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    Tuesday, July 23, 2024

    Longtime Mystic business owners over age 50 to be honored

    Mystic – The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of its inaugural 15 over 50 Ballast Award, which acknowledges "business icons over 50 years of age who have remained steadfast, making Mystic their own for 15 years or more."

    The winners are Annie Philbrick, owner of Bank Square Books; Margaret Macris, owner of The Blue Horse Children's Shop; Kathy Zezulka, owner of Hair Unique; Maria Hanna, president and CEO of Survival Systems; and Zoe Longinidis, owner of Angie's Pizza.

    "The Ballast Award winners represent a cross section of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce members," chamber Executive Director Bruce Flax said in a press release. "These owners have built businesses that have persevered through good times and challenging times and continue to contribute to what makes the area special."

    They will be honored at an event at the Velvet Mill in Stonington on Dec. 2.

    Flax told The Day last month that the chamber felt the "40 under 40" and "30 under 30" type awards had run their course, and that this "opens the door for a lot of businesspeople who have invested in Mystic for a long time and have made Mystic what (it is today)." He said the name of the award "comes from balancing the ship, and they've kind of kept the ship balanced and straight for a prolonged period of time."

    The chamber didn't have a set number of awards to give out but accepted nominations through Nov. 1, receiving nominations from more than a dozen businesses in tourism, retail and more.

    The Dec. 2 event will start with an awards presentation at 5 p.m. and then lead into the chamber's Party of 12 event.

    The event will also recognize the winners of the Joyce Resnikoff Tourism Award. The 2020 recipients are Stephen Coan, president and CEO of Mystic Aquarium, and Stephan Ambrosch, owner of Mango's Wood-Fired Pizza Co. and Deviant Donuts. The chamber recently announced the 2021 winners, Mystic Seaport President Peter Armstrong and Kelley's Pace owner Jeff Anderson, and the chamber will also announce its inaugural Keel Award winner.

    The Party of 12 event is an end-of-year celebration created in 2019 as an alternative to a sit-down dinner.

    Restaurants will present hors d'oeuvres around the event space at the Velvet Mill, with food from Angie's, Block & Bottle, Chapter One, The Fisherman, J&R Seafood, Noble Smokehouse, Oyster Club, Rocks 21, Shipwright's Daughter, Sift, Surf Cantina, and Zest.

    DJ Doug and Big Lux are scheduled to provide entertainment. Party of 12 tickets are $112 per person and can be purchased at mystichamber.org.

    e.moser@theday.com

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