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Posted on October 19th, 2016

​​Local Police Officer Marilisa Anania Receives $3,000 as Grand Prize Winner of ConneXfactor Financial Fitness Competition $5,000 in total prizes distributed at special recognition ceremony Oct. 12


​Connex Credit Union President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Mancini (left) presents a check worth $3,000 to 2016 ConneXfactor Grand Prize Winner Marilisa Anania (right).
 
NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (Oct. 18, 2016) – On Wednesay, Oct. 12, 2016, local police officer Marilisa Anania was awarded $3,000 as the grand prize winner of ConneXfactor during a special ceremony to honor all of the winners and participants.

ConneXfactor is a financial fitness competition sponsored by Connex Credit Union as a part of its ConnexCares philanthropic program where five individuals compete to see who can improve their fiscal situation the most in a six-month span. Each participant was paired with a Connex Financial Advocate who acted as a coach, providing them with tips and guidance throughout the duration of the contest.

“ConneXfactor has brought to life our commitment to customer advocacy and improving the financial lives of every Connex member,” said Carl Casper, vice president of customer advocacy, Connex Credit Union. “The progression made in just six months by these contestants is astounding and we are pleased ConneXfactor afforded us the opportunity to utilize our valuable resources and Financial Advocates to assist them in restructuring their financial futures.”

Successes were documented and closely monitored throughout the competition. A panel of judges reviewed each contestant’s progress to determine the winners.

$3,000 Grand Prize Winner Marilisa Anania,Financial stress due to significant debt from student loans, superfluous credit card use and purchasing a car was a burden on 26-year-old West Haven resident Marilisa Anania’s daily life. Coach Michelle Panzo, who also guided the winner of the 2015 ConneXfactor competition, helped Anania develop specific goals including paying down credit card and student loan debt, saving for a home and increasing her credit score.
Anania garnered a newfound appreciation for the importance of money management. Budgeting became an essential part of her life as she began to save funds weekly as opposed to scrambling for money to pay bills at the end of each month. Portions of each paycheck were distributed into special purpose accounts ensuring money was always available when a payment was due. 
Anania was also encouraged to pay off her high-interest credit cards first. With money readily available in these special purpose accounts she was able to make consistent payments, avoid costly late fees and ultimately exceed her credit debt reduction goal by $400. Furthermore, her credit score rose 40 points during this process.
Her ability to tackle debt while simultaneously cultivating a savings that exceeded her original expectations by $2,000 earned Anania the title of 2016 ConneXfactor champion and a check worth $3,000.
“Words cannot express how thankful I am for this opportunity,” said Marilisa Anania. “Reinvigorating my financial strategy has not only impacted my life today, but has also put me on a path towards a successful financial future.”

$1,000 First Place Winner Jennifer Johnson
Jennifer Johnson found herself at a financial crossroads by depleting her savings to pay off debt and alleviate monthly expenses. Coach Michael Federico helped Johnson realize she lacked a proper plan for the allocation of each paycheck. Adapting consistent procedures to track her finances, Johnson established an appropriate timeline for her financial goals which kept her engaged while stimulating steady progression.
Johnson paid off all her credit card debt, made additional contributions towards her student loans and still managed to exceed her savings goal, earning her $1,000 as the first runner-up in ConneXfactor.

$500 Second Place Winner Christine Cohen
Christine Cohen, a mother of three, was so focused on managing her successful business that she procrastinated in planning for her children’s education and her retirement. Working alongside Coach Kerry Perotta, Cohen refinanced the mortgage on her home and used the additional monthly income to generate a fund for her children’s education and make payments toward a life insurance policy.
Furthermore, Cohen improved her financial future by developing a retirement strategy for both her and her husband after meeting with Connex Investment and Retirement Service’s Representative William DeBille. 
Cohen completes ConneXfactor with a stronger understanding of both her current and future financial strategies and as a recipient of $500 for finishing in second place. 

