Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Member News

Read what's going on with your neighbors in business.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE

Contact: Carolyn Wilson

Health Program Coordinator

860-446-3062

cwilson@llhd.org

April 8th 2021

LLHD OFFERING FREE PROGRAMS TO HELP PEOPLE QUIT TOBCACCO

The Tobacco-Free LLHD program is offered by Ledge Light Health District, aiming to reduce tobacco use in Southeastern Connecticut. The goal of the program is to remove common barriers people face by offering quit aids, coaching and social support at no cost. Programs are open to those who live or work in Southeastern Connecticut. The program uses the American Lung Association’s “Freedom From Smoking®” curriculum to help participants quit tobacco in seven weeks. Free nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum lozenges) will be offered to participants.

“Quitting tobacco is a huge step towards improving your health and preventing disease. Ask any former tobacco-user, it’s the best decision they’ve ever made,” said LLHD Health Program Coordinator and Tobacco Treatment Specialist Carolyn Wilson. “Sometimes it takes several attempts to be successful but creating a plan, seeking support and developing a set of strategies is the best course of action. It’s important to never give up on the journey to becoming tobacco-free.”

The 2021 Tobacco-Free LLHD program is made possible through a partnership with Uncas Health District and funding is from the Health and Human Services Block Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The second group program of 2021 will begin May 5th. Program starts at 7 PM and is being offered virtually via ZOOM. Individual counseling is available by appointment if those interested can’t attend the group program or would prefer one-on-one support.

For more information or to register for the program, please contact Health Program Coordinator Carolyn Wilson at (860) 446-3062 or at cwilson@llhd.org.

##

Promoting healthy communities

216 Broad Street • New London, CT 06320 • phone. 860.448.4882 • fax. 860.448.4885 • www.llhd.org


CHARTER OAK DONATES ADDITIONAL $32,000 TO ASSIST REGION’S FOOD PANTRIES

Credit Union’s Special Grants To Boost Food Supplies During COVID-19 Now Total Nearly $140,000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Anthony Cronin

AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254 or acronin@cofcu.com

Waterford, CT ­– April 8, 2021 Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has donated $32,000 in additional emergency food assistance to eastern Connecticut’s food pantries and food centers to increase food supplies to those in need during the continuing COVID-19 health crisis.

Since this past April, Charter Oak has donated a total of $139,000 in emergency grants for much-needed food supplies to food centers and food pantries that serve New London and Windham counties.

“The effects of COVID-19 are still impacting our region, especially for those who face food insecurity issues, and it’s our hope that this additional $32,000 will go a long way in restocking supplies for those most in need during this pandemic,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

The 16 eastern Connecticut organizations that received emergency food assistance from Charter Oak include: Always Home in Mystic; Care & Share of East Lyme; Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic; Friends of Assisi Food Pantry in Danielson; Interfaith Human Services of Putnam-Daily Bread; Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London; Groton Social Services Food Lockers; Montville Food Bank (Montville Social Services); New London Area Food Pantry; New London Community Meal Center; New London Homeless Hospitality Center; Norwich Community Meal Program DBA Lee Memorial UMC; Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center; Rosalyn Allen Food Pantry in Norwich; Saint Mary’s Church Food Pantry in Jewett City; and Saint Vincent De Paul Place in Norwich.

The emergency food donations are funded through Charter Oak’s Community Giving Program, which annually awards sponsorships and grants to non-profits and charitable groups across eastern Connecticut. Charter Oak’s Community Giving Program also includes its Matching Gifts Program, which awarded a combined $400,000 in Charter Oak and member donations to charities and non-profits in 2020, as well as Charter Oak’s $90,000 annual scholarship program for high school and college students. During 2020, Charter Oak’s community giving efforts totaled nearly $550,000 in New London and Windham counties and since Charter Oak expanded its community outreach efforts in 2009 it has committed more than $3.5 million in assistance to individuals, non-profits, and charitable organizations.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.41 billion as of December 31, 2020. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of products and services, please visit any of our convenient branches, call our Contact Center at 860.446.8085 or visit CharterOak.org. 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. Join today and see why Members Bank Better at Charter Oak!


Press Release – 04/01/2021

Spring 2021 Rebate Promotion

Groton Utilities believes in “Efficiency through Electrification” and wants to help electrify your life!

With that in mind, Groton Utilities is happy to announce our springtime rebate promotion – dramatically increasing our available rebates for Electric Vehicles, HVAC Mini-Splits and Hybrid Heat Pump Hot Water Heaters.

A number of electric products are much more energy efficient and climate friendly than their traditional counterparts and Groton Utilities’ goal is to help ease the financial burden of equipment acquisition.

All rebates are available at www.grotonutilities.com

Spring Rebate Promotion Offerings

Electric Vehicles:

Electric vehicles (EVs) are a great way to save money while saving the environment. Imagine never having to buy gasoline for your car ever again. Plus EVs produce far fewer emissions that contribute to climate change and smog than conventional vehicles.

Spring Promotion – all rebates doubled

· All Electric purchase – SPECIAL PROMOTION $4,000

· All Electric lease – SPECIAL PROMOTION $2,000

· Plugin Hybrid vehicle purchase – SPECIAL PROMOTION $2,000

HVAC Mini-Splits:

Mini-splits are heating and cooling systems that allow you to control temperatures in individual rooms through use of an external compressor. Groton Utilities residential HVAC Mini-Splits rebate program provides cash incentives for new or replacement energy efficient mini-split HVAC systems that meet high efficiency standards.

Spring Promotion:

· Full cost of compressor equipment (installation not included) up to a maximum of $5,000 per compressor.

Hybrid Heat Pump Hot Water Heaters:

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that a family of four will spend $330 less on hot water every year by switching to a Heat Pump Hot Water Heater from a conventional electric unit. Groton Utilities residential hybrid heat pump water heater rebate program provides cash incentives for new or replacement energy efficient heat pump water heaters that meet high efficiency standards.

Spring Promotion:

· Full cost of the equipment (installation not included) up to a maximum of $2,500.

Eligibility Requirements:

Only residential electric customers of Groton Utilities and Bozrah Light & Power are eligible. Mini-splits and hybrid heat pump water heater must be installed by a licensed contractor. Limit of one rebate per electric utility account per rebate type per year. Proof of purchase and installation (if applicable) is required. See website at https://grotonutilities.com/energy-conservation/conservation-residential-energy-conservation-center/ for complete eligibility requirements.

All rebates are granted at the sole discretion of Groton Utilities and are subject to change at any time.



Destroy Documents and Declutter at Chelsea Groton Shred Days

Bank to host three free, secure, and safe shred and recycling events this Spring

GROTON, Conn. – Many have spent a lot of time at home over the last year, and likely had an opportunity to go through old bank statements, bills, tax documents and other sensitive records. If you haven’t yet been able to securely shred this paperwork, Chelsea Groton Bank is providing FREE secure document shredding services this spring, to protect confidential information and avoid identity theft.

“The number of people who are victimized because sensitive data is stolen continues to rise,” said Lori Dufficy, EVP, Chief Experience & Engagement Officer at Chelsea Groton Bank. “Although criminals are increasingly using cyber-attacks to gain access to personal information online, we encourage everyone to properly dispose of hard copy documents that can literally put their financial future in the wrong hands.”

