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    Saturday, July 13, 2024

    The Buzz: Regional Innovation Center names Zhang as community manager

    Kevin Zhang
    Anne Driscoll at the Washington Street Coffee House in New London. Photo by Lee Howard
    Intuit ProAdvisor Elizabeth Santaus will present a free 2- part SCORE webinar series on QuickBooks, Thursday, May 2, and Tuesday, May 7, 2024, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM EDT via Zoom. Attend one or both sessions. Pre-registration is required. Part 1 is sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank.
    DeWanna Bonner models the latest uniform unveiled by the Connecticut Sun. Photo submitted
    Louis Demicco III
    Beth Steele
    From left are Jewett City Savings Bank’s new corporators: Erin Palonen, Scott Davis, Douglas Hall, and Melissa Meyers.
    Al Dabiri
    The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation recently awarded 51 grants to support programs that address education, economic development, food insecurity, and essential needs throughout the regions of New London and Windham counties. Here, many of the recipients gathered at the Chamber’s headquarters in New London to celebrate. Photo submitted
    From left, Pawcatuck Girl Scouts Lilyana Janicek, Lindsey Rahl, Ava Gentile, Adelyn Souza, and Collette Bradley relax for a few minutes during their Bronze Award project to clean up the community. Photo submitted

    The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT has announced the appointment of Kevin Zhang as community manager of the Regional Innovation Center in New London. Zhang’s primary responsibilities will include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the chamber’s innovation and coworking center as well as supporting economic development efforts for the region.

    Zhang brings two decades of combined experience in sales, marketing and business management including serving as Relationship Marketing Executive at Mohegan Sun Casino.

    "Kevin is well equipped to manage the Regional Innovation Center. His vision aligns with the chamber mission, and we look forward to working with him to expand learning and support opportunities for the region’s entrepreneurs as we continue to promote and support the business community,” said Tony Sheridan, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT, in a release.

    The Chamber now employs 11 professional staff at 92 Eugene O’Neill Drive, New London.

    Capt. Thomas O’Donnell turned command of Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 12 over to Capt. Phil Castellano in a traditional change of command ceremony held Friday, April 19, pierside at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.

    Adm. William Houston, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, served as guest speaker and Vice Adm. Robert Gaucher, commander of Naval Submarine Forces, presided over the ceremony.

    O’Donnell, a Massachusetts native and 2000 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, will continue serving as a fellow Counsel for Foreign Relations in New York City. His previous submarine tours include USS Maryland (SSBN 738), USS Virginia (SSN 774), USS Providence (SSN 719), and USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723)

    Castellano, a Tampa Bay native and 2000 graduate of Jacksonville University, arrives at Squadron 12 after serving as a submarine perspective commanding officer instructor for the submarine force. His previous submarine tours include, USS Asheville (SSN 758), USS Georgia (SSGN 729), and USS Pasadena (SSN 752) and USS Toledo (SSN 769).

    Al Dabiri has joined Chelsea Groton Bank as Vice President and Osaic Institutions Financial Adviser. In this role, he will aid clients in an array of categories including wealth management, investments, insurance, and retirement planning.

    Dabiri studied at Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. Prior to joining Chelsea Groton Bank, he worked at Infinex Investments, most recently in the role of Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff Managing, Director of Wealth Solutions. He has acquired his Series 7, Series 63, 24 & 66, Life Insurance, and Accident/Health licenses.

    Movie-goers at The United in Westerly will experience improved audio accessibility thanks to Beltone New England. The United is making open captions available for all mid-day Monday movies. In addition, audio equipment is always available for all movies.

    “Thanks to Beltone's sponsorship, we now can provide enhanced accessibility, ensuring everyone can experience the magic of film at The United. We are deeply grateful for their generous support,” said Carly Callahan, Executive Director of The United.

    Beltone has offices in Groton and Norwich in Connecticut and Narragansett and Westerly in Rhode Island. For more information, visit www.beltonene.com.

