September 29, 2016

Old Lyme’s O’Hanlon Named a ‘Mentor of the Year’ by Robinson+Cole Law Firm

Edward (Ted) O'Hanlan

Edward (Ted) O’Hanlan

Robinson+Cole recently recognized eight lawyers for pro bono work, community service, mentoring, and promoting an inclusive work environment. Included among them was Edward (Ted) V. O’Hanlan of Old Lyme, who was one of three lawyers to be presented with the Robinson+Cole Mentor of the Year Award.

This award recognizes and honors lawyers throughout the firm for their outstanding guidance, support, and encouragement of fellow lawyers in their pursuit of professional growth. The other two lawyers receiving the award were Nuala E. Droney and John B. Lynch Jr.

Robinson+Cole is a service mark of Robinson & Cole LLP, an Am Law 200 firm with 200 lawyers in nine offices serving regional, national, and international clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. For more information, please visit www.rc.com.

Share

Webster Bank Selected as NEDA’s Business of the Year

Webster Bank has announced it has been chosen as the Business of Year by the Northeastern Economic Developers Association (NEDA). The award was presented Sept. 12 during NEDA’s annual conference in New Haven, Connecticut.

John Guy, executive vice president and director of business banking, accepted the award on Webster’s behalf and spoke at the conference. “Over the years, our vision has grown, our mission has evolved, but our core values have remained the same – helping businesses and consumers achieve their financial goals,” said Guy. “This is about making communities where we live and work safer, stronger, and more vibrant through strong business relationships; and as they prosper, so will we.”

The award is given each year to a regional for-profit company that has shown outstanding and continued commitment to the economic well-being of the communities it serves. It also recognizes initiatives related to labor/workforce development, entrepreneurship, and overall understanding and support of local economic development issues.

Based in Liverpool, New York, NEDA was founded in 1956 as the Northeastern Industrial Developers Association. As a professional resource for economic developers, it has promoted professional economic and industrial development throughout the Northeast and has championed effective, innovative economic development practices for the past 60 years.

Webster Bank is a leading regional bank serving businesses and consumers in the northeast and celebrating its 80th anniversary.

Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association. With $25.1 billion in assets, Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, financial planning, trust, and investment services through 176 banking centers and 347 ATMs. Webster also provides telephone banking, mobile banking, and Internet banking.

Webster Bank owns the asset-based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation; the equipment finance firm Webster Capital Finance Corporation; and HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank, which provides health savings account trustee and administrative services. Webster Bank is a member of the FDIC and an equal housing lender. For more information abou

Share

Old Lyme Inn Owners Offer Unique Opportunity to an Experienced Chef/General Manager

Ken and Chris Kitchings are ready to welcome guests to the Inn's celebratory weekend.

Old Lyme Inn owners Ken and Chris Kitchings are looking for someone to take on the restaurant side of the business. (File photo.)

SIDE DOOR JAZZ CLUB AND INN REMAIN FULLY OPERATIONAL WHILE RESTAURANT OPERATIONS ARE RECONFIGURED 

Almost on a whim, Ken and Chris Kitchings purchased the long-neglected Old Lyme Inn in 2011 and then spent a full year renovating the exterior of the main building while also updating and upgrading all systems and décor.  In April of 2012, they opened the restaurant and eight of the 13 rooms and the following year, they opened the remaining five rooms and The Side Door jazz club.

The property is significant covering almost two acres and, apart from the elegant rooms and the extremely popular jazz club, it also features a variety of dining areas. These include a beautiful patio shaded by a large maple tree (40 seats), a bar room (38 seats), a main dining room primarily used for special events (60+ seats) and a small private room (18 seats).

The Side Door is a 75-seat intimate space that includes a full-service bar and showcases world-class jazz musicians every Friday and Saturday night.  Having rapidly established a national reputation, it was a tremendous honor when Downbeat magazine recognized the club in February 2016 as one of the premier jazz clubs in the world.

The Old Lyme Inn is located just seconds away from the I-95 Exit 70 off-ramp.

The Old Lyme Inn is located just seconds away from the I-95 Exit 70 off-ramp.

The Inn enjoys a prime location  moments away from the foot of the I-95 Exit 70 off-ramp, placing it exactly two hours from both Boston and New York. The 13 guest rooms are sold out most weekends with wedding guests in the warm months and attendees of The Side Door jazz club during the remaining months.

With the club, restaurant and guest rooms — not to mention the outstanding central location — there is unquestionably vast potential in the property.  Moreover, the Inn is located directly across the street from the Florence Griswold Museum, which is recognized as the birthplace of American Impressionism.

This past August Ken and Chris were obliged to curtail restaurant service due to a lack of kitchen staff. Both The Side Door and the Inn remain fully operational — special events are being executed as planned, utilizing a skeleton crew of loyal staff.

