in the 2020 Neighborhood Assistance Act program can contact The Arc ECT for more information.

American Truck Historical Society Presents Award to The Arc ECT

The Nutmeg Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society, based in Woodstock, presented The Arc Eastern Connecticut with a $500 donation at its bimonthly meeting. The ATHS has been a longtime supporter of The Arc and and advocate for services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the region. This year the Nutmeg Chapter raised over $7,000 to benefit organizations that help people in need in eastern Connecticut. Other awardees at the ceremony were TEEG and Boy Scout Troop 26 of Pomfret.

To learn more about The Arc ECT’s programs, please visit thearcect.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435 x 116.

Community Foundation’s Women and Girls Fund Supports The Arc Eastern Connecticut

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut’s Northeast and Southeast Women and Girls Funds has awarded The Arc Eastern Connecticut $2,500 and $3,500, respectively, to augment and expand its successful “Voices” program for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in both New London and Windham counties. Voices provides safe, nurturing groups for women with IDD who are at risk of, or survivors of, sexual assault, domestic violence or exploitation. Since 2016, the Foundation’s support has allowed the program to offer a variety of workshops led by area professionals in the areas of self-care and self-advocacy, establishing boundaries, stress reduction, personal safety, art therapy, etc. This year, a grant from the Northeast CT Women and Girls Fund will allow The Arc ECT to begin to offer the Voices program to women at its Danielson offices as well as at its main offices in Norwich.

“Many participants tell us this is the first group in which they’ve felt comfortable enough to begin to explore issues they’ve carried with them for many years,” notes The Arc ECT’s CEO Kathleen Stauffer. “Without the support of the Community Foundation and the Women and Girls Funds, this success would not be possible. The Foundation has been a tremendous partner.”

Voices is part of The Arc ECT’s Community Life & Advocacy (CL&A) program, which provides a wide variety of advocacy, support, health/fitness and social activities to people with IDD throughout eastern Connecticut. To learn more about CL&A or The Arc ECT’s other programs throughout the region, please visit thearcect.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.

Contact: Andrea Kaiser

The Arc Eastern Connecticut

akaiser@thearcect.org

860-889-4435 x118

thearcect.org

Custom Coasters Fundraiser

Commemorate your loved ones with a personalized gift

Celebrate your love this Valentine’s Day with a set of personalized laser-engraved cork coasters made in the Stonington Community Center’s (COMO) Makerspace! Your purchase supports youth arts and technology programming. Submit initials, names, and a meaningful date to create a special gift your partner, friend, or family members can use everyday (perfect for anniversaries or birthdays too)! Orders must be received by February 2 to guarantee pick-up by February 12; coasters can be purchased as a set of 4 for $15 or 8 for $25. Planning a party or a wedding? We can provide that perfect custom favor. Orders may be submitted online or dropped off at the COMO. For further information, please visit www.thecomo.org, stop by the COMO at 28 Cutler Street, Stonington, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m, or call the COMO at 860-535-2476.

Galentine’s Day Party!

Honor friendships new and old with the COMO!

Join us on February 13th for Galentine’s Day, to support the Stonington Community Center’s (COMO) Girls Who Code program. The COMO is hosting a Galentine’s party at the COMO Thrift Shop from 6-8 p.m. Held the day before Valentine’s Day, this pop culture “holiday” is designed to bring gal pals together to celebrate friendship. The COMO Galentine’s Day Party will include stations for jewelry-making and scrapbooking, a photo booth, nibbles, wine and after-hours thrift deals. Girls Who Code is a free after school program for girls that aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science by equipping young women with the necessary computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at thecomo.org/adult-STEAM. Donations are also being accepted for those unable to attend this fundraiser. For further information, please visit www.thecomo.org, stop by the COMO at 28 Cutler Street, Stonington, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m, or call the COMO at 860-535-2476.

Kimberly Gagliardo Joins The Spa at Norwich Inn: Luxury spa veteran to bring health and wellness experience to destination spa and resort

Norwich, CT: January 2020 – John O’Shaughnessy, General Manager of The Spa at Norwich Inn, announced that Kimberly Gagliardo has joined the executive leadership team as its new Spa Director. Gagliardo joins the Spa from the Delamar Hotels, Hartford, CT and previously the Ocean House at Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Gagliardo’s history is one of impressive growth through the ranks from Assistant Spa Director to Regional Spa Director overseeing multisite spa operations throughout New England. Gagliardo is a graduate of both the University of Connecticut and the Galen Institute for Medical Massage Therapy.

“I am confident that the skills and experience Kimberly brings with her help round out our already strong Spa team and will help guide the Spa to ongoing success.” – John O’Shaughnessy, General Manager

As a leader in the spa industry, Gagliardo prides herself on creating an employee culture that delivers service standard excellence, and providing guests with a welcoming, integrated approach. Gagliardo is looking to bring innovation and opportunities into therapies, treatments, and wellness products while leveraging the beautiful surroundings and environment of the Spa at Norwich Inn.

“Ever since I can remember, the Spa at Norwich Inn had been on my radar as a place that I wanted to be. The professionalism of the team, the backing from the ownership and the loyalty of our customers, are all unsurpassed in spa circles. I can’t wait to get started!” – Kimberly Gagliardo.

A premier Destination Spa in Connecticut, The Spa at Norwich Inn is located less than two hours from both New York City and Boston. Built-in 1929 and renovated in 2017 and 2018, includes 49 unique rooms with four distinct suites. The Spa is consistently recognized as a top Destination Spa and the Best Day Spa by the readers of Connecticut Magazine. Located on the 42 acres adjacent to the main inn are 41villas offering every bedroom style with features such as galley kitchens, private balconies, and living rooms with wood-burning fireplaces. The Spa and guestrooms are complemented by the award-winning Kensington's Restaurant and Ascot Pub, both open to the public. The Spa at Norwich Inn is owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, www.historichotels.org.

For more information on The Spa at Norwich Inn, visit www.thespaatnorwichinn.com.

Contact:

David Labbe

(860) 572-0851

David@bridgemarketingct.com

Announcing the Grand Marshal of the 2020 17th Annual Mystic Irish Parade

WHO: The Mystic Irish Parade Foundation Board of Directors

WHAT: The Mystic Irish Parade Foundation Board of Directors will proudly announce this year’s Grand Marshal for the 2020 17th Annual Mystic Irish Parade!

WHERE: Sift Bake Shop, 5 Water St, Mystic, CT 06355

WHEN: Friday January 17th, 8:30 a.m.

WHY: An important announcement! The Grand Marshal is carefully selected each year by the Mystic Irish Parade Foundation’s Board of Directors. Regardless of their heritage, the primary prerequisite for leading the parade in this role is honoring, supporting and being a positive, contributing member in the Southeastern Connecticut community.

The annual Mystic Irish Parade has grown to be the region’s largest parade with over 2,000 participants and 30,000 plus spectators each year. The Mystic Irish Parade Foundation is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization that raises money to fund local charities.

