Hartfordcc's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc Fri, 16 Apr 2021 11:04:05 -0400 HamletHub.com Courage To Speak® Foundation Founder to Present on April 27 https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/events/1732-courage-to-speak-foundation-founder-to-present-on-april-271732-courage-to-speak-foundation-founder-to-present-on-april-27 https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/events/1732-courage-to-speak-foundation-founder-to-present-on-april-271732-courage-to-speak-foundation-founder-to-present-on-april-27

By now, it’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health and substance use disorders for millions of Americans over the past year, escalating an already serious issue and sending it spiraling out of control.  On Tuesday, April 27, 2021, A Promise to Jordan will host a virtual presentation by Ginger Katz, CEO and Founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation®, of Norwalk, CT.

The two-hour session will begin at 6:00 P. M. as Ms. Katz shares the story of her son Ian's losing battle with drugs that started in 8th grade with tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana, through his junior year in college where he then died from a heroin and prescription drug overdose. Ms. Katz spearheaded the development of The Courage to Speak®?? Elementary, Middle, and High School Curricula, along with the Courage to Speak©- Courageous Parenting 101© Program.         

The Courage to Speak® Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing a Home, School and Community Program™ approach to prevention through substance use prevention programs including presentations, community forums, evidenced-based school curriculum, parenting programs, and support groups for families who lost children to substance abuse. The Foundation delivers social-emotional skill building programs to increase youth’s ability to live healthy lives and empowers parents with skills to communicate effectively with their children about the dangers of drugs.

Sunny’s Story, written by Ginger Katz, is a drug prevention book told from the perspective of Sunny, the family beagle, and it tells of joyful times and sad times and how his young master’s life was needlessly lost to addiction. Sunny’s Story opens a dialogue around drug use and is read by people of all ages, in schools and homes nationwide and is part of the Courage to Speak® Drug Prevention Programs.

Individuals may register for the presentation by going to the A Promise to Jordan website, www.APromisetoJordan.org?, or by emailing info@apromisetojordan.org, and can learn about The Courage to Speak Foundation®? by visiting www.couragetospeak.org.

A Promise to Jordan is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit named for a young Simsbury man, Jordan Arakelian, and was founded by his mother, Lisa Gray, in the wake of his death from an opioid overdose on June 30, 2018.  The mission of A Promise to Jordan is to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma of addiction, assist people in accessing quality care, and give hope that recovery is possible to those struggling with addiction.

Photo:  Ginger Katz, CEO and Founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation®, will be conducting a virtual presentation on the plethora of substance abuse prevention programs available to parents.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Events Thu, 01 Apr 2021 06:28:28 -0400
Solutions for Serving the Surging Senior Population in Connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1731-solutions-for-serving-the-surging-senior-population-in-connecticut1731-solutions-for-serving-the-surging-senior-population-in-connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1731-solutions-for-serving-the-surging-senior-population-in-connecticut1731-solutions-for-serving-the-surging-senior-population-in-connecticut

More than one third of Connecticut’s population is over the age of 50. As state and business leaders strive to address the challenges posed by the looming Silver Tsunami, private agencies are already partnering to create care plans that keep seniors at home. Leading innovators in the homecare industry - Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire and Growing Options, Inc. in Southbury – share their strategies for bridging private and state social services for families.
 
“As the elderly population in our state increases each year, more agencies and care facilitators will be needed to properly meet the demand for care,” explains Mario D’Aquila, MBA and COO of Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS), a family-owned company founded in 1996. “Forging positive working relationships is a necessity to successfully serve seniors and their families.” 
 
ALS has been partnering with Growing Options (GO) for several years. Founder Lisa Krauss, MA, LPC, NCC, CMC has specialized in geriatrics for 30 years and is an Aging Life Care Professional, also known as a geriatric care manager.  Geriatric care managers serve as an advocate for their senior clients and even follow them into hospital and nursing home settings, if needed. 
 
Krauss is also a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide for families that are caring for older relatives or disabled adults. Aging Life Care Professionals are members of the Aging Life Care Association™ (ALCA) and differ from patient advocates and elder advocates. ALCA members must meet the stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the organization, and all members are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. Launched in 2002, Growing Options is also a family business, as Krauss’ daughter, Carly Cartisano, LMSW, is an Aging Life Care Manager at the company.
 
“As we advise our clients on what care is needed and appropriate for their particular situation, we refer them to many outstanding companies that support the geriatric and disabled population,” explained Krauss. “We work with ALS often when companion or caregiving services are required. We also partner with ALS when medical assistive technological devices [provided by Assisted Living Technologies, Inc.] will be a benefit.”
 
Both ALS and GO receive referrals from client families, elder law attorneys, financial planners, geriatricians, senior centers, the Alzheimer Association and State of Connecticut Social Services. Social workers have contacted GO for protective service cases when assessment and management are needed.
 
“We are not a state or insurance funded company,” explained Krauss, “A great benefit of being a private company is that we are able to assist our clients based on their needs and wishes, as opposed to criteria dictated to us.”  
 
However, Krauss points to the fact that ALS is contracted with the State of Connecticut Home Care Program as being critical for her clients who are already on Community Title 19, or at some point will deplete their funds and will need to transition to Title 19. The ALS State contract allows clients to stay with the agency that they depend upon.
“We have developed a trusting relationship with ALS staff members. As service providers, we are dedicated to providing the highest level of care and working together with others like ALS who share the same mission, benefits all that we serve.”
 
Krauss notes that ALS is also committed to finding the right caregiver match. If it is an emergent case, ALS tries to fill the request immediately and then continues to find a perfect long-term caregiver. GO often has challenging cases, and ALS works with them to find a staffing solution.
 
As an example, GO had a client who needed an aide, but was feeling very unsure about letting someone into their home. “ALS understood when we had to reschedule multiple times until the client felt ready. ALS recognized the complexity of this case and not only found the right person, but also, took the time to ensure that the caregiver understood the specific expectations and challenges with which they would be faced. ALS coordinated with us so that we could be there to introduce the aide and we were successful in helping the client and caregiver build a rapport. Our client has enjoyed having a clean home, going out for enjoyable activities and making home cooked meals together.” 
 
“What differentiates ALS from other homecare agencies is their responsiveness, compassion, and commitment,” adds Cartisano. “They have on-call supervisors, so we are always able to talk to someone in a reasonable amount of time as we are a 24/7 service. We appreciate that ALS understands the importance of working as a team since it takes a village to offer the best care.”
 
Since 1996, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire, with branch locations in Clinton and Fairfield, has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut. Their unique CarePlus program blends personal care with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 203.634.8668.
 
Growing Options, Inc. was founded in 2002 to assess and create individualized care plans for the elderly, individuals with mental and physical disabilities, and those with mental health difficulties throughout the Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven Counties of Connecticut. Visit www.growingoptions.com for more information.
 
 
PHOTO: The mother and daughter team of Carly Cartisano (left) and Lisa Krauss (right) operate Growing Options, Inc. in Southbury, Conn, in which they assess and create individualized care plans for the elderly, individuals with mental and physical disabilities, and those with mental health difficulties.
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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Tue, 30 Mar 2021 10:40:26 -0400
New Mix of Competitors Added to Mocktail Tasting Fundraiser on May 13 https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/events/1730-new-mix-of-competitors-added-to-mocktail-tasting-fundraiser-on-may-131730-new-mix-of-competitors-added-to-mocktail-tasting-fundraiser-on-may-13 https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/events/1730-new-mix-of-competitors-added-to-mocktail-tasting-fundraiser-on-may-131730-new-mix-of-competitors-added-to-mocktail-tasting-fundraiser-on-may-13

Excitement is brewing for the first “Mocktail” Tasting fundraiser on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at Real Art Ways in Hartford. The recovery-friendly event, hosted by the nonprofit organization A Promise to Jordan, is challenging restaurateurs and bar owners from across the state to show off their best non-alcoholic cocktails and compete to be named the best!
 
