Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Member News

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

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!