In addition to organizing a spectacular parade for the community and raising funds for these charitable organizations, the foundation also hosts an annual Irish Dinner and produces and funds the Grand Colleen Scholarship Contest. The Mystic Irish Parade Foundation is dedicated to promoting and sharing their Irish heritage through our website, Facebook page and other events throughout the year.

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:

Mystic Irish Parade Foundation leaders will be available to discuss the selection of the Grand Marshal for the 17th Annual Mystic Irish parade, which will be held Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. The Newly announced Grand Marshal will also be available for questions.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

More information about this year’s events, sponsorship opportunities, registration for the parade or volunteering can be found on www.mysticirishparade.org.

CHARTER OAK EARNS TOP 5-STAR RATING FROM BAUERFINANCIAL

Superior Ranking Indicative of Credit Union’s Strong Financial Condition

Waterford, CT – January 14, 2020 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has earned the top 5-Star rating from BauerFinancial Inc. for its superior financial performance during the first nine months of 2019, reflecting Charter Oak’s position as one of the strongest financial institutions in the nation.

“Earning this five-star rating from BauerFinancial confirms that Charter Oak is a safe, sound and very strong financial institution,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We work very hard to manage our finances in a sound manner for our members, so it’s gratifying when our strong financial position is confirmed by an independent ratings firm like BauerFinancial,” he said. Charter Oak’s top 5-Star rating is based on financial data filed with federal regulators as of September 30, 2019.

The Florida-based BauerFinancial is the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm. The firm only awards its top 5-Star rating to those financial institutions that excel in their capital, asset quality, profitability and other financial areas.

Financial institutions that earn BauerFinancial’s top 5-Star rating are safe, financially sound and operating well above their regulatory capital requirements. BauerFinancial compiles its financial data based on information reported to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which is the governing federal agency for credit unions. For more information about BauerFinancial, visit its website at www.BauerFinancial.com or call 800.388.6686.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.17 billion as of September 30, 2019. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient network of 16 branches serving New London and Windham counties, providing the largest and most convenient branch network of any local financial institution serving eastern Connecticut. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of products and services, please visit any of our convenient branches, or visit our website at CharterOak.org, or call our Contact Center at 860.446.8085 or 800.962.3237. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

Charter Oak Federal Credit Union is like a bank, just better! We’ve been proudly serving eastern Connecticut since 1939 and we offer great checking, deposit, lending, insurance and investment products. And because we’re a credit union, we’re owned by our members, not by shareholders. So we can offer lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposits. It’s easy to become a Charter Oak member: simply live, work, worship, learn, or volunteer in New London or Windham counties. So join today and see why Members Bank Better at Charter Oak!

Stonington Garden Club Offers Gardens By the Sea Tours June 12-13, 2020

Gardens By The Sea, a walking tour of a hand-picked selection of private gardens in the village of Stonington, Connecticut is planned for Friday, June 12th and Saturday, June 13th, 2020. “Artists in the Borough” A unique feature of our 2020 walking tour is the showcasing of celebrated Plein Air artists from all over New England who will be painting in gardens and throughout the Borough, drawing inspiration from our seaside village landscapes. Our Tented Marketplace, located on the village square, will have a variety of vendors and will feature garden accessories, plants, crafts, clothing, jewelry, and home decorating and gift items. Our Celebrity Lecture and Luncheon will feature acclaimed author and garden designer Page Dickey. Gardens By The Sea will be open to the public each day from 10 am-4 pm, rain or shine. Tickets are $35 in advance, and $40 if purchased after June 1 and day of the tour, and are valid both days. Seating is limited and luncheon ticket orders will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Contact the Stonington Garden Club via...

Email: stoningtongardentour@gmail.com

Website: www.stoningtongardenclub.org

Phone: 860-415-9102

SCORE Southeastern CT Searching for Volunteers

Volunteer with SCORE and help local business owners. Become a leader in your business community. Feel empowered sharing your expertise with others. Grown professionally through lifelong learning.

SCORE is a nationally recognized non-profit organization: its mission is to help individuals to start or grow their own business.

Southeastern CT SCORE has a geographical footprint from Guilford to Stonington and from the Shoreline to the Middletown/Norwich area.

If you are looking for a way to give back to your community, have business experience, good communication skills and are comfortable using a computer, we invite you to join our dynamic group of volunteers.

Your knowledge provides those seeking small business advice an invaluable resource and ultimately strengthens the fabric of local communities by helping small businesses thrive. We welcome volunteers retired and those still active in their careers who are experienced and business savvy. Our volunteers are friendly, helpful and good listeners, willing to provide honest feedback and advice.

If you are interested in joining our team please visit https://sect.score.org/volunteer-97 or contact our New Member Chairperson, Tom Dolan, directly with any questions at (860) 304-4910 / tommey811@gmail.com.

Groton Utilities Announces Groton Caberet Schedule

Clan O’Cleary – Sunday, January 19, 3 – 5 pm. City of Groton Municipal Building Auditorium – Cost: Free

Clan O’Cleary’s music is firmly rooted in the sounds and the instruments of Ireland. Beautifully harmonious in both voices and instruments, from the soft mysticism of New Age Celtic to the raucous songs of the Irish bar band, this is Irish music played with gusto and grace, as it should be.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1223145954552367/

Azalea Drive Duo - Sunday, February 9, 3 – 5 pm. City of Groton Municipal Building Auditorium - Cost: Free

This is the trimmed down and mellowed up version of the popular full band Azalea Drive. Kym and Ron use their magical musical chemistry to bewitch audiences with the best of the last several decades, including Hall and Oates, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars and much more.

https://www.facebook.com/events/893641031031379/

Whiskey Wine and Coke - Sunday, March 8, 3 – 5 pm. City of Groton Municipal Building Auditorium - Cost: Free

Whiskey Wine and Coke are a musical trio with a male and female lead singer and acoustic guitarist. The band skillfully covers songs from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's and modern country. Through the intimacy of a trio, they engage their audience to experience musical nostalgia while dancing and singing along to timeless favorites!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1989206044557436/

The City Cabaret concert series is co-sponsored and co-produced by Groton Utilities and the City of Groton Parks and Recreation Department.

Dessert, coffee and bottle water will be available for purchase from the Fitch High School Alcohol and Drug Free Party Committee.

The concerts are free. No alcohol is allowed. The concert info line is (860) 446-4129.

Link to article with full schedule: http://cityofgroton.com/2019/12/03/city-cabaret-2019-2020-schedule-announcement/

Community Foundation’s Women and Girls Fund Supports The Arc Eastern Connecticut

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut’s Northeast and Southeast Women and Girls Funds has awarded The Arc Eastern Connecticut $2,500 and $3,500, respectively, to augment and expand its successful “Voices” program for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in both New London and Windham counties. Voices provides safe, nurturing groups for women with IDD who are at risk of, or survivors of, sexual assault, domestic violence or exploitation. Since 2016, the Foundation’s support has allowed the program to offer a variety of workshops led by area professionals in the areas of self-care and self-advocacy, establishing boundaries, stress reduction, personal safety, art therapy, etc. This year, a grant from the Northeast CT Women and Girls Fund will allow The Arc ECT to begin to offer the Voices program to women at its Danielson offices as well as at its main offices in Norwich.

