Susette Tibus honored with Lifetime of Service award from Mystic Chamber
Mystic — Susette Tibus once hosted an event centered around lipstick, and next to the official lipstick names, she added in some of her own: "Strong and powerful." "Nourishing." "Curious." "Confident."
It is with this positivity and vibrancy that she has approached multiple aspects of her life, whether it be working at her jewelry store, serving as co-chair of the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival or sitting on the Mystic Aquarium board of trustees.
"Negativity is paralyzing," she says. "I refuse to go there, and I will not be part of an organization that forces negativity."
Tibus, 61, recently was announced as the recipient of a Lifetime of Service award from the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce. She will be honored at the Chamber's 80th Annual Meeting & Gala, to be held Dec. 7 at Foxwoods.
The Chamber has given many community service awards before, but Tibus will be the first to receive the Lifetime of Service award. She recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of Simply Majestic, the jewelry store she owns with her husband, Chuck Sneddon.
They opened the business after Tibus had a career working for a national jewelry chain. The couple worked seven days a week for about five years, until they could hire employees.
"She makes life interesting," store employee Jennifer Vincent said of Tibus. "She's a ball of energy, and she's a great person."
Tibus grew up in Mystic, the daughter of Filipino immigrants.
"What came to their rescue was the community, very important when you're an immigrant family," Tibus said. She says of Mystic, "It gave me the opportunity, so I give back the opportunity to Mystic."
Tibus is a former president of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, and she is now constable for the Town of Stonington and on the Camp Horizons board of directors.
She has received the Good Neighbor Award from the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center and the Humanitarian Service Award from the Lions Club.
For the past 20 years, she has co-hosted the public access show "Mystic Matters," which she now does with Chamber employee Kristin Hartnett.
Hartnett described her first impression of Tibus as "bigger than life" but said "once you get close to her, she's so generous, and more genuine than most, even though she seems like a celebrity."
As "delighted" as Tibus is to be receiving the award, she finds the inclusion of the word "lifetime" a bit funny to her.
She doesn't plan on slowing down, and her goal 20 years down the road is to still be here, championing hope in Mystic. She wants people to back up their causes with friendship and love rather than anger and hate, and her cause is Mystic.
"I look at it as that's just the beginning," Tibus said. "This is one lifetime; I've got another lifetime."
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