Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Member News

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

For Immediate Release Contact: David Labbe, 860.572.0851

October 14, 2021 david@bridgemarketingct.com


Spicer Plus Welcomes New Manager

Industry Veteran Harold Davison Joins the Spicer Team

at Spicer Hearth & Home in Salem

Groton, Salem CT. – Thursday, October 14: Spicer Plus is pleased to announce their newest team member, propane and hearth shop specialist Harold Davison, has joined their team in Salem at Spicer Hearth & Home.

As the new Spicer Hearth & Home Sales Specialist, Davison is responsible for determining the needs of Spicer customers and offering heating and cooling solutions for their homes. Davison will continue to build on Spicer’s 100 years of celebrating their customers by cultivating long lasting relationships and providing superior customer service.

Davison, originally from Alabama, served for 12 years working as a Sonar Technician for the United States Navy, advancing to Chief Petty Officer.

Jon Holstein, CEO of Spicer Plus: “We are thrilled to welcome the newest member of our Spicer team. Harold is an accomplished operations and sales manager who brings his extensive knowledge of propane products and services to lead our group in Salem. Harold’s perspective on customer and vendor relations is contagious making him the perfect role model for our team.

Spicer Plus is the parent company for Spicer Gas, Advanced Heating Oil, Sunshine Oil, Mohegan Oil and Spicer Hearth & Home. Staying committed to their customers and community, Spicer has been family owned and operated for over 106 years. They deliver propane and heating oil to homes and businesses in Connecticut and Rhode Island as well as hearth and home products from their store in Salem, CT. www.spicerpropane.com.

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COMCAST RISE HELPS 1,100 MORE SMALL BUSINESSES OWNED BY PEOPLE OF COLOR WITH MARKETING AND TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT – INCLUDING 26 IN CONNECTICUT

Brings total awardees to nearly 4,700 nationwide since program launched in late 2020

BERLIN, CT – Sept. 20, 2021 – Comcast has announced its fourth round of Comcast RISE recipients, which includes 1,100 small businesses owned by people of color, that will receive a TV campaign, production of a TV commercial or consulting services from Effectv or computer equipment, internet, voice or cybersecurity from Comcast Business. To date, nearly 4,700 Comcast RISE awardees have been announced nationwide and the program will have supported 13,000 small businesses by the end of 2022.

In Connecticut, 26 businesses are Comcast RISE awardees including Dilligence Training, a health center in East Hartford.

“Dilligence Training was impacted tremendously by the COVID-19 pandemic as attendance at our location and in-person classes dropped off until the state began to reopen. We applied to Comcast RISE not knowing if we had any chance of winning, and it is an honor to be one of the Connecticut businesses recognized with this distinction,” said Devonte Dillion, CEO and Founder of Dilligence Training. “The Comcast RISE program is helping Dilligence Training because it allows us to sharpen our operations through a technology makeover and in turn, provide a better experience for our community.”

“While we know that no single organization can solve historic and systemic inequities overnight, we are committed to taking tangible actions that can drive long-term impact and change,” said Paul Savas, Vice President of Comcast Business for Comcast’s Western New England Region, which includes Connecticut. “Comcast RISE offers the opportunity for small businesses owned by people of color to help grow their businesses, create jobs, and play a vital role in supporting our communities. This new round of Comcast RISE awardees will provide more entrepreneurs of color with the resources and tools they need to scale their businesses and thrive for years to come.”

Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” provides the opportunity for small businesses owned by people of color nationwide to apply to one of the following support focus areas:

  • Marketing Services: The following services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and its creative agency, Mnemonic, are designed to help recipients with their marketing and media campaigns, including:

    • Media: A linear TV media campaign to run over a 90-day period.

    • Creative Production: Turnkey :30 TV commercial production, plus a media strategy consultation and 90-day media placement schedule.

    • Consulting: Advertising and marketing consultations with local Effectv marketing, research, and creative teams to gain insights on how to drive business.

  • Technology Makeovers: The state-of-the-art equipment and technology upgrade from Comcast Business includes computer equipment as well as internet, voice, and cybersecurity services for up to a 12-month period. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for technology makeover services.)

Comcast RISE recipients also receive access to Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs with a specialized online networking community with educational resources, sources of capital, and vetted experts.

All eligible applicants will receive a monthly Comcast RISE newsletter with educational content, and all small business owners can visit the Comcast RISE destination on the X1 platform featuring aggregated small business news, tips, insights, and more. Just say “Comcast RISE” into the X1 voice remote.

Comcast’s Ongoing Commitment to Advancing Digital Equity

Comcast RISE is part of Comcast’s ongoing efforts to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive. Over the next 10 years, Comcast has committed $1 billion to programs and partnerships that will reach an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

For information on Comcast RISE or to apply for marketing and technology services, visit www.ComcastRISE.com. The next wave of applications for Comcast RISE marketing and technology services will close on October 17, 2021.

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 57 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.

About Comcast Business

Comcast Business offers Ethernet, Internet, Wi-Fi, Voice, TV and Managed Enterprise Solutions to help organizations of all sizes transform their business. Powered by an advanced network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is one of the largest contributors to the growth of Comcast Cable. Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and has emerged as a force in the Enterprise market; recognized over the last two years by leading industry associations as one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services. For more information, visit www.business.comcast.com or call 866- 429-3085. Follow on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at http://business.comcast.com/social.

About Effectv

Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, helps local, regional and national advertisers use the best of digital with the power of TV to grow their business. It provides multi-screen marketing solutions to make advertising campaigns more effective and easier to execute. Headquartered in New York with offices throughout the country, Effectv has a presence in 66 markets with nearly 35 million owned and represented subscribers. For more information, visit www.effectv.com.

Westerly Community Credit Union Voted Best Credit Union, Best Mortgage Company and Best Financial Advisor

Westerly Community Credit Union (WCCU) was recently voted Best Credit Union, Best Mortgage Company and Best Financial Advisor by the Sun Media Group's Sixth Annual Readers' Choice Awards poll. In the poll conducted by the Sun Media Group, over 14,300 votes were cast for the readers’ favorite local businesses.

