FY 2015-16 Annual Report 
Click Here  to read this year's Annual Report
The Thames River Heritage Park 
Water Taxi celebrates a successful first season! Read more  here.
Congratulations
to seCTer Loan Client Brian Civitello, owner of Mystic Cheese!
Explore all that the region has to offer!
Our clients are transforming the way humans inhabit the Earth...project by project.
 
We can help you do that too.
Office space is filling fast! Currently 1 office left! $500/mo. Includes cleaning, copying, super-fast wifi, free coffee, a locking door and a mailing address. 
Designated desks available
for $200/mo., and Flex Space for $140 a month. Check out the calendar for networking events and come in for a tour!

for entrepreneurs, scientists and companies to develop their ideas and build their businesses in a vibrant and collaborative community! 

Occupying approximately 22,000 sq ft, the CURE Innovation Commons is leasing commercial-grade, independent and shared laboratories, offices, co-working spaces and a large meeting and event area.
Spark is a community-run workshop and learning center with over 100 members working on projects, taking classes, engaging in m eetups, and selling items in our retail storefront. We look forward to 2017 in which we will be formalizing membership for small businesses and nonprofits.
SCORE Counselors are ready to help you with your Small Business!
Our Mission
Foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education.
Our Vision
Every person has the support necessary to thrive as a small business owner.
Our Goal
We will help 1 million clients by 2020.

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seCTer is pleased to welcome Nancy Cowser as the new Executive Director!
Nancy Cowser,
Nancy Cowser sharing remarks at the Annual Meeting
 currently an executive for United Community and Family Services with a background in banking will take over for Interim Executive Director Sean Nugent in January.  Nugent has served since the August resignation of Stephen MacKenzie. In an interview with Lee Howard from the New London Day, Cowser stated that her No. 1 priority is to make seCTer relevant again by working on more collaborations and partnerships to increase the agency's visibility and value to the region.  Cowser has been working with seCTer for the past year on a Strategic Plan for the company to help clarify roles and identify priorities moving forward. We are excited to start off the New Year with Nancy at the helm and a clearer path outlined for the corporation.
Year in Review
Charles Seeman, Chairman, seCTer Board of Directors
Fiscal year 2016 was once again a challenging and thought provoking year for seCTer.  This past year and the year ahead were and will continue to be transitional and transformational for seCTer.  In addition to new leadership, we have reviewed our governance structure, fiscal oversight and strategic direction.

seCTer's Board and Staff engaged in a number of areas focused on positioning seCTer for long-term success.  The first was a thorough review and refresh of our bylaws, which have been updated and are progressing through the legal process for final approval.  The bylaws have retained the key elements of previous bylaws but have been streamlined and adjusted to reflect our current board structure, the types and number of board members, and greater clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the Executive Committee, the Executive Director, and our committees. 

In parallel with our bylaws effort we have undertaken a review of our Strategic Plan.  The plan will provide for both the 30,000 foot strategic direction, and the annual goals created by staff to support the strategies.  This work is expected to be completed by early, 2017.

We encourage you read the articles in our newsletter which highlights the great work seCTer and our region are engaged in.       
   
We offer a sincere thank you to each and every member of our Staff:  Ann Chambers, Frank Dixon, Pat Glynn, Juliet Hodge, Nicole Melville, Robert Sember, Debbie Smith, and Lisa Wood.  A special thanks goes out to Teresa Alaimo who provides accounting and financial services support.

We want to express our appreciation to members of the Board of Directors for their dedication, guidance and participation as we move our strategic plan forward with annual goals and objectives.

Over the past decade or so the message about Southeastern Connecticut has been one of "the glass is always half full'.  We firmly believe that it is time for us to make the message a positive one.  We ask you to join us emphasizing Southeastern Connecticut's great assets and skills and the opportunity they represent to make this a great place to live and work.