To make the process quick, convenient and safe, three separate Shred Days will be available at Chelsea Groton Bank branch parking lots:

  • Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 9am – 12pm at the Center Groton Branch, 1319 Gold Star Highway

  • Saturday, May 8, 2021 from 9am – 12pm at the North Stonington Branch, 391 Norwich Westerly Road

  • Saturday, May 29, 2021 from 9am – 12pm at the Norwich-Westside Branch, 444 West Main Street

These complimentary services are available to members and non-members of the Bank. Simply bring up to three file-sized boxes of documents to any of the events and bank representatives will ensure everything is destroyed. Once shredded, the paper will be recycled.

Chelsea Groton will also be collecting non-perishable food items for the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank. Items in need are canned and dry goods, that are not in glass containers, in the following categories: tuna, meats, stew, vegetables, fruits, pasta, rice, instant potatoes, dried beans, peanut butter, and baby food.

In order to protect the health and safety of all present, please wear a mask and practice social distancing. The staff assisting with shredding will be wearing masks and gloves.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.4 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 programs. 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.

###

Barb Curto

VP, Marketing Manager

Chelsea Groton Bank

904 Poquonnock Road

Groton, CT 06340

(860) 448-4118 office (860) 448-4164 fax

bcurto@chelseagroton.com



Logo image for Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum to Honor Terry Hutchinson with America and the Sea Award

Mystic, Conn. (March 30, 2021) — Mystic Seaport Museum will present its 2021 America and the Sea Award to Terry Hutchinson, one of the most admired and respected sailors in the yacht racing circuit and most recently the skipper, executive director, and tactician for the New York Yacht Club American Magic campaign for the 36th America’s Cup.

The prestigious award recognizes those individuals and organizations whose extraordinary achievements in the world of maritime exploration, competition, scholarship, and design best exemplify the American character.

Hutchinson will be honored for his storied record as an outstanding yachtsman, his multiple world championship wins, his courageous America’s Cup campaigns, but most especially for the leadership, integrity, courage and humility he has demonstrated as the leader of the American Magic campaign. Hutchinson exemplifies the very pinnacle of competitive sailing, both in victory, and in defeat.

“What truly sets Hutchinson apart is his leadership. He held his team together to compete in the America’s Cup, battling COVID-19 restrictions and numerous changes in fortune, including a severely damaged boat. Hutchinson led his team with the humble charisma that has defined his entire sailing career, indicative of the American spirit that the America and the Sea Award seeks to honor,” said Mystic Seaport Museum President Peter Armstrong.

“I am incredibly humbled by this honor,” Hutchinson remarked upon receiving the invitation to accept the 2021 award. “Tom Whidden, the 2020 award recipient, has been a great mentor, friend, and leader in our sport. To follow in his footsteps and that of the other great recipients is an absolute honor.”

Hutchinson’s reputation as an outstanding sailor and teammate began with his college sailing career at Old Dominion University, where he helped lead the team to four national championships, and continued through 16 World Championship wins, and 5 America's Cup campaigns. Hutchinson was named the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year twice, which is a testament to the respect and admiration the sailing community has for him.

Mystic Seaport Museum will recognize Hutchinson’s exceptional career by awarding him the America and the Sea Award on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. The award presentation will take place at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.

This affair is the premier fundraising event for Mystic Seaport Museum. Past recipients of the America and the Sea Award include America's Cup Hall of Famer Tom Whidden, one of the most acclaimed sailors of all time; American businesswoman and philanthropist Wendy Schmidt, whose ocean explorations have advanced our understanding of the ocean's biodiversity and vulnerability; groundbreaking Whitbread and America's Cup sailor Dawn Riley and Oakcliff Sailing; philanthropist and environmentalist David Rockefeller, Jr., and his Sailors for the Sea; boat designers Rod and Bob Johnstone and their company J/Boats; author and historian Nathaniel Philbrick; maritime industrialist and NYYC Commodore Charles A. Robertson; Hall of Famer sailor and author Gary Jobson; WoodenBoat Publications founder Jon Wilson; former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman; oceanographer and explorer Sylvia Earle; America's Cup sailor William Koch; President and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation, Thomas Crowley; historian David McCullough; and the first honoree, legendary yacht designer Olin J. Stephens, II.

For invitations, please email advancement@mysticseaport.org.

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 in the world. 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, Instagram and TikTok.

Media Contact:

Dan McFadden

Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport Museum

860.572.5317 | dan.mcfadden@mysticseaport.org

Velvet Mill Artists Show “Re-emergence” Begins May 1, 2021

This is the latest exhibition by the Velvet Mill Artist Group on display from Saturday, May 1st through Sunday, August 15th. The theme will be explored through paintings, sculpture, and mixed media work. In lieu of an opening reception, on Saturday, May 1st, from 1 - 4pm, the artists will be available in the gallery to meet, greet and discuss their work. Please consider joining us. Face Masks are required in the gallery. Velvet Mill Gallery is located on the second floor West Entrance at 22 Bayview Avenue, Stonington, CT 06378

Curiouser and Curiouser

In Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character, the theoretical physicist Richard Feynman revealed the driving force behind his creative thinking: his relentless curiosity. He also describes his comfort with uncertainty. “I’d rather have questions that can’t be answered,” he said, “than answers that can’t be questioned.”

Richard Phillips Feynman (1918–1988) (below) was an American theoretical physicist renowned for his work in the areas of quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics, the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, and particle physics. In 1965, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics, which he shared with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World, he was ranked the seventh greatest physicist of all time.

Richard Phillips Feynman (1918–1988)

Nutation ("nodding, swaying") is a rocking, swaying, or nodding motion in the axis of rotation of a largely axially symmetric object, such as a gyroscope, or planet.

Whatever “genius” is, Feynman had it (hence the title of James Gleick’s remarkable biography: Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman), so I was all the more impressed to find him committed to a simple motivation common to all of us, plain curiosity. It was not only important to his intellectual work, it was key, at one point, to his emotional survival.

It was after his work on the Manhattan Project in WW II, when Feynman took a position at Cornell, that he fell into a serious depression. His wife, Arline, had died in 1945, and his father, Melville Arthur Feynman, in 1946. For a respite, he turned to solving physics problems for fun, rather than utility. Intrigued by an incident in the Cornell cafeteria, when someone tossed a dinner plate in the air, Feynman started analyzing the physics of a rotating, nutating (or wobbling) disk as it moves through the air, which eventually led to his Nobel Prize–winning work in quantum electrodynamics.

Nutation ("nodding, swaying") is a rocking, swaying, or nodding motion in the axis of rotation of a largely axially symmetric object, such as a gyroscope, or planet.

Your curiosity, the germ of your creativity, is no different from his. Just give yourself time to inhabit your curiosity and to feel your way through it. Creative work is like building a house of cards, Feynman said. You can’t just drop in and dash out. It takes time, even if there’s no evident pay-off. Let it absorb you.

Feynman took this seriously for visual art as well as physics. “I wanted very much to learn to draw,” he wrote, “for a reason that I kept to myself: I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world. It's difficult to describe because it's an emotion… It's an appreciation of the mathematical beauty of nature… a realization that the phenomena we see result from the complexity of the inner workings between atoms; a feeling of how dramatic and wonderful it is. It's a feeling of awe—of scientific awe—which I felt could be communicated through a drawing to someone who had also had this emotion. It could remind him, for a moment, of this feeling about the glories of the universe.”

Photo by Kamil Nureev, one of three Royal Observatory Greenwich, Astronomy Photographers of the Year, 2017.

