Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Member News

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

Westerly Community Credit Union Holds Official Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Coventry Branch

Westerly Community Credit Union held an official groundbreaking ceremony on May 12, 2021 for their new Branch located at 2405 Nooseneck Hill Rd., Coventry, Rhode Island 02816.

Expected to open November 2021, the new facility will be a full-service Branch, offering Mortgages & Equity Loans, Deposit accounts, Auto & Personal Loans, Wealth Management services, Business Accounts, and more. Features within the branch include an ITM (Interactive Teller Machine), concierge-style banking stations, private offices, technology zone with coffee station and a kid’s play area.

‘We are excited to be opening our 5th branch in Coventry.’ stated Meg Sisco, Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of Retail Experience. ‘Our high level of service and the modern technology this branch will offer is sure to help our Coventry neighbors financially succeed.’

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by honored guests: Town Council Member, Kimberly Shockley, Central RI Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Lauren Slocum and Central RI Chamber of Commerce Director, Corrine Riley. Also in attendance were representatives from the NES Group, DRL Architects, JLN Contracting, Pete Stefanski, Chair of the WCCU Board of Directors, Steven Scales, Vice Chair of the WCCU Board of Directors, as well as additional members of the WCCU Board of Directors and staff.

For more information on Westerly Community Credit Union please visit www.westerlyccu.com or call them at 401-596-7000.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU initiative, #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 19,600 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 include: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020), Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018), “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 & 2020) community service awards as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018, 2019 and 2021).

CHARTER OAK NAMES GREGORY ZELIFF ASSISTANT VP FOR BUSINESS LENDING

Zeliff Has Broad Range of Banking, Business Development, and Lending Experience

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Anthony Cronin

AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254 or acronin@cofcu.com

Waterford, CT ­– May 12, 2021 Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has named Gregory Zeliff, an experienced banker and business lender, as its Assistant Vice President of Business Lending to meet the increasing growth in the credit union’s business lending operations.

Zeliff has 35 years of commercial lending, portfolio management, and real estate management experience with numerous credit unions and banks serving Connecticut’s business communities. In addition, his industry experience includes training and supervisory management skills as well as his extensive relationships with Connecticut’s building, legal, and real estate industries.

“Greg’s experience in business lending, combined with his years of banking and credit union management are tremendous assets to bring to our business lending team,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “He has a proven record of growing commercial lending and customer relationships that will serve us well as more businesses in eastern Connecticut look to Charter Oak to serve all of their business banking and lending needs,” he said.

Zeliff joins Charter Oak’s growing business lending department, which now includes two experienced lenders serving eastern Connecticut’s business community as well as a support team of experienced credit analysts. Charter Oak offers a full suite of business-enhancing products, from business checking to business loans including fixed-term loans, commercial real estate loans, lines of credit, and SBA loans. In addition, Charter Oak features a full complement of business eBanking services as well as employer-sponsored Health Savings Accounts and business convenience services.

Zeliff is an honors graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science degree in Personal Economics and Management. In addition, he attended Babson College’s School of Commercial Lending and the Williams College School of Banking. He also is active in numerous civic and community organizations, including serving as a past treasurer and finance committee member of the Wethersfield Historical Society and past treasurer for a decade with the Neighborhood Housing Services organization in Waterbury.

To reach Zeliff directly for all your business lending needs, please email gzeliff@cofcu.com or call 860.446.3347. Additional information about Charter Oak’s extensive line of business banking products and services is available by visiting CharterOak.org.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.46 billion as of March 31, 2021. 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!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Editorial Contact

May 4, 2021 Hugh Ryan

(401) 486-8048

hugh.ryan@scorevolunteer.org

Hartford Univ Alum Named Treasurer of Southeastern Connecticut Chapter of SCORE

Financial consultant also volunteers at metro Hartford assistance group for women of color

OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. – Josette A. Hill of Portland, Connecticut, has been appointed Treasurer of the Southeastern Connecticut Chapter of SCORE, a nationwide, nonprofit association and resource partner of the US Small Business Administration that offers free, confidential advice to small-business owners.

The appointment to the volunteer position was announced by Frank LaMonaca, president of the chapter, based in Old Saybrook, with locations in Essex, Guilford, Madison, Middletown, Mystic, New London, Norwich, and Waterford. He said Hill will be responsible for fiscal control and reporting, accounting and finance, risk management, and tax reporting.

