Mickus picked as chairman of Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut

Norwich - Stanley Mickus, director of marketing and public affairs for Cross Sound Ferry in New London, has been elected chairman of the board of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.

Mickus took the reins this week from John Lombardi Jr., owner of Lombardi Gravel & Excavation, who presided as the chamber undertook an in-depth review of its staff and duties while updating its strategic plan throughout 2013.

"In 2014, we will begin to implement the elements of our most recent strategic plan - a top priority for the coming year," Mickus told more than 200 assembled chamber members Wednesday night at the Norwich Inn & Spa. "These efforts will focus on continuing to recruit new members and retain our current members through both traditional means and exciting new methods."

Mickus said the chamber will engage with members in new ways, including the use of more interactive elements on its website and a new database system called Chamber Master.

Thirteen people have been added to the board of trustees, including six members of the Young Professionals Group. The young professionals are: Kia Baird, Clarence Bowen, JoAnn Collins, Brian Fagan, Alex Marku and Seema Mukherjee. Other new board members are: Steve Blackburn, Kevin Brown, Anna Hicky, David Preka, Tony Silvestri, Paul Yatcko and Donna Yother.

Board officers will be Gail Weber and Kate Clancy, vice chairs; Bobby Soper, secretary, Matt Nick, who remains as treasurer, and Al Ayers of Electric Boat.

Annual awards were presented to the Norwich Community Development Corp. as Community Revitalization Leader; A Beautiful Company General Contractors of New London as Small Business of the Year; Maggie Jones, executive director of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center as winner of the Board of Directors Special Award, and David Preka, owner of Advanced Improvements in Mystic, as Volunteer of the Year.

A report from the chamber's foundation said $92,100 in grants were awarded to 22 nonprofits last year. A gala last year at Mohegan Sun raised $105,000 for the foundation.

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