So, whether you’re intrigued by combinations of color or the quality of a line, or whether positrons behave like “electrons moving backward through time” (I had to look that one up a couple of times), get engrossed. Suspend judgment long enough to ask outlandish questions.

We all know that the last luxury we give ourselves is time. MMoA can help! Stake a claim on your own time with a studio class and enjoy the companionship of other Curious Characters. The spring schedule of classes is just about ready. Stay tuned.

For the young ones, MMoA Summer Camps offer children an opportunity to explore their curiosity. We’ve just added something new on how to take an idea from conception to a working 3-D model for youngsters ages 12-15.

Three New Members Join Nature Center Board of Trustees

Mystic, CT (March 26, 2021) — Three local residents joined the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center’s Board of Trustees on March 10.

Trad Dart, Eileen C Duggan and Stacy Eder Smith join the board, which oversees the operation of the nature center. Their collective backgrounds bring diverse career experience and valuable knowledge to our mission of connecting people nature.

Trad Dart, a lifelong resident of Mystic, has been in the food and hospitality industry for more than 40 years having graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and apprenticed at the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia. Trad is passionate about local history and giving back to the community. He is active in the Union Baptist Church, Coastal Lodge 57, Stonington Grange, and Stonington Cemetery Association, currently sits on the Board of Trustees at the Denison Homestead.

Stacey Eder Smith is a resident of Guilford, CT with a Masters in Elementary Education from UNH, a Connecticut teaching certificate, and a Human Ecology degree from College of the Atlantic. She is a Master Gardener though UCONN and is part of the Eder Family Foundation and Circle Seedlings.

“As a human ecologist I love to educate others and foster appreciation about nature, gardening, pollinators, and how to leave less of a footprint. In addition, I get excited when I have the opportunity to connect non-profits to one another in order to achieve common goals,” she said. As a former board member of and current member of the Board of Advisors for the Guilford Land Conservation Trust and the Long Island Sound Funders Collaborative, Eder Smith brings great knowledge of habitat management.

Eileen C Duggan, a Waterford resident and senior leader with Suisman Shapiro, received her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Yale University and Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the Connecticut and New London County Bar Associations, and in 2020, Eileen Duggan was recognized by the Connecticut Super Lawyers list for her work in local and municipal law; for which no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected for this honor. She is a passionate about sports, animals and local business, actively serving on the boards the U.S.S. Groton Sail Foundation as well as the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.

The Board of Trustees of the Nature Center also includes:

President Karen L. Stone

Vice President Dorrit Castle

Secretary Richard B. Steele

Treasurer Rowland Stebbins II

Claudia Bachmann-Bouchard

Jess Brown

Stanton Ching

Steven Dodd

Jason Guyot

Jennifer Herbst

Fatima Matos

Robert Martin

Rebecca Nolan

Ana M. Schneider

Steve Solley

Fred Ziegler

About the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic provides visitors and the community the opportunity to experience nature first hand in year-round programs for all ages and interests. Explore more than 10 miles of diverse trails and walk among 17th century stonewalls, woodlands, wetlands and meadows to enjoy views across the Mystic River and beyond. At the DPNC’s main facility, guests can discover nature through meeting rehabilitated wildlife and natural history exhibits. The creation of the Coogan Farm in 2013 has added additional layers of education, history, and a Giving Garden that donates thousands of pounds of bio-nutrient rich produce to the food insecure of New London County each year. DPNC’s mission is to inspire an understanding of the natural world and ourselves as part of it – past, present and future.

Contact:

Cassandra Meyer-Ogren, Director of Marketing and Communications

Groton Senior Center flier Baker's Battle Bake Sale.
Chelsea Groton Bank logo.
B. Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank is elected to the ABA.

CHELSEA GROTON BANK CEO MICHAEL RAUH APPOINTED TO ABA BOARD OF DIRECTORS, ABA COMMITTEES

GROTON, Conn. – B. Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank, was one of six bankers across the nation to be recently elected to a three-year term on the American Bankers Association (ABA) Board of Directors. He has been appointed to the ABA’s Mutual Institutions Council Administrative Committee for a one-year term, and after serving two years on the ABA Communications Council, was named vice-chair. He also serves as Connecticut’s representative to the Community Bankers Council.

The ABA’s Board of Directors represent financial institutions of different sizes, charters and business models from across the country. The Board works collaboratively with the ABA staff to advocate for banks before Congress, the regulatory agencies and the courts to drive pro-growth policies that help customers, clients and communities thrive, and to support ABA members by providing access to expertise, tools and training resources.

“I’m honored to be elected to the ABA’s Board of Directors, and to be able to serve on committees as well,” shared Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank. “The ABA has been an invaluable resource for my colleagues, customers and myself throughout my career in banking. To serve alongside other leaders in the industry is exciting, and I look forward to continuing to work to advocate for policies and resources that will help our community during this time of recovery.”

The Administrative Committee provides advice and counsel to ABA on issues of interest to mutual institutions in between meetings of the full Mutual Institutions Council, and helps plan and lead the meetings and activities of the Council. As a part of the Committee, Rauh will help review all aspects of statutory, regulatory and marketplace influences on the status and role of the mutual form of organization for depository institutions. The Committee is also responsible for considering all aspects of corporate governance and the balancing of stakeholder interests under both state and federal banking institutions and tax law.

Rauh has served on the ABA’s Communications Council since 2018. The Council provides guidance, tools and support to bankers across the nation on the topics and issues most important to communicate to Bank employees and customers. As vice chair, Rauh will work with ABA leadership to develop the organization’s strategic approach to communications of critical issues to the industry.

Rauh also serves on the boards of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, The Yale New Haven Health System, the Norwich Free Academy Foundation, the Norwich Community Development Corporation, URI Harrington School of Communication and Media, and the Providence Mutual Insurance Company, in addition to the Chelsea Groton Bank board and Chelsea Groton Bank Foundation board.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.4 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 programming. 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. NMLS Institution ID 402928.

Media Contact:

Barb Curto, VP, Marketing Manager

Phone: (860) 448-4118

Email: bcurto@chelseagroton.com

Logo for the Mystic Museum of Art.

Curiosity is the Cure


They used to say that when a young man forgets his hat, he thinks “I forgot my hat,” but when a man of mature years forgets his hat he thinks “I’m getting old.” Now days we’re so used to the stress of the pandemic that we say “forget the hat, why did I walk into this room in the first place?”

Study after study shows what we already know from experience: anxiety undermines memory, concentration, morale, and physical well-being. It’s not trivial that the Pew Research Center found that one third of US adults experience sleeplessness or anxiety on a weekly basis. Uncertainty and anxiety were already on the rise BC (Before COVID) but the novel coronavirus put them on steroids.

Max Carl Friedrich Beckman (1884-1950), The Night (Die Nacht), 1918–1919, oil on canvas, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf. No one does angst like the Expressionists.

Marissa and James Baker wedding. Photo credit: Love, Sunday Photo.

One page from Leonardo’s notebooks can’t show the scope of his curiosity. Engineering, anatomy, hydraulics, architecture, botany… all was grist that came to his mill.

Check the following against your pandemic experiences:

  1. Judson Alyn Brewer, MD, Ph.D, a neuroscientist at Brown University, defines anxiety as “nervousness, worry, or unease about an imminent event with an uncertain outcome.” Check.

  2. When you can’t flee danger or find food, your prefrontal cortex tells you to go get more information—which is a great adaptation unless you can’t get information, or you get contradictory information, or you get too much information. Check.