“We are fortunate to have Josette, with the knowledge and abilities developed as both an advisor to entrepreneurs and a small-business owner herself,” LaMonaca said.

Hill operates J.A.H Financial Services, Portland, Connecticut, a consultancy she founded in 2016 to help small businesses establish financial accounting and control systems and manage such matters as tax planning, bookkeeping, insurance, real estate, and investing.

She also volunteers at the Multi-Cultural Community Alliance in Hartford, a mutual-assistance group for women of color. The Alliance conducts a variety of community-outreach activities, including retreats for the homeless and shut-ins, networking events for small businesses, and cultural-inclusion events for the West Indian immigrant community.

Coping with COVID

“Beginning in February of 2020, small-business owners have been seeking advice and guidance from me on coping with the multiple financial and operations challenges presented by COVID-19,” Hill said. “This included applying to the US Small Business Administration for Payroll Protection Plan funding under the CARES act, among many other tasks. So volunteering my financial knowledge to small businesses through SCORE was a natural extension and another way to fulfill my goal of making a significant contribution to my community.”

Before starting her own business, Hill had 15 years of experience in financial services with Legal Shield, East Hartford, Connecticut; Insphere Insurance Solutions, Holtsville, New York; and New York Life Insurance Company, Windsor, Connecticut.

Hill earned associate’s degrees in entrepreneurial development from the University of Hartford and nursing from Goodwin College, East Hartford.

Hill succeeds Sandra Beckman, a five-year volunteer with SCORE who helped shape the Treasurer’s role and has worked with Hill to help her transition into the job. Beckman will remain a member of the chapter executive team and serve as the chapter’s Client Intake Coordinator, according to Margo Weitekamp, immediate past chapter president. Beckman is also a Certified SCORE Mentor.

“Sandra established high standards for Treasurer in our organization,” Weitekamp said, “and I have no doubt Josette will build on that foundation to those same standards.”

SCORE mentors small-business owners via monthly operations-review and goal-setting meetings, in person or online, using Zoom. Each client is assigned a certified SCORE mentor, who conducts the meetings and is available between meetings for ad hoc advice. Typically, the assigned mentor has knowledge and experience in a business discipline relevant to the client’s needs, and is joined in the monthly meetings by a SCORE colleague, also a mentor or a category expert with relevant, specialized capabilities.

The Southeastern Chapter was named Connecticut Chapter of the Year by the national organization in 2018 and 2020.

For more information, on SCORE: www.score.org. On the Southeastern Connecticut Chapter: www.sect.score.org.

Westerly Community Credit Union Named a 2021 Best Place to Work in Rhode Island!

Westerly Community Credit Union (WCCU) has recently been named one of Providence Business News’ 2021 Best Places to Work. WCCU was one of twenty-eight mid-sized companies receiving this honor. Companies were judged on human resource policies and confidential surveys of employees compiled by Best Companies Group.

"We work hard to create an environment that not only supports organizational growth, but also the growth of our most important asset, our employees,” stated Stephen White, President/CEO of Westerly Community Credit Union. "An engaged, positive team means we are succeeding to the highest degree possible.”

Westerly Community Credit Union has branch locations in Wakefield, Richmond and Westerly. Membership is open to all who reside or work in Rhode Island & New London County, CT and open a $5 deposit account.

To become a member, or to learn more about Westerly Community Credit Union, please visit their website at www.westerlyccu.com.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU initiative, #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 19,600 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 include: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020), Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018), “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 & 2020) community service awards as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018, 2019 and 2021).

Edward Jones News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tom Gardiner

May 7, 2021

860-572-7815

Edward Jones Sponsors Event

Tom Gardiner, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Mystic, is sponsoring Money Conversations Across Generations presentation from 4PM to 5:30PM May 19, 2021 at Online.

For more information, call Jen at 860-572-7815.

Tom's office is located at 3 Roosevelt Ave Mystic..

Tom Gardiner and Branch Office Administrator Jen Kaczmarek can be reached at 860-572-7815. You may also visit Tom Gardiner's website at www.edwardjones.com/tom-gardiner.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the investments offered to the location of branch offices, caters to individual investors. The firm's 19,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients with a total of $1.3 trillion in client assets under care. Visit edwardjones.com or the recruiting website at careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.


