Glastonbury Chamber holds 111th Annual Meeting

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Jan. 31, 2014
New Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board David Wood (left) shakes hands with outgoing Chairman Michael Keenan at the Chamber's Annual Meeting on Jan. 29. Photos by Steve Smith.
New Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board David Wood (left) shakes hands with outgoing Chairman Michael Keenan at the Chamber's Annual Meeting on Jan. 29. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce held its 111th Annual Meeting on Jan. 29 at the Riverfront Community Center. Chamber President Mary Ellen Dombrowski said the Chamber currently has 527 members and is in very good financial position.

“Although we're a non-profit and we adopt a zero-balance budget, our goal is always to be profitable and to add to our reserve,” Dombrowski said, adding that the Chamber is donating $750 to the YMCA Livestrong Program as its end-of-year discretionary donation, and an additional $400 from the sales of the Men of Glastonbury Calendar.

Several Chamber businesses also marked milestones, including Melzen Farm Supply, which touts 60 years as a Chamber member.

“We're looking forward to a very productive and prosperous 2014,” said outgoing Chairman of the Board of Directors Michael Keenan.

Matt Winkler received the Ambassador of the Year Award, for bringing in the most new members.

Winkler also headed up security at the Chamber's Apple Harvest Festival and helped start the highly-successful Leads Exchange Group, which has been a boon to networking for members as well as non-members. Winkler said he appreciates the award, largely due to the camaraderie with the other Chamber Ambassadors.

“They are the leg-work of the community,” he said, adding that the Leads Exchange Group is quite enjoyable to him. “The Leads Exchange has been the fun part of what I've done,” he said.

The Chamber also presented a new award – the Jim Bougie Memorial Leadership Award. Before passing away in 2013, Bougie served as a leader in both the Chamber and Rotary, earning the highest awards from both organizations. He was president of both of those organizations, and was very involved with the Riverfront Music Festival.

“Jim was an extraordinary example of an individual who gave back and made a difference,” Keenan said.

Bougie's widow, Alicia, thanked the Chamber for establishing the award in her husband's name. “It's certainly an honor to know that his legacy will live on in the Glastonbury community,” she said.

The award went to Brian Cahill of Edward Jones Investments, who has chaired the Apple Blossom Open Golf Tournament, served as a Chamber ambassador, and often moderates for the Leads Exchange.

“Jim exemplified everything about our company,” Cahill said. “He was such a wonderful man – caring and giving to the community. It's such an honor. I'm overwhelmed.”

Kevin Flanagan of Flanagan Industries received the Business Person of the Year Award. Flanagan said his family's business came to Glastonbury in the 1960s, and his father thought the building they had was too big. Two years later, the company had to expand and  now has an international reach.

“Looking back, I consider myself lucky to have been raised in town,” Flanagan said. “We not only saw my father build a business, but we saw what it meant to make a commitment to a community. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to raise my children here.”

Flanagan said his company gets invitations to move to other states, but no such move will happen. “The answer is always 'no,'” he said. “We're going to stay in Connecticut, and more importantly, we're  staying in Glastonbury. We're growing and we're adding jobs.”

Flanagan was also presented a proclamation from the state legislature, by state Rep. Joe Dominico (D-13) and state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R-31).

“The Flanagan name is well-known and very well respected in our town, and rightfully so,” Srinivasan said. "We know how much the Flanagan family has contributed to Glastonbury in so many ways.”

David Wood of Gateway Financial Partners – the Chamber's new Chairman of the Board - congratulated Keenan on a job well done and thanked all of the members. “We've got really great leadership,” Wood said, “and a great staff. That, coupled with a thriving membership and really great financials, are very key to making this a super overall organization.”

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