Chamber Member News | May 2021
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 4/2/21 to 5/3/21
Member Spotlights
Chamber Member and Brand Inspiration Principal Michael Desroches Pens New Children's Book: "There is a Moth in Daddy's Coffee."
Chamber member and Brand Inspiration principal Michael Desroches has penned a new children’s book: There is a Moth in Daddy’s Coffee. What makes this book even more appealing is the fact that Michael wrote and designed it with a higher purpose. Michael has a passion for advancing young minds by promoting childhood literacy. Profits from the book (and well as subsequent books in the series) will be for used to donate books to young readers via small, private nursery or elementary schools, local and regional libraries, and more. Michael is in the process of developing relationships with these non-profit organizations and encourages them to reach out to him as well. You can help by buying the book through his website, which allows him to donate more funds to the cause than when you purchase via national retailers like Amazon. Look for local book signings coming soon. 

Erika's Best Cleaning
Based out of Waterbury, Erika's Cleaning is fully insured and offers commercial and residential cleaning. They specialize in being pet friendly, green cleaning, deep cleaning, reoccurring cleaning, and they take all COVID-19 precautions.

Owner: Erika Loubier. Contact: 203-519-4911

HPM Insurance: Kara Collins, Account Executive
Kara Collins is an Account Executive for HPM Insurance who helps businesses navigate the often confusing and ever-changing world of insurance. Along with an experienced team of insurance professionals, Kara assists clients in uncovering financial risks while developing an insurance plan to protect the bottom line.

By representing dozens of insurance companies, HPM Insurance is large enough to customize an insurance program that is right for your company, yet small enough to know your name and not treat you like just a policy number. Team members, such as Kara, work directly with you not just to win your business but regularly, to earn your trust for the long term.

HPM Insurance has been protecting the families and businesses of New England since 1860 with its home office in New Hampshire. We are excited to extend this personalized approach of insurance into Waterbury, Connecticut, with Kara leading the way.

To see how HPM Insurance and Kara can help you and your business, contact HPM Insurance today! 1-800-696-1209.

SpotOn: Point of Sale Options
SpotOn is redefining the merchant services industry and taking a customer first approach. Their unique ecosystem of software and payment processing solutions are designed to empower you to work more efficiently, strategically, and economically, all while saving money for your business. There are NO CONTRACTS. With live, local representation (Julian Crespo, Account Executive, 203-809-5576) and 24/7 USA-based customer support, SpotOn is here to help you make life as a small business owner easier, and more profitable. Call Julian Crespo, today, for a free, ZERO obligation conversation about merchant services and software solutions for your business.

Events From Your Fellow Members
AARP of Connecticut : Your Next Act in Manufacturing - Instructor Recruiting Seminars May 12 and May 18

Your Next Act In Manufacturing – Instructor Recruiting: A growing demand for new skilled workers to meet the needs of CT’s resurgent manufacturing industry – estimated at 25,000 to 35,000 positions for the state’s manufacturing companies in the next two decades – is outpacing the supply, which has created an increased need for instructors. Manufacturing specific instructor opportunities exist throughout the state at colleges and pipeline programs. The entry points are such that a manufacturing retiree could earn a little income by working a few hours a week or entirely re-career into a full-time position. No teaching experience or degree is required for many positions and professional development courses for manufacturing professionals looking to switch to college instruction are available.

Two opportunities to participate:

May 18: Connecticut in Motion Transportation Series
Mental Health First Aid Certification Classes
May is Mental Health Awareness Month - a good time to take stock of mental health in the Connecticut workplace. Even before the pandemic, red flags were raised about mental health in America, and now those flags are raised even higher.
Worries and stressors invariably find their way into the workplace, making it more difficult to effectively supervise, collaborate, be productive, thrive. It’s time to normalize discussions of mental health at work, where we spend a third of our lives. Mental Health First Aid provides fundamental tools for workers, supervisors, and management to recognize and respond to mental health challenges, supporting wellness and productivity in the workplace.
“Mondays in May”
Three virtual Mental Health First Aid trainings are offered, Mondays, May 10, May 17, and May 24.