"We are very proud to have been voted the Best Credit Union, Best Mortgage Company and the Best Financial Advisor by the people within the communities we serve," stated Stephen White, President/CEO of Westerly Community Credit Union. "This endorsement is a great accomplishment and belongs to our dedicated staff for their commitment to the financial well-being of our Members.”

Westerly Community Credit Union serves over 19,900 members with branch locations in Wakefield, Richmond and Westerly. Membership is open to all who reside or work in Rhode Island & New London County, CT.

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 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 19,900 members with lending and deposit products through convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, and online at www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020), Best Credit Union 2021, Best Mortgage Company 2021, and Best Financial Advisor 2021; Southern RI Chamber Choice Award 2021, Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 &2020) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018, 2019 and 2021).


CHARTER OAK RECEIVES PARTNERSHIP AWARD FROM UNITED WAY

Annual Award Recognizes Charter Oak’s Extensive Support To Help Those In Need

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Anthony Cronin, AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254

acronin@cofcu.com


Waterford, CT – September 20, 2021 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has received the “Community Partner of the Year” award from the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut for its continuing financial support and extensive community involvement in programs and services to help those in need.

“Charter Oak is proud of our longstanding partnership with United Way to help the communities and residents throughout southeastern Connecticut, and we’re very honored to receive this year’s Community Partner award,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Our employees are always willing to help United Way through their generous annual campaign contributions. Over our many years of support, Charter Oak’s employees have provided countless hours of volunteer time at United Way events from helping at food drives to handing out school supplies,” he said. “All of us at Charter Oak truly believe in Living United.”

Charter Oak was honored this past month with the annual award during United Way’s Community Celebration event held at Mohegan Sun. In bestowing Charter Oak with its “Community Partner of the Year” award, United Way officials cited a host of activities by Charter Oak and its employees, including a school supply drive for students and distribution of hygiene kits to local schools, sponsoring mobile food pantry distributions in the region, providing turkeys and holiday food to the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center at Thanksgiving, awarding Matching Gifts funding from Charter Oak and its members to support United Way activities, and running an outstanding United Way Workplace Giving Campaign during the past year.

Charter Oak is a longtime supporter of the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut through its financial support of the agency’s annual fundraising campaign as well as extensive employee involvement in agency activities. The credit union has been the recipient of numerous United Way awards in recent years, including its “Loyal Company of the Year” honors in 2020 as well as the “Chairman’s Award of Excellence” for its longtime partnership with the Gales Ferry-based agency.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.48 billion as of June 30, 2021. Charter Oak provides one of the largest and most convenient branch networks of any financial institution serving eastern Connecticut. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of products and services, please stop by any of our convenient branches, visit our website at CharterOak.org, or call our Contact Center at 860.446.8085 or 800.962.3237. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.


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

For Immediate Release

Contact: Bill Furgueson

The Arc Eastern Connecticut

bfurgueson@thearcect.org

860.889.4435 x118

TheArcECT.org

Registration Open for the 44th Annual Jack O’Keefe Memorial Strides Road Race

Waterford, CT- The annual Jack O’Keefe Memorial Strides Road Race, sponsored by the Arc Eastern Connecticut, celebrates its 44th anniversary this year. Held on Sunday October 3 at Camp Harkness in Waterford, the race offers prizes to top finishers as well as a family fun run/walk/roll. All proceeds benefit programs that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in eastern Connecticut. A virtual option is also available this year for those who can’t make it the day of the race.

“Our community partners have been incredible supporters of this event over the years,” notes Kathleen Stauffer, Chief Executive Officer. “Gerardi Insurance and Berkshire Bank, our Platinum Sponsors, have partnered with us on all our fundraisers this year and we couldn’t be more grateful.” The Robert F. and Maureen T. O'Keefe Family Foundation are also Platinum sponsors for the race and the 21st Century Tolland Fund is the race’s official T-Shirt sponsor.

Gold Sponsors include Martin and Arlean Bednar, Centreville Bank, Connecticut Business Systems, Linemaster, MJ Sullivan Auto, TriPoint Insurance, and Secor Auto Group. Dime Bank’s “Blue Crew” volunteers have helped with pre-race preparations for over 12 years. A complete list of sponsors can be found on The Arc’s website at TheArcECT.org.

“This race has become a favorite fall event for both serious runners and families,” said The Arc’s Board President, Linda Rhodes. “Even though the event was completely virtual last year, over 250 runners participated, which shows a great feeling of commitment and loyalty to the agency and what we do here.”

First hosted in the late 1970s, the race honors the late Jack O’Keefe. For more information, and to register online (including for the virtual race), visit TheArcECT.org/Strides or contact Denise Tift at dtift@thearcect.org or (860) 889-4435 x116.

Westerly Community Credit Union (WCCU) is proud to announce that Amy Clark has been promoted to Financial Service Manager of the Granite Street Branch. This coming October, Amy will have been with WCCU for 15 years, most recently as the Financial Service Manager of the Richmond Branch. Earlier in her career with WCCU, Amy served members as a Member Service Representative III, Financial Service Officer and Assistant Financial Service Manager.

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


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 19,900 members with lending and deposit products through convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, and online at www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Credit Union (2021), Best Mortgage Company (2021) Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020); Southern RI Chamber Choice Award 2021, Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018, 2019 and 2021).

For more information, contact:

Kathy Adami

Stonington Community Center

k.adami@thecomo.org

860.535.2476

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Stonington Community Center to Host Battle of Stonington: The Paddle Ball

[Stonington, CT] - The Stonington Community Center (COMO) will be hosting Battle of Stonington: The Paddle Ball, a fun twist on the traditional fundraising gala on Saturday, September 25, 2021 (rain date is Sunday, Sept. 26). The event is two-fold, including a daytime paddle tennis pro-am tournament (Battle of Stonington) from 1 to 5:30 p.m., followed by an evening event (The Paddle Ball) from 6 to 10 p.m., featuring a pro paddle tennis exhibition, drinks & libations, music, and a live auction. The evening Paddle Ball will be a tented event at the COMO paddle courts.

Ticket prices include the option to play in the pro-am tournament and attend the ball ($250), or to come for the evening ball only ($150). Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available now at thecomo.org/the-paddle-ball. Proceeds from this event support youth programming at the COMO.

