John Ratzenberger, actor and producer, and advocate for the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame, will be the keynote speaker at January’s Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting.

Ratzenberger may be best known for playing mail carrier Cliff Clavin on the long-running NBC sitcom “Cheers," but is equally lauded as the voice behind the iconic Pixar characters Mack the Truck, and Hamm the Piggy Bank, as well as other roles.

Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he attended St. Ann’s School in Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. In 1971, he moved to London and while working as a carpenter in London, he began his career in the performing arts.

The Milford Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold its 61st Annual Meeting and 2015 Awards of Distinction on Wednesday, Jan.  27, at 11:30 a.m., at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange.

The luncheon is open to the public and has a snow date of Jan. 28. Tickets are $59 per guest and tables of eight or ten are also available. The luncheon menu is chicken franchise with accompaniments.

Those interested in attending can make reservations by calling the Milford Chamber of Commerce at 203-878-0681 or emailing chamber@milfordct.com. Advanced reservations and payment are required.

Award recipients are being honored for service to the Milford Chamber of Commerce, greater Milford’s business community, and the community in general.  The 2015 Awards of Distinction and recipients are:

CHAIRPERSON EMERITUS 2015 - Awarded to immediate past chairman of the Chamber for time, energy, spirit, and support.

Recipient:  Christopher B. Carveth, Esq., Carveth & Foley, Attorneys at Law

AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR - The Ambassador of the Year Award will be presented to an Ambassador for their consistent and enthusiastic participation in the Ambassadors Committee.

Recipient:  Fern Tausig, Healing Hypnosis

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR - The Director of the Year Award will be presented to a Director of the Milford Regional Chamber who has shown outstanding leadership or vision in a specific area or overall has been consistent in his/her performance.

Recipient:  Robert Kademian, ROI Marketing of New England

HEALTH & WELLNESS COUNCIL AWARD - To be awarded to a business or individual in the health industry that has made exceptional contributions to the community, through either constant or expansion of health services or volunteer contributions.

Recipient:  American Medical Response, Kevin Guptill

FRIEND OF THE MILFORD CHAMBER – This person will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Milford Chamber.

Recipient:  Ken Cowden, Garden Gate Landscape Design

PUBLIC SECTOR AWARD - The Public Sector Award will be presented to an individual working as a paid public or non-profit employee, who has demonstrated service beyond the expected.

Recipient:  Elizabeth Feser, Milford Superintendent of Schools

MILFORD CHAMBER "GREEN" AWARD - Will be presented to a business entity exhibiting environmentally friendly business practices and theory.

Recipient:  ShopRite of Milford

HUMAN SERVICE AWARD - The Human Service Award will be presented to an individual who has demonstrated care and concern for people in need and has offered unselfish service.

Recipient:  Karen Schur, Young Parent Program of Milford

COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD - The Community Service Award will be presented to a group and/or individual working toward the betterment of the community as a whole or on a specific project resulting in community benefits.

Recipient:  Connecticut Burns Care Foundation

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to an individual for contributions and achievements over the whole of an exceptional career.

Recipient:  Fred DeLuca, SUBWAY World HQ

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR - Is presented to a good corporate citizen exhibiting a commitment to the business climate of Milford through growth, expansion, inspiration and continued success.

Recipient:  Stirling Benefits, Inc.

The 61th Annual Meeting & Awards of Distinction is supported by presenting sponsor, The Milford Bank, along with Champion Sponsors, Berchem, Moses, Devlin, PC, SUBWAY World HQ; Visionary Sponsor, AT&T; Benefactors, American Medical Response, BIC Corporation, Northeast Electronics Corp., Westfield Connecticut Post; and Supporters, Bin 100 Restaurant, Excello Tool  Engineering & Manufacturing, Inc., Milford Consortium for Child Care Initiatives, Orange Milford Times, Stirling Benefits, Inc.

For more information contact: Kathy Alagno, President & CEO at 203-878-0681 or email kalagno@milfordct.com.