“Many participants tell us this is the first group in which they’ve felt comfortable enough to begin to explore issues they’ve carried with them for many years,” notes The Arc ECT’s CEO Kathleen Stauffer. “Without the support of the Community Foundation and the Women and Girls Funds, this success would not be possible. The Foundation has been a tremendous partner.”

Voices is part of The Arc ECT’s Community Life & Advocacy (CL&A) program, which provides a wide variety of advocacy, support, health/fitness and social activities to people with IDD throughout eastern Connecticut. To learn more about CL&A or The Arc ECT’s other programs throughout the region, please visit thearcect.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.

Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation Awards $500 to The Arc Eastern Connecticut

The Jewett City Bank Foundation has awarded The Arc Eastern Connecticut $500 to its Day and In-Home Supports (IHS) programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder. This grant will allow the programs to purchase weighted blankets and a swing chair. These sensory items will give participants, especially those with ASD, a sense of security as well as aid in relaxation and calming.

Weighted blankets also help people recover and sleep after a seizure, a common issue for many of The Arc’s participants. “The Jewett City Savings Bank Foundation has been a great supporter of our agency,” notes The Arc’s CEO Kathleen Stauffer. “They’ve always been there to help augment not only our day services but our employment training programs and micro-enterprises. We’re lucky to have them as a community partner.”

To learn more about The Arc ECT’s day services and its programs throughout eastern Connecticut, please visit thearcect.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.

Dime Bank Foundation Awards Training Equipment to The Arc Eastern Connecticut

The Arc Eastern Connecticut was honored to receive a $1,003 grant from the Dime Bank Foundation in order to purchase CPR and first aid training materials for staff members working directly with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in eastern Connecticut. With the July 2019 merger of The Arc New Lonodn County and The Arc Quinebaug Valley, the agency now employs over 450 full and part-time staff, all of whom are trained in CPR and emergency first aid. The grant will allow The Arc Eastern Connecticut’s northeast offices to replace its outdated equipment, allowing staff to receive the most up-to-date and comprehensive emergency training, keeping participants as safe as possible.

The Arc ECT provides supports and services to over 800 people with IDD and their families throughout eastern Connecticut. To learn more about The Arc ECT’s programs throughout the region, please visit thearcect.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.

Community Foundation’s Women and Girls Fund Supports The Arc Eastern Connecticut

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut’s Northeast and Southeast Women and Girls Funds has awarded The Arc Eastern Connecticut $2,500 and $3,500, respectively, to augment and expand its successful “Voices” program for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in both New London and Windham counties. Voices provides safe, nurturing groups for women with IDD who are at risk of, or survivors of, sexual assault, domestic violence or exploitation. Since 2016, the Foundation’s support has allowed the program to offer a variety of workshops led by area professionals in the areas of self-care and self-advocacy, establishing boundaries, stress reduction, personal safety, art therapy, etc. This year, a grant from the Northeast CT Women and Girls Fund will allow The Arc ECT to begin to offer the Voices program to women at its Danielson offices as well as at its main offices in Norwich.

“Many participants tell us this is the first group in which they’ve felt comfortable enough to begin to explore issues they’ve carried with them for many years,” notes The Arc ECT’s CEO Kathleen Stauffer. “Without the support of the Community Foundation and the Women and Girls Funds, this success would not be possible. The Foundation has been a tremendous partner.”

Voices is part of The Arc ECT’s Community Life & Advocacy (CL&A) program, which provides a wide variety of advocacy, support, health/fitness and social activities to people with IDD throughout eastern Connecticut. To learn more about CL&A or The Arc ECT’s other programs throughout the region, please visit thearcect.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.

Groton-New London Art At the Airport to Exhibit Latin American Artists Adrian Meyer, Ivan Huerto and Maria Colombo- Artists in Residence at New London's Expressiones Cultural Center

JANUARY 9, 2020 - NORWICH, CT - The Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition is pleased to announce the Art At the Airport program's winter exhibit featuring artwork by three Latin American artists-in-residence hosted by Expressiones Cultural Center opened on January 2 and will be on view through March 31 at the Groton - New London Airport.

The exhibit features works by Uruguay's Adrian Meyer and Peru's Ivan Huerto through February 13 and changes to works by Argentina's Maria Colombo created in collaboration with New London Public School students through March 31. All three artists are part of Expressiones' ArtVenture and artist-in-residency programs.

ArtVenture increases cultural competency, and provides relevant and unique experiences, bilingual arts and educational programming for children in New London Public Schools through artists-in-residence recruited by Expressiones from Latin-America.

Cultural Coalition Executive Director said, "Expressiones is a gem in our region. We are thrilled to be able to help provide an opportunity for residents and community members to see the work of three exciting Latin American contemporary artists and the artistic products reflecting their time and projects with local students."

A reception for the artists, students and community is being planned.

The Art At the Airport program's purpose is to showcase the region's uniqueness, history, industry, culture and geography through visual arts in the airport's main terminal located at 155 Tower Avenue in Groton. The Art At the Airport program is a partnership of the Cultural Coalition and the Connecticut Airport Authority, which manages and operates Groton - New London Airport.

Groton - New London Airport's terminal is open daily from 7 am to 6 pm for public viewing of the exhibit. Parking is easily accessible and free.

For more information about the Arts At the Airport program, visit www.CultureSECT.org (http://culturesect.org/art-at-the-airport/).

Media Contact

Name: Wendy Bury

Title: Executive Director

Phone: (860) 448-5135

Email address: W.Bury@CultureSECT.org

About Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition

The Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributes to the cultural identity, economy and quality of life of Southeastern Connecticut by advocating and supporting arts, heritage, cultural and business activities and organizations.

Hawaiian Rotary Club Member Visits Groton Rotary Club During Cross-Country Tour

VISITOR FROM HAWAII – On the left is Tom Vanderhout, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Windward Oahu in Kailua, Hawaii. Tom visited the Rotary Club of Groton a couple of times recently, while visiting our area on a cross country tour with his wife. Tom and Frank Winkler, president of the Groton Rotary Club, exchanged their Rotary Club flags, a tradition when fellow Rotarians visit a club. Photo credit goes to Cindy Olsen.

CHARTER OAK NAMED BEST CREDIT UNION IN COMMERCIAL RECORD SURVEY

Credit Union Gains Top Statewide Honor in 2019 ‘CR’s Best’ Annual Readers’ Poll

Waterford, CT – January 8, 2020 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has been named the Best Credit Union in the Commercial Record’s annual statewide survey of the best providers in Connecticut’s banking and real estate industries.