Chris notes, “Ceasing normal restaurant operations was a very difficult but very necessary decision.”  She comments, “‘Google’ chef shortage and you will see that Connecticut and Southern New England are not alone in the current chef shortage dilemma. Restaurants here and abroad are experiencing difficulty in staffing their kitchens.”

Explaining how she and Ken are hoping to resolve the current situation, Chris says, “We are actively looking for a chef/general manager to take over management of the property. This could be an ideal opportunity for a chef/ manager from New York, Boston or any metropolitan area who would like to establish him or herself (with family) in a wonderful small community.”

But what makes this a unique opportunity for the right person is the “package” that Chris and Ken are offering.  Ken notes, “We are open to suggestions and creative concepts for utilizing this beautiful property. Ultimately, the Old Lyme Inn might become an establishment that is more than a restaurant and inn. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination.”

He concludes, “Our goal remains the same as when we purchased the property — to utilize and operate the entire property to the benefit of the community. We would like to think that the opportunity and support we can offer someone who is willing to work hard is greater than if they were to start a hospitality business from scratch on their own.”

Share

Jewett Construction to Build New Reynold’s Subaru Dealership

Designer's rendering of front aerial view of new Reynold's Subaru facility. Completion is scheduled for July 2017.

Rendering of front aerial view of new Reynold’s Subaru dealership in Lyme. Construction is scheduled for completion by June 2017.

Raymond, N.H.-based Jewett Construction Company, Inc. has been selected to design build a new dealership for Reynolds’ Subaru based in Lyme, Conn.

The Reynold’s Subaru design-build dealership involves the construction of a new 22,250 SF facility requiring careful coordination between Subaru of New England and the Town of Lyme, Conn. for incorporation of both the manufacturer’s current image upgrades and the town’s stringent zoning requirements. The new facility will combine the iconic stone veneered Subaru tower into a historic carriage house design with vertical siding, architectural asphalt shingles, gabled roof lines, and New England barn-inspired accents.

Construction of the new, ground-up, waterfront facility also includes major site improvements, demolition of two existing buildings, an elevator system, acoustic ceilings and tile flooring to match manufacturer image upgrades. A full walk-out basement opens to an IPE-clad waterfront patio with blue-stone paver hardscape facing the waterfront.

The basement level will include corporate offices, a conference room, employee and automotive tech breakrooms, and file storage space. The first floor deck has been ruggedly designed to support the Reynolds’ Subaru vehicle inventory and new showroom/office functions.

The new 5,000 SF customer-centric showroom will include a customer lounge with fireplace and coffee bar, a kid’s zone, a quiet lounge, inviting sales management offices, and a retail parts counter.

A high-end 9,400 SF service department will include a radiant heated floor slab, full-coverage automotive-grade tile flooring, a service drive and customer write-up area, a parts storage department, and 12 service bays with fully recessed in-ground lifts. All work is expected to be completed by June, 2017.

Jewett Construction, an official Butler Builder, is a family-owned design-build/construction management firm specializing in automotive, commercial and industrial projects throughout the Northeast. Its many clients include such well-known organizations as the Monarch School of New England, US Foods, LAARS Heating Systems, The Bean Group, Kennebunk Savings Bank, and the Herb Chambers Companies.

To learn more, visitwww.jewettconstruction.com.

Share

Essex Savings Bank Announces 2016 Community Investment Balloting Results

essex-savings-bank-300x99Results from Essex Savings Bank’s customers recent voting in the Bank’s Community Investment Program were announced at a meeting of employees, directors and trustees at the Bank’s Plains Road Office on April 12. According to Thomas Lindner, Vice President and Community Relations Officer for Essex Savings Bank, 7,206 votes were cast this year for a total of $33,001.

The non-profits that received the top ten number of votes were in attendance for special recognition. They are, in order: Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, Forgotten Felines, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Valley Shore Animal Welfare League, Old Saybrook Fire Company Number One, Bikes for Kids, Dog Days Adoption Events, Essex Fire Engine Company Number 1, Tait’s Every Animal Matters (TEAM) and Pet Connections. See full results here.

The customer balloting portion of Essex Savings Bank’s 2016 Community Investment Program began on February 1 and concluded on February 29. The program entitled the bank’s customers to select up to three charities from this year’s list of 80 qualified non-profit organizations. Fund allocations are awarded based on the results of these votes.

Gregory R. Shook, President and Chief Executive Officer of Essex Savings Bank, said, “As we celebrate our 165th year of operation, we are proud to share in our success by giving back. Our Community Investment Program is designed to provide vital financial support to those organizations that enhance the quality of life in our communities.”

Each year the bank donates up to 10 percent of its net income to non-profit organizations within the immediate market area consisting of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. Since the program’s inception in 1996, the bank has donated over $4 million to well over 200 organizations. This year, the bank has allocated $110,000 to assisting non-profit organizations who offer outstanding services to our community and one third of that amount is then voted upon by the bank’s customers.

Editor’s note: Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook providing a full complement of personal and business banking. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.

