Chamber Member News | January 2022
Welcome New Members:
A warm welcome to our newest members!* We encourage you to connect with them soon and see where your next partnership can be!

*Joined 12/8/21 to 1/11/22
New Member Spotlight: Healing Hoofbeats of CT
About Healing Hoofbeats

Healing Hoofbeats of CT specializes in working with individuals, couples, families and groups through Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Utilizing both unmounted and mounted techniques, clients are able to work through their challenges and struggles, be it trauma-related or not, through experiential work with horses. 
Horses have long maintained their "wild" instincts through centuries of being domesticated, offering themselves as the perfect partner for therapy. Horses are a perfect partner for therapy, as they utilize their instincts and keen sensitivity to non-verbal communication to assist their human counterparts in healing and experiencing new ways to develop relationships, regulate emotions and heal from invisible wounds.
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and Phobias
  • Relationship Difficulties
  • Life Transitions
  • Difficulties with Self-Esteem
  • Eating Issues
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Professional/Career Issues
  • Medical and Health Concerns

  • Stress Management
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Spirituality
  • Women's Issues
  • Gay/Lesbian-Related Issues
  • Judicial Related Issues
  • Veterans Issues
  • Other Issues 
Upcoming Events
Horses Helping Healers Demo

May 19, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Healing Hoofbeats of CT, 41 Judge Ln, Bethlehem, CT 06751, USA

June 7, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Healing Hoofbeats of CT, 41 Judge Ln, Bethlehem, CT 06751, USA

Events From Your Fellow Members
February Events at the Mattatuck Museum
Saturday Docent Guided Tours
Saturdays in February, 1:00–1:30 PM
Price: Included with Museum Admission
Looking for a more detailed exploration of the Mattatuck Museum’s exhibits? Join a free (with admission), docent-guided Saturday Drop-In Tour. Our staff will guide patrons through a highlights tour or the Museum’s current special exhibitions.

Museum Minis
Thursday, February 3, 10:00–11:00 AM
Price: $8 Museum Member Child | $12 General Child
Each week the Mattatuck Museum invites their youngest explorers and their caregivers to meet up in the Museum galleries for some art and history fun while practicing developmental, social, and mobility skills. A museum educator will facilitate 30 minutes of playtime in the galleries with an opportunity to mingle with other parents and caregivers, followed by a 15-minute themed story, and a small art activity in the classroom that can be taken home. Accompanying adult is free.
Support provided by the Connecticut Community Foundation and Drew International.
To purchase tickets please visit

9th Annual Febtoberfest
Thursday, February 10, 6:00–9:00 PM
Price: $40 Tickets (until 2/6)|$45 Week Of Tickets (on or after 2/7)
Designated Driver Tickets: $15

Join the Mattatuck Museum for the hoppiest event of the year! The 9th Annual Febtoberfest will take place on Thursday, February 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Snow date will be Thursday, February 24. Sample local beers, spirits, and American wines and purchase food from various vendors. Make sure to check to stay up to date with the vendor list!

As we continue to face challenges caused by COVID-19 and changing variants, the Museum has put in place the following protocols for large events. Masks will be requested, though not required, when indoors. The Museum will require attendees to:
  • Show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination: a physical card or a photo of a vaccination card that matches the attendee’s valid photo ID.
  • Present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours: a printed or digital test result that matches the attendee’s valid photo ID.
  • Present proof of a negative Rapid Antigen test, administered by a medical professional (at-home tests will not be accepted), taken within the past 24 hours: a printed or digital test result that matches the attendee’s valid photo ID.

For questions or sponsor opportunities, please contact Corporate & Foundation Relations Manager, Cat Clark, at (203) 753-0381 x110 or
Support provided by CliftonLarsonAllen; Secor, Cassidy & McPartland, P.C.; and Thomaston Savings Bank.
To purchase tickets please visit
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Member News and Updates
Barker Specialty Promotes Karen Rivkin to Senior Vice President
Barker Specialty is pleased to announce Karen Rivkin has been promoted to Senior Vice President and will be an integral part of the senior management team. Karen’s increased responsibilities will include overseeing the entire customer experience at Barker Specialty.

Not only is Karen an integral part of the Barker Specialty team, but she’s well known in the promotional products industry for her passion and creativity, along with her strong problem-solving skills when challenges arise.

Karen joined Barker Specialty right out of college in the fulfillment department. Her tasks started off with processing incoming e-commerce orders, restocking merchandise and providing customer support. Proving her expertise and commitment to Barker Specialty, she was later asked to lead the department and took on the role of Director of Program Fulfillment.

“We are beyond thrilled to watch Karen continue to grow and thrive with us at Barker Specialty taking on her newest promotion as Senior Vice President. Her positive disposition paired with her tenacious work ethic makes her an invaluable part of our company”, said Gerry Barker, President of Barker Specialty.

