2019 - Michael Deneen
Mike practices in the areas of plaintiff’s personal injury law, criminal law, commercial and residential real estate and estate planning and probate. He has represented individuals, small businesses and banks at O’Malley, Deneen, Leary, Messina & Oswecki for thirty five years. He has also served as an Assistant Town Attorney for the Town of East Hartford.
In addition to his law practice, Mike has been a co-owner of the Union Street Tavern since its establishment in Windsor in 2006. The tavern has consistently supported Windsor organizations and the Chamber since it opened.
He coordinates the Union Street Tavern Trot, a charity road race that was begun 13 years ago to mark the first anniversary of the tavern’s opening. The Union Street Tavern Trot has raised over $300,000.00 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in its fight against pediatric cancer. He has served on the Board of the Windsor Jaycees, St. Gabriel School and St. Timothy Middle School. He has served as the Shad Derby Green chairman and he is the past president of First Town Downtown and the Windsor Chamber of Commerce. For many years, he coached youth basketball at St. Gabriel School, St. Timothy Middle School, Windsor Travel and AAU. He is the current president of the Windsor Club, an organization with no socially redeeming purpose.
He and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Windsor and are the parents of five daughters, one son and one grandson.
2018 - Marshall Fox
2017 - Frank Carmon IV
Frank’s interest in funeral service started at a young age and he has worked at the Windsor-based family business since 1994. He has been a licensed funeral director since 2000. After working full-time for five years, Frank decided to further his business education and obtained his MBA from the University of Connecticut, School of Business where he concentrated in corporate finance and graduated at the top of his class. He immediately returned to work at the funeral home in 2006. Shortly after, Frank purchased the business from his father, Frank “Bill” W. Carmon, III, who passed in 2013.
Frank has embraced his family’s long tradition of giving back to the community; a community which he lives in and serves. He is past president of the Exchange Club of Windsor, the Windsor Chamber of Commerce, and First Town Downtown. Frank is a third-generation member of Washington Lodge #70, A.F. & A.M. in Windsor and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Polish National Home in Hartford. In 2013, Frank was asked to join the board of directors of Windsor Federal Saving and currently serves on the loan, technology, and compensation committees at the bank. Gov. Dannel Malloy appointed Frank to the Board of Examiners of Funeral Directors and Embalmers for the State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health in January of 2015, which he continues to serve on today. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity United Methodist Church in Windsor and he is also a member of St. Joseph Church in Poquonock where he attends with his wife and daughter. Frank has served on many other community boards and enjoys presenting to churches, schools, and other community groups on a variety of topics related to grief and funeral service. Frank is very proud of the diverse religions and cultures that his family and staff have the privilege of serving in the Greater Hartford Community. In 2016, he was awarded the Colin Bennett/Marcus Garvey Community Service Award for his work in giving back to the African-American and Caribbean communities in Hartford area.
Frank, his wife Taryn, and their daughter Isabella live in Windsor and love spending time with their family. Frank is an avid reader, likes scuba diving and traveling, and he genuinely enjoys spending time giving back to the community.
2016 - Jim Nilsson
Mr. Nilsson took over the stores’ leadership in 1995 after the unexpected death of his father, under whose leadership expanded to where they are today. Joining his Granby, Windsor, East & South Windsor Connecticut supermarkets were new stores that opened in Agawam, Massachusetts in 1996, Bloomfield, Connecticut in 2006 and Somers, Connecticut in 2007. Mr. Nilsson is not a man of many words, but he is a man of many actions, both at Geissler’s and in the community. Among being a member and volunteer for the Melrose 4-H Band, Broad Brook Volunteer Fire Fighter and Broad Brook Fife and Drum band, Windsor Rotary Club, Windsor Chamber of Commerce and Sons of the American Legion - Post 40. He has served as Chairperson, Town of East Windsor Board of Finance; Advisor, New England Bank and Trust; Advisor, Windsor Locks Savings and Loan; Advisor, Enfield Federal Savings and Loan; and Past President, Ellington Ridge Country Club. He is current officer and past chairman, for the Connecticut Food Association and is on the executive committee for NGA. He has been honored by Connecticut Food Association as Person of the Year and Hall of Fame Inductee as well as the IGA International Retailer of the Year. Most recently he received the Town of Windsor’s Humanitarian Award, East Windsor Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year, Granby Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year, Rotary’s Paul Harris Award, U.S. Small Business Administration Family Owned Business of the year, and Bozzuto Retailer of the Year.