For more information or questions about the event please reach out to Lacey Arndt, Development Director, by email at l.arndt@thecomo.org or by phone at (860) 535-2476.

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, 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 COMO 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.

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Media Contact:

Name/Title: Wendy Bury, Executive Director

Phone: (860) 448-5135

Email address: W.Bury@CultureSECT.org

Art At the Airport's fall exhibit "Peace in Nature"

presented by Artreach, Inc. at Groton-New London Airport

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUGUST 31, 2021 - NORWICH, CT

The Cultural Coalition is pleased to announce the Art At the Airport program fall exhibit Peace in Nature, a mixed media gallery exhibit of artwork created by Artreach, Inc.'s program members. The exhibit is free and available to view from September 10 to November 15 at the Groton - New London Airport.

Artreach heals through creativity. During the pandemic, all programs moved to virtual platforms. This summer, Artreach began holding in-person visual arts workshops outdoors with sessions focused on the theme 'peace in nature.' Master teaching artist Faith Satterfield guided the artists in exploring the natural elements, focusing on earth, sky, and water. Each week the workshop traveled to a different outdoor location to work en plain air using watercolor, pencil or medium of the artists' choice.

Faith Satterfield is an internationally-trained illustrator and visual artist, the owner and founder of By Faith, under which she does Murals By Faith, Paint Parties By Faith, art classes, curates art shows and takes commissions. She is a teaching artist who facilitates large murals, art projects involving from one to over three hundred people, and classes. Faith has been teaching with Artreach since 2016.

Peace in Nature will also feature original artwork that was published in the zine formatted volume Creativity Heals: Art & Poetry by Artreach. It will be the inaugural showing of this 2020 project following the pandemic postponement last year.

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. The program's newest partner, Groton Public Library, plans to host a companion event with Artreach during Mental Health Awareness Week in early October.

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. Face mask use and 6 foot distancing protocols in effect.

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

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.

About Artreach:

Using the creative arts, Artreach supports sustainable recovery from psychiatric disorders and raises awareness about mental health in the community-at-large. By providing theater, music, visual arts, and recreational opportunities to members, Artreach enhances the quality of its members' lives and teaches skills that help them achieve and sustain recovery after experiencing mental illnesses. Artreach's public performances and art exhibits engage attendees in conversation about mental health and serve to bust the stigma of mental illness, creating social change in the community. Founded in 1985, Artreach is known for the Second Step Players sketch comedy troupe, the Music Heals Coffeehouse, and Mixed Bag performances of comedy and visual arts. www.ArtreachHeals.org.

CAPTION FOR ATTACHED PHOTO: “by Cynthia Adams from Peace in Nature by Artreach”



Randy Richards Design Group, Noank, CT wins more Graphic Design USA National Awards than any other Connecticut company and was tied for most awards won in the entire country.

We are proud to announce that RRDG / Randy Richards Design Group won 8 awards in 2020 from American Graphic Design USA and is included in their design annual published in 2021. RRDG won awards for Videos, Photos, Branding, Logos, Websites, Packaging, POP Merchandising, and marketing materials, and was one of 4 companies in the entire USA to win the most awards in the competition.


We are proud of the awards but more proud of what the awards mean during these unprecedented pandemic times. By producing this high level of quality work, it helped our customers not only survive, but many succeeded beyond their expectations. In spite of the year's challenges we helped many have the best year they've ever had with increased online and in-store sales. All of our small and large customers enjoyed success during these times and we are so glad we could help them when they needed us most. We in turn saw our business grow substantially during this tough business climate and we are seeing even more growth in 2021.


RRDG Randy Richards Design Group located in quaint Noank, Connecticut is a nationally recognized company that has customers around the world. Randy Richards, is President, Creative Director and Kyle Richards, is VP, Senior Art Director. Our work is everywhere and can be seen on the shelves at Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and many other retail stores and online. We have designed many recognizable logos/brands like Nalgene, Stanley, The Hartford, MacTools, Hard Rock Denim, Brooklyn Blue Collar, Cabbage Patch Kids Koosas, Bostitch, ESPN Radio, Bic Shaver, Bic Roller, Bic Lighter, Husky, Rollease, Alton, FatMax, AGS and Personna Blades. We specialize in brand development and produce logos, marketing materials, photography, videos, package design, merchandising POP, websites and online content – all supporting the brand development.

Being one of the leading brand marketing companies in Connecticut and nationally, RRDG also cares and supports local companies with fair pricing to fit to budgets. We love to support and contribute to Connecticut companies’ successes and offer special pricing to help work with smaller budgets and don’t have large minimums for project work. RRDG has helped many SE Connecticut local companies, including; Mystic Financial, Jensen Law Offices, The Fisherman Restaurant, Best Health PT, Palmer Cove Marina, The Rotary Club, Groton Summer in the City, Grover Insurance, Omicron Innovation, KWA Group and Misty Cove Soap to name a few.

Randy Richards, President, RRDG / Randy Richards Design Group

PRESS RELEASE

New, Used, & Unfriendly:

The Art of Roshane Stephenson


For immediate release:

Aug. 20, 2021

Exhibit Opening

New, Used, & Unfriendly: The Art of Roshane Stephenson

Friday, September 10 from 5-7pm

New, Used, & Unfriendly are works of art that take a closer look at the state of America in the year 2020. The paintings comment on politics, advanced technology, wealth, narcissism, addiction, the pandemic, and other social issues. It aims to challenge the concept of what it means to be “user-friendly," and if it is actually good for us.

Artist Roshane Stephenson is a Jamaican born, American raised contemporary artist based in Hartford, CT. His choice of medium are acrylic and acrylic gouache paints. He considers his style to be abstract impressionist. He enjoys painting landscapes, still life, and portraits of mostly African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans.

Exhibit opening is on Friday, September 10 from 5-7pm.

Gallery hours follow on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday afternoons 1-4pm through October 31. Other times available by appointment--please call ahead 860-535-2300.

With special thanks to Kolton Harris for serving as Community Curator for this exhibit.


