July 7, 2022

Kristi Kelly of Old Lyme Named a Director of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys

Attorney Kristi D. Kelly of Old Lyme.

OLD LYME — Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law has announced that Attorney Kristi D. Kelly of Old Lyme has been named a Director of the Firm, effective Jan. 1, 2021. Roger T. Scully, III, of East Lyme was also named a Director in the same announcement.

“We congratulate our new Directors on this well-deserved professional achievement,” said Robert G. Tukey, Managing Director of Suisman Shapiro. “Hard work and dedication deserve recognition; both Kristi and Roger have demonstrated commitment and leadership within the firm and throughout the eastern Connecticut community.”

Atty. Kelly focuses her practice on labor, employment, and municipal law, as well as assisting veterans in their claims for VA disability benefits.

She regularly advises and represents numerous public and private clients in all areas of state and federal labor and employment law, including, for example, collective bargaining, internal investigations, discipline, grievances, and arbitration. Other areas include prohibited practice charges, family and medical leave compliance, discrimination and harassment claims, compliance and violations of state and federal wage and hour laws, and wrongful termination matters.

Atty. Kelly is the 2020 Recipient of The Honorable Anthony V. DeMayo Pro Bono Service Award presented by the Connecticut Bar Association in recognition of those who tirelessly fight for fundamental fairness, championing the legal rights of the poor and accused, and who consistently go beyond the “call of duty” and inspire others to do the same.

She serves as President of Higher Edge, Inc., a non-profit organization providing college access services to low-income and/or first-generation college students.

Atty. Scully’s practice focuses on civil litigation with a concentration in personal injury law. He also represents individuals and businesses in a variety of complex legal matters. Since 2018, Attorney Scully has been named to the Connecticut and New England Super Lawyers lists as a Rising Star.

He has also been recognized by U.S. News & World Report‘s Best Lawyers in America – Ones to Watch for 2021. Attorney Scully serves on the Connecticut Bar Association’s 2020-2021 Board of Governors representing District No. 16. He is also a board member for the New London County Bar Association.

Suisman Shapiro is the largest law firm in eastern Connecticut, providing residents and businesses along the coast from New Haven to Providence with a full range of legal services. The firm was established more than 75 years ago and is firmly rooted in the community.

Editor’s Note:

Jack Collins of Old Lyme Presented With Lifetime Achievement Award by CT Law Tribune

Atty. John “Jack” A. Collins III has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Connecticut Law Tribune.

OLD LYME — John ‘Jack’ A. Collins III of Old Lyme has been honored by the Connecticut Law Tribune with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

As Managing Partner of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law for more than 20 years, Atty. Collins was primarily responsible for the evolution of the business from a small practice to the largest law firm in eastern Connecticut. He has mentored many young lawyers to become leaders in their fields.

Suisman Shapiro serve as the Town Attorneys for Old Lyme. Atty. Collins frequently represents Suisman Shapiro in that capacity at both Town meetings and in giving legal advice to the Town.

View Collins’s’s award at 38:30 on this virtual broadcast at https://bit.ly/3cQJ75K .

Here at LymeLine.com, we send heartiest congratulations to Jack!


Diebolt Clarifies His Plans for 220 (Approx.) Apartments on Hatchetts Hill (Includes 70 Affordable Housing Units); Says “It’s 100% Good for the Town”

The boundary marked on this map indicates the perimeter of the 20.6 acres owned by Mark Diebolt, which is the proposed site of a housing development. The site is already zoned for multi-family housing.

OLD LYME — Describing his proposed housing development off Hatchetts Hill Rd. in Old Lyme as, “A one hundred percent good thing for the town,” Mark Diebolt went on to give an detailed outline of the ambitious proposal during a phone conversation with LymeLine last Monday (Sept. 22.)

The plan, which is still in draft form and has not yet been released, calls for construction of 11 buildings, which will offer a total of between 216 and 224 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The precise number is not yet finalized but Diebolt anticipates it will be around 220.

The intention is for roughly a third of the apartments — between 70 and 75 — to be made available as ‘Affordable Housing,’ which means the plans can be submitted under the state’s 8-30g regulations that facilitate the process of obtaining approvals.

Diebolt described his vision for the development, which, apart from the apartments, is also slated to include a pool, gym. movie theater and clubhouse, as being, “Somewhere people want to live” and “Having the feel of its own little community.” He believes, “A diverse group of residents” will be attracted to the community, which will be both attractive and “completely safe.” and emphasized, “There will be ways for people to interact and socialize, if they wish.”

Drawing a comparison with the recent Saybrook Station development in Old Saybrook, he said he similarly envisaged, “New England-style building … and making it like a small village.” He emphasized, however, a significant difference between the Saybrook project and this one in Old Lyme in terms of the building density. Diebolt pointed out, “They have a lot less land,” noting that the former has 186 units in nine buildings on 1o acres whereas in Old Lyme, he is looking at 220 units in 11 buildings on just over 20 acres.

Noting it is a “unique location,” and “all rural around that area,” Diebolt explained that the uneven topography, which includes “lots of rock,” allows opportunities “to use the natural contours of the property” both for underground parking and also, in some cases, to offer views of Long Island Sound from the apartments. The parcel of land comprising 20.6 acres, which he has owned for many years and is already zoned for multi-family use, lies at the eastern end of Hatchetts Hill and is bordered to the north by Hatchetts Hill Rd. and to the east by Four Mile River Rd.

