Newtown-based Sonics & Materials, Inc celebrated two major events with several high-profile guests March 20. The company welcomed Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, and First Selectman Pat Llodra to its 45th anniversary luncheon, which also served as an impromptu 75th birthday party for Sonics & Materials founder, President and CEO Robert S. Soloff. The high tech firm with offices on Church Hill Road, in New York, and a field office in Shanghai, China, is a leading supplier of plastics welding systems and ultrasonic liquid processing equipment. Sonics & Materials, a privately held, family-owned business, was started in 1969 in Danbury by Mr Soloff and one additional employee. Sonics opened its offices in Newtown 16 years ago and currently employing 75 people at its headquarters, along with a worldwide network of distributors and representatives.
The Newtown Chamber of Commerce is hosting two networking events on Wednesday, April 9, that are open to all local business professionals. The first event of the day is happening at Sal e Pepe Contemporary Italian Bistro, from 8 to 9 am. Chad Joshpe of 5 Tool Financial will present "A Sensible Approach to Creating a Legacy through Charitable Giving,” and it will include a step-by-step technique of creating a fiscally responsible approach toward supporting respectable, nonprofit charities. Wednesday evening, local business people and professionals are invited to a joint-chamber Business After Hours event to be held at Fusion 25, 123 South Main Street, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Newtown Chamber of Commerce is co-sponsoring this event with Monroe Chamber of Commerce.
The Northern Fairfield Professionals, a networking group focusing on people in transition, will meet Tuesday, April 8, from 5:30 to 8 pm, at the Knights of Columbus building, 46 Church Hill Road. There will be time for attendees to network with peers, managers, local business owners, and professionals, followed by a presentation at 6 pm by Cathie Miller and Susan Catalano on “The Toughest Questions From A Corporate & Executive Search Recruiter’s Perspective.”
Melissa Lopata, the new marketing coordinator for Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP), has announced her first event to help support local Sandy Hook businesseses. The event is set for Tuesday, April 8, at The Villa Restaurant, 4 Riverside Road. It will feature the expertise of business coach Patty Lennon. While there is a private program scheduled for female business owners who are members of SHOP, the main public aspect of the gathering, from 7 to 8:30 pm, will be the motivational talk by Ms Lennon, who is a former Citicorp colleague of Ms Lopata’s. Ms Lennon will be speaking on “Creating Big Buzz on Small Budgets.”
“You don’t need to live with that pain in your neck!” is the message Michele Grand is sending out. "I have always, always, always wanted to be a massage therapist,” said Ms Grand. A graduate of George Washington University with a degree in business, she recently took advantage of an opening in her life that allowed her to return to school and pursue her dream. She graduated from the Connecticut Center of Massage Therapy in Newington in August 2013, and on February 1, Ms Grand opened Green Crystal Massage at 117C Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook Center, in the lower level of the building that houses Subway.
The Power Network is hosting a workshop to help local business professionals better engage in the art of networking. “Netiquette” featuring Harriet Trevino will be held on March 20, from 8 to 9:30 am, at the Collaborative Women’s Center, 500 Monroe Turnpike. The guest speaker for this workshop is Harriette Trevino of Bull’s Head Printers, who is regarded as an expert in speed networking. Ms Trevino’s presentation will include an in-depth discourse on the know-how of networking and tips to effective and enjoyable networking for business professionals.
Exceleride Cycling Studio, devoted exclusively to indoor cycling, opened February 24, at 211 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, in the Dolan Plaza. Co-owned by former Newtown resident Jeanne Query and her three brothers, Chris, Michael, and John Corelli, Exceleride promises “An excellent ride, every time.” Twenty-two generously spaced state-of-the-art Schwinn stationary bicycles fill the cycling studio, where Ms Query and an additional six certified instructors lead classes, seven days of the week. Exceleride offers classes in the mornings, at noontime, and in the late afternoons and early evenings, and caters to indoor cyclists from beginners to the more experienced.
The Department of Consumer Protection has issued its annual Top Ten list of consumer complaints for the past year. According to a review of more than 6,000 written consumer complaints received in 2013, home improvement complaints took a back seat to fuel-related complaints for the first time, while telemarketing, retail, and Internet complaints, real estate, and auto dealer complaints remained stable. Business closures led to increased complaints in some areas. The department received a total of 6,008 written complaints in 2013, while the number of phoned-in complaints and questions numbered in the tens of thousands.
After a month-long campaign, where the community was invited to submit their picks for favorite Newtown businesses in four different categories, the Newtown Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Newtown announce the nominees for the 2014 Business of the Year award. The community is invited to vote for the business they feel is most deserving of each honor, has consistently displayed excellence in the way they serve their customers, and how they support the Newtown community. Voting will remain open through 5 pm March 31. A link to vote is posted on both the Newtown Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Newtown websites.
While all nominees will be given honorable mention, the top three nominees in each category will be highlighted at an awards dinner and ceremony on March 31.
The Newtown Economic Development Commission, the Newtown Chamber of Commerce and the local chapter of SCORE is kicking off its series of Small Business Seminars March 13. The series of free workshops for local business owners and entrepreneurs is sponsored by Newtown Savings Bank, with all activities taking place at the CH Booth Library. According to Newtown Economic Development Assistant Betsy Paynter, these seminars are designed to help local businesses stay competitive and successful by providing content and tools to help them grow and prosper in Newtown. In 2013, the EDC sponsored seven business seminars, covering a range of support content and business tools such as, disaster preparedness, online marketing, small business financing opportunities, e-mail marketing, and job-generating state programs.