On a hot and humid pre-summer evening, members of the New Hartford Business Council gathered at Berkshire Hall (Brodie Park) to celebrate, network and reflect.
First, the celebration…the business council recognized the accomplishments of two New Hartford seniors with a presentation of a $500.00 scholarship to both. Matthew Paniati, graduating with a 3.72 GPA and placing 17th in his class of 191, was the first to be presented with the scholarship. He is the son of James and Lorri Paniati, is a Scholar Athlete, recognized by the State of CT for scoring highest on the CAPT and also received numerous recognitions and awards for academic excellence. In the fall Matthew will be attending Bentley University, Waltham, MA with an undeclared major. Kelly Morrissey, graduating with a 4.04 GPA and placing 7th in her class of 191 was also presented with a scholarship by Dawn Whalen, President New Hartford Business Council. She is the daughter of John and Patricia Morrissey, plays Varsity field hockey, is a member of various clubs and also received numerous awards and recognitions for her academic excellence. Kelly will attend UCONN, Storrs, CT with an undeclared major.
Second, the networking….while connecting and re-connecting with colleagues and fellow business owners, attendees enjoyed a picnic fare of pulled pork and Jamaican jerk chicken sliders, cole slaw, cocktail franks, pasta salads and cookies all coordinated and by Deb & Michael Kuszaj of Blue Sky Foods and Peg Budny (Peggy’s Personalized Promos). While sipping lemonade over ice donated by Birch Lane or enjoying a cold beer, members were also treated to freshly popped popcorn courtesy of Carol Monroe of Northwest Community Bank. The band Not Quite Bluegrass treated us to a medley of acoustic tunes perfectly suited for our picnic theme. Members of the band include John Pierce- guitar, Pat MacDonald- mandolin (of MacDonald Building and Remodeling), Rick Prince- banjo, Scott Camera- dobro, and Dave Aston-bass.
Third, the reflection….using our theme for the evening “Running a Business Isn’t Always a Picnic”, keynote speaker Carol Mon (www.carolmon.com) gave an inspiring presentation on how picnics, despite the ants, can be like running a business. “It’s all about expectations and attitude,” Mon repeated over the course of her 30-minute presentation. With the right attitude and expectations running a business can be more reflective of the fun, food and company associated with picnics….and then those pesky ants won’t seem so distracting.
During the general announcements portion of the evening, Whalen stressed the need for more volunteers by focusing on not what the business council can do for its members but rather what members, as business owners in New Hartford, can do to give back to those that support their businesses on a day to day basis. There are various committee opportunities as well as more formal roles available on the Board of Directors and upcoming officer vacancies. If you are interested in offering your time or talents, contact Dawn Whalen @
Whalen also introduced the highly anticipated New Hartford Town Brochure, hot off the presses. The product of 15 months of volunteer work of the Brochure Committee consisting of Deb Kuszaj, Susan Wacht (GeminEye Images), Gardner Graves (Realty Works), Joan Auclair (Goulet Printery), Norma Richmond (Honorary Member) and Christine Hayward (Town Hall), this brochure shows the true character of New Hartford and will certainly encourage people to visit our quaint town. This product is phase one of a two phase project; phase two will include opportunities for businesses to advertise as well as have a town map with all the key points of interest (ETA on the details for phase 2 TBD). The committee will begin to work with Tourism outlets throughout CT, NY, RI, MA so we can get the brochure into key tourism hot spots to encourage visitors to choose New Hartford. The brochure can be found at Town Hall and many store fronts through out New Hartford…to get your copy contact Deb Kuszaj @
Many thanks go to our co-sponsors for the evening: Phil Havens (Philip Havens Technology, LLC), Mike D’Apice (Insurance and Investment Solutions), Anita Barden (New Hartford Farmers Market), Skip Rogers (Rogers Law Firm) and Pat MacDonald (MacDonald Builders). The event would not have been possible without the working hands of Deb Kuszaj (Blue Sky Foods), Kim Trumbull (Realty Works), Carol Monroe (Northwest Community Bank), Peggy Budny (Peggy’s Personalized Promotions), Joan Auclair for designing the postcard and Ashley & Morgan Trumbull (our dedicated teen volunteers). Special thanks to Skip Rogers for once again coordinating the scholarship application process as well as Kim Trumbull for helping to review the applications.
To see pictures from the event, courtesy of Phil Worley, Executive Director, Canton Chamber of Commerce, follow this link:
Click HERE to see pictures from the event, courtesy of Phil Worley, Executive Director, Canton Chamber of Commerce.