Shoreline Chamber Of Commerce - CT
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Serving the Towns of Guilford, Branford and North Branford
Posted on September 25th, 2017

Westbrook, CT, September 22, 2017 –  Denise Henry of Oakdale has been named Executive Director of SARAH Inc., succeeding Patricia Bourne, who announced her retirement earlier this year.
“We are pleased to advance Denise to Executive Director,” said SARAH Inc. Board of Directors chairperson Linda Vigorito.  “Our Search Committee conducted an extensive search.  We are impressed with Denise’s depth of knowledge and experience serving people of all ages with differing disabilities. She is clearly the right candidate for this position at this time.”
Henry has been Associate Director at SARAH Inc. for four years.  She has more than three decades of experience including at such organizations as United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern CT and Mosaic.  She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. During the course of her career, she has worked extensively as a behavioral clinician, in quality assurance, project management, and the programmatic oversight for residential, day and employment services.  She also has a strong working knowledge of human resources, fiscal and operational best practices and has co-owned and operated a small business.
“I expect to continue moving ahead with the strategic initiatives already begun by my colleague Pat Bourne, the Board and our management team,” Henry said.  “I recognize both the opportunity and challenges social service agencies such as SARAH Inc. are facing in CT.  I look forward to bringing my skills and expertise to build on the 60 years of progress already achieved by this organization.”
Bourne has served as Executive Director of SARAH Inc. since 2006.  During her tenure, SARAH Inc. has expanded its reach, providing supports and services to more than 600 children and adults with differing abilities. 
“Today, SARAH Inc. serves more people in different ways and in many more communities. SARAH Inc. is a recognized leader in the field. I am honored and humbled to have been part of this extraordinary team for the past 11 years.” Bourne reflected.  “Every day it is a joy to come to work at SARAH, Inc. You cannot walk into a room of our participants and staff without receiving a cheerful welcome and encouragement.”
Vigorito continued, “The Board of Directors, staff and participants applaud our outgoing Executive Director Pat Bourne for moving us ahead as an organization in many important ways. While Denise will officially assume her responsibilities on November 1, Denise and Pat will continue to work closely over the next several months to ensure a smooth and successful transition and we hope Pat will remain connected with us in her much-deserved retirement.”

SARAH Inc. is a community service provider serving more than 600 children and adults with differing abilities in communities across the Greater New Haven and Shoreline Area.  Its Birth to Three Early Intervention program also includes Eastern Connecticut.  SARAH Inc. offers an array of services and supports for children and adults of all ages and abilities including: Birth to Three early intervention, a Family and Children Resource and Information Center, work and life skills training, customized supported employment, school-to-work transition services, advocacy and more.

Posted on September 22nd, 2017

​The girls soccer team at Branford High School is hosting a pancake breakfast on Sunday, Oct 22nd.  This is our last fundraiser of the season and we are striving to make it a community event to show our appreciation for the families and businesses who have supported the girls.  

We have a fun sponsorship opportunity available for your Chamber members!  For only $50 a business can be one of our Table Decoration Sponsors- this means that they can give us tablecloth and box of supplies to decorate a table (Halloween theme), including information about their products and services.  Folks are welcome to offer special discounts and give-a-ways, etc.  (no confetti, bubbles or sand).   We have 12 tables available and will take photos so that you can share them at one of your meetings and use for publicity purposes should you wish to do so.  

We also plan to have a raffle and would welcome any donations for raffle gifts.  Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards scholarships for players when they graduate from high school.

Posted on September 22nd, 2017

​On behalf of the William Raveis Real Estate's Guilford office, John Izzo will be collecting backpacks for the victims of the recent hurricanes. Backpacks should Include any items that a person may need in the aftermath of a natural disaster, including small inexpensive items that don't mean much to us, but mean the world to someone who has nothing. Suggestions include non-perishable food, clothing or personal items (socks, band-aids, soup packets, energy bars, flip flops). All items must be delivered in a backpack. No individual items can be accepted. 

In addition to donating at the William Raveis office, North Branford High school has offered to do a homeroom challenge throughout the entire North Branford school system.  A North Branford teacher, Amy Farotti will coordinate, collect and manage the school challenge on behalf of the the William Raveis Guilford Office. The challenge will take place on the next three Fridays, September 29th,  October 6th and October 13th.

A principal, in a town near Fort Myers, FL , who's school and community were destroyed during the hurricane, will be the recipient of the backpacks. North Branford plans to adopt this town as part of their challenge, and will be their focus. In the event that there is an overwhelming response to the collection, any remaining items will be delivered to Puerto Rico.

If you are interested in donating a backpack, email John Izzo at or drop them off at the William Raveis office located at 21 Whitfield Street in Guilford by October 9th.

Posted on September 20th, 2017

​Carmine Montuori, CIC, of V.F. McNeil Insurance, Branford, was recently recognized for professional leadership and advanced knowledge by the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC), a leading national insurance professional organization. 
Mr. Montuori was awarded a certificate marking more than fifteen years of participation as a designated CIC, which requires annual completion of advanced education and training.

Carmine Montuori’s ongoing allegiance and support of the CIC Program is a testament to the value he places on “real world” education and customer satisfaction.  “Your clients, associates, and the insurance profession as a whole will benefit from such dedication and leadership,” cited Dr. William T. Hold, CIC, CPCU, CLU, President of the Society of CIC.
The Society of CIC is a not-for-profit organization of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, which is respected throughout the insurance industry for the high standards maintained in the hundreds of institutes conducted annually in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. 