  3. Brewer calls anxiety a “social contagion.” Exposing others to wrong information, or accurate information in the wrong context, is like “sneezing on their brains” generating feelings of helplessness and worry. Check

Brewer shows that anxiety becomes a habit. We cycle from trigger to behavior to outcome. The pattern is the same for addiction, over-eating, self-judgment, and so on.

But here is the wonderful, beautiful corollary: the opposite of anxiety is curiosity. It’s measurable. Participants in a study Brewer conducted using curiosity to disrupt anxiety showed 57%-67% reductions in symptoms.

It seems that we become habituated to anxiety, but not to curiosity. That is how we learn. The effect of anxiety is mental and physiological contraction. The effect of curiosity is expansion. You can’t be closed and open at the same time. Take your pick.

Brewer’s research is well worth studying at length, but he had me at “The key component in the process of unwinding anxiety is learning to be curious.”

In my mind “curiosity” and “creativity” are practically synonymous. One page from Leonardo’s notebooks can’t show the scope of his curiosity. Engineering, anatomy, hydraulics, architecture, botany… all was grist that came to his mill.

In conversation about all this, my sister reminded me of that prodigy of curiosity, Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo could inhabit the vast quiet chamber of his fascination even as war and destruction raged outside. According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Leonardo was not just unconcerned, but simply, purely, joyful.

That model of curiosity and creativity is what we want MMoA to offer you.

MMoA Education Manager Mary Addison sparks your curiosity this week with a project that balances control with chance. Let go and just see what happens.

Now, imagine a whole week of art activities! MMoA Summer Art Camps are back! Learn more here:

Too advanced in years to take a children’s art camp this summer? Try teaching one! Find out more about this opportunity here:


We were delighted to hear from Marissa and James Baker, who recreated MMoA as the setting for their wedding last September.


"Amidst the uncertainty of 2020, my husband and I are filled with gratitude that we were able to be married at the Mystic Museum of Art. My husband is from Mystic and downtown Mystic has been a place where our relationship has grown through the years. In fact, a few years ago, his Best Man was married at the museum and it was the very first wedding we attended together as a couple!… We look forward to visiting the museum for years to come and reliving the memory of this beautiful day!"


Come let us help you disrupt anxiety and open up to the pleasures of curiosity and creativity and we hope to see you soon.

Logo for Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition.

Effective Friday, March 19, 2021 - Sector Rules for Reopening

All Businesses/Organizations

Capacity limits are now up to 100%, subject to social distancing requirements (unless otherwise noted). However, it is the right of the operator/owner if they choose to operate below 100% capacity.

Performing Arts Venues Capacity limit is still up to 50%.

  • 6 ft. spacing is required between parties.

  • 6 ft. spacing and social distancing continues to be required where possible (unless otherwise noted).

Masks continue to be required in all public settings where social distancing is not possible.

All establishments must follow CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting guidelines.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/shuttered-venue-operators-grant

Performers and musical vocalists at restaurants, outdoor and indoor events, and performing arts venues are allowed, subject to the following:

  • 12 ft. spacing or more from the nearest person dining or working (for example, workstations or walking paths used by employees must be included in the 12 ft. distancing).

  • To maximize the protection of their patrons and employees, businesses/organizations are strongly encouraged to require performers to obtain a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) within 72 hours prior to performing.

Beginning Friday, April 2, 2021 - Governor Lamont Announces Plans To Ease Some COVID-19 Restrictions in Connecticut

  • Outdoor event venues can increase to a 50% capacity, capped at 10,000 people

  • Indoor stadiums can open at 10% capacity

  • Summer camps and summer festivals are advised to begin the planning stages to open for the upcoming season

The Art of Reopening: A Virtual Conversation on Reengaging Arts Audiences in Physical Spaces Wednesday, March 23 at 3pm.

With opening remarks by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, this virtual event will highlight best practices of reopening and also consider the outlook for arts organizations who seek to re-engage with live audiences and visitors in 2021.

Moderated by National Endowment for the Arts Director of Research and Analysis Sunil Iyengar, panelists include Rebecca Read Medrano, GALA Hispanic Theatre; Scott Altman, Cincinnati Ballet; and Chloe Cook, Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema. Audience Q&A will be included.

The event is free but please register at https://bit.ly/3luIaVr.

Relevant Articles

The Arts Are Coming Back This Summer. Just Step Outside. (New York Times)

The Bushnell sees the post-COVID curtain going up in October (CT Mirror)

The SVOG application is slated to open April 8, 2021. Sign up and be notified when portal is open.

SBA Overview of Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

SBA Frequently Asked Questions (Version 6, 3-12-21)

Eligibility Requirements

Prior to the official SVOG application opening, the SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 2:30 to 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Those interested in participating can register HERE.

National Endowment for the Arts - The American Rescue Plan and the Arts and Creative Industries

Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund hosted a two-hour ArtsU webinar yesterday covering major components of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which included significant updates on SVOG, PPP, and more.

Resources

​​​​​ArtsU Webinar video

ArtsU Webinar slides

SVOG Deep Dive Analysis

Upcoming Cultural Coalition Events

Advance Registration Required HERE

To Register for any of The Resilience Rooms HERE

Thames Valley Council for Community Action - VCCA logo

Neighbors Helping Neighbors!

Now more than ever community support is so important and impactful! The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) offers the support someone needs to remain living at home either with grocery shopping needs or phone reassurance. If you are 55+ contact us to hear how your help may improve the quality of life of an elderly or disabled person by volunteering around your schedule to help a neighbor in your community.

We are here to engage, enlighten, and inspire each other.

GEORGIA L JAMES, PROGRAM COORDINATOR
860-425-6608 | gjames@tvcca.org

GINA KING, DIRECTOR:
860-425-6617 |
gking@tvcca.org

United Way of Southeastern CT Announces New President and CEO

Gales Ferry, CT, February 12, 2021 – At its Board of Directors meeting on February 12, the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut’s Board approved Dina Sears-Graves as its new President and CEO. Previously, Sears-Graves has served as United Way’s Vice President of Community Impact since 2008. In that role she was responsible for the community building work of United Way including: the annual community fund distribution process, partner agency relations, community problem-solving efforts and management of the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center.

A native of Norwich, Sears-Graves has worked in leadership positions in the nonprofit industry since 1991 including the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Connecticut, Our Piece of the Pie, UPLIFT New London Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, and Hartford Neighborhood Centers. “It is an honor to be appointed as the next President and CEO of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut. As I transition from my current role at United Way, I look forward to working with the dedicated team of staff, volunteers, partner agencies, board of directors, and its many supporters in my new capacity. Equally important is establishing new relationships and creating new partnerships so that we can enhance our work in the community in order to achieve our mission of having a united, thriving community.”

Sears-Graves’ areas of expertise include: leading organizations and departments through periods of substantial growth and transition; developing and implementing innovative programs and services; working with constituent groups including boards, committees, donors, volunteers, and external audiences; building and retaining exceptional staff and creating excellent work environments; and overseeing and coordinating all aspects of budgeting and financial management.

Among her accolades and training, Sears-Graves was one of twelve national United Way Leaders selected to participate in the Advanced Leadership Program at United Way Worldwide in 2016, had extensive training in Collective Impact through FSG, Tamarack Institute and United Way Worldwide and has presented at international conferences on the subject, and graduated from the Harwood Public Innovators Lab. In 2007 she received the New London County Bar Association Liberty Bell Award.