Sincerely,
 
Charles Seeman                                                    Sean T. Nugent, PhD
Chairman, Board of Directors                                  Interim Executive Director

Interim Executive Director Sean T. Nugent at Annual Meeting

seCTer Holds Annual Meeting
seCTer's annual meeting was held on November 30th at the Groton Inn & Suites.  This year's theme was focused on seCTer's service offerings and future. "I believe we in southeastern Connecticut are in one of those 'Perfect Storm' moments," said Sean Nugent, interim executive director.  In the past, said Nugent, people have focused on only the negative elements when telling the story of the region. But Nugent said "it's time to change that story" and focus instead on moving forward by developing a diverse, adaptable local economy keyed to such business areas as defense, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, healthcare services, creative information technologies and arts and culture.

Charles Seeman, Chairman of the seCTer Board, recognized 
Mel Olsson, Marge Valentin, and Robert Tabor who stepped down from the Board of Directors after many years of service. Thank you!!


Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Update
Progress is slow but steady on the 2016 CEDS. We have held a total of fou r general public input sessions to discuss the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats impacting the regional economy and 9 Focus Group discussions on Transportation, Education, Entrepreneurship and the New Economy, Arts and Culture, Tourism,
Agriculture, Land Use and Zoning, and Utilities. Click picture to view a DRAF T of the summary of input received to date. This is still a work in progress! The final document will contain the summary of all input received via SWOT events, Focus Groups and Targeted Interviews and will be available prior to the Final Public Input Session planned this January. 

 



Our Sponsors
We would like to thank Liberty  Bank, Jewett City Savings, Savings Institute, Frontier Communications, CT Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative, Groton Utilities, Mohegan Sun, the Southeastern CT Council of Governments, the Towns of Groton, Stonington, East Lyme, New London, and North Stonington , the Norwich Community Development Corporation, The US Coast Guard Academy, Three Rivers Community College, Eastern CT State University, and the  Mystic VFW  for their contributions for the development of the CEDS. 

Upcoming Events:
Friday, December 16th: Transportation Focus Group #2. At the request of some attendees of the Focus Group held earlier in the year, we will continue the discussion but with a focus on Goals and Strategies to include in the CEDS. The discussion will take place here at seCTer at 19B Thames St., Groton at 8:30am. Refreshments will be provided. Come join the discussion!
 
There is no cost to attend.
 
If you would like more information about these or any other events or seCTer programs, please contact Juliet Hodge @ jhodge@secter.org or by phone @ 860-437-4659x202

Public and Private Collaboration abound in Groton (City and Town) and New London surrounding the receipt of a $50,000 CT Next - Innovation Places planning grant. 
Thames River Innovation Place Core Team working on CT Next Grant
This grant is the first step in a two-step process to formally make the area around the mouth of the Thames River in Groton and New London a state-designated Innovation Place.  

seCTer is excited to be part of the core Thames River Innovation Place (TRIP) group headed by Hannah Gant of Spark Makerspace and Susan Froshauer of Connecticut United for Research Excellence ( CURE)- a group that is made up of local entrepreneurs, community and industry leaders, educators, public officials and planning and economic development professionals. 
 
The team began the planning process this week with the help of consultants from the Santa Fe-  b ased  Regenesis Group   who will conduct a "Story of Pla ce" process to ex plore the history, culture and development patterns as well as potential ways the Thames River Innovation  place can transform into more connected, vibrant place to live.The goal of the Innovation Places initiative is to create "great places in good cities" by acting on ideas to attract and retain talent, and by setting the stage for entrepreneurship and innovation. This new pattern of collaboration coupled with an official state designation will hopefully spark an economic renaissance that builds on the strengths and uniqueness of the "place" around the mouth of the Thames River.

Visit the TRIP Website  here and learn how you can be involved in this transformational collaborative process! 

Check out the news coverage Thames River Innovation Place got on NBC CT! 

                         News and Success Stories
seCTer Hires New Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) Counselors. 