Westerly Community Credit Union Launches Teacher Grant Program for the 2021-22 School Year

The Westerly Community Credit Union (WCCU) will be awarding $8,500 in grants, in values up to $500, for the upcoming 2021/22 school year to local Teachers, Administrators, or Staff from the following public-school districts: Chariho, Exeter-West Greenwich, Narragansett, North Stonington, South Kingstown, Stonington, and Westerly.

The Credit Union awards these grants 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, as well as 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.

‘We understand the monumental task at hand for our local Teachers, Administration, and Staff in meeting learning objectives and keeping everyone safe during this school year. We are pleased to offer teacher grants that enhance the overall educational experience especially during this very challenging time’, stated Steve White, WCCU President and CEO. ‘We feel this is a way to show our support and appreciation for their creativity and ongoing determination to help children succeed.’

Grant applications are available through the WCCU website, www.westerlyccu.com/teacher-grant. Completed applications must be submitted to WCCU no later than October 31, 2021. Monies will be awarded in early December. For more information about the WCCU Teacher Grant Program, please contact Kim Gates, WCCU’s Financial Education Officer, at 401-596-7000 x2124 or kgates@westerlyccu.com.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU mantra, #WCCUCares, emphasizes their focus on caring about their members, their members’ financial success, and their community. Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution that currently serves over 19,700 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 Hero Award 2021, Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 & 2020) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19 and 2021).




NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dan McFadden

Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport Museum

860.572.5317 (o)

860.333.7155 (m)

dan.mcfadden@mysticseaport.org

Chris Sanders Named Director of the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard

Mystic, Conn. (August 2, 2021) – Mystic Seaport Museum announced the appointment of Chris Sanders as the new director of the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard. Sanders succeeds longtime director Quentin Snediker, who will stay on at the Museum in his role as the Clark Senior Curator for Watercraft.

“Chris brings a wealth of ship and boatbuilding experience to the leadership of the duPont Preservation Shipyard. He has proven his knowledge and skill during the Mayflower II restoration project and many others since he started here, and I am excited to appoint him to this new position,” said Peter Armstrong, president of Mystic Seaport Museum.

Sanders is a native of Connecticut and attended the University of North Carolina, where he studied physics and psychology before he began his career in wooden boat restoration and construction. He is a graduate of the apprentice program at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum as well as the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island. Since his graduation, he has worked on restoration projects in six states, including several years in both Northern and Southern California. He ran his own boat restoration shop in San Diego for several years before deciding to return to New England. He returned with his family to Connecticut to work on the Mayflower II restoration at Mystic Seaport Museum. He has served as the lead shipwright in the duPont Preservation Shipyard for the last two years, and lives with his wife, Dr. Megan McCarthy Sanders, and daughter Vann in North Stonington.

The appointment is effective immediately.

As the Clark Senior Curator for Watercraft, Snediker is responsible for providing direction and leadership in the preservation and development of the Museum’s watercraft collection, which presently numbers more than 500 vessels of all sizes, ranging from small rowboats and kayaks to four National Historic Landmarks, including the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan. Under Snediker’s leadership, the shipyard completed large-scale restorations on the Charles W. Morgan, the Mayflower II, the fishing vessel Roann, and the steamboat Sabino. He led the construction of the schooner Amistad, which was launched in 2000, and he managed the completion of significant maintenance work on the rest of the Museum’s fleet during his tenure in the position.

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.

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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dan McFadden

Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport Museum

860.572.5317 (o)

860.333.7155 (m)

dan.mcfadden@mysticseaport.org

Mystic Seaport to Increase Wages as Part of Strategy to Recruit and Retain Employees

Mystic, Conn. (July 29, 2021) – Mystic Seaport Museum announces it has made the commitment to pay all regular and part-time staff a minimum wage of $15 beginning July 31, 2021—two years ahead of a state mandate.

Additionally any current full or part-time staff members who earn between $15 and $20 per hour will receive a $1 per hour increase effective July 31, 2021.

This move is in advance of the minimum wage increase mandated by state legislation, which requires a $13 minimum wage effective August 1, 2021 with a gradual increase to $15 by June of 2023

These changes provided the Museum with an opportunity to review its current employment categories and to strengthen its commitment to providing more long-term opportunities for career progression at the institution.

“We are committed to employing our staff at higher wages now to create opportunities for people to develop long-term careers at the Museum and to continue to build a team of employees that is flexible and versatile with the skills to maintain the high level of programming we deliver every day,” said Peter Armstrong, president of Mystic Seaport Museum. “We are confident that by providing better-paying jobs, with real benefits, we will attract and retain employees who are committed to working to make the Mystic Seaport Museum experience the best it can be.”

Training is a key part of an employee’s experience at the Museum, including an expanded traditional skills program coming online in the fall. The initiative is part of a continued strategy to employ expert staff to help people understand where their own sea story lies and to connect them with the maritime history of America.

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.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEWS

Media Contact: Barb Curto, VP, Marketing Manager

Phone: (860) 448-4118

Email: bcurto@chelseagroton.com

Chelsea Groton Team Members Complete Leadership Programs and Earn Degrees, Diplomas and Certifications

GROTON, Conn. – Chelsea Groton Bank team members recently graduated from the Center for Financial Training (CFT), the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT’s (Chamber ECT) Leadership Program, and the Connecticut Bankers Association’s (CBA) Connecticut School of Finance and Management (CSFM). Team members also completed the American Bankers Association (ABA) Marketing School and earned professional certifications in various concentrations.

Jessica Charette, Branch Operations Specialist, earned the Financial Services Operations Diploma from the Center for Financial Training (CFT). The CFT is dedicated to providing professionally administered banker education and training that continually meets the educational needs of employees in the financial services industry throughout our geographic market.

Bank graduates of the Chamber ECT’s Leadership Program were Alexis Kahn, Cash Management Sales Manager, and Liz Owen, Senior Credit Analyst. The program prepares promising leaders for positions of responsibility by acquainting them with significant community processes and pressing issues. Participants engage in discussions with established leaders, go behind-the-scenes at the region’s key institutions, build their leadership skills, create a lasting network of contacts, and give back to the community.

