Category Archives: Dear Neighbor

Schooner Fest Showcases Education, History, and Fun!

John Johnson
Chairman
Connecticut Schooner Festival

I hope you can join us at the Connecticut Schooner Festival, a celebration of Connecticut’s history, maritime heritage and spirit of innovation. It will take place at Mystic Seaport and along New London’s historic waterfront Wednesday through Sunday, September 11-15. This is the inaugural year of the festival and we feel you well enjoy the many activities being presented, starting with the education program at the Seaport on Thursday, September 12, followed by the many events on the historic waterfront in New London.
Educating students about the state’s rich maritime heritage and its role in the development of our state and nation will be a central focus of the festival We’re proud to be able to partner with UCONN and every public school district from Stonington through East Lyme, plus LEARN. With this superb group of Connecticut educators we will be offering Connecticut students a valuable program.
Schooners played an important part in helping our nation win its independence and they also played a significant role in the commerce that made our state thrive. Today, they play a key role in teaching people about the sea and its role in our daily life.
The highlight of the five-day festival will be a schooner race in the waters off Ocean Beach Park in New London, one of our state’s premier beach resorts, but there are many other activities including the Great New London Chowder Challenge. New London has become a center of culinary excellence and many of our finest restaurants will be taking part.
We have attracted more than a dozen schooners and we have partnered with the well-known Flock Theatre to present a historical pageant that will culminate with the burning in effigy of Benedict Arnold who led his Red Coats through New London, burning a good portion of it. We will be getting our revenge, theatrically speaking.
But the festival is about more than education and history; it is about good family fun. The public will also be treated to entertainment including music on the waterfront, a lighted boat parade to welcome the schooners and a host of other activities including sand sculpting and Kidsploration with Steve Elci and Friends and a large color board for budding young artists. Look around Mystic and New London during the festival and you may see plein air painters capturing scenes in their time-honored tradition.
We couldn’t do it without the support of our sponsors: The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, WNLC radio, The Day Publishing Co., Pfizer, Dominion, Coca-Cola, People’s United Bank, F&F Distributors, Dime Bank, Ocean Beach Park, Charter Oak Credit Union, INK Publications, Copy Cats, EasyMeetings.net, Lombardi Gravel & Excavation, New London Parking Garage, New London Harbour Towers, Jay Levin, and Valet Park America. Their support has made our event a true success.
We look forward to seeing you. In the meantime check us out at www.CtSchoonerFest.com and be sure to Like us on Facebook.

Welcome aboard.

John Johnson
Chairman
Connecticut Schooner Festival

Waterford Country School Golf Tournament Keeps Alive the Legacy of Late Board Member’s Belief in Mission

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island...

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Scott Gladstone
Owner
Wireless Zone

 

I’m honored to be serving a third year as a volunteer on the committee for Waterford Country School’s (WCS) Bring Your Mojo Golf Tournament, scheduled this year for September 19 at Great Neck Country Club. I helped create the tournament in collaboration with other businessmen in the community in honor of former WCS Board Member Gary Saunders, a local businessman himself and an avid golfer who unexpectedly passed away in January 2011. Gary was part of the “founding family” of WCS and grew up on and around the agency’s 350-acre campus in Quaker Hill.

The tournament is a testament to the energetic way he approached his life and his work for the school. In addition to a great day of golf on a beautifully appointed course right here in Southeastern Connecticut, our committee works hard to give the golfers who support the cause a top-notch experience featuring a lobster or steak dinner at the end of the day and an opportunity to win some amazing raffle prizes.

The Waterford Country School holds a special place in my heart. Gary, who was a loyal friend, was entrenched in the agency’s mission and encouraged me to make the same commitment. What hooked me was visiting WCS and seeing the campus and learning the positive impact on lives of kids and families right here in our backyard. I immediately knew that there would be no better spot for me to give back to the community, applying my own efforts, energy, and funding to its goals.

Waterford Country School is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to enrich the lives of children and strengthen families through specialized programs, resources, and community services. The school helps children, youth, and families confront the effects of trauma by providing effective crisis intervention and therapeutic services; reaching out and supporting families during reunification; offering strategies to improve communication, conflict resolution, and increase academic achievement; and presenting “hands-on” learning through challenge rope courses, a children’s farm, and a wildlife-rehabilitation center.