Lisa Wood, Director of seCTer's PTAP, is pleased to announce the addition of Kr istine Halleck  who is replacing Debbie Smith in the Groton office, and Gary Alfano who will operate from the new Stamford office.  "Both Kristine and Gary bring a wealth of experience to the team and we are excited to have them both join seCTer," said Lisa Wood.

New PTAP Counselors, Kristine Halleck and Gary Alfano.

Debbie Smith was a counselor with the CT-PTAP at seCTer for 17 years serving  Eastern CT. We wish her success in the next stage of her career!

Lisa Wood presenting Debbie Smith with a gift at Annual Meeting

Success Stories
Rosa Valenzuela
My name is Rosa Valenzuela and I am the owner of HOPET Eng ineering Services LLC. I have been wo
rking with Nicole Melville of CT PTAP over the past few months and I cannot say enough good things about CT PTAP and the assistance they have provided me. The y provided clear and concise explanations with all the registrations and explanations of each that can be available for my business.  I wanted to write this quick letter of appreciation to your organization so you can see what a positive impact you have.

HOPET Engineering LLC is a DAS-SBE/MBE certified with state of CT. I am continuing to work with Nicole and the CT PTAP to continue my certifications and applications. PTAP has been such a resource for me. As things were, I may have closed my business down since it was so difficult to register in SAM & SBA Profile and understand all the various set aside programs for the federal government, State of CT, and municipalities that I could take advantage of as a Small business. It was very overwhelming and I am thankful to PTAP for being such a good resource for small businesses.
 
Congratulations Nicole!
Mr. Klimason presents PTAP Procurement Specialist NICOLE MELVILLE a "Certificate of Appreciation" on behalf of the Terryville Lions Country Fair for  her assistance 
seCTer/SBA to Offer Procurement Training
If you are new to, experienced with, or looking to learn more about navigating the complexities of the governmental procurement process then these courses are a great start for you and your company.  

The Connecticut Procurement Technical Assistance Program and SBA is offering two free seminars for small business owners and those thinking about entering the world of entrepreneurship. Both courses will be taught by experts from seCTer-PTAP and SBA and will be held at Three Rivers Community College from 9:30am to 12:00pm in Room 118B.

April 28th: Contracting 101
This seminar will cover where you need to be registered to do business with the state of Connecticut and the Federal Government. You will be shown the websites for locating federal bids over $25,000 and the State's bid portal where State and Municipal bids can be found. Also, covered will be State and Federal Set-Aside programs.

May 19th: Matchmaker Primer/Completing a Capability Statement
This seminar will educate businesses on how to manage all three phases of the Matchmaker event including preparation, face to face meetings and follow up. Learning objectives include: How to prepare for meeting with important buyers; write your elevator speech; use proper matchmaker etiquette; create a powerful one-page capability statement that will set you apart from the competition; and develop an effective follow-up strategy with new contacts from the event.
 
 
Mark your calendars! Seminars are FREE to attend.

seCTer Loan Programs
Looking for funding for your business? Give Annie a call!
In the recent Annual Meeting, Ann Chambers, director of Loans, said seCTer had $688,000 in loan funding either approved or pending as of November 1st, with another $1.3 million in the pipeline.  She made a passionate plea to the group and the region at large when she stated that "...with technology and improvements in transportation, we are three hours from 45 million people.  We know that there are challenges with respect to the cost of living and doing business, but we fail to embrace this simple truth...we live, work, and play in a really great place, and those 45 million potential customers ARE really close."

On 11/22/2016, SeCTer closed on an $850,000 Loan/Grant to Components for Manufacturing, LLC and Paul and Tracey Jacey. The funds were used to acquire a business and relocate it from New Hampshire to Groton, Connecticut.  The funding was made possible through SeCTer's own Southeast Regional Development Fund (SRDF) and through the DECD's Small Business Express Program (SBEP).  