Rebecca Magner, Customer Solutions Manager of the Pawcatuck and North Stonington branches, graduated from the Connecticut School of Finance and Management (CSFM). The primary purpose of CSFM is to provide an opportunity for key employees of Connecticut’s banking industry to obtain a broader knowledge and awareness of banking theory, practices and procedures, capital markets and management functions which will be of substantial value in their preparation for new and greater responsibilities at or within the management level. The two-year program is designed to increase the knowledge of students in their own specialties and at the same time introduce them to a wide range of banking topics. The program helps students develop a broader perspective of the industry, a more enlightened view of their own bank and most importantly, a better awareness of their individual capacities.

Barb Curto, VP, Marketing Manager, completed the American Bankers Association (ABA) Marketing School. ABA’s Bank Marketing School allows marketing and communications professionals to elevate their expertise with a deeper understanding of marketing’s role in ROI, product development and customer experience. The programs goes beyond the basics of marketing to gain industry-specific knowledge that takes leadership capacity to the next level.

Professional certifications were also earned by Chelsea Groton team members. Nancy Menhart, BSA Analyst, became a certified AML Fraud Professional (CAFP). Bill Mundell, Digital Banking Channel Manager, completed a Visa Payments Management Lab. Kathleen Ringler, Vice President, Chelsea Groton Financial Services and Financial Advisor, Infinex Investments, Inc., earned her Social Security Claiming Strategies Certification.

“We are proud of the accomplishments that our team has made despite the challenges presented over the last 18 months,” said Kristin Zummo, VP, Learning & Development Manager at Chelsea Groton Bank. “At Chelsea Groton, we encourage employees to continually learn and develop themselves, both professionally and personally. In addition to the Grow, Launch, and Lead leadership programs offered internally at the Bank, many team members pursue additional opportunities offered through area chambers of commerce, local or online universities, various banking schools, and in their specific field to further their learning. Our team members remained committed to these programs in an effort to further develop professionally and provide our customers with the best experience.”

About Chelsea Groton Financial Services

Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA / SIPC. Chelsea Groton Financial Services is a trade name of the Bank. Infinex and the Bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.4 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education classes. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit www.chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS Institution ID 402928.

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CHARTER OAK NAMED ‘BEST IN STATE’ CREDIT UNION IN FORBES SURVEY

Credit Union Honored for 4th Year in a Row in Analysis of Nation’s Top Financial Institutions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Anthony Cronin, AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254

acronin@cofcu.com

Waterford, CT – July 19, 2021 – For the fourth consecutive year, Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has been named a “Best-In-State” credit union in the annual Forbes survey of the nation’s best financial institutions.

“We are honored to once again be named one of the very best in our industry,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “To be chosen by Forbes as a best-in-state winner for four straight years is a real testament to the hard work of our employees to provide the best service and best products for our members each day,” he said.

The prestigious Best-In-State award is presented by Forbes and Statista Inc., the global statistics portal and industry ranking provider. Forbes and Statista identified America’s Best-In-State Credit Unions for 2021 based on an independent nationwide survey of approximately 25,000 U.S. consumers who were asked to rate credit unions at which they have or previously have had checking accounts. Participants made recommendations regarding overall satisfaction and also assessed the credit unions in the areas of trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services, member service, and financial advice.

The nationwide 2021 Forbes survey awarded “Best-In-State” honors to only 182 credit unions out of the more than 5,000 credit unions serving over 125 million members across the United States with a total of $2 trillion in assets.

In its 2021 survey of the nation’s credit unions, Forbes said that member-owned credit unions typically have lower fees and offer better interest rates than traditional banks, and credit unions’ not-for-profit model also puts their members first, resulting in higher levels of satisfaction.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.46 billion as of March 31, 2021. Charter Oak provides one of the largest and most convenient branch networks of any financial institution serving eastern Connecticut. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of products and services, please stop by any of our convenient branches, visit our website at CharterOak.org, or call our Contact Center at 860.446.8085 or 800.962.3237. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

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


NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Dan McFadden

Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport Museum

860.572.5317 (o)

860.333.7155 (m)

dan.mcfadden@mysticseaport.org

Mystic Seaport Museum Announces the Return of The WoodenBoat Show August 20-22

Mystic, Conn. (July 19, 2021) — The largest gathering of wooden boats and enthusiasts in New England will converge at Mystic Seaport Museum for the 29th annual WoodenBoat Show Friday through Sunday, August 20-22.

The WoodenBoat Show, hosted in a partnership with WoodenBoat Publications, offers something for all wooden boat enthusiasts and maritime history buffs. More than 100 traditional and classic wooden boats of every type will be on display, from hand-crafted kayaks to mahogany runabouts, to classic daysailers and schooners.

In addition to taking in the historic vessels and beautiful boats, visitors can find everything they need to outfit their own watercraft and learn new skills at demonstrations and workshops throughout the weekend. A variety of exhibitors will offer items for sale including maritime art, antiques, tools, books, nautical gear, and much more.

Other popular features are the “I Built It Myself” display of home-built boats and a Concours d’Elegance of professionally built and maintained boats on exhibition.

Concurrent with The WoodenBoat Show this year will be the Museum’s Antique Marine Engine Exposition on Saturday and Sunday. One of the largest shows of its type in the country, the exposition features more than 150 engines on display, including inboards, outboards, gasoline, diesel, electric, and naphtha motors. Visitors are invited to see the displayed engines Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Engines will be fired up throughout the day and a selection of operating miniature engines and model boats will be on display as well.

Museum admission provides access to both The WoodenBoat Show and the Antique marine Engine exhibition. Three-day passes are available.

Please note the Connecticut Summer at the Museum free admission offer for Connecticut children is not valid during the show, August 20-22.

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.

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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Dan McFadden

Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport Museum

860.572.5317 (o)

860.333.7155 (m)

dan.mcfadden@mysticseaport.org

Mystic Seaport Museum to Haul 1841 Whaleship Charles W. Morgan for Preservation and Maintenance on July 19

Ship to Remain Open to the Public

Mystic, Conn. (July 16, 2021) – Mystic Seaport Museum announces it will be hauling its 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan for routine maintenance and preservation work on Monday, July 19.