    The non-profit United is located at 5 Canal St. in downtown Westerly. For more information, visit www.unitedtheatre.org.

    The Connecticut Sun's newest Rebel Edition uniform celebrates the rich traditions of the WNBA team and the Mohegan Tribe, inspired by generational stories of the past, present and future. The jersey's "KEESUSK" wordmark meaning "sun" in the Mohegan language serves as a connection to the team's original Rebel Edition jersey that was released in 2021.

    The purple and white graphic along the neck is modeled after the traditional Wampum collar. Wampum, a quahog or whelk shell found in the ocean and on tribal shorelines, has been used for centuries by tribal nations to show honor, connection and relationships between nations. Outside of being gifted by itself, Wampum is often used to make necklaces and belts.

    The repeating purple waistband pattern is another nod to the Wampum — the purple symbol acknowledging the four dome directions in Mohegan Tribal culture. The four colors, in the order of red (signifying the east), yellow (signifying the south), black (signifying the west) and white (signifying the north), are intentionally placed on the side of the uniform to tie back to the regalia worn by members of the Tribe.

    Also of significance are the two diamond shapes that represent the Sun as well as the Orlando Miracle, which the Mohegan tribe purchased in 2003 and rebranded as the Connecticut Sun. The Sun's WNBA Nike Rebel Edition jersey is now on sale and can be found on the Connecticut Sun's merchandise website.

    Works by three prominent masters, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet, from Hill-Stead Museum’s collection of French paintings will be conserved at the Fairfield museum through a process viewed by the public. This conservation project is one of a select group of 24 art conservation projects announced this year by Bank of America – projects representing a diverse range of artistic styles, media and cultural traditions in 11 different countries.

    The Bank of America Art Conservation Project provides grants to nonprofit cultural institutions around the globe to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art. For more information about the Hill-Stead, contact Ana Alvarez, alvareza@hillstead.org.

    On Saturday, May 18, Sound Community Services will host its first End the Stigma: Mental Health Awareness 5K at Winthrop STEM Elementary Magnet School in New London, with check-in at 9 a.m. and the race starting at 10.

    To be a part of this event by walking or running, to raise awareness and end the stigma you can register at https://runsignup.com/Race/CT/NewLondon/EndtheStigmaMentalHealthAwareness5K. For more information, contact Nichole Burns at nichole.burns@soundct.org or call (860) 439-6400.

    Top-level sponsors include Dime Bank, Epstein Becker Green, and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital. Other sponsors include Backus Hospital, Bartol Heating and Cooling, Inc., Body of Needs, OneDigital, Charter Oak Credit Union, Chelsea Groton Foundation, Cross Sound Ferry, CTComp, East Coast Electrical, Inc., Elite Limousine, Geraghty & Bonnano, LLC, Metro Vein Centers, A Beautiful Co. Builders & Remodelers, Conn RI Paper Supply, Co., CrossFit Playground, Innovast Digital Marketing, Mission Wellness LLC, and Rackliffe Lock and Safe.

    A free SCORE webiinar on “How to Use Mailchimp to Create Promotional and Branded Email Campaigns” will be held via zoom from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16. To register, visit https://www.score.org/easternct.

    With marketing and e-commerce veteran Anne Driscoll, take a deeper dive into the elements of Mailchimp, an Email Marketing System, to create promotional and branded email campaigns. Topics will include elements of contact lists, campaigns, tags, and segments; campaign templates; automated journeys and triggers; testing, measurements, and success metrics.

    The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce will host a Business Before Hours event for breakfast, a workout class, and networking at Crossfit Dyr in Mystic from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 2.

    The fitness facility is located in the Mystic Business Park, focusing on constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity. The event is $10 for members and $25 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased on the Mystic Chamber website at www.mysticchamber.org or at the door but pre-registration is encouraged.