“Charter Oak had a great year in 2019, with our strong financial performance and continued growth,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our employees had a great year too, always striving to do their best so Charter Oak can be the best credit union to our members. So we’re very pleased to see that the Commercial Record’s readers in the banking and real estate industries strongly agree, as well,” he said.

Charter Oak was honored in December as part of the Commercial Record’s 12th annual “CR’s Best” readers’ poll. The annual survey by The Commercial Record highlights the best providers of services and goods in both the banking and real estate professions across Connecticut. Since early September, the magazine has conducted an online survey of its readers through its website at commercialrecord.com, as well as promoting its annual survey through email to thousands of readers and customers of The Commercial Record.

This is the third time in recent years that Charter Oak has taken top honors in the annual Commercial Record survey. Charter Oak also won Best Credit Union in Connecticut in 2016 and again in 2017. The annual statewide Commercial Record survey asks readers to vote in three categories: the top Gold category, as well as the Silver and Bronze categories.

During 2019, Charter Oak also was named Best Credit Union in several other contests. In June, Charter Oak was named a “Best in State” credit union for the second consecutive year in the annual Forbes Media Survey of the nation’s best financial institutions. In September, Charter Oak was honored as the Best Credit Union in The Bulletin newspaper’s annual “Best of Northeastern Connecticut” readers’ choice awards, and this past spring Charter Oak was named “Best Credit Union” for the fifth consecutive year in The Day newspaper’s annual Readers’ Choice “Best Of” awards.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.17 billion as of September 30, 2019. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient network of 16 branches serving New London and Windham counties, providing the largest and most convenient branch network of any local financial institution serving eastern Connecticut. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of products and services, please visit any of our convenient branches, or visit our website at CharterOak.org, or call our Contact Center at 860.446.8085 or 800.962.3237. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

Charter Oak Federal Credit Union is like a bank, just better! We've been proudly serving eastern Connecticut since 1939 and we offer great checking, deposit, lending, insurance and investment products. And because we're a credit union, we're owned by our members, not by shareholders. So we can offer lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposits. It's easy to become a Charter Oak member: simply live, work, worship, learn, or volunteer in New London or Windham counties. So join today and see why Members Bank Better at Charter Oak!

Contact:

Anthony Cronin, AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254

acronin@cofcu.com

Tea with Turner: A Lecture Series at Mystic Seaport Museum

5-Week Program Explores the World of J.M.W. Turner

Mystic, Conn. (January 7, 2020) — In conjunction with the exhibition J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate, now on display on the Museum’s Collins Gallery, Mystic Seaport Museum is hosting “Tea with Turner,” a weekly lecture series that features a lineup of prominent speakers who will explore the iconic artist’s world, including his travels, techniques, and the time in which he lived.

The series runs every Tuesday from January 14 to February 11.

Tea and lectures will take place in the dining room at Latitude 41° Restaurant at the Museum. A traditional British afternoon tea will be served at 3:30 p.m. The talks begin at 4 p.m. Participants are encouraged to view the show beforehand (same-day admission is included for non-Museum members).

January 14: Turner’s Inhabited Landscapes

Alexis Goodin, curatorial research associate at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, will explore the significance of the human figure in Turner’s landscapes. More than markers of scale, Turner’s figures contribute to compelling narratives that reveal social, cultural, and political concerns of Turner’s day. Goodin will discuss works in the exhibition as well as paintings in the Clark collection that reveal how Turner’s figures enrich and complicate his landscape paintings. Goodin recently curated the exhibition Turner and Constable: The Inhabited Landscape (2018-2019) and authored the accompanying booklet, Turner and Constable at the Clark (2018).

January 21: Turner and Switzerland

Constance McPhee, curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will explore Turner’s repeated visits to Switzerland, focusing on four seminal trips that he made to the area around Lucerne in the 1840s. Switzerland’s terrain and history were central to Turner’s artistic imagination, and its mountains and lakes offered him life-long inspiration. Using The Metropolitan Museum’s The Lake of Zug, 1843 as a touchstone, this talk will consider how the artist’s travel sketches offer fascinating windows into his process and supported masterful finished watercolors now regarded as highpoints of British art.

January 28: Why Turner?

Artist Ellen Harvey, who contributed to Mystic Seaport Museum’s recently published book Conversations with Turner, in connection with the current exhibition, will be discussing her own work, its relationship to J.M.W. Turner, and why she considers Turner’s work to be relevant to many issues we face today. Harvey is a British-born artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She is a 2016 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in the Visual Arts and a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program. Her new project, Ellen Harvey and J.M.W. Turner: The Disappointed Tourist, will be opening at Turner Contemporary in the UK in the summer of 2020.

February 4: Turner and Industry

Glenn Adamson, senior scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, is a historian and curator specializing in craft and design. He will offer thoughts on Turner’s work in the context of the industrial revolution. Turner lived during one of the greatest periods of transformation in history, one with certain parallels to our own. His paintings sometimes captured the awe-inspiring power but also the trauma of these shifts.

February 11: From Mystic to New York: A Close Look at the Frick Turners with Susan Grace Galassi

After examining J.M.W. Turner’s watercolors of the 1820s on view in the Mystic Seaport Museum exhibition, Galassi will shift the subject to New York City to look in depth at two of the artist’s masterpieces in oil from the mid-1820s, both centerpieces of The Frick Collection’s West Gallery. These luminous harbors of Dieppe and Cologne reveal Turner’s preoccupation with Continental subjects following Napoleon’s defeat and the lifting of travel bans. They also showcase the artist’s technical experimentation in which he brought qualities of the watercolor medium into oil paint, arousing the ire of critics and leading to a turning point in his art. Susan Grace Galassi is curator emerita of The Frick Collection. In 2017, she was co-curator with Ian Warrell and Joanna Sheers Seidenstein of Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages Through Time.

Tickets

Afternoon tea will be served at 3:30 p.m. Talks begin at 4 p.m. Both events take place in the Latitude 41° Restaurant Dining Room at Mystic Seaport Museum.

Members: $30 per lecture, or $135 for all 5 lectures

Non-members: $35 per lecture, or $160 for all 5 lectures (includes same-day Museum admission)

Tickets can be purchased by calling 860.572.5331 or purchased online at https://www.mysticseaport.org/tea-with-turner/

About Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum, founded in 1929, is the nation’s leading maritime museum. In addition to providing a multitude of immersive experiences, the Museum also houses a collection of more than two million artifacts that include more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography. The new Thompson Exhibition Building houses a state-of-the-art gallery that currently features J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate, the most comprehensive exhibition of Turner watercolors ever displayed in the U.S. Mystic Seaport Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org and follow Mystic Seaport Museum on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Contact:

Dan McFadden

Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport Museum

860.572.5317 | dan.mcfadden@mysticseaport.org

NESS Announces Long Island Sound Drawing Contest

STONINGTON, CT. New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS) is looking for young artists to participate in a drawing contest for a calendar entitled “Long Island Sound and Its Watershed: What It Means to Me.” The contest is designed to engage youth in environmental stewardship and watershed conservation and is open to all Connecticut students currently in grades K-6. A panel of judges will choose two first place and two honorable mention winners from each grade as this year’s award recipients. Their artwork will be featured in a calendar in 2021.