The ship will be moved from its berth on the Museum’s waterfront to the shipyard at the south end of the property. The public is invited to watch as the ship is pushed and towed down the river beginning around 3:30 p.m. Once at the shipyard, staff will haul the Morgan out of the water on the yard’s synchronized shiplift and then move it onto dry land so the Museum’s shipwrights can access the hull for work. The Museum hauls the ship approximately every 3 years for inspection, maintenance such as painting and caulking, and repairs as needed.

“This is a rare opportunity to see an historic vessel such as the Charles W. Morgan high and dry, where one can walk right up and see the shape and details of the hull, which is normally invisible under the water,” said Peter Armstrong, the president of Mystic Seaport Museum.

The ship should be out of the water for about a month and will remain open to the public to go on board during much of that time.

About the Charles W. Morgan

The Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, it is America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat.

The 107-foot long whaleship typically sailed with a crew of about 35, representing sailors from around the world. Over an 80-year whaling career, the Morgan embarked on 37 voyages with most lasting three years or more. Built for durability and not speed, it roamed every corner of the globe.

The Morgan was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and it is also a recipient of the coveted World Ship Trust Award. Since its arrival at Mystic Seaport Museum in 1941, more than 20 million visitors have walked its decks. While built to hunt and process whales for profit, its purpose now is to tell an important part of America’s maritime heritage for current generations.

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.


NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Barb Curto, VP, Marketing Manager

Phone: (860) 448-4118

Email: bcurto@chelseagroton.com

Chelsea Groton Bank Proudly Offers

Homebuyer Assistance Program for Persons with Documented Disabilities

GROTON, Conn. – Chelsea Groton Bank is pleased to partner with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) to help borrowers with documented disabilities to purchase their first home, through the Home of Your Own Program.

The Home of Your Own Program allows borrowers to be eligible for a low-interest rate loan and down-payment assistance if the borrower or a live-in family member of the borrower has a documented disability.

“Keeping in line with our commitment to assisting all qualifying persons to achieve homeownership, we are thrilled to be able to offer a program specifically for the members of our community who overcome challenges each day due to a documented disability. We look forward to supporting the borrowers and their loved ones as they purchase a first home,” shared Matt Morrell, VP, Retail Lending Manager at Chelsea Groton Bank. “As the leading mortgage lender in Eastern Connecticut, we’re committed to preparing people to buy a home when it makes good financial sense for them. This program offers financial assistance and ensures, by requiring borrowers to attend a homebuyer class, that first time homeowners are prepared to accept the responsibility of homeownership.”

In addition to providing the disability documentation, borrowers must be a first-time homebuyer or have not owned a home in the past three years, and the home must be the borrower’s primary residence. Borrowers must qualify for the program and attend a free Homebuyer Education course prior to closing. Eligible properties may include existing single family homes, multi-unit, condominiums, townhouses and new construction.

Chelsea Groton offers many additional affordable lending programs to the community through partnerships with Veterans Administration, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and down payment assistance and grant programs, including FHLB Equity Builder, HDF SmartMove, and CHFA DAP.

Please visit chelseagroton.com for more information and to contact a lender about specific eligibility requirements.

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.

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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dan McFadden

Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport Museum

860.572.5317 (o)

860.333.7155 (m)

dan.mcfadden@mysticseaport.org

Mystic Seaport Museum Offers Summer Free Admission to Connecticut Children

Mystic, Conn. (July 1, 2021) – Mystic Seaport Museum announces it is participating in Connecticut’s Summer at the Museum program, which offers free admission to resident children and one accompanying adult from July 1 to September 6.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced the program at a press conference at the Connecticut Science Center on Wednesday. The program is part of the Governor’s plan to use recovery funds to provide students and families engaging educational and enrichment experiences in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are grateful to Gov. Lamont and the state legislators for making this program possible and enabling us to welcome to our Museum many who might not otherwise be able to afford admission in these challenging times,” said Peter Armstrong, president of Mystic Seaport Museum. ”After a traumatic year where children were cooped up in front of a computer screen, we are pleased to be able to offer an outdoors learning experience, where they can be outside, go for a boat ride, and learn new things -- but most important, get out in the fresh air and have fun with their family.”

The offer is available to all Connecticut children ages 18 and younger, plus one accompanying adult. To be eligible, families must be Connecticut residents. Participants are asked to fill out a brief form online to order their free admission tickets in advance of their visit. They can do that by visiting Mysticseaport.org/CTKidsFree.

Please note the free admission offer is not available during The WoodenBoat Show, August 20-22.

Included in admission is the Museum’s newest exhibition, A Spectacle in Motion: The Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World. The Panorama, which is owned and conserved by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, is the longest painting in North America at more than 1250 feet long and recreates the experience of a whaling voyage of the 1840s. It depicts the story of whaling and the cultural ties born of that global industry.

Mystic Seaport Museum is one of the five leading attractions in the state to participate. The others are the Mystic Aquarium, the Beardsley Zoo, the Connecticut Science Center, and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. For a complete list of all participating museums, please visit CTVisit.com.

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.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kathryn Keller

Kkeller@alwayshome.org

(860) 287-0300

Always Home to Benefit from Stop & Shop’s Bloomin’ 4 Good & Community Bag Programs

Mystic, CT (June 30, 2021) Brighten your grocery shopping trip with a bouquet of flowers and a new reusable grocery bag and help local families recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. Always Home has been selected by Stop & Shop as the benefiting organization for two community support initiatives: Bloomin' 4 Good Program and Community Bags Program.

During the entire month of July, Always Home will receive a $1 donation for every $10.99 Bloomin' 4 Good Bouquet with the red circle sticker purchased at the Stop & Shop located at 220 Route 12, Groton CT. The local nonprofit will also receive a $1 donation every time a $2.50 reusable Community Bag is purchased at the Stonington Stop & Shop located at 91 Voluntown Road, Pawcatuck CT.

“Homelessness stands alongside hunger,” said Tricia Cunningham, Always Home’s Executive Director. “Our mission is Preventing Family Homelessness, but that also involves recognizing and addressing food insecurity which is an early warning sign of homelessness.”

Stop & Shop’s Bloomin' 4 Good and Community Bag Programs are easy ways for shoppers to give back as part of their regular shopping routine and brings awareness to the challenges low-income residents in our region are facing.

