Southbury's HamletHub Wed, 23 Oct 2019 07:36:09 -0400 Tickets Available For Business Women's Forum (BWF) Next Tuesday, October 29

Tickets are available for the Business Women’s Forum (BWF) to be held next Tuesday, October 29th. Keynote speaker will be Stacy London, one of America’s foremost fashion experts, author, host of TLC’, “What Not to Wear” and host of “Love Lust or Run”, plus style contributor to ABC-TV’ ”The View” and Rachael Ray’s syndicated talk show, “Rachael”.

The BWF is Connecticut’s largest and longest-running, full-day statewide conference and is celebrating its 37th year. Under the theme “Design Your Success”, the 2019 BWF is anticipated to attract 600+ attendees. The BWF will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer a full day of dynamic networking, educational workshops, breakfast, lunch and a closing reception at the Aqua Turf Club at 556 Mulberry Street in Plantsville, Connecticut. The thriving nonprofit organization is led by female executives dedicated to the professional and personal growth of working women.

The 2019 BWF will also feature motivational speaker Connie Podesta, Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker, award-winning author of seven books, actress, therapist, comedienne, former radio/TV personality, and an expert in the psychology of human behavior as it relates to sales, leadership, and personal/professional development.

“The mission of the Business Women’s Forum,” explained Lynn Ward, a BWF director and president and CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber, “is to raise funds for scholarships for female Post University students to pursue degrees in business. The BWF’s continual commitment is to the equality of opportunity and advancement for women in business. During the past 36 years, the BWF has raised more than $200,000 toward those scholarships.”

Stacy London, the author of “Dress Your Best”, which concentrated on style by body type, received stellar reviews. Her second book, “The Truth About Style”, became a “New York Times” bestseller, and is both a memoir and style guide. Stacy appears on numerous national talk and news shows and has been an expert contributor to countless magazines and newspapers nationwide. Between 2005 and 2010, she joined NBC-TV’s “The Today Show” as a style correspondent, and has regularly appeared on “Access Hollywood” and “Access Live!”.

The 2019 BWF motivational speaker Connie Podesta’s background in comedy, theater, radio, and TV offers a fiery personality, comedic wit, and unforgettable delivery style. Combined with her on-target content, Connie is a rare blend of substance and style. An expert in the psychology of human behavior. Connie is the go-to person when it comes to digging deep into what makes people do what they do and say what they say. Her intuitive understanding of people empowers audiences to ACT vs. react to even the most difficult of people and situations.

Lori Turmel-Kecskes, the owner of Employers Reference Source, Inc., 2019 BWF Chairwoman, commented, “During the past 36 years, the BWF has provided thousands of attendees with access to phenomenal speakers, unparalleled networking opportunities, plus diverse training during a full, fun-filled day of activities. BWF conferences have featured such high-profile keynote speakers as Barbara Corcoran, Leeza Gibbons, Kathy Ireland, Elizabeth Vargas, Paula Abdul, Robin Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Suze Orman, Jane Seymour, and Susan Saint James.

Admission packages for the 2019 BWF range from $150 for the lunch only to $2,500 for a table of 10. Most entry costs include the keynote and motivational presentations, workshops, day-long networking, breakfast, lunch, and a closing reception.

To learn more about prices or to register, visit, or call the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation at 203-757-0701.



]]> (Barbara Branagan-Mitchell) Neighbors Mon, 21 Oct 2019 07:53:36 -0400
Town of Southbury Employment Opportunity: Scorebook / Game Clock Operators

Youth Basketball Scorebook / Game Clock Operator

Part-Time Recreational Seasonal position of Book and Game Clock Operator for the Town of Southbury. Typical work schedule consists of winter weekends, (December through March) and the occasional weeknight. Must be able to keep accurate score, time, and statistics of recreational and travel basketball games.

The candidate should have basic knowledge of the game of basketball or be willing to learn. No previous experience required. Must be at least 16 years old to apply. These positions are open until filled.

Applications are available online. Completed applications should be returned to Southbury Parks and Recreation, 561 Main Street South, Southbury or emailed to ADA/EOE.

Southbury Parks and Recreation: Please use Parks and Recreation Employment Application for positions with Parks and Rec Department.

]]> (Town of Southbury) Neighbors Fri, 18 Oct 2019 12:39:04 -0400
Southbury Happenings: Book Donation, Golf, BOE Candidate Forum, and MORE!