CHARTER OAK NAMES MICHAEL FABIAN AS NEW MORTGAGE OFFICER

Fabian Has Broad Experience in Both Banking and Real Estate Industries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Anthony Cronin, AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254

acronin@cofcu.com

Waterford, CT – May 3, 2021 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has named Michael Fabian, a banker with extensive industry experience, as its new Mortgage Officer.

“We’re pleased to welcome Michael to our mortgage lending team,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “His understanding of mortgage lending and his familiarity with our housing market will be great assets when he’s working with our members to find the right mortgage to fit their needs,” he said.

Fabian joins an experienced and talented lending team at Charter Oak that has made the credit union the Number 1 residential mortgage lender in eastern Connecticut for 11 consecutive years. Since 2010, when Charter Oak first became the top residential lender in eastern Connecticut, the credit union has originated almost 11,000 mortgages in New London and Windham counties combined with a total value of nearly $1.4 billion, based on annual data compiled by the Massachusetts-based Warren Group’s Residential Mortgage Marketshare Report.

Fabian’s experience includes 18 years within the banking industry including six years of mortgage lending experience during which he held a senior loan processing position. In addition to his work within the banking industry, he has five years of real estate experience. Fabian, who is from Madison, is an East Lyme resident and graduate of Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire with a concentration in business studies.

To reach him directly for your mortgage needs, please call 860.446.3508 or send an email to mfabian@cofcu.com. More information is also available by visiting his website at mfabiancharteroak.org.

Charter Oak offers an extensive line of mortgage products, including conventional mortgages as well as its popular Accelerator mortgages. In addition, Charter Oak offers first-time homebuyer mortgages and has FHA, USDA, and CHFA mortgages available as well as adjustable rate mortgages. Charter Oak also provides lower-rate mortgages geared toward police officers, teachers, members of the military, and disabled individuals.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.4 billion as of December 31, 2020. For more information about Charter Oak’s 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!

Media Contact

Name: Wendy Bury

Title: Executive Director

Phone: (860) 448-5135

Email address: W.Bury@CultureSECT.org


Art At the Airport's spring exhibit "Take Flight" at Groton-New London Airport extended through August


MAY 4, 2021 - NORWICH, CT The Cultural Coalition is pleased to announce the extension of the Art At the Airport program spring exhibit Take Flight, featuring aviation inspired, colorful mosaic tiles hand-crafted in clay by local artists, Paul and Esther Halferty of Lilywork Artisan Tile in Stonington. The exhibit is now open and will be on view through August 31 at the Groton - New London Airport.


For thousands of years, people have looked up at the sky and imagined what it would be like to fly. On the morning of December 17, 1903, the Wright Flyer, the world’s first powered plane, slid down a guiding rail, soared into the air, and forever changed the course of history. Take Flight explores the pioneering people, their breakthroughs, and the inspiration that led to the world of flight we know today.


Each mosaic depicts a specific moment in aviation history. From hot air balloon to glider, and from passenger plane to space shuttle, each unique mosaic is created individually by hand. The Halfertys use traditional techniques to craft their tile - starting with a handcarved mold, and a block of clay.


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. A new partner, the Groton Public Library, will provide companion programs and suggested materials to complement the exhibits on view at the 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. Mask use and social distancing protocol required as per Covid-19 guidelines.


For more information about the Art At the Airport program, visit www.CultureSECT.org


About the Cultural Coalition: The Cultural Coalition, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, with the mission to improve the economy, vitality and quality of life in eastern Connecticut by supporting the arts, cultural and creative community.

Visit our Website

P.O. Box 95, New London, CT 06320 | (860) 448-5135 | info@CultureSECT.org | www.CultureSECT.org

Eastern Regional Tourism District Provides Matching Funds to Support Tourism Opportunities

Monies will bolster an industry hurt by the pandemic

Waterford, Conn., May 5, 2021 – The Eastern Regional Tourism District (ERTD) today announced it will again provide matching funds to support tourism and venues in eastern Connecticut.

Created last year, the Regional Marketing Partnership Program will provide funding to bolster eastern Connecticut’s tourism economy. Eastern Connecticut businesses, non-profits, and municipalities are encouraged to develop marketing plans, which could then be funded by the program. Plans should focus on marketing eastern Connecticut’s tourism economy and encourage the safe enjoyment of the area’s tourism opportunities.

Venues or organizations that comprise hiking trails, boating adventures, arts and culture, museums, theaters, historic sites, and villages are examples of the types of places that are encouraged to apply.

