Business Briefs - Sept. 2

Employees at Charter Oak Federal Credit Union pledged nearly $52,300 during their one-week United Way of Southeastern Connecticut campaign, and set a new record with 84 percent employee participation.

Charter Oak kicked off its 2012 United Way Campaign with a $5,000 benefactor gift and promptly agreed to be a Pacesetter organization. As a Pacesetter, Charter Oak agreed to conduct its campaign before the official launch date, and to strive for a 5 percent increase in employee participation.

Charter Oak wound up with a 9 percent increase in participation.

To celebrate the milestone, employees wore T-shirts imprinted with the phrase "Live United" on Friday, Aug. 17.

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut will conduct a new member orientation at 4 p.m. Sept. 18, prior to the start of a business after hours event at the Mystic Marriot Hotel & Spa in Groton.

The orientation sessions are designed to acquaint new members with the wide variety of programs, events and activities the chamber offers, said Tony Sheridan, president and CEO of the regional business organization.

The business after hours networking event that follows the orientation is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer, along with soft drinks will be served.

For additional information, or to register, contact the chamber at 860-701-9113, or visit and click on programs and events.

Robert J. Birmingham, former town planner in Stonington and retired member of the Pawcatuck Fire Department, has joined Hunter Moore & Stearns as a real estate agent.

A lifelong resident of southeastern Connecticut, Birmingham most recently had been executive director of planning for the Mashantuckets, working on the development of Foxwoods Resort Casino. He is also a land-use planning consultant and a certified business development specialist.

His volunteer work includes serving on the Stonington Architectural Design Review Board and the Plan of Conservation & Development Advisory Committee.

Birmingham can be reached at 860-535-8300 or by email at

The company's website is

CorePlus Federal Credit Union donated more than $3,300 during its annual "Unsung Heroes Recognition" event on WINY Radio in Putnam.

The popular event has members of the listening audience call in to name an 'unsung hero' in their community or someone who may have had a special impact on their life so that that person might receive recognition. For every call received, CorePlus donated $25 towards the local charity of the caller's choice in the hero's name.

One hundred and thirty-four callers named more than 60 local non-profit and charitable organizations during the three-hour event.

CorePlus has seven full-service branches locally in Norwich, Taftville, Backus Hospital, Groton, East Lyme, Waterford and Plainfield. For more information, call 860-886-0576 or visit

Riverwalk Restaurant will hold a wine tasting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18 to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Connecticut.

The restaurant is at 14 Holmes St., Mystic. The cost is $25 per person. Tickets may be purchased by calling 860-574-9040 or emailing

The Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern CT serves to inspire and enable young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

For more information about the Boys & Girls club visit:

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce is seeking a college student to intern in its office for the fall semester.

The chamber is looking for an intern who would work with the staff in the office on ongoing projects and special events. The intern would also be required to help out with answering phones and helping with tourism inquiries.

The chamber will work with colleges so the unpaid internship could lead to course credit. Students interested in applying should contact Tricia Walsh at 860-572-9578 or

Twelve of Howley Bread Group Ltd.'s Panera bakery-cafes, including outlets in Waterford, Lisbon, Groton and Foxwoods Resort Casino, donated a total of more than $5,300 in the second quarter of 2012 to its Operation Dough-Nation partner, the Old Saybrook-based Connecticut Sports Foundation.

Taking this second quarter donation into account, Panera Bread/Howley Bread Group has now donated a total of $190,621 to CSF and its effort to assist cancer patients and their families since the partnership was formed in 2009.

The check was presented at Dodd Stadium, home of the Connecticut Tigers minor league baseball team in Norwich. The stadium will be the host again for the 2nd Annual Panera Bread Spook-a-thon Oct. 27, a pre-Halloween party to benefit the Connecticut Sports Foundation. For more information, visit the website at

CorePlus Federal Credit Union is hosting a Sept. 15 seminar to educate members and the general public about "Estate Planning - Myths and Misconceptions."

The Thursday event, at the CorePlus office at 202 Salem Tpke. in Norwich, will start at 5 p.m. with registration and snacks and ends at 6:30 p.m.

Topics to be covered are estate planning, wills, asset protection, trusts, probate and long term care planning.

The free seminar is being facilitated by local elder law attorney Lois G. Andrews of Andrews & Young of Waterford.

RSVP at any CorePlus branch, call 860-886-0576 x 3171 or email

Washington Trust partnered with the United Way of Rhode Island's Women's Leadership Council for a summer book drive that netted more than 4,000 children's books to benefit "Books Are Wings," a Rhode Island organization dedicated to ensuring that all children have books in their homes.

Washington Trust collected books through the Bank's 18 Rhode Island branch offices, as well as at its operations center and corporate headquarters. The United Way of Rhode Island collected approximately 13,000 books during its summer book drive.

All of the books collected will be distributed as part of Back to School Celebration RI in conjunction with Books Are Wings.

The southeastern Connecticut chapter of SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to the success of small business, continues its year-round series of Small Business Workshops with "How To Improve Your Non-Profit's Effectiveness."

The workshop, led by professional business coach Jim Rochford, will provide practical advice for non-profit organizations in ways to improve their financial, operational and marketing results.

SCORE, which has seven counseling sites in southeastern Connecticut, is a nonprofit association dedicated to the success of small business in America, offering free and confidential advice through counselors on starting a business or improving and growing an existing small business.

Visit the national SCORE website at or email the Old Saybrook-based chapter at or telephone 860-388-9508.

Denise Nott, founder and owner of Nutmeg Building & Remodeling in Ledyard and a former president of the Builders Association of Eastern Connecticut, will be the speaker at 7:15 a.m. Thursday when the Ledyard chapter of Business Network International holds a meeting at the Fairview Odd Fellows Home at 235 Lestertown Road in Groton.

BNI members increase their business through a "word-of-mouth" referral program.

Nutmeg has been Remodeler of the Year in eastern Connecticut for each of the past three years. The company focuses on homes and light commercial buildings.

Anyone interested in attending the meeting should e-mail

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut has scheduled a ribbon cutting for Sept. 13 at the new office of Wells Fargo Financial Advisors Network at 620 Norwich-New London Tpke., Uncasville

The public is invited to the ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. and a reception that will follow.

For additional information about this, or any program organized by the chamber, visit and click on chamber programs and events.

Marvel Home Decorating at the New London Mall will host Mike Weddington, business development manager for Hunter Douglas home decor, for a design seminar from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday titled "Today's Presentation for Tomorrow's Clients."

Gail Grillo, the president of Marvel Home Decorating, said the session should be informative and fun. She added that Design Industry Continuing Education Unit Credits will be scheduled throughout the fall and winter at Marvel Home Decorating.

Reservations are required. Call 860-443-8437 or email to reserve a seat.

Advanced Back and Neck Care Center in Groton has announced the launch of a new website,, which makes it easier for accident and injury patients to access health care information.

Online wellness resources include a 3D Spine Simulator, Community Content library, Member Wellness center, and e-newsletter.

Groton chiropractors Dr. Joseph Mascaro and Dr. Michael Thomas provide pain management and weight loss assistance for Groton, New London, Waterford, and East Lyme patients. The chiropractors treat patients for headache and migraine pain, sciatica, whiplash, fibromyalgia, arthritis and other chronic health conditions.

A naturopathic physician and acupuncturist, Dr. Olympia Dreszer, also works at center.

For information, call 1-888-667-5235.

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 pertinent information, such as 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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