With just six weeks until the big event, the list of participating restaurants and vendors is growing:
 
Abigail’s Grille & Wine Bar
Athletic Brewing Company
Better Rhodes
Da Capo
Iron Horse Pizzeria & Sports Pub
Relish This!
Roux
The North House
 
“We are grateful for those who have already signed on and encourage other restaurants to take the opportunity to showcase their mixology mastery,” said Lisa Gray, Founder and Executive Director of A Promise to Jordan (APTJ), a nonprofit organization committed to fighting substance use disorders. “With State of CT gathering restrictions eased, we anticipate hundreds of guests, but will certainly remain within any guidelines in place at the time.”
 
To get the party started at home, Gray is sharing her own favorite non-alcoholic beverage that is refreshing, light, and delicious!
 
Ginger Lime Rickey
Pour equal amounts of ginger beer and your favorite flavored seltzer over ice in a tall glass. Top with equal amounts of lime juice and grenadine. 
 
The event will take place outdoors from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the art gallery located at 56 Arbor Street. The charitable competition is expected to draw hundreds of guests to taste the mocktails and appetizers, partake of the silent auction and raffles, and enjoy a great night out. If gathering restrictions are still in place, the event may be a mix of in-person and virtual or be completely virtual, if necessary. Virtual guests will receive a mocktail kit to make three delicious drinks at home by following along as the vendors mix the recipes live. In-person tickets are $45 and virtual tickets are $35. Rain date is May 14. For more info or to purchase tickets visit  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/1st-annual-mocktail-tasting-tickets-128952519457. 
 
Gray notes that there is no fee for restaurants or bars to enter and that the nonprofit organization is even covering the cost of their temporary food permits.
 
The evening is made possible thanks to the generosity of many fine businesses such as Wayfinder Consulting, an organization of professional consultants who help their clients meet their full potential academically, professionally, and personally. Custom sponsorship opportunities are available to meet the unique marketing needs of each business, organization or individual by contacting info@apromisetojordan.org
 
“We are also accepting auction and raffle donations such as gift cards, gift baskets, decor items, jewelry and fashion or gourmet treats. We'll even pick them up!” said Gray.
 
Proceeds will benefit the organization that is dedicated to raising awareness about substance abuse, eliminating the stigma of addiction, assisting people in accessing quality care, and giving hope to those struggling with substance use disorders and their families that recovery is possible. Gray created A Promise to Jordan after losing her then 24-year-old son, Jordan Arakelian, to an accidental overdose in 2018. 
 
“A Promise to Jordan wants to reach young people before they are in the grips of addiction,” explained Gray. “With the current opioid crisis, America is losing thousands of valuable lives every month. In 2019, over 1,200 lives were lost to overdoses just in Connecticut.  Because of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the numbers for 2020 are expected to be as much as 25% higher.” 
  
About A Promise to Jordan
A Promise to Jordan is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit named for Jordan Arakelian who died from an accidental opioid overdose on June 30, 2018 at the age of 24. Founded by his mother, Lisa Gray, the mission of A Promise to Jordan is to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma of addiction, assist people in accessing quality care and give hope that recovery is possible to those struggling with substance use disorders and their loved ones. Visit apromisetojordan.org for information and resources, or call (860) 390-1391.
 
PHOTO: The Ginger Lime Rickey mocktini will be one of many alcohol-free beverages prepared and served at the “Mocktail” Tasting fundraiser on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at Real Art Ways in Hartford.  The event benefits A Promise To Jordan, a non-profit that raises awareness about substance use disorders. 
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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Events Tue, 30 Mar 2021 10:36:26 -0400
Connecticut Water Sustainability in the Spotlight This Week https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/politics/1728-water-sustainability-in-the-spotlight-this-week1728-water-sustainability-in-the-spotlight-this-week https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/politics/1728-water-sustainability-in-the-spotlight-this-week1728-water-sustainability-in-the-spotlight-this-week

HARTFORD, CONN. – In conjunction with World Water Day (March 22), water advocates from across Connecticut are focused on raising awareness and encouraging continued action toward waterway sustainability and quality standards by applying the recommendations and task lists of the State Water Plan passed by the CT General Assembly in June 2019.

This year's World Water Day theme is valuing water, which is about much more than its price. Water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource. 

Connecticut’s first State Water Plan, developed over several years by a broad group of stakeholders, takes into account these many human needs as well as ecological considerations like the need to keep enough flowing water in rivers and streams to sustain fish populations. The event also comes just days after the CGA Environment Committee’s Joint Resolution HJ 53 proposing the adoption of the Long Island Sound Blue Plan, which catalogs the many natural resources and traditional human uses of the Sound’s waters, and offers guidance to balance and protect them.  

With regard to the occasion and related initiatives, CT State Senator Tony Hwang remarked, “On World Water Day, I am reminded about all the wonderful ways that Connecticut’s coastline and rivers contribute to life here in the Constitution state. Representing shoreline towns, I am especially familiar with the importance of protecting this incredible natural resource and have served as a staunch advocate for measures to sustain and preserve Long Island Sound and all Connecticut waterways. We have made great strides in recent years to take necessary legislative action to enforce proper environmental protections for both people and wildlife to enjoy for generations to come.”

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kerry@ducey.org (Sarah Clark ) Politics Tue, 23 Mar 2021 05:57:08 -0400
Fun Run/Walk and Bike Ride Planned for June 12 https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/charities/1727-fun-run-walk-and-bike-ride-planned-for-june-121727-fun-run-walk-and-bike-ride-planned-for-june-12 https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/charities/1727-fun-run-walk-and-bike-ride-planned-for-june-121727-fun-run-walk-and-bike-ride-planned-for-june-12

Simsbury nonprofit A Promise to Jordan and the Simsbury Lions Club are teaming up to present “Ks to Kick Addiction and Blindness” on Saturday, June 12, 2021 to support the community and humanitarian services of the Lions Club and the mission of A Promise to Jordan to raise awareness of the problem of substance use disorders in our communities, erase the stigma, and assist people in accessing quality care.  The event will be held from 9:00 A. M. to 1:00 P. M. at Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center and will consist of a 5K and 10K fun run and walk and a 15K bike ride along the rails-to-trails path in Simsbury.
 
“We are very excited to be partnering with the Simsbury Lions Club for the first time on this important event, and our task force has been working hard to make this a great day for everyone who comes out to join us,” said Lisa Gray, Founder and Executive Director of A Promise to Jordan.  “Individuals can choose to join us, or set up a team and collect contributions.  There will be a prize for the team that raises the most money.”
 
Gray also noted that marketing and volunteer opportunities associated with the event are available.  Interested businesses can “adopt” a portion of the walking or biking track, set up a vendor space, and more.
Registration is now open for the event on the A Promise to Jordan website, apromisetojordan.org.  Just click on the “Upcoming Events” tab at the top.  Each event costs just $20 per person to enter.
 
For more information, contact A Promise to Jordan at info@apromisetojordan.org or (860) 390-1391.
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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Charities Mon, 22 Mar 2021 06:55:09 -0400
Building a Fulfilling Future with a Drone Manufacturing Career https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1726-building-a-fulfilling-future-with-a-drone-manufacturing-career1726-building-a-fulfilling-future-with-a-drone-manufacturing-career https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1726-building-a-fulfilling-future-with-a-drone-manufacturing-career1726-building-a-fulfilling-future-with-a-drone-manufacturing-career

Joseph Gates, 42, of Vernon, Connecticut had built a bright career as a lighting and video system technician in the entertainment industry. Then the pandemic struck and his career prospects turned dark.

“On March 13, 2020, I was halfway through loading the HSO show at the Belding Theater at the Bushnell in Hartford when COVID shut things down completely,” explained Gates. “I was really worried about not having enough money to pay my bills. I had to borrow money from family and friends with unemployment benefits set to run out the third week of December.”