I encourage you to visit the website, waterfordcountryschool.org, for more information about WCS or the golf tournament event. More importantly, if you’ve never actually visited the campus in Quaker Hill I highly encourage you to do so. It was an eye-opener for me! You may contact me for a personal tour or reach out to Bill Martin, Executive Director.
My dedication, and the dedication of our ever-growing committee, to this memorial golf tournament in the past two years has helped us raise more than $60,000 for the school; nearly doubling proceeds from the first to second year. The new funds will be used to build-out and equip the Gary Saunders Fitness Room in a new gymnasium slated to break ground in the fall.
Scott Gladstone
Owner
Wireless Zone

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island…

Richard J. Porth, President & CEO, United Way of Connecticut

Richard J. Porth, President & CEO, United Way of Connecticut

For over 37 years, Connecticut residents have been able to find the help they need through United Way 2-1-1, statewide information and referral service funded by the State of Connecticut and Connecticut United Ways and administered by the United Way of Connecticut. A call to United Way 2-1-1 gets people connected to the health and human services assistance they need.

United Way 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When someone calls 2-1-1 they reach degreed, multilingual Call Specialists that help them sort through their challenges and provide the best assistance and referral for their situation. 2-1-1 utilizes a constantly updated computerized database of approximately 4,800 health and human service providers offering over 48,000 services. The service is available to everyone, regardless of income or age, whether they need help or want to give help through donating or volunteering. 2-1-1’s resource database can also be accessed online at www.211ct.org.

All told, in 2012, 2-1-1, handled over 412,000 calls offering over half a million referrals and registered over 640,000 visits on www.211ct.org. The top calls were looking for information on housing, utility assistance and financial assistance.  2-1-1 also plays a role before, during and after weather and other emergencies.  During Hurricane Sandy, 2-1-1 handled over 17,000 calls and registered 6,000 searches on 211ct.org, from people looking for help finding and accessing basic needs such as shelter and food, for learning about evacuation routes, locations of open gas stations and pharmacies, filing damage claims, and much more.

After the Newtown tragedy, 2-1-1 received calls from across the state and the nation seeking help coping with the awful event and offering volunteer help and donations to the people of Newtown.  2-1-1 created a special Sandy Hook/Newtown Resources web page providing a range of resources for handling grief and trauma for both children and adults.

In addition to 2-1-1, United Way of Connecticut also administers: 2-1-1 Child Care which  provides referrals for licensed child care facilities, assistance to help unlicensed providers to become licensed and child care trainings for parents and providers in the community; Child Development Infoline which helps families concerned about their child’s development to get information, support and referrals to services; and HUSKY Infoline which provides information about the state’s health insurance program for children and families. All of these services can be reached by dialing 2-1-1.

United Way of Connecticut’s mission is to help meet the needs of Connecticut and its residents by providing information, education and connection to services. UWC furthers its mission by providing 24/7 toll-free call center access to health and human services information through 2-1-1, as well as specialized services in child care, child development and disabilities and HUSKY, Connecticut’s children’s health insurance program.

Sincerely,

Richard J. Porth
President & CEO
United Way of Connecticut

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island…

Bruce D. Cummings, President and CEO, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital

Bruce D. Cummings, President and CEO,
Lawrence + Memorial Hospital

Did you know that February has been recognized as American Heart Month? So, here’s to your heart – and, more importantly, your heart health.

If you aren’t aware, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, one in every three deaths is a result from heart disease and stroke.

So how do you prevent heart disease? How do you protect yourself and those close to you from heart disease? There are a few simple ways.

Be active! Try for a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

Know your ABCs. Ask your doctor about taking an Aspirin each day. Find out if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol. And, if you do, get started on an effective treatment plan.

Do you smoke? If so, get help to quit.

One of the most challenging ways? Eat a heart-healthy diet that’s high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat.

These are important steps for everyone to take, but women should take special note, too. That’s because heart disease, believe it or not, is the number one killer of women. In fact, it’s more deadly than all forms of cancer.

Because of that, we’re hosting a special event for women on Wednesday, February 6.

Taking Charge of Your Heart Health is a cardiac health and wellness event that we’ve planned just for women.
The event, which takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., is being held in Baker Auditorium at our main campus in New London.