    The Connecticut Wind Collaborative this month, as announced in The Day this month, has named its first executive director, Kristin Urbach, who will report to a board of directors led by Paul Lavoie, Connecticut’s chief manufacturing officer, who serves as board chairman.

    Other board members include Kate Aufhauser, Co-Vice Chair and Gov. Lamont’s Strategic Advisor for Economic Development; Andrew Lavigne, Co-Vice Chair and Manager of the Clean Economy Program at the Department of Economic and Community Development; Paul Whitescarver, Secretary and Executive Director of the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (seCTer) and former Commander of Submarine Base New London. Rounding out the initial five members is William Cox, Vice President of Business Development and Investment at Rhode Island Commerce.

    More recently appointed board members include Emmanouil ‘Manos’ Anagnostou, a University of Connecticut Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the UConn Eversource Energy Center; Tony Appleton, Offshore Wind Director at Burns McDonnell; Liz Burdock, President/CEO, Oceantic Network (formerly the Business Network for Offshore Wind); Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director, Connecticut Roundtable on Climate & Jobs; Joseph DeNicola, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and Ryan Dings, Chief Executive Officer of ClimateHaven.

    Rounding out the board are Maria Hanna, President/CEO, Survival Systems USA; Richard Hine, President of Offshore Energy and Co-Founder of ThayerMahan Inc.; Lesley Mara, Associate Vice President for Systemwide Initiatives and Sponsored Programs, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, and Gordon Videll, CEO, Sea Services North America

    For more information, visit ctwindcollaborative.org.

    For over 30 years, Mudhead sailors have raised funds and awareness for worthy charities. This year the organization will partner with Always Home for the third year.Always Home focuses exclusively on serving Eastern Connecticut families with minor children, and strives to keep families in their own housing and out of emergency shelter so that children never have to experience the trauma of being homeless.

    The Mudhead Benefit Regatta is planned at Mystic Shipyard on July 13 starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are $40 at www.mudhead.org and $50 at the door, with kids under 12 free.

    The first of a free two-part SCORE webinar on QuickBooks titled “For the Life of Your Business” will be held via Zoom from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2, sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank. To register, visit https://www.score.org/easternct.

    Intuit ProAdvisor Elizabeth Santaus will explain the Chart of Accounts and its critical importance in the correct use of QuickBooks. There will be time for Q&A on any QuickBooks questions you have. Attend one or both sessions.

    This first part is headlined “Managing Your Business Finances with QuickBooks,” to be followed from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, by “Choosing the Right QuickBooks After the Discontinuation of QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Mac.”

    The follow-up webinar, will discuss Intuit’s decision to discontinue the QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier and Mac products in March 2024, and what options remain. For questions, contact Anne Driscoll, anne.driscoll@scorevolunteer.org.

    Following its 151st annual Meeting of Corporators on Wednesday, March 27, Jewett City Savings Bank announced the election of two new directors and four new corporators.

    Newly elected directors are Louis Demicco III, vice president of Jewett City Greenhouses, and Beth Steele, managing partner of the Law Offices of DiFrancesca & Steele, P.C., specializing in litigation, real estate, probate, and personal injury law.

    The new corporators are Scott Davis, vice president of Bonner Electric, Inc.; Douglas Hall, an active member of the United States District Court of Connecticut and the State Bar of Michigan; Melissa Meyers, Chief Executive Officer of Generations Family Health Center, Inc., and Erin Palonen, principal of Griswold High School.

    Maternal mental health will be front and center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 2 in the North Lobby of the Capitol building in Hartford sponsored by Postpartum Support International Connecticut.

    During this time, multiple organizations from across the state will have information tables highlighting resources and services available to perinatal families in Connecticut. According to The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health’s Inaugural State Report Cards, Connecticut has a failing grade when it comes to Providers and Programs, Screening and Screening Reimbursement, and Insurance Coverage/Payment.