Participating classes, schools, and individuals are asked to select one drawing per eligible grade to submit for judging and mail them to NESS no later than April 3, 2020. Individual children may submit a drawing on their own if the class or school is not participating. The contest is a great opportunity for parents and teachers to provide their students with a hands-on experience and to educate them about Long Island Sound and its watershed.

In the 2019 competition, over 2,500 talented young artists from across the state participated in the contest.

For full contest rules, please visit nessf.org/long-island-sound-calendar-contest.

About NESS: The New England Science & Sailing Foundation, Inc. (NESS), is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) ocean adventure education organization that engages students in experiential learning to build confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills. Marine sciences, adventure sports, powerboating, and sailing are platforms for inquiry-based learning, personal discovery, teaching respect and responsibility for the sea, and creating connections with the community. NESS operates year-round with families, schools, and organizations to provide high-quality programs that blend an innovative curriculum with exciting ocean adventure activities. For more information, visit www.nessf.org.

Pam Gibbs

New England Science & Sailing Foundation

860-535-9362 | pgibbs@nessf.org

CHARTER OAK’S ‘MATCHING GIFTS’ DONATES $400,000 TO CHARITIES

Combined Donations from Charter Oak and Its Members Benefit Over 300 Organizations

Waterford, CT – December 26, 2019 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union’s Matching Gifts Program donated a combined $400,000 from the credit union and its members that will benefit more than 300 charitable organizations.

“We were overwhelmed, once again, by the generosity of our members who donated to hundreds of charitable organizations in eastern Connecticut and beyond,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Through our members continued generosity, countless organizations were helped this holiday season, including homeless shelters, food banks, and housing assistance programs,” he said.

Charter Oak’s initial Matching Gifts pledge of “$100,000 in 100 Days” was doubled during 2019 – as it was during the 2018 campaign – after the credit union’s Board of Directors recognized the need to increase matching funds based on the volume of member donations. During 2019, Charter Oak’s Matching Gifts Program received nearly 1,000 donations from its members that it matched to 304 charitable groups, from individual $25 matches up to $500 member matches. This year’s Matching Gifts initiative began on August 20th and ended on November 19th.

Charter Oak began its Matching Gifts donation program in 2016. Since then, nearly $1.2 million has been donated by Charter Oak and its members.

Charter Oak’s Matching Gifts program matches all qualified donations made by its members to 501(c)(3) charities. Among the hundreds of charitable groups in New London and Windham counties to benefit during 2019 from donations to Charter Oak’s Matching Gifts Program were the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, the Friends of Assisi Food Pantry in Danielson, and the Windham County 4-H Foundation.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.17 billion as of September 30th, 2019. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient network of 16 branches serving New London and Windham counties, providing the largest and most convenient branch network of any financial institution serving eastern Connecticut. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

Charter Oak Federal Credit Union is like a bank, just better! We've been proudly serving eastern Connecticut since 1939 and we offer great checking, deposit, lending, insurance and investment products. And because we're a credit union, we're owned by our members, not by shareholders. So we can offer lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposits. It's easy to become a Charter Oak member: simply live, work, worship, learn, or volunteer in New London or Windham counties. So join today and see why Members Bank Better at Charter Oak!

Contact: Anthony Cronin

AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254 or acronin@cofcu.com

Chelsea Groton Bank Names Renee Simao Customer Solutions Manager in Norwichtown

GROTON, Conn. – Renee Simao of Stonington, CT, has been named Customer Solutions Manager of Chelsea Groton Bank’s Norwichtown branch. Cindy Harris, Renee’s predecessor, recently retired after 37 years of serving the Bank’s customers and community.

“Renee comes to us with 12 years of banking experience. She is a strong leader and is passionate about helping members of the Bank, and her team members, achieve their goals,” shared Lori Dufficy, EVP, Director of Sales and Service at Chelsea Groton Bank. “We’re confident that Renee will be an asset to the members of the Bank, the community, and her new team.”

Renee previously worked for Berkshire Bank (formerly Savings Institute Bank and Trust, Newport Fed) in numerous positions, most recently in branch administration and talent recruitment and training. She was named to the list of “40 Brightest Stars of Southern RI” by the Westerly/Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce.

Renee is actively involved in the local community. She currently serves on the board of the Stonington Youth Lacrosse League and is a member of the Young Professionals of Eastern Connecticut (YPECT) and Norwich Chamber of Commerce. Renee previously served on the board of Westerly Stand Up For Animals, RI Lions Child with Cancer Foundation, Misquamicut Business Association, Stonington Youth Football League, and the Westerly/Pawcatuck Young Professional Network and was a former member of the Westerly RI Lions Club and Fresh Connections.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.1 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education classes. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Media Contact: Barb Curto, AVP, Marketing Manager

Phone: (860) 448-4118

Email: bcurto@chelseagroton.com

John Cassata Joins Chelsea Groton Bank as Mortgage Specialist

GROTON, Conn. – John Cassata of Westerly, RI, recently joined Chelsea Groton Bank as a Mortgage Specialist. John will work with customers throughout New London County, Connecticut and Rhode Island who are in need of a variety of lending solutions, from traditional mortgages, to first-time homebuyer and affordable lending programs, to specialty financing and home equity loans. He is certified by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS #67960).

“John has over two decades of home lending experience, and excels at guiding homebuyers throughout the process,” said Matt Morrell, Vice President, Retail Lending Sales Manager at Chelsea Groton Bank. “He takes pride in his ability to help people who are navigating challenges that are new to them – whether that be a first time homebuyer, someone looking for a bridge loan to move from one home to the next, or someone in need of financing for home improvements, debt consolidation or college expenses. We are very excited to have John on the Chelsea Groton lending team.”

Most recently, John was a senior loan officer at Savings Institute Bank and Trust, based out of Pawcatuck, CT.

He earned a B.S. and MBA from Long Island University. John is an advocate for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Shriner’s Children’s Hospital and the ASPCA.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.1 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education classes. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

CHARTER OAK AWARDS OVER $618,000 IN BONUSES TO MEMBERS

Total Gold Rewards Payout Tops $4 Million Since Unique Program Began in 2010

Waterford, CT – December 19, 2019 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union awarded $618,600 in annual $100 cash bonuses to its Gold Rewards members during December 2019, which is the largest amount since the unique member-appreciation program began a decade ago.

