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    Sunday, July 21, 2024

    The Buzz: Three Girl Scouts from the region earn highest honor for service

    Katelyn Pierce
    Ada Gauthier
    Naomi Boord
    Nichelle Woodson
    Dr. Sarah Cross, new head of obstetrics and gynecology at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital
    From left, Dawn Urian, Eastern CT Savings Bank branch manager in Jewett City; Josh Kelly, CEO of the Thames Valley Council for Community Action, and Jeffrey Swenson, a senior vice president and senior retail banking officer at Eastern CT Savings during a check-passing ceremony.
    Missy Lamont, new CEO of High Hopes Therapeutic Riding

    Ada Gauthier of Mystic, Katelyn Pierce of North Stonington and Naomi Boord of Westerly have earned the Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s highest award.

    They were among 34 exceptional Girl Scouts recognized at the annual Girl Scout Gold Awards Ceremony in Hartford with an official Gold Award Certificate, letter, and proclamation.

    Ada Gauthier’s Gold Award brought awareness to the idea of personal wellness as it relates to teen lives through a diverse lineup of engaging and hands on activities. By hosting a wellness week through collaboration with her high school community, she was able to address nutritional, physical, social, school-based and metal wellness with the whole student body.

    Katelyn Pierce’s Gold Award project helps young students find a local, global, or DIY volunteer opportunity that they are passionate about, which in turn helps the community. She created a presentation to provide the necessary information to help anyone who does not know where, how, or when to volunteer.

    Naomi Boord’s Gold Award focused on cleaning up her local environment by enlisting the assistance of other Girl Scout members and youth volunteers. Besides the clean-up event, Boord created and placed Better Bins at local hiking trails to help sustain a clean community.

    Less than 6% of all Girl Scouts earn the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award, said Elicia Pegues Spearman, CEO of the Connecticut organization. For information, visit www.gsofct.org.

    People & Places

    Lawrence + Memorial Hospital has appointed Sarah Cross, MD, as chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology. She is affiliated with the Yale School of Medicine where she is an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences.

    Cross specializes in maternal-fetal medicine, or high-risk pregnancies. She is especially interested in periviability, which is the cusp of neonatal viability – usually 22 to 23 weeks – and counseling patients who encounter issues at this stage of pregnancy.

    “Not only do I want my patients to understand the medical information I am giving them, but I want them to feel seen and heard,” she says in a release.

    Cross received her medical degree with honors from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and completed her residency and fellowship at Yale School of Medicine.

    The Connecticut RISE Network has announced the promotion of Nichelle Woodson to Chief of Network Success.

    Woodson, who most recently served as Director of Freshman Success at RISE, brings 20 years of experience as a school teacher, social worker, and administrator to this new role.

    “This well-deserved promotion serves as a recognition of Nichelle’s incredible talents, far-ranging knowledge and skills, accomplishments at RISE to date, and tremendous passion and belief in the limitless potential of all students, educators, and schools,” RISE said in a release.

    Woodson has been a driving force in RISE’s DEIA Steering Committee and efforts to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism at the organizational level and through daily practice.

    Emily Pallin, RISE executive director, praised Woodson as “an incredible leader who inspires me and the RISE community through her words, actions, and results.”

    New London Landmarks handed out its annual awards this month, with Lloyd Beachy being presented the Volunteer Award, Tom Couser winning the Clifford Stone Award and High Tide Capital taking home the Restoration Award for its work at 123 Bank St. Also recognized were outgoing executive director Laura Natusch and her newly named replacement, Alicia Primer.

    The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce shines a spotlight on Jessica Morris of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center as part of its Community Proud series sponsored by CorePlus Credit Union.

    Jessica serves as an outdoor educator at DPNC, assistant animal curator, and camp director. A local to the area, she holds a captain’s license for boating and has worked in various marine-based environmental education roles.

    She has a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Rhode Island and studied biological oceanography in Australia. Jess's career in education began in California and took her around the globe, imparting knowledge and fostering a love for the natural world before she decided to return to Mystic.

    The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers. The center has over eight miles of hiking trails, a natural history museum, and an educational facility.

    Mitchell College supports local, regional, and state communities by providing high-quality online training through the Mitchell Hub for Digital Innovation & Educational Excellence (“The Mitchell Hub”). As an Eligible Training Provider in Connecticut, Mitchell makes it possible for eligible learners to obtain certifications in technology, business operations, and health and wellness and have the full cost of training covered by Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding.