“We are thrilled to be chosen to benefit from these unique and impactful Stop & Shop programs,” said Cunningham, “as the demands of those in need are higher than ever this year.”

About Always Home

Always Home is a private 501(C)3) non-profit formed in 1998 to address the needs of Eastern Connecticut's homeless and imminently homeless families. Formerly known as Mystic Area Shelter & Hospitality, Inc. (MASH), the agency continues to pursue its mission of Preventing Family Homelessness. Always Home’s work has evolved from temporarily housing homeless families in scattered site shelters to a “Housing First” approach which focuses on preventing homelessness before it happens, instead guiding families to find immediate and lasting solutions to their housing crisis. The organization has also broadened its reach in order to provide services to families throughout Eastern Connecticut and now serves over 300 families a year. As a key player in the Eastern Coordinated Access Network (ECAN), Always Home works closely with the other service providers in the Eastern Connecticut regional network to ensure that at-risk families receive the services they need to attain housing stability.

For more information about Always Home, visit alwayshome.org


NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dan McFadden

Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport Museum

860.572.5317 (o)

860.333.7155 (m)

dan.mcfadden@mysticseaport.org

Mystic Seaport Museum Announces New Senior Curator of Social Maritime Histories

Mystic, Conn. (June 23, 2021) – Mystic Seaport Museum announces the appointment of Akeia de Barros Gomes, Ph.D., as the Museum’s new senior curator for social maritime histories. De Barros Gomes, a multi-dimensional museum professional and educator, comes to Mystic Seaport Museum from the New Bedford Whaling Museum and will join the Mystic staff on July 6, 2021.

"We look forward to welcoming Akeia back to Connecticut and to our Museum,” said Peter Armstrong, president of Mystic Seaport Museum. “She is a key part of an institution-wide reframing of the traditional narratives around the American maritime experience as it relates to African, African-American, and Indigenous peoples. As America’s leading maritime museum, we are proud to have Akeia join our staff to help lead a necessary reflection on how America’s activities on the world’s oceans have -- and continue to play -- a part in our country’s society from the position of race and slavery. We are deeply grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, whose support made this position possible.”

As senior curator of social maritime histories, de Barros Gomes will be responsible for working on curatorial projects of race, Indigenous histories, ethnicity, and diversity in New England’s maritime activities as it relates to the site and collections of Mystic Seaport Museum. She will lead a multi-disciplinary team to examine the Museum’s and other regional collections to develop contemporary re-imaginings of people’s actions in the past and present, and translating that into content relevant to today’s social environment. The first 2 years of the work will culminate in a major exhibition in the fall of 2023 in collaboration with Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice and Williams College funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The exhibit will map a more complex historical framework of New England’s maritime history by engaging with questions of race and sovereignty, weaving a new narrative with a creative use of visual and material culture, archaeology, oral traditions, and songs and performance. Additionally, de Barros Gomes will lead a curatorial team in the development of educational programs, both in-house and online, related to those themes.

The curatorial position is supported by a $4.9 million grant from the Mellon Foundation. Part of the Foundation’s Just Futures Initiative, the grant funds a partnership with Brown, Mystic Seaport Museum, and Williams College that uses maritime history as a basis for studying historical injustices and generating new insights on the relationship between European colonization in North America, the dispossession of Native American land, and racial slavery in New England.

The collaborative project, titled “Reimagining New England Histories: Historical Injustice, Sovereignty and Freedom,” is creating new work and study opportunities at all three institutions, particularly for scholars, curators, and students from underrepresented groups, and will support the Museum’s exhibition.

De Barros Gomes has spent the last 3 years at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, where she was the curator of social history. In that role, she was responsible for the curation of exhibitions, installation of exhibitions, historical research, and interpretive public programs and public outreach. Exhibitions of note include Ripples: Through a Wampanoag Lens; In the Neighborhood; Captain Paul Cuffe: His Work, Vision and Living Legacy; and Enlightened Encounters: The Two Nations of Manjiro Nakahama. Prior to her position in New Bedford, de Barros Gomes was an assistant professor at Wheelock College where she taught a variety of subjects in the Departments of Psychology and Human Development and American Studies. She also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut from 2009-2010. De Barros Gomes received a Ph.D. in Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of Connecticut. Her prior education includes a BA in Anthropology/Archaeology at Salve Regina University and a MA in Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of Connecticut. She serves on the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Advisory Commission for the State of Massachusetts and the Board of Trustees for the Newport Historical Society.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to initiate this new role at Mystic Seaport Museum,” said de Barros Gomes. “It is not only important that Indigenous, African, and African American stories are given their rightful place in the historical narrative of this country, it is essential that historical narratives are a collaborative effort and that their voices are a primary voice in telling that history.”

“I have had the great privilege of working with Akeia at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and have seen first-hand her lasting contributions to community connections, scholarship, and programming in that wonderful city,” said Christina Connett Brophy, senior director of museum galleries and senior vice president of curatorial affairs. “We are thrilled she will be joining Mystic Seaport Museum as the first appointee of a now permanent position that addresses diversity in American Maritime History and broadens our capacity to engage visitors in a more inclusive conversation.”

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.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 19, 2021

C: Theresa Armendarez

T: 860.439.0034

E: go@higheredge.org

______________________________________________________________________________

Higher Edge Announces Success Program College Graduates

New London, CT – Higher Edge is pleased to announce that 17 students who participated in its Success Program graduated from college in 2021!

It is always bittersweet to say goodbye to a graduating class but it is always an honor to watch students flourish into confident and professional people who have accomplished just one of their many goals,” says Higher Edge Success Program Manager Gracie Guzman. “We are happy to be with them on the ride to discovering themselves, their academic interests, and future goals. This class is composed of future social workers, nurses, business leaders, engineers but most importantly upcoming contributing members of our local communities that also watched them grow,” she added.

Ve'kema Aguirre....Xavier University

Melida Alvarez... Clark University

Yareli Benitez-Botello...Eastern CT State University

Mayah Brown....Southern CT State University

Yelitza Chavez...Southern CT State University

Dahyir Croft...University of Connecticut

Junie Dulcice...Nova Southeastern University

Shineika Fareus...Gordon College

Maria Fiestas...University of Connecticut

Sigfredo Hedalgo...Eastern CT State University

Mackjeannie Joseph...Colby University

Minairis Medina...Johnson and Wales University

Herberth Muguruza...University of Connecticut

Jhannah Rivers...Charter Oak State College

Javier Rodriguez Roman...Eastern CT State University

Kethia St Hilaire...Assumption College

Luis Ureña...Providence College

About Higher Edge, Inc.

