2000 to Present

2000...Kenneth E. Brannin, V. P. Operations of the BIC Corporation is elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. Dr. Henry Lee addresses the Chamber at the annual meeting. The Chamber takes higher degree of interest in world trade and its effect on Milford business. The expansion of the Internet leads many discussions. Expanded views on commerce on the state, regional and national level are entertained. The Gallis Report notes that transportation was the most serious issue facing business in the region along the I-95 and Route 15 corridors. The chamber supports the improvements of Tweed airport. It continues to oppose the Long Wharf Galleria. Supports the Milford Board of Education in their initiatives to raise the bar on requirements for graduation. Opposes many new mandates on employers that would increase health care costs, workers compensation and unemployment compensation. Opposes legislation on paid family and medical leave of absence, holds the line on deficit spending by the state, insists DEP educate small business on compliance with, waste and water regulations. The Chamber expands efforts on the BIC Golf Classic and scholarships. Continues partnership in the Business Showcase a 9-town Expo. Continues the Downtown Plan of Development with Yale University, Charette held in chamber side yard. Broad Street fire erupts burning down the Sugar Shack and Retroactive and Canvas Patch; chamber creates the Phoenix Fund to help the displaced businesses. Opposes affordable housing development in Milford, supports downtown bed & breakfasts. The railroad overpass construction begins.

2001...Paul Moss, President of Milford Hospital elected Chamber Chairman. This was the year for technology upgrades, to be able to make the chamber deliver services more efficiently. A Technology Committee is organized and bids were sent out. Mark Hoffman from Orange Research volunteers to be a technical consultant. A new networked computer system installed with access to e-mail and the internet. A new telephone system was put in place with voice mail. The Chamber creates a discount card for Students who do well on state academic performance test. The Chamber supports automobile dealers on state banning arbitration clauses in franchise agreements. Opposes the potential closing of entrance ramps onto I-95 at Bic Drive. Backs the upgrade of proposed at Devon project. Continues the opposition to affordable housing apartment complexes. Supports open space acquisition. Chamber supports improvements on either Tweed or Bridgeport airport, Westfield renames mall, "Westfield Shoppingtown Connecticut Post. Mayor Lisman announces he will not run for re-election. James Richetelli is elected Mayor. Re-building of train trestles begin on River Street, Old Gate Lane. Chamber supports rail station in Orange. Trust Fund expands scholarships to 20K per year, a huge increase from the one $500 scholarship started in memory of Edmund Meinket in 1981. Café Atlantique opens downtown. The Downs House becomes issue for preservation. On Thursday, September 11, 2001, some members of the Legislative Action Committee watch live television coverage of the terrorist destruction of the second tower in the World Trade Center, as it is hit by second airliner. The following Saturday the Chamber with the Milford Jaycees hold a collection for workers boots, gloves, medical supplies etc. The American Red Cross and United Way solicit support. Our world has changed forever.

2002...Eileen Cavanaugh, The Milford Bank elected Chairman. The world is still reeling from September 11th attack. Talk of war takes over the media. The world economy takes downturn. The Chamber and Westfield establish the Bruce Eagleson Memorial Scholarship in honor of Westfield's Vice President killed in the World Trade Center attack. The city tightens its belt. Our internet website www.milfordct.com is launched in January with overwhelming success. Informational sessions are held at the Library to inform residents on Downtown Plan of Development. The Chamber opposes advertising bus shelters. Jai Alai puts its facility on the market. Again the chamber opposes changes in unemployment compensation reforms. A strategic plan retreat takes place at Great River Golf Club with the Board. Westfield seeks expansion of the mall. New sidewalks are obtained on River Street due to MPI. The chamber membership drive is held bringing in 108 new members in three days, bringing membership to 780 businesses. A first tourism guide produced and distributed by the Chamber. The city buys Milford Academy property due to efforts of Mayor James Richetelli.

2003...Patrick Madden, General Manager of Westfield Shoppingtown Connecticut Post elected Chairman. National, regional and state awards are garnered. The Milford Chamber places as national finalist for the "Award of Excellence" in the small chamber division of the U.S. Chamber, American Chamber of Commerce Executives, National Association of Membership Development awards program. Kathleen Alagno, President & CEO is named New England Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year and the Connecticut Association of Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year 2003. Nell Moll, Director of Membership, Opportunities and Enthusiasm, receives national award for " Lifetime Achievement" in sales recognition. The Reverend Osmun addresses chamber on World Trade Center experiences. The war with Iraq begins. State begins budget cuts. Tourism districts takes budget cuts. Native Americans propose casinos in Bridgeport. The chamber supports the elimination or revision of prevailing wage. The Chamber Board has strategic planning session led by University of New Haven professor Dr. Abbas Nadim. Milford Progress led by Raymond Macaluso has completed phase one of new lamplights for the downtown, is working on a traffic plan and street signage plan. New regulations are being formulated for storefront signage with Planning & Zoning.