Diebolt stressed several times during the conversation, “This is not low-income housing,” adding, “There is a real misconception about it [Affordable Housing.]” He noted that the developers would be following the state rules for the number of units that would be offered at different percentages of the median income for the town. Significantly, the apartments designated as affordable housing will be intermingled with all the other units in this development and built to exactly the same standard.

Pointing out that the investors in the project will likely become, “One of the largest taxpayers in town,” Diebolt noted that, at the same time, he does not expect, “Too many kids,” to be entering Lyme-Old Lyme Schools as a result of the development due to the size of the individual apartments being offered.

Diebolt also notes another positive for Old Lyme is that the development will roughly double the amount of affordable housing in the town. Currently Old Lyme has around 1.5 percent of affordable housing and this project will take that percentage to around 3 percent. The town is under a long-term, statewide mandate to achieve a goal of having 10 percent of its total housing as affordable housing.

Asked the names of his fellow investors, Diebolt, who acknowledges he is, “The face of the project,” said they did not wish to be named at this point, but commented they are, “Connecticut residents and professionals,” adding, “I’m not a land developer.”

Questioned as to the intended name of the development, Diebolt chuckled and said that, as with the investor names, it was still under wraps. But he then shared that he is an amateur ornithologist and said that might possibly impact their choices as they, “Play around with names.”

In terms of location, Diebolt notes the site is extremely conveniently situated for on- and off-ramps going in both direction at Exit 71 of I-95. He also remarks that the single exit from the project will be onto Hatchetts Hill Rd. and will only allow a right-turn — there will be no exit onto the much busier Four Mile River Rd.

Regarding next steps, the plan has already been presented in a preliminary fashion to the Old Lyme Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA). This was, in Diebolt’s words, to let them know that, “Basically our [Diebolt’s] professional engineers are in discussion with East Lyme WPCA engineers about connecting to water and sewer lines on Colton Rd. in East Lyme.” The property being proposed for development is only approximately 100 meters from those East Lyme  water and sewer lines and the possibility of connecting to them seems likely to be critical to the project moving forward.

Following that, Diebolt expects to submit a formal plan to Old Lyme’s Inland Wetlands Commission in December or January, which will kick off the official approval process with the Town.

Last Monday, Diebolt discussed the project with the Old Lyme Affordable Housing Committee (OLAHC), again for information purposes. After giving a brief overview of the project, Diebolt answered questions from the committee ranging from how many stories would the buildings have (Diebolt said a maximum of three) and would all the units be rented (yes – there will be no opportunity to purchase apartments) to whether pets will be allowed (yes, definitely – Diebolt again stressed the developers wanted these to be, “Homes people are proud to have” adding, “Pets are part of our culture.

Committee member Karen Winters spoke positively about the fact that, “The work force is intermingled,” so, as Diebolt clarified, “No one will know who’s who,” meaning those renting under Affordable Housing policies will not be identifiable from those who are not. Winters said, “I think that’s a win.”

Tom Ortoleva, another committee member, asked how many acres of the total were buildable. Diebolt responded, “It’s a tough site. One of the more expensive items [in the project] is site work.” He emphasized, “We have it all laid out. We could have put 274 units on the site … but we didn’t want it crowded.”

Committee member Tammy Tinnerello and Ortoleva questioned why Diebolt was not planning any three-bedroom units to which Diebolt replied, “Our market research indicates there is no demand for them,” or only minimal demand, but he also noted the developers would be willing to look into the matter further.

Overall, in Diebolt’s opinion, “The project was well received,” [by the committee] and, “The members seemed encouraging,” but prior to entertaining questions OLAHC Chairman Michael Fogliano had emphasized to committee members that they were there, “To listen and learn,” and not to consider a formal application nor take a vote.

Diebolt ended his session with the committee saying optimistically, “A thing of this magnitude is going to take a while to get going … but hopefully it will come to fruition.”

Old Lyme Land Use Official Confirms Diebolt Has Discussed 200+ Apartment Proposal Off Hatchetts Hill

OLD LYME — Old Lyme Land Use Coordinator Dan Bourret confirmed to LymeLine.com by phone Thursday that he has had a, “Very preliminary discussion,” with Mark C. Diebolt about the proposal Diebolt is planning to submit for a development of apartments on a substantial piece of land off Hatchetts Hill Rd. towards the eastern perimeter of the Town of Old Lyme.

Asked how many units were being proposed, Bourret said he believed it was, “A low 200’s number of apartments.”

Bourret stressed, “I don’t know much. I only have a little bit of an overview. There are no plans submitted at this point.” He emphasized he would know much more about the project, ” … when we get an application.”

Responding to a question regarding whether Zoning would be the first Commission to receive the application if it is ultimately submitted, Bourret explained it would have to be reviewed by the Old Lyme Wetlands Commission initially if the proposed development were within 100 ft. of an Upland Review Area. Without an application, Bourret said he did not know at this point whether that would be the case, though he was aware, “There is a stream to the west of the property.”

Bourret noted that Diebolt had indicated the proposal would be submitted under Connecticut’s 830-g Affordable Housing Statute, which can, “circumvent the zoning process” and therefore how the application would move forward is “a little bit of an unknown.”