Gates had been unable to find work, even though his impressive resume includes openings of venues like Animal Kingdom at Disney World, the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Casino of the Sky at Mohegan Sun. Then on December 14, he landed a job at Aquiline Drones, the first drone manufacturing and assembly plant in Connecticut as a drone technician. After only two weeks, he was promoted to Production Supervisor managing a team of 23 employees.

“I was terrified that my skills would not be a fit for a manufacturing tech position,” shared Gates. “But I soon realized that ALL of my skills like soldering wires, computer programming, re-wiring things, troubleshooting and leadership are applicable to this job.”

Similarly, Stephanie Hernandez, 34, of East Hartford Connecticut, never envisioned a career in high tech manufacturing, but she wasn’t simply looking for a paycheck.

“I had a job, but I always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Hernandez, whose quest for career fulfillment had led her from retail management to criminal justice to government. She was working as an Administrative Assistant in the Personnel Division of the Hartford Police Department when a mutual associate connected her with Barry Alexander, Founder & Chairman of Aquiline Drones (AD) in Hartford. The prospect of joining the growing drone enterprise that not only produces Made-in-America commercial drones, but also provides advanced drone solutions and services, was an opportunity that Hernandez couldn’t pass up.

“It was perfect timing as I had lost my passion and was excited for a change in environment and career. I believe in Barry's vision for Aquiline Drones and I know it will be successful.”

Hernandez now trains manufacturing technicians, establishes inventory and serves as backup to the Production Supervisor at AD. Her previous experience handling purchase orders, invoicing, payroll and worker's comp, plus interviewing and hiring candidates, strong interpersonal skills, and impeccable customer service, prepared her for success in her current role.

Hernandez and Gates are two of the twenty-five newly-hired technicians working in AD’s 7,000 square foot, state-of-the-art drone manufacturing and assembly lab.

AD has hired several of its new manufacturing employees with the support of Capital Workforce Partners (CWP). As North-Central Connecticut’s premier workforce development organization, CWP has a statewide reach that helps businesses find, retain and grow the most qualified talent. Additionally, CWP helps adults develop skills necessary to thrive in the state's job market and directs them to employers seeking those talents.

“In September 2020, Aquiline Drones partnered with CWP to promote career opportunities, source candidates, and to connect with workforce development initiatives,” explained Alex Johnson, President & CEO of Capital Workforce Partners. “Since then, CWP, along with its partners at the region’s American Job Centers, has screened and recruited more than 60 candidates, filling 23 Maintenance Tech roles, while leveraging a National Dislocated Worker Grant and federal CARES Act funding to help Aquiline Drones offset employee training costs.”

Johnson notes the partnership has also led to new collaborations with regional training providers including Capital Community College and the College of Technology.

“Our leadership team is not only pursuing our vision of building a drone empire,” said Alexander. “We are invested in creating meaningful career opportunities for the tech industry of the future – right here in Hartford, CT”.

The company will continue hiring for additional production technicians as well as positions at a soon-to-be-opened showroom and retail store in Hartford, plus manufacturing positions at a larger facility within the state. For job inquiries, please contact info@aquilinedrones.com.

Hernandez agrees that her job satisfaction goes well beyond earning a living. “My proudest moment at Aquiline Drones was software testing the drone that I assembled - to see it fly was a real sense of fulfillment. I tell myself to do something that scares you each day because every day is a dream and working here is certainly a dream come true.”

For Gates, his greatest accomplishment at AD thus far has been “seeing the professional and personal advancement of my team.”

About Aquiline Drones

Aquiline Drones (AD) is an American drone and cloud solutions company located in the financial district of Hartford, Connecticut. Founded by highly experienced aviators, systems engineers, IT gurus, and business strategists, AD delivers a vertically integrated blend of products and services. Aquiline's ecosystem includes a hybrid aviation cloud with edge capabilities for commercial drones, U.S.-based drone manufacturing, 'maintenance-repair-overhaul' services, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) solutions for large enterprises and governments. 

Complimenting the company's technology is its superior line of Spartacus AI drone products, a robust UAS training academy, and the country's first 'drone-on-demand' service, enabling customers to order drone services through a proprietary mobile app. AD's full-spectrum of technological solutions are widely applicable across industries and environments for superior, real-time data processing, modeling, and insight. Visit www.aquilinedrones.com for more information.


Follow all exciting company news and updates on AD’s social platforms:

Facebook -  (10) Aquiline Drones | Facebook

LinkedIn - Aquiline Drones: Company Page Admin | LinkedIn

Instagram - Aquiline Drones (@aquilinedrones) • Instagram photos and videos

Twitter - (35) Aquiline Drones (@AquilineDrones) / Twitter

PHOTO:  Stephanie Hernandez of East Hartford and Joe Gates of Vernon comprise a team of 25 newly-hired production technicians assembling American-made drones at Aquiline Drones manufacturing facility in Hartford, Conn.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Wed, 10 Mar 2021 09:31:30 -0500
Connecticut Governor Honors Contributions of Aquiline Drones to State Economy https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/politics/1725-connecticut-governor-honors-contributions-of-aquiline-drones-to-state-economy1725-connecticut-governor-honors-contributions-of-aquiline-drones-to-state-economy https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/politics/1725-connecticut-governor-honors-contributions-of-aquiline-drones-to-state-economy1725-connecticut-governor-honors-contributions-of-aquiline-drones-to-state-economy

Aquiline Drones was heralded as a shining example of Connecticut’s economic growth by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont during his press conference on February 23, 2021 in Hartford. Aquiline Drones (AD) hosted the update on real estate, population and business at its penthouse headquarters located at 750 Main Street. The drone enterprise, founded by Barry Alexander, recently opened the first drone manufacturing and assembly plant in Connecticut.
 
Governor Lamont began his remarks by saying “If I was making anything today Barry, it would be drones”. He said “We’ve [CT] done helicopters and planes and now we’re doing drones. The takeaway today is the state offers incentives as companies grow and hire. We make sure financing is available for companies that want to grow.” 
 
City of Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin also lauded AD for landing in Hartford while expressing concern about office vacancies in the city of Hartford and the need to attract “growing companies like Aquiline Drones and other startups to make Hartford a hub for innovation.” He believes “businesses in big cities like Boston or New York may assess their cost per square footage and find Hartford offers world class talent while saving an extraordinary amount of money on office space.”
 
When asked why he chose downtown Hartford for Aquiline Drones, Alexander answered, “I have family here.  I also started my aviation career in Connecticut – started flight training to eventually become an airline pilot at Brainard Airport, next to downtown Hartford. I knew that opportunities abound. I wanted to capitalize on Connecticut’s rich aviation, aerospace and manufacturing ecosystem and build upon it.”
 
Carol Christiansen, the 2021 CT Realtors President and Joanne Breen, Immediate Past President of CT Realtors, shared home sale statistics for the Hartford area, which drew national attention last fall for being among the hottest home sale metros in the country. This January, closed sales climbed nearly 8%, as a cross-section of buyers sought new living spaces in a pandemic that brought work and school into the home. Some of the changes, particularly remote working, may become more permanent even after the pandemic subsides.
 
Metro Hartford Alliance COO Julie Daly Meehan shared positive news about restaurant openings and expansion.
 
AD has a team of twenty-five technicians working in its new 7,000 square foot, state-of-the-art drone manufacturing and assembly facility. Amid the pandemic, AD employed several of its new manufacturing employees with the support of Capital Workforce Partners (CWP), a Hartford-based workforce organization that helps adults develop skills and connect with employers, as well as CT Hires.
 
Aquiline occupies 15,000 square feet in the Stark Building, an historic architectural landmark located in Hartford's financial district. The company is now constructing a street-level showroom and retail store for drones and sensors, as well as maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of various drone models. AD’s future expansion plans include adding a second shift of production workers and scaling into larger facilities in Hartford, with the assistance of Mayor Luke Bronin as well as a possible location in Bridgeport, CT.
 