2004...Glenn D. Beck,C.P.A. elected Chairman. Plans of implementation of the strategic plan are taking place. A new Membership Committee is being formed under the leadership of David Slossberg of Hurwitz, Sagarin & Slossberg. Thad Henry of University of New Haven is investigating the development of a small business education series. Milford Progress will continue to put in place short, mid and long-term plans led by Ray Macaluso of Westcott & Mapes. Cathy Gorman of Advanced Placement continues the leading of the Ambassadors. Legislative Action led by David Stahelski continues to fight for the repeal of prevailing wage, and present a petition with over 1500 signatures to our legislators on the need for accessibility and affordability of health care insurance. The BIC Golf Classic, chaired by Glenn Beck and Tom Boyle is entering it's ninth year raising over 20K for scholarships for students and $5K for Mini Grants for Students. A membership drive is planned for the fall to increase our current membership of 725. Our 50th Anniversary Celebration plans include a Gala Event at Race Brook Country Club, the burying of a time Capsule to take place at the Oyster Festival and a 50's style rock n' roll dance to be held in the fall. And it's only May!

Our special thanks to the following for their numerous hours of research and editing: Kathy Alagno, President & CEO of the Milford Chamber (the 90's), Robert Gregory Director of Community and Economic Development of the City of Milford (the 80's & 70's), Linda Bouvier of Connecticut Kitchen Design (the 60's), Gary Johnson of United Way (the 50's). Gaps in history may be due to loss of records due to basement flooding.

2005...Lynda Smith Tellier, West Shore Realty elected Chairperson. A survey of business on their use of computers was done in conjunction with Quinnipiac University. A Milford on the Sea twin city relationship is being pursued with Milford, England. A Business Boot Camp program with Tom Maier was put together. Plans for internal renovation of the building were pursued. Walls were re-finished, walls painted. PMI installed internal walls. A Historic District was proposed and supported by the Downtown Milford Business Association, with the Chamber disagreeing. Legislative Action met frequently with Rep. Jim Amann, Speaker of the House. The special sewer district for the Center of Milford of 7500 gallons per acre has been expanded to match P&Z MCCCD Zone. Chamber supports keeping open submarine bases in Connecticut. A Strategic plan for the Chamber was reviewed with Dr. Abbas Nadim of the University of New Haven. Lamplights installation has begun downtown under the auspices with MPI. The BIC Golf Classic continued as a successful venture. A parking garage for downtown was discussed at length.

2006...Raymond A. Macaluso of Westcott & Mapes selected Chairman...Week End Area Valet Shuttle continued again this year. Meetings held with downtown business owners on lamplights. A downtown traffic study is being proposed. Mini grants were awarded to students. A request was sent to Supt. Greg Firn to help establish an Education Foundation. Multiple trips were made to the Capitol on business issues. A membership drive was planned. A dinner dance "Captain's Ball Cruise Night" was held at Villa Bianca. A Parking Task force was developed. Nine cases of donated goods were shipped to the Connecticut Marines in Iraq. Eleven firms were identified for a signage study. A Taste of the Chamber was held at the Shriner's Hall.

2007...Don Kanoff of the Milford Bank is elected Chairman. Estimates on repairing the fireplace were received, masonry and bad shape outside. Also repairs to be made to air conditioning in the building quotes received. Directory sales proceeding very well. Strategic plan is moving along, tourism brochure sales beginning and holiday ornament sales have begun. The Chamber Board supports the dredging of the Milford Harbor. Testimony given by Marshall Collins on behalf of the chamber in support of requiring a cost-benefit analysis prior to the implementation of a health care mandate. Parking Task Force meets with Chief Mello re bicycle officer, potential meter person and ticketing. Mary Ann Nilan is honored with the Human Service Award. The Open Doors of Milford by DMBA is supported for their first season, as well as second annual Pirate Festival. Legislative Action promotes Transparency in Health Insurance data. Beach party Bash held in June as fundraiser at Villa Bianca- great fun! BIC Golf Classic another major success. Fireworks at Westfield incredible event.

2008...Tracey O'Brian, Marvin Display, Chairman. Chamber Board of Directors Retreat on strategic planning held at Milford Hospital. Chamber survey sent out to the general membership. Fireplace pointing completed. Tourism brochure completed to be used at Tourism Summit in New Haven. Met with DMBA on Wayfinding program. Fireworks at Westfield another success, as well as BIC golf tournament.

2009...Attorney Stephen Studer, Berchem, Moses & Devlin, elected Chairman.
Chamber assists Navy 44 comes to Milford with (2) 44ft Naval vessels in Milford Harbor. Taylor Library Building undergoes improvements and mold remediation. Database reviewed for new software. Kimball Report (Land Use and Construction Permitting) submitted to the City. Legislative Agenda adopted urging a parking garage in downtown, supporting the Affordable Business Climate Senate Bill 495, oppose paid sick leave bill, opposes Captive Audience Meetings, and Card Check Bill. Hilton Hotel opens on Milford Jai Alai site, summer Camp Program MCCCI supports 75 children. Summer Concert Series continues. Southern CT Business Expo at Sacred Heart huge success. Chamber sponsor Cruise to Bermuda, BIC Golf Classic extremely successful. Chamber produces Pandemic Continuity Guide for Business in conjunction with Milford Health Department. Fireworks at Westfield is great event. Enjoyed "The Jersey Boys" Tribute Show at Mill River Country Club. Flu Clinic held at Chamber.