Stating that Diebolt is the contact for the proposal, Bourret said he did not know the names of any other investors in the project. Asked when he anticipated receiving the application, Bourret replied that he had, “No indication of when plans are coming.”

The next meeting of the Old Lyme Affordable Housing Committee is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 21, at 5:30 p.m. in Old Lyme Town Hall.  The agenda for that meeting has not yet been published, but a member of the committee has confirmed to LymeLine.com that Diebolt plans to discuss his proposal at that meeting.

Editor’s Note: Mark C. Diebolt is the President/CEO of Diebolt & Company, manufacturers and designers of Specialty Hose Products since 1991. The Connecticut Corporate Headquarters are located at 18 Riverview Drive, Old Lyme, CT 06371. For more information, visit this link.




Two Old Lyme Residents, Collins & Berryman, Named ‘2021 Best Lawyers’

Attorney John A. Collins III

NEW LONDON/OLD LYME: Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law has announced that five of their lawyers have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.

Two of those honored, John A. Collins and James P. Berryman, are Old Lyme residents. Atty. Collins specializes in Personal Injury litigation for plaintiffs and Atty. Berryman’s specialty is Workers’ Compensation Law for claimants.

The Best Lawyers list has been published for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Their first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 75 countries.

Attorney James P. Berryman

Best Lawyers was founded in 1981 with the purpose of highlighting the extraordinary accomplishments of those in the legal profession. After three decades, we are proud to continue to serve as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals worldwide,” says CEO Phillip Greer.

The remaining three Suisman Shapiro lawyers named in Best Lawyers are:

Two Suisman Shapiro attorneys have been included in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Roger T. Scully and Kyle J. Zrenda. This publication recognizes associates and other lawyers, who are at an early stage of their careers, for their outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States.

Atty. Scully specializes in Personal Injury Litigation for plaintiffs and Atty. Zrenda’s specialty is Insurance Law, Medical Malpractice Law for plaintiffs, and Personal Injury Litigation, also for plaintiffs.

Best Lawyers was founded in 1981 with the purpose of recognizing extraordinary lawyers in private practice through an exhaustive peer-review process. Nearly 40 years later, we are proud to expand our scope, while maintaining the same methodology, to recognize a different demographic of talented and deserving lawyers in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch,” says Phil Greer, CEO of Best Lawyers.

Lawyers named in The Best Lawyers in America list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.

Editor’s Note: Suisman Shapiro is located at 75 State Street, New London, CT 06320. For further information, visit their website or call 800-499-0145 — lines are open 24 hours a day.

Millennial Money: How to Move Safely During a Pandemic

Moving is stressful enough without throwing a pandemic into the mix.

Many Americans may be forced to consider moving as federal foreclosure and eviction moratoriums expire. In the first week of July, 32% of Americans did not make a full, on-time housing payment, according to a nationally representative survey by the website Apartment List. Others may relocate to save money, be closer to loved ones or simply leave a densely populated area.

If you’re considering moving, here’s what to know from a financial standpoint, as well as tips to make moving day safer …

Visit this link to read the full article published Aug. 9, on theday.com. Jean Wilczynski, a certified financial planner and senior wealth advisor at Exencial Wealth Advisors in Old Lyme, and also a resident of Old Lyme and Region 18 Board Member, is quoted in the article.

Vitality Spa Reopens Aug. 1 with New Protocols in Place, Now Taking Appointments

The welcoming exterior of Vitality Spa at 14 Lyme St. in Old Lyme. The spa reopens Aug. 1.

OLD LYME — “We’re so excited to be reopening our doors on Aug. 1,” Vitality Spa owner Lindsay Eisensmith says enthusiastically. Her business on Lyme St. in Old Lyme has been closed since early March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but reopening the spa was not simply a matter of changing the sign on the door.

Eisensmith explained that in order to reopen safely and in accordance with the Governor’s guidelines, the spa has found it necessary to make a significant number of changes.

Pointing out, “When a client enters, the spa will have a very different look since we have streamlined our space and put new protocols in place,” she adds,”We’re following the State-mandated guidelines and the American Massage Therapy Association recommendations to protect our clients and our staff.”

Although the spa is currently closed, appointments can still be made either online at vitalityspa.com or by phone at 860-434-1792.

Some of the changes that have been implemented involve a client’s arrival. Under the new arrangements, a client must call from outside the spa to say he/she has arrived and once inside the building, spa staff will carry out a symptom review and temperature check at the door. Eisensmith stresses, “We will not be applying any cancellation penalty if an appointment must be cancelled at that point.”

Staff will wear masks at all times when working with clients under the new protocols.

There will no longer be a reception area inside the spa and, in light of the current news, it will come as no surprise that face masks are required for all clients, while staff wear masks and goggles or a face shield.

Precautions regarding the use of rooms include a system whereby they are alternated so that no two clients are treated in the same space consecutively. Similarly, room recovery time has been extended to allow all surfaces to be sanitized/disinfected thoroughly after every use.

Eisensmith also mentions that HEPA filters are in operation during treatment sessions for air purification and also that massage tables and face cradles will have plastic protective covers beneath the sheets to allow for thorough disinfecting between clients.

In terms of general cleanliness for both the staff and clients, touchless soap and towel dispensers. and sanitizing stations are now provided.

Business Manager Jill Stranger stands behind the new plexiglass shield at the Vitality Spa front desk.