Book Donation Day
10/19/2019 | 9:30am-3:30pm

Accepting books, CDs, DVDs, vinyl records, books on CDs and all other media. Children's pop-up books and educational items, puzzles, music sheets, ephemera, maps, posters, art prints, wall décor, etc. Organizer: Friends of the Southbury Public Library.

Click for the event's details.

Eagle Project Fundraising Golf Tournament
10/20/2019 | 10:30am

Eagle Project Fundraiser Golf Tournament. Organizer: Hayden Godfrey | Boy Scouts.

Click for the event's details.

Region 15 Board of Education Candidates' Forum
10/23/2019 | 7:00-9:30pm

Meet the Region 15 Board Of Education Candidate on Wednesday, October 23rd! Organizers: Region 15 PTO Advisory Council.

Click for the event's details.


10/26/2019 - Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs

10/26/2019 - 9th Annual Trick or Treat Spooktacular

10/26/2019 - Oktoberfest

10/26/2019 - Handbags for Hope - REGISTER NOW!

10/28/2019 - Halloween Party & Info Night Troop 1607 Scouts BSA

10/29/2019 - SBA Membership Madness Drive

10/30/2019 - Folklore and "The Birds!"

11/07/2019 - Thursday Morning Bird Walks

11/09/2019 - Nature's Harvest Walk

11/14/2019 - 3rd Annual Community Showcase

11/15/2019 - Owl Prowl

11/17/2019 - Musical Performance with Pianist Frederic Moyer

]]> (Town of Southbury) Events Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:16:46 -0400
Southbury Residents Can Dispose of Unwanted Prescription Drugs on October 26

Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs on October 26 from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM at Southbury Resident Trooper’s Office

The Southbury Resident Trooper's office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your medications for disposal to the Southbury Police Department, Resident Trooper's office, located at 421 Main Street South, Southbury CT.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines, flushing them down the toilet, or throwing them in the trash, both pose potential safety and health hazards.

]]> (Town of Southbury) Life Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:31:09 -0400
Trick or Treat Spooktacular at Southbury Firehouse on October 26

9th Annual Trick or Treat Spooktacular at Southbury Firehouse on October 26 from 3-7 pm

The firehouse will be transformed into a spectacular maze of themes through which you can walk and collect treats. This is NOT a haunted house, so it is appropriate for children and adults of all ages.

Costumed members of the Southbury Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Ladies Auxiliary, and Junior Corps will be sure to delight young and old alike at this spectacular event. Remember to bring a bag to collect candy! There will also be a Touch-a-Truck and Meet & Greet event with volunteer firefighters, Southbury Ambulance personnel and Police Officers in the upper parking lot.

Outdoor entertainment is sponsored by Southbury Parks and Recreation.

Parking is available at Town Hall, Parks and Rec and Pomperaug Elementary School.

The event is free, however non-perishable items for the Southbury Food Bank will be accepted!

If you would like more information, please call the SVFA Business Office (203) 262-0615.

Tell your friends! It will be an unforgettable experience! Hope to see you there! Click to see photos from last year's Trick or Treat Spooktacular!

]]> (Town of Southbury) Events Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:27:28 -0400
Five Inducted into American Manufacturing Hall Of Fame at Housatonic Community College

On Thursday, October 10, Housatonic Community College (HCC) hosted the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame (AMHoF), celebrating the innovative history of American manufacturing, honoring the success of manufacturers in Connecticut and raising funds for HCC student scholarships.

A crowd of nearly 200 manufacturing and community leaders attended the evening in Trumbull, CT to witness the organization’s sixth annual induction ceremony. This year, the inductees included Ashcroft Inc., Medtronic PLC, Microboard Processing Inc., Pratt & Whitney and Sonics & Materials Inc. Joe Carbone, President and CEO of The WorkPlace once again served as Master of Ceremonies.

The evening’s beneficiary, the HCC Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, provides students with access to education and workforce development training for in-demand jobs in the manufacturing sector. This premier program on the HCC campus is helping to keep manufacturing jobs in Connecticut.

“We would like to thank all of you who contributed, invested, and believed in us,” said Dorsia Franklin, a program graduate who went through the program with her daughter, Chanel. “The fact that we started out knowing nothing about manufacturing to then successfully completing the program and graduating at the top of our class surpassed anything I could’ve imagined!”

The American Manufacturing Hall of Fame was founded in 2014 by past HCC Foundation Board president Barbara Johnson, along with her husband Carl and actor and manufacturing supporter John Ratzenberger. A passionate group of volunteers continue to spearhead this event, in partnership with the HCC Foundation. Thirty Connecticut companies have now been inducted into AMHoF.