For Jim the theory of success is fairly simple. “Stick with the basics and stay with selling groceries.” Besides that he has continued what his father and grandfather taught him: Buy the best you can and believe in butcher shops and meat cutting.
2015 - Kristen Barbarotta
Kristen served on the board of directors of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce from 2004 to 2008, then moved up to VP of Community Relations for two years, then VP of Chamber Relations for two years, then was elected President for 2012-2014. She remains active with the Chamber today, continuing to chair the Business Development / Programs Committee and the Annual Dinner Committee as well as First Town Downtown's Promotions Committee.
Kristen is a partner at Law Firm Johnson, Dowe, Brown, and Barbarotta LLC in Windsor. Kristen's husband Jayson is a teacher at Newington High School. They live in Windsor Locks with their daughter Reese.
2014 - Paul Vagnini
He began his career in the printing business in 1976 with the Spaulding Company of Waltham, Massachusetts. Several years later, he began a career in the direct mail business with Harford Direct Mail, originally a Windsor based company. He is currently the owner of Nojunkmail LLC, a printing and mailing company, founded in 2005, specializing in services to the municipal market. The company currently services more than 40 Connecticut towns.
In addition to serving as President of the Windsor Chamber, from 2010 to 2012, he has coordinated the Chamber Blood Drive for many years. He has also served on the Board of Directors at WIN-TV, and as the Chamber representative on the Shad Derby Committee.
For many years, he coached in both the Windsor Little League and the Windsor Instructional Basketball League. He has been a certified high school basketball referee for 23 years.
Paul and his wife, Maureen, have three children, Jay, Brian and Laura, all Windsor High School graduates, and two adorable granddaughters who reside in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
2013 - Ray Embury
2012 - Paula M. Pierce
Paula joined the Chamber of Commerce in 2003 and attended every Business Breakfast and Business After Hours event for the first four years of her membership. She has also served on a number of Chamber committees, such as the Annual Benefit Auction, Revolutionary Windsor, Windsor Today, and Technology and has been the chair of the Tourism committee for the last several years. She served on the Board of Directors and was President from 2008 to 2010, and was installed as Secretary in 2011. She continues to volunteer much of her time to Chamber programs.
Paula was a Notary Public for ten years and is the founder and moderator of the Windsor chapter of Freecycle, a group of over 1800 Windsor people keeping good, usable items out of the landfill. She avidly supports local business. In her free time she likes to read, knit and garden.
2011 - Martin McMahon
Marty started his work life at 14 picking tobacco for Brown's Tobacco and then "moved up" to dishwasher at the former Windsor House Restaurant. He worked for the Town of Windsor both as a lifeguard and a parks maintainer. He was given a citation by the town for saving a drowning boy in the Farmington River. After college and a short time in construction sales he entered banking. He started at the old Windsor Bank, got his first Branch Manager position at Windsor Federal Savings and completed his banking career at Fleet Bank in Windsor. In 1998 he joined Edward Jones Investments as a Financial Advisor where he was recently made a Limited Partner. Much of his success he attributes to his assistant Betty McDermott.
Marty is a lifelong swimmer having swam around Manhattan, across both Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound and most recently escaping from Alcatraz. His biggest accomplishment came at age 22 when he became the 39th American and first from Connecticut to swim the English Channel.