    Postpartum Support International Connecticut is a non-profit chapter organization with the mission to promote awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental illness related to childbearing.

    Lighthouse Bakery and the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony from 5 to 6:30 p.m. May 16 to commemorate 20 years in Mystic and a newly renovated space.

    Lighthouse Bakery’s journey began in Groton and took a significant turn in 2011 when the family purchased a property in the heart of historic downtown Mystic at 21 E. Main St. Pre-registration is encouraged.

    The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation recently awarded 51 grants to support programs that address education, economic development, food insecurity, and essential needs throughout the regions of New London and Windham counties.

    Grant recipients and amounts were: Always Home, $1,500; Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich, Inc., $1,500; Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT, $2,100; Connecticut College, $1,000; Covenant Shelter of New London Inc., $3,500; Cultural Coalition, $2,500; EASTCONN Transition Academy, $2,512; Eastern Connecticut Ballet, $1,000; Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, $1,500; Elevate to Even Plus Incorporated, $1,500, and FRESH New London, $2,500.

    Other recipients were: Girls on the Run of Southeastern CT, $1,000; Goodspeed Opera House Foundation, Inc., $1,000; Groton Community Meals, $2,500; Habitat for Humanity of Eastern CT, $2,000; High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., $1,500; Higher Edge, $2,000; Horizon’s Inc., $1,500; Interfaith Human Services of Putnam, $1,500; Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut, $1,000; Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, Inc., $2,500; Madonna Place, Inc., $2,500; Montessori Discovery School, $2,000, and New England Science & Sailing Foundation, $3,500.

    Other funding went to New London Area Food Pantry, Inc., $1,500; New London Homeless Hospitality Center, $2,500; New London Youth Affairs, $1,500; Norwich Public Schools Education Foundation Inc., $1,500; Norwich Rotary Foundation, $1,000; Our Piece of the Pie, Inc., $1,500; Pro Bono Partnership, $1,000; Project Oceanology, $2,500,; Public Library of New London, $2,500; S.T.E.P.S., Inc., $1,500; Safe Futures, Inc., $3,500; SARAH Inc., $1,160, and Southeastern CT Robotics, Inc., $1,000.

    Finally, Spark Makerspace, $1,500; Stonington Community Center, $1,500; Stonington Free Library, $1,000; Thames River Community Service, Inc., $1,500; The Haitian Community Center of Greater Norwich, Inc., $2,000; The Last Green Valley, Inc., $2,300,; The Riverfront Children’s Center, Inc., $2,000; The Samaritan House Inc., $2,500; The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries Inc., $1,000; Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group, Inc., $1,500; Tommy Toy Found, $10,000; United Community and Family Services, $7,500; United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, $5,000, and Yellow Farmhouse Education Center, $1,500.

    EASTCONN’s Quinebaug Middle College (QMC), a regional, public magnet high school, is currently recruiting academically motivated students for the 2024-2025 school year.

    Located on the campus of Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson,QMC offers high school students a middle college experience that enables them to earn a high school diploma while also earning free, transferable college credits from QVCC.

    QMC enrolls about 160 students, grades 9-12, from 18 towns across northeastern Connecticut. For more information about QMC and to enroll, students can visit www.eastconn.org/qmc for an application. To learn more, contact QMC Principal Edward Keleher at ekeleher@eastconn.org.

    Pawcatuck Girl Scout Troop 60566 members held a community cleanup earlier this month, completing their Bronze Award project, the highest award in their age level.

    They created a video and brochure that you will see around town as a public service announcement to educate and remind people about minimizing litter in the community. They cleaned up from the Stonington High School playground to the pavilion, Dunkin Donuts on South Broad Street and Dubois Beach.

    They found the biggest culprit are cigarette butts along the Dunkin Donuts drive through.The scouts involved were Lilyana Janicek, Lindsey Rahl, Ava Gentile, Adelyn Souza, and Collette Bradley.

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