The Milford Regional Chamber of Commerce held its 63rd annual meeting and presented its 2017 Awards of Distinction to 14 members of the community during a luncheon held at the Great River Golf Club.

The Awards of Distinction were presented before a capacity-filled room of guests and the Chamber’s 2018 Executive Board and Board of Directors. Opening remarks were given by Gary Mullin, Chamber’s Executive Director. Susan Shields (The Milford Bank) of the Nominating Committee and Dewey Forbes, Chairman, addressed guests and Scott Moulton, CFS, Capital Management Group, emceed the event.

“It was terrific to see such a great turnout today,” said Forbes (Strategy 1st Marketing), Chairman of the Board of Directors, Milford Chamber of Commerce. “We had 204 guests attend - a combination of community members, Chamber members, the Mayor (Ben Blake), Senator Gayle Slossberg and a number of additional distinguished guests. That’s an increase of about 44 people over last year’s luncheon. We’re really excited to see such a good turnout and most importantly it was great to recognize all the award recipients for their contributions to the community. I’m glad to be a part of it.”

The 2017 Awards of Distinction and their recipients included Chamber Advocate of the Year Julie Nash, City of Milford; Rising Star Award Joseph Napoli, Napoli Auto Group; Beatification Award James Maroney, Founder’s Walk; Community Service Award Paul Otzel, Esq. - Milford Law, LLC., Kapusta, Otzel and Averaimo; Business Person of the Year Frank Basile and Robert Cyr, Bridge House Restaurant; Cultural Contribution Award Pantochino Productions - Bert Bernardi & Jimmy Johansmeyer; Lifetime Achievement Award Diana Nytko, Connecticut Property Appraisers; Corporate Heritage Award Pierce/George Smith & Son - DeForest W. Smith, George J. Smith & Son Insurance - Danforth M. Smith/Dierdre Smith-Dey; Health and Wellness Award Milestones Behavioral Services - Roger and Suzanne Letso; Sustainability Award BioClean, LLC - Raymond Daneault; Tourism Award Milford Lisman Landing Marina - Ray Swift; Entrepreneur of the Year Stephen Barrante & Benjamin Miller, Atomic Kid; Community’s Future Award Salma Samih, Jonathan Law High School; and Public Sector Award Mayor Benjamin Blake, City of Milford.

Co-recipients Frank Basile and Robert Cyr were, “quite surprised to be nominated and to win the Business Person of the Year Award,” explained Basile, Owner/Operator of the Bridge House Restaurant. “It’s great to be noticed and it’s a very exciting day for us, being newer business owners in the community and the area to win this award was quite the accomplishment for us and we’re excited to continue our business and our ventures in Milford.”

Recipient James Maroney, owner of First Choice College and Chamber member felt, “very honored. It’s nice to be acknowledged for the work, it was a great project. There were a lot of people who helped with Founders Walk and to make that a reality so I’m honored to be here on behalf of them and look forward to continuing to make Milford a great place to live, work and play.”

The Presentations of Citations by State Senator Gayle Slossberg and State Representatives Kim Rose, Pam Staneski and Charles Ferraro were given by Slossberg.

The Chamber thanked their generous sponsors: Presenting Sponsor The Milford Bank and Champion Sponsors Beirne Wealth Consulting, SUBWAY, Visionary Sponsor and Berchem Moses, Benefactor Sponsors Milford Law, LLC - Kapusta, Otzel & Averaimo - Bin 100, Carveth & Foley Attorneys at Law - Hurwitz, Sagarin, Slossberg & Knuff, LLC - TBNG Consulting and Supporting Sponsors Connecticut Post Mall - Westcott & Mapes, Inc.