He raised money for Special Olympics as part of his swim and has since raised money for the Boy Scouts, Easter Seals, St Vincent's Hospital and MS. During his preparation for the Channel he was introduced to the Windsor Jaycees where he was an active member and gained an interest in civic work. Since then he has been a board member of the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. He is past president of both First Town Downtown and the Windsor Chamber of Commerce.
2010 - Dr. Larry Pennington
In 1998 the First Town Veterinary Science 4-H Club was started by this year's award winner with a goal of working with youth and teaching them about animal husbandry and caring for their pets, veterinary health care, and career opportunities. Although the club has met regularly at a park in Windsor, the children come from far and wide. With usually 60-70 children (ages 7-17) in the club each year, and representing almost every town in Hartford County, the club has become one of the largest in Connecticut 4-H. For learning opportunities they have organized field trips to places like the Bronx and Providence Zoo with the Vet staffs, the Boston Aquarium with an aquatic veterinarian, and dairy farms and horse stables to meet with dairy and equine veterinarians. He has been judging every year at Windsor's "Just for Fun Dog Show" and the club has consistently played an active role in this event. His club also developed the "Dr. Buddy Dog"(a doggie veterinarian) at last year's Paws for a Cause town-wide fundraiser for the Windsor Education Foundation.
The most phenomenal contribution probably lies in their level of community service. His club goes to nursing homes each month to do pet therapy with the residents and does a low cost Rabies Clinic for the public each year in conjunction with the CT Vet. Medical Association and the Windsor/Bloomfield Public Health Departments. The club has developed a training program to raise service dogs to assist people in wheelchairs and for emotional assistance (autism). They started the "Walk for Chance", a dog walk as a fundraising event in 2005 to pay for the expenses to raise a rescue dog and get him certified for assistance work. The first dog was a Golden Retriever named Chance and he assists a wheelchair bound adult in Windsor as her hands and feet. Their second dog that was financed through the club is helping autistic and emotionally challenged children. Over $65,000 has been raised through the annual dog walks held for the past four years and the money has been used to help rescue dogs, train the service dogs, supply equipment and training to state police dogs, to help animal rescue operations like "Out to Pasture", and build a local dog park. The Walk for Chance has very quickly become one of the largest dog walks in the state and it was started through a 4-H youth group.
His commitment to his church, First Church in Windsor, has been well represented by seeing many elderly residents monthly through parish caring ministries and having lead and served on numerous church committees at First Church in Windsor. He has been the campaign manager for a local political candidate running for state representative in 2008. He's been a two time President of the Hartford County Veterinary Medical Association.
Amazingly, much of what he's accomplished has occurred since he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. He would tell you that he decided he wanted to do something with his life before it was too late and soon after the diagnosis, he started his 4-H club. He would tell you that he's proudest of his charity work and that he's made his greatest mark since being hit with the disease.
He inspires others through his perseverance and hard work despite his physical limitations. His 4-Hers, their parents, fellow veterinarians, and people afflicted with MD have all looked up to him over the years.
2009 Robert Ross Personal Achievement Award of the Year for Connecticut MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association), 2007 Connecticut Veterinarian of the Year 2001 Connecticut 4-H Leadership Award, 2001 & 2006 Hartford County 4-H Winding Brook Community Service Awards, 2003 Hartford County Friend of 4-H Award
2009 - Robert Carroll
Kathy and Bob have 4 children, a black cat and black lab, and live in a 115 year old house on Windsor Avenue.
2008 - Kathy PerlitzKathy is a graduate of St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing. She earned a BA in Psychology from Central Connecticut State College and an MA in Counseling from St. Joseph College.
She was employed by Combustion Engineering, later ALSTOM Power, Inc for 35 years --- initially as an occupational health nurse and at the time of her retirement as vice-president of Support Services for the Day Hill location. She represented the company on the board of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce serving on the Education and Auction Committees. In retirement, she has continued supporting the WCC auction as a volunteer.