Share

Local Essex Realtor’s 2015 Sales – Including in Lyme, Old Lyme – Total $24.8 Million

Award-winning Essex realtor Colette Harron stands outside the Sotheby's International office on Main Street in Essex.

Award-winning Essex realtor Colette Harron stands outside the Sotheby’s International office on Main Street in Essex.

ESSEX — Essex resident Colette Harron of Sotheby’s International Realty sold an unprecedented $24.8 million of real estate in the 2015 calendar year. This record-breaking amount not only placed Harron in the “Top 15 Company Wide Dollar Volume” in sales among Sotheby’s 1,500 realtors but also put in the “Top Producer’s Dollar Volume” in the Sotheby’s sales office in Essex.

The properties that Harron sold last year were located in the towns of Essex, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Deep River and Chester. As for the keys to her success, Harron said in a recent interview, “I work very hard, and even more importantly I always make myself available for my clients.” She also noted, “I know the area very well.”

In addition, Harron has Joanne Tyrol as a full time assistant, who Harron described as, “Just Perfect.”

Harron also noted, “I’m well established in the community, and have been doing this work for the last 15 years,” adding, “I’m always working, and I am always available.” In addition to English, Harron is also in fluent in Spanish and French. Another secret of her exceptional performance is, in Harron’s words, “I try not to remember the bad times, and just remember the good.” She concluded, “It is a tough business, and the challenges are high,” … but there is no question that she has made the very best of both.

Share

Hadlyme Country Market Has New Look, But Keeps Old Traditions

Hadlyme Country Market has a refreshed and welcoming exterior.

Hadlyme Country Market’s refreshed and welcoming exterior greets customers from near and far. Photo by Anna Sawin http://www.annasawin.com/

Looking for a new spot to savor your daily dose of hospitality?

Why not try the new Hadlyme Country Market?  Well, it’s not really new, but rather refurbished and restored.  The market is, in fact, now much like it was in 1905, a place for locals and tourists alike to gather in the quaint and storied town of Hadlyme, nestled to the north of Lyme in southeastern Connecticut. 

Hadlyme Country Market owners Susan Raible Birch (left) and Lisa Bakoledis (right) share a rare quiet moment together.

Hadlyme Country Market owners Susan Raible Birch (left) and Lisa Bakoledis (right) share a rare, quiet moment together. Photo by Anna Sawin, www.annasawin.com

The owners of the Market — Lisa Bakoledis and Susan Raible Birch — have been working to restore the historic landmark since purchasing the building and business in 2012 and are now proudly celebrating three years in business with the unveiling of their “new” market.

Original postcard circa 1905 during the era when Lee Luther Brockway owned the store.

Original postcard circa 1905 during the era when Lee Luther Brockway owned the store.

The Hadlyme Country Market has been a pillar of the riverside since the mid-19th century when steamboats ruled Connecticut. Located near the water, this community center was the hub of commerce and social life. Boaters, locals, and businesspeople came for their market staples and sundries in a traditional neighborhood fashion where everyone knows their neighbor and lends a helping hand.

A photo of Lee Luther Brockway, original owner of the store, circa 1900.

A photo circa 1900 of Lee Luther Brockway, the original owner of the store, adorns the mantle. Photo by Alyssa Puzzo.

The mastermind behind the operation was Lee Luther Brockway, an astute businessman and entrepreneur who recognized the boom from steam boating and new business along the river. As soon as he noticed a turn from boating to more land-based transportation with the arrival of automobiles, he picked up the store and moved it to a better locale.

Hadlyme_store_sign

Photo by Anna Sawin, www.annasawin.com

Now conveniently located near the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry and Gillette’s Castle, the bustling intersection of Rte. 148 and Rte. 82 (Ferry Rd. and Norwich-Salem Rd. respectively) has been the Hadlyme Country Market’s home since 1905. After decades of transitioning owners and falling under disrepair, Bakoledis and Birch, long-time admirers and locals, purchased the store with a vision for their treasure.

Bakoledis, who worked at the store many times over the years, always felt like it was home; maybe because she lived in the apartment above but more likely because she sensed something special about the neighborhood, the people, and the rich history of the small town market.

The renovated interior retains its old world charm with a fresh, new look.

The renovated interior retains its old world charm with a fresh, new look. Photo by Anna Sawin, annasawin.com.

The pair quickly went to work planning a remodel that was true to the market’s rich history and architectural integrity. After pouring over archives and records for images, blueprints, and materials, they came up with a plan that would restore the market to its original beauty plus a few modern comforts to attract a new generation of customers.

The deli offers a tempting array of choices daily. Photo by Alyssa Puzzo.

The deli offers a tempting array of choices daily. Photo by Alyssa Puzzo.

The market was renovated to its original glory with authentic the turn-of-the-century materials salvaged from local historical buildings. In 2013 the doors were opened to the public and Bakoledis and Birch received an outpouring of locals delighted at the return of an institution. What’s more, the new owners took it upon themselves to run the store as Brockway would have, replete with hospitality, charm, and friendly faces.

