Chamber recognizes local business folks, scholarship winner

Groton - Ana Schneider of Stonington won the 2012 Community Service Award and Jonathan Duncklee, vice president of Stonington-based Duncklee Cooling & Heating, took home the Edward O. McCabe Employer of the Year honors during the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner dance at the Mystic Marriott.

Other award winners at the event, held earlier this month, included Mark and Mike Sauchuk of the trash-hauling company MJ Sauchuk, who were named Volunteers of the Year, and Nicholas Silvia, the Chamber Foundation's Joshua Piver Memorial Scholarship recipient.

Schneider, president of ASA Environmental Products Inc., has been involved with many local organizations throughout the region, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Garde Arts Center, Congregation Beth El, Summer Music, the Women's Center of Southeastern Connecticut, Mystic Arts Center and Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.

She also has served on the board of United Community & Family Service, the National Association of Women in Construction, Summer Music, Lyman Allyn Art Museum, the American Red Cross of Connecticut and the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, among others.

"Almost everyone seems to have benefited from Ana's commitment to her community," Chamber president Tricia Cunningham said during the event. "She holds both herself and those around her to high standards and as a result everything she involves herself with turns out to be a success."

Duncklee was cited both for his strength and compassion as a leader and for a commitment to the community. Five of his employees have been with the company for more than 10 years, with one having hit the 35-year mark.

"Jon is dedicated to the community of southeastern Connecticut and is a cheerleader for everyone in our region," Cunningham said.

Duncklee has worked with organizations including Hygienic Art, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern Connecticut, the Garde Arts Center, the Eugene O'Neill Theater, Mystic Area Shelter & Hospitality, Hospice of southeastern Connecticut and the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center.

The Sauchuks were cited for their efforts to make both Taste of Mystic and the Mystic Outdoor Arts Festival a success. They also assist in delivering Mystic's Christmas tree every year.

Silvia won the Joshua Piver Memorial Scholarship, named after a former Stonington High School student who died at the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. Co-captain of the Stonington High football team, Silvia also has been involved in Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Future Business Leaders of America.

Three new members of the chamber's board also were recognized at the dinner: Ken Kopchik, administrator of Mystic Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, Stephen Clemente, owner of Extra Virgin Oil Store & Semolina, and Dan McFadden, director of communications for Mystic Seaport.

Jim Bates will chair the board for 2013, stepping in for Susan Pochal, whose term as chair is ending though she will remain an executive officer. Other officers are Jackie Almeida, first vice chair; Dale Wolbrink, second vice chair, and John Layton, treasurer.


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