Finally, Eisensmith notes that a plexiglass shield has been installed at the reception desk to ensure personal protection during the check-out process.

With all these changes now in place, Eisensmith is excited to greet her clients again and says that, despite all the new protocols, “They can be assured that not only are our services still outstanding, but our therapists remain as skilled as ever.”

Vitality Spa Set to Reopen Aug. 1, Appointments Being Taken Now

Vitality Spa owner Lindsay Eisensmith

OLD LYME — Vitality Spa owner Lindsay Eisensmith has shared with LymeLine.com that she plans to reopen her spa on Lyme St. Aug. 1.  The spa has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic was first announced.

Numerous changes in protocols and decor have been implemented. We will be publishing an extensive article on how the spa has responded to the health situation next week

Meanwhile, appointments can be booked either online at vitalityspa.com or by phone at 860-434-1792.

Saint Ann’s Nearly New Shop in Old Lyme Reopens for Sales

The Nearly New Shop of Saint Ann’s Parish.

OLD LYME — The Nearly New Shop of Saint Ann’s Parish will start accepting consignments again Monday, June 22. The Shop will be open every day next week through Friday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Shop will reopen for sales starting Wednesday, July 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Henceforward, it will be open every Tuesdays through Saturdays at the same time.

Clothes for consignment should be clean, wrinkle free, and on hangers. Forms should be filled out with item detail or can be provided at the time of your visit.

All customers are reminded that properly worn face masks must be worn at all times while visiting the Nearly New Shop and similarly social distancing must be practiced at all times.

The Shop is located  at 70 Shore Rd. (corner of Shore and Mile Creek Rd’s.)

The Shop management says, “We are beyond excited to be opening our doors once again. Although you won’t be able to see our smiles when you walk in the door, know we’ll be grinning ear to ear under our masks!”

Exencial Wealth Advisors To Acquire $800M Willingdon Wealth Management; No Plans to Close Old Lyme Office

Tom McGuigan is Principal/Wealth Adviser at the Exencial Old Lyme office.

OKLAHOMA CITY/OLD LYME — Leading independent wealth management firm Exencial Wealth Advisors (Exencial) has announced its agreement to acquire Willingdon Wealth Management (Willingdon), a North Carolina-based registered investment advisor (RIA), according to a press release issued April 30.

Exencial is based in Oklahoma City, Okla. and has offices in Old Lyme, Conn., along with Frisco and San Antonio in Texas.

Expected to close on June 1, 2020, the deal would add $800 million in assets to Exencial’s book of business and deepen its talent pool with 16 new employees, including five CFA charterholders.

Asked his reaction to the acquisition, Thomas P. McGuigan, CFP®, who serves as Principal/Wealth Adviser at the Old Lyme office, told LymeLine in an email, “We are excited by the acquisition of Willingdon Wealth Management,” noting, “The Old Lyme office of Exencial Wealth Advisors was the first office outside of the Oklahoma City main office to join Exencial Wealth Advisors. That was accomplished in 2006.”

He explained, “We were the experiment to see if offices separated by distance, but unified in mission and values, could operate efficiently on behalf of clients. That experiment was a success, and we have since added offices in Frisco and San Antonio, Texas. Willingdon will further expand our reach to the southeastern states.”

On inquiring whether  the acquisition would affect the day-to-day operation of the office in Old Lyme, McGuigan responded, “There won’t be significant changes in the operations of the Old Lyme office. I do anticipate synergy between the Willingdon team and the rest of Exencial,” adding, “This has occurred each time a new office has been added.

He concluded, “That will work both ways. The Exencial team in Old Lyme has expertise that our other offices have tapped into, and we have benefited by the expertise of other offices.I expect that to continue with the Willingdon team.”

There is always a risk of consolidation when a merger of any sort occurs. We asked McGuigan whether there is any likelihood the office In Old Lyme will either be closed or moved to a new location. He replied, “No, that is not in the plans. We intend to grow the Old Lyme office. Just last year Exencial Wealth Advisors purchased the Old Lyme practice of Deborah A. Welles, CPA, and we have integrated their team into our operations.”

Willingdon specializes in investment management and develops personalized investment portfolios for each of their clients. They also provide a wide range of other services, including holistic financial planning, estate planning, trustee services and guidance on charitable giving.

Mike Kayes, Founder and President of Willingdon, commented in the press release, “Exencial’s tax planning capabilities in particular will greatly benefit our clients.”

In addition to its headquarters in North Carolina, Willingdon has satellite offices in Connecticut, Ohio and California.

Editor’s Note: Exencial Wealth Advisors is an independent registered investment advisory firm offering fee-only, objective financial planning, investment management and tax planning counsel to senior corporate executives, institutions, entrepreneurs and their families. The Old Lyme office is located at 83 Halls Rd., Ste. 205, Old Lyme CT 06371. For further information, call 860.434.5999 or visit their website.

Why Support LymeLine?


Olwen Logan, Publisher and Editor of LymeLine.com

LYME / OLD LYME — We have been covering community news in Lyme and Old Lyme since December 3, 2003, which means we are just coming up on our 18th birthday!

During that time, our income has come exclusively from advertising and we thank sincerely all our advertisers over that time, but especially those who have placed their business with us on an ongoing basis for many years.