Jim Bellano, ERTD chairman, said the district’s program will strengthen tourism venues, including businesses, non-profits, and more. “Now that we are emerging from the pandemic, we are grateful to be able to offer assistance to drive tourists to our 41 diverse and vibrant cities and towns.”

Chris Regan, chairman of the ERTD Marketing Committee, said that tourism is a large part of the region’s economy, and the ERTD is extremely pleased that this year it will again be able to support jobs, small businesses, and other venues. “Like the rest of the world, tourism suffered here, but we are confident this program will boost the tourism industry in eastern Connecticut,” Regan said. “Now is a perfect time for businesses and venues to focus on branding and marketing initiatives to entice tourists to the area.”

$60,000 has been allocated to fund the program by the Eastern Regional Tourism District, with a cap of $10,000 being awarded to any single project. Upon approval, projects will receive a 1 to 1 match.

The application deadline is June 1, 2021.

Eligibility for funding includes:

· Marketing program applicants must be located within the 41-town Eastern Regional Tourism District.

· Funding must be cash and be verified.

· Marketing programs must be compatible with the stated mission and objectives of the ERTD.

· Programs must contain the CTVisit.com/MysticCountry logo on all materials and ads and must be compatible with the Connecticut Office of Tourism marketing efforts.

· Programs and messaging must be approved by the ERTD Marketing Committee, Board, and COT.

· State tourism funds cannot be used by applicants to develop their websites.

· Programs may be executed by the District of the partners, as agreed upon in the proposal.

· Any program selected under this grant process must be completed by September 30, 2021.

· Upon completion of this program, the awardee shall submit a detailed final report, within 30 days, to the ERTD, documenting the use of grant money and verifying that all funds were expended in a way consistent with the approved objectives of the original application.

Submissions must be made in writing online to the ERTD Marketing Committee and must identify all partners who will be involved in the effort. Please email responses to Courtney Assad at cassad@chamberect.com. The response should contain a full description of the proposal, a timeline, and its measurable goals and budget. Applicants are eligible for one program grant per year.

About Connecticut Eastern Regional Tourism District

Provides visitor and meeting information for 41 cities and towns for the eastern region of Connecticut. The mission of the Eastern Regional Tourism District is to stimulate and support the growth of eastern Connecticut’s tourism economy by providing marketing, grant, and collaboration opportunities for the region’s municipalities and tourism venues throughout Eastern Connecticut and Mystic Country. For a full list of represented towns and more information, visit https://www.ctvisit.com/listings/eastern-regional-tourism-district.

PRESS RELEASE

Groton, CT, May 5, 2021

The City of Groton and Groton Utilities are promoting rain barrels to residents to help control stormwater run-off. “We are encouraging residents to use rain barrels because they help towns manage water resources by reducing runoff, lowering municipal water demands, saving energy at treatment plants, and improving residential storm management. Rain barrels provide homeowners with a supplemental water supply during periods of drought. Homeowners who use rain barrels have decreased their water bills up to 40%. It’s a win-win for towns and homeowners. We are excited to be bringing rain barrels to Groton and to hopefully make a difference! ” Heidi Comeau, Public Works Services Coordinator, City of Groton.

Baker Cove, a .31 square mile estuary of Fisher Island Sound, located between the City and Town of Groton is listed as water quality ‘impaired’ due to high bacteria pollution that prohibits shell fishing. There are many kinds of pollution and a large issue in Baker Cove is fecal coliform bacteria that can be found in waterfowl, pet and human waste (sewer or septic) getting into water through stormwater run-off. Other contaminants include sediment, vehicle chemicals, lawn fertilizer and pesticides.

The Baker Cove Watershed Committee is a volunteer task force featuring business, municipal, local non-profit, institution leaders and any interested parties who wish to take local control over improving water quality in and around Baker Cove. Some activities we’re working on to reduce or eliminate sources of pollutants are water friendly infrastructure or Low Impact Designs (LID) including promoting rain garden, riparian buffer and rain barrel installations. These are all great ways you as a resident can contribute toward better water quality by collection, infiltration and preventing stormwater runoff in your community. We have recently created a Baker Cove brochure and map of the watershed with guidance on what’s being done for pollution control and ways you can help…look for it very soon at the City of Groton Municipal Building and online!

