10 to join Conn. High School Coaches Hall of Fame

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - LARRY MCHUGH Larry McHugh is pres­i­dent of the Mid­dle­sex County Cham­ber of Com­merce in Middletown.

MIDDLETOWN — A busy Novem­ber con­tin­ues this week in Mid­dle­sex County and through­out the great state of Con­necti­cut.

Start­ing on the home­front, the KeyBank Work­shop Series last pre­sen­ta­tion of 2017 takes place Tues­day morn­ing at the cham­ber of­fice with a ses­sion on con­flict man­age­ment from 8 to 10 a.m. Con­flict man­age­ment is the process of re­solv­ing a con­flict or dis­pute by iden­ti­fy­ing and sat­is­fy­ing some or all of each side’s needs and ad­dress­ing their in­ter­ests.

Know­ing how to man­age and re­solve con­flict is es­sen­tial for lead­ing an or­ga­ni­za­tion, man­ag­ing a de­part­ment, and build­ing and en­hanc­ing your in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tions. This work­shop will ex­plore how to best man­age dif­fi­cult en­coun­ters with diplo­macy, tact and cred­i­bil­ity. I en­cour­age our mem­bers to take ad­van­tage of the KeyBank Work­shop Series and the terrific con­tent it pro­vides. I would like to thank Pull­man & Com­ley for lead­ing this im­por­tant ses­sion, and our friends at KeyBank for their spon­sor­ship of this very suc­cess­ful cham­ber ini­tia­tive.

Switch­ing gears a bit, I have noted many times that trav­el­ing around Mid­dle­sex County to at­tend busi­ness grand open­ings is one of the most re­ward­ing as­pects of this job. On Tues­day af­ter­noon in Port­land, I look for­ward to join­ing cham­ber Chair­man Rick Morin and Port­land First Select­woman Su­san Brans­field for the grand open­ing of Cara Mia Skin Care Stu­dio at its Port­land-Cobalt Road lo­ca­tion. On be­half of the cham­ber, I would like to wish the en­tire team at Cara Mia noth­ing but suc­cess as we move for­ward. We look for­ward to work­ing with them.

This busy week also fea­tures a num­ber of cham­ber com­mit­tee and di­vi­sion meet­ings at var­i­ous times and lo­ca­tions through­out the re­gion. Our Women’s Busi­ness Al­liance meets Wed­nes­day evening at Whole Har­mony in Had­dam, our Had­dam & East Had­dam Di­vi­sion meets Thurs­day morn­ing at Old Had­dam Town Hall, our Board of Di­rec­tors and Tourism Steer­ing Com­mit­tee meet Thurs­day af­ter­noon at the Middletown Elks Lodge, and our Leg­isla­tive Com­mit­tee and Af­ford­able Hous­ing Com­mit­tee will meet Fri­day morn­ing at the cham­ber of­fice.

The cham­ber’s coun­ty­based di­vi­sions and in­dus­tryspe­cific com­mit­tees con­tinue to play crit­i­cal roles in the op­er­a­tion of the cham­ber. Fi­nally, also Fri­day morn­ing, the ad­vi­sory board for the Mid­dle­sex County Sub­stance Abuse Ac­tion Coun­cil will meet at the cham­ber of­fice. MCSAAC works to re­duce sub­stance abuse in Mid­dle­sex County and it has be­come a valu­able re­source for em­ploy­ers, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, and other key stake­hold­ers in our re­gion. We look for­ward to an­other pro­duc­tive meet­ing and ap­pre­ci­ate the strong sup­port of the board.

Prior to at­tend­ing the cham­ber board meet­ing Thurs­day in Middletown, I will at­tend a meet­ing of the Work­force Al­liance Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee where we will con­tinue our dis­cus­sions on de­vel­op­ing a pre­pared pro­duc­tive work­force in our state. Work­force Al­liance is com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing em­ploy­ment so­lu­tions that con­nect peo­ple with jobs or train­ing, and em­ploy­ers with skilled work­ers in south cen­tral Con­necti­cut. The cham­ber is proud of its re­la­tion­ship with Work­force Al­liance and we will con­tinue to work to con­nect job seek­ers to em­ploy­ers in our re­gion.

A packed Thurs­day con­tin­ues in the evening at the Aqua Turf in Southing­ton, where I have the honor of serv­ing as mas­ter of cer­e­monies at the 41st An­nual Con­necti­cut High School Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion Hall of Fame in­duc­tion din­ner. This year, 10 in­di­vid­u­als will be in­ducted into the CHSCA Hall of Fame.