    Applicants may be eligible for WIOA funding if they are unemployed, low-income, a dislocated worker (lost employment due to company closure, layoff, or military spouse relocation), out-of-school school youth (age 18–24), veteran, or justice impacted. To determine eligibility for WIOA support, interested learners should contact their local American Job Center through cthires.gov to learn more.

    Eligible courses are available in all regions of the state, and locally through the Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board. For more information on the Mitchell Hub, go to hub.mitchell.edu.

    The Chelsea Groton Foundation awarded $450,341 to 90 non-profit organizations from Connecticut and Rhode Island this spring.

    More than $250,000 in grants (57%) was distributed in the health and human services category, with 40% of that amount given to organizations supporting food insecurity, including grants to the New London Area Food Pantry ($25,000), New London Community Meal Center ($20,000), Lawrence + Memorial Hospital ($12,500) for bilibeds and supplies for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and Operation Fuel ($10,000).

    Educational projects received 18% of giving, including for leadership programming through FRESH New London ($20,000) and Higher Edge ($10,000). Housing accounted for 10% of giving; arts and culture received 7%; youth activities received 6%; and economic development received 2%.

    More information, including a list of all spring grant recipients is available at chelseagroton.com/CGFoundation.

    The Thames Valley Council for Community Action was awarded $1,500 from the Eastern CT Savings Bank Foundation to help support TVCCA’s Emergency Client Assistance Fund.

    “This fund allows our case mangers to quickly deal with a variety of financial setbacks that people in need may be experiencing,” said TVCCA’s CEO Josh Kelly.

    For more information about TVCCA’s Community Services program, which connects people in New London County to an array of housing, child care, energy assistance, nutrition, and in-home services and supports, call (860) 444-0006 or visit tvcca.org.

    Celebrating its 50th anniversary with its annual gala that inspired more than $500,000 in philanthropic support, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding announced Missy Lamont as the organization's new executive director, effective July 1.

    Lamont joined the High Hopes team in December 2023 as director of operations. Having worked closely with Interim Executive Director Alison Zack Darrell since January 2024, Lamont brings over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, including a previous role as an executive director.

    A dedicated search committee, chaired by John Catlett, current trustee, and former board chair, said Lamont’s demonstrated leadership skills made her the unanimous choice among the search committee members. Chief Philanthropy Officer Claire Gadrow said the organization this year has achieved historic levels of philanthropy.

    Since its inception in 1974 with just eight participants, 10 volunteers, and borrowed horses, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding continues today with the support of 412 volunteers, 11 instructors, 22 horses and 125 acres.

    The Yale-China Association announced that Stonington resident Laurence Bates, former director, managing executive officer, and general counsel of Panasonic Corporation, will serve as its new chair of the board of trustees effective this month. Bates, who was a Yale-China Fellow at Wuhan University from 1980 to 1982, takes the helm from R. Drake Pike, former managing director at Goldman Sachs.

    In addition, four new members have joined the board: Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing Dr. LaRon E. Nelson, associate dean for Global Affairs & Planetary Health at Yale School of Nursing; Drew Nuland, principal of Meyerson Quest Limited; Dr. Dongshu Ou, associate professor of Educational Administration & Policy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Dr. Jennifer Weyburn, Head of School, Packer Collegiate Institute.

    Fluent in Mandarin and Japanese, Bates has been engaged in cross-border business investment and rule of law issues in China and Japan throughout his career — most notably at General Electric Company, where he spent 22 years in various roles. While in Tokyo, he served several years as vice president, and in 2013, as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

    Following his retirement from GE at the end of 2013, Larry took on global executive officer responsibilities with LIXIL Corporation, where he was appointed its chief legal officer, and then with Panasonic Corporation, where he was named general counsel and served as the first non-Japanese member of their board of directors.

    Bates retired from Panasonic in 2022 and relocated to Stonington with his husband and their two young children.

    Chamber Events

    The Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce holds its First Friday Meet & Greet at GNACC headquarters, 187 Main St. in Norwich, from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday, July 5.

    The site of these events change from month to month GNACC will be hosting the meet and greet at different member locations in its 10 respective chamber communities. Should you like to consider hosting one of the events, email info@norwichchamber.com or call 860-887-1647.

    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.

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