Other programs of The National Alliance include Certified Risk Managers (CRM), Certified Personal Risk Managers (CPRM), James K. Ruble Seminars, the Society of Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR), Certified School Risk Managers (CSRM), and The National Alliance Research Academy.  

Posted on September 20th, 2017

​Be the first 25 Shoreline Chamber businesses to visit BACA at The Shoreline Harvest Arts Festival September 23 on the Branford Green and enjoy FREE BACA membership for 2018!

Learn who we are, what we do and how we can collaborate with your company to bring more music, dance, film, art, acting, literature and dance to the CT shoreline. The Festival begins at 9am “Under the Big Top!”

WHAT IS the Branford Arts & Cultural Alliance (BACA)?

BACA is a local organization whose mission is to support the arts. We do this by presenting arts focused events, such as art and photography exhibits, architectural tours, writers readings, film, and music as well as public art displays. We provide opportunities for local artists, musicians, dancers, writers, and actors to present their work to the public in various venues across Branford.  



BACA is a non-profit group promoting and supporting the arts in Branford for all the Shoreline.

We invite you to join us in our efforts to improve and expand what we do and to reach a wide audience. 

BACA is funded by membership of $20.00 (BACA Box 345 Branford, 06405), donations and fundraising.

Posted on September 19th, 2017

Posted on September 18th, 2017

Plantsville, CT — August 23, 2017
– Essex Savings Bank’s Diane Arnold has received a 2017 Woman of FIRE award by The Commercial Record. Women of FIRE is an annual award that recognizes the key, female players in the local FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) sector. The annual Women of FIRE award celebrates the best and the brightest women in the industry.

“As the underrepresented gender in these industries, women work particularly hard to rise to the top and achieve excellence on a day-to-day basis," said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. "I am pleased to announce that the nomination process has brought us an exemplary class of winners for this year’s Women of FIRE. Whether executive, innovator, philanthropist, or all of the above, their powerful influence is being felt in some crucial sectors of our state’s economy. Please join us in giving them their well-earned praise.”

Diane is a Vice President, Senior Commercial Loan Officer/Senior Loan Administration Manager at Essex Savings Bank. She was recognized for the career she has built for herself in Commercial Banking. Beginning as a teller, her former titles include Credit Analyst, Assistant Vice President. Under Diane’s leadership the Bank’s commercial loan portfolio has increased by over $31 million in the course of just three years. Her attention goes beyond commercial lending as she serves as a mentor to many individuals in the lending area. In addition to Diane’s professional attributes, she was also recognized for her philanthropic work including the last eight years volunteering for organizations that aid the elderly.

“I have known Diane professionally since the start of her career in banking dating back to our shared time at Branford Savings Bank. At that time, I was thrilled to give her the opportunity to participate and excel in their first officer’s training program. I knew Diane would be a star in this industry and when the opportunity presented itself I sought her out as an Assistant Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer. I am proud of the recognition she has been given in receiving this award. I have complete faith that she will continue to flourish in this industry”, stated Gregory R. Shook, President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank.

Upon receiving the award, Diane shared her sentiments, “I am so honored to have been nominated and selected as a Woman of FIRE for 2017. The Bank’s Senior Management team and the Board of Directors have been very supportive of me and provided me with growth opportunities within the Bank, for which I am very grateful. I have had several influential managers throughout my career and I hope to pay it forward by being a positive role model for others.” Diane was one of 14 women named this year’s Women of FIRE.

About the Women of FIRE awards:

The FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) sector has emerged as a keystone of the Connecticut economy, transforming the knowledge, wealth and dreams of the world’s most ambitious visionaries into reality. As more and more women rise to the top of businesses and institutions in this sector, there is a growing need to shine a light on their achievements to inspire others. The Women of FIRE awards celebrate these women and their hard work and service to others.

The Commercial Record delivers full access to award-winning news coverage of the Connecticut real estate, banking and financial industries – keeping you up to date on the latest trends, transactions, regulations and legal issues affecting your business. Access real estate and credit records statewide – compiled weekly for easy reading and analysis, in print and online.

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

Posted on September 13th, 2017

Posted on September 11th, 2017

​Each September, the Connecticut Food Bank, in conjunction with Feeding America, marks national Hunger Action Month, when we, along with our partners, fight against hunger and mobilize everyone everywhere to get involved in ending hunger in America. Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness, making donations or volunteering, individuals can find the way that’s right for them to make a difference during Hunger Action Month. Visit to see more ways you can get involved.

Posted on September 11th, 2017

​The 2nd annual Eli's 5K Buddy Run is set for Sunday, September 24, 2017 at Eli’s Orange. The event features a scenic 5K course traveling rolling hills through suburban Orange. Participants receive technical running shirts. After the race, enjoy a post-race celebration featuring beer, hot dogs, awards, giveaways & more! Awards are presented to the top 3 age group finishers. The event benefits Best Buddies Connecticut.
Best Buddies Mission

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
How We Help

Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For individuals within this community, Best Buddies helps them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communications skills, and feel valued by society.
Sponsorship Information:

John Bysiewicz: (203) 481-5933
Laura Andrews: (203) 287-2837