Higher Edge guides low-income and first-generation students through enrollment, retention, and graduation from college by providing the support and resources needed for success. With locations in New London and Willimantic, Higher Edge served 55 high school seniors and 152 college students during the 2020-2021 academic year. The organization is currently accepting applications from rising seniors for its 2021-2022 College Access Program (CAP). To learn more and to apply online, visit HigherEdge.org. Stay connected @HigherEdgeCT on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Higher Edge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the IRS code.

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Westerly Community Credit Union Announces Scholarship Award Recipients

The Westerly Community Credit Union Scholarship Committee recently awarded (4) $1000 scholarships to local students of Chariho, South Kingstown and Westerly High Schools.

Andrew Poirier, of Ashaway, was awarded the Westerly Community Credit Union- Joseph N. Cugini Memorial Scholarship. The Joseph N. Cugini Memorial Scholarship is named on behalf of the Credit Union’s former president, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Joseph Cugini. Cugini retired in 2000 after 41 years of service to the Credit Union. Andrew will be attending the Kent State University to pursue a degree in Aeronautics.

Libby Braun, of Richmond, was awarded the Westerly Community Credit Union- Robert M. Bewlay Memorial Scholarship. The Robert M. Bewlay Memorial Scholarship is named in honor of the Credit Union’s former Vice President, Robert M. Bewlay, for his 35 years of dedication and service to the Westerly Community Credit Union. Libby will be attending Suffolk University to study Computer Science.

Melanie Gomes of Westerly and Taylor Hurrell of Wakefield, were each awarded a Westerly Community Credit Union College Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a high school graduate attending a four-year college or university. Melanie will be attending Stony Brook University to study Biology. Taylor will be attending the University of St. Joseph as a Physician Assistant major.

The Westerly Community Credit Union Board of Directors and staff are proud to support these outstanding students with their post high school education.

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 AWARDS $94,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS TO 47 STUDENTS

Since 2015, Charter Oak Has Awarded Nearly $650,000 In Annual Scholarships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Anthony Cronin

AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254 acronin@cofcu.com

Waterford, CT – June 3, 2021 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union awarded $94,000 in scholarships this spring to 47 high school and college students in New London and Windham counties for their significant academic and community achievements.

“Our scholarship committee was truly impressed with the many achievements of these scholarship recipients – in their school studies as well as their community activities – during an academic year that was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Once again, the selection process was very competitive, with more than 190 applications received by Charter Oak for this year’s scholarship program,” he said.

Since 2015 when Charter Oak first expanded its annual scholarship program, the credit union has proudly awarded $648,000 in scholarships to a total of 324 students in eastern Connecticut.

Students who are members of Charter Oak compete for the annual scholarships by submitting an essay describing how they would help their local community in addition to submitting their academic, athletic, and community accomplishments.

As part of Charter Oak’s strong commitment to serve the communities in its field of membership in eastern Connecticut, the credit union has pledged to award one $2,000 college scholarship to a college-bound senior at each high school within New London and Windham counties with an attendance of at least 100 students. Additional scholarships, when available, are also given to students already enrolled in college.

This year’s high school student scholarship winners (sorted by school) are:

Sarah Charpentier, Academy of the Holy Family; Olivia Dickinson, ACT Magnet High School; Jamie Greene, Bacon Academy; Chelsea Weimer, East Lyme High School; Sarah Hodgdon, East Lyme High School; Nicole Burgon, East Lyme High School; Gabbriella King, Edwin O. Smith High School; Leslie Melendez, Ella T. Grasso Technical High School; Madison Spinelli, Griswold High School; Sophie Griffin, Killingly High School; Meghan Wrobel, Killingly High School; Megan Cravinho, Lyme-Old Lyme High School; Quinn Mignosa, Marine Science Magnet High School; Emily Tarinelli, Marine Science Magnet High School; and Sophie Giurleo, Montville High School.

Also, Leydi Martinez, New London High School; Brenna Comeau, Norwich Free Academy; Zachary Ruta, Norwich Free Academy; Kyle Benito, Parish Hill High School; Kathryn Waite, Plainfield High School; Abby St. Martin, Putnam High School; Cierra O'Grady, Robert E. Fitch High School; Alyson Cabral, Robert E. Fitch High School; Rachel Kunka, Saint Bernard School; Adam Bryant, Science and Technology Magnet High School; Annabelle Axtell, Science and Technology Magnet High School; Colin Wertz, Stonington High School; Celia Moffitt, Stonington High School; Marissa Sasso, Stonington High School; Eli Werstler, The Woodstock Academy; Caroline Wilcox, The Woodstock Academy; John Steglitz, Tourtellotte Memorial High School; Kevin McEntarfer, Waterford High School; Jenna Morin, Waterford High School; Nitya Somineni, Waterford High School; Benjamin Dobley, Wheeler High School; and Nolyette Verastegui, Windham High School.

Additional college scholarship recipients are: Amara Robinson, California Baptist University; Samuel Kasem-Beg, Connecticut College; Aaron Nyambe, Middlesex Community College; Josefina Alvarez, Mitchell College; Julia Paul, University of Connecticut; Collin Carofano, University of Rhode Island; Kinsley Green, University of Saint Joseph; and Jamal Neal, Yale Divinity School.

In addition to these 45 high school and college scholarship recipients, Charter Oak employees awarded two separate scholarships through their employee-funded Community Outreach Program. Carly Millette, a student at The Woodstock Academy, was awarded the $2,000 Community Outreach Memorial Scholarship and Eveliz Fuentes, a student at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, was awarded the $2,000 Louise Jackson Community Outreach Scholarship.

Charter Oak awards scholarships on an annual basis and will begin accepting applications again in January 2022. Information will be available at that time on the credit union’s website at 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. So join today and see why Members Bank Better at Charter Oak!