HCC Foundation Executive Director Kristy Jelenik said, “This annual celebration spotlights the incredible advanced manufacturing program at HCC which enables our students to enter a meaningful career path that offers wage-sustaining employment.” Mrs. Jelenik continued, “We are so grateful to all of our sponsors, and to our manufacturing partners around the region who support our program and employ our students, including this year’s inductees.”

Frank Gulluni, director emeritus of the Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center at Asnuntuck Community College, received the AMHoF 2019 Leadership Award. Earlier this year, Housatonic and Asnuntuck Community Colleges opened an Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Derby High School in Derby, CT where students can now take college-level classes.

The HCC Foundation would like to thank its generous sponsors including Founding & Diamond Sponsor blumshapiro, as well as Diamond Sponsor Wells Fargo, Platinum Sponsor Hubbell, Gold Sponsors the Barden Foundation, Bridgeport Fittings, Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey, and The WorkPlace, and Silver Sponsors Ashcroft Inc., the ASSA ABLOY Group, Dworken Hillman LaMorte & Sterczala, Moore Tools, Newtown Savings Bank, People’s United Bank, Resource Development Associates, TD Bank, United Illuminating, Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc. and Webster Bank.

To learn more about Housatonic Community College and the Advanced Manufacturing Program, visit and to learn how you can support the next generation of manufacturers in our state, contact the Housatonic Community College Foundation at or call Kristy Jelenik 203-332-5078.

Photo credit: David Gunn Photography

]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Neighbors Thu, 17 Oct 2019 06:44:57 -0400
Acts 4 Ministry Executive Director To Receive Prestigious Community Award

Sarah Elizabeth Carabetta of Meriden has been named the 2019 recipient of Sacred Heart High School’s Reverend John Meaney Community Impact Award. This coveted award recognizes the leadership commitment of an individual(s) or organization that has had a strong impact on the Greater Waterbury community through serving the needs of others.

Mrs. Eileen M. Regan, President of Sacred Heart High School and Middle School in Waterbury noted, “We are thrilled to include Mrs. Carabetta as one of our 2019 Honorees for all that she has done and continues to do for our community and those in need through her work at Acts 4 Ministry.”

Carabetta stated that she is, “Honored and humbled” to be selected for this well-respected community award. Widely recognized throughout the Greater Waterbury region as a visionary leader, Carabetta joyfully shares her love for God and ministry with her strong civic contributions to the Waterbury community and a deep personal desire to serve residents in need.

For the past seven years, Carabetta has worked as the executive director of Acts 4 Ministry elevating the non-profit organization’s platform to inspire acts of love through her marketing, fund-raising and project management background.

Acts 4 Ministry, Inc. is a charitable organization that assists individuals or families who have suddenly lost their homes to a fire, flood or other unexpected devastation or upsetting life event. These individuals and families are invited to visit Acts 4 Ministry’s 1713 Thomaston Avenue boutique shop to personally select, at no charge, clothing, dishes, glassware, furnishings, and items to meet other basic needs. The organization is dedicated to building relationships with people while providing them with the basics of daily living needs.

Through Carabetta’s devoted and inspiring leadership, Acts 4 Ministry has markedly enhanced its community and corporate partnerships and balanced its vision with strategies and goals. Most notably, she developed the highly-successful Sleep Well Campaign which provides children within Greater Waterbury with a brand-new sleeping environment. During the past five years, this campaign has provided new bed sets to over 1,000 children creating proper sleeping environments to ensure that each child receives a good night’s sleep.

A life-long resident of Connecticut, Carabetta’s career has spanned the nonprofit and corporate sectors. She has consistently believed in volunteering her personal time and energies for the betterment of the community. Currently is a member of the Waterbury Exchange Club and serves as the chair of the Waterbury Chamber’s Leadership Greater Waterbury Steering Committee.

Previously Carabetta also served six years on the board of directors for Main Street Waterbury ending her term as the board chair in 2015. She was a member of the University of Connecticut’s Service-Learning Community Advisory Board from 2012-2014 and across the years, volunteered on various committees and events.

Sarah Elizabeth Carabetta is a graduate of the School of Business at the University of Connecticut with a degree in Business & Technology. Currently, she and her husband Kevin, a retired Air Force veteran, reside in Meriden with their two dogs Gracy and Ruger.