Kathy has also been involved in volunteer work through her church, St. Maurice of Bolton, CT including serving on the Board of the Manchester Area Conference of Churches which operates a shelter, soup kitchen, food pantry and a thrift shop as well as volunteering in both the food pantry and the thrift shop. She is a member of a Parish Nursing group at her church providing blood pressure screening and educational opportunities for parishioners.
In addition to favorite volunteer activities, retirement has afforded she and her husband more time with family and friends, the opportunity to travel and time for leisure activities -- gardening, reading, etc.
2007 - Sharran Selig Bennett
2006 - Nan Christensen CarmonAnna Marie Christensen (Nan Christensen Carmon) was born August 18, 1923, at 88 Wilson Avenue, Wilson, Ct. to John and Gladys (Lawson) Christensen. She attended Roger Wolcott School, graduating in 1935. There, she received the DAR Good Citizenship Medal. The Christensens were active members of the former Church of Christ in Wilson where Nan was very involved. She was a Sunday School teacher, member of Christian Endeavor, the Century Club and studied under and worked with Sunday School Superintendent, the late Leland P. Wilson as co-auditor of the church's financial books. She was also, a member of the Board of Directors for several years.
In 1939, she graduated from the Chaffee School for Girls, Windsor, and that summer, worked in the Personnel department at the Ct. State Capitol.
On June 15, 1942, Nan became engaged to Lt. Frank W. Carmon, Jr., of the 88th Infantry Division, US Army. Nan and 1st Lt. Frank W. Carmon, Jr., were married on December 15, 1942.
In June, 1943, Nan graduated Magna Cum Laude from Connecticut College for Women in New London, Ct. with a BA degree in Economics and Sociology. While there, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and was named a Winthrop Scholar for her academic excellence.
In October, 1943, Capt. Frank Carmon, Jr., began a 2 year tour of duty where he was in combat in the Italian Campaign marching from Cassino to Brennar Pass. Nan worked during this time for the O.P.A., Federal Office of Price Administration. She held several offices in Eureka Chapter Order of the Eastern Star and is presently a 60+ year member. She continued her active involvement at the Church of Christ, Wilson and in the Century Club of Windsor.
In October, 1945, Major Frank W. Carmon, Jr., returned from overseas. He and Nan purchased the Mack house at 6 Poquonock Avenue and on February 6, 1946, opened the F.W. Carmon Funeral Home. Nan did the cleaning and the bookkeeping. They lived upstairs, over the funeral home for 46 years where they brought up 4 children, John, Bill (Frank III), Richard and Margie (D'Agata). In 1970, the F.W. Carmon Funeral Home became Carmon Funeral Homes, Inc.
During those years, Nan was active in many organizations. She was a volunteer driver for FISH (Friends in Service Here) driving elderly and handicapped to medical appointments. She is Past President of the Gray-Dickinson Unit #59, American Legion Auxiliary where she is currently a 60+ member and is Past President of the Black Point Women's Club in Niantic, Ct. She was an active member of many organizations at Trinity United Methodist Church, Windsor, among them, the Mom's Group and COGS (Couples Club).
On November 6, 1972, Frank W. Carmon, Jr., died at the age of 54. Nan has continued as an officer in the business, working full time in the office but preferring to stay in the background. The three brothers, John, Frank, III, and Richard, ran the business.
Nan continued to be active at Trinity United Methodist Church, Greater Hartford Christian Women's Club, and other community activities. At Trinity, she has represented, and led church groups to various major National events such as Explo '72 in Dallas, a week-long international convention sponsored by the Campus Crusade for Christ, attended by over 100,000 people. She was a counselor, prayer team chairman for Trinity and on the planning committee with former Pastor Garfield Thompson for the Billy Graham Southern New England Crusade in 1982. She has been and continues to serve on many of the boards and special committees of Trinity. She was a charter member of Trinity Christian School Board and a charter member of Trinity's Permanent Endowment Committee and has been and continues to be active on the church's visitation team, LRE. She recently retired after serving for several years as the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. Additionally, she served for years the Greater Hartford Christian Women's Club as an area coordinator for 5 years for Friendship Bible Coffees.