Sears-Graves earned her BS in Human Development and Family Relations from the University of Connecticut and her MS in Business Management from Albertus Magnus College. Sears Graves resides in the Norwich area with family.

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF SOUTHEASTERN CONNECTICUT

United Way of Southeastern Connecticut is a locally-based non-profit organization supporting a network of health and human services, programs, and initiatives in New London County that work together to help people in need and improve community conditions. Supported programs include early care and education, child development, employment training, physical and mental health care, crisis intervention, shelter, employment training, emergency/disaster preparation, and response and recovery service.

United Way operates the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank which provides food to a network of free emergency food programs in New London County, at no cost to those in need. United Way supports 2-1-1 Connecticut for free information and referral 24/7 and Project Warm-up for one-time, emergency heating assistance. Visit United Way online at www.uwsect.org.

Contact: Rebecca Reutlinger, at rebecca.reutlinger@uwsect.org or 860.464.3318

Westerly Community Credit Union Announces New Contact Center Manager

Westerly Community Credit Union is proud to announce that Renee Fortune has been promoted to Contact Center Manager. Renee has been with WCCU since 2009 and was instrumental in helping to launch the new Contact Center in 2013. For the last eight years, Renee has served as a Contact Center Specialist. Her new responsibilities focus on administering the Contact Center team and ensuring that WCCU Member Service remains second to none.

The Staff and Board of Directors of the Westerly Community Credit Union congratulate Renee on her new position. To find out more about Westerly Community Credit Union and their career openings, please visit www.westerlyccu.com.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU mantra, #WCCUCares, emphasizes their focus on caring about their members, their members’ financial success, and their community. Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution that currently serves over 19,400 members with lending and deposit products through their convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020); Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 & 2020) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19).

SCORE Southeastern Connecticut Presents: “Fundamentals for Starting Your Business #3: Marketing & Sales Basics”


Part Three of our Free Five-Part Small Business Webinar Series


DATE: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

TIME: 5:30 – 7:00 PM

LOCATION: Online (Zoom)

LEARN MORE: https://sect.score.org/fundamentals-starting-your-business

REGISTER FOR SESSION #3: https://score.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UbiCJbbPRUWY8WK_YLhxUA

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE. After registering, you will receive a confirmation with information on how to join the webinar.

SCORE (sect.score.org), Mentors to America’s Small Businesses, continues its free five-session business planning webinar series with Session Three, “Marketing & Sales Basics,” 04/13/21.

The series, taking place on consecutive Tuesday evenings through April 27, is for individuals who are considering starting a business. Registration is required to receive the link to join the webinar. It is strongly suggested, though not required, that participants attend all five modules.

Session Three will help you understand what your Brand is, how best to reach your target audience with the most compelling messages and how, when and where to ask for the Sale - selling tactics, greater comfort selling, and the right selling process.

The series continues with the following (click on each title to register individually):

Led by Anne Driscoll, Eric Munro and Arlene Saffron, the series gives participants the opportunity to learn from SCORE Mentors and other entrepreneurs. To learn more, visit https://sect.score.org/fundamentals-starting-your-business or call 860-388-9508.

About SCORE:

SCORE® is a nonprofit organization that offers free and confidential advice on starting your own business or improving and growing your existing small business. Since 1964, SCORE has provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million 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 southeastern 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.

SCORE Southeastern CT One Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 / Email: ScoreChapter@gmail.com / Telephone: 860.388.9508

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

Chelsea Groton Bank Hosted 15th Annual Money Madness Seminar for Over 125 Local High School Students Virtually

GROTON, Conn. – Chelsea Groton pivoted to turn their annual Money Madness one-day seminar for hundreds of area high school students into a week-long virtual experience. Five area schools participated: Fitch High School, Griswold High School, Ledyard High School, Montville High School, and Norwich Free Academy.

For 15 years, Chelsea Groton's Community Education Office has hosted Money Madness, a day for local students to come together to hear inspiring stories from area business owners, government leaders, community organizers and educators. The students also participate in break-out sessions and play games in an exhibit hall in order to learn about personal finance and how to prepare for the real world.

This year, to accommodate mandates for social distancing and the hybrid schedules at many area schools, Miria Gray, Chelsea Groton Bank’s Community Education Officer, developed a whole week of online programming for students to attend each morning.

On Monday and Tuesday, representatives from Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS) spoke to the students about the importance of credit and budgeting during separate Zoom sessions.

On Wednesday, students visited the Bank’s website to view videos on a variety of topics that would have been discussed during the in-person Exhibit Hall. Featured videos included advice for buying your first car (Disch Car Sales), renting an apartment (Rose City Real Estate), car and renter’s insurance (The D'Errico Agency), consumer scams (Better Business Bureau CT), banking (Chelsea Groton Bank), and the importance of saving (UCONN Extension/CT Saves). Students were invited to participate in an online trivia game for the chance to show off their learnings and win prizes.

On Thursday, students attended a webinar on Identity Theft, presented by Kathleen Titsworth from the CT Department of Banking. The week concluded on Friday morning, when Gray led the students in an interactive activity to understand the real costs of college.

"Many of the topics we cover at Money Madness may not be included in standard school curriculum, but they are critical to be aware of before beginning to make monetary decisions as young adults,” explained Gray. "We’re really pleased that despite the challenging circumstances we’ve all endured over the last year, we were able to collaborate with educators at area schools to bring this important programming to their students. After all, the students at our local high schools are the future of our region.”

To learn more about Chelsea Groton Bank’s Chelsea University, register for complimentary programming, or visit the E-learning Center, please visit www.chelseagroton.com/ChelseaUniversity.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.4 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 programming. 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. NMLS Institution ID 402928.

People’s United Foundation Grant Award The Arc ECT Internet Connectivity Grant

People’s United Community Foundation has awarded $4,000 to The Arc Eastern Connecticut to assist with its portion of the Communication and Connectedness Crisis Project for People with Disabilities.

“This is an innovative statewide program seeking to prevent isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains Laurie Herring, Chief Operations Officer at The Arc Eastern Connecticut. “With the funds we receive we can give people with IDD living by themselves the supports they need to stay electronically connected to families, caregivers, medical professionals, and support staff.” The Foundation grant will allow the agency to purchase appropriate, accessible, and easy-to-use video chat and communication technologies during the pandemic and beyond.”

To learn more about The Arc Eastern Connecticut and its programs throughout the region, and for weekly agency updates and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit TheArcECT.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.

Contact: Denise Tift

The Arc Eastern Connecticut

dtift@thearcect.org | 860-889-4435 x116 | TheArcECT.org

The Town of Waterford Supports The Arc Eastern Connecticut with Yearly Contribution

The Town of Waterford approved The Arc Eastern Connecticut’s request of $1,800 at its Board of Finance budget meeting on March 3, 2021. The annual allocation helps support the Community Life & Advocacy (CL&A) program, which offers recreation, socialization, self-advocacy, job preparedness and civic engagement programs to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout eastern Connecticut. It’s the only program of its kind in the region, and receives no state or federal support.

“Municipal partners like the Town of Waterford are what keep programs like CL&A going,” noted Kathleen Stauffer, CEO of The Arc ECT. “We are very grateful to all of the towns that support us, and Waterford stands out through the years. Thanks to Waterford’s example, more and more towns are stepping forward in this way, and it is a huge help to this critical program and the people it serves.”