About Aquiline Drones
 
Aquiline Drones (AD) is an American drone and cloud solutions company located in the financial district of Hartford, Connecticut. Founded by highly experienced aviators, systems engineers, IT gurus, and business strategists, AD delivers a vertically integrated blend of products and services. Aquiline's ecosystem includes a hybrid aviation cloud with edge capabilities for commercial drones, U.S.-based drone manufacturing, 'maintenance-repair-overhaul' services, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) solutions for large enterprises and governments. 
 
Complimenting the company's technology is its superior line of Spartacus AI drone products, a robust UAS training academy, and the country's first 'drone-on-demand' service, enabling customers to order drone services through a proprietary mobile app. AD's full-spectrum of technological solutions are widely applicable across industries and environments for superior, real-time data processing, modeling, and insight. Visit www.aquilinedrones.com for more information.
 
PHOTO: (from left) Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont shares the podium with Barry Alexander, Founder and Chairman of Aquiline Drones, during a February 23, 2021 press conference at AD’s headquarters on the positive economic impact of the recent population growth in the state.
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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Politics Wed, 24 Feb 2021 06:26:56 -0500
American Drone Manufacturing Plant Takes Root in Hartford https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1724-american-drone-manufacturing-plant-takes-root-in-hartford1724-american-drone-manufacturing-plant-takes-root-in-hartford https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1724-american-drone-manufacturing-plant-takes-root-in-hartford1724-american-drone-manufacturing-plant-takes-root-in-hartford

Aquiline Drones (AD) meets the increasing demand for "Made in America" drones by opening the first drone manufacturing and assembly plant in Connecticut. The Hartford-based aviation cloud solutions provider and commercial drone manufacturer now produces Drone Volt's Altura Zenith and Hercules 2 drones - re-branded by AD as the Spartacus line of drones: S-MACKS; Spartacus HURRICANE, etc.
 
Last year AD signed exclusive U.S. manufacturing, sales, and distribution licensing agreements with Drone Volt (ALDRV.PA), a French drone manufacturer of professional civilian drones. AD also entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Drone Volt and Aerialtronics through a 10% stock/equity swap with these entities. Under the terms of a five-year deal with Drone Volt, Aquiline Drones becomes the sole manufacturer of the Pensar smart camera - a multispectral sensor, complete with artificial intelligence and edge computing capabilities, along with manufacturing the above-mentioned drones.
 
"Growing data security concerns over foreign-manufactured technology, mainly from China, has created an immediate need for increased drone production capacity in the US," said Barry Alexander, Chairman & CEO of Aquiline Drones. "Our goal is to not only position our country as a leader in the multi-billion-dollar global drone industry but also, to reestablish America's manufacturing dominance." The forgoing dovetails nicely with AD's powerful strategic vision of making Connecticut the U.S.'s drone capital.
 
Alexander notes that AD now has a team of twenty-five technicians working in its new 7,000 square foot, state-of-the-art drone manufacturing and assembly lab. This manufacturing team projects to double in the coming weeks to address the rapidly accelerating market demand for American-made drones.  
 
Amid the pandemic, AD has employed several of its new manufacturing employees with the support of Capital Workforce Partners (CWP), a Hartford-based workforce organization with a statewide reach dedicated to helping businesses find, retain, and grow the most qualified talent. CWP helps adults develop skills necessary to thrive in the state's job market and directs them to employers seeking those talents.
 
Another highly effective platform utilized in identifying new employees was CT Hires, an online employment service hosted by the State of Connecticut Department of Labor. Besides receiving in-bound applications and resumes, CWP and CT Hires have been essential tools for AD's hiring efforts. According to Alexander, "... we are only as successful as the community which sustains us, and while we are in the process of changing the drone landscape on a global level, we are particularly committed to efforts supportive of our local community in whatever capacity necessary."
Aquiline occupies 15,000 square feet in the Stark Building, a historic architectural landmark located in Hartford's financial district. The company is now constructing a street-level showroom and retail store for drones and sensors, as well as maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of various drone models. To address the economy's growing demand for commercial drone technologies, ADs company-wide manufacturing expansion plans include:
  • Adding a second shift of production workers
  • Scaling into a larger facility in Bridgeport, CT
  • Sourcing of specific components from American-only suppliers.
"To quickly scale our commercial drone production capacity, our team decided to consolidate all manufacturing operations at our downtown Hartford headquarters to avoid the logistical challenges of managing a separate facility," explained Alexander. "Safety and performance are key areas of focus in the UAV industry; this process enables us to maintain stringent quality control throughout the production cycle."
 
Igniting the spark to build a new drone manufacturing ecosystem in the U.S. was The American Security Drone Act of 2019/2020 - legislation co-authored by Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy. This development paves the way for U.S.-based drone manufacturers - such as Aquiline Drones - to enter a red-hot industry growing at 13.8% annually.
 
The new development comes on the heels of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ's) announcement on October 9, 2020, officially banning the use of DOJ funds to purchase or operate any drone from 'covered foreign' countries. China is estimated to originate more than 70% of the global share of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) drones.
 
According to the FAA, drones represent the fastest-growing segment in the entire transportation sector. Says Alexander, "We are delighted to be establishing ourselves as the domestic manufacturer in this terrific industry - building an entire drone ecosystem, pushing the limits of technology development, and delivering useful capabilities, previously imagined, but never before seen."  
 
About Aquiline Drones
 
Aquiline Drones (AD) is an American drone and cloud solutions company located in the financial district of Hartford, Connecticut. Founded by highly experienced aviators, systems engineers, IT gurus, and business strategists, AD delivers a vertically integrated blend of products and services. Aquiline's ecosystem includes a hybrid aviation cloud with edge capabilities for commercial drones, U.S.-based drone manufacturing, 'maintenance-repair-overhaul' services, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) solutions for large enterprises and governments. 
 
Complimenting the company's technology is its superior line of Spartacus AI drone products, a robust UAS training academy, and the country's first 'drone-on-demand' service, enabling customers to order drone services through a proprietary mobile app. AD's full-spectrum of technological solutions are widely applicable across industries and environments for superior, real-time data processing, modeling, and insight. Visit www.aquilinedrones.com for more information.
 
PHOTO:  Stephanie Hernandez of East Hartford is one of 25 newly-hired production technicians assembling American-made drones at Aquiline Drones manufacturing facility in Hartford, Conn.
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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Wed, 10 Feb 2021 05:17:01 -0500
First Post-Vaccine Visit to Elderly Relatives May Uncover Dire Need to Declutter https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1723-first-post-vaccine-visit-to-elderly-relatives-may-uncover-dire-need-to-declutter1723-first-post-vaccine-visit-to-elderly-relatives-may-uncover-dire-need-to-declutter https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1723-first-post-vaccine-visit-to-elderly-relatives-may-uncover-dire-need-to-declutter1723-first-post-vaccine-visit-to-elderly-relatives-may-uncover-dire-need-to-declutter

Many families cannot wait for Mom or Dad to get the COVID 19 vaccine so that they can once again visit them at home. But what they see after months of quarantine may surprise them, according to Connecticut home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc.

“Even if you have been video chatting with elderly family members throughout the pandemic, you aren’t getting the full picture of how they are living day to day,” explained Mario D’Aquila, Chief Operating Officer of Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Cheshire. “The physical condition of the house can often be the clearest indicator of a person’s ability to live independently.”

D’Aquila shares that while the pandemic led many people to stockpile essential items, the tendency to hold on to unnecessary stuff increases with age. In fact, research shows that one in 14, or roughly 7% of adults over age 60, have actual hoarding disorder and the prevalence of hoarding increased by 20% with every 5 years of age.

Clutter in the home becomes dangerous as it increases difficulty with the activities of daily living and the risk of falls. It can also be a sign of depression, decreased mobility or cognitive impairment.