While COVID-19 may have had a dark side, it also had some upsides in 2020. With more time on their hands, people took up activities they didn’t have time for before the pandemic. Gardening became a form of solace for many in the wake of the pandemic. In 2020, people planted more vegetable and herb gardens than in previous years. According to Garden Center Magazine’s Industry Report for 2020, sales from vegetable plants and herbs had increased more than 15% from 2019.1

People were thinking more about conserving energy and money as well as ways to be more environmentally conscientious. With erratic weather raging throughout the world, rainfall was unpredictable — at times we had rampant flooding and other times we were in a drought. Sales of rain barrels increased as they offered homeowners with an alternate water supply during periods of drought. Due to COVID-19, Great American Rain Barrel (a Massachusetts company) rolled out fewer programs with cities and towns in 2020, but increased its national sales over 50% from 2019.

A survey conducted by BCG (The Boston Consulting Group) reported that since COVID-19 began, 71% of the people surveyed were extremely concerned about water resource management. Infectious disease and air pollution, were 82% and 72% respectively.2

“This is the third year we have run the Rain Barrel Program in Fitchburg and we sold a record-shattering number of barrels (176) this year. Rain barrels are a form of Green Infrastructure (G.I.), by capturing rainfall for productive onsite re-use of the captured rainfall by homeowners. G.I. is important to Wastewater because it helps prevent rainfall from running off properties and entering into the sewer system. G.I. is also beneficial to the separate stormwater drainage system and to the wetlands resource areas of the City.” Jeffrey A. Murawski, P.E. Fitchburg DPW Commissioner of Wastewater, Fitchburg, Ma.

To find out more about the barrels and participate in The Great American Rain Barrel Program, please visit: www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com/community/ and select Groton, CT. Barrels are offered for $79, and will be available for pick up on Saturday, June 26th, 9:00-11:00am at The City of Groton Municipal Building, 295 Meridian St, Groton, CT 06340. Deadline for purchase is June 14th, midnight. About the Great American Rain Barrel The Great American Rain Barrel is a local food importing company that has been repurposing shipping drums into Rain Barrels since 1988. The Great American Rain Barrel Co. has been an approved vendor by the MASS DEP since 2010.

_________________________________________________________________________________1 2020 Vision State of the Industry Report

2 The Pandemic is Heightening Environmental Awareness

Mystic Seaport Museum Applauds Governor Ned Lamont’s Proposal to Provide Free Admission to Connecticut Kids This Summer

Mystic, Conn. (April 30, 2021) -- Mystic Seaport Museum announced its support for Governor Ned Lamont’s proposal to subsidize free visits to the Museum this summer for Connecticut children and an accompanying adult.

“Mystic Seaport Museum is delighted to be part of this exciting initiative. As Connecticut begins to open up we welcome all children from across the state to take this opportunity to engage free of charge with their maritime spirit, to breathe the sea air and to recharge their batteries in one of the most exciting, educational and beautiful places in the state,” said Peter Armstrong, president of Mystic Seaport Museum.

The Museum welcomes the opportunity to provide free access to those who have never visited before and never had the occasion to explore their connection to the sea in the Museum’s many historic ships and exhibits.

The free admission is part of the Governor’s spending proposal for the American Rescue Plan Act, which seeks to provide children with access to enrichment and to address the impact of the pandemic on the state’s youth due to the physical and social isolation experienced during the public health emergency.

The Museum looks forward to working with the Governor’s office and the General assembly to implement this aspect of the Act.

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.


April 30, 2021

Westerly Community Credit Union Hosts Virtual CU4Reality Financial Literacy Fair for Chariho and Westerly High Schools.

In observance of National Financial Literacy month, students from Chariho and Westerly High Schools joined Westerly Community Credit Union for the 10th annual CU4Reality Financial Literacy Fair. This is the first year the fair, which helps students learn the realities of financial choices and budgeting, was offered virtually. To date over 2,000 students from the Chariho, Narragansett, and Westerly high schools have participated in this exciting and fun simulation of the financial realities of life.