[photo caption: Dennis Pelletier of the Gales Ferry Knights of Columbus presents a check to The Arc ECT DSO Program Supervisor Tammie Gromko at the agency’s Employment Transition Center in Groton.]

The Knights of Columbus Gales Ferry Supports The Arc Eastern Connecticut

GROTON—The Gales Ferry Our Lady’s Shrine Chapter #7054 of the Knights of Columbus awarded $600—the proceeds of its 2020 Tootsie Roll Drive—to The Arc Eastern Connecticut. Thanks to the support of the Knights of Columbus, The Arc’s Community Life & Advocacy (CL&A) component has been able to continue to provide a variety of programs during the pandemic, including virtual self-advocacy groups and health and fitness activities, including Special Olympics, to over 145 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) from eastern Connecticut. “We are so lucky to have the Knights of Columbus as a community partner,” notes CL&A Program Coordinator Debbie Densmore. “They’ve been great advocates and supporters of our mission for many years.”

All The Arc’s programs stress equality of opportunity and choice, helping people with IDD live their best lives. For more information on the Community Life & Advocacy program and other programs offered by The Arc ECT, please contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.

For more information about The Arc and their advocacy, contact:
Denise Tift,
The Arc Eastern Connecticut
DTift@TheArcECT.org | 860-889-4435 x116 | TheArcECT.org

Apply for a 2021 College Scholarship

The COMO is now accepting applications for 2021 scholarships

[Stonington, CT] - The Stonington Community Center (COMO) is proud to administer six academic scholarship funds as a service to the community and to support the continuing education of Stonington’s youth. The scholarship application period is now open. Scholarships are available for Stonington residents who are high school seniors pursuing a higher education as well as Stonington youth currently enrolled in college.

Students are invited to apply to the Josh Piver Memorial Fund, the Francis Drake Endowment Fund, the Robert and Doris Ramsbotham Scholarship Endowment Fund, the Frank Turek Scholarship Endowment Fund, the Mary H. Boatwright Endowment Fund and the Whitman Award Scholarship.

More information about scholarship opportunities, eligibility requirements and applications can be found at www.thecomo.org/scholarships. Applications are due to the COMO by 4 p.m. on Friday, April 30, 2021 for consideration.

About The Stonington Community Center

The Stonington Community Center, fondly known as the COMO, was founded in 1945, as a nonprofit with the goals of strengthening families and community. Over the years the COMO’s 16-acre campus has grown to include its own classrooms, Thrift Shop, four decoTurf tennis courts, art and pottery studio, annex, paddle tennis facility, and soccer fields. The COMO provides a wide range of educational, enrichment, athletic, family and community partnership programs throughout the year. Located at 28 Cutler Street, the Stonington Community Center has become an irreplaceable part of the Stonington community, serving countless children and families of the surrounding areas, regardless of financial need. For more information visit www.thecomo.org.

For more information, contact:

Priscilla Rouquayrol, Stonington Community Center

P.Rouquayrol@thecomo.org | 860.535.2476

Westerly Community Credit Union Awards Teacher Grants to Local Educators

Westerly Community Credit Union is proud to announce they have recently awarded (17) WCCU Teacher Grants, totaling just under $8,000, for the 2020/21 school year. This is the 5th year that Westerly Community Credit Union has awarded grants to teachers from the Chariho, Exeter-West Greenwich, Narragansett, North Stonington, South Kingstown, Stonington, and Westerly school districts. To date, WCCU has awarded over $36,000 in grants.

Congratulations to the following Teacher Grant Recipients:

  • Kim Daigle, Mary Ellen Sposato and Ryan Bridgham of the Chariho School District

  • Bevin Winner, Erin McKeen, Gwynne Millar, Melissa Marino, and Nicole Pichette of the Exeter-West Greenwich School District

  • Kelly Gonzales of the North Stonington School District

  • Gail Dandurand, Jane Flood, and Leah Mitchell of the Narragansett School District

  • Brenda Dillmann of the South Kingstown School District

  • Elaine Temel, Laura Dow and Kate Southard of the Stonington School District

  • Ide Koulbanis of the Westerly School District

‘Year after year the ingenuity and creativity of our local educators leaves us more enthused for what will come next’, said Steve White, WCCU President and CEO. ‘It is our pleasure to help fund these innovative projects and we look forward to continuing to support educational projects through our Teacher Grant program.’

Westerly Community Credit Union’s Teacher Grant Program awarded grants in values up to $500. These grants are awarded annually to support creative and experiential educational projects or programs in the area’s school districts. Special consideration is given to innovative projects that strengthen the relationship between our schools and the community at large, and to projects that support student excellence. All applications are judged on the following criteria: Educational Focus, Promotion of Skills/Excellence, Creativity/Innovation, Community Connection, and Goal Clarity/Attainability.

Please contact Kim Gates, WCCU’s Financial Education Officer, at 401-596-7000 x2124 or kgates@westerlyccu.com with any questions regarding WCCU’s Teacher Grant Program. You can also visit www.westerlyccu.com for application details.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution, focused not on profits, but on helping its members achieve financial success. It currently serves over 19,000 members with lending and deposit products through their convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com. Membership is open to all who reside or work in RI & New London County, CT. Recent WCCU awards: #1 Best Bank in the Westerly Sun’s 2016, 2017, 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019) community service awards by the Southern RI Chamber of Commerce, as well as PBN Providence Business News Best Places to Work 2018-2019.

SCORE Southeastern Connecticut Presents: “Fundamentals for Starting Your Business” Free 5-Webinar Series, Beginning March 30.


Session One Sponsored by People's United Bank

DATES: Five Consecutive Tuesdays: March 30, April 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2021

TIME: 5:30 – 7:00 PM

LOCATION: Online (Zoom)

LEARN MORE & REGISTER: https://sect.score.org/fundamentals-starting-your-business

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE. After registering, you will receive a confirmation with information on how to join the webinar.

SCORE (sect.score.org), Mentors to America’s Small Businesses, launches its free five-session business planning webinar spring series on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. The series, taking place on consecutive Tuesday evenings through April 27, is for individuals who are considering starting a business. The spring 2021 series will be offered online only, via Zoom. Registration is required to receive the link to join the webinar. It is strongly suggested, though not required, that participants attend all five modules.

In Session One: “What’s the Big Idea?” on March 30, 5:30 to 7:00 pm, you will review whether you have a good idea and explore the feasibility of your product or service idea and how it can become a viable business. Do you have access to the operational skills (yourself and others) to manage the business to success? Register for Session One here.

The series continues with the following topics (click on each title to learn more and register individually):

Led by Anne Driscoll, Eric Munro and Arlene Saffron, the series gives participants the opportunity to learn from SCORE Mentors and other entrepreneurs. To learn more and register, visit https://sect.score.org/fundamentals-starting-your-business or call 860-388-9508.

Session One Sponsor, People’s United Bank, N.A., is a subsidiary of People's United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: PBCT), a diversified financial services company with more than $60 billion in assets. Founded in 1842, People’s United Bank is a premier, community-based, regional Northeast bank with more than 5,500 employees offering commercial and retail banking, as well as wealth management services. People’s United Bank has a network of over 400 retail locations in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, including over 148 convenient Stop & Shop branch locations in Connecticut and New York, offering full-service and extended hour banking. Whether for personal or business needs, their customers and customers’ needs come first. They value ongoing relationships that give them the opportunity to listen, learn, respond, anticipate and solve problems in a collaborative manner. Their priority is showing respect for their customers and having that returned through their ongoing trust. Learn more at https://www.peoples.com/personal.