Among many accomplishments, Karen has been a past recipient of the 30 Under 30 award given nationally to outstanding performers, was named a 40 Under 40 by Business New Haven and was also named an Outstanding Woman in Print and Promo in 2020.
Palace Theater's 'Second Act' Series Returns for 2nd Season in September
The Palace Theater is looking for presenters to be part of their successful speaker’s series 2ND ACT featuring life stories by people of a certain age, that launched last September, to critical and patron acclaim. Put simply the monthly speaker series presents people who during their own “second acts” have discovered inspiring, interesting, challenging or fun new life experiences – ordinary people doing some extraordinary things at a time in life that is just waiting to be embraced.  

“People who have an engaging ‘second act’ story about how they pursued a passion, dream or championed a cause after a certain age and can share it in a presentation style with an audience”, is who we are looking for noted Sheree Marcucci, Palace Marketing and Public Relations Officer and the series’ creator. Speakers are being sought now for the 19/20 series that is meant to stimulate the intellect, as well as those sometimes more elusive life elements: purpose, hope and joi de vivre as we age. 

People aged fifty and over, interested in being a presenter who have a compelling Second Act story that addresses one of the following priority areas will be given first consideration:

  • Healthy Aging
  • Aging successfully and safely in the community
  • Education, Arts and creative expression
  • Community needs, engagement and volunteerism
  • Connecting Information, benefits and resources
  • Literary arts
  • Self help and Motivation

Please contact Sheree Marcucci at the theater 203.346.2008, if you or someone you know is interested in being a Second Act presenter or for more information.
Branagan Communications Consultants LLC Marks the 29th Year of Sole Proprietorship Success in 2022
Barbara Branagan-Mitchell, the creator of Branagan Communications Consultants LLC, announced that 2022 marks the 29th anniversary of her public relations, publicity placement, writing and editing, marketing communications agency. Barbara assists businesses and organizations across Connecticut to raise positive awareness of their company or organization and products or services through the creation of publicity placement campaigns. These campaigns frequently include press releases, event listings, captioned photos, and public service announcements sent to print and broadcast media outlets including daily and weekly newspapers, radio and television stations, and community news outlets. Barbara offers free phone consultations to help businesses and organizations identify timely news angles about their activities, achievements, products, and/or services. To learn more, visit, call Barbara at 860-210-0149, or send an email to
TechTip Postcard from Valued Technology Services
“We are offering a complimentary Network Security Assessment” as a means for introducing our services and helping you to determine if your current IT company truly IS doing everything they should for securing and protecting your network against data loss, ransomware, hackers and frustrating downtime and slowness.”

Douglas M. Hopson - President & CEO
Valued Technology Services

Link to schedule the complimentary assessment:
Today's Hiring Climate by CONNSTEP
Recruiting and hiring manufacturing workers is more difficult than ever in today’s economic climate. Not only are companies competing with other manufacturers, they’re competing with other industries who are also seeking new employees, from entry-level to those more experienced.

This reality is compounded by the fact that manufacturing jobs are increasingly requiring potential candidates to possess a qualified skillset for many of the unfilled positions. The skillsets needed can be somewhat offset by existing workers who can share valuable job knowledge and processes with incoming workers.

A prevailing misconception about manufacturing is that it involves tedious work, at low pay, in dirty conditions. For the most part, nothing could be further from the truth.
To change this perception essentially requires a rebranding of the industry. Cohesive and consistent messaging must convey that a manufacturing career provides you with:

  • Access to state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology
  • A fulfilling and captivating work environment
  • Opportunities to learn and grow professionally
  • A secure, stable, financial future

Steps to Adapt
To remain competitive in an ever-changing workforce, manufacturers will need to adapt how they operate to encourage candidates to consider them for employment. Steps include:

1) Establishing a company culture that reflects values important to today’s workers. This may include being socially and environmentally responsible, team-building outings, flexible work hours, mentoring opportunities, and systematic progress reviews.

2) Conveying the use of advanced technology at your manufacturing facility, and using social media as a platform to communicate what differentiates your company from the competition and why manufacturing is a rewarding career choice.

3) Creating a work atmosphere that offers a structure for personal growth and advancement. Encourage employees to share ideas and make suggestions that may help the company. Show that you value their contributions and provide frequent feedback and ongoing communication.

4) Promoting the importance of continuous education and job training. Let them know you provide learning opportunities in order to further develop their job skills.

