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    Saturday, March 02, 2024

    The Buzz: Bill Turner named as grand marshal of Irish parade

    Members of the Mystic Irish Parade Foundation, from left, during the announcement of Stonington's Bill Turner as the 2024 Grand Marshal: Kevin Power, Seamus Moran, Neil Ryan, Brittany Hadfield, Maggie Henderson, Liz Ryan, Leo Roche, Jeff Bresnahan, Tom Taber, Laura Capshaw, Kevin Fitzgerald, Frank DelCampo. Photo submitted
    Elizabeth Santaus
    Vanessa de la Torre
    From left, Michael Alberts, president and CEO of Jewett City Savings Bank and Kathleen Stauffer, CEO of The Arc Eastern Connecticut. The bank gave The Arc $50,000 for energy conservation. Photo submitted

    Bill Turner of Stonington will serve as the grand marshal of the 2024 Mystic Irish Parade, which kicks off in downtown Mystic at 1 p.m. March 24.

    Irish parade officials made the announcement last week at Sift Bakery, pointing to Turner’s record of being a former board president of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut as well as Citizen of the Year. He also is descended from good Irish stock in County Leitrim and County Galway.

    Turner, a sales executive with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New England Properties, is also the owner of Stonington’s Kentford Farm, known for its historic home and garden restoration. He served on the Stonington Police Commission, is president of the Mystic & Noank Library Board of Trustees, and is a member of the Old Mystic Fire District Board of Directors and Center for Hospice Care Executive Board.

    Turner also was the Legislative liaison for Mystic Seaport and Thompson Exhibition Building. He is a member Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, and National Trust for Historic Preservation.

    Education & Training

    SCORE of Eastern Connecticut will present a two-part free Zoom webinar series on the bookkeeping software QuickBooks from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb.27, and Thursday, Feb. 29, featuring Intuit ProAdvisor Elizabeth Santaus.

    Attendees can pre-register for one or both sessions at https://www.score.org/easternct.

    The first session is called “Managing Your Business Finances with QuickBooks,” while the second addresses “Choosing the Right QuickBooks After the Discontinuation of QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Mac.”

    A detailed guide to migrating from the Mac/Pro/Premier QuickBooks versions to QuickBooks Online will be made available to participants. There will be time for Q&A.

    Mitchell College will bring in two leading experts from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Feb. 12, to discuss the Baby Bonds program in Connecticut and other initiatives intended to reverse child poverty.

    Economist Darrick Hamilton and state Treasurer Erick Russell will answer questions provided by attorney Nilda Rodriguez Havrilla from Connecticut Legal Services. Hamilton is the Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and the founding director of the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School. Russell was sworn in as Connecticut’s 84th State Treasurer on Jan. 4, 2023.

    To attend, contact Pam Mola at pamela@cfect.org or call 860-442-3572.

    Three Rivers Community College, the College Foundation, and Dominion Energy Nuclear Connecticut/Millstone Power Station are again offering 16 full scholarships for the Three Rivers Community College Nuclear Engineering Technology Degree program. Through classroom, laboratory, and simulator instruction, this program educates students in the theories underlying the safe operation of nuclear power generating stations.

    Tthe application deadline for a fall semester scholarship is Feb. 26. To learn more, call Professor James Sherrard, Nuclear Program Chairman, at 860-215-9472. Or, visit www.threerivers.edu/nuclear to read more and complete the online application.

    People & Places

    Kia Baird, the Cultural Coalition’s Outreach and Community Impact Coordinator, along with Sarbani Hazra, the Cultural Coalition’s Norwich Arts and Culture Coordinator, late last year facilitated a discussion at The Arts Administrators of Color Network’s two-day Annual Convening in Chicago.

    Baird and Hazra were joined in Chicago by Kolton Harris, a Groton resident who is program manager for the Connecticut Office of the Arts. The group discussion included arts administrators and advocates from across the country including New York, California, and South Carolina as well as an international curator from Colombia, South America.

    At the Cultural Coalition's next online Drop-in Clinic on Feb. 13 from 10-11a.m, Baird and Hazra will be joined by Jessica Morozowich, Funding Booster Program Manager, who will discuss the importance of this work and how to communicate collaborations to funders as part of the grant process. To register for the Zoom event, visit culturesect.org.

    Jewett City Savings Bank has announced five donations totaling $137,000 to local nonprofit organizations in support of their energy conservation projects.

    Top grants totaling more than $50,000 went to the Connecticut Audubon Society, St. Vincent de Paul Place Norwich and the Garde Arts Center.

    Other large grants included $50,000 to The Arc Eastern Connecticut, and $60,000 to United Services. These donations were made as a result of the bank’s participation in the Connecticut Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit Program.

    The Norwich Historical Society has received a $5,455 grant from Connecticut Humanities for strategic planning covering 2025-2028.

    The strategic planning process will focus on planning major projects, programming, and fundraising for upcoming milestone anniversary celebrations in 2025 and 2026. These are significant dates for heritage tourism, marking the 350th anniversary of the original building of Norwichtown’s landmark Leffingwell Inn (now known as the Leffingwell House Museum) in 2025 and the 250th anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War in 2026.

    The NHS, led by Executive Director Regan Miner, serves 400 members and is available to the 40,000 residents who live within the City of Norwich. Learn more by visiting cthumanities.org, emailing info@norwichhistoricalsociety.org or checking out norwichhistoricalsociety.org.

    Long Table Farm in Lyme and Seacoast Murshrooms LLC in Mystic have won help from the state Department of Agriculture’s competitive Climate Smart Agriculture Grant program.