About SCORE: 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. All 40 counselors in Southeast Connecticut are volunteers, receive no compensation, and are working or retired business owners, executives, and managers. 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.

SCORE Southeastern CT P.O. Box 283, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 / Email: ScoreChapter@gmail.com / Telephone: 860.388.9508

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


Thames River Heritage Park Presents Virtual Lecture “The President's Desk: the Story of the Resolute”


NEW LONDON, Ct. – The Thames River Heritage Park Foundation will present “The President's Desk: the Story of the Resolute” as part of its Stories from the Park Virtual Lecture Series at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 7th via Zoom.

A gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880, this famous piece of furniture has a fascinating story. From FDR to Kennedy to Reagan and Obama, and now Biden, the Resolute Desk has been an iconic fixture in the Oval Office. Learn about its origins and importance at this talk about the perils of arctic exploration during the mid-19th century and the connection this desk has to New London.

Executive Director of the New London County Historical Society Steve Manuel will share the story of HMS Resolute and its 1848 expedition in search of two lost ships that were in search of the fabled Northwest Passage.

“We see it on the news and hear references made to it all the time. But many may not know the story behind this legendary ship. Steve’s talk will be a fascinating journey,” says Executive Director Amy Perry.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the one-hour lecture. Tickets are $10. Additional Stories from the Park lecture dates and details will be posted on the Park’s website.

Tickets must be purchased online at bit.ly/TRHPvirtualtour or by going to ThamesRiverHeritagePark.org and clicking on the Stories from the Park banner at the top of the home page.

Purchasers will receive a link to the lecture in their confirmation.

The Thames River Heritage Park Foundation is a 501( c ) 3 organization whose mission is to promote, support, and sustain the Thames River Heritage Park, a collection of heritage sites linked by water which capture the history and culture of life along the Thames River.

Jennifer Seuferling is Promoted to Cash Management Officer at Chelsea Groton Bank

GROTON, Conn. – Jennifer Seuferling was recently promoted to Assistant Treasurer, Cash Management Officer at Chelsea Groton Bank. As a subject matter expert for Chelsea Groton’s suite of business accounts and Cash Management services, Jen will work with new and existing members to identify ways to optimize their banking operations. This includes reviewing current account structures to improve cash flow and enhance efficiency, enabling business owners to spend more time on their business and less time on banking.

In this role, Jen will also be a resource for business members in the deployment and training of the full suite of the Bank’s Cash Management services, including Remote Deposit Capture, ACH Origination, Online Wire Origination and Positive Pay.

“Jen’s long-time dedication to helping our members find customized solutions to solve their biggest challenges makes her a perfect fit for this role. Jen builds excellent rapport and trust with members who quickly learn that she is committed to making them her number one priority,” said Alexis Kahn, VP, Cash Management Sales Manager at Chelsea Groton Bank. “Jen will undoubtedly be an excellent resource for our business members and prospects, as she helps promote the value of choosing Chelsea Groton as a business banking partner within the community.”

Jen joined the Chelsea Groton team in 2007. Since that time, she has held many roles within the retail banking department, including Head Teller, Customer Service Specialist, Assistant Branch Manager, and most recently, she was Assistant Treasurer, Customer Solutions Manager in the North Stonington Office.

Jen graduated from Three Rivers Community College, the Connecticut School of Finance and Management, and has earned several certificates from the Center of Financial Training. Jen is a board member for Horses Healing Humans and volunteers for many community events. She and her family live in North Stonington, CT.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.4 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. NMLS Institution ID 402928.

Media Contact: Barb Curto, VP, Marketing Manager

Phone: (860) 448-4118

Email: bcurto@chelseagroton.com

Westerly Community Credit Union donates $50,000 to the Jonnycake Center for Hope

Westerly Community Credit Union recently donated $50,000 to the Jonnycake Center for Hope. This donation will help the center offset the costs of renovations and future maintenance of their recently purchased building. This building will provide a better space to deliver safe, effective, and efficient programs and services that meet the evolving needs of our community. This donation is a continuation of #WCCUCares initiatives to help local community organizations that directly help those in the community who are in need.

“Community means helping and it is our pleasure to bring our philosophy of People Helping People to life by being actively involved with the communities we serve.” stated Stephen White, President/CEO of Westerly Community Credit Union. “We are very proud to be working with the Jonnycake Center for Hope as they increase not only their physical space, but the breadth of their programs and the number of people they serve.”

““Westerly Community Credit Union’s investment in this pivotal project demonstrates their deep commitment to community members who are struggling to meet their basic needs. Our new facility will not only allow us to provide our core services under one roof, but it will provide space for new initiatives that will further enhance the lives of our members,” said Kate Brewster, executive director of the Jonnycake Center for Hope.

If you would like to support the Jonnycake Center for Hope through a personal or corporate donation, call (401) 789-1559 x15. You can also donate directly online at www.jonnycakecenter.org

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU mantra, #WCCUCares, emphasizes their focus on caring about their members, their members’ financial success, and their community. Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution that currently serves over 19,500 members with lending and deposit products through their convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020); Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 & 2020) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19).

About Jonnycake Center for Hope:

The Jonnycake Center is a nonprofit organization which offers a variety of programs: Food Pantry, Fresh Start Coaching, Financial Assistance, Community Health Outreach, Hygiene Assistance for Toddlers to Teens, Cooking Classes, Clothing, Income Tax Assistance, and more, to those living in Washington County RI. The mission of the Jonnycake Center is to provide basic needs, resources, and hope to their community members. Their vision is a community without hunger and poverty, where everyone can reach their full potential and improve their quality of life.

Southeastern CT Women’s Network sponsors “The Work of Safe Futures”: A Virtual Panel Discussion

March 2021… The Southeastern CT (SECT) Women’s Network and Safe Futures are both celebrating their 45th Anniversaries this year. In honor of the anniversaries, the SECT Women’s Network is sponsoring a virtual panel discussion on the work of Safe Futures - a free Zoom event on Thursday, March 18th, 2021 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.. Melissa Porter Zaitchik, Director of Development & Communications at Safe Futures will moderate the panel. Members of the panel include: Katherine Verano, Chief Executive Officer; Christine Foster, Director of Crisis Counseling & Camp HOPE; and Nazmie Ojeda, Director of Education & Community Engagement.

Safe Future’s mission is to save lives, restore hope, and change the future for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and trafficking in Southeastern Connecticut. Please join us for an informative evening as we shine a light on Safe Futures and see how they help our community. This panel is the first in a series of quarterly panels focusing on Safe Futures.

Free event. Open to the public. To join the panel discussion, please pre-register at the Zoom Link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83365019987?pwd=eWRWUVlxSHZFTm1Zc21nMnhyeVZhdz09

Or to https://sectwomensnetwork.org/events.

The SECT Women’s Network strives to create a dynamic and diverse membership, which promotes powerful, personal, and professional relationships through the advancement and education of its members. For more information go to https://sectwomensnetwork.org or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0EKE4VFfJc.

Bios:

Melissa Porter Zaitchik is the Director of Development & Communications for Safe Futures. Melissa became interested in advocacy after a personal experience with domestic violence. She became involved by volunteering 23 years ago with The Women’s Center of Southeast Connecticut, now Safe Futures. Moving from volunteer to staff, serving for several years as a Family Violence Victim Advocate based in New London and Norwich criminal courts.