Room with a view: customers enjoy their morning cuppa in a peaceful setting.

Room with a view: customers enjoy their morning cup of coffee in a peaceful setting.  Photo by Anna Sawin, annasawin.com.

Two years later, the market continues to upgrade with an exterior restoration to the porch completed this fall, a sweet spot for anyone who enjoys sitting where the sun seems alway to shine. On the menu daily are a wide selection of deli-fresh artisan sandwiches and pot pies along with fresh Ashlawn Farm Coffee, newspapers, breakfast and bakery treats. Continuing Brockway’s tradition, Bakoledis and Birch welcome locals and travelers to enjoy old-fashioned treats, treasures, and conversations in a place everyone can feel at home. Birch  sums up the Market’s attraction succinctly when she says, “The Country Market … has a heart like no other.”

Share

New Buses Arrive for Transit District

9 Town Transit board members Leslie Strauss and John Forbis show off the agencies newest buses. Photo by Estuary Transit District.

9 Town Transit board members John Forbis of Old Lyme and Leslie Strauss show off the agencies newest buses. Photo by Estuary Transit District.

9 Town Transit welcomed four new buses into its fleet this December. The new buses feature the bright blue and green design and offer the latest in passenger comforts. These buses will expand the district’s fleet to accommodate its tremendous growth in ridership over the past several years. The total cost of $337,708 was paid for with Federal Transit Administration and Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Additional information, route maps and schedules are available online at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.

Share

Join Santa & Mrs. Claus in New London Today to Support Marine Corps’ ‘Toys for Tots’ Campaign

Santa will have gift for every child at Saturday's event.

Santa will have a free gift for every child at Saturday’s event.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will ride into the new Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson in New London Saturday, Dec. 12, from 12 to 3 p.m. to support the U.S. Reserve Marine Corps annual ‘Toys for Tots’ campaign.

This free event will include photos with Santa and the whole family … even pets are welcome. Santa will greet visitors in a Harley-Davidson® sidecar set in front of a traditional stone fireplace within the former Coca-Cola® factory. Each child will receive a free gift from Santa and parents will receive a $10 gift certificate to Mike’s Famous® for each toy contributed. Festive refreshments will also be offered.

The showroom not only features motorcycles, ATVs and watercraft, but also boasts an extensive selection of riding gear, accessories, clothing, and toys; there’s something fun for every member of the family at this exciting new venue.

Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson is the New London County collection and staging headquarters for ‘Toys for Tots’, locally sponsored by the Thames River Detachment Marine Corps League. For months, the community has been donating toys and the Marines have been collecting, sorting and staging the gifts inside of Mike’s Famous®. The initiative will provide toys to children represented by dozens of charities and non-profit organizations this holiday season. Additionally, non-perishable food items are being accepted for donation to the Gemma E. Moran United Way Food Center.

NL shop front

Mike’s Famous Harley Davidson store in New London

“We are thrilled beyond belief to be working with Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson this year on our annual toy drive,” said Jim Reid, Junior Vice Commandant of the Thames River Detachment Marine Corps League. “As always, Mike has gone above and beyond the call of duty and has spent a lot of resources to accommodate our needs. In past years, we have worked in unheated warehouses and other tough conditions. Our very comfortable headquarters at Mike’s Famous is absolutely fantastic, and his staff has been great to work with. We are extremely grateful,” Reid added.

Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson is the 2015 recipient of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut’s Military Community Support Award, given annually to Chamber member businesses that have gone above and beyond to show support of the region’s men and women in uniform. Mike’s Famous was selected because of its outstanding commitment to supporting active military members as well as veterans. The dealership’s programs include Operation Personal Freedom® which offers a free Harley-Davidson Riding Academy® Beginner’s Rider Course for all active and retired military personnel. Mike’s Famous works regularly with the Wounded Warrior Project® and Adaptive Sports Foundation to improve the lives of service men and women who are living with post-traumatic stress disorder and physical handicaps. They have also raised and donated thousands of dollars for military veterans and veterans’ assistance programs, and the dealership organizes many additional events and programs to thank active personnel and veterans for their service.

The objectives of ‘Toys for Tots’ are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.

Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson is located at 951 Bank Street in New London, CT. The new dealership opened in March of 2014 in 55,000 square feet within the former Coca-Cola® bottling plant. It also represents the Can-Am® brands of ATVs, Side-by-Sides, Spyders® and Sea-Doo® Watercraft, and carries the full line of Polaris® recreational products.

Share

Celebrating a Year of ‘Pearls and Plaid’

The charming exterior of 'Pearls and Plaid" in Haddam, Conn.

The charming exterior of ‘Pearls and Plaid” in Haddam, Conn.

Just a few weeks ago, on Nov. 12, local Haddam boutique “Pearls and Plaid” celebrated its first birthday. The store is located just a few shops down from the Goodspeed Opera House by the Haddam Bridge, making it a popular destination for tourists as well as regular townies.