Register (choose 1):    
New Exhibitions at the Mattatuck Museum
A Face Like Mine, a major exhibition organized in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, is now open at the Mattatuck Museum. The exhibition presents a century of Black figurative art in the United States, from 1921 to 2021, a time of radical change for Black people in America. By featuring portraits of Black people by Black artists, this exhibition celebrates Black identity and cultural heritage and argues for the inclusion of these works in the global art historical canon. The fifty artists of A Face Like Mine have represented themselves and their community through various media—including sculpture, photography, painting, works on paper, and assemblage. Artists included are Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Kerry James Marshall, Lorna Simpson, James VanDer Zee, and Kehinde Wiley among many others They have depicted their reality through their gaze, investing themes of Black identity, place, family, and performance as cornerstones of American portraiture.

A Face Like Mine, on view now until September 12, is the second in a three-part exhibition series developed in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The MFA Boston is the lead museum from Northeast cohort of the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation initiative. The initiative, wholly funded by Art Bridges, supports multi-year exhibition partnerships with the mission of expanding access to American art across the US. Additional financial support was provided by Art Bridges; Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP; Eversource Energy; Morgan Stanley, John T. Daddona, Vice President, Financial Advisor; Post University; TD Bank Charitable Foundation; and Torrco.
A Secret Heliotropism: The Art of Jeanne Silverthorne, on view now until to June 27 presents an array of cast-rubber sculptures that explore art historical traditions in still life, the use of space, and shifts in scale. In this exhibition, Silverthorne’s modern still lifes explore the ephemeral and ever-changing aspects of life and art; her use of a mutable medium that adapts to any shape or size underscores the mutability of organic and manmade worlds. Silverthorne creates cast-rubber sculptures of the natural world: dandelions, weeds, garden flowers including roses and sunflowers, and insects – lots of bees and flies. As her art moves between these two worlds, the viewer enjoys its wit, its push to contemplation and its mix of humor with nostalgia.

While on view, both exhibitions will be accompanied by programs, workshop, and activities for adults, children and families. For more information on all of the Museum’s programs, events, and exhibits visit their website at or call (203) 753-0381.

Designer Purse Bingo May 7 Hosted by Literacy Volunteers of Waterbury and Friends of the Silas Bronson Library
Price: $50 each
Includes 10 rounds of bingo and a complimentary glass of wine.
Please note food will NOT be provided but feel free to bring your own snacks or consider ordering from the Hawk Ridge menu
Payments accepted: cash, check, credit card*, and Paypal* (*additional fees apply)
For more info please contact Executive Director Jessica Reho at 203-754-1164 or

AllTown Fresh Hiring at Two New Locations
May is National Foster Care Month: Hundreds of Youth in Need of Loving Homes
May is National Foster Care Month, a time to consider the many children and youth in need of loving homes and the professionals dedicating to finding foster families. During this period, especially, as individuals and families emerge from the long-term challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an ever-pressing need for foster families in Connecticut.

“An observance like National Foster Care Month is an opportunity to start the conversation about foster care, but more importantly, to consider what we can do year round to find foster homes, as well as serve children and youth already in care, and support foster families,” said Sharon Pendleton-Ponzani, LCSW, director, Wheeler Foster Care Services.

In Connecticut, on any given day, there are nearly 4,000 children and youth in foster care, and there are nearly 600 youth in need of loving foster homes. Most are over the age of 13 years old
Wheeler’s Foster Care programs, funded by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, provide 24-hour support to families and youth. Wheeler’s programs provide a higher level of care and resources, including supports to meet the needs of children and youth and help them heal from abuse, neglect, trauma, and more.