Melissa holds a Bachelor’s degree in literature as well as degrees in communications, and sport & health studies. Melissa is also certified by the American College of Sport Medicine. Her professional experience includes real estate sales and management, broadcasting, and wellness; working for entities including Lincoln Property Company, Marriott Corporation, and Salem State University. Now in the development role Melissa is able to use her communications skill set and corporate work experience to gather support for the Safe Futures and increase domestic violence awareness throughout the community by building working relationships with organizations, businesses, and the public.

Katherine Verano is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Safe Futures, formerly The Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut. Katherine left her career in corporate banking and came to Safe Futures 26 years ago after a close friend and peer was brutally murdered by her husband. Katherine’s dedication to working in this field started with working the crisis hotline in 1994 at She continued her work at the agency over the years managing the emergency shelter, counseling program, criminal court advocacy in the justice system. Katherine was appointed as the Director of Client Services, prior to her role as Executive Director, and now CEO. Over a 20-year period in the criminal justice system, Katherine interviewed thousands of victims and offenders of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and trafficking at court arraignments and throughout the court process. Katherine has been exemplary in bringing court and community partners together in forums and roundtables; in a collaborative effort to enhance services to victims of crime, while educating partners. Katherine has served on multiple task forces and committees to include the Veteran’s Diversionary Council and Domestic Violence, Connecticut State Police Lethality Assessment Program Committee, Statewide Model Policy “Police Response to Crimes of Domestic Violence” Task Force Committee, and multiple local college community response teams. Since 2012, Katherine has been the Connecticut expert “Train the Trainer” on the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence educating police and advocates around Connecticut. She is also a re-certification instructor for the Law Enforcement Council (LEC) Officer & Supervisor and for CT POST Academy “Strangulation prevention/ investigation” instructing multiple statewide seminars. In 2017, Katherine traveled to Beijing, China, on behalf of the “Yale University-Paul Tsai Law Center” speaking and training on matters of lethality assessment programing – Domestic violence intervention strategies to government officials as well as speaking on “Development of Domestic Violence Laws” at the Beijing Public Safety University. Katherine is the Legislative Liaison for the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the agency since 2010, successfully testifying on numerous House bills.

Nazmie Ojeda, Director of Education and Community Engagement for Safe Futures is passionate about community work. Nazmie has served on the advisory board of the Immigration Advocacy and Support Center (IASC) of New London and as a member of the Hispanic Alliance Mental Health Network. She has served in several capacities at Safe Futures including counseling, advocacy, and residential life. In her current role Nazmie aspires to connect schools, providers, victims/survivors to Safe Futures and its mission and vision to save lives, restore hope, and change the future.

Christine Foster is the Director of Crisis Counseling and Camp HOPE for Safe Futures. Over the past 5 years, she has held various roles in the organization such as employment specialist, child advocate, and supervisor of our emergency domestic violence shelter, Genesis House. Christine received her bachelor’s degree in Psychological Sciences from University of Connecticut. Christine is a certified domestic violence counselor and is certified in restorative practices by the International Institute of Restorative Practices.

KEY DATES AND INFORMATION:

WHAT: SECT Women’s Network’s Zoom Panel Series – “The Work of Safe Futures”

WHEN: Thursday, March 18, 2021 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Online Zoom meeting

HOW: To join the panel discussion pre-register at the Zoom Link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83365019987?pwd=eWRWUVlxSHZFTm1Zc21nMnhyeVZhdz09

Or go to https://sectwomensnetwork.org/events. Free event.


Contact: Lisa Giordano, ldgldg7@gmail.com; (860)861-3743

Westerly Community Credit Union Names Chief Marketing Officer

Westerly Community Credit Union is proud to announce that Meg Sisco has been promoted to Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice President of Retail Experience for the Westerly Community Credit Union. Meg has been with WCCU since 1998, most recently serving as the Vice President of Marketing. Her responsibilities include management of the Marketing and Retail departments.

Meg is currently a member of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), Credit Union Executive Society (CUES), and Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) Marketing Committees, the RI State treasurer Financial Literacy Roundtable, South County Health Business Partners Committee, and the Alzheimer Association Westerly Walk Committee. She previously served on the South County Health Board of Trustees and Chair of the VNS Home Health Services Board of Directors. She is a graduate of Bryant University receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and has achieved the Certified Senior Executive (CSE) designation from the CUES, the Certified Strategic Marketing Executive (CSME) designation from CUNA, and currently is attending the CUES CEO Institute to obtain her Certified Chief Executive (CCE) designation. Meg resides in Westerly RI with her family.

The Board of Directors and Staff of the Westerly Community Credit Union congratulate Meg on her new position.


About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU mantra, #WCCUCares, emphasizes their focus on caring about their members, their members’ financial success, and their community. Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution that currently serves over 19,400 members with lending and deposit products through their convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020); Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 & 2020) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19).

The Chelsea Groton Foundation Now Accepting Grant Applications Through Online Portal

GROTON, Conn. – The Chelsea Groton Foundation is now accepting applications for the spring grant cycle through the Foundation’s online application portal until Friday, April 16, 2021. Local and regional charitable organizations in the program areas of Animal Welfare, Arts and Culture, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Health and Human Services, Housing, and Youth Activities, should visit www.chelseagroton.com/CGFoundation to access the online application portal and more details on specific requirements.

The Foundation typically reviews applications and awards grants two times per year. However, as we enter a second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations who support critical needs may need emergency funding sooner than April. Any organization in need of emergency funding should contact the Foundation directly at giving@chelseagroton.com.

Additional resources are located on the Foundation’s web page, including application FAQs, grant writing assistance, and SBA PPP loan information. Please visit www.chelseagroton.com/CGFoundation.

Each year, Chelsea Groton Bank and the Chelsea Groton Foundation support more than 300 local organizations through monetary gifts, grants, sponsorships, scholarships and employee volunteerism. In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank and Foundation provided more than $1,000,000 in unprecedented giving. More information, including a list of last fall’s 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, the Foundation has, to date, awarded over $4.4 million in grants to hundreds of scientific, educational and charitable organizations located within the Bank’s market area. To learn more, visit www.chelseagroton.com/CGFoundation.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.4 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 programming. 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. NMLS Institution ID 402928.

Westerly Community Credit Union Names Chief Operations Officer

Westerly Community Credit Union is proud to announce that Andrew Rogers has been promoted to Chief Operations Officer &, Senior Vice President of Operations for the Westerly Community Credit Union. Andrew has been with WCCU since 2001, most recently serving as the Vice President of Operations. His responsibilities include management of the Operations, Lending, and Information Technology departments, as well as the Contact Center.

Andrew currently serves as the Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Babcock Smith House Museum and Chair of the Cooperative Credit Union Association RI High School Basketball Championship Committee. He has previously served on the Arcadia YMCA Board, PACE/Adult Day Center of Westerly Board, and Relay for Life of Greater Westerly as event chairperson. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics. Andrew has completed the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Management School receiving a Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE) designation as well as completed the Credit Union Executives Society’s (CUES) CEO Institute receiving a designation of Certified Chief Executive designation (CCE). Andrew currently resides in Stonington, CT with his family.

The Board of Directors and Staff of the Westerly Community Credit Union congratulate Andrew on his new position.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU mantra, #WCCUCares, emphasizes their focus on caring about their members, their members’ financial success, and their community. Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution that currently serves over 19,400 members with lending and deposit products through their convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020); Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 & 2020) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19).