Town of East Hartford Receives Honorable Mention from the League of American Bicyclists

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The Town of East Hartford has received an Honorable Mention by the League of American Bicyclists upon receipt and review of the the Town’s application to become a Bicycle Friendly Community. This is the Town’s first year pursuing the designation, which ranks municipalities based on their bike-friendliness.

“I am proud of my team’s effort which resulted in this Honorable Mention distinction,” said Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc. “East Hartford has an amazing history in its support of cycling dating back many years. This is our first year working with the League of American Bicyclists, and it is wonderful to be recognized in our first year applying. I look forward to future efforts and collaboration with our community.”

The Town is actively working to continue to improve infrastructure and to provide a safer environment for walkers and bikers.Efforts include a recent collaboration with the Department of Transportation on Connecticut’s first ever “road diet” on Burnside Avenue. The Town will review the findings and recommendations from the League of American Bicyclists, and will implement recommendations with the ultimate goal of receiving a Bicycle Friendly Community designation in the future.

For any questions about the Town’s designation, please contact Trent Sullivan, Risk Manager at 860-291-7422.

Read more: http://www.easthartfordct.gov/node/39603

HOLIDAY FEST FULL SCHEDULE

The East Hartford Holiday Fest’16 will be from Friday, December 2nd through Monday, December 5th. Holiday Fest’16 is presented by the East Hartford Beautification Commission and supported by many local civic, community and town organizations. The Fest is celebrating its 24th year. Traditionally, the tree lighting on the Town Green kicks off Holiday Fest. A drawing will be held at the tree lighting for an East Hartford child between the ages of 5 to 8 to light the town tree. Santa will arrive in his fire engine joining his friends from the North Pole as well. Our MC will be Mike Alan, air traffic reporter for WTIC AM.

This year there are 29 events during the 4 days and they are held through out town. As in years past, the Holiday Fest Committee is asking the public to help out their neighbors in need and donate to the East Hartford Food Banks by buying a Holiday Fest button for $2.00.The only request is that everyone brings a non-perishable food item to each event. All food items will be donated to the East Hartford Food Banks through out town. The entire proceeds from the Holiday Fest buttons will be donated to the East Hartford Food Banks as well.

The events cater to all ages, young and old. Most of the events are free to the public. Click here for full schedule

The Tree Lighting at the Town Green will kick off the Fest. After the Tree Lighting there will be a Santa Swim at EHHS. Saturday will feature many events for children and adults such as a book sale, poinsettia sale, Health Info booth and craft making all being held at the newly renovated Raymond Library. Also, there will be a pancake breakfast, Christmas Boutique, a spaghetti supper and a Carol Sing at the First Congregational Church. This year a returning event will be the “MAIN STREET LOCAL” better known as the Goodwin College Trolley.  You can pick it up at the Town Hall parking lot and travel back in time. Robert Pasek, your tour guide will tell you interesting tidbits about the history of the buildings on Main Street. Come ride the trolley and hear about stories of long ago.

The EHSYF will present a musical performance at the EHCCC and also East Hartford’s own, Paul Bisaccia, will perform a Holiday Musical Piano Concert at First Congregational Church. There will be a Holiday Fair at the All Saint’s Church, as well as a Cookie Walk at South Congregational Church.  Parents can drop their children off in the evening at the YMCA so they can shop. The evening will conclude with a Dance Festival featuring area dancers held at the East Hartford Community Center. Sunday’s events will include a Holiday Pancake Breakfast at the Hillstown Grange, a Holiday Brunch at Tastebuds, a visit from Santa at the EH Community Center with a Snowman Building Contest and horse drawn wagon ride outside the Center. The seniors will enjoy an afternoon of Holiday Bingo and a luncheon at the Moose Family Center.  At Faith Lutheran Church, the Merrimac Bell Ringers will ring in the Holiday season. Monday’s events will feature the East Hartford Woman’s Club “Tree of Lights” at the park on Main St. and CT, Blvd as well as an all day book sale at the library.  A Musical Festival at Riverside Health Center featuring the Pratt United Chorus and other local talents will conclude the Fest.

