Business in Brief - Sept. 8, 2013

Robert J. Marcinek has joined Essex Financial Services, 176 Westbrook Road, Essex, as a Financial Advisor. For more information, call 860-767-4300.

Rachael LaPorte has joined the culinary team at A Thyme to Cook Inc. in North Stonington. LaPorte is a certified culinary arts instructor for the state of Connecticut, and is working on her masters in curriculum and instruction (culinary). She is a Serve Safe instructor and has been one of ATTC's lead event chefs for the past three years. LaPorte takes pride in local Connecticut foods; she raises her own chickens and makes her own cheese.

Builders & Remodelers Association of Eastern CT, Inc. will host a the 2013 Silent Auction to benefit the new Lawrence + Memorial Hospital Cancer Center on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. at Latitude 41 Restaurant in Mystic. For more information, visit

Mystic Knotwork has been nominated for Martha Stewart's American Made competition. Voting ends Sept. 13, and each person can vote up to six times per day. The Beaudoin family's knot business got its start on Greenmanville Avenue (Route 27) in Mystic with his grandfather Alton Beaudoin.

To learn more about the competition or to vote, visit For more information about Mystic Knotwork, visit

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation is busily planning the 30th Annual Holiday Gala, which will be held this year on Dec. 13 at Mohegan Sun. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT office in Waterford at 8 a.m. Each year, the charity gala raises funds for local non-profits whose work improves the lives of children in eastern Connecticut. To join the committee or learn more about the event, please contact the Chamber at (860) 701-9113 or visit

The Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors Inc. is offering the 60- and 30-hour real estate pre-licensing course, "Principles & Practices," for salespersons and brokers. Week 1 will be on Sept. 14. The cost of the course is $490 (60 hours) or $280.00 (30 hours) and includes textbooks and the course exam. Each session is made up of 12 classes and each class is taught independent from the other classes. \Classes are held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors office in Franklin. For more detailed information and a course registration form, contact Kathryn O'Leary at ECAR at 860-892-2595 or

Beth DiLoreto has been promoted to the role of Regional Sales Director of Prudential Connecticut Realty. DiLoreto was formerly the office leader of the Middletown Office of Prudential Connecticut Realty. For more information, visit

Waterford Branch Manager Anne Ogden and Certified Financial Planner Paulette Retsinas of Chelsea Groton Bank have been named Connecticut Women of FIRE. The annual award, sponsored by The Commercial Record, honors 15 of the brightest, most innovative women in the FIRE Industry (finance, insurance and real estate). The Commercial Record readers and judges selected the winners who were honored at an Aug. 14 luncheon at the Hartford Club ballroom.

Ogden, Assistant Vice President, has been with Chelsea Groton since 1986 and branch manager since 1996. Since then she's supported nearly two dozen community service organizations, including the Board of Education, Waterford Rotary Club, American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors and the Chelsea Groton Bank Foundation.

Retsinas, an Investment Executive with Infinex, has worked in the financial services industry for more than 25 years. She serves on the board of the Jonnycake Center in Westerly, and on the Finance and Investment Committees of the Westerly Memorial Library.

Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors Roy Grimm, Paul Vaida, Barry Saluk and Jake Hanley have joined together forming the GVSH Group in the Merrill Lynch Mystic office. Grimm, Vaida, Saluk and Hanley combined have more than eight decades of service in the financial industry. The GVSH Group is located in the Merrill Lynch Mystic office at 38 East Main St. and can be reached at 877-572-2320.

Abbey's Lantern Hill Inn of Ledyard has joined the Diamond Collection, a distinction reserved for premier inns offering extensive amenities and top-rated guest reviews.

To qualify and maintain membership in the Diamond Collection, B&Bs and inns must pass an inspection measuring the property's quality, service, hospitality, accommodations, food, amenities, and more. To qualify for membership, Diamond Collection properties all maintain top guest ratings and reviews on and offer a professional reservation experience, including extensive property photos and online reservations.

Additionally, Diamond Collection members provide the amenities that today's travelers require, including private baths, free Internet service, luxury appointments and amenities, professional staffing, and flexible check-in/out times.