These include Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law, Musical Masterworks, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Lyme Art Association, and the Florence Griswold Museum.

Meanwhile, in line with our mission statement “to be an integral part of the fabric of the community that we serve,” we have never instituted a paywall on our site (unlike, for example, The Day) with the result that readers can access all parts of our site at no charge and there is no limit to the number of articles that anyone can read.

Also in keeping with our mission, we donate significant amounts of advertising to numerous local non-profits every year.

Now let’s look at the national picture for a minute — more than 2,000 newspapers have closed since 2004, including the former Main Street News and Pictorial Gazette, both of which used to serve us right here in Lyme and Old Lyme with well-researched community news. But remember you used to pay for them …

In 15 years, one-fourth of newspapers nationwide were forced to close, according to a 2020 study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At least 1,800 communities that had a local news outlet in 2004 were without one at the beginning of 2020, the UNC team found.

Although we do not charge to read LymeLine.com and still do not intend to introduce a paywall, it costs money to produce the news. First and foremost, reporters have to be paid. Quite simply, the more we invest in reporters, the better in every way the news is that we publish.

We also have charges for software development, graphic design, marketing, web-hosting and a myriad of other operational and administrative expenses, which arise when you run a small business.

So spurred primarily by an enormous loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now turning to our readers for the very first time for financial support so we can continue our work while also expanding our pool of freelance journalists.

Please consider a donation of any size to support the continued production of local, independent, online news here at LymeLine. We are members of the national Local, Independent, Online News (LION) Publishers organization and were honored to be named the runner-up in LION Publisher’s national award for Solopreneurs in 2020.

You can make your donation a monthly contribution if you wish, in the same way that you perhaps subscribe to a newspaper.

If you prefer to send a check, then please make it payable to Shoreline Web News LLC and mail it to:
3307 Oberon Street,
Kensington, MD 20895


Nine Acres Zoned for Light Industrial Development on Hatchetts Hill in Old Lyme Sold to Private Investor

OLD LYME — RebusinessOnline.com reports that Gofsco LLC has sold nine acres zoned for light industrial development in Old Lyme at 50 Hatchetts Hill Rd. The site was vacant at the time of sale and offers convenient access to I-95.

A private investor purchased the property for an undisclosed price.

Read the full article at this link.

We’ll be following this story and will publish more information as it becomes available.

Shipman & Goodwin Opens Old Lyme Office, Expands Trusts & Estates Practice with Addition of Kitchings & Potter Attorneys

OLD LYME/HARTFORD – Shipman & Goodwin LLP has announced that it is expanding its Trusts & Estates practice with the addition of Suzanne D. Kitchings and Edward (Ted) B. Potter, who founded Kitchings & Potter LLC in 1997. Kitchings & Potter LLC focuses on estate and tax planning, wills and trusts, charitable gifts, probate law and estate administration.

Kitchings and Potter, who will serve as counsel at Shipman & Goodwin, and two paralegals will remain in their current Old Lyme, CT offices, which will become a Shipman & Goodwin office. Shipman & Goodwin trusts & estates partners Bryon W. Harmon and Danielle P. Ferrucci, as well as other Shipman & Goodwin trusts and estates attorneys, will work in the Old Lyme office.

“Trusts and estates work requires a very personal level of service to clients and Suzanne and Ted have built a practice known regionally for its professionalism, dedication and compassion,” said Stephen K. Gellman, chair of Shipman’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group. “A number of our attorneys have known Suzanne and Ted through professional organizations and admired their astute understanding of major trusts and estates issues.”

“Having an office in Old Lyme gives Shipman & Goodwin a greater ability to serve clients on the coast,” said Alan E. Lieberman, Managing Partner, Shipman & Goodwin. “We look forward to working with Suzanne and Ted and welcoming their estate planning clients to the firm.”

Shipman & Goodwin’s trusts and estates attorneys provide guidance on matters involving estate and tax planning, estate settlement and trust administration. The practice includes 12 attorneys in four offices — Hartford, Greenwich, Lakeville and Old Lyme.

“Having gotten to know Danielle and Bryon as well as other members of the Shipman & Goodwin trusts and estates team over the years, Suzanne and I are excited to introduce our clients to them and we look forward to building on those relationships,” said Ted Potter.

The Shipman & Goodwin Old Lyme office is located at 5-1 Davis Road East.

Editor’s Note: With more than 170 attorneys in offices throughout Connecticut, New York and in Washington, D.C., Shipman & Goodwin serves the needs of local, regional, national and international clients that include public and private companies, institutions, governmental entities, non-profit organizations and individuals.

For more information, visit http://www.shipmangoodwin.comwww.shipmangoodwin.com.

Essex Business Launches New Product Line Bursting with Bubbles; Includes Jewelry Cleaner, Shower Aromatherapy, Calcium Supplement

The full range of FizzBenefitz products shown in this photo includes a jewelry cleaner and shower aromatherapy.

ESSEX — Centerbrook-based manufacturer Tower Laboratories Ltd., has launched a diverse line of effervescent health and personal care products. The line, called FizzBenefitz, includes

  • Shine Better Jewelry Cleaner
  • Shower Better Aromatherapy
  • Well Better Vitamin C and Calcium Supplements
  • Hydrate Better Kids Hydration

Tower Laboratories has been in the business of effervescent product manufacturing for almost 40 years. The company produces denture cleaners, antacids and other over-the-counter tablets under various store brands. With FizzBenefitz, Tower Laboratories is hoping to develop its own brand recognition.