“It’s not surprising that people don’t declutter the older they get, because it’s so laborious. It’s physically, mentally and emotionally draining work,” said D’Aquila.

D’Aquila notes this is where a professional caregiver’s services can be invaluable. Not only can ALS Personal Care Assistants physically lift and take away unwanted items, but they can also objectively assess belongings as a non-family member to keep the clearing out process moving along. Home organization is just one of the many household chores that a caregiver can do in addition to vacuuming, dusting, laundry, cleaning bathrooms and washing floors.

“Our care plans are customized to ensure seniors have the assistance they want and need to maintain a clean, safe and organized home, just the way they like it,” said D’Aquila.

The decluttering process can start with clothing, shoes, plastic containers, tools, household supplies, sports equipment, mail, newspapers, books and magazines that have less of an emotional attachment. The next phase may include photographs, financial papers, holiday decorations and memorabilia.

Here are some often overlooked items to declutter:

  • Pillows - according to experts at Tempur-Pedic, bed pillows should be replaced after 1-2 years. Decorative pillows can harbor dust mites and bacteria.
  • Towels, blankets and washcloths - After so many uses and washes, these items get worn out. Get rid of any that are thinning, raggedy or stained. Use them as rags or donate to a pet shelter.
  • Winter coats and accessories that have gone untouched for years can be washed and donated.
  • Random food in the pantry and fridge – First check all boxed or canned food for expiration dates and donate unwanted items to the local food pantry. Also check the back of the fridge for anything that is expired and throw it away.
  • Expired products - after checking the fridge, head to the bathroom and check the dates on every box and bottle. From shampoo and makeup to ointments and medicine, there is no reason to hang onto personal care products once they have expired. For information on disposing of unused medicines, visit https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/where-and-how-dispose-unused-medicines
  • Empty gift cards - check the balance on these cards then ditch the empty ones. Most retailers allow gift card balances to be checked online. Use a marker to write the value on cards with a remaining balance and use as soon as possible. For gift cards that will never be used, either regift them or visit a resale site such as CardCash.

The first step for a family with concerns is to get a professional assessment of the home environment. ALS offers a free home safety inspection using a Quality Assurance Visit Checklist to make sure any areas of weakness are identified. Based on the findings, the agency creates a customized Plan of Care.

“We focus on correcting the main risk factors that impact seniors and individuals with disabilities the most: falls, medication compliance, fire safety, and rapid access to emergency care,” said D’Aquila.

For more than 24 years, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire with branch locations in Clinton and Fairfield has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut. Their award-winning CarePlus program blends personal care with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 203.634.8668.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Fri, 29 Jan 2021 03:29:44 -0500
Connecticut Restaurants Can Apply for Relief, Distribution of $5,000 Grants https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1722-connecticut-restaurants-can-apply-for-relief-distribution-of-5-000-grants1722-connecticut-restaurants-can-apply-for-relief-distribution-of-5-000-grants https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1722-connecticut-restaurants-can-apply-for-relief-distribution-of-5-000-grants1722-connecticut-restaurants-can-apply-for-relief-distribution-of-5-000-grants

CT Restaurant Relief Fund Launches, Application Deadline is Feb. 5

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an incredible burden on the Connecticut restaurant industry. Connecticut was home to 8,000+ restaurants and employed over 160,000 people before the mandated closure on March 16, 2020. This resulted in thousands of layoffs, and ultimately over 600 restaurants closing their doors in Connecticut. We continue to see closures every week.

Apply HERE.

CT restaurant owners and operators need immediate financial relief in order to stay in business, aid their employees, and survive the impact of this crisis. The mission of the CT Restaurant Relief Fund is to provide immediate financial relief to Connecticut’s restaurant industry with funds designed to save these businesses and protect its workforce.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an incredible burden on the Connecticut restaurant industry. Connecticut was home to 8,000+ restaurants and employed over 160,000 people before the mandated closure on March 16, 2020. This resulted in thousands of layoffs, and ultimately over 600 restaurants closing their doors in Connecticut. We continue to see closures every week.

FOUNDATION & FUND

The Connecticut Hospitality Educational Foundation (CHEF) – the 501(c)3 not for profit entity of the Connecticut Restaurant Association (CRA) – through its expanded mission to be the workforce development arm of the Association, established the CT Hospitality Employee Relief Fund (CHERF) initiative on April 1, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Through this effort, CHERF has raised over $165,000 and awarded individual grants to over 350 hospitality employees. CHERF continues to raise funds to help offer direct awards to individuals in need due to unemployment.

CHEF and the CRA recognizes an additional need to help support Connecticut’s restaurant industry and have developed a new fund, the Connecticut Restaurant Relief Fund on January 1, 2021.

The objective of the fund initiative is to raise funds to support immediate financial relief for as many of Connecticut restaurant and food service businesses as possible.

FUNDRAISING

Fundraising for the CT Restaurant Relief Fund initiative combines grass-roots individual donations with grants and other large gifts from companies and foundations whose philanthropic goals align with the mission of the Fund. Click here to learn more about donating to the CT Restaurant Relief Fund.

GRANT SIZE & SCOPE

The CT Restaurant Relief Fund initiative strives to provide Connecticut’s restaurants with immediate financial support in the form of grants valued at $5,000 per location. In this unprecedented time, the luxury of establishing an endowment before engaging the community to identify grant recipients does not exist. The CHEF will distribute funds as they become available. Membership in the Connecticut Restaurant Association has no bearing on selection. Grants awarded to restaurants still in operation are to be used to keep their doors open and workers employed.

OVERALL INITIATIVE

The CT Restaurant Relief Fund is an emergency relief initiative of the Connecticut Hospitality Educational Foundation (CHEF), a 501(c)3 not for profit focused on workforce development and education of restaurant employees and those aspiring to enter the industry. The simple yet urgent mission of the CT Restaurant Relief Fund amid the COVID-19 crisis is to provide immediate financial relief to Connecticut’s restaurateurs with funds designed to save employee jobs.

The Connecticut Restaurant Association and Connecticut Hospitality Educational Foundation have reallocated staff whose primary responsibilities are related to projects on hold during this crisis to support the establishment, deployment, fundraising, and administration of the CT Restaurant Relief Fund, ensuring that its goals and objectives are met.

GOALS

There are three primary goals of the CT Restaurant Relief Fund:

• To provide restaurants with critically needed financial support immediately.

• To financially support restaurateurs, keeping restaurants open and workers employed.

• To provide those seeking a reputable source through which to financially support the Connecticut restaurant industry and its employees affected by COVID-19.

OBJECTIVES

Never before have we faced such a challenge to the stability and prosperity of Connecticut’s diverse and renowned restaurant scene. Over the last 10 months, restaurants throughout Connecticut have been put in a position to fight for their survival.

The economic impact from this loss continues to grow at an alarming rate, reinforcing the objectives of how the CT Restaurant Relief Fund initiative will measure success:

·  to as many eligible businesses currently open and in immediate need.

· Build and grow the overall brand to increase funding from multiple partners and other organizations.

· Minimize how many restaurants in Connecticut will permanently close due to COVID-19.

· Support the displaced workers of Connecticut’s restaurant industry by making it easier for restaurateurs to keep them employed, or ensure there is a restaurant open for them to return to after being furloughed.

· Bring awareness of the challenges faced by restaurants during COVID-19 to potential grant-giving organizations and corporate foundations to attain their support.

· Demonstrate the grassroots effort to support restaurants; the core of our communities.

DISTRIBUTION OF GRANTS

Staff from the Connecticut Restaurant Association and Connecticut Hospitality Educational Foundation will oversee the distribution of grants.

Qualifications

1. Restaurant is located in Connecticut;

2. At least 25% sales loss in 2020 compared to 2019 OR business opened after October 1, 2019;

3. The restaurant remains open providing modified service (takeout / delivery);

Additional Criteria to be Considered:

1. Priority for sole proprietors, women owned and minority owned businesses;

2. Overall Sales % decrease comparing 2020 to 2019;

3. Additional grants received;

4. Members of the Connecticut Restaurant Association Board of Directors and the Connecticut Hospitality Educational Foundation Board of Directors ARE NOT eligible for these grants.