One third of women ages 40 to 60 have a modifiable risk factor for heart disease. This program will emphasize the need for women to understand risk factors associated with cardiac disease and encourage them to take charge of their health. Those who attend will learn nutrition tips, witness an exercise demonstration, and learn tips to lower cardiac risk factors.

In addition, we will host a panel discussion led by Cardiologist Dr. Valerie Popkin and Neurologist Dr. Neer Zeevi. What an opportunity for attendees to seek out answers to some of their most challenging questions regarding heart health!

Attendees will also hear a patient’s personal story on surviving heart disease.

The program is free, but space is limited. To reserve your seat, please call 860.444.3764. We are thankful to the Lawrence + Memorial Auxiliary for supporting this very important program.

This is such an important topic for men and women alike. In this case, though, we look forward to welcoming women to this presentation and sharing key information to help you understand all you can about the importance of heart health. For more information, you can visit our website at www.lmhospital.org.

Sincerely,

Bruce D. Cummings
President and CEO
Lawrence + Memorial Hospital

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island…

Lisa Konicki, Executive Director, Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce.

Lisa Konicki, Executive Director, Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce.

Hurricane Sandy had a catastrophic effect on the Misquamicut beach community in Westerly, RI.   With 27 businesses devastated and hundreds of jobs impacted, we have moved from crisis to recovery mode.  The Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce knows it’s critical to get these individuals the help they need.  The affected businesses generate $9.3 million a year in sales for our community and that figure does not include the multiplier effect for all of the other businesses throughout our region.  Tourism is critically important to the economic well being of this two-state community, and Misquamicut’s recovery is essential.

The Greater Westerly-Chamber Foundation created the Jump Start Small Business Recovery Program to provide grants to help small businesses with the many significant expenses that are not covered by insurance.  We are committed to helping every business resume operations by Memorial Day.  Already, significant progress has been made to restore our dunes, repair our infrastructure and rebuild.  Misquamicut WILL be fully operational in the Spring and we look forward to our best season yet.

Thanks to widespread community support of our fundraisers, and over $22,000 in sales of our “Bring back the Beach” t-shirts and hoodies, we’ve raised over $170,000 towards our goal of $400,000.  If you are interested in supporting this initiative, please join us at some of the many upcoming fundraising events:

February 9- Beach Bowl-A-Thon at Alley Katz Bowling Alley. 7-9:00 pm.  Sponsor a team and join in the fun or sponsor a lane to advertise on.  There will be numerous raffle prizes, music and great food. 25% of beer/food sales at Cleats will be donated to the fund as well.

February 17- Blues FOR the Beach concert at the Knickerbocker.  100% of the proceeds to benefit improvements to the Westerly Old Town Beach pavilion that was destroyed.

February 23- Black & White Masquerade at the Ocean House.  This black tie event, modeled after Truman Capote’s “Party of the Century” promises to be nothing short of spectacular.  Tickets are $125 and include food stations, open bar, music by High Definition,  roving entertainment, and a silent and live auction. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Bring Back the Beach fund.  Thank you to our sponsors, Olde Mistick Village, Valenti family of Auto Dealerships, The Washington Trust Company, Jonathan Edwards Winery, Cottrell Brewery, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, and Grey Sail Brewery.

May 17-We welcome the entire community to participate in the “Hands Across the Sands” event along the shore of our beautiful Misquamicut beaches. This will be the first official event to usher in the season and celebrate our recovery.  From the Pleasant View Inn to the Seaside Beach Club, hundreds of school children and residents will line the beach, holding hands. Many will wear their “Bring Back the Beach” t-shirts and hoodies and a helicopter will fly by and record this activity.

May  18 & 19- We will host the Bold R Dash obstacle course event in Misquamicut.  This rigorous and challenging 5k military style course will test the endurance, strength and coordination of 3,000 participants and raise another $15,000 for our grant fund. The course will be laid out entirely in the sand at Misquamicut Beach and Westerly Town Beach, and  participants will face 20+ obstacles including walls, cargo nets, boulders, chains, mud, and more.  Registrations can be made at boldrdashrace.com.  This is also the weekend of the annual Misquamicut SpringFest, known as the largest carnival in the region and a showcase of musical legends.