“Gold Rewards marked its tenth anniversary this year and what better way to celebrate than with the largest payout in the program’s history,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “These hundred-dollar bonuses are a wonderful way for Charter Oak to say happy holidays and thank you to our Gold Rewards members, who are our most loyal members,” he said. “Since we began Gold Rewards, we’ve seen Gold Rewards membership more than double as more of our members take advantage of the great benefits that come with this exclusive membership,” he said.

Charter Oak started its Gold Rewards program in 2010 and over the past ten years has paid out over $4 million in annual $100 cash bonuses to qualified Gold Rewards members. In addition to the more than $4 million in annual cash bonuses awarded since 2010, Charter Oak also has returned nearly $1.8 million in ATM rebates to its Gold Rewards members.

Charter Oak is the only financial institution in eastern Connecticut, including local banks and credit unions, which pays out a $100 annual bonus to its members who qualify for the Gold Rewards bonus. Charter Oak created its unique Gold Rewards to provide additional value and financial rewards for its members who have made Charter Oak their primary financial institution. Gold Rewards members receive an array of exclusive benefits, from the $100 annual bonus, to ATM rebates, special rates on deposits, discounts on new personal loans, and a $100 credit toward first mortgage closing costs with Charter Oak.

Gold Rewards has shown tremendous growth since it was first introduced in 2010. During that first year, a total of 2,590 members received $100 bonuses compared to the record payout in 2019 when 6,186 members received $100 bonuses.

To learn how to qualify for Charter Oak’s Gold Rewards program, visit CharterOak.org, stop by any of Charter Oak’s convenient branches in New London or Windham counties, or call our Contact Center at 860.446.8085 or 800.962.3237.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.17 billion as of September 30th, 2019. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient network of 16 branches serving New London and Windham counties, providing the largest and most convenient branch network of any financial institution serving eastern Connecticut. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

Charter Oak Federal Credit Union is like a bank, just better! We've been proudly serving eastern Connecticut since 1939 and we offer great checking, deposit, lending, insurance and investment products. And because we’re a credit union, we’re owned by our members, not by shareholders. So we can offer lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposits. It’s easy to become a Charter Oak member: simply live, work, worship, learn, or volunteer in New London or Windham counties. So join today and see why Members Bank Better at Charter Oak!

Contact: Anthony Cronin

AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254 | acronin@cofcu.com

Best of Bauer Chelsea Groton Bank: 5-Star Rated Since September 1994

GROTON, Conn. – BauerFinancial, Inc., the Nation’s Premier Bank Rating Firm, proudly affirmed that Chelsea Groton Bank has once again earned its highest (5-Star) rating for financial strength and stability. Earning a 5-Star rating indicates this bank excels in areas of capital adequacy, profitability, asset quality and much more. Chelsea Groton Bank has earned and maintained this top rating for 103 consecutive quarters, beginning in September 1994. This achievement has secured an even higher status for Chelsea Groton Bank as a “Best of Bauer Bank”. The “Best of Bauer” designation is reserved specifically for banks that have earned Bauer’s highest rating continuously for 25 years or longer.

“While other banks are trying to win back the confidence and trust of their customers, community banks, like Chelsea Groton Bank, never lost it,” notes Karen Dorway, president of BauerFinancial. “In fact, a recent Federal Reserve survey found that while fewer than half of Big Bank customers were satisfied with their overall banking experience, the vast majority of community bank customers are satisfied. And, local businesses dealing with community banks not only reported the most satisfaction, but also the most success.”

Chelsea Groton Bank has been helping its neighbors and friends since it was founded in 1854. Today, after 165 years, it continues to provide a superior personal experience through 14 bank branches in Southeastern Connecticut, a lending office in Hartford County, and online at chelseagroton.com.

About BauerFinancial, Inc.

BAUERFINANCIAL, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution can pay for or opt out of a BauerFinancial rating. Star-ratings are all available for free at bauerfinancial.com.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.1 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education classes. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Media Contact:

Barb Curto, AVP, Marketing Manager

Phone: (860) 448-4118

Email: bcurto@chelseagroton.com

PREVENTING FAMILY HOMELESSNESS THROUGH POWER OF TOGETHER

Mystic, CT (December 13, 2019) — At a recent meeting of Power of Together 2, Always Home was named beneficiary of over $11,000 in contributions. In just three years, this Mystic-based group of philanthropic individuals has grown to include 118 members who meet four times a year to collectively make a difference in the community.

Always Home’s Executive Director, Betty Smith, acknowledged the impact that Power of Together’s gift will have on families facing homelessness. “Many families who live and work in our community are just one minor financial crisis away from homelessness. For these families, help with a month’s rent, a utility bill, child care or a costly car repair is enough to keep them in their homes and out of the emergency shelter system.” Smith added, “Because of the compassion and generosity of the individuals involved in Power of Together 2, Always Home will continue to provide assistance to the most vulnerable in our region.”

In the past five months, Always Home has already served 179 families, a 36% increase over the number of families served this same time last year. By combining case management support, short-term financial assistance, and creative homelessness prevention services, Always Home helped these families find immediate solutions to their housing crisis and create a path forward.

“We are so grateful to the members of Power of Together 2,” said Smith. “Because they care, struggling families will have a warm place to call home this holiday season.”

About Always Home

Always Home is a private 501(C)3) non-profit formed in 1998 to address the needs of Eastern Connecticut's homeless and at-risk families. Formerly known as Mystic Area Shelter & Hospitality, Inc. (MASH), the agency continues to pursue its mission of Preventing Family Homelessness. As a key player in the Eastern Coordinated Access Network (ECAN), Always Home works closely with the other service providers in the Eastern Connecticut regional network to ensure that at-risk families receive the services they need to attain housing stability.

For more information about Always Home, visit www.alwayshome.org.

Contact: Kathryn Keller | Kkeller@alwayshome.org | (860) 245-0222

SCORE Southeastern CT to Host Free Workshop On "The ABCs of a Business Plan and Understanding a SWOT Analysis”

DATE: Tuesday, January 7, 2020

TIME: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM ET

LOCATION: Groton Public Library, 52 Newtown Road, Groton, CT 06340

RESERVE YOUR SPOT: REGISTER NOW

The Southeastern Connecticut chapter of SCORE, Mentors to America’s Small Businesses, presents a free Small Business Workshop on "The ABCs of a Business Plan and Understanding a SWOT Analysis.”

How important is it to have a business plan? Do you know what a SWOT analysis is? Can the two be connected? In this workshop, you will learn the importance of both, what they are used for, what information they should contain, and what they say about your business.

Workshop Presenter Tanisha Baptiste is the Administrative Officer at the U.S. Small Business Administration, Connecticut District Office, acting as an Economic Development Specialist, and as the Assistant to the Veterans Business Development Specialist. Ms. Baptiste is also a Veteran of the United States Army and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration with the UCONN School of Business.