While I look for­ward to shar­ing this spe­cial night with all of the in­ductees and their fam­i­lies, I am es­pe­cially proud of Al Dadario, who played foot­ball for me at Xavier High School. Al went on to be­come a highly suc­cess­ful coach of girls cross coun­try and track and field at Avon High School. He has cap­tured five state cham­pi­onships dur­ing his ten­ure, and his teams have amassed over 430 vic­to­ries since his coach­ing de­but in 1996. Al was a great player for me, but more im­por­tantly, he is an even bet­ter per­son. He is a terrific coach and his run­ners are lucky to have him, just as I was. I con­grat­u­late him on this well-de­served en­try into the Hall of Fame.

The work week closes Fri­day evening with a ma­jor event com­mem­o­rat­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Mid­dle­sex County. The din­ner at the River­house at Good­speed Sta­tion in Had­dam will cel­e­brate the pil­lars of CFMC: phi­lan­thropy, lead­er­ship and legacy. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s mis­sion has al­ways been to im­prove the qual­ity of life for the peo­ple of the county now and in the fu­ture. Pres­i­dent and CEO Cyn­thia Clegg and her team do an out­stand­ing job of sup­port­ing a num­ber of im­por­tant com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives. They are in­deed help­ing good peo­ple do good things. I ap­pre­ci­ate their long­time sup­port of our cham­ber and con­grat­u­late them on 20 years.

Now that we are into mid -Novem­ber, it is al­most Hol­i­day on Main Street time in Middletown. Hol­i­day on Main Street is an an­nual down­town Middletown event which be­gins the day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing, and this year con­tin­ues Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, 9 and 16. Hol­i­day on Main Street has at­tracted lo­cal folks of all ages to cel­e­brate the hol­i­day sea­son in down­town Middletown for over 30 years now. With a va­ri­ety of en­ter­tain­ment every week, rang­ing from free horse-and-wagon rides to Santa Claus, there is cer­tainly some­thing for ev­ery­one. I will have more de­tails as we get closer, but please save the dates, and visit hol­i­day­on­main.com de­tails.

The final ma­jor cham­ber event of 2017, which will be an­other sold-out event, is Dec. 12 at the Radis­son Ho­tel in Cromwell. Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy, now ap­proach­ing his eighth and final year in of­fice, has ap­peared at our De­cem­ber mem­ber break­fast meet­ing in every year of his ad­min­is­tra­tion, as have all of our sit­ting gov­er­nors, go­ing back to the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Gov. Wil­liam A. O’Neill in the 1980s.

We look for­ward to wel­com­ing a sold-out crowd of busi­ness­peo­ple, pub­lic of­fi­cials and other cham­ber sup­port­ers for our an­nual gov­er­nor’s break­fast. This event, spon­sored once again by Ever­source, will be­gin with net­work­ing at 7 a.m., a break­fast buf­fet at 7:30 a.m. and meet­ing pro­gram from 8 to 9 a.m. I will con­tinue to share de­tails about the gov­er­nor’s break­fast as we get closer, but mem­bers should be sure to save the date.

I want to close by thank­ing the mem­bers of the Middletown Plan­ning and Zon­ing Com­mis­sion for ap­prov­ing the pro­posed ac­tive adult com­mu­nity with 53-unit con­do­mini­ums on Ridge­wood Road. This im­por­tant lo­cal project, Phase Two of Founders Ridge, will help at­tract and re­tain in­di­vid­u­als who are valu­able mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who also have dis­pos­able in­come that will sup­port the lo­cal econ­omy.

Fur­ther­more, the devel­oper is a highly re­spected lo­cal stake­holder who has a his­tory of pro­duc­ing qual­ity projects. The cham­ber has sup­ported this project all along the way, and we look for­ward to be­ing a con­struc­tive part­ner as we move for­ward.

I also want to thank the Cromwell Plan­ning and Zon­ing Com­mis­sion for its unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to ap­prove a zone change that will al­low the planned re­de­vel­op­ment of the Nike Site to move for­ward. This de­vel­op­ment has the po­ten­tial to add over half a mil­lion dol­lars in tax rev­enue to the town in the com­ing years. Fur­ther­more, the prop­erty has been blighted for the same amount of time, and this de­vel­op­ment means that it will fi­nally be cleaned up and put to a pro­duc­tive use and will also lead to in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments in the area.

We will cer­tainly stay on this im­por­tant is­sue.

There is a chill in the air and Thanks­giv­ing is al­most here, but the sun con­tin­ues to shine on Mid­dle­sex County, and the cham­ber con­tin­ues to be on the move.

De Kine Photo LLC

From left are Mid­dle­sex County Cham­ber of Com­merce Chair­man Rick Morin, Man­ag­ing Part­ners of River­house Hos­pi­tal­ity Trevor E. Fur­rer, Mark L. Poole and James P. Bucko, Cham­ber Vice Chair­man Jay Polke and Cham­ber Pres­i­dent Larry McHugh.

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