For more information on recruiting or employee engagement information contact Carol Grosso – Regional Manager CONNSTEP. 860-929-8506.
Waterbury Police Department Application Period Open Through 2/16/22
Golden Technology Services Offers Cybersecurity Briefing Heading into the New Year
January is named after the Roman God of Beginnings or Transitions Janus. Looking forward to 2022 we should also take a brief look at the recent past cybersecurity wise.
Techjury a software testing organization recently stated in a report “The Most Telling Cybersecurity Statistics in 2021” that 43% of all cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses. 91% of attacks launch with a phishing email (a social engineering tactic to convince you to click on a link, download an attachment or provide sensitive information without first verifying its legitimacy). 38% of malicious attachments are masked as one Microsoft type of file or another.
What should businesses do to reduce their risk while online this year? Kurtis Minder of GroupSense a data intelligence company advises that companies implement 5 cybersecurity tools now. Some of these include Two Factor Authorization/Multi-factor Authentication should be used on all customer facing applications including network, remote access and email. Password policy should create and maintain a password policy for employees re: security and credentials use. Utilize Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) due to the pandemic employees have been working from home or remotely with little preparation and consideration for remote access and workers.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reports the number one cyber attack is phishing, the electronic means eg. email, text or voice mail that spoofs a supposed trusted source to get you do to something on their behalf usually including a false sense of urgency.
Think and investigate whenever you receive any communication before responding to their request. 

You can reach Justin Golden via email or telephone/text 1(972)679-9738.
Bsquared Intel's 2022 Cybersecurity Update
2021 was the year the world saw how consequential cyber attacks are. December 9th, 2021 brought us one of, if not the worst, vulnerabilities to date that effects potentially hundreds of millions of devices and it may take months, or years, to get this under control. This vulnerability appears in Log4j, a Java-based logging service distributed by the Apache Software Foundation.
If this is the first time you’re hearing about Log4j, it is critically important to make sure your systems are patched to fix this vulnerability. Failure to do so allows an attacker to easily gain full access to your systems. It is also important to check in with your vendors/service providers to see if they’re affected and have got things under control on their end.
Upcoming event
We’d also like to invite you to our first virtual monthly cybersecurity hangout over Zoom on Thursday January 13th, at 8PM EST. You can register here:

Chamber Welcomes SCORE Western Connecticut

SCORE was formed in 1964 as a resource partner of the Small Business Administration.  Our mission is to foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education. Our vision is for every person to have the support necessary to thrive as a small business owner, supported by over 10,000 volunteers organized into 250 geographic chapters. The Western Connecticut chapter ranks among the highest in client satisfaction across these chapters. 

SCORE Western Connecticut:

SCORE Western Connecticut and our volunteer business mentors are dedicated to providing the best possible professional quality, free, one-on-one advice face to face, phone, email and via Zoom. The Western Connecticut Chapter volunteers are dedicated and anxious to share their broad mix of entrepreneurial, management and small business experience.  They represent currently employed and retired executives, business owners and community leaders.

We offer a wide variety of on-line and in person workshops and webinars in addition to one-on-one client mentoring services.  We typically conduct more than 600 private, confidential sessions, and over 40 live workshops/webinars each year. SCORE volunteers use their expertise to help implement business practices to guide our clients on the path to accomplishing their business objectives.
Acts 4 Ministry Seeking Coats & Winter Accessories Donations for Annual “Share the Warmth” Drive Through February 2022
The non-denominational, non-profit Acts 4 Ministry charitable organization serving the greater Waterbury community, is seeking donations of winter coats and accessories for children and adults during their annual “Share the Warmth” drive. Donations of new or gently-worn coats, jackets, hats, gloves, scarves, plus new socks, thermals, and undergarments. There is a special need for men’s coats and new long johns will be welcomed through Monday, February 28, 2022.
All donations can be brought to Acts 4 Ministry at 1713 Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, 9 am to 2 pm. Monetary donations payable to Acts 4 Ministry, Inc. can be U.S. Mailed to PO Box 4524, Waterbury, CT 06704. For information, call Acts 4 Ministry at 203-574-2287 or visit for more current donation needs.  
Comcast RISE Program Opens to All Women-Owned Small Businesses
Background on Comcast RISE:
 Why is this program impactful? Comcast RISE helps people move their businesses forward with either a tech makeover or an ad campaign to increase awareness in local markets. Notably, this support has added up: $60 million in grants, marketing and technology services to thousands of small businesses owned by people of color – including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Asian Americans since November 2020. And, as we expand our efforts, Comcast RISE will support 13,000 small businesses across the country by the end of 2022.
Eligible independent small businesses can apply for the following Comcast RISE awards:
  • Marketing services: The following services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and its creative agency, Mnemonic, are designed to help recipients with their marketing and media campaigns, including a linear TV campaign and a 30-second TV commercial production.
  • Technology makeovers: The state-of-the-art equipment and technology upgrade from Comcast Business includes computer equipment as well as internet, voice and cybersecurity services for up to a 12-month period. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for tech makeover services.)
A key part of Comcast RISE is ensuring business sustainability. Comcast has already invested more than $2 million in more than 20 community-based organizations and diverse chambers of commerce to provide additional support to small businesses owned by people of color.
All Comcast RISE recipients will also have a specialized online networking community within Ureeka with access to educational resources, sources of capital, and vetted experts such as U.S. Black Chambers, National Asian Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Walker’s Legacy and Operation Hope.
Comcast RISE is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive. Over the next 10 years, Comcast has committed $1 billion to programs like Comcast RISE and partnerships that will reach an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
We encourage you or someone you know to apply to Comcast RISE here.

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