    Long Table Farm will use funding to establish a solar community compost center to sequester carbon and divert food waste from landfills, reducing CO2 emissions. Seacoast Mushrooms won support for on-farm renewable energy with purchase and installation of a roof and ground-mount solar array to power the electrical needs.

    Round two of the grants is now open for those trying out creative ideas to address climate change impacts on a farm through on-farm energy or soil health projects and practices. For information, visit https://ctrcd.org/climate-smart-agriculture/.

    Chelsea Groton Bank has promoted 13 employees following a Board of Trustees meeting.

    Among those promoted were Mario Siciliano of Westerly, Information Technology Manager, now First Vice President; Matthew Benoit of Westerly, Project Management Manager, now Vice President; .Michael Hawes of Oxford, Commercial Loan Officer, now Vice President; Sara Lundy of Oakdale, now Risk and Compliance Manager and Vice President.

    Other promotions went to Damen Norton of Groton, Lending Compliance and Encompass Administrator, now Vice President; Miria Gray of Bozrah, Community Education Officer, now Assistant Vice President; Carleen Lee of New London, Customer Solutions Manager for the New London branch, now Assistant Vice President; Kristen Scott of East Lyme, Customer Solutions Manager for the Center Groton branch, now Assistant Vice President.

    In addition, the bank promoted Rebecca Wesolowski of North Franklin, Loan Delivery and Quality Control Analyst, now Assistant Vice President; Kyle Campbell of Danielson, IT Support Specialist, now Assistant Secretary; Daniela Ness of Pawcatuck, Retail Lending Sales Specialist, now Assistant Secretary; Samantha Powden of Middletown, Learning and Development Specialist, now Assistant Secretary, and Luann Vinson of Portland, Retail Loan Originator, now Assistant Secretary.

    The Women’s Business Development Council is now accepting applications from women-owned businesses for its Ignite grant program, which offers grants of up to $10,000 to qualified Connecticut businesses. The application window runs through March 14.

    Ignite makes available grants of between $2,500 and $10,000 to be awarded for clearly defined projects that will have a measurable impact on the business, its growth, and profitability. For more information and eligibility criteria, as well as a schedule of upcoming information sessions, visit ctwbdc.org/ignite.

    Vanessa de la Torre, editorial director and executive editor of the New England News Collaborative, will become Chief Content Officer at Connecticut Public starting Feb. 12.

    De la Torre joined Connecticut Public in 2018 as the race, identity and culture reporter. In 2020, she took on the challenge of leading and developing the New England News Collaborative, which has grown to become a nine-station consortium of public media newsrooms.

    De la Torre will lead all of Connecticut Public content including radio, television and digital content with a mission to inform, educate, and inspire as well as to reach more diverse audiences.

    The 43rd annual Southeastern Connecticut Home and Garden Show will be held at the Mohegan Sun Feb. 16-18.

    The home improvement and garden show will be held at the Earth Expo & Convention Center at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville. The Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce is offering restaurant and shop discounts with admission.

    Hours of the show are 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 11-8 Saturday and 11-4 Sunday.

    Home improvement companies from the local area as well as national vendors will be on hand. To register, visit https://www.jenksproductions.com/event/annual-southeastern-ct-home-and-garden-show/?entityDomainId=3&secure=True.

    The Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Dinner & Awards Banquet from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, 110 Pequot Trail, Mashantucket.

    The event will honor Business of the Year McKenna's Flower Shop; Non-Profit of the Year Southeastern Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and Chamber Service Awardee Miria Gray of Chelsea Groton Bank.

    Call (860) 887-1647 for information. To register, visit https://web.norwichchamber.com/events/GNACC-Annual-Dinner-Awards-Banquet-20th-Anniversary-8827/register?entityDomainId=3&secure=True.

    Chelsea Groton Bank will host a ribbon cutting for its headquarters renovation from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday, Feb 15, at 904 Poquonnock Road, Groton.

    Attendees are asked to consider bringing a non-perishable food item to donate to the Groton Food Locker. For information, visit chelseagroton.com/.

    The Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport Museum is the top-ranked landmark in Connecticut, according to rankings provided by experts at Architecture Lab analyzing Tripadvisor data. Others in the top five statewide included Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam (No. 2) and Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme (No. 5). The Mark Twain House came in third, while Yale University was fourth.

    Charles W. Morgan’s 444 reviews included 327 giving it five stars. Goodspeed’s 388 reviews included 313 with five stars.

    Chamber News

    The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut’s downtown New London Innovation Center will start a Banker in Residence program starting Tuesday, Feb 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 92 Eugene O'Neill Drive.

    Each week, in partnership with Chelsea Groton Bank, a banker will be on hand to give out free advice with no appointment necessary. The idea is to come in and chat to help figure out how to build your business.

    The chamber will also be on hand for a ribbon cutting from 10:30 to11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Siam Therapeutic & Spa Thai Massage at 147 Bank St., Suite 101, New London.

    Siam is celebrating its grand opening with a ribbon cutting at 11:15. Guests can tour the facility and refreshments will be available.

    In addition, a Business After Hours will be held at Comix Roadhouse at Mohegan Sun from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday Feb 21 at 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville.

    "Early bird" registration is on or before Feb. 16. Chamber members cost $15, and non-members are $25.

    The Buzz is a weekly roundup of business news compiled by Business Editor Lee Howard. To get in The Buzz, email businessbriefs@theday.com. To easily access urls cited in print, go to www.theday.com and type “The Buzz” into the search bar.

    Comment threads are monitored for 48 hours after publication and then closed.