Nan, also, was a contributing writer to the Windsor Storyteller publications. In volume I she wrote 2 stories; "Early Memories" and "Wonderful Memories of Windsor." In volume II, she wrote "Post WWII-Windsor Center and Starting a new business."
In 1994, Nan received an award from the Windsor Rotary Club for vocational excellence and as an Outstanding Community Business Person.
2005 - Vince Giuliano
In 1985, Mr. Giuliano initiated ADVO's America's Looking For Its Missing Children program, a widely acclaimed public service campaign which places pictures of missing children on the company's direct mail address labels reaching up to 102 million households nationwide. The program has helped recover approximately one of every seven children featured and has received numerous awards.
Mr. Giuliano serves as Chairman on the Board of Directors for the Association for Postal Commerce, and holds seats on the Postal Policy and Postal Operations Committees. He is also a member of the Direct Marketing Association's Government Affairs Committee and the Mailer's Council. Additionally, Mr. Giuliano is a member of NCMEC's Board of Directors and Fund Development and Marketing Committees. He has served on numerous industry task forces and has testified before Congressional Committees on behalf of the direct mail industry. Mr. Giuliano is married and the father of twin girls and a son.
2004 Robert & Laurie St. Jacques
2003 - Martha (Marty) CollierMarty Collier earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Tri-State University in Angola, IN and her M.B.A through the Executive Program at University of Hartford. Professionally, she is associated with Colliers, Dow & Condon, a prominent brokerage firm in Hartford, where she sells and leases commercial real estate. Marty serves on a number of civic boards including the Bradley Development League, Celebrate Windsor! Inc., developer of SummerWind Performing Arts Theater, Huntington House Museum and the National Conference for Community and Justice. Marty is past president of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce. She is married to Wells Lindsay; together they have four children.
2002 - Robert J. Gange
The Windsor Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce this year's recipient of the "Jerry Hallas Memorial Award", Robert J. Gange. Though not Windsor-born, Robert Gange wasted no time in getting here! After completing his M.S. in Orthodontics at Case Western Reserve University in 1973, he began his private practice, with offices in Windsor and Vernon. Gange, a board certified orthodontist, is also a clinical associate in the Department of Orthodontics at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Connecticut and a member of the senior clinical staff in the orthodontic component of the general dental residency program at Hartford Hospital. Gange has had several articles published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics and is a regular lecturer at the annual Northeast Society of Orthodontics. His professional affiliations include membership in the American Dental Association, Connecticut Dental Association, Hartford Dental Association, Tolland County Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Northeastern Association of Orthodontists, Connecticut Association of Orthodontists and the College of Diplomats of the American Board of Orthodontists.
Dr. Gange's civic involvement has been extensive, as well as impressive. He has been the past president of the Windsor Jaycees and has received the Jaycee Man of the Year Award as well as the Key Man Award. He has twice chaired the Windsor Shad Derby and has been a member of the Windsor Youth Commission from its inception, serving as president for two years. His involvement with the Youth Commission on Drug and Tobacco Awareness Programs earned him the CASAC (Community Area Substance Abuse Council
2001 Sharon Dillon Rispoli & Kerry RuizSharon Dillon Rispoli
Sharon Dillon Rispoli has been a lifelong resident of Windsor. She has been married for nine years to her husband Robert who is an Attorney with Cummings & Lockwood in Hartford. They have two sons, Robert, age 2, and Dylan, age 9 months. She has been employed by Bart's Drive-In for 22 years and has been General Manager since 1987.
` Sharon has volunteered for the Friends of WILA for over 9 years, serving as President for 4 years. She was also on the Board of Directors of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce and has participated on many committees especially enjoying the Winter Magic Committee. Through her business Sharon has helped raise many thousands of dollars for Foodshare, Connecticut Children's Home, Special Olympics, American Red Cross, Mary's Place, Windsor Volunteer Ambulance, Touch of Loves AIDS Foundation, and has helped most of the Schools and sports teams in town. Bart's has Family Fun Nights every Friday night with dancing, face painting, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to a local school or organization. On weekends Bart's also holds car washes and concerts to benefit such organizations.