For information about Wheeler Foster Care opportunities, call 860.793.7277, email or visit

Upcoming Events & Offers at Foxwoods Resort & Casino
Main Street Waterbury Perfecto Cigar Dinner (May 7)
Main Street Waterbury is hosting its Annual Cigar Night on May 7, 2021 from 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at La Bella Vista, 380 Farmwood Road, Waterbury. Spend a relaxing Friday night with great friends, great food and great cigars - al fresco style. Tickets include 4 premium cigars, food catered by La Bella Vista, wine, beer, and scotch/bourbon sampling. Not to mention, the opportunity to win some great raffle prizes! Tickets can be purchased online for $80 each or $75 each with 2 or more tickets. Tickets will be limited, first come first served. No tickets will be sold at 'door'. Purchase tickets online at:
Hosted by The Smoke Easy Cigar Parlor with support from the Brass Mill Center and Nutmeg Fine Wines & Spirits. Sponsorships are available, please contact Anabela Maia at to learn more.

Wheeler's 36th Annual Golf Classic September 15, 2021
Wheeler’s 36th Annual Wheeler Golf Classic, presented by Mutual of America Financial Group, will take place at The Country Club of Farmington on September 15, 2021. Registration is open, and sponsors, players, and prize donors are welcome.

In 2020, the Golf Classic raised $45,000 to support Wheeler’s community health centers in Bristol, Hartford, New Britain, Plainville, and Waterbury, as well as the organization’s Basic Needs Fund, bringing the total amount raised since its inception to more than $1.2 million.

The Wheeler Golf Classic was founded in 1986 by a group of business leaders and top companies, and some of the original supporters remain involved today. Event sponsors have participated since the tournament’s first year, sharing a commitment to improving the health and well-being of families and the community.

Proceeds from Golf Classic events have helped Wheeler to address emergent community needs such as ensuring access to integrated primary and behavioral health services in underserved communities and providing a state-of-the art learning environment for students with emotional and behavioral challenges.

For more information, visit or contact Sue O’Connell at 860.793.4214, or

NAMI-Waterbury Virtual Walk May 22
On May 22, NAMI Connecticut is holding a virtual walk, which is a fundraiser for the NAMI affiliates and NAMI Connecticut. All monies raised will continue to provide free support, education, and advocacy programs. Monies raised will stay in Connecticut and the local affiliates. If you are unable to participate, NAMI has opportunities available to sponsor an affiliate team. This year, Waterbury has two teams participating: "Minds of Waterbury" led by captain Bev Monterosso and "Stars & Sparkles" led by captain Kathy Dwyer. This is also an option available to any member that is walking.

Checks can be made out to "NAMI" and sent to NAMI-Waterbury, P.O. Box 2924, Waterbury, CT 06723 or donate online here for "Minds of Waterbury" or here for "Stars & Sparkles."

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Member News and Updates
Barker Museum Announces NFT Partnership with Celebridrucks
The Barker Character, Comic and Cartoon Museum is proud to announce that they will be the exclusive licensee and production agent for the upcoming collection of NFTs for the iconic international brand- CELEBRIDUCKS! CelebriDucks was voted one of the top 100 Gifts by Entertainment Weekly, featured on The Tonight Show, Conan, and hundreds of media outlets worldwide. They have sold millions of their ducks and are considered the top custom duck manufacturer in the industry.  Celebriducks has created ducks for everyone from Harley-Davidson to the N.Y. Yankees to SeaWorld!

The Barker Museum plans to produce NFTs using its artists as well as engaging many popular NFT artists through a unique combination of commissioning or sub-licensing. The Barker Museum and Celebriducks will be consulting with several industry professionals, including noted NFT intellectual property attorney, Jesse Halfon, to ensure the integrity of the Celebrity brand.

An interesting aspect of this project is to provide a physical Celebriduck, signed by Craig Wolfe, to the original buyer of the first NFT for each edition. This will provide a bridge between the digital and physical space. In addition, a portion of each initial sale will be used to help support Ducks Unlimited.

For more information on the Barker Character, Comic and Cartoon Museum, please visit: or contact Laurie Rispoli, General Manager, 203-272-2357 x238.

