Business in brief - April 27, 2014

M. J. Sullivan Hyundai in New London recently received the 2013 Hyundai President's Award, acknowledging the dealership's excellence in customer sales satisfaction, from Hyundai Motor America.

The Hyundai President's Award is a national recognition program awarding 40 Hyundai dealers for their performance in delivering outstanding customer satisfaction and excellence in the Hyundai Purchase Index. For the second year in a row, M. J. Sullivan Hyundai is the only dealer in Connecticut to receive this award.

For more information, visit

The Lighthouse Networkers meet from 7-8:30 a.m. on Wednesdays at the LaGrua Center, 32 Water St., Stonington Borough. The newest members are Jewell Jones from Liberty Bank in Groton and attorney Salvatore Ritacco of Pawcatuck. Visitors Day is Wednesday, May 14.

Stonington resident Mike Pinto, LMT, became a Certified Spartan Group X Obstacle Course Coach through the Spartan Coaching Program. Pinto spent two days at the Spartan Coaching Certification Program in New Jersey with 16 hours of continuing education including classroom time and hands-on training sessions.

Pinto has completed Tough Mudder, plays competitive soccer and is a licensed massage therapist. He owns Pinto Massage Therapy located within Precision Fitness in downtown Westerly. Precision Fitness is also where Pinto will be conducting his Spartan Coaching Program. Mohegan Sun is hosting a Spartan Sprint CT this summer and Pinto will working the Spartan SGX tent.

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut invites all new members to attend a Member Benefit Workshop 4-5 p.m. May 7 at Chelsea Groton Bank, 2nd Floor Board Room, 904 Poquonnock Road, Groton.

Chamber President Tony Sheridan and Vice President Sheri Cote will explain member benefits and answer questions. There is no cost to attend. Call (860) 701-9113 or visit to register.

The advancement of social media in the business world has created a new set of challenges for companies. What is appropriate behavior for professionals on personal and company social media platforms? What can a company regulate? The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut's monthly Social Media Brown Bag Seminar will help you answer these questions and more. The session, led by a social media expert from Miranda Creative, is at noon May 14 at the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Inc., 914 Hartford Turnpike, Waterford. It is free to chamber members. Advanced registration is required and may be made by calling (860) 701-9113 or visiting

Chelsea Groton Bank, 904 Poquonnock Road, Groton, is the location of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut's next Business After Hours, 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 7. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served. Arrive early for "Mastering Networking" at 5 p.m. Prizes include a one-night stay at Hyatt Place Uncasville, a membership to the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, and a gift card to the Mystic Diner. Cost is $15 for members, $25 for nonmembers, and an additional $5 walk-in fee. To register in advance, call (860) 701-9113 or visit

Amy Diggett, of the Byrnes Agency Inc. of Dayville, was named the 2014 PIA National Customer Service Representative of the Year. The award was presented March 28, by the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents and sponsored by The Hartford.

The award recognizes a CSR who has improved operations of the agency, served their clients in a unique or extraordinary way and engaged in community involvement and activities to advance the betterment of the insurance industry.

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the official ribbon-cutting of Driftwood Yarns, a new local yarn shop, at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, at 29½ Broadway Ave., Mystic.

Driftwood Yarns carries a variety of versatile yarns. Owner Elizabeth Weil is also offering instructional programs and trunk shows in the coming months. For more information, contact Driftwood Yarns at (860) 415-8118 or at

Nearly 240 area high school students and teachers convened at Connecticut College on Thursday, March 20, for the eighth annual Money Madness seminar presented by Chelsea Groton Bank. Kevin Booker, Jr., assistant director of admissions at Three Rivers Community College, and his colleague Sammy Colon opened the event.

The keynote speaker was Nykesha Sales, a retired WNBA player. Sales attended the University of Connecticut as a business major from 1994-1998.

The daylong seminar featured break-out sessions by community representatives from SERAC, The William W. Backus Hospital, Delta Defense and Training, Pathfinders Inc. and Valenti Auto Dealers.

To learn more about Chelsea Groton's Community Education Program or to schedule a workshop, visit

Brie Messer of Oakdale has become an independent consultant with Tastefully Simple Inc., a national direct sales company featuring more than 60 easy-to-prepare foods.

As an independent business owner, Messer offers food samples at home taste-testing parties, along with easy ideas for everyday meals, recipes, and serving suggestions.

For more information, contact Messer at

Crystal Mall is accepting vendors for "A Stylish Treat for Mothers" to be held on Thursday, May 8, from 5-8 p.m.

Crystal Mall is seeking vendors that offer products or services that cater to mothers, including elements of fashion, beauty, spa tips, health and wellness, fitness, nutrition, home design, financial advice and more.

Interested businesses and vendors should contact Taylor Ferraro at or (860) 442-8501.

Heather Smith, accounting supervisor, and Darlene Serra, benefits and payroll manager, at Dime Bank recently graduated from the Connecticut School of Finance & Management.

Smith received the Michael J. Piette Honors Awards for graduating in the top 10 percent of the class. The Finance & Management program is an intensive two-year bank management training program sponsored by the Connecticut Bankers Association.

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