Business briefs - April 29, 2012

Abbott's Lobster in the Rough restaurant at 117 Pearl St. in Noank will open for the season Friday.

Mike Urban, author of newly-published "Lobster Shacks: A Road Guide to New England's Best Lobster Joints," will be signing copies of his new book at Abbott's on opening day.

Abbott's is well known for its fresh-caught North Atlantic lobsters, Noank-style clam chowder and lobster rolls.

Until Memorial Day weekend and from Labor Day to Columbus Day, hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Through the season, Abbott's will begin its full summer hours of noon to 9 p.m. daily.

For more information, call 860-536-7719 or visit

The Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour, part of a 50-state celebration, comes to Mohegan Sun Arena May 12, and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut has tickets at $60.

Tickets will entitle the purchaser to watch the sold-out show from the arena's skybox. The tickets can be obtained from the chamber of commerce by calling 860-701-9113.

Erin Larkin of East Lyme and James Kelly of Norwich were among those honored as the recipients of the 2012 Liberty Bank Youth In Action Awards presented at Middlesex Community College.

Larkin and Kelly were able to direct a $1,000 donation from Liberty Bank to a nonprofit organization of their choice.

Larkin spent over 1,500 hours working with children in after-school programs at East Lyme Youth Services. She has been involved with the agency's Sitter Survival and Home Alone courses and the Girls Circle, as well as helping to develop and promote new curriculum. She has also organized the Middle School Talent Show.

Kelly began his involvement with community service in kindergarten, when he collected coloring books for children who were in the hospital over the holidays. He has organized numerous food drives to benefit St. Vincent DePaul Place, a soup kitchen and food pantry in Norwich. He was student coordinator for the Food Closet at his elementary school and helped to establish the Kelly Middle School Food Closet. For three years, he participated in the Math-A-Thon to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and he organized a bake sale in 2010 to benefit the Haitian Health Foundation's earthquake relief efforts.

Besides the two award recipients, 10 regional finalists for the award - including Justin Shafner of Waterford and Aracely Reyes of Norwich - were recognized. Each was able to donate $100 to a nonprofit of their choice.

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut has organized a business after hours networking event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Newport Fed, 445 Liberty St. in the Pawcatuck section of Stonington.

Starting at 5 p.m., the chamber will conduct a mini-networking workshop at no additional charge.

Admission is $15 for chamber members, $25 for others who wish to attend.

For additional information, call 860-701-9113 or visit

The Norwich chapter of Freshconnections will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday at Olde Tymes Restaurant in Norwich.

Debbie Itchkawich, manager of catering at Olde Tymes Restaurant, will be the showcase speaker.

Freshconnections is a networking organization for women in business. For information, call Kathy Kane at 860-859-9821 ext. 321, email or go to

Paula Widstrom from Skincare and Wellness on the Thames LLC will be the showcase presenter from 8:45 to 10:15 a.m. Wednesday at the Fresh Connections Groton chapter meeting at the Webster Bank on Long Hill Road.

Connecticut Adoption & Family Services, a nonprofit agency, has announced the addition of Josh Jensen to its board of directors.

Jensen, currently a Ph.D candidate in higher education administration at Boston College, is the director of marketing communications at Connecticut College. He holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Hartford's Hartt School.

For more information on Connecticut Adoption & Family Services, visit, follow @CTAFS on Twitter or call 860-444-0553.

T.L. Cannon Companies, the franchisee for 61 Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants in upstate New York and Connecticut, provided more than $2.42 million in fundraising and in-kind support to community nonprofits and organizations in 2011, a $10,000 increase over the previous year.

Connecticut-area groups raised more than $292,000 for their respective organizations through opportunities provided by Applebee's restaurants across the region.

Foxwoods Resort Casino will be the new location for the Connecticut Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Eastern Connecticut Light The Night Walk to raise money for cancer research and patient services.

LLS holds walks each fall in approximately 200 communities across the United States and Canada. Participants at the walks carry illuminated balloons - white for survivors, red for supporters, and gold to remember those who have died - to honor and commemorate lives touched by blood cancer.

The Foxwoods walk will take place Oct. 12.

To form a team or participate in the walk, call 203-427-2062 or go to

A Business Matchmaker Conference will be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 21 at the Gengras Student Center at the University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave. in West Hartford.