So come and join us for a Holiday Fest Celebration to kick-off the Holiday Season in East Hartford. Remember to bring non-perishable food items to the events and purchase Holiday Fest buttons to help make the Holiday Season joyous for our neighbors in need. Please spread your Holiday joy and the spirit of giving during this season of sharing and love.

Brochures will be available at locations around town. Holiday Fest buttons will be available at the events and at Town Hall.

HOLIDAY FEST FULL SCHEDULE

 

Read more: http://www.easthartfordct.gov/node/39283

Bicycles East invites you to its Service Center Open House

Bicycles East invites you to its Service Center Open House on Tuesday, October 25th, from 6:30-8:30 pm, at 331 New London Turnpike in Glastonbury, as they celebrate two honors:

  • Bicycles East has been named one of America’s Best Bike Shops for 2016 by the National Bicycle Dealers Association, for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Trek Bicycle Corporation has designated Bicycles East as the first and only Trek Certified Service Center in all of New England.

Stop by to socialize and celebrate with Bicycles East. Tours of the main Service Center and the behind the scenes area will be offered.

The Trek-Certified Service Center certification acknowledges the excellence of a bicycle service center, excellence that carries over to work on all brands of bicycles. The certified Service Centers must meet Trek’s standards by offering “factory-trained, highly skilled mechanics”, “a best-in class customer service experience that is fast, friendly, and easy”, “knowledge of the service needs for both the product and the rider”, “meaningful and beneficial solutions that deliver exceptional value”, and an extremely clean and organized service area, the best quality tools, and top notch procedures so that the client can be confident that their bicycle is in safe hands.

The America’s Best Bike Shop honor is designated annually. According to the National Bicycle Dealer’s Association, “The program is designed to help consumers find great stores in their areas that will provide the expertise and professionalism they need to get the most benefit from cycling. The recipients of the America’s Best Bike Shops title not only offer great shopping experiences and expert staff, but are also rated on their support for their communities, as well as support for bicycle advocacy both locally and nationally.” Shops were asked to fill out a detailed application describing what sets them apart from the average retailer. Mystery shoppers then evaluated the business in more detail by visiting the store, reviewing their website, and contacting the shop by phone to assess the performance from a consumer’s perspective.

Bicycles East is co-owned by Glastonbury residents Steve and Deb Dauphinais. Deb says that one of the things that sets them apart is their simple mission statement “We succeed when you enjoy using your bike.” Steve explains that “Whether you are competing at an elite level or teaching your child to learn to ride, we will do what it takes to provide you the best experience possible, both in the store and on your ride.”

Bicycles East is located at 331 New London Turnpike in Glastonbury, CT and can be reached at 860-659-0114, www.BicyclesEast.com, and info@BicyclesEast.com.

Giving Half of Profits to Charity is Good Business for GoodWorks Insurance, Marking 10 Years in Connecticut and Massachusetts

Giving Half of Profits to Charity is Good Business for GoodWorks Insurance, Marking 10 Years in Connecticut and Massachusetts


GLASTONBURY—Taking charity to a new level, GoodWorks Insurance, an independent insurance agency founded in 2006, gives half of its profits to local nonprofits throughout the Northeast.

It’s the firm’s recipe for success.

“We do well because we do good,” says CEO Chad Yonker. “Deserving local charities get much-needed funds. We reap goodwill that helps drive our growth.”

Based in Glastonbury, the firm also has Connecticut offices in Avon, Columbia, and New Milford, as well as Massachusetts offices in Great Barrington and Worcester.

GoodWorks Community Grants go to nonprofits that support education, healthcare, public safety and community development in the places GoodWorks does business. Recent recipients include Operation Fuel (Avon, Conn.), New Milford Visiting Nurse Association, Community Health Plan (Great Barrington, Mass.), FOCUS Center for Autism (Canton, Conn.), Granby Education Foundation (Granby, Conn.), and the Farmington Valley YMCA.

How can the firm afford to give away so much to charity and still reinvest in itself? Part of it is that Yonker, the principal owner, doesn’t take any compensation from the company. “That increases the profit pool available for giving, and it keeps us true to our vision of splitting the profits evenly between the community and our agency’s ownership,” he says.

