Business in Brief: Feb. 10, 2013

Smart Connections PR, LLC, a new global business-to-business communications agency, has opened in Rising Sun, Md., with offices in Stonington. Partners Joanne Hogue and Dina Petrosky offer a combined 30 years in public relations experience. Smart Connections PR represents a variety of technology-focused companies including Mindtree Limited, EventTracker, SimpliVity Corporation, Smart AV, Syncsort, and Watchful Software.

The agency specializes in public relations, media relations, corporate communications, and strategy development. Its CEO Awareness Program focuses on raising the visibility of CEOs of organizations of all sizes, increasing their exposure with tier-one business, financial and broadcast media.

Smart Connections PR also provides social media monitoring services. For more information visit

In memory of the lives lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy, Scient Federal Credit Union collected more than $550 to help the families and community affected.

The credit union, located at 60 Colver Ave., Groton, donated all of the raised funds to United Way of Western Connecticut's Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

Scient Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, federally insured, non-profit organization that has been serving the needs of life science professionals and their families for over 40 years. For more information, call 860-445-1060 or 1-877-860-6928, or visit

The Young Professionals of Eastern Connecticut is hosting an open house YPsocial from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Feb. 21 at the Garde Arts Center in New London.

The event is open without cost to members; non-members will be charged $10. Complimentary food and drinks will be provided.

All who attend will get free entry to The Sessions, an Academy Award-nominated film playing at the Garde in the New London Winter Film Festival. To register or obtain additional information, contact the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, 860-701-9113, or visit

Judy Cook Interiors of East Lyme has been awarded "Best of Houzz 2013" by Houzz, the leading online platform for residential remodeling and design. The innovative design studio was chosen by the more than 11 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

The "Best of Houzz" award for 2013 is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design.

Judy Cook Interiors will celebrate their sixth year in business this year. Current projects include new home construction and renovations in Guilford, Niantic and Mystic. For more information visit or call the studio at 860-691-1461.

Susan Macione, CPA, has joinred the office of James H. Austin, CPA, in Gales Ferry. She received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Providence College, a Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Connecticut and is a member of both the AICPA and CSCPA.

Macione began her career at Deloitte & Touche, LLP and was most recently an accounting manager at O'Connor Davies, LLP. She lives in Waterford. To schedule an appointment, call 860-381-5650.

Space remains for the next "Conversations with…" meeting, which will feature Nick Caplanson, president and CEO of Dime Bank.

The program, organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, is scheduled from 8 to 9 a.m. Feb. 20 at Raymour & Flanigan Furniture, 917 Hartford Tpke., Waterford. There is no charge for this event.

To reserve a space, or obtain additional information, contact the chamber, 860-701-9113, or visit and click on programs and events.

Nautilus Architects has been awarded the distinction of Best of Houzz 2013-Design by the Houzz community.

Two projects designed by architect Christopher Arelt rank amongst the most popular on Houzz and are located on the Connecticut shoreline.

Nautilus Architects, located in Old Lyme, serves the Connecticut shoreline, New York City, upstate New York, and coastal Rhode Island. Past and current projects range from new construction, renovations, and additions at all scales, to accessory buildings, apartment interiors, and site design.

For more information call 860-227-1169.

Burlington Coat Factory is holding its second annual Red Dress Event in partnership with WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and The Heart Truth to raise awareness of heart disease as the leading cause of death in women.

Now through Easter, all 500 Burlington stores, including its store in New London, will feature a prominent red dress section and for every ladies and girls dress sold, Burlington will donate $1, up to $25,000, to WomenHeart.

For more information, visit and

The education council of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Feb. 19 at the chamber office, 914 Hartford Tpke., Waterford.

The council, one of several the chamber has, works to maintain a working connection between local businesses and the region's schools and students.

Anyone interested in attending a council meeting may contact Megan Cronin at 860-701-9113, or via email,

"How to Manage Your New Business" will be presented by Jim Toner, a SCORE counselor. He will discuss how to differentiate and market your business; how to manage costs, revenues, inventory; how to stay on plan; and how to measure financial progress along the way.

Toner was R&D Engineering Manager for a large imaging company. Later, he ran a home remodeling small business. He has expertise in short- and long-term planning, budgeting, manufacturing, security, HR, and general management.

The event will be held 6-7:30 p.m. at Feb. 28 at Dime Bank, 290 Salem Turnpike, Norwich.

For information on registration, contact Southeastern CT SCORE at 860-388-9508 or by email at


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