Grant Distribution Guidelines:

1. CHEF launches Grant Application at 12 pm on January 25, 2021.

2. Applications accepted through 5 pm February 5, 2021.

3. All applications will be reviewed and scored based on the qualifications and criteria above.

4. CHEF Staff will review all applications using a rubric method and then provide award recommendations to the CT Hospitality Educational Foundation Board of Directors.

5. Grants will begin to be distributed beginning on February 23, 2021 and will continue based on additional funds received.

**dates subject to change. Please check website for updates.

Questions? Contact apply@ctrestaurantrelief.org.

All applications will be reviewed. Application deadline is February 5 at 5 pm. Apply HERE.

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kerry@ducey.org (CT Restaurant Relief) Life Wed, 27 Jan 2021 14:51:47 -0500
Connecticut Residents Over 75 Can Now Register for COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments as State Transitions To Phase 1b https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1721-connecticut-residents-over-75-can-now-register-for-covid-19-vaccination-appointments-as-state-transitions-to-phase-1b1721-connecticut-residents-over-75-can-now-register-for-covid-19-vaccination-appointments-as-state-transitions-to-phase-1b https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1721-connecticut-residents-over-75-can-now-register-for-covid-19-vaccination-appointments-as-state-transitions-to-phase-1b1721-connecticut-residents-over-75-can-now-register-for-covid-19-vaccination-appointments-as-state-transitions-to-phase-1b

1.3 Million Residents Are Eligible To Receive Vaccine in Phase 1b as 46,000 First Doses Are Expected To Be Delivered Weekly From the Federal Government

Governor Lamont Accept Advisory Group’s Recommendations To Expand Phase 1b To More Populations

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that phase 1b of Connecticut’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout will begin on Monday, January 18, 2021, and residents in the state over the age of 75 can now schedule appointments to receive the vaccine.

In addition, Governor Lamont announced that he is accepting the recommendations of the Allocation Subcommittee of the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group to expand phase 1b to include additional population groups. In the coming weeks, phase 1b will expand to include:

  • Residents between the ages of 65 and 74 (approximately 353,000 individuals); and
  • Residents between the ages of 16 and 64 who have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of the virus (approximately 362,000 individuals).

This is in addition to those already in phase 1b, including:

  • Residents who are 75 and older (approximately 277,000 individuals);
  • Residents and staff of congregate settings (approximately 50,000 individuals); and
  • Frontline essential workers (approximately 325,000 individuals).

In order to ensure that the most vulnerable populations within phase 1b are prioritized, Governor Lamont has directed the Connecticut Department of Public Health to begin the phase by prioritizing the vaccine for persons over the age of 75 in the first wave. As supply increases and a significant portion of individuals over 75 have received the vaccine, phase 1b will open up to include more of the eligible populations with a focus on addressing issues of equity and risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19.

It is estimated that 1.3 million Connecticut residents are eligible for phase 1b. Currently, the state anticipates receiving about 46,000 first doses of the vaccine per week from the federal government.

All eligible residents are required to make an appointment in advance of receiving the vaccine. Beginning today, individuals over the age of 75 can make appointments utilizing the following tools:

  • Healthcare Provider: Many residents have already been or will be contacted to schedule an appointment by their healthcare provider if their provider is participating in the state’s vaccine program. Not all providers are administering the vaccine.  A list of participating providers is available at ct.gov/covidvaccineResidents are urged not to contact their physician or healthcare provider directly for COVID vaccine appointments.
  • Online: A form can be accessed online at ct.gov/covidvaccine that allows individuals to schedule an appointment through the web-based Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).
  • Telephone: Those without internet access can call Connecticut’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assistance Line at 877-918-2224. The phone system was created in partnership with the Department of Public Health and United Way of Connecticut and is specifically targeted to provide support for eligible vaccine recipients who have limited technology access, or who have language, disability, or other barriers that could prevent them from using existing self-scheduling options successfully. The line will take calls on Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer a call-back option when all contact specialists are busy serving other callers. The team will aim to return calls as soon as possible, with the goal of same-day response.

Further details on phase 1b eligibility will be forthcoming and will include guidance for employers, employees, self-employed, and other individuals on when and how to schedule vaccine appointments and where vaccinations will be available.

Providers may fill appointments with other eligible phase 1b populations if spots are available.

“The Connecticut Department of Public Health has worked diligently with our healthcare partners across the state to increase access to the vaccine, but I must continue to urge patience at this point in time,” Governor Lamont said. “We know many people are excited to receive the vaccine and the promise of the future that comes with it, but we are limited in our ability to distribute them purely based on the amount we receive from the federal government. We are hopeful we will see increased allocations in the coming weeks and months, which will lead to even more light at the end of the tunnel.”

“Thousands of Connecticut residents have already received their first round of the vaccine, and second-dose shots started last week,” Connecticut Public Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said. “With the start of phase 1b, we are bringing on additional capacity to administer the vaccine to tens of thousands more Connecticut residents – protecting our seniors, our workforce, and the most vulnerable among us. Vaccinating millions of Connecticut citizens will take time and I urge patience and continued vigilance, including wearing face masks, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. Our state’s approach has been balanced, allowing for flexibility when it comes to who gets vaccinated, while ensuring as many of our vulnerable residents are at the front of the line during this phase.”

To date, more than 160,000 people in Connecticut have received the vaccine during phase 1a, which began December 14 and includes population groups such as healthcare personnel, residents and staff of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and medical first responders.

Connecticut ranks number five nationally in the percentage of population that have been vaccinated so far.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccination distribution plans in Connecticut, visit ct.gov/covidvaccine.

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kerry@ducey.org (Gov. Ned Lamont) Life Thu, 14 Jan 2021 07:30:30 -0500
New Book Shares How to Overcome Obstacles and “Aspire for Change” in Your Life https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1720-new-book-shares-how-to-overcome-obstacles-and-aspire-for-change-in-your-life1720-new-book-shares-how-to-overcome-obstacles-and-aspire-for-change-in-your-life https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1720-new-book-shares-how-to-overcome-obstacles-and-aspire-for-change-in-your-life1720-new-book-shares-how-to-overcome-obstacles-and-aspire-for-change-in-your-life

Motivational CT author Kenneth Hampton offers secrets to synergize spirituality and success.

Inspiration. Hope. Healing. Faith. These days, most people are looking for an antidote to the despair, fear and uncertainty that filled 2020. After overcoming a lifetime of obstacles by following a spiritual path, Kenneth Hampton of Connecticut found success as an entrepreneur, music producer and composer. Now Hampton is sharing his affirmations to encourage others to let go of the past and start a new personal journey in his first book “Aspire for Change”.

“Ken embodies his philosophy that ‘A changed mind leads to a changed life’ as he strives to empower everyone to overcome their fears and let God lead them to create their best life,” said Judy San Roman, the book’s publisher. “Ken helped me through a difficult time with his radiant words, so I approached him about putting it into a book. I think it’s perfectly timed as we can all use a word of encouragement right now.”

Roman, an actress and producer, known for films such as Fair Market Value (2019), Rich Boy, Rich Girl (2018) and In Sickness, explained how she met Hampton while working on their first Netflix film, The Brawler. She immediately saw his kind heart and found their friendship to be extremely rewarding. Hampton started texting her daily words of encouragement that really moved her. She thought, who doesn't need reassurance?

For the book’s forward, Roman wrote, “It provides the kind of simple sayings we need to hear and believe to come to terms with loss, whether by death or a bad break up, stress or anxiety, how you were raised, made too many mistakes. When you read his positive affirmations, they will help settle your mind for and during those challenging times. You will find joy and wisdom here.”