A Turnaround

In 2006, the previous management opened two start-up offices and adopted the charity-first strategy and created GoodWorks Insurance. Other agencies were purchased in Worcester and Glastonbury over the next five years.

The charity strategy worked, but despite strong growth, by 2011, the firm was running into financial trouble. “The previous management overpaid for the agencies they purchased,” Yonker says.

Yonker, a former hedge-fund manager, then became the majority owner and recapitalized the firm. A full turnaround began.

Today, GoodWorks Insurance is financially strong, has a staff of top-notch insurance professionals headed by Chief Operating Officer Paul Brian, and is growing rapidly. Revenues are up 200 percent since 2011.

Growing revenues and profits let GoodWorks give away more. Yonker expects revenues to grow by about 25 percent in 2016, partly because of its acquisition of Metayer Bonding Associates of Avon, Connecticut, in late 2015.

“We’ve grown from a startup to being one of the larger agencies in New England, and we expect to more than double our size in the next twelve months,” Yonker says.

Metayer ranked as the largest privately owned surety-bond-only agency in the Northeast. The merger gives contractors in the Northeast the ability to meet all their bonding and insurance needs from a single provider, according to Yonker.

“We’re making a big push to expand our contractor business in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and nearby states,” he says. “Few other agencies have comparable expertise in both bonds and construction insurance. And just like GoodWorks Insurance, Metayer Bonding’s capabilities and client list extend both nationally and internationally due to its strong relationships with bond underwriters.”

The founder, Michael Metayer, joined the GoodWorks Insurance team. Now a part owner of Metayer Bonding Associates, he continues to run the firm as its president.

That’s a typical pattern. Neil Scranton sold Scranton & Johnson Inc., an independent insurance agency in Glastonbury he founded in 1975, to GoodWorks Insurance in 2009. Today, he’s the firm’s regional president. James Kick sold New Milford Insurance Agency to GoodWorks in October 2012. He’s now senior vice president and head of GoodWorks Insurance’s New Milford office.

Growth gives the agency’s customers more choices.

“We have the expertise and capabilities to compete with the large national insurance brokers on a wide variety of business, both domestically and internationally,” Yonker says. “And because we directly represent more than 60 insurance carriers, we can shop widely to get our clients the best coverage at a competitive price. On the other hand, we offer something the national brokers can’t – local, personalized service at each of our six locations, coupled with a true passion and commitment to helping the communities we do business in.”

Forming Partnerships Advances Business and Mission

Strategic partnerships with trade and business associations drive growth. GoodWorks Insurance has garnered several key endorsements and partnerships from organizations like the Academy of Physician Assistants, Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, Central Massachusetts Employers Association, Gasoline & Automotive Service Dealers of America, Homebuilders & Remodelers of Western Massachusetts, Massachusetts Brewers Guild, and reSET, with several more in the works.

GoodWorks Insurance is also creating innovative “special funds” for some of its key program sponsors. These funds will grow over time and allow sponsoring organizations to direct grants to local charities their members care about.

For instance, the 3,000 owners of the Berkshire Co-op Market in Great Barrington support local charities at the same time as saving on auto and home insurance. Whenever a Co-op owner buys a home or auto insurance policy through GoodWorks Insurance, the insurance agency will deposit 20percent of its commissions to the Berkshire Market Co-op Community Fund.

Members of the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Western Massachusetts automatically support their own educational foundation under a recent agreement with GoodWorks Insurance. It will donate 20 percent of its commissions to the Home Builders Foundation of Western Massachusetts on all business and personal insurance policies members buy from it.

In July, GoodWorks was named a general partner of reSET, a Hartford-based nonprofit whose mission is to advance the social enterprise sector in New England. It will run workshops on insurance and risk management. It also gave a $5,000 grant to reSET, which will go towards reSET’s operations and enabling it to apply for matching funds from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Serving more than 10,000 clients, GoodWorks Insurance (www.goodworksinsurance.com) offers auto, home insurance, business insurance and surety bonds. Besides insuring families and small businesses in general, it has special expertise in nonprofits, fuel dealers, aerospace firms, manufacturers, financial institutions, commercial contractors and surety bonds.