Sponsored by Westerly Community Credit Union, the CU4Reality Financial Literacy Fair was developed in conjunction with the Credit Union Coalition, by educators, for educators and is often the capstone to financial education curriculums in the schools. The fair itself simulates real world income potential, spending choices and the inevitable unexpected expenses. Students make career choices and lifestyle decisions as they move through various lifestyle stations such as Housing, Utilities, Transportation, Food, Loans & Credit, Leisure. At the Wheel of Reality students experience the unexpected, replacing a water heater, significant car repairs or receiving unexpected income. By creating personal budgets based on the expected income of their career choice, reserving funds for living expenses and purchases they feel they cannot live without, students experience how easy it is to fall short on money and how to implement budgeting and saving plans learned in the classroom to close the gap.

WCCU President Steve White states that “The Cu4Reality Fair is an amazing opportunity, and we are proud to be a resource and partner for local educators tasked with encouraging the next generation to become financially smart so they can live the life they dream of and be financially secure in the future.”

Rhode Island State General Treasurer, Seth Magaziner sent his greetings and encouragement through a video which was played during the opening of the virtual fair. Historically, Treasurer Magaziner has attended WCCU’s CU4Reality Fairs and other similar events during Financial Literacy Month.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU initiative, #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 19,600 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 include: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020), Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018), “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 & 2020) community service awards as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19).

April 22, 2021

Westerly Community Credit Union Welcomes New Mortgage Originator

Westerly Community Credit Union (WCCU) proudly announces that Susan Silva has joined the mortgage lending team as a Mortgage Originator for the Coventry, West Warwick, East & West Greenwich, Foster, Scituate, Gloucester, and Burrillville, Rhode Island areas. Susan will be responsible for originating mortgage loans, interviewing loan applicants and helping applicants find the loan product that best meets their needs.

Susan joins us following a twelve (12) year real estate career concentrated in Coventry, Rhode Island, and surrounding area. Prior to launching her career in real estate, Susan was the Lending Assistant to the WCCU Business Loan Manager. She returns to WCCU with 30 years of experience in the mortgage lending and real estate industry. She is dedicated to helping people get into the home of their dreams. Susan and her family currently reside in Coventry, Rhode Island.

The Staff and Board of Directors of the Westerly Community Credit Union congratulate Susan 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 initiative, #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 19,600 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 include: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020), Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018), “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 & 2020) community service awards as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19).



CHARTER OAK NAMES SUSAN SHEPHERD AS NEW MORTGAGE OFFICER

Her Industry Experience Includes Longtime Partnership With Local Mortgage Company

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Anthony Cronin, AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254

acronin@cofcu.com

Waterford, CT – April 20, 2021 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has named Susan Shepherd, an experienced banker with over two decades of lending expertise, as its new Mortgage Officer.

“Susan is well versed in both banking and mortgage lending and her talents will fit nicely with our lending team at Charter Oak,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “She’s well-known throughout the mortgage industry and her extensive experience will serve our members well for all their lending needs, from first-time homebuyers to those looking to refinance,” he said.

Shepherd joined Charter Oak in 2018 in its banking operations and is now one of four experienced Mortgage Officers who work with Charter Oak’s lending department serving New London and Windham counties. For 11 consecutive years, Charter Oak has been the Number 1 residential mortgage lender in eastern Connecticut. Since 2010, the credit union has originated almost 11,000 mortgages in both counties combined with a total value of nearly $1.4 billion, based on annual data compiled by the Massachusetts-based Warren Group’s Residential Mortgage Marketshare Report.

Shepherd has worked in the banking industry for more than 30 years, with 25 of those years dedicated exclusively to providing mortgages for homeowners across eastern Connecticut. For 18 years, Shepherd served as a partner with a local and well-respected mortgage company serving New London and Windham counties. Throughout her career, she has been active with numerous civic and community organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, and the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce. In addition to her work with the local and regional chambers, Shepherd is active with the Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors, the Habitat for Humanity organization, and the Mystic Rotary Club.

To reach her directly for your mortgage needs, please call 860.235.6346 or send an email to sshepherd@cofcu.com. More information is also available by visiting her website at sshepherd-charteroak.org.

Charter Oak offers an extensive line of mortgage products, including conventional mortgages as well as its popular Accelerator mortgages. In addition, Charter Oak offers first-time homebuyer mortgages and has FHA, USDA, and CHFA mortgages available as well as adjustable rate mortgages. Charter Oak also provides lower-rate mortgages geared toward police officers, teachers, members of the military, and disabled individuals.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.4 billion as of December 31, 2020. For more information about Charter Oak’s 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!