SCORE is a nonprofit association that offers free and confidential advice on starting your own business or improving and growing your existing small business. Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 11 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE’s 10,000 volunteer business experts provide hundreds of thousands of free small business mentoring sessions, workshops and educational services to clients in 300 chapters nationwide. SCORE’s nine counseling sites in Southeast Connecticut include Guilford, Madison, Old Saybrook, Essex, Waterford, Middletown, Mystic, Norwich, and New London. For more information on upcoming free workshops and how to schedule a free small business mentoring session with our counselors, visit https://sect.score.org.

Would You Like To Become A SCORE Volunteer? Your business knowledge and experience can help others start or grow a small business. Learn more about becoming a SCORE volunteer at: www.score.org/volunteer.

Southeastern CT SCORE

PO Box 283,

Old Saybrook, CT 06475

Email: ScoreChapter@gmail.com

Telephone: 860.388.9508

Photo Caption: Tanisha Baptiste of the Small Business Administration will present a free workshop for SCORE on "The ABCs of a Business Plan and Understanding a SWOT Analysis” on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, from 5:30 – 7:00 PM at the Groton Public Library.

Contact: Anne Driscoll, anne.driscoll@scorevolunteer.org

City of Groton Cabaret 2019-2020 Schedule Announcement

The City of Groton and Groton Utilities are happy to announce the concert schedule for the 2019-2020 City Cabaret concert series.

In a change from previous years we are pleased to announce that we have four concerts on the schedule, instead of the traditional three. The “bonus” concert is a special holiday concert with the very popular regional band The Cartells, to be held on Sunday December 15th at 3:00 p.m. at the City of Groton Municipal Building. The Cartells will be bringing their usual high level of musicianship and energetic stage show into the holiday season, offering up an array of holiday favorites for all to enjoy.

All concerts are held on Sundays and are performed at the City of Groton Municipal Building Auditorium. Concerts begin at 3:00 p.m. and end at roughly 5:00 p.m.

The full schedule of concerts is as follows:

December 15, 2019The Cartells Holiday Concert

January 19, 2020 – Clan O’Cleary.

Clan O’Cleary’s music is firmly rooted in the sounds and the instruments of Ireland. Beautifully harmonious in both voices and instruments, from the soft mysticism of New Age Celtic to the raucous songs of the Irish bar band, this is Irish music played with gusto and grace, as it should be.

February 9, 2020 – Azalea Drive Duo

This is the trimmed down and mellowed up version of the popular full band Azalea Drive. Kym and Ron use their magical musical chemistry to bewitch audiences with the best of the last several decades, including Hall and Oates, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars and much more.

March 8, 2020 - Whiskey Wine and Coke

Whiskey Wine and Coke are a musical trio with a male and female lead singer and acoustic guitarist. The band skillfully covers songs from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's and modern country. Through the intimacy of a trio, they engage their audience to experience musical nostalgia while dancing and singing along to timeless favorites!

The City Cabaret concert series is co-sponsored and co-produced by Groton Utilities and the City of Groton Parks and Recreation Department.

Dessert, coffee and bottle water will be available for purchase from the Fitch High School Alcohol and Drug Free Party Committee.

The concerts are free. No alcohol is allowed. The concert info line is (860) 446-4129.

CHELSEA GROTON FOUNDATION Approves Funding Over $173K in Grants to Area Organizations; Passes $3.6M in Giving Since Founding

GROTON, Conn. – The Chelsea Groton Foundation approved funding $173,805 in grants to 42 non-profit organizations from Connecticut and Rhode Island this fall. Included in this dollar amount are a $15,000 grant to New London Area Food Coalition for feeding the food insecure and a $15,000 grant to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich for intensive case management and emergency basic needs. For the second consecutive year, the Foundation has granted $10,000 to Furniture Bank of S.E.CT toward the purchase of over 100 beds.

The total dollar amount being distributed through Foundation grants this fall is $201,305, which includes previous commitments of $20,000 to the future National Coast Guard Museum, $5,000 to the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center and $2,500 to Waterford Country School. Inclusive of these donations, the Foundation has provided over $3.6 million in total grants to the community since 1999. The Foundation reviews applications and awards grants two times per year.

“For 165 years, Chelsea Groton Bank has been committed to supporting organizations that are critical to the success of our shared community. And for the last 20 years, the Chelsea Groton Foundation has been able to provide financial support in a very big way to these organizations,” said Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank, and President of the Chelsea Groton Foundation. “We are proud to give to organizations that support basic human needs – hunger, homelessness and healthcare – as well as those that provide education, economic growth, arts and cultural experiences, and more, to our region.”

Each year, Chelsea Groton Bank and the Chelsea Groton Foundation support more than 200 local organizations through monetary gifts, grants, sponsorships, scholarships and employee volunteerism. More information, including a list of all fall grant recipients, is available at chelseagroton.com/CGFoundation.

About the Chelsea Groton Foundation

The Chelsea Groton Foundation was formed in June 1998 as a Section 501(c) (3) organization. Initially endowed with a $2 million donation from Chelsea Groton Bank, and recently gifted an additional $5 million from the Bank, the Foundation has, to date, awarded over $3.6 million in grants to hundreds of scientific, educational and charitable organizations located within the Bank’s market area. To learn more, visit: chelseagroton.com/CGFoundation.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.1 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education classes. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Media Contact: Barb Curto, AVP, Marketing Manager

Phone: (860) 448-4118

Email: bcurto@chelseagroton.com

Randy Richards Design Group Wins Four National Graphic Design USA Awards

November 26, 2019 – (Mystic, CT) The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce is pleased to congratulate member business Randy Richards Design Group, a full-service marketing and creative agency, for winning 4 national Graphic Design USA awards for 2019.

The awards were as follows: Brooklyn Blue Collar – Branding; Stanley - Package Design/Website; Porter Cable – Website Design.

The team also designed the Groton Holiday Kickoff banner and posters for 2019.

Now with over 100 awards for their work, the team continues to help many local businesses succeed. Local business owner Mike Mondello of Mystic Financial Group said, “…their customer service was unmatchable. They were always available and responded immediately to all questions and all requests. The team listened to us and incorporated everything we wanted to achieve. Excellent branding company!”

Founded in 2010, Randy Richards Design Group specializes in: branding, print, graphic design, marketing, and website design. The team is located in Noank, CT and has experience promoting growth for all types of businesses.

For more info visit www.randyrichardsdesign.com or call 860-918-1004.

Contact:Kristin Hartnett

Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce

kristin@mysticchamber.org

860-572-9578

Senator Christine Cohen to Speak at The Arc's Bottle and Can Redemption Center December 2nd

The Arc Eastern Connecticut has invited Senator Christine Cohen, Senate Chair of the General Assembly's Environment Committee, to speak at The Arc’s Bottle and Can Redemption Center at 22 Rt 171 in Woodstock, CT., Monday December 2, 2019, beginning at 10 am.