[October 2016]

Contact: Henry Stimpson, Stimpson Communications, 508-647-0705, Henry@StimpsonCommunications.com   

East Hartford Rotary Expands Membership Offerings and Meeting Times

EAST HARTFORD, September 21, 2016- The Rotary Club of East Hartford is looking to
attract new members by offering two new ways for people to join. A satellite club is forming and will meet twice a month in the early evening, a convenient time for those who are unable to meet at the regularly scheduled meetings at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Meetings of this group will be held between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. or what the new organization decides at a local place chosen by the members and will begin in late October.
In addition to the satellite club, a new type of membership is being offered to small companies, large corporations, non-profits, police and fire departments. One individual who serves in a management role will be named as the official member, and four or more persons from that same entity can attend the club’s weekly meetings, share Rotary’s fun and fellowship experiences, participate in service projects in the community, and attend club social events.

“The East Hartford Rotary Club has a long history of providing members with numerous
opportunities to truly make a difference in our own community, our nation and our world.
People join Rotary for many reasons, including personal development, professional networking, camaraderie and community involvement. By expanding the ways for people to get involved in their local Rotary Club, we are expanding our reach into the communities we live in, work in, and care about,” said Bill Saunders, Club President.

To find out more about both these new membership opportunities, please join current members of the East Hartford Rotary on Thursday, October 6th at Savvi’s Pizza Restaurant, 1555 Main Street, East Hartford, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Appetizers and drinks will be served.

To learn more about the Rotary Club of East Hartford, please visit http://www.easthartfordrotary.org.

Connecticut’s 2016 Legislative Session

The new federal overtime regulation doubles the salary threshold which determines eligibility for overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476, with an implementation deadline of December 1, 2016. The new rule also requires unprecedented, automatic increases to the salary threshold every three years thereafter.

However, there’s still an opportunity for Congress to pass legislation to push “pause” on the rule or to make changes to make it more workable, but lawmakers need to hear from you now about the challenges this new rule is imposing.

There’s bipartisan concern in Congress about the negative affects these pending rules changes will have on businesses, non-profits and universities. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) introduced the “Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act” (S. 2707 and H.R. 4773) to push “pause” on the rule, and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced the “Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act” (H.R. 5813) to phase in the rule over a longer period of time.

Clearly, members on both sides of the aisle are concerned with the new overtime rules changes. Although the current bills are gaining support, a request from you to your lawmaker to will urge Congress to act on this important issue.

 Please take a moment to send a quick message to your Federal lawmakers, today!     http://www2.cbia.com/ga/get_involved/contact_ct_legislators/-A1

East Hartford Rotary Expands Membership Offerings and Meeting Times

EAST HARTFORD, September 7, 2016- The Rotary Club of East Hartford is looking to attract new members by offering two new ways for people to join. A satellite club is forming and will meet twice a month in the early evening, a convenient time for those who are unable to meet at the regularly scheduled meetings at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesdays. Meetings of this group will be held between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at a local place chosen by the members and will begin in late September.

In addition to the satellite club, a new type of membership is being offered to small companies, large corporations, non-profits, police and fire departments. One individual who serves in a management role will be named as the official member, and four or more persons from that same entity can attend the club’s weekly meetings, share Rotary’s fun and fellowship experiences, participate in service projects in the community, and attend club social events.

“The East Hartford Rotary Club has a long history of providing members with numerous
opportunities to truly make a difference in our own community, our nation and our world.
People join Rotary for many reasons, including personal development, professional networking, camaraderie and community involvement. By expanding the ways for people to get involved in their local Rotary Club, we are expanding our reach into the communities we live in, work in, and care about,” said Bill Saunders, Club President.
To find out more about both these new membership opportunities, please join current members of the East Hartford Rotary on Thursday, September 15th at Savvi’s Pizza Restaurant, 1555 Main Street, East Hartford, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Appetizers and drinks will be served.

To learn more about the Rotary Club of East Hartford, please visit http://www.easthartfordrotary.org.

Contact: Susan H. Klock, suehklock@gmail.com, 860-989-0101- cell.