Mrs. Carabetta will receive Sacred Heart High School’s Reverend John Meaney Community Impact Award on Monday, November 4, 2019, at the Aqua Turf Club, 556 Mulberry Street, Plantsville, Connecticut. For further information and to obtain tickets at the Acts 4 Ministry tables, contact Sarah Elizabeth Carabetta directly at or 203-574-2287 by October 21st. There are no tickets sold at the door.


]]> (Barbara Branagan-Mitchell) Neighbors Tue, 15 Oct 2019 05:07:11 -0400
Southbury Police & Fire Departments Battle It Out Tomorrow!

 Battle of the Badges at Ballantine Park at 2pm

Don’t miss the second annual Battle of The Badges softball game! Southbury Police Department will be defending their title against the Southbury Fire Department. Enjoy a bite to eat from Chris and Roy’s Brotherly Grub Food Truck! This event is held to help raise donations for the Southbury Food Bank.

Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items - visit for critical needs. We hope to see you there!

]]> (HH) Events Fri, 11 Oct 2019 13:17:26 -0400
Southbury Happenings: Public Safety Day, Books & Bites, Oktoberfest, and More!

Southbury Happenings are PLENTY! Check on the links below for event details! 

Battle of the Badges
10/12/2019 | 2:00pm

Come on out and cheer the Southbury Police Department and the Southbury Fire Department at the second annual Battle of The Badges softball game. Organizer: Southbury Police Department and Southbury Fire Department.

Click for the event's details.

Public Safety Day
10/13/2019 | 1:00-4:00pm

Come out and interact with the First Responders of your community - fire, police, ambulance, animal control, etc. Live demonstrations at 2 and 3pm. Organizer: Southbury Volunteer Fire Association.

Click for the event's details.

Phillips Farm Funday
10/13/2019 | 1:30-3:30pm

A fun day for families including a critter show, pumpkin hunt, hikes, treats and hay rides. Organizers: Southbury Land Trust

Click for the event's details.

Southbury Senior Center Open House
10/15/2019 | 10:00am-2:00pm

Meet the staff, have a tour of the facility and learn about the variety of programs and services offered. Make a craft, be our guest for lunch, and enjoy the Horizon Wings presentation. Organizer: Southbury Senior Center.

Click for the event's details.

Southbury Heritage BNI Visitor's Day
10/16/2019 | 7:15-8:45am

Local Business Networking Event! Organizer: Southbury Heritage BNI.

Click for the event's details.

LECTURE: The Importance of Art & Brain Health
10/16/2019 | 9:30-11:30am

An informative discussion about the benefits of art not only for recreation and pleasure, but for medicinal reasons, such has physical and mental rehabilitation. Organizer: Arts Escape.

Click for the event's details.

Books & Bites at Arts Escape
10/16/2019 | 1:00pm

October Book Club at Arts Escape - On Canaan's Side. Organizer: Arts Escape.

Click for the event's details.


10/17/2019 - Author to Speak at Arts Escape

10/26/2019 - 9th Annual Trick or Treat Spooktacular

10/26/2019 - Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs

10/26/2019 - Oktoberfest

10/30/2019 - Folklore and "The Birds!"

11/14/2019 - 3rd Annual Community Showcase


]]> (Town of Southbury) Events Fri, 11 Oct 2019 13:15:12 -0400
Acts 4 Ministry Seeking Donations Of Winter Coats & Accessories For All Children And Adults

Through Saturday, December 21, 2019, Acts 4 Ministry Inc., a non-denominational, non-profit charitable organization in Waterbury, will accept donations of new or gently-worn coats, hats, gloves, scarves, sweatshirts, and new socks, thermals, and undergarments for children and adults toward their 2019 “Share the Warmth” drive.

“Winter’s cold makes life more challenging for everyone, especially for those who do not have basic things that many people take for granted. Acts 4 Ministry’s annual Share the Warmth campaign helps our community meet the physical needs of our most vulnerable members and lets them know they are not forgotten,” commented Acts 4 Ministry, Inc. Board of Directors Chairman, John Bishop of Woodbury.

“Our goal”, added Sarah Elizabeth Carabetta, Acts 4 Ministry Executive Director, “is to ensure that people in need of assistance throughout our Greater Waterbury community have warm clothing during the entire cold season. Men’s and children’s coats are especially needed and we are very appreciative of receiving clean and gently-used winter items for women as well.”

Through Saturday, December 21st all donations can be brought to Acts 4 Ministry at 1713 Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury, Mondays through Wednesday between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Thursdays 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., Fridays 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to drop off donations and receive a receipt for tax deductions.