The tiny store is packed with clothing draped on walls and mirrors, spread on top of and underneath chests and drawers, and hung on pipes. Kristin Lemley, who is both an employee and sister of owner Caroline Lemley, comments,“From the start she (Caroline) really didn’t want it to be a typical clothing store with racks and shelves. We wanted it to be interesting to look at and always changing.”

A peek inside the store.

A peek inside the store.

Kristin, who lives in Essex while sister Caroline is a Killingworth resident, has followed the project from the very beginning.  She notes enthusiastically, “I think the store is unique because of the wide variety of people who shop there,” adding to prove her point, “Parents will come in and buy things for their eight-year-old daughters … but my grandma also shops there.”

The store’s professed style is, “Where northern prep meets southern charm,” and its inventory certainly lives up to its logo. Rompers, dresses, jewelry, and various accessories are the most popular items in the store, and new items arrive just as quickly as the old ones sell out.

A veritable treasure trove of items are always on sale at competitive prices.

A veritable treasure trove of items are always on sale at competitive prices.

‘Pearls and Plaid’ is a great example of the local businesses that are the heart and soul of our small communities. These businesses bring the community together and provide a more intimate experience than larger scale corporations. Just as we rely on them to bring character to our local communities, they rely solely on our support to maintain their status.

Let’s commit to keep the charm and personality in our small towns by supporting ‘Pearls and Plaid’ and all the other small businesses in our local area to ensure many more anniversaries are celebrated!

Editor’s Note: Pearls and Plaid is located at 4, Norwich Rd., East Haddam, CT.  Its regular opening hours are Tue-Fri: 12 to 6 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, Call 860.876.7328.

Share

‘The Bowerbird’ Seeks Help to Select Next Annual Donation Recipient

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 10.13.17 AM

In a few short weeks, The Bowerbird located in the Old Lyme Marketplace on Halls Rd. will be selecting a new recipient for their 2015-2016 gift wrap give-back program.  Usually, this is a closed process; however, this year the store is soliciting suggestions from their customers and LymeLine.com readers.  Do you have a favorite non-profit that could benefit from some extra funds?

Eligible organizations must be registered as a tax-exempt nonprofit 501 (c) organization, be located in Connecticut or have a Connecticut chapter.  In addition, they are not eligible if they have previously received funds through the store’s gift wrap program.

For a complete listing of past recipients, visit www.thebowerbird.com

The Bowerbird pioneered ‘cause’ marketing when they created their gift wrap donation program in 1992.  In the past 22 years, The Bowerbird has donated over $71,000 to 27 statewide and local non-profits proving that small businesses can make a difference.

The current recipient is the Children’s Medical Center located in Hartford.

The 2015-2016 year’s wrap donation program will begin Nov. 1, 2015.

For more information, stop by The Bowerbird in the Old Lyme Marketplace.

Share

Collins of Old Lyme Named a ‘Best Lawyer in America’ … Again

Attorney John A. Collins III

Attorney John A. Collins III

John A. Collins, III, of Old Lyme has again been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 22nd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® 2016. Collins is an attorney specializing in the field of Personal Injury Litigation at Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law in New London.

Two of Collins’s fellow attorneys at Suisman Shapiro, Matthew E. Auger and Matthew Shafner, were also named in the Best Lawyers listing — Auger in the practice area of Medical Malpractice Law and Shafner in the area of Workers’ Compensation Law.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey.  Over 55,000 leading attorneys cast more than 6.7 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.

Best Lawyers first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 65 countries. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

“Best Lawyers is the most effective tool in identifying critical legal expertise,” said CEO Steven Naifeh. “Inclusion on this list shows that an attorney is respected by his or her peers for professional success.”

Collins has successfully obtained verdicts or public settlements up to $10 million on behalf of injured victims over a 29-year law practice.  He currently serves as the Managing Partner of Suisman Shapiro.  The Connecticut Bar Foundation honored Attorney John A. Collins, III, in 2005 with his selection as a Life Fellow.  “Selection as a Fellow requires demonstrated superior legal ability and devotion to the welfare of the community, state and nation, as well as to the advancement of the legal foundation”.  (Source: Connecticut Bar Foundation)

Auger handles serious personal injury cases, including wrongful death claims, automobile collisions, slip and falls, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and product liability.  Mr. Auger is a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate with the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  He is also a Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the United States Naval Reserve.

Shafner is a nationally recognized lawyer in the fields of asbestos injury, personal injury, maritime injury and workers compensation. He was admitted to practice in Connecticut, the Federal Courts of Appeals in the 1st and 2nd Circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court.  His reported decisions have been published by the Appellate Court, Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 1st and 2nd Circuits.  Attorney Shafner is a member of the Million Dollar Advocate Forum.

In 2015, Best Lawyers recognized Matthew Shafner as “Lawyer of the Year.” He is only the ninth person ever to receive the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association’s lifetime achievement award since the association formed in 1954.

Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law is located at 2 Union Plaza, P.O. Box 1591, New London CT 06320. For further information, call (860) 442-4416 or visit www.suismanshapiro.com

Share

Essex Savings Bank Donates to Non-Profits

ESSEX — Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO of Essex Savings Bank announced the completion of distribution from the Directors’ portion of the Community Investment Fund. Total distributions for the year will amount to $100,000 and will surpass $4 million since the program’s 1996 inception of distributing 10% of after tax net income. Donations for this portion have been allocated to the following non-profit organizations.

Angel Charities, Inc. * Camp Hazen YMCA * The Chester Historical Society, Inc. * Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Inc. * Community Foundation of Middlesex County * Connecticut River Museum at Steamboat Dock * The Deep River Historical Society * Essex Historical Society * Florence Griswold Museum * The Ivoryton Library Association * Ivoryton Village Alliance * Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center & Theatre * Lawrence & Memorial Hospital * Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts * Lyme Art Association * Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau * MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation, Inc. * Madison Land Conservation Trust * Middlesex Hospital * Middlesex United Way * The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Association, Inc. * Rotary Club of Essex Foundation * Tri-Town Youth Service Bureau, Inc. * Valley Shore YMCA * Vista (Vocational Independent Supported Transitional Alternative).

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook providing a full complement of personal and business banking. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.

Share

CIRMA Recognizes Estuary Transit District for Promoting Risk Management as an Organizational Priority

town_transit_busThe Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (CIRMA) presented a 2015 Risk Management Achievement Award to the Estuary Transit District for making risk management an organizational priority. Their efforts, led by the District’s Director Joseph Commerford, created a culture focused on the safety of its employees and passengers.

The District established broad-based programs to reduce loss costs, including creating a formal Return-to-Work program, performing facility assessments, reviewing incident reports to identify root causes, and revising procedures.

The achievement award was presented to the Estuary Transit District at CIRMA’s May 22 awards ceremony. CIRMA, the state’s leading municipal insurer, is a member-owned and governed organization that works to empower municipalities, public schools, and local public agencies to better manage risk.

David Demchak, Senior Vice President of CIRMA, said to the audience of almost 100 municipal and school leaders, “Our awards program acknowledges the organizational and the personal commitment our members have made to protect their fellow employees from injury, protect property, and to keep Connecticut’s communities safe.”

CIRMA’s mission is to reduce losses and their costs by improving its members’ understanding of risk and the ways to manage it. CIRMA’s Risk Management Achievement Awards program was begun in 1981 to recognize the risk management and safety initiatives that prevent accidents and make positive improvements in Connecticut communities.

The program has expanded over the years, recognizing achievements in such areas as property management and sustained results. The program provides CIRMA members a forum in which they can share ideas and learn new methods to reduce losses.

CIRMA, owned and governed by its members, operates two risk-sharing pools: the Workers’ Compensation Pool and the Liability-Automobile-Property Pool. It also provides risk management services to self- insured municipalities and local public agencies. Today, CIRMA’s membership includes over 85 percent of the state’s municipalities and has Premiums of $90 million and Assets under management of over $360 million.

For more information about CIRMA’s Risk Management Achievement Award Program, contact George Tammaro, CIRMA Risk Management Supervisor, at gtammaro@ccm-ct.org, or visit www.CIRMA.org.

Share

Lyme-Based Julia Balfour Creative Agency Receives 14 Connecticut Art Directors Club Awards

The Julia Balfour LLC creative agency located in Lyme, Conn., was honored with 14 awards.

The Julia Balfour LLC creative agency located in Lyme, Conn., has been honored with 14 Connecticut Art Directors Club awards.

Julia Balfour, LLC has been honored with 14 Connecticut Art Directors Club awards for design projects undertaken by the company in the past year.  The works include Exhibition Kiosks, Interactive Apps, Social Media Campaigns, Websites, Logos, and Invitation designs.

Work honored for the following nine partners were:

Gold Awards

StoptheStigmaCT_Facebook

  • Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network “Stop the Stigma” Campaign – Social Media (see image above)
  • Mystic Aquarium Exploration Wild Kiosks – Educational and Museum Information Design

goingWildkioskRainforestKiosk

  • Mystic Aquarium Exploration Wild Kiosks – Interactive App (see image above)

Silver Awards

  • New England Society of Healthcare Communications Conference Logo – Logo System
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Holiday Market Series – Announcements / Invitations / Greeting Cards
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Symphony Invitation – Announcements / Invitations / Greeting Cards

Excellence Awards

  • Hartford HealthCare Web Style Guide  – Employee Publications
  • Florence Griswold Museum Website – Cultural & Educational Websites
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Fall Newsletter – Pro Bono Design
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Symphony Poster – Poster Series
  • James Merrill House Website – Cultural & Educational Websites
  • Dreamup Toys Microsite – E-commerce Websites
  • Structural Graphics Google Adwords Landing Page – Online Promotion
  • Twin Networks Presentation Folder – Brochures / Folders

Julia Balfour, founder and Creative Director of the agency, comments, “I’m so proud of the work our team has done over the past year. We’ve gone from a one-woman shop to a 15-person team in four years.  The work we’ve produced, this year in particular, demonstrates the passion, strategy, and innovation that this team has poured into their work. And of course we couldn’t do any of it without our fabulous clients.” she said.