$250 Supplementary Prizes
Natalya Carmona-Bryant and Ruth Carruth each received $250 for their participation, and like the other three contestants, leave the competition with the resources necessary to manage their financial situation.
Due to the success of the program, Connex plans to continue ConneXfactor in 2017.
Please visit the ConneXfactor blog at www.connexfactor.com for additional information and financial tips.

About ConnexCares:
ConnexCares is Connex Credit Union’s charitable and philanthropic program. The mission through ConnexCares is to promote financial literacy, well-being and understanding to our members and the greater communities Connex serves.

About Connex Credit Union:
As the Unbank, Connex Credit Union is one of Connecticut’s largest credit unions serving more than 46,000 members at 7 branches throughout greater New Haven. Headquartered in North Haven, Connecticut, Connex is a full-service member-owned credit union that offers members a full-range of financial services and products, including savings and loans, Unbank Checking, Smart Score credit score range, free online and mobile banking and more. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, attends school or worships in New Haven, Hartford, Middlesex or Fairfield Counties. Connex Credit Union helps guide and improve members’ financial lives through the Connex Advocacy Promises: We will always work in your best interest; we will work with you to understand your goals, identify your financial needs and provide solutions to improve your life; and we will be responsive to you and make your experience simpler, faster and friendlier. It’s time to Unbank! For more information, please call 1-800-CR-UNION or visit connexcu.org
Jennifer Johnson, First place winner
Christine Cohen, Second Place Winner

Posted on October 18th, 2016


Posted on October 18th, 2016


Posted on October 18th, 2016

​Guilford Human Services Network
 
The Network provides an opportunity for area human services
agencies to connect, share information, and collaborate to
better serve Guilford residents.
  
GHSN Breakfast Meeting
 
Wednesday October 19, 2016
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
 
Nathanael Greene Community Center
32 Church St., Guilford 
 
Agenda
 
Welcome and BreakfastPresentation:  Richard Porth, President and CEO of United Way of Connecticut, will present the findings of the 2016 ALICE Report on households that have earnings that exceed the Federal Poverty Level but fall short of a basic cost of living threshold. (ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). This detailed analysis and data helps to explain why so many in Connecticut are struggling, and can help to inform your organization's workNetworkingNext Meetings:
March 2017 – Legislators’ Breakfast (Date TBD)May 3, 2017 
 
Agencies are encouraged to bring handouts to share. 
 
Sponsored by the Guilford Foundation, Guilford Human Services Council, Guilford Youth & Family Services and Guilford Social Services

Posted on October 18th, 2016

​To become a sponsor click on the link below: 
https://blackstone.z2systems.com/…/clients/bl…/donation.jsp…

For tickets for the 19th Hole Party, the adult event, can be purchased by clicking on the link below:
http://www.blackstone.lioninc.org/19thhole2016

Posted on October 17th, 2016

Guilford Art Center announces its free observation week for all classes, Nov 7-12, 2016.  All classes are open to the public and no registration is required

“Picture Yourself at GAC” Week
 
Guilford, CT –Guilford Art Center will open its classrooms to anyone who would like to visit and observe a class for FREE during the week of Monday, November 7 – Saturday, November 12, 2016.  The public is invited to see the studios, meet instructors and fellow students, and experience the class environment at GAC.  Classes are offered for adults and children in a range of mediums, including blacksmithing, ceramics, fiber arts, metalsmithing, painting, drawing and more. 
 
“So many people are curious about taking classes here, but are sometimes nervous or intimidated about getting started because they don’t know what a class will be like,” says Maureen Belden, GAC Executive Director.  “We want to give people the opportunity to sit through a class, so they can literally picture themselves as a student at GAC and get really comfortable with that.  We know they’ll discover this is a very warm and welcoming place to learn, explore and have a lot of fun with a great group of people.” 
 
All GAC class information can be found online at www.guilfordartcenter.org.  No registration or payment is necessary for class observation, however, people should contact the office to make sure a class is running. 
 
Note: This opportunity is valid for one week (Nov 7-12) for classes only (no workshops).   
 