For more information on Celebriducks, please visit:

Best Mom Ever: Adam Broderick Salon & Spa Gift Card Offer
For every $175 in ab gift cards you purchase, receive an additional $25 gift card. Through May 9.
Connecticut Restaurant Free Drinks Campaign
The CT Restaurant Association is partnering with the State of Connecticut to offer complimentary drinks to patrons beginning on May 19. The promotion runs through the end of May; customers will have to show they received either one or both doses of a COVID vaccine. Individuals can select from a list of preset drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The promotion limits drinks to one per person and the purchase of food is required. For more information or if you are a restaurant who would like to participate in the #CTDrinkOnUs campaign or to see a list a of participating restaurants, visit:
Branagan Communications Consultants Publicizes Merger of B&G Sports & ColorGraphix
Public relations, publicity placement specialist Branagan Communications Consultants (BCC) successfully placed a press release announcing the merger of B&G Sports in Waterbury with ColorGraphix in Oxford in the “Republican American” April 26 edition. Headlined “Once Humble, Now Hungry: B&G Sports, ColorGraphix merge, share big expectations”, the “Biz Spotlight” feature story appeared ‘above-the-fold’ highlighted with a photo of B&G Owner Matt Brunyansky and ColorGraphix Owner Jeff Jones. This article was the result of a press release BCC wrote plus an in-person interview BCC arranged with the two company owners and business reporter Steve Barlow. BCC Owner Barbara Branagan-Mitchell specializes in ‘making businesses and organizations famous’ via the writing of press releases and placing those releases with media outlets that reach target audiences of BCC’s clients. For a free consultation via phone or Zoom, call Barbara Branagan-Mitchell at 860-210-0149, email to, and to learn more, visit

Charter Oak College Names New Provost
Charter Oak State College has named David Ferreira, Ed.D. as its new provost and vice president of academic affairs, according to college president Ed Klonoski. Dr. Ferreira joins Charter Oak having established a career in higher education providing academic leadership for urban and rural public college students in Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina and Florida. Dr. Ferreira was most recently the Interim AVP of Academic Operations at the future Connecticut State Community College, as well as the Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Northwestern Connecticut Community College. He holds a B.S. in Political Science from Southern Connecticut State University, a M.A. in Political Science from American University and a Ed.D from Northcentral University. He resides in Barkhamsted, CT.

“Charter Oak State College is a leader in providing online learning for adults seeking to enter, transition or advance in their chosen career field,” said Klonoski. “Since our founding in 1973, we have been one of the most affordable and accessible options for adults seeking to earn credentials. By offering credit for professional credentials and by recognizing prior learning, Charter Oak is laser focused on meeting the needs of our students and today’s workforce.”

According to President Klonoski, “What attracted us the most about Dr. Ferreira is not only his commitment to academic excellence, but his commitment to adult learners and diverse student populations. While he will replace a Provost with a long history at the College, Dr. Ferreira brings a wealth of experience leading and operationalizing academic programs, student services, student resources and student assessment. His focus on the workforce and alignment of academic curricula will assist us in continuing to offer high-value low-cost credentials in high growth career fields to students here in Connecticut and across the country.”

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for the Public, Adults 18+, Offered on May 8 at Wheeler's Community Health Center, Waterbury
Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Center at 855 Lakewood Road, Waterbury, will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for the public, adults ages 18+, on Saturday, May 8, as well as COVID-19 vaccine clinics for adults who live in Waterbury on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at this location. No appointment or referrals are needed, and the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available.
Other clinics for the public, adults ages 18+, will also be held in Plainville and Hartford throughout May.
Saturday, May 8 (Second dose follow-up June 5 if Moderna vaccine)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Family Health & Wellness Center
855 Lakewood Road, Waterbury, CT
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Family Health & Wellness Center
855 Lakewood Road, Waterbury, CT
COVID-19 vaccine clinics for the public, adults ages 18+, will also be offered at Wheeler’s community health centers in Hartford and Plainville.
Saturday, May 15 (Second dose follow-up June 12 if Moderna vaccine)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Family Health & Wellness Center
43 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT
Monday through Friday
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Family Health & Wellness Center
43 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT

Saturday, May 22 (second dose follow-up June 19 if Moderna vaccine)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Family Health & Wellness Center
91 Northwest Drive, Plainville, CT
Wheeler vaccine clinic information is available at

Comcast RISE Applications Now Open: Consulting, Media, & Production Services
Comcast RISE is a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in October to help strengthen small businesses hard hit by COVID-19. Qualifying businesses can apply to receive consulting, media and creative production services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, or technology upgrades from Comcast Business. Comcast RISE is now accepting applications from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses. Learn more and apply at

ALICE Instructor Training 5/26-5/27 Hamden
ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) Training is the leading program for response to violent critical incidents (VCI). VCI are man-made forms of violent disaster, including: active shooter, violent intruder, mass shooting, terrorism, workplace violence, and other unexpected tragedies.

The mission of ALICE is to save lives. Our training program empowers individuals to participate in their own survival using proactive options-based response strategies when faced with violence. Participating in ALICE Instructor Certification provides you the training necessary to teach others these lifesaving strategies.
Smithfield Gardens Assisted Living: An Affordable Assisted Living Community for You or a Loved One
We offer seniors a combination of housing and supportive services that include meals, housekeeping, laundry, recreational activities, and personal care while promoting dignity and independence! Monthly rates average $1,500.

For an application, more information, or to schedule your personal tour of our community,
please email us at
or call us at (203) 888-1835

For more information, visit:
We follow all CDC and DPH COVID-19 guidance!

The Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board Seeking Employers to Join its Summer Youth Employment Program
The NRWIB Summer Youth Employment Program places youth ages 14-21 in local jobs for career exploration in their interested field. The program provides wages and career experience for youth in our communities, with NRWIB providing the wages and your business providing the experience! Registration runs until May 31. For more information, call 203-574-6971, ext. 471 or email To register as a summer worksite, visit

SharedWork Program Offers Solutions for CT Employers
Connecticut Manufacturing Assistance Center
Upgrade your business with the help of CMAC, an industry leading specialist in hand assembly and quality assurance. At CMAC, the quality, care and control are the same as you would want in your own facility. Let us take your hand assembly needs and execute them to your specifications and on your schedule.

Planning your next move?
Look no further! The Connecticut Manufacturing Assistance Center is here for all your hand assembly and quality assurance needs. Centrally located in Waterbury, CT, CMAC’s unique operation can assist by providing a high quality and on time product for you. For more information contact: Zachary Westfahl 920-204-4969 or email

Middlebury Convalescent Home Hiring a Bookkeeper Account Receivable
Middlebury Convalescent Home is hiring a part-time Bookkeeper Account Receivable. Flexible schedule; paid time off after 6 months. Working experience with Microsoft Excel and Word a must. Competitive pay and benefits. Middlebury Convalescent Home is a "5 star," 58-bed long- and short-term rehabilitation facility located in picturesque Upper New Haven County, with a longstanding reputation for providing excellent resident care. Resumes can be sent to Besa Jusufi in HR at

Palace Theater Affinity Program
Did you know that as a Chamber member you get special discounts to select shows at the Palace Theater? As an affinity member, you receive a minimum 10% discount off most Palace events with the opportunity to receive even larger discounts on certain performances. When you purchase tickets by phone at 203-346-2000, or in person at the Palace Theater Box Office, mention to your sales and service representative before the point of purchase that you are a Waterbury Regional Chamber Member and would like to take advantage of the Affinity Discount. If you are purchasing tickets online, at, use the Promotional Code: WRC. Please keep in mind that some restrictions may apply and discounts may only pertain to certain seating sections based on performance restrictions. For more information on show specific discounts, please contact the Palace Theater Box Office at 203-346-2000.
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