Donations will continue to be accepted by Acts 4 Ministry Inc. through January 2020. Carabetta explained, “We recognize that our seasons have recently shifted and colder weather often appears more in January and February so we want to ensure that we can help keep children, men and women warm throughout the entire cold-weather season of 2019 into 2020.”

Acts 4 Ministry, Inc. is dedicated to building relationships with people while providing them with the basics of daily living needs. “Our continual mission,” explained Carabetta, “is to provide individuals or families who have experienced a life devastating event with opportunities to feel loved as they rebuild their lives with basic needs by coming to our facility to personally select clothing, dishes, glassware, furnishings, and other basic needs at no charge.”

The organization partners with churches, social service agencies, and public schools to help identify and serve people with these needs in the context of the broader community regardless of their faith, race, creed, or national origin, or their willingness to participate in religious activities.

Acts 4 Ministry’s retail store environment provides people with immediate ‘basic living needs’ the ability to select clothing, furniture, and household items at no cost. “Individuals and families are often referred to us by other charitable organizations,” explained Carabetta. “In our retail store environment, they are provided with an atmosphere which preserves their dignity and allows them to personally select what they need vs. being handed clothing or furnishings they do not desire. This is a respectful environment where everyone is treated with caring support.”

Photographed assisting with the 2018 drive at the Acts 4 Ministry thrift store at 1713 Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury were NVCC student Egzon Dauti (left) and his friend Waleed Shaikh.

To provide monetary donations to Acts 4 Ministry’s “Share the Warmth” drive, contributions can be made payable to Acts 4 Ministry and sent to PO Box 4524, Waterbury CT 06704 or by visiting the Acts 4 website and tap on the ‘click to give’ button. For large donations of items or organizations and groups who would like to volunteer, contact Alice’n Renaud, Acts 4 Ministry Operations Coordinator at 203-574-2287 or email to

Acts 4 Ministry’s offices and their boutique store are located at 1713 Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury. Tax-deductible donations may be brought year-round to the location Mondays through Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. when volunteers, guest services and community partners are also welcomed. The store and donation center is open to the general public on Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Cash or money order donations can also be U.S. Mailed to P.O. Box 4524, Waterbury, CT 06704. For more information, call 203-574-2287 or visit

]]> (Barbara Branagan-Mitchell) Charities Thu, 10 Oct 2019 10:42:41 -0400
The Spotted Lanternfly Spotted in Southbury, Residents Take Heed

The Spotted Lanternfly was recently seen in Southbury. Residents are asked to report any other sightings and, if possible, collect and send a specimen to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

The Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White), an invasive planthopper, was discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014. It is native to China, India, Vietnam, and introduced to Korea where it has become a major pest. This insect attacks many hosts including grapes, apples, stone fruits, and tree of heaven and has the potential to greatly impact the grape, fruit tree, and logging industries.

Early detection is vital for the protection of Connecticut businesses and agriculture. This pest was recently seen in Southbury so residents are asked to report any other sightings and, if possible, collect and send a specimen to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. 

Click to view information on the Spotted Lanternfly and the specimen submission form.

Go to for more information.

Tree-of-heaven, Ailanthus altissima, is the primary reproductive host of the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycormadelicatula. To optimize surveying for SLF, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station is looking for areas in CT with stands of tree-of-heaven with 10 or more mature stems. Areas in public land close to shipping lanes, warehouses, industrial zones, rest stops, travel lanes, and ports are especially important.
Please contact with detailed location information.

]]> (Town of Southbury) Public safety Thu, 10 Oct 2019 05:05:45 -0400
Woodbury Resident Recipient Of Watertown Oakville Chamber's 2019 Community Leadership Award

Corey Shaker of Woodbury, co-owner of The Shaker Automotive Group, the president of a grassroots mental health organization, and a town facility will all be honored during the Watertown Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s 55th Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner on Thursday, November 14, 2019.

The prestigious 2019 Community Leader of the Year Award will be presented to Corey Shaker, co-owner of The Shaker Automotive Group; the 2019 Unsung Hero Award will be presented to Joseph D’Averso, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Waterbury, and the 2019 Beautification Award will be presented to the Watertown Library Association.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Grand Oak Villa, 550 Sylvan Lake Road in Oakville, and will include a silent auction to raise money for the Chamber’s Annual Scholarship Program, which provides two $1,500 scholarships for graduating Watertown High School students — one pursuing a career in business, the other a STEM or trade-related career.