“We are excited to launch our own unique line of effervescent products and we think consumers will find a lot to like about FizzBenefitz,” said Matt Needleman of Tower Laboratories. “Effervescence gives people a multi-sensory experience that you don’t find in other types of products. For our health supplements, it has the added benefit of eliminating the stress of taking pills. Our products are always made with convenience for the consumer in mind.”

The full FizzBenefitz line is available for purchase online at fizzbenefitz.shop

Editor’s Note: Tower Laboratories, Ltd. is a privately held company founded in 1979 and the country’s leading supplier of store brand effervescent products. Tower Laboratories, Ltd. also produces a number of effervescent products for contract customers consisting of prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs, dietary supplements, medical devices, personal care products and specialty applications. The company is headquartered in Centerbrook, CT, with manufacturing facilities in Clinton, CT and Montague, MI.

Kyle Zrenda Joins Suisman Shapiro as Firm’s Newest Associate

Kyle J. Zrenda has joined Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law as an associate on the firm’s civil litigation team, practicing in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and insurance health care law.

Attorney Kyle J. Zrenda

Prior to joining Suisman Shapiro, Attorney Zrenda was an associate at Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nichols and Porter, LLP in New York where he focused his practice on construction site accidents, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and health care law. Attorney Zrenda represented physicians, nurses, medical groups, hospitals, property owners, general contractors, and subcontractors throughout New York and Connecticut.

“We are pleased to welcome Kyle Zrenda to Suisman Shapiro,” said Managing Director John A. Collins, III. “Kyle just obtained an outstanding result in Bridgeport Superior Court and we know that his trial experience will further enhance our litigation team’s approach to aggressively representing our clients.”

Kyle Zrenda is Connecticut native who graduated from East Lyme High School. He received his B.A. from Boston College in 2010 and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Quinnipiac University School of Law in 2013, where he was an Associate Editor of the Quinnipiac Law Review.

Attorney Zrenda was admitted to the New York Bar in 2013, the Connecticut Bar in 2014, and is also admitted to practice in the Federal District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York. In 2017 and 2018, Attorney Zrenda was listed by Super Lawyers as a New York Metro “Rising Star” in the area of personal injury.

Suisman Shapiro is the largest law firm in eastern Connecticut, serving the community for over 75 years with a wide range of legal services.

Free Business Website Audit Offered During ‘Ignite’s’ Office Hours at Innovations Commons, Nov. 28

Ignite, a program of Thames River Innovation Place, will hold its monthly Office Hours program Wednesday, Nov. 28, when it will  host website and graphic designer Cheney Giordano from This is Fine Design. Business owners and entrepreneurs are invited to schedule a one-on-one appointment between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. by emailing ignite@thamesriverinnovation.org. There is no fee to participate. All appointments will be held at the Innovation Commons, 93 Shennecossett Rd, Groton.

For more information, visit www.bit.ly/OfficeHours112818.

This is Fine Design is a full-service, high-touch agency. In the mentor sessions, Cheney Giordano is available to audit your business’s online presence and offer suggestions for improvements to reach your business goals. This is Fine Design designs logos, a new look for an established website, documents and presentations, and WordPress transfers. The company can also create a complete business presence on the internet including website and social media pages. This is Fine Design has designed websites for New London Community Land Trust, Robert Frank Designs and Ignite Thames River, among others.

Ignite is designed to spur new ideas, businesses, and innovative growth in the Thames River region by producing events, sponsoring education, and connecting entrepreneurs into the business development support system. The Ignite program is established under the Thames River Innovation Place and is made possible by support from CTNext.

Office Hours with Mentors is offered monthly on the last Wednesday and is just one of many programs regularly held by Ignite. In December, Marcum Accountants and Advisors will offer tax help.

For more information, visit www.IgniteThamesRiver.org

‘The Chocolate Shell’ Hosts Grand Re-Opening in New Space

Barbara Crowley stands proudly outside the window of her new ‘The Chocolate Shell.”

Attention all chocolate-lovers!

The Chocolate Shell in Old Lyme has changed locations … to right next door! The new space welcomes customers with shelves of candy, bright colors, and elegant chandeliers — a guaranteed delicious experience for all that enter.

Barbara will be ready to serve her customers on Labor Day afternoon.

Founded in 1980 by Catherine Pratt, The Chocolate Shell is now owned by Old Lyme resident Barbara Crowley. Wishing to expand the business and thus share her love of chocolate with more people, Crowley has moved the store to a larger space to accommodate her endless creative visions for the shop.

The colors of candy!

“I’m going to start hosting events here,” Crowley explains. “Chocolate and wine tasting evenings, chocolate and bourbon tasting evenings. I’m hoping to do those once a month if I can.” Her first event in the new store will be an all-chocolate dinner … and yes,  every course of the meal will have chocolate in it!

Take a seat!

“I want to start doing birthday parties for kids,” Crowley continues. “We can do paint your own chocolate, make your own assortment of chocolates, make your own chocolate pizza, anything I can plan to do in the shop. It’ll be so much fun! I’m totally looking forward to that.”

The store is a chocolate-lover’s paradise!