Finally, I am truly excited to announce Grey Sail Brewery’s “Bring Back the Beach” beer, a custom made blonde ale that has been brewed specifically to support our community fundraising campaign. You will find this terrific, limited edition beer at local package stores and many of Westerly’s pubs.

For more information on any of these activities, and a complete description of the Greater Westerly Chamber Foundation and this fundraising effort, visit www.westerlychamber.org.  Photos and updates are found on our Facebook page.  Thanks to everyone who has supported our community thus far, including the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, Greater Norwich Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Southeatstern CT. The response has been overwhelming and we are truly grateful.

Warm Regards,

 Lisa Konicki    
        Executive Director
        Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of  Commerce

Dear Neighbor: Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Conn. Makes Our Region Stronger

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island…

 

Sheri Cote, Vice President, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.

Sheri Cote, Vice President, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.

For quite some time the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut has worked collaboratively with other organizations for the betterment of the region. A good example of this collaboration is the recently formed partnership with the Builders and Remodelers Association of Eastern Connecticut to produce ‘Eastern Connecticut’s Premiere Home Show’ in April of 2013.

This show will take place April 20 and 21 at the Mystic Marriott and will showcase over 150 businesses in the building and remodeling industry. It will be the region’s only locally organized home show.

Even though the show is a few months away, booth reservations are preceding at a rapid pace, led by the show’s title sponsor, Overhead Door Company of Norwich who will have a prominent presence there.

The Chamber and the BAEC are taking the reservations from businesses that recognize the value of getting their products and services in front of the thousands of visitors we expect at the Marriott. Several companies have reserved multiple booths because they recognize the value of getting out in front of the public.

Earlier this year, the Chamber partnered with General Dynamics Electric Boat and Dunkin’ Donuts to honor our men and women in uniform at our third annual Military Appreciation Breakfast at the Mystic Marriott. We have organized this tribute to the men and women who serve our nation in uniform out of a profound sense of gratitude for their service to our nation. With that same sense of respect and gratitude, in November we presented the William Crawford Distinguished Service Award to Ulysses B. Hammond, the vice president for administration at Connecticut College.

We are proud of our robust membership; working together across the region is in everyone’s best interests and we at the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut keep that in mind every day.
Sheri Cote
Vice President
Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut

Dear Neighbor: Comfortable, Convenient, and Affordable Rides to Foxboro

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island…

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee

This past September, I was proud to join with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to announce an exciting new transportation service to make it easier for New Englanders to watch their beloved Patriots live and in-person: game-day trains from T.F. Green Airport’s Interlink facility in Warwick, RI to Foxboro, MA. For just $15 roundtrip, Pats fans can make the quick car ride to Warwick, park affordably and securely, and travel worry-free on to Foxboro via MBTA trains.

This is just one of the many exciting steps being taken to maximize the travel opportunities available in Warwick’s Station District. With its close proximity to I-95, this area of Warwick has quickly become a highly concentrated transportation hub. And with this latest addition of train service to Patriots games in Foxboro, travel through Rhode Island and beyond is now more efficient and affordable, wherever your destination may be.

Patriots fans looking to avoid traffic, park hassle-free, and take advantage of predictable travel time when making their way to and from the home games are encouraged to utilize this new train service for the remaining home games this season. For more information and schedules, please visit www.mbta.com.

Best wishes,

Lincoln D. Chafee
Governor, RI

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island…

The world has changed a lot since I was a kid. I remember seeing the newsreels of service men and women returning  from WWII and the ticker parade in the big cities. Young men and women kissing in the streets welcoming their loved ones home.

When it became my turn to serve it was a different kind of war that we were asked to fight. It was considered police action, our country was not under direct attack like the attack on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor. We were asked to defend against communism in a country we hardly heard of, on the other side of the world and there was a draft going on. It was a different generation and we didn’t have that anxiousness to run off to join the fight but we did, and we did it for the honor and love of our country because we were asked to. But in this war returning home did not have the same glorious welcoming.

Protesting was going on everywhere, returning vets were spit on and ridiculed for participating in such an unpopular war. But wait, weren’t we America’s children too? Didn’t we do what was right because our country asked us too. It was sometimes painful to feel that you did wrong but yet had offered your life in honor of our majestic country.