Other celebrities agree:

"I look forward each morning to the daily inspirational messages I receive from my great friend Ken Hampton. All based on God’s word, it’s truly a blessing. Ken’s words of wisdom, encouragement and inspiration speak directly to my heart, always lifts my spirit and gets my day off to a great start!" - Deborah Allen, American country music singer, songwriter, author, and actress.

“Brothers building up brothers: Ken has been sending inspirational messages since I met him at the VMA After Party last year. It’s good to see brothers encouraging in these days and times. I hope this book has a major impact to bring out the best in people.” - Treach (Naughty By Nature)

The 64-page, inspirational compilation includes the following uplifting chapters: The Divine Love, Your Royalty Blessings, Queen’s Affirmation, King’s Affirmation, Self-Love and Royalty and Daily Royalty Reminder to reflect Hampton’s view of all people already belonging to and entitled to the rewards and blessings of the kingdom of God.

Hampton has also enjoyed a prolific career in the entertainment industry. He is the Founder and Co-Ceo of Raise Em Up Records, as well as the Founder, CEO and Composer of Composers Media Group LLC. He is Vice President of Sales for Reel Film Cinema and Executive Director of Acquisitions at Reel Film Distribution. Hampton is also Executive Producer, Producer and Head Composer for Continuum Motion Pictures and Producer and Head Composer for Velero Films. He is both Composer and Music Supervisor for NANDAR Entertainment.

To date, he has worked on over 50 projects with multiple film companies for Film and TV in all genres.

Hampton shared that his life could have turned out much differently as a Black boy raised by a single mother in an inner city, where he witnessed “domestic violence, crime, drug abuse, and injustice.” Music had always been a means of escape for many of his life’s issues. He initially dreamed of becoming a famous rapper. Then in 1999, Hampton’s best friend invited him to his church. His friend had already turned his life around and Hampton was struck by the pastor’s sermon to never let another man go through what you’ve been through. He finally gave his life to Christ.

“I vowed that until the day God comes to take my breath, I would love everyone, build and encourage them, spread God’s word and share His truth to everyone he places in my life,” said Hampton.  “God has given us the gift of life and we are the presents; we should unwrap our lives daily for others.”

Roman concluded, “I hope whatever your trial or tribulation, this book eases the pain and brings you comfort. We all have setbacks. We all grieve. It's part of our journey. This book is a blessing that will not let you be defeated.”

“Aspire for Change” is available on Amazon for $12.99 and Kindle for $5.99.

About Kenneth Hampton

Kenneth Hampton is a spiritual force for a new generation. For over 20 years, he has inspired people from all walks of life by utilizing God’s word through love to motivate change. Ken connects with and ministers to thousands globally through all types of social media platforms. He is an author, entrepreneur, music producer and composer with successful career in the entertainment industry. He is the Founder/CEO of Composers Media Group, Founder/CEO of Raise Em Up Records, Music Director of Hoboken International Film Festival and Cohost of the JCT TV show. For information visit www.raiseemuprecords.com.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Tue, 12 Jan 2021 13:24:22 -0500
Assisted Living Services’ $2,000 Donation to Food Pantry Tops a Year of Giving Back https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/charities/1719-assisted-living-services-2-000-donation-to-food-pantry-tops-a-year-of-giving-back1719-assisted-living-services-2-000-donation-to-food-pantry-tops-a-year-of-giving-back https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/charities/1719-assisted-living-services-2-000-donation-to-food-pantry-tops-a-year-of-giving-back1719-assisted-living-services-2-000-donation-to-food-pantry-tops-a-year-of-giving-back

In a year when businesses and families are facing financial hardships, Assisted Living Services, Inc. presented a $2,000 check to the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc. on Thursday, December 17, 2020 in Cheshire, Connecticut. The donation was generated from the home care provider’s “Jeans for a Cause” company initiative. Each year, employees give $1 on Fridays when they choose to wear jeans to work. ALS then matches the total contribution and gives the proceeds to a local cause.
 
“We chose the Cheshire Food Pantry as our designated charity based on rising food insecurity in our town triggered by high unemployment rates,” said Mario D’Aquila, MBA and Chief Operating Officer of ALS. “According to the Food Pantry, 20% of Cheshire residents or over 1,900 households are ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. That means they are above the Federal Poverty Level but below a basic cost of living threshold.”
 
The contribution to the food pantry capped off a year of charitable giving by the compassionate corporate citizen.
ALS donated $1000 to The Child Guidance Clinic For Central Connecticut, Inc. (CGC). “Each year we participate in CGC’s Holiday Giving Program, where gifts are purchased by our office employees for children in need,” explained D’Aquila. “For many years, we have also supported the organization’s various other events and fundraisers.” The nonprofit Child Guidance Clinic provides comprehensive mental health evaluation and treatment, crisis intervention and outreach services to children, adolescents and their families in the greater Meriden Connecticut area.
 
D’Aquila notes that while ALS supports local organizations, the family-owned agency truly believes that charity begins at home. ALS awarded an astounding $60,000 in employee bonuses this year through its industry-leading Platinum Caregiver and Home Care Hero Award Programs. The monthly Platinum Caregiver Award program launched in 2019 awards $5,000 to a stellar caregiver who has exceeded expectations for quality care. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, as the Homecare Hero Award in order to recognize more outstanding employees.
 
“I am extremely proud of how our employees rallied together this year to not only keep our clients safe and healthy at home, but to assist our neighbors in need,” said D’Aquila. “I am humbled by their generosity as the pandemic created unimaginable professional and personal challenges.”
 
Additionally, ALS is encouraging others to help those in need by sharing a list of affordable gifts that give back to worthy causes in its recent company newsletter. The article shares “As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, forcing them to go without the essentials needed to survive. So why not put your money toward a present that brings joy to the recipient and helps a cause?” 
 
“We received a lot of positive feedback about the gift list as people are looking for little ways that they can make a difference,” said D’Aquila. “We’re happy to give back to our communities in any way that we can while showing appreciation for our extraordinary staff members.”
 
About Assisted Living Services, Inc.
Since 1996, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire with branch locations in Clinton and Fairfield has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut. Their award-winning CarePlus program blends personal care with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 203.634.8668.
 
PHOTO: The team from Assisted Living Services Inc. presents a $2000 donation to the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc. in Cheshire, Conn. on Thursday, December 17, 2020. From left Mario DAquila, chief operating officer; Sharon DAquila, co-founder and Kerry Walsh, executive director of CCFP.  Photo Courtesy of Assisted Living Services, Inc.
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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Charities Fri, 08 Jan 2021 06:03:16 -0500
1st Annual Mocktail Tasting Fundraiser Benefits Substance Use Awareness https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/charities/1718-1st-annual-mocktail-tasting-fundraiser-benefits-substance-use-awareness1718-1st-annual-mocktail-tasting-fundraiser-benefits-substance-use-awareness https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/charities/1718-1st-annual-mocktail-tasting-fundraiser-benefits-substance-use-awareness1718-1st-annual-mocktail-tasting-fundraiser-benefits-substance-use-awareness

The nonprofit organization A Promise to Jordan is excited to host its first “Mocktail” Tasting fundraiser on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at Real Art Ways in Hartford. The recovery-friendly event will bring restaurateurs and bar owners from across the state together to show off their best non-alcoholic cocktails and compete to be named the best!

“We are thrilled to offer an alternative to the typical beer or wine tastings since our organization is committed to fighting substance use disorders,” said Lisa Gray, Founder and Executive Director of A Promise to Jordan (APTJ). “Additionally, the food and beverage industry has been financially decimated by the pandemic and we wanted to showcase the mixology mastery of our local eateries, while finally having something fun to look forward to.”