“The criteria for selecting the Watertown-Oakville Chamber’s Community Leader of the Year include a nominee’s personal impact on the business community, how he or she demonstrates leadership, their notable accomplishments and the extent of their community involvement,” said Lori DosSantos of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, chairwoman of the Watertown Oakville Chamber Board of Directors.

Corey Shaker is a partner in and president of The Shaker Automotive Group, now in its eighth decade. The dealership was founded in Waterbury in 1930 by his grandfather. Since then, it has expanded across New England and includes seven dealerships in Connecticut and Massachusetts. That includes Shaker Family Ford Lincoln at 831 Straits Turnpike in Watertown, which it tore down in 2012 to build a new, 35,000-square-foot facility featuring 20 service bays, a car wash and detail center, customer business center and lounge, executive offices, and training center. It also recently acquired Bradshaw Chrysler Jeep in Watertown.

Shaker, who lives in Woodbury with his wife, Danielle, is being honored for his organization’s continued investment in Watertown, providing the town with significant tax revenue, jobs, and economic development.

Past recipients of the Community Award are Susan Atkins of Bradshaw Jeep in 2006; Dr. Joseph Erardi, Superintendent of Schools, in 2007; Bill Dunbar of Copes Rubbish Removal in 2008; Peter Baker of Crystal Rock in 2009; Dennis Strozzi of Siemon Realty in 2011; Stephen Martino of Martino’s Pizzaria in 2012; Watertown Town Manager Chuck Frigon in 2013; Rich Dupont of Resource Development Associates in 2014; Jack Traver of Traver IDC in 2015; Dr. Bridget Carnemolla, Superintendent of Schools,  in 2016; Robert LaBonne Sr. of LaBonne’s Markets in 2017, and Margret Warner of Litchfield Bancorp in 2018. No award was presented in 2010.

D’Averso, the 2019 Unsung Hero Award recipient, is president of NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Founded in 1979 by a small group of families, NAMI has grown into an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work to raise awareness and provide support and education not previously available to those in need.

D’Averso, who lives in Watertown with his wife, Jenny, also serves as the facilities director for Apple Rehab in town. He works tirelessly for the local community, helping to raise money for NAMI, recruiting volunteers, and cooking for two annual NAMI events, while also raising money for the Fisher Foundation for Veterans. He also has a catering business, a contracting business, and owns Joey’s Army Navy Store at 20 Depot St.

The Unsung Hero Award, DosSantos said, “is presented to a person or group who often works behind the scenes in Watertown-Oakville; has provided substantive yet unrecognized contributions to their community or business; exhibits fair and honest business practices; lives, works, or owns a business in Watertown-Oakville, and helps, supports and empowers other people to advance.”

Past recipients of the Unsung Hero Award include The Watertown Foundation in 2012; Sorrina Salvatore of Ion Bank in 2013; Theresa Gorman of Weichert Realty Briotti Group in 2014; Joseph McGrail of Remote Automation Systems/Emerson in 2015; Paul Jessell, Esq., of Slavin Stauffacher & Scott in 2016; William Wildman Sr. of Bill Wildman Floor Covering in 2017, and Don Gamsjager of DNR Laboratories in 2018.

The Chamber’s Beautification Award recognizes individuals, companies, and organizations for efforts that add to the aesthetics of the area by improving their properties or key access points to the community. “The nominee must be a Watertown-Oakville-based business, have demonstrated a special effort to improve and/or maintain a high standard of beautification of their property, and the physical enhancements may be but are not limited to, exterior renovations, landscaping, signage, and seasonal decorations,” DosSantos said.

Watertown Library Association, 2019 Beautification Award recipient, recently completed the Woodward Atrium Project for the library at 470 Main St., enhancing the façade and enlarging its interior. The expansion, the first since 1976, added a multi-purpose community room and two public meeting rooms, made its Book Nook more accessible and increased handicapped parking.

Past Beautification Awards recipients include Thomaston Savings Bank in 2012; Tony & Sons’ Seafood in 2013; Roma Florist Landscape in 2014; Onyx Jewelers II in 2015; ECI Screen Print in 2016; Hawk Ridge Winery in 2017, and The Taft School in 2018.

The Business Sponsor for the event is Litchfield Bancorp. Sponsorships to show support for the honorees at the 2019 Watertown Oakville Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner are still available by calling Alison Amato in the Chamber offices. Tickets are $50/person or a table of 10 for $550. Reservations are required by Thursday, November 7. Call the Chamber at 203-757-0701 or visit

]]> (Barbara Branagan-Mitchell) Neighbors Wed, 09 Oct 2019 11:26:19 -0400
Business Women's Forum To Award Scholarships To Post University Students October 29

The 2019 Business Women’s Forum (BWF), will present a total of $6,000 in scholarships to Ms. Elena Becker of Illertissen, Germany and Ms. Kelsey Tuan of Poughkeepsie, New York, both of whom are students in the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University in Waterbury. The awards will be presented at the 37th Annual BWF women’s leadership conference, on Tuesday, October 29th, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. 