CEO of The Arc ECT Kathleen Stauffer will also introduce other invited area state and local legislators. Senator Cohen will open the discussion regarding the proposed new bottle and can redemption legislation and the importance of keeping redemption centers such as this one open. We would welcome your presence at this event. Please RSVP to Denise Tift at (860) 889-04435 x 116 .

Groton Banker Graduates From Industry’s Ivy League Program

-Rich Balestracci Earns Diploma from American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School-

(GROTON, Conn.) – November 18, 2019 – Chelsea Groton Bank is recognizing the outstanding accomplishment of Rich Balestracci, VP, Commercial Loan Officer, who recently graduated from the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania. The preeminent three-year program is in partnership with the world-renowned Wharton School. Graduates receive both a Stonier Diploma and a Wharton Leadership Certificate.

“Stonier has given me an unparalleled education from the best in the financial services industry, as well as the chance to exchange information and ideas with my peers,” said Balestracci. “Wharton delivers the depth of knowledge needed to address the realities of leadership in today’s volatile market.”

Now in its 84th year, Stonier is the first ABA graduate-level school of banking for bank executives. The ABA-Wharton partnership is the only one of its kind, combining Wharton’s cutting-edge research, leadership insights and top faculty with the ABA foundation.

“Rich is a key member of Chelsea Groton Bank and his training at Stonier will help us identify the challenges our community faces and create permanent solutions,” said Carolyn Welch, SVP, Commercial Lending Manager of Chelsea Groton Bank. “The Bank invests in continuing industry education for all of our employees as their knowledge enriches our team in addition to their personal career aspirations.”


The Stonier program emphasizes strategic planning, financial management, and leadership. The Capstone Strategic Project is the culminating component of the program and often has a career-changing impact. The student identifies a problem or opportunity facing their bank and proposes a course of action, including an analysis of alternatives, a financial analysis, and an implementation plan. The graduation ceremony was held in June 2019 at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rich is involved with many community organizations such as the Stonington Economic Development Commission, as the Treasurer and Board Member of the Stonington Community Center, as a Tee Ball Coach with the Pawcatuck Little League, and as a Loan Committee Member for the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (SECTER).

Rich and his family reside in Pawcatuck.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.1 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education classes. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit www.chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

TVCCA joins Meals on Wheels America and Subaru of America, Inc. in Sharing the Love this Holiday Season

The 12th annual Subaru Share the Love® Event will help deliver nutritious meals and compassion to Eastern Connecticut’s seniors


Bozrah, CT (November 15, 2019) – Thames Valley Council for Community Action (TVCCA) is proud to announce that it will be participating in the 2019 Subaru Share the Love Event as a member of Meals on Wheels America – one of four national Share the Love charitable partners supported through the campaign. From November 14, 2019, through January 2, 2020, Subaru of America will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased to the customer's choice of participating charities.

Participating Meals on Wheels America members, like TVCCA, will receive a share of the donation raised by Subaru in their state. TVCCA has partnered with Secor Subaru in New London to raise awareness for the popular year-end sales and giving event, and drive support for Meals on Wheels through a Business After Hours hosted through the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. The event will take place on Wednesday, November 20 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Secor Subaru dealership.

“The staff at Secor Subaru has provided the energy and synergy behind Share the Love in New London, CT. demonstrating their commitment to community, to those who live in the community and to a very special population of Senior Citizens,” says Deborah Monahan, TVCCA’s Executive Director. “These seniors have been part of the community and active for many years, have contributed significantly to its vitality over the past seventy years, and now, thanks to Meals on Wheels and support from the community like that from Secor Subaru, are aging in place. We are honored by their partnership, their commitment to community and deeply privileged to be their Hometown Charity.”

“Meals on Wheels America is proud to partner with Subaru of America for the 12th consecutive year to enable more seniors to live with independence and dignity,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America. “Since 2008, the Subaru Share the Love Event has helped deliver more than 2.2 million meals and friendly visits to vulnerable seniors nationwide. We’re enormously grateful to Subaru and its retailers for their long-standing commitment to Meals on Wheels and the millions of seniors who depend on it for nourishment and companionship.”

Over the last 11 years, Subaru of America and its participating retailers have donated more than $145 million to its charity partners. This year’s Subaru Share the Love Event is on track to bring that total to over $170 million, proving there’s no limit to the amount of love we can all share.

Charles Secor, owner of Secor Subaru, says “we are excited to participate once again in the Subaru Share the Love Event and are proud to offer a $50 matching donation for each new Subaru sold or leased at our dealership during the Share the Love Event!”

Over the last five years, TVCCA has received nearly $225,000 in donations through Subaru of America’s partnership with Meals on Wheels America, including the donations of a brand new Subaru Outback that is used to deliver Meals on Wheels in Eastern Connecticut.

By purchasing or leasing a new Subaru during the Subaru Share the Love Event and selecting Meals on Wheels as your charity of choice, you can help deliver nutritious meals and other important services to seniors right here in Eastern Connecticut.

For more information, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/sharethelove.

About TVCCA

Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. (TVCCA) is a private, non-profit organization that has been providing social services in southeastern Connecticut since 1965. TVCCA is well recognized as a community leader – and partner – in advocating for and meeting the needs of the region’s economically and otherwise disadvantaged citizens. For more information visit tvcca.org.

About Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $165 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

For additional information visit media.subaru.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Megan Brown

Senior Director, Marketing & Development

860-425-6514

Megan.brown@tvcca.org

Original Songwriter’s Night with BONNIE LEE PANDA: December 5, 2019 @ 7-10 pm

Water Street Tavern, 15 Water St., Mystic, CT, 06355

Bonnie Lee Panda is a spirit-rich, singer-songwriter who performs a combination of modern country-blues with a touch of soul. “Her voice is supple and expressive, one of the best instruments in the folk world,” says John Platt from WFUV 90.7 FM (Sunday Morning City Folk, New York City.) Bonnie Lee is drawn to the family-oriented, storytelling, “Americana” tradition of country music. She moved to the “Music City,” Nashville, TN for 8 years to develop her songwriting skills and perform alongside some incredible musicians. She has released 3 albums, and is finishing up her newest release, “Tennessee Miles.”

Bonnie Lee and her husband recently moved back to CT to be closer to extended family while raising their 2 girls. Bonnie Lee has donated her time and talents to important causes such as drug and alcohol addiction, hunger and homeless awareness, domestic violence awareness and various other women’s issues. She also has presented musical educational workshops for Elementary and Middle School students covering topics such as self-esteem, respect, and anti-bullying.

Original Songwriters Night was created by Linda Bonadies and Scott Parry and takes place on the first Thursday of most months. December is at at Water Street Tavern (15 Water St, Mystic, CT).

There is a $10 cover per person, all of which goes to the featured performer.

The featured performer goes on at 8pm, open mic starts at 7pm.

There are seven slots available for local singer/songwriters. PA, Mics and Piano Provided.

Sign up for open mic in advance; email: linda@lindabonadies.com

For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/originalsongwritersmystic