April 19, 2021

Westerly Community Credit Union Announces New Lending Manager

Westerly Community Credit Union is proud to announce that Kevin Gervasini has been promoted to Lending Manager. Kevin began his Westerly Community Credit Union career in 2015 as a Member Service Representative, was promoted to Lending Assistant and then moved up to Consumer Loan Officer. Most recently, Kevin has served as a Senior Underwriter.

The Staff and Board of Directors of the Westerly Community Credit Union congratulate Kevin on his new position. Westerly Community Credit Union is growing. Visit us at www.westerlyccu.com/careers to learn more and view current career openings.

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).

COMCAST LAUNCHING 25 WIFI-CONNECTED “LIFT ZONES” ACROSS CONNECTICUT

DIGITAL CONNECTIVITY FORUM HELD IN HARTFORD TO BRIDGE DIGITAL CONNECTIVITITY GAP FOR HARTFORD RESIDENTS

HARTFORD, CT – April 16, 2021 As part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy, Comcast today announced plans to equip 25 different Connecticut locations – 13 of which are now open with plans for 12 additional sites.

Working with its network of nonprofit partners, Comcast “Lift Zones” feature free WiFi, which allows students to work on laptops simultaneously so they can successfully participate in distance learning. This initiative provides free connectivity inside partner community centers, like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, for the next three years.

Comcast also partnered with Connecticut State Senator Douglas McCrory and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford to host a Digital Connectivity Forum on April 15, 2021 that examined broadband adoption in the city of Hartford. Residents attending the event learned how they can access the internet by taking advantage of social outreach programs and community-based partnerships, in addition to learning more about Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, a low-cost broadband adoption program that provides Internet for $9.95/month.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Hartford is pleased to welcome Comcast’s Lift Zones to our Asylum Hill location as part of our collective effort to ensure that families, regardless of income, are connected to the digital world,” said Samuel Gray, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford.

State Senator Douglas McCrory helped to lead the Digital Connectivity Forum in effort to help even more Hartford residents access the Internet, which has become especially vital during this ongoing pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of a family having high-speed Internet service to complete daily tasks and activities. Even more, the tools that will help a student finish a science project or a parent who is searching for a new job should not be out of reach due to unaffordability,” said State Senator Doug McCrory. “Affordable, reliable Internet service is key to meeting the needs of all members of a household. I appreciate the opportunity to co-host a space for families to learn about Internet Essentials, an available low-cost program provided by Comcast, and to join in the launch announcement of community spaces where students can connect to the Internet in a safe, learning environment.”

Lift Zone sites complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has helped connect a cumulative total of more than 10 million low-income people to the Internet at home since 2011, including 176,000 individuals in the state of Connecticut.

“We are proud to partner with community organizations across Connecticut and equip them with fast WiFi service to provide kids with safe and reliable connectivity to learn, keep up with school and expand their educational opportunities,” said Dennis Mathew, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Western New England Region. “We believe that these Lift Zones will provide another choice and make it convenient for folks to connect at a trusted local nonprofit location.”

The 13 Comcast Lift Zone sites that are now open in Connecticut include:

  • Center for Latino Progress – Hartford

  • Asylum Hill Boys & Girls Club – Hartford

  • Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford

  • Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership (LEAP) – New Haven

  • Youth Continuum – 3 locations in New Haven

  • New Haven Boys & Girls Club

  • Music Haven – New Haven

  • Boys & Girls Club of Bristol

  • Opportunities Industrialization Center of New Britain

  • Girls Inc. of Western Connecticut – Waterbury

  • Town of Falls Village Social Services Office

Twelve (12) additional Comcast Lift Zone sites in Connecticut are currently being installed with plans to open by late spring.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tom Gardiner

April 15, 2021

860-572-7815

Edward Jones Ranks Highest in Investor Satisfaction,

According to J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study(SM)


Financial services firm Edward Jones ranks highest in investor satisfaction with full-service brokerage firms, according to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Full-Service Investor Satisfaction Study(SM), the firm announced.

The study measures overall investor satisfaction with 24 full-service investment firms based on seven factors including product offerings; problem resolution; convenience; digital experience; financial advisors; value; and trust.

The firm scored 770 in overall satisfaction, 38 points over the industry average. A deeper dive indicates that Edward Jones also scored highest in trust; convenience; and problem resolution

"We are incredibly honored to be named by investors as delivering the highest level of satisfaction, especially during a year of challenge and volatility," said Edward Jones Managing Partner Penny Pennington. "We are constantly looking for ways to improve our service experience and deepen relationships as we live our purpose - improving the lives of our clients and colleagues and, together, benefiting our communities and society."