The conference will also feature keynote speaker Stacy London, fashion expert, author and TV personality, and motivational speaker Connie Podesta, Hall of Fame speaker, award-winning author, Comedienne, and human behavior expert, as well as empowering workshops and a high energy closing networking reception. Erica Peryga, Dean of Students at Post University and a BWF Scholarship Committee Chairperson and Board Member, stated, “The scholarship recipients this year are impressive and dedicated students and enthusiastic leaders of the Post University student body. I’m sure both will achieve great success in the future.”

Elena Becker is a senior at Post, double majoring in Sports Management and Accounting. Originally from Germany, Becker moved to the United States three years ago to attend college. Through her work experience, including an accounting internship at Praxair, Inc. in Danbury and another at the Hartford Yardgoats in Hartford, she has set a goal of becoming a CPA immediately after college. In addition to her high career goals, she follows her passion for sports as a competitive fencer and hopes to translate her second major of sports management into opportunities in the world of sports. “I am more than grateful to have been selected as one of the scholarship recipients by the Business Women’s Forum,” Becker said. “This is going to be a tremendous asset for me moving forward.”

Kelsey Tuan is a double major in Human Resources and Equine Studies. She has worked diligently to maintain a 3.9 GPA, has been in the Honors Program since her freshman year, and maintained Dean’s List status. She was selected out of high school to play on the Woman’s Golf Team at Post and has received the Division 2 Athletics Directors Association 2018-2019 Academic Achievement Award. As a woman entering the business world and in particular human resources, she strives to have confidence in herself, make a positive difference for others, and empower others to achieve their goals.

The thriving BWF, a non-profit under the auspices of the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is led by female executives dedicated to the professional and personal growth of working women. BWF’s mission is to raise scholarship funds for female Post University students pursuing a degree in business, and over the past 36 years, in excess of $200,000 in scholarships has been granted.

This year’s highly-informative conference will include two keynote speakers, six professional development workshops, day-long networking opportunities, breakfast, lunch and a high energy closing reception with hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and fabulous raffle and door prizes.

The 2019 Business Women’s Forum (BWF) is being presented by the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Onyx II Fine Jewelers and Wells Fargo.

Conference passes are currently available, including a full-day conference pass, preferred conference pass which includes a professional headshot, a premium VIP conference pass which includes reserved seating VIP parking, a special gift and more.

To learn more, and to register, visit, or call the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation at 203-757-0701.


]]> (Barbara Branagan-Mitchell) Neighbors Wed, 09 Oct 2019 10:03:45 -0400
Anytime Fitness Waterbury To Host Grand Re-Opening & Ribbon Cutting November 12

Anytime Fitness at 152 Chase Avenue in Waterbury, in the Stop ‘n Shop/Target retail shopping Plaza, will host a Grand Re-Opening event open to the public on Tuesday, November 12, 1:00 to 4:00 PM with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1:00 PM.

In addition to an extensive offering of exercise and physical fitness training equipment, Anytime Fitness offers classes ranging from Bootcamps, Silver Sneakers, and Zumba to progressive Team Training Programs including HIIT training, motion/flexibility, and strength/endurance training. Anytime Fitness, the Greater Waterbury region’s only gym that is open 24 hours 365 days each year, offers access to 2,500+ locations nationwide, health insurance plan discounts from participating programs, wellness programs, private restrooms, and showers, plus 24-hour security.

The new owner of Anytime Fitness on Chase Avenue, Bryan Joyce, 33, of Southington, purchased the gym following 10 years of working with various fitness industry companies plus launching his own boutique fitness club. “When I learned the Waterbury club was for sale,” commented Joyce, “I could see the gym’s potential, so I purchased it and now I’d like to invite everyone to come in for a special Grand Re-Opening celebration.” 

Joyce explained that “When I purchased the club in April of this year it was struggling since its opening in May of 2016, and it was on the verge of closing. In less than six months since my purchase, I have turned it around to the point of adding nearly 200 new members.” As the owner, Joyce serves in the capacities of management, administration, and marketing. 