The event will take place from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the art gallery located at 56 Arbor Street, barring any COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time. The charitable competition is expected to draw hundreds of guests to taste the mocktails and appetizers, partake of the silent auction and raffles, and enjoy a great night out. If gathering restrictions are still in place, the event may be a mix of in-person and virtual or be completely virtual, if necessary. Virtual guests will receive a mocktail kit to make the delicious drinks at home by following along as the vendors mix the recipes live. In-person tickets are $45 and virtual tickets are $35. For more info or to purchase tickets visit https://mocktailtasting.eventbrite.com.

Gray notes that there is no fee for restaurants or bars to enter and that the nonprofit organization is even covering the cost of their temporary food permits. Interested restaurants to date include 110 Grill, Abigail's Grille & Wine Bar, DaCapo, Iron Horse Pizzeria, Lucky Lou's Bar and Grille, Roux, Soma Grille, and The North House. Plus, Athletic Brewing Company, of Stratford, has already signed on to serve their selection of non-alcoholic brews.

The evening is made possible thanks to the generosity of many fine businesses, including McCall Center for Behavioral Health, Tara Rahmy Realtor and InterCommunity Health Care. Custom sponsorship opportunities are available to meet the unique marketing needs of each business, organization or individual by contacting info@apromisetojordan.org.

“We are also accepting auction and raffle donations such as gift cards, gift baskets, decor items, jewelry and fashion or gourmet treats. We'll even pick them up!” said Gray.

Proceeds will benefit the organization that is dedicated to raising awareness about substance abuse, eliminating the stigma of addiction, assisting people in accessing quality care, and giving hope to those struggling with addiction and their families that recovery is possible. Gray created A Promise to Jordan after losing her then 24-year-old son, Jordan Arakelian, to an accidental overdose in 2018. 

“A Promise to Jordan wants to reach young people before they are in the grips of addiction,” explained Gray. “With the current opioid crisis, America is losing thousands of valuable lives every month. In 2019, over 1,200 lives were lost to overdoses just in Connecticut.  Because of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the numbers for 2020 are expected to be much worse.” 

In addition to community educational programs, A Promise to Jordan hosts NARCAN and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trainings designed to save the lives of overdose victims and those contemplating suicide.

This holiday season, a holiday toy drive supplied gifts for individuals in residential treatment to give to their children when they came to visit.

About A Promise to Jordan

A Promise to Jordan is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit named for Jordan Arakelian who died from an accidental opioid overdose on June 30, 2018 at the age of 24. Founded by his mother, Lisa Gray, the mission of A Promise to Jordan is to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma of addiction, assist people in accessing quality care and give hope that recovery is possible to those struggling with addiction. Visit apromisetojordan.org for information and resources, or call (860) 390-1391.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Charities Fri, 08 Jan 2021 05:51:07 -0500
Students Unveil A Monument To Civil Rights Icon M. L. King in Simsbury https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1717-students-unveil-a-monument-to-civil-rights-icon-m-l-king-in-simsbury1717-students-unveil-a-monument-to-civil-rights-icon-m-l-king-in-simsbury https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1717-students-unveil-a-monument-to-civil-rights-icon-m-l-king-in-simsbury1717-students-unveil-a-monument-to-civil-rights-icon-m-l-king-in-simsbury

A decade ago, a group of Simsbury High School students dreamed of constructing a permanent memorial to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) after discovering he had spent two summers in their small Connecticut town. Now, a new generation of teens is unveiling the inspiring monument on Monday, January 18, 2021 at 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Simsbury Free Library. The striking series of five etched glass and stone panels commemorate the transformative journey of the civil rights leader that started when he worked in Simsbury tobacco fields in 1944 and 1947.
 
The grand opening will commence with a brief outdoor ceremony featuring students, teacher advisor Rich Curtiss, Tara Willerup, Vice Chairman of the Simsbury Free Library’s Board of Trustees and musical performances by The Henry James Memorial School Select Choir and the Simsbury Intonations Chorus.  The COVID-safe celebration on MLK Day continues with a parade of cars passing in front of the memorial. The event will be streamed on Facebook Live with Gospel music playing on local radio station WSIM AM.
 
“We invite the public to decorate their cars with balloons, streamers and other birthday fanfare and join in the procession down Hopmeadow Street to mark this remarkable achievement in our community,” said Willerup. “The committee hopes that visitors will be educated, engaged in self-discovery and inspired to live a life of inclusion, acceptance and tolerance.”
 
Willerup explains the project started in 2009 when a team of sixteen students from Simsbury High School set out to prove or disprove the popular suburban myth that MLK had lived in Simsbury. “With the support of their teacher Rich Curtiss and the Simsbury Free Library staff, they were able to document his time here, along with the influence it had on his life.” The small historical library is a treasure trove of Connecticut history and the people who lived there, if only for a brief time.
 
Based on their research, the students created a nationally acclaimed documentary that explored how instrumental Dr. King's time in Simsbury was in shaping his personal philosophies and in forming his decision to become a minister. The video revealed how his visits opened the young King's eyes for the first time to a desegregated world to which he was not accustomed. He saw a land of promise, not a world of segregation.
 
The idea to erect a permanent memorial to MLK’s experience here came to four of the students shortly after completing the documentary. In 2011, a new set of students dedicated themselves to designing an immersive display to honor MLK and keep his dream alive. Current student members broke ground in October 2018. Funds for the $120,000 project were raised through the sale of personalized bricks that were used on the pathway, along with contributions from generous individuals and businesses. Donations covered construction costs and created a fund for educational and enrichment programming, as well as maintenance for the future.
 
“Once the documentary was released, the students wanted to ensure that the inspirational lessons of MLK continue to have a prominent presence in Simsbury, said Willerup. “The Free library’s location in the center of town makes it the ideal place for the exhibit.” 
 
To determine both the design and elements used to convey the essence of the documentary, the students enlisted the expertise of master artist Peter McLean, a Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at the Hartford Art School/University of Hartford. They designed a series of five etched glass panels that appear to float unsupported. The glass was chosen to reflect the idea that his words are not meant to be bound by walls, but to be available to all people. Each panel illustrates a different aspect of MLK’s life:
  • Family history
  • Journey to Simsbury
  • Time spent in Simsbury and why it was important to his life 
  • Leaving Simsbury and returning home to a segregated way of life
  • Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and subsequent legacy
Entry and exit markers are located at the south and north side of the memorial respectively, to convey MLK’s journey from the South to Simsbury. These markers will be made from brownstone, a native stone of Connecticut used in many of Simsbury’s historic buildings. There is also a bench made of Georgia granite from MLK’s home state.
 
Architect Jay Willerup donated his time to translate the students’ vision into actual building elements. He drew the plans, determined material, fastenings, dimensions, etc., all with input from the students. Construction firm Simscroft-Echo Farms Inc. in Simsbury completed the project.
 
“It is important to acknowledge that the memorial is not just a monument, but rather a place where people can sit, reflect, and learn about the beginnings of Dr. King’s life-long dedication to justice, peace, and equality,” concludes Willerup. “We are thrilled that the memorial has been chosen as a destination on Connecticut’s Freedom Trail, so that Simsbury can continue the inspiring work of MLK.”
 
To learn more about the MLK in CT Memorial visit www.MLKinCT.org.
 
About the Simsbury Free Library

The Simsbury Free Library (the Simsbury Genealogical and Historical Research Library), located at 749 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, promotes interest in genealogy and history by providing access to research material and expertise, artifacts, and educational and cultural programs, to help visitors develop the skills required to create family trees, search local histories, look up census records, explore vital records, etc.
 
The Simsbury Free Library – the Gracious Yellow Lady – is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. as well as by appointment. To RSVP or for more information, visit www.simsburyfreelibrary.org  or call (860) 408-1336.

PHOTO:  A memorial to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the transformative months he spent in Simsbury, Connecticut will be unveiled on January 18, 2021 on the front lawn of the Simsbury Free Library located at 749 Hopmeadow Street following social distancing safeguards.  Credit: Simsbury Free Library

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Sun, 06 Dec 2020 03:38:58 -0500