Edward Jones has ranked highest in investor satisfaction by J.D. Power for several years - in 2019, 2015 (tied), 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007-2005, and in a tie in 2002, when the study began.

The 2021 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 4,392 investors who make some or all investment decisions with a financial advisor. The study was fielded from December 2020 through February 2021. For more information, visit jdpower.com/awards.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the investments offered to the location of branch offices, caters to individual investors. The firm's 19,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients with a total of $1.3 trillion in client assets under care. Visit edwardjones.com or the recruiting website at careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

SECT SCORE News Release

For Immediate Release

April 14, 2021



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

SCORE Southeastern CT Offers Free Webinar on “Choosing the Right QuickBooks: The Basics of Setting Up Your QuickBooks Company”

DATE: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

TIME: 10:00 – 11:30 AM

LOCATION: Online webinar (Zoom)

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE: REGISTER NOW

After registering, you will receive a confirmation with information on how to join the webinar.

The Southeastern Connecticut chapter of SCORE, Mentors to America’s Small Businesses, will present a free Small Business webinar with Intuit ProAdvisor Elizabeth Santaus on “Choosing the Right QuickBooks: The Basics of Setting Up Your QuickBooks Company.”

In “Managing Your Business Finances with QuickBooks,” you learned about the Chart of Accounts and its critical importance in the correct use of QuickBooks.

In this follow-up webinar, we will compare features of QuickBooks Desktop versus QuickBooks Online. We’ll set up a QuickBooks Desktop company from scratch, reviewing the setup preferences and decisions along the way. If time permits, we will also view preferences for a QuickBooks Online company to help those users understand their options as well. There will be time for Q&A. Attendees are asked to have QuickBooks loaded on their computers.

Workshop Presenter Elizabeth Santaus has over twenty-eight years of experience in the financial accounting software and bookkeeping industry. With previous experience consulting and as CFO for three sister companies in Branford, Elizabeth knows how to help businesses prosper and grow. She has consulted, trained, and provided bookkeeping services for more than 300 small businesses in Connecticut and New York since launching Dressler Santaus LLC in 2006.

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.

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: Elizabeth Santaus will present a free SCORE webinar on “Choosing the Right QuickBooks: The Basics of Setting Up Your QuickBooks Company” on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 from 10:00 – 11:30 AM. Pre-registration is required.


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!


SECT SCORE NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

April 7, 2021


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

SCORE Southeastern CT to Host Free Webinar: Managing Your Business Finances with QuickBooks

DATE: Wednesday, May 5, 2021

TIME: 10:00 – 11:30 AM

LOCATION: Online webinar (Zoom)

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE: REGISTER NOW

After registering, you will receive a confirmation with information on how to join the webinar.

The Southeastern Connecticut chapter of SCORE, Mentors to America’s Small Businesses, will present a free Small Business webinar with Intuit ProAdvisor Elizabeth Santaus on “Managing Your Business Finances with QuickBooks.”

You have started your own business. Now what? You have bills to pay, customer sales to track, and taxes to file, requiring paper, paper, and more paper. If you have turned to QuickBooks™ for help as a new user, and find you need help setting up the program, this webinar with Intuit ProAdvisor Elizabeth Santaus is for you! It will explain the Chart of Accounts and its critical importance in the correct use of QuickBooks. There will be time for Q&A on any QuickBooks questions you have.

Workshop Presenter Elizabeth Santaus has over twenty-eight years of experience in the financial accounting software and bookkeeping industry. With previous experience consulting and as CFO for three sister companies in Branford, Elizabeth knows how to help businesses prosper and grow. She has consulted, trained, and provided bookkeeping services for more than 300 small businesses in Connecticut and New York since launching Dressler Santaus LLC in 2006.

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.

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: https://sect.score.org/volunteer-97.

###

Southeastern CT SCORE PO Box 283, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 | ScoreChapter@gmail.com | 860.388.9508.

Photo Caption: Elizabeth Santaus will present a free SCORE webinar on “Managing Your Business Finances with QuickBooks™” on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 from 10:00 to 11:30 AM via Zoom. Pre-registration is required.


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.

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

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

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

[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.

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).