Erika Hall is the Innkeeper. Celebrating 20 years in business, Abbey's Lantern Hill Inn is winner of Tripadvisor's "Certificate of Excellence" for 2011 and 2012, has achieved Connecticut's Green Lodging Certification and recently featured on MSNBC's television show "Your Business."

For more information, visit or call (860) 572-0483 for reservations.

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut has organized a Business After Hours with Minuteman Press at their New London location, co-hosted by Gourmet Galley Catering. The event will be held Oct. 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a free networking workshop for attendees beginning at 5 p.m.

Reservations are recommended. Chamber members may attend for $15, non-members for $25. Wine, beer, soft drinks, and hors d'oeuvres are included.

To learn more or register, visit or call (860) 701-9113.

Janet Culver, a partner of Grover Insurance LLC of Mystic, has completed the annual continuing education requirement of the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors. A 25-year veteran of the insurance industry, Culver has been a CIC-certified counselor since 2000. To earn the designation this year, she attended five courses covering various phases of the insurance business and passed five comprehensive exams.

BNI Mystic will hear a presentation from Anita Mather of Capalbo Accounting Services on Thursday, Sept. 12 at the Mystic Arts Center. The meeting runs from 7-8:30 a.m. Learn more at

Exhibitor booths are on sale for Eastern Connecticut's Premier Home Show, which will take place April 12-13 at the Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa. After a successful show earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT and the Builders and Remodelers Association of Eastern CT have again partnered to present this building and remodeling expo. Chamber and BAEC members are eligible for discounts on booth purchases. To learn more or become a vendor for the home show, please visit or call (860) 701-9113.

Robert B. Benoit has joined Essex Savings Bank as Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer. He most recently worked eight years for The Bank of Southern Connecticut where he served as Senior Commercial Lending Officer and Loan Workout Officer. He also brings experience lending in conjunction with the various US SBA loan programs. Benoit has also worked at other financial institutions in both Connecticut and New York, notably The Chase Manhattan Bank and Rabobank Nederland.

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce will host its monthly Business After Hours at Nature's Art in The Past Antiques Market & Museum building on Tuesday, Sept. 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Located at 1650 Hartford-New London Turnpike in Oakdale, Nature's Art is a family-owned and operated interactive science, nature and shopping adventure.

The cost is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. To register, contact the Mystic Chamber of Commerce at (860) 572-9578 or email

Ashcroft Inc. President & CEO Steven A. Culmone recently presented more than 100 Ashcroft pressure and temperature instruments to Mystic Aquarium. On hand to accept the donation were Keith Sorensen, Vice President, Facilities & Capital Projects, and Todd Devlin, Life Support Technician. The instruments will be used in the water systems that manage and maintain water quality to ensure the health and safety of the aquarium's residents.

Ashcroft offered to make the donation after several employees participated in a "behind-the-scenes" tour of the water management facilities. Product Managers David Dlugos and Gene Urbinati audited the aquarium's processes to specify and replace all instruments with Ashcroft products.

For more information on Ashcroft Inc., which is headquartered in Stratford, visit

David Reindel of Mystic, nationally recognized leader in life insurance and annuity production, has released his third book, "Beat the Odds - How Winners Retire in the New Normal." Reindel's book shows people how to insure their retirement rather than investing in the volatile stock market.

"This is not a good time to take risks," says Reindel, who runs Reindel Retirement Solutions. "This is a perfect time, especially for baby boomers, to re-assess where you are financially." The book's forward was penned by former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons of Stonington. More information is available on Reindel's website,

Kathleen Callinan of Westbrook has been promoted to assistant vice president at Essex Savings Bank. Callinan began her banking career as a teller in the Old Saybrook branch. She also has served as an assistant branch manager and was promoted to branch manager in Old Saybrook and assistant treasurer of the bank in January 2010.

A graduate of the Connecticut School of Finance and Management, Callinan is a member of the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce, the Old Saybrook/Westbrook Exchange Club and the Old Saybrook Merchants Association.

Along with her husband, Timothy, they ran four NAPA auto parts stores for 10 years.


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