In 1984 America came back to apologize to its returning vets with a hugely successful ticker tape parade held in New York City. I was fortunate and honored to have attended that event. It was a time that we once again were able to reunite and bond with our fellow brothers a sisters and finally be thanked for what we had been asked to do.

Today I see many vets proudly wearing symbols displaying their commitment to the service of their country. There is a very tight bond between vets. We love to see each other, and talk about our experiences, where and when we served and most of all to welcome each other home and thank each other for our service, and we call each other brother even though we never met.

Since the cowardly attack of 9/11 on the United States of America, our young men and women have again been called to defend our honor and protect our country from further vicious attacks. There is no draft this time, and there are no special parades, but there is someone’s son or daughter in uniform voluntarily willing to answer that call. This is what America is. We are not perfect but we love our country and we pull together when we need to.

Sometimes when we see today’s men and women in uniform we are not sure what to do. Do I look at them, should I say something because I feel I am supposed to, but that may make me feel funny and awkward.

The clear answer, my friend, is to walk directly up to them, give them a warm welcome and proudly thank them for being a special American and for defending the Red, White and Blue we all freely live under. It will make you both feel so good!

John Holder
Vietnam 1967-68

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island…

Captain Marc W. Denno, Commanding Officer, Naval Submarine Base, New London.

Every day, in the shadow of the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, hundreds of local residents and visitors pass by an imposing conning tower and the polished granite wall of honor that encompass the Submarine Veterans of World War II Memorial East.

And whether by design or by impulse, many stop – drawn by these compelling visible reminders that the liberty and prosperity our Nation enjoys have been purchased… purchased by the sacrifice and service of 48 million men and women, who since our Nation’s founding, have donned the uniform and proudly stepped forward to defend our freedoms.

On Veterans Day, across our great land, Americans gather in public events or in private prayer to recognize these valiant men and women of our Armed Forces.

Ever since the first Veteran’s Day, originally “Armistice Day,” was established in 1919, Americans have paused to salute the service and remember the sacrifice of the men and women who have kept us free.
And many of those who gather can count themselves among our Nation’s more than 21 million living veterans.

Veterans past and present who have worn the cloth of our great Nation and contributed so much to guarding and maintaining the liberties we cherish.

President John F. Kennedy once said “in the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in the hour of its maximum danger…”

September 11, 2001 rung in that hour for the generation of active duty military members serving today.
We have been “granted the role of defending freedom.”

We view that critical mission as a sacred privilege and we follow in a long line of those that met and mastered that “maximum danger.”

I have the honor and pleasure of serving with some of these young men and women as I lead Naval Submarine Base New London.

These young service members support and crew the fifteen attack submarines stationed there.

They remind me everyday that the true strength of our Navy and our Nation does not lie in any aircraft, ship, submarine, sensor, or weapon.

The true strength of our great Nation and Navy lies in its men and women – America’s finest!

They follow an extraordinary legacy of honor, courage, and commitment; a legacy fashioned and forged by selfless service and sacrifice; a legacy passed onto them by the veterans they follow.

In the early days of the Second World War, Gen. George C. Marshall was asked if America had a secret weapon to win the conflict.

He replied that we did have such a weapon — he called it “the best darn kids in the world.”

I can assure you that the “best darn kids” still wear this Nation’s uniform!

I, for one, could not be prouder to serve with them and I thank you for all that you do to support them.

So this Veterans Day, I ask you to join me in saluting all those who wear or have worn the cloth of this great Nation.

I feel fortunate to enjoy the peace, liberty, and security that they have provided my family, my community, and my Nation.

 

 

Thank you,

Marc W. Denno
Captain, U.S. Navy
Commanding Officer
Naval Submarine base, New London

The Sun Experience: Great Gaming and a Comminuty Hub

Bruce S. Bozsum“Two Dogs,” Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council.