Julia Balfour, LLC is a full service creative agency specializing in design, strategy, innovation, and social media. Located in Lyme, CT, the studio works within Healthcare, Finance, Travel & Tourism, Non-Profit, Retail, Beauty and Museum & Fine Art.

The Connecticut Art Directors Club seeks to promote standards of excellence in the field of creative design within the state.  Their yearly awards show brings together and highlights the exceptional design work of the past year.

For more information about Julia Balfour, LLC, visit www.juliabalfour.com and/or                                                    www.facebook.com/juliabalfourllc

Share

Action-Oriented Old Saybrook Chamber Bolsters Business Environment

OS_Chamber_from_front

The Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce building serves as a ‘gateway’ to Main Street.

The Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce building serves as a ‘gateway’ to Main Street.

Founded in 1939, the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014. The more than 500 members are the driving force behind the organization and also form its strong volunteer base. These, in turn, support the Chamber’s two full time employees, Executive Director Judy Sullivan and Member Services Manager Karen Pinette.

Sullivan explains, “Our job is to promote Old Saybrook as a place to work and live and play.” Composed of a diverse group of nonprofits, retail companies, insurance companies, banks, and more, the Chamber unites under their common goals of advancing the economic vitality and improving the quality of life in the community, as well as bringing businesses and new jobs to town.

Executive Director Judy Sullivan

Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Judy Sullivan takes a brief break from her work.

With about 25 percent of Old Saybrook businesses as members, the Chamber accomplishes its ambitious goals through a variety of community events including educational programs on topics ranging from networking and email marketing software to social media publicity and customer service. The Chamber also sponsors an annual Chili-Fest to fund the college scholarship program it runs for students resident in Old Saybrook or children of Chamber members, as well as an annual Arts and Crafts Festival, which is being held this year on July 25 and 26.

In addition, the Chamber has initiated the Chamber Mail program by which every new resident receives information about surrounding businesses, and runs the Chamber Dollars program, a gift certificate program involving over 50 businesses. The Chamber also works frequently with nonprofits on community-oriented projects.

Judy&Karen_at_desks_800

The smiling faces of Executive Director Judy Sullivan (left) and Membership Services Manager Karen Pinette greet visitors to the light and airy Chamber building.

An important aspect of the Chamber is that they serve as a link between businesses and governments to facilitate lines of communication. Most recently, at ‘Connecticut Business Day at the Capitol,’ Old Saybrook Chamber representatives spoke to senators and representatives about issues facing businesses in the state, such as Connecticut’s 15 percent occupancy tax.

OS_Chamber_Exterior_rearThe Chamber also helps foster inter-business relationships and once a month, a Chamber Connections event is held. These are casual gatherings at various local businesses, which facilitate networking between — and sometimes even within — businesses.

Sullivan grew up in Old Saybrook and graduated from Old Saybrook High School. When her youngest child started school, she fell into her role at the Chamber, first on a part-time basis and ultimately working her way up to executive director. Sullivan notes, “The hardest part of the job is being careful with each action because somebody might be affected. We constantly have to be aware of the impact of any actions we might take. We always want to leave a positive impact.”

She adds, “I’m really proud of the Chamber — it’s been here a long time. I love promoting the town I grew up in. And I find it so rewarding when we see tangible success in businesses.”

Share

New Owners of Village Shops on Lyme St. ‘Look Forward to Working With Current Business Owners’

The shop and businesses, which comprise the Village Shoppes on Lyme Street, have a new landlord.

Lee and Michelle Mergy, who live in the property on Lyme Street that was formerly Christ the King church, have purchased the Village Shoppes from the current owner, Warren Hannas. The sale, effective April 21, was completed under the name 26 Lyme Street LLC and kept under wraps until its announcement Wednesday.

The businesses located in the Village Shoppes include Vitality Spa, The Chocolate Shell, Sandy Garvin Fine Art and Marilyn C. Clarke, Attorney at Law.

After hearing of the purchase, Lindsay Eisensmith, owner of Vitality Spa, told LymeLine, “Vitality Spa & Wellness was recently made aware that one of our Lyme Street neighbors has purchased the building. We have not been informed about their plans for the Village Shops and therefore have not yet determined what lies ahead for the future of Vitality.”

She also noted, “We are hopeful that our new landlords will work with us to resolve our ongoing zoning concerns.” Eisensmith has recently been involved in a lively debate with the Old Lyme Zoning Commission regarding some of the new activities she has added at  her business.