Components for Manufacturing, LLC (CPM) is a stocking Industrial Distributor with a strong value-added service consisting of customer inventory management and fulfillment, sub-assembly, custom packaging, labeling and kitting services. CPM specializes in steel fasteners (nuts, bolts, washers, spacers) and electronic connectors mainly used by contract manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers. The existing business was located in Laconia NH and had clients throughout New England.  In purchasing the business and relocating to Groton, the Jacey's will expand the CPM market into eastern New York State, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City and suburbs and all of Connecticut.  

Welcome to Southeastern CT!
Congratulations to this year's Celebrate CT Honorees!
 
This year marked the 7th Annual Celebrate CT Event, organized and hosted by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) at the Bushnell in Hartford. Honorees were selected by economic development officials in each of 11 regions across Connecticut for their contributions to the state's economy. They were chosen on the basis of such things as growing employment levels, playing a critical role in changing the character of the c ommunity, strong public/private collaboration to encourage new investment and  leadershi p resulting in growth or improvements.
Mayor Marian Galbraith and Captain Paul Whitescarver accepted the Award for Submarine Century - a year long program for local residents and tourists to celebrate the contribution submarines have made to the local economy and culture. With the help of an Executive Committee, 31 corporate sponsors and a team of very dedicated volunteers, the celebration included nearly 100 formal events some of which had more than 2,500 attendees! All proceeds will be used to fund efforts to bring the sail of the USS Groton home and placed on permanent display!
From Left to Right: Shelly Saezynski, CERC Chairwoman, Captain Paul Whitescarver, USN, Mayor Marian Galbraith, City of Groton, and Bart Kollen, Deputy Commissioner of DECD 
From Left to Right: Mark Jones, Submarine Century Committee; Chris Zendan, USN, Captain Paul Whitescarver, USN,  Mayor Marian Galbraith, City of Groton, David Quinn, Quinn & Hary Marketing, Sheri Cote, Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce, Sean Nugent, seCTer, Joy Supples, Submarine Century Committee, and Juliet Hodge, seCTer  

For the Business category, Stan Mickus and Adam Wronowski accepted the award for Cross Sound Ferry Services Inc. Cross Sound Ferry serves close to 1.5 Million passengers annually and is the largest marine transportation service in the State! In 2015, the company initiated its award-winning narrated Lighthouse Cruises and have pledged $100,000 in support of the National Coast Guard Museum being built in Downtown New London. The Wronowski family has owned and operated the business for more than 40 years! 
Shelly Saezynski, CERC Chairwoman, Adam Wronowski and Stan Mickus, Cross Sound Ferry, Inc., Bart Kollen, Deputy Commissioner, DECD 
Ned Hammond, City of New London,  Adam Wronowski and Stan Mickus, Cross Sound Ferry

Congratulations and thank you for your contribution to the vibrancy and economy of SECT!


 "Energ y on the Line" Program Will Lower Energy Costs for Connecticut Manufacturers

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Connecticut Green Bank have launched a new campaign that provides manufacturers with an innovative way to lower their energy costs. The  "Energy on the Line" program will provide supplemental funds to manufacturers who complete a qualifying green energy project using the Green Bank's Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. 

C-PACE provides commercial property owners with 100% upfront financing for green energy projects where the energy improvements deliver immediate positive cash flow to the building owner. The supplemental funding (up to $50,000) may be used for any project-related expenses at the discretion of the recipients, thereby reducing the amount of financing required. C-PACE offers predictable, trustworthy energy savings projections. Through Energy on the Line, manufacturers will benefit from support from the Green Bank and its program partners in developing C-PACE projects that are custom tailored to their business's needs.

"Energy on the Line" is open to all Connecticut manufacturing companies who have owner-occupied facilities. The Green Bank is working with local Economic Development offices, Chambers of Commerce and manufacturing associations to promote this exciting new opportunity. To learn more, please visit: www.EnergyOnTheLine.com


 
Stay tuned for the launch of our new website in early Spring!