Crowley’s enthusiasm and excitement about the store is almost palpable as she describes the unique experiences that The Chocolate Shell gives its customers. “What makes the Chocolate Shell special is the fact that everything is personalized to the customer who comes in here. Whatever that customer wants, we will make sure we give it to them.”

Crowley invites chocolate-lovers and the community in general to join her at the Grand Re-opening of the all-new Chocolate Shell tomorrow, Labor Day Monday, Sept. 3, from 2 to 5 p.m. when she be serving refreshments and giving tours of the new store. “It’s the next big adventure!” the effervescent Crowley exclaims.

For more information, visit www.thechocolateshell.com or call (860) 434-9727.

Lyme Resident Simmons Join Boston Law Firm

Courtney A. Simmons

The Boston law firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C. has announced that Ccourtney A. Simmons, a lifelong resident of Lyme, Conn., has joined the firm’s Litigation practice. Ms. Simmons assists clients in commercial litigation and real estate disputes.

Prior to joining Davis Malm, Simmons served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Mark V. Green, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, and the Honorable Robert B. Foster and the Honorable Howard P. Speicher, both of the Massachusetts Land Court. Ms. Simmons received a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.S. from the University of Delaware.

Davis Malm President Amy L. Fracassini, said, “We are focused on growing the firm by recruiting talented up-and-coming attorneys who share our goal to provide excellent client service. We are delighted to have Courtney on the Davis Malm team.”

Simmons commented, “I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues and using my prior experience to assist clients in their legal matters.”

Editor’s Note: Founded in 1979, Davis Malm is a premier mid-sized, full-service New England firm. The firm provides sophisticated legal representation to local, national, and international public and private businesses, institutions, and individuals in a wide spectrum of industries. The attorneys at the firm practice at the top level of the profession and deliver successful results to clients through direct partner involvement, responsive client service, and practical and creative problem solving. Davis Malm is the member firm for the International Lawyers Network representing Massachusetts and northern New England.

‘Greenhouse Beauty’ Opens in Old Lyme With Emphasis on Non-Toxic Skincare Products, Self-Love

Rachel Postovoit

Rachel Postovoit, owner of the newly-opened Greenhouse Beauty store in Old Lyme, never pictured herself owning a business.

Having studied music at the University of Connecticut with the intention of pursuing music education, Postovoit was devastated when she was rejected from the education program and could no longer become a teacher. “It shattered my perception of myself,” she says with unabashed honesty, “But it shaped my life in a very different path because I was like, ‘Well, what am I going to do? What am I good at?’”

Soon thereafter, Postovoit began working for Reliance House, a non-profit mental health organization based out of Norwich, and took a part-time job at Lush, a cosmetics retailer. Having loved make-up her whole life, she decided to pursue a career in cosmetics becoming first the store manager for Bare Minerals at Mohegan Sun, then opening her own store in Trumbull, and ultimately becoming a “color specialist” for Sephora.

She explains her lifelong passion for make-up this way, “As a kid, every friend, my mom, my sister, every person I could get my hands on, I would do their make-up. But I didn’t really get into skin care until my own skin became more of a struggle.”

The area in the store where facials and make-up are given is low-stress and inviting by design.

As Postovoit pursued different options to improve her skin, she quickly realized that there were many ingredients in products that she did not recognize. She began to research home remedies and started to make her own skincare products to ensure that there were no toxins in them that could jeopardize her health.

Postovoit carefully examines the ingredients of the products she sells to ensure there are no toxins included.

Postovoit decided to open Greenhouse Beauty to give people an opportunity to try new products that are safe and all-natural. Tucked in a little corner next to The Hideaway in the Old Lyme Shopping Center, the store feels comfortable and welcoming to all. “All of this is foreign to me,” she laughs. “I did 10 years in the retail world, but I’ve never owned my own business. I’m hoping that the community views it as their store. If you want your space, you can have it. If you want me pamper you, you can have that, too.”

Greenhouse Beauty offers a comfortable, relaxed setting to discuss personal skincare and make-up.

Greenhouse Beauty offers a relaxed, carefree environment with products that range from natural face cleansers to sweetly scented candles. A photo gallery hangs on the wall above a pale, blue couch, and various plants adorn the space. Postovoit wants get a piano as well, with hopes that people will feel more at-home and comfortable.

Shelves of products line the walls and Postovoit will discuss each customer’s needs individually to help make the optimum choice..

She explains,“I want people to feel like you can really just relax and be yourself,” she says. “I hid under my make-up for years, and it’s not a good feeling. I hope people are able to find themselves and fall in love with themselves, even just a little bit. Everyone’s trying to change themselves, but there’s only one you. You are a gift, and I want people to know that when they come here.”

Greenhouse Beauty is located at 19 Halls Rd. in Old Lyme and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.greenhousebeautyct.com

New Driver Education School Opens in Old Lyme, ‘APC Driving’ Offers a “Boutique” Approach

Brent and Suzanne Thompson stand outside the doors of the newly-opened APC Driving in the Old Lyme Marketplace. Brent co-founded the business with Chris Robson. Photo submitted.

APC Driving has opened its doors at 19 Halls Rd. in the Old Lyme Marketplace near The Hideaway, offering driver education programs for teens and adults, as well as advanced driver training. Co-founder Brent Thompson, who lives in Old Lyme, explains, “We didn’t want to be like any other driving school … we hope to develop more of a lifestyle approach [to driving.]”

