The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Sen. Murphy to keynote next member breakfast

- LARRY MCHUGH Larry McHugh is president of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce in Middletown.

MIDDLETOWN — The chamber calendar is hot with activity as the weather warms up in Middlesex County.

Another busy chamber week features a KeyBank Workshop, important meetings of our Durham and Middlefiel­d Division and our Cromwell Division, our Health Care Council Steering Committee, and more.

The latest installmen­t of our KeyBank Workshop Series will take place Tuesday with “Best HR Practices in Hiring, Disciplini­ng and Firing Employees.” In this seminar, Attorney Valerie Ferdon of Updike, Kelly & Spellacy will give attendees a guided tour of the employment law landscape and discuss best practices in hiring, disciplini­ng and firing employees to comply with the law and avoid potential liability.

To register, visit middlesexc­

I would like to thank Attorney Valerie Ferdon of Updike, Kelly & Spellacy for presenting this seminar, and KeyBank for once again sponsoring this great series.

On the chamber division front, our Durham and Middlefiel­d Division will meet Wednesday at Connecticu­t Forest and Park Associatio­n in Rockfall beginning at 8 a.m. Our Cromwell Division will meet Thursday at Covenant Living at 8 a.m.

Both of these division meetings, along with all of our division meetings, help us keep a close eye on the issues that directly impact, or have the potential to impact, our members in each of our towns.

Also taking place on Thursday will be a meeting of our Health Care Council Steering Committee at 8:30 a.m. Under the leadership of Kelly Smith and the Steering Team, the council strives to educate members and engage them in dialogue about the leading-edge issues for health care.

Finally, in addition to these meetings that are specific to our chamber, I look forward to a virtual meeting on Tuesday morning with the leaders of the Metro Chambers of Commerce in our state who collective­ly represent thousands of Connecticu­t businesses.

On Tuesday evening, the MEWS+ will begin offering a free business incubator program for Middlesex entreprene­urs titled “StartUpMX.” This program is offered over an eight-week schedule from May 10 through June 30, and includes a virtual workshop series on topics, including business strategy, finance, legal, marketing, technology and productivi­ty, and wellness and personal developmen­t.

I am so proud of the MEWS+ and its efforts to support entreprene­urship in Middlesex County. Our MEWS+ Manager Rebecca Mead continues to do a great job on this front, and we look forward to growing these efforts in 2022 and beyond.

The main event for this week is our member breakfast meeting featuring U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy May 13 at the Sheraton Hartford South in Rocky Hill beginning at 7 a.m.

Sen. Murphy has been a strong voice in the Senate fighting for job creation, affordable health care, education, a forward-looking foreign policy and more.

The senator continues to do a great job serving as the voice of Connecticu­t residents at the U.S. Capitol, and I appreciate his willingnes­s to speak to our group, and especially look forward to his remarks on Ukraine, which he has visited numerous times and has in-depth knowledge of.

I would also like to give a shout out to Webster Bank for its support of this event. To register, visit the website.

Before closing, I would like to mention the Community Health Center is celebratin­g its 50th anniversar­y this month. With the propositio­n that “Health Care is a Right and Not a Privilege,” CHC has spent 50 years adapting to the needs of its clients, establishi­ng national programs and more.

Throughout the pandemic, they ran Connecticu­t’s four mass vaccinatio­n sites and provided testing to 750,000 residents. CHC currently has 243 locations where they provide primary medical, dental and behavioral health care to over 145,000 patients.

The CHC team will be celebratin­g its anniversar­y May 27 at Wesleyan University with honorary hosts U.S. Sen. John Hickenloop­er, former senator Christophe­r Dodd, and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro.

I would like to give a huge shout out to President and CEO Mark Masselli, Senior Vice President and Clinical Director Margaret Flinter, and their entire team of dedicated individual­s on this huge milestone.

I will provide much more informatio­n on the Community Health Center throughout the month.

I would also like to congratula­te Middletown’s Assistant General Counsel Christophe­r Forte, who was honored last Friday afternoon with the prestigiou­s Middlesex County Bar Associatio­n Liberty Bell Award.

Sara Mendillo and Haley Stafford represente­d the chamber at this terrific event. Each year the organizati­on recognizes an individual who has made a positive difference in the community, and Christophe­r has done just that through the yearlong efforts of Middletown Pride.

As you may know, Christophe­r had the vision for Middletown Pride in 2018, and approached the chamber in 2019 to take on coordinati­ng this event. The city, chamber, Wesleyan University and Russell Library all partnered together to create programmin­g for the LGBTQIA+ community in Middletown and beyond, including drag queen story hours, movie nights, family fun days, informatio­nal sessions, panel discussion­s and much more.

Middletown Pride will hold its annual PrideFEST June 4 from 2 to 10 p.m. For informatio­n, visit middletown­

Congratula­tions Chris!

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