With more than ten years of focusing on his personal fitness, plus extensive managerial experience with several nationally-known fitness industry companies including Planet Fitness, the YMCA, Anytime Fitness, LA Fitness, WorkOut World, and building his own fitness club, Joyce is more than qualified to make the Waterbury Anytime Fitness gym an award-winning success.

All Anytime Fitness gyms offer personal training and classes, plus the right tools to keep each member on their personal fitness track when they are unable to get into one of the franchise gyms world-wide. “A special bonus of membership,” elaborated Joyce, “is that when individuals join they are truly joining an internationally-supportive community of like-minded people who are here to give them as much encouragement and direction as they may need.

“The Waterbury Anytime Fitness gym is the only gym within the region that is open to members 24 hours every day. The gym is located in a well-lit shopping plaza with parking ‘close to gym entrance door’ and a tinted all-glass front that looks out onto the parking lot area. It’s a safe location to come to at any time of day or night,” Joyce commented.

After living his early childhood in Waterbury, at age 7 Joyce’s family moved to Thomaston where he lived until his sophomore year of high school when his family moved to Southington. “I’ve been living in Southington since 2001 and I have many cousins who grew up in Waterbury and continue to live in Waterbury.”

The single father of an ‘amazing’ 8-year-old son, Joyce is an active member in the Waterbury Regional Chamber including a participant in the Young Professionals of the Waterbury Region (YPOWR) division, the Health Care Council, plus a bi-weekly Business Connections Group (BCG).

The November 12th Grand Re-Opening will be open to the general public and will feature tours of the gym, sample classes, demonstrations of the various fitness machines and equipment, refreshments, and a special ribbon-cutting ceremony with leading members of the Waterbury community at 1:00 PM.

To learn more about Anytime Fitness at 152 Chase Avenue in Waterbury, visit, or visit their Facebook page. To talk with Bryan Joyce regarding membership, call 203-527-5670. Anytime Fitness offers a free seven-day trial throughout the year.

]]> (Barbara Branagan-Mitchell) Neighbors Tue, 08 Oct 2019 09:01:57 -0400
STEM/Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Expo at NVCC on November 1, Free and Open to All

The Waterbury Regional Chamber’s Manufacturing Council will host its ninth annual STEM/Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Expo on Friday, November 1, 2019. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Technology Hall Atrium at Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC), 750 Chase Parkway in Waterbury.

With support from NVCC and the Smaller Manufacturers Association (SMA), hundreds of middle and high school students from throughout Greater Waterbury will attend the Expo to interact with local and state manufacturing and technology executives. They will have the opportunity to view exhibits and demonstrations and participate in some hands-on activities, all while learning about job and career opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) industries from leading area manufacturers.

This is the fourth consecutive year NVCC will host the expo. “We welcome the exciting opportunity for middle and high school students to tour NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology training facilities,” said Joseph DeFeo, program director for NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. “The students will have the opportunity to tour our classrooms and our advanced manufacturing machine lab to learn about career opportunities in 21st-century manufacturing.”

Chamber President & CEO Lynn Ward said holding the event at NVCC benefits the students. “We are sincerely grateful to Naugatuck Valley Community College for once again hosting our STEM/Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Expo,” Ward said. “We believe presenting the Expo in collaboration with NVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Center is a positive way to encourage our region’s young people to consider a STEM or manufacturing career. The majority of our Chamber’s manufacturing members continue to express their very strong needs for skilled, talented professionals in these increasingly vibrant and expanding industries.”

SMA Executive Director Cyndi Zoldy agreed. “Once again the SMA is proud to partner with the Waterbury Regional Chamber for the STEM Expo,” Zoldy said. “This event represents an important outreach to schools in Waterbury and throughout the region about the importance of STEM programming and careers in manufacturing. We hope the Expo will spark interests in students for the many diverse career opportunities manufacturing has to offer.”

The 2019 Expo is supported by our Silver Sponsor, the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc.; our Copper Sponsor, Schaeffler Aerospace USA Corp.; our Brass/Zinc Sponsors, ASML, Braxton Manufacturing Co. Inc., King Industries Inc. and The Platt Brothers & Co., and our Nickel Sponsors, Arthur G. Russell Co., Click Bond, Hubbard-Hall Inc., Industrial Management & Training Institute, Next Generation Manufacturing, Prospect Machine Products and Ward Leonard CT LLC.

Space for exhibitors is still available. For information or to register, call 203-757-0701 or visit

]]> (Barbara Branagan-Mitchell) Events Tue, 08 Oct 2019 08:13:33 -0400