This photo of the exterior of APC Driving in the lower left shows its prime location in the Old Lyme Marketplace next to the Hong Kong II restaurant.

Chris Robson is the other co-founder and he has over 25 years of experience as a professional race car driver and instructor.  Both men share a lifelong passion for all things automotive or in Thompson’s own words, “We’re both ‘Gearheads.'”

A small selection of Chris Robson’s extensive racing trophies and memorabilia decorates the walls.

Thompson grew up in Texas and Colorado and graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  A sales and marketing executive with years of experience leading teams across the U.S., Canada and Australia, Thompson has had a life-long passion for cars.  Working with the Franklin Mint and its die cast car models division in the 1990s, he created, negotiated and executed marketing programs with world-class partners in historic and collectible automotive fields.  He moved on to executive management in the men’s clothing industry.  

When Thompson’s employer was bought out by competitor in 2016, he decided to get off of corporate travel treadmill and see what he could create locally.  He maintains his full competition license with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and is chief motorsports correspondence for the Auto Chat Show podcasts, which has a subscriber base of over 100,000 listeners.

APC Driving co-founders Brent Thompson (left) and Chris Robson stand together on a racetrack in Brazil after Robson had completed a race there. Photo submitted.

Robson, APC Driving’s chief driving instructor, grew up in a racing family in the quiet corner of Connecticut.  A former chief driving instructor at Performance Motorsports Karting School in Columbus, Ohio, he has over 100 U.S. and international podium finishes in recognized racing organizations and over 25 years of professional racing and instructor experience.  Thompson describes Robson affectionately as, “the real deal behind the wheel,” noting, “The kids love him!”

Chris Robson drives through rain in this race. Photo submitted.

Asked how the idea of opening a driving school was conceived, Thompson explains, ” Chris and I met at a business networking event in West Hartford in 2017. Small talk quickly turned to cars and racing, so we set about figuring out how to create a business.”

The spacious teaching area will never accommodate more than 10 students at any one time.

He continues, “We’re taking a boutique approach to teaching people how to drive, with small classes of never more than 10, personalized assessments of their skills, abilities and confidence levels, and providing the training they need,” said Thompson, adding, “Whether you’re first learning to drive, want to have a safer commute or simply like to drive, the skills that you can learn at APC Driving will help you achieve your goal.” 

Both men take safe driving seriously.  Robson seeks to teach young drivers precision and control at the wheel, not speed and thrills.  Thompson’s academic approach to driver education focuses on building a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding what it takes to be safe and happy behind the wheel at any level.  The business partners also both have daughters, so Thompson notes sanguinely, “We have a vested interest. We look at safe driving from the perspective of parents, too.”

The driving simulator is a real boon to the business.

The office that APC Driving occupies is spacious and comfortable.  It is divided into a reception area and a teaching space while a driving simulator occupies one corner, retail sales another and advanced driving programs another.  The walls are covered with automobile-associated artwork and maps, and a large display case houses a number of Robson’s trophies and a fascinating selection of his his racing paraphernalia. Thompson comments, “Everything is fluid,” meaning the artwork and memorabilia will change regularly and as retails sales of clothing, equipment and model cars expand, he anticipates increased inventory necessitating more space being given over to them.

Brent Thompson sometimes mans the reception desk when he’s not teaching.

Brent is married to local writer and radio personality Suzanne Thompson, who is assisting APC Driving with their publicity and promotional planning.  Suzanne explains with a smile, “I’m more into kayaking and gardening than cars,” noting she hosts a weekly radio show about gardening and nature on WLIS 1420 AM/Old Saybrook and WMRD 1150 AM/Middletown and writes regularly for The Day and its weekly publications on environmental matters.  Suzanne stepped back from corporate communications in 2005 to raise her family, and since then she has served on Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau board for six years and in June became a board member of Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce.

Suzanne describes herself and her husband as “a couple of misplaced Midwesterners, who enjoy Connecticut’s New England feel and coastal shoreline.”  The Thompsons moved to Old Lyme in 2002 and have two daughters, who both attend Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

Looking into the APC Driving area, one can see the teaching one on the left and the advanced skills program area at the rear.

APC Driving is licensed by the State of Connecticut to teach the eight-hour Teen Drug and Alcohol and 30-hour Full Course classroom sessions for 16-17 year-olds, including the mandatory two-hour Parent Class, as well as classes for 18-year-olds and adults seeking their Connecticut Driver’s License.  These include behind-the-wheel training with a certified APC Driving instructor in an APC car. 
The school also offers specialized training for new and licensed drivers to prepare them to drive on today’s roads.  Students can master their parallel and other parking challenges in PARK IT, hone their big-city driving skills in RUSH HOUR, or sign up for additional Individual Driving Hours.  APC Driving also offers PRIMETIME for mature or senior drivers and in-car training for anyone who needs help understanding all of the technologies in today’s cars. The AUTO SELECT program helps people choose and purchase their vehicle.
Courses and training are described on APC Driving’s website, www.apcdriving.com, where parents and students can see the class schedule and register online.  Classes are held Monday through Friday and the school offers flexible hours for in-car instruction.  APC Driving is open Monday through Friday10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call for an appointment. 
APC Driving is a subsidiary of Accelerated Performance Coaching, LLC.