A donation in Sharon's honor will be made to the "Best Buddies" program at Windsor High School.
Kerry G. Ruiz
Kerry Ruiz was born on December 6, 1954 at McAndrew Air Force Base in St. Johns, Newfoundland Canada. Kerry traveled the U.S. with his father Master Sergeant Jose Ruiz, mother Bernyce, sisters Debbi, Cathy, Sherri, and one brother Joseph until they retired in Colchester. Kerry moved to Windsor in 1979 and now lives with his fianc e Carissa Fusco and daughter Taylor. Kerry opened Ashley's Distinctive Jewelry and Gifts in July 1989 on Day Hill Road with his partner Louis Della Vecchia, sister Cathy, and his friend and head jewelry designer Kurt Schumann. Through the store they are involved in supporting Windsor and its organizations. He has been an active Director on the Chamber Board since 1990, Past President 1994-1996, chaired the Winter Magic Committee for over ten years, started the Chamber Card Program, chaired the Retail Committee and has been President of the Shad Fest Bureau since 1996. He is a member of the Windsor Lodge Elks #2060 where he is youth Activities Chairman, organizes the Elks National Hoop Shoot, and Elks Soccer Shoot each year. He was on the All-American Soap Box Derby Committee and was a member of the Windsor Economic Development Committee 1994-1996. A member since 1990 of the Jewelers of America Kerry also belongs to the Connecticut Jewelers Association, and is a continuing student of the Gemological Institute of America. He is a communicant of St. Gabriel Church. Kerry is a strong advocate in supporting Windsor and its businesses and is committed to making Windsor a better place to live. A donation in Kerry's honor will be made to the Trinity Christian School Library Fund.
About the Hallas Award
In addition to his Chamber work, Mr. Hallas founded the Windsor News Weekly in 1944. While living over thirty years in Windsor, Mr. Hallas served as Executive Assistant and Press Secretary to both Governor Wilbert Snow and Governor Raymond Baldwin. In 1947, he was appointed state political commentator for WTIC radio. He handled public relations in Connecticut for the 1952 Eisenhower campaign and the 1956 campaign for former U.S. Senator, Prescott Bush. We salute and thank Mr. Hallas for his outstanding contribution. The Windsor Chamber of Commerce expresses its appreciation for the dedication of our Jerry Hallas Memorial Award recipients and the service they have provided to the Chamber and the Town of Windsor.
All Hallas Award Recipients2012 Paula M. Pierce
2011 Martin McMahon
2010 Dr. Larry Pennington
2009 Robert Carroll
2008 Kathy Perlitz
2006 Nan C. Carmon
2007 Sharran Selig Bennett
2005 Vincent Guiliano
2004 Robert & Laurie St. Jacques
2003 Martha (Marty) Collier
2002 Robert J. Gange
2001 Sharon Dillon Rispoli and Kerry G. Ruiz
2000 Wilson M. Alford, Jr.
1999 John A. Wall
1998 William D. Chiodo
1997 Warren P. Johnson
1996 Michael D. Rabbett
1995 William J. Selig, Sr.
1994 John A. Coccomo. Sr.
1993 James J. Dillon, Jr. and Mark E. Griffin
1992 John C. Carmon
1991 Fred Newton
1990 Daniel J. Ferraina
1989 Ben D. Sasportas
1988 Willard E. Gombert
1987 Wilson M. Alford, Sr.
1986 William Dumais
1985 Barry Loucks and Stanley Loucks
1984 Gordon Brown, Jr.
1983 Paul Wabrek
1982 John Lombardi
1981 Daniel Leon
1980 William Nielsen and Emile Vezina
1979 Diane Kopcinski and Jack Benoit
1978 Roger Olsen
1977 Walter Whelan
1976 Frank Parker