At the Mohegan Tribe, we are proud of our New England roots, and we are working to continue to provide one of the best casino experiences to our visitors from all over the world – and our region.
Our casino and resort was born out of the long struggle by the Mohegan people for their land and a rightful place in the community.   Before we opened our doors in 1996, we had a mission to build Mohegan Sun as a reflection of the best of the Mohegan people.  Working with a fantastic team of designers and builders, we created a place based on the heritage and history of the Mohegan Tribe. We strongly believe that the mood and the feel of Mohegan Sun have created a distinctive destination that is not like any other casino in the United States.
Now, as our business model continues to evolve, we are conscious that we provide more than gaming.  Families in southeastern Connecticut have come to think of Mohegan Sun as a place to shop, dine, and attend world-class music and sporting events.   We want to be able to keep going strongly in these areas, and we look forward to seeing many of you joining the thousands of visitors who walk through Mohegan Sun’s doors every day.   We believe that we have created a community hub, and it gives us great satisfaction to know that residents of southeastern Connecticut enjoy the facility so much.
As we face growing competition from existing casinos in New York and Rhode Island, along with the threat of new completion in Massachusetts, we are striving to keep our home base in Connecticut strong.
Our guests at Mohegan Sun should be assured that the members of the Mohegan Tribal Council will continue to seek out the best of the best for our business enterprise, and continues to look for ways to sustain our economic engine.   We look forward to the future with our new President and CEO Bobby Soper who brings his own tribal heritage to the table, and was there at the beginning with us.  Bobby has had years of successful experience as both a business executive and community leader for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and it is a great pleasure to say that we are welcoming him back home.
Please visit us to enjoy what we consider to be much more than just a gaming experience, and to celebrate an important part of our region’s heritage.

Thank You,

Bruce S. Bozsum “Two Dogs”
Chairman
Mohegan Tribal Council

Connecticut Tigers outfielder Zach Kirksey taking a swing at an oncoming fastball.

Taking the Field With the Connecticut Tigers

by Roger Zotti

 

C.J. Knudsen
Vice President and General Manager, Connecticut Tigers

“We’ve been getting great support from people, and we love being the minor league baseball team for Southeastern, Connecticut,” says C.J. Knudsen, Vice President and General Manager of the Connecticut Tigers. “We encourage everyone, if you haven’t been to a game yet, to come to Dodd Stadium and see how nice it is and help support the hometown Tigers. We have a ton of home games left.”  In its third season here, the Connecticut team is the American League Detroit Tigers’ Single-A/New York-Penn League affiliate.

“This season we continue having great promotions,” C.J. adds. “For example, on Mondays kids eat free. If they’re twelve and under, they get a voucher for a hot dog, bag of chips, an apple, and a bottle of water. On Tuesdays it’s Kayem Dollar Hot Dog Night. Friday nights it’s fireworks, which is always a good standby, and Saturdays is our major giveaway night—everything from bobble-head dolls to coffee mugs.”

C.J.’s credentials are impressive. A graduate of Keene State College, he began his career in 1995 as an intern with the NY-PL’s Vermont Expos/Lake Monsters. From 2000 to 2009, he was the team’s General Manager.  In 2003 he was the recipient of the NY-PL Executive of the Year Award; in 2006, he received the Robert Julian Community & Baseball Award.

He came to the Tigers organization in 2010, serving as Vice President of Operations. This year he’s the organization’s VP and GM. As for what his new duties entail, he says, “Well, I might be doing an interview with the media one minute and the next I could be filling a ketchup dispenser. I never know what I might be doing, and that’s what makes minor league life so enjoyable.”

When The Resident asked him what he’d consider a successful 2012 season, C.J. remarks, “One thing is definitely an increase in attendance.”  Also, there’s the brand of exciting baseball the Tigers plays: “Right now, after a slow start, the team is starting to play well. The players are definitely getting to know each other now. Remember, these guys play 76 games in 80 days, which is a lot of baseball.”

Connecticut Tigers outfielder Zach Kirksey taking a swing at an oncoming fastball.

For Jon Versteeg, the team’s Director of Media Relations, a successful season is “continuing to build on the progress we’ve made over the first two years with getting folks real excited about baseball in Norwich. We’ve been doing some great things here, and are always adding new things, like LIFE STAR coming here [July 21], and its crew delivering the first pitch against Lowell. There are so many cool and interesting things we’re doing. So I say stay tuned—the news is always coming out!”

A consistent, positive, and family-friendly philosophy has been and continues to be the organization’s goal since its Connecticut arrival two years ago. “We’re about baseball and, just as importantly, bringing people together,” C.J. says. “Of course, we’ll continue to provide affordable fun and safe entertainment options for families in Connecticut.”

For more information about the Connecticut Tigers, visit www.cttigers.com.