Lee Mergy commented online in response to an earlier article on LymeLine.com, “We are very happy to have the opportunity to own and manage The Village Shops, which has been a fixture in the Old Lyme historic village since 1932. We thank the previous owner for doing a terrific job in keeping the property well maintained.”

He continued, “We look forward to working with the business owners and neighbors to ensure that the Village Shops continue to be a great asset for the community, and in keeping with its location on Lyme Street in a residential district.”

In a subsequent email to LymeLine, Lee Mergy said, “The only other thing to add is that it is well known we have been looking to buy a commercial property on Lyme Street for a long time now and this opportunity arose and given its proximity to our home it seemed a great opportunity.”

He also stressed that he and his wife, “strongly support a vibrant small business environment in downtown Old Lyme that is in keeping with the residential neighborhood and historic district, and intend to maintain The Village Shops as a viable commercial enterprise.”

The Mergys are renowned for their monumental Halloween displays outside their Lyme Street residence, which each year incorporate a different theme.  Lee Mergy concluded his email to LymeLine.com in a lighter vein, noting, “And in case anyone asks, we did not buy it because we ran out of space for our crazy Halloween decorations!”

Share

Village Shoppes on Lyme Street Change Hands

Yesterday the shop and businesses, which comprise the Village Shoppes, were informed that with effect from May 1 of this year they will have a new landlord.

Lee and Michelle Mergy, who live in the property on Lyme Street that was formerly Christ the King church, have purchased the Village Shoppes from the current owner, Warren Hannas.  The sale, which was completed under the name 26 Lyme Street LLC, was kept under wraps until its announcement yesterday.

Other businesses located in the Village Shoppes include Vitality Spa, The Chocolate Shell, Sandy Garvin Fine Art and Marilyn C. Clarke, Attorney at Law.

 

Share

Essex Savings Bank Donates Over $29,000 to 90 Organizations as Part of Community Investment Program

ESSEX – Results of the recent voting by Essex Savings Bank customers who participated in the Bank’s Community Investment Program were announced at a meeting of employees, directors and trustees at the Bank’s Plains Road Office on Wednesday, April 8.

The Top Ten Winners in attendance received special recognition. They were in order by number of votes:

  1. The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries
  2. Forgotten Felines, Inc.
  3. Old Saybrook Fire Company Number One, Inc.
  4. High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
  5. Tait’s Every Animal Matters (TEAM)
  6. Dog Days Adoption Events, Inc.
  7. The Essex Fire Engine Company No. 1
  8. Bikes for Kids, Inc.
  9. Pet Connections, Inc.
  10. Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, Inc. (VNLV)

The customer balloting portion of Essex Savings Bank’s 2015 Community Investment Program, began on Feb. 2 and concluded on March 2. The program entitles the Bank’s customers to select up to three charities from a list of 90 qualified non-profit organizations. Fund allocations are awarded based on the results of these votes.

Gregory R. Shook, President and Chief Executive Officer of Essex Savings Bank stated, “At Essex Savings Bank, we believe the way to move the world forward is by giving back. Our Community Investment Program is designed to provide vital financial support to those organizations that enhance the quality of life in our communities.”

Each year, the Bank donates 10 percent of its net income to non-profit organizations within the immediate market area consisting of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. This year, the Bank has allocated $98,741 to assisting non-profit organizations who offer outstanding services to our community and one third of that amount is then voted upon by the Bank’s customers.

According to Thomas Lindner, Vice President and Community Relations Officer for Essex Savings Bank, 6,987 votes were cast this year for a total of $29,620. By year end 2015, the total distribution of charitable funds will reach 4 million dollars since the inception of the Bank’s Community Investment Program in 1996.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and subsidiary Essex Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC. Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value, are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Click here to see the full results with voting numbers and amounts donated to each organization.

Share

Rep. Carney Tours Bureau’s Sugarhouse, “Tastes Good … Good for the State”

Don Bureau demonstrates part of the maple syrup-making process to Rep. Devin Carney.

Don Bureau (left) demonstrates part of the maple syrup-making process to Rep. Devin Carney.

Bureau’s Sugarhouse & Maple Kettle Korn facility in Old Lyme has been in the business of making maple syrup since 1993, and kettle korn since 1999. State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) said after a tour of the facility on Saturday, March 28, that businesses like Bureau’s help support the state’s agri-business and make a large economic impact here in Connecticut.

Carney, who represents Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook, met with Don Bureau and his family, who showed Carney around the maple sugaring facility, which includes maple trees and kettle korn, along with maple syrup production.

Rep. Carney looks at the maple sugar facility in old Lyme from the outside.

Rep. Carney looks at the maple sugar facility in old Lyme from the outside.

“Bureau’s is producing quality products and helping to shape the future of agriculture here in the state,” Carney said. “This business is a treat for our district –it produces some of the best local products our state has to offer.”

“It tastes good and it’s good for the state,” Carney added.

For more information about Bureau’s Sugarhouse & Maple Kettle Korn, visit http://www.maplekettlekorn.com/aboutus.html

Share