For more information contact the Guilford Art Center at 203.453.5947, email info@guilfordartcenter.org, or visit the website guilfordartcenter.org  
 

Posted on October 17th, 2016


Posted on October 14th, 2016

​Pearce Observes Day of Caring at New Haven Land Trust
 
16th Consecutive Year of Company-wide Volunteerism in Community
 
North Haven, CT (October 14, 2016) – For the 16th consecutive year, Pearce Real Estate employees and agents recently participated in its annual Day of Caring.  Company offices were closed and all official work was stopped as the Pearce workforce focused its attention on service to the community. This year, Pearce chose to volunteer its time and efforts to the New Haven Land Trust (NHLT).  
“Giving back to the community is inherent in our culture,” said Barbara L. Pearce, CEO and President of Pearce Real Estate, who led the Company’s presence at the New Haven Land Trust community garden on Grand Avenue, New Haven.  “Some of the Pearce team are weekend gardeners, some are not experts but all are committed to the task of giving a helping hand to a local organization which cares and makes the community more vibrant. As always, it was a great day for us that ended with a sense of accomplishment for what we did, and appreciation we felt by the gratitude expressed by officials at New Haven Land Trust,” she added. 
Under the director of Bradley Fleming, NHLT’s Community Farms Manager, the Pearce volunteers cut down trees, pulled old plants, refreshed raised beds, painted boards, re-positioned soil, did general cleanup and even performed some clerical work.  Justin Elicker, Executive Director of New Haven Land Trust, addressed the group and thanked them for their service. He reiterated the mission of NHLT which is to provide community gardening spaces, to preserve open spaces and to educate New Haven resident about the environment.   For more information about New Haven Land Trust, please go to http://www.newhavenlandtrust.org/
Pearce Real Estate is a full-service real estate company with more than 100 agents and eight branch offices in greater New Haven and the Shoreline. Corporate offices are located in North Haven, where the company was founded in 1958.  Commercial real estate offices are located in North Haven, Milford and Rocky Hill.  All listings can be found in color on the web at: www.hpearce.com.  For a view of our Day of Caring 2016 and comments from Barbara Pearce and Justin Elicker, please also go to “See What’s Trending Now” on the home page of our web site www.hpearce.com 
                                    

Posted on October 14th, 2016

​Every Penny Counts: Connex Credit Union’s Coins-for-Change Program
Improves the Surrounding Community with your Spare Change
 
Don’t miss your last chance to donate and help make a difference in 2016.
 
NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (Oct. 13, 2016) – Connecticut residents are invited to check between their couch cushions, or under the seat in their car, and join Connex Credit Union in its quest to convert neglected spare change into a beneficial contribution for deserving charities. These contributions are made through the Coins-for-Change program as part of ConnexCares, Connex Credit Union’s philanthropic program.
Sorting, counting and wrapping coins can be a nuisance, but coin-counting machines can make the task quick and easy. Unlike most machines that charge high fees and profit from them, Connex donates one hundred percent of its modest fees to various community organizations each quarter. Connex’s coin-counting machines charge a five percent fee to Connex members and a seven percent fee to non-members and every penny goes towards a worthy charity via the Coins-for-Change program. Those looking to participate can find coin-counting machines at four Connex branches in Guilford, Hamden, Meriden and North Haven.
 “It brings me great joy to witness the immense success that Coins-for-Change has already experienced in 2016 by donating thousands of dollars to help our friends and neighbors in the communities we serve,” said Carl J. Casper, vice president of customer advocacy, Connex Credit Union. “We would like to stress that this opportunity is available to non-members in addition to our regular patrons. By working together, we can continue this success and improve the lives of those benefiting from these charities.“
Connex is proud to announce the charities that will receive donations from its Coins-for-Change program during the final quarter of 2016.
From Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2016, members and non-members can donate by visiting:
Connex’s Guilford Branch located at 849 Boston Post Road to donate to FISH of Greater New HavenConnex’s Hamden Branch located at 2100 Dixwell Ave. to donate to  Community PlatesConnex’s Meriden Branch located at 533 S. Broad St. (Townline Square) to donate to Operation FuelConnex’s North Haven Branch located at 412 Washington Ave. to donate to Wags 4 HopeFISH of Greater New Haven delivers free groceries to individuals and families who are homebound and cannot get to the grocery store. This includes the elderly, disabled and those undergoing major medical treatments.
Community Plates rescues food from partner sites such as grocery stores, bakeries, and restaurants that would be typically wasted and provides it to people who face hunger. Repurposing this food helps solve food insecurity while simultaneously reducing the amount of unnecessarily discarded food.
Operation Fuel is a nonprofit organization that works statewide in Connecticut to ensure low and moderate income families have access to year-round energy assistance. Funds raised through Coins-for-Change would help support the energy assistance program.
Wags 4 Hope raises awareness about heartworm disease, supports shelter animals' medical needs and encourages responsible pet ownership.  These donations would go towards payment for heartworm disease treatment and other important medical procedures required to help deserving animals be happy and healthy again.
If you’d like to learn more about Coins-for-Change, or any of the other charitable ConnexCares initiatives, please visit connexcu.org.
About ConnexCares:
ConnexCares is Connex Credit Union’s charitable and philanthropic program. The mission through ConnexCares is to promote financial literacy, well-being and understanding to our members and the greater communities Connex serves.
About Connex Credit Union:
As the Unbank, Connex Credit Union is one of Connecticut’s largest credit unions serving more than 46,000 members at 7 branches throughout greater New Haven. Headquartered in North Haven, Connecticut, Connex is a full-service member-owned credit union that offers members a full-range of financial services and products, including savings and loans, Unbank Checking, Smart Score credit score range, free online and mobile banking and more. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, attends school or worships in New Haven, Hartford, Middlesex or Fairfield Counties. Connex Credit Union helps guide and improve members’ financial lives through the Connex Advocacy Promises: We will always work in your best interest; we will work with you to understand your goals, identify your financial needs and provide solutions to improve your life; and we will be responsive to you and make your experience simpler, faster and friendlier. It’s time to Unbank! For more information, please call 1-800-CR-UNION or visit connexcu.org
 
 

Posted on October 13th, 2016

​Susan Bader Named a CFO of the Year
 
Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists (COS) has announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Susan Bader, has been named a Fairfield County CFO of the Year by the Fairfield County Business Journal. “We are thrilled to have Susan’s nationally recognized talent and experience acknowledged in this market,” stated Glenn Elia, CEO of Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists. “She is an instrumental part of our efforts to bring a new level of orthopaedic innovation and convenience to Southern Connecticut.”
The award recognizes the best financial decision-makers working in Fairfield County and examines how these CFOs and financial leaders make the most of business challenges through innovation and transformation. Ms. Bader and the other winners will be honored at an event on October 18th.
At COS, Ms. Bader has seen the practice grow into one of the largest independent orthopaedic practices in Connecticut with more than 50 physician specialists, 600 employees and 23 locations in Fairfield, New Haven and Middlesex counties. She is currently playing a key role in a new COS campus under construction in Wallingford as well as a new office to open in Fairfield proper in 2017.
According to Mr. Elia, Ms. Bader played a key role in merging four other orthopaedic groups into the COS practice and in integrating and training team members. She possesses more than 20 years of experience in all areas of accounting and finance, including five years as Director of Finance for Gap, Inc. She then assumed the role of CFO for U.S. Office Products division, McWhorter’s, Inc. in San Jose, California, with sales of $100 million and 700+ employees. Prior to joining COS in 2011, Ms. Bader served as CFO for OR&L Facility Services, Inc. with offices in Branford, Connecticut, and Winter Park, Florida.
A Connecticut native who currently resides in Madison, Ms. Bader obtained a bachelor of arts at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She began her MBA program at the University of Connecticut and then moved to San Francisco, where she completed her course work at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.