The conference is designed to match qualified, Connecticut-based small businesses with federal and state prime contractors to increase business opportunities. Representatives from federal, state and local agencies also will provide training on small business set-aside programs and how to become certified to bid on state and federal government contract work.

Cost is $40 for registration prior to June 8, and $45 for registration from June 8 to the event date.

To register as a prime government vendor or a small business. visit For further information, contact Joan Stanley at 860-437-4659 ext. 207 or

RBS Citizens Financial Group Inc., which operates several Citizens Bank branches in eastern Connecticut, has been named a Certified Age-Friendly Employer by

The designation goes to employers that make a special effort to improve age diversity by recruiting and retaining workers over the age of 50.

"RBS Citizens Financial Group has demonstrated an overwhelming commitment to the age 50-plus workforce," said Bill Coleman, vice president of research and certification at, in a statement.

In addition, Citizens was also recently recognized as a Top 100 Military Friendly Employer for 2012 by G.I. Jobs magazine.

For more information about Citizens, visit

Hospice Southeastern Connecticut has announced the graduation of 19 new volunteers who completed up to 20 hours of training, learning about all aspects of hospice care.

Graduating volunteers are: Susan Burke, Baltic; Sharma Howard, Niantic; Denise Tyburski, Lisbon; Kay Capozzi-Weiler, Norwich; Yvonne Masters, Waterford; Joe Sullivan, Old Lyme; Mary Ellen Christina, Bozrah; Diana Dash, Hampton; Priscilla Gebbie, Lebanon; Jacqui Joseph, Stonington; Wesley Kenyon, Waterford; Leesa Lewon, Griswold; Ryan Martin, New London; Sue Robinson, East Lyme; Robin Siragusa, Uncasville; Patty Small, Norwich; Shanai Smith, Norwich; Carol Wright, Colchester, and Karen Washington, Lisbon.

For more information on the volunteer program, contact Lauren Watson at or 860-848-5699.

Natchaug Hospital has been awarded the Soroptimist International of Willimantic's Marion Schultheiss Advancing Women Grant of $2,000 to support work readiness skills training for court-involved adolescent girls at the Journey House Residential Treatment Center.

Starting in July, Connecticut's "Raise the Age" initiative will increase the number of 17-year-olds participating in Journey House's treatment program. As a result of these changes, the program is expanding its work readiness and life skills training to prepare residents for independent living.

The Marion Schultheiss grant is awarded annually to a local organization that benefits women by improving their social or economic status and opportunity, or quality of life.

For more information, visit

Rick Sharr, president of Tri-Town Foods Inc., was honored during the annual Connecticut Food Association Hall of Fame Banquet at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville earlier this month.

Sharr, a member of the CFA board of directors, was inducted along with former CFA chairman Guido Giantonio, manager emeritus of Highland Park Market, and Jim Rowe, chief operations officer of Davidson Company Inc.

Sharr joined his father, Ed, in the Portland-based family grocery business in 1974. He and his current partners, Kevin Brouillard and Jack Fitzpatrick, operate local stores in East Lyme and Uncasville.

Tri-Town was named the IGA International Retailer of the Year in 2005.

Dime Bank has announced that it has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston's Equity Builder Program (EBP) to assist first-time homebuyers.

The EBP provides ten grants of up to $10,000 each to first-time home buyers who are income eligible. Grant funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applicants must have incomes of less than 80 percent of the area median income in order to qualify. To learn more about the program, contact the bank at 860-859-4300 and ask to speak with a mortgage officer.

Mystic harpist Allyn Donath has started up a new business venture called "Harp-o-grams."

Donath will travel with her Irish harp and serenade that special someone with the gift of live music. The music of the "Harp-o- gram" will be tailored for a special moment in time.

For more information, visit or call 860-501-5551.

• Press releases for the Business in Brief column, which runs each Sunday, should be sent to

Submit all items for consideration by Monday morning for publication in the following Sunday's business section. Generally, press releases should be no more than two to three paragraphs in length because of space limitations. Remember to include your company's telephone number, hours of operation and website address.

For general questions about Business in Brief submissions, call Lee Howard, business writer for The Day, at (860) 701-4356 or send an email to


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