2010...Attorney David Slossberg of Hurwitz, Sagarin & Slossberg elected Chairman. The Chamber produced a Restaurant Stimulus Raffle for the benefit of the Chamber Trust raising $7800. Chamber video produced. Small Business Institute produced by Milford Financial Network. Legislative Action opposes HB 5255 re local property taxes on new and existing equipment used to deliver broadband services. Series of meetings held with gubernatorial candidates Ned La Mont, Dan Malloy, Tom Foley. Career Fair Survey sent out. Chamber Database programs reviewed. Chamber members enjoy a cruise to the Western Mediterranean. BIC Golf Classic successful again. The Rat Pack Tribute Show takes place at Costa Azzurra a totally enjoyable event. Summer Concert Series continues. Most successful membership drive in chamber history with David Slossberg as chairpersons delivers 128 new members to the Chamber in a one month period during the campaign. Amazing!

2011...Attorney Vincent Averaimo of the law firm of Kapusta, Otzel & Averaimo elected Chairman. Legislative Action Agenda adopted noting the deficit must be eliminated, employment benefits for public sector should reflect private sector, the tourism needs to be explored to generate funds, prevailing wage thresholds must be increased, and the state should become fiscally responsible. Business survey distributed to membership, Milford Childcare Consortium marks their 20th Anniversary. Tabletop at Grassy Hill a sellout. Governor Malloy addresses the business community at Schick. Summer Nights by Harbor Lights celebrates another successful year. Hurricane Irene hits Milford in August and destroys hundreds of homes. Murder Mystery-Gangsters in Love produced at Aldario's Restaurant becomes a sellout. $2000 in Mini Grants Awarded to Students. $21,000 in Scholarships awarded. Health & Wellness Council produces Step by Step to a Healthier Milford Walking Program. Holiday Business After at the Milford Bank celebrates another successful year.

2012...Elected is Harriet Haggerty of Shamrock Financial Services
Legislative Agenda is produced noting Connecticut needs to better control spending, avoid tax increases, avoid tax or legislative mandates that will increase cost drivers, focus on prioritized transportation issues, continue to fund vocational technical system, and ensure 21st century skills for our children, and developing a parking plan for downtown. $1750 awarded in Mini Grants to students for community projects. Chamber works with Alan Plattus of Yale Urban Design Workshop on downtown plan of development. Harrison's Hardware sold. Revolutionary war cannon restored and place in Taylor Building front yard. The Chamber partners with Westfield in the "Save a Suit" program, that provides
suits to veterans re-entering the the workforce. Eight Summer Concerts presented by Kapusta, Otzel & Averaimo. Chamber works with Housatonic Community College on potential programs to be offered in Milford. A Murder Mystery, "Wedding Bell Blues" presented to sellout crowd. Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy devastates Milford coastline. Chamber assists with Transitional and Temporary Housing Committee to find housing for Milford residents displaced by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy. Chamber Trust donated $20,000 to United Way to help support resident's needs. Successful Milford Bank Holiday Business After Hours ends the year.

2013....Darryl Zebrowski of Edward Jones Investments elected Chairman
Hurricane Sandy efforts continue. Affordable Health Care Act causes flurry in business markets. Legislative Agenda developed with opposition to budget cuts for hospitals. Chamber supports funding for School Service Resource Officers in light of 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy. Mayor Blake speaks at State of the City luncheon. New website begins to be developed. Membership Drive develops 40 new members. "The Rat Pack is Back" tribute show fundraiser is another success at Costa Azzurra Restaurant. The Chamber and the Downtown Milford Business Association partner to produce, Milford's first, "Restaurant Week" featuring 25 restaurants to city accolades. Chamber takes cruise to Bahamas. Chamber works with state on educating business community on C-PACE (Connecticut Property Assessment Clean Energy) program. Summer Nights by Harbor Lights Concert Series has successful summer.

2014....Scott Moulton, Capital Management Group elected.
Chamber Trust awards $21,500 at State of The City Address by Mayor Ben Blake. The City of Milford enjoys its 375th Anniversary this year with multiple venues. Legislative Action Committee meets with Rep. James Maroney regarding parking downtown, opposes SB249 State Run Retirement Plans. Rep. Rose sponsors Milford Welcomes Veterans Discount Program. BIC Golf Classic has another successful year, thanks to BIC. New website launched and new Chamber logo developed for a more contemporary look and feel. Summer Nights by Harbor Lights Summer Concert series sponsored by Kapusta, Otzel & Averaimo has wonderful year with record crowds. Milford Fun and Fit Day is produced by Milford Health & Wellness Council. Multi- Chamber expo takes place at Westfield sponsored by Connoisseur Radio. Chamber celebrates its 60th Anniversary with food and wine pairing dinner at Great River Country Club, featuring a diamond raffle and silent auction to raise funds. Our history, founders and chairpersons are honored in program book. The year ends with festive Business After Hours at the Milford Bank

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