Chamber Awards Local Charitable Businesses
Reported by Terri Yannetti for Milford-Orange Bulletin.
February 3, 2011 - The Milford Chamber of Commerce conducted its 56th annual meeting and awards luncheon last week at the Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange.
More than 200 people attended the event, at which the Chamber recognized local businesses for contributions to the Milford community, said Linda Worobel, director of communications and programs.
Vincent Averaimo of Kapusta, Otzel & Averaimo took over as the new chairman.
David Hart Stevens of Stevens of Milford was named Business Person of the Year 2010. Active in the automobile industry and local organizations, Stevens was instrumental in rewriting state franchise laws protecting dealerships and preserving state jobs.
His community service includes the United Way of Milford, Woodruff Family YMCA, and Milford Rotary.
Milford Photo was named the Small Business of the Year 2010. Recognized as a leading photo specialty retailer, it has become the premiere camera store and digital imaging specialist in the state. Owner Jim Wilson has served as president of both Photo Marketing International for Connecticut and New York, and the Downtown Milford Business Association. His community service work includes the Woodruff Family YMCA, Milford Rotary, and United Way of Milford.
Schick Wilkinson Sword received the Corporate Award 2010 for outstanding growth to the city’s business climate. The company’s Milford facility employs more than 600 people. Schick’s 2010 Annual United Way Campaign raised $300,000.
Napoli Nissan received the Business Image Award 2010 for making significant improvements and maintenance, enhancing the company image and appearance.
The Bridgeport Avenue facility was recently remodeled to Nissan factory requirements. The company’s donations to scholarships through the Milford Chamber Trust include Milford Hospital, United Way of Milford, and Boys and Girls Village.
The 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Armand Cantafio, president and chairman of the board of Northeast Electronics. Founded by Cantafio in 1961, the company is now a world leader in the hermetic glass-to-metal sealing industry.
Cantafio is the chairman and president of the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation, a member of the United States Military Academy Appointee Selection Committee, and chairman of the Citizens Advisory Group at Platt Regional Vocational Technical School.
Cyrus Settineri, owner of CS Brokers, received the Milford Progress, Inc., Economic Development Award. As chairman of the Milford Economic Development Commission, Settineri has assisted with revamping the permitting process and has overseen the review of blighted properties.
He has traveled to the Philippines twice on behalf of the Milford Rotary to help set up an emergency clinic there, and has also volunteered for the Milford Fine Arts Council, United Way of Milford, and the American Red Cross.
The Junior Woman’s Club of Milford received the Public Sector Award 2010 for its contributions to the city. The club supports a variety of community programs, including Kids Count, Bridges, the Rape Crisis Center, Boys and Girls Village, Bodie's Place, the Beth-El Shelter and Young Parents Program.
The Human Service Award 2010 was presented to Jody Culmone, president and founder of the Milford Consortium for Child Care Initiatives, which donated more than $300,000 to organizations that help working parents.
Culmone serves on the Board of Trustees for the Milford Bank and Milford Bank Foundation, and is a past president of the United Way of Milford, raising $1 million.
The Health Wellness Council honored Diane Frankel-Gramelis, Milford Hospital’s director of education, for improvement and expansion of community health services. In addition to designing and implementing educational seminars, screenings and speaking programs on health improvement, she assists the business community in corporate screenings.
The Community Service Award 2010 was given to the Vaccino Family, founders of Bodie's Place, a "boundless playground." John and Lisa Vaccino led a three-year effort to raise $325,000 for the project, working with the city, civic groups, residents, and businesses. The ground-breaking took place last September at Eisenhower Park.
The Eastern Bag and Paper Group received the Green Award for exhibiting and implementing environmentally friendly business practices. Eastern Bag’s green objective is to provide its customers with the most comprehensive green/sustainability program.
David Slossberg of Hurwitz, Sagarin, Slossberg & Knuff, was recognized as the Milford Chamber Director of the Year 2010. He serves as chairman of the Connecticut Committee of the Federal Bar Council, is a board member of the Federal Bar Foundation, and is on the board of the Devon Rotary Foundation.
Ambassador of the Year 2010 was awarded to Robert Kademian, Action COACH, for his work in the Ambassadors Committee. He is also active in the Milford Rotary and National Exchange Club.
Friend of the Chamber in 2010, awarded to members who have contributed time, energy and involvement to programs or events, recognized Harriet C. Haggerty of Shamrock Financial Services, Denis Fendo of AFLAC, and Gina DeLucca of Once Upon a Time Development Center, for their work on the membership drive.
Barb Roderick of the United Illuminating Company also received a Friend Award for chairing "An Evening with the Rat Pack."
Photo: Courtesy of Milford Chamber of Commerce - Attorney Christine Gonillo of Cody & Gonillo, left, presents the Community Service Award to Lisa and John Vaccino of Bodie’s Place.