Chamber Chatbook: Chapter 9

Page 1

Chapter 9



1 The Greater Old Saybrook Chamber March / April 2024
1 Main Street, Old Saybrook, 06475


The GOS Chamber is proud to welcome another member in the President Circle

How well do you know the Chamber President, Dave Carswell?

March, April, and May 2024 upcoming meetings

Common mistakes made by taxpayers explained...

One pan meal that’s delicious; low in carbs, but high in protein and flavor!

GOS Chamber Business Directory and Community Guidebook

5. New President Circle Member 7. Board of Directors Spotlight 12. Chamber Calendar 16. Business Resources 19. Chicken Feta Bake 22. Great Advertising Opportunity 15. Chili Fest 2024 18. Women in Business
TAP NUMBERS TO READ! 22. Chamber on Tap
20. Old Saybrook Car Show Grossman Chevrolet/Nissan serving up chili! Leaping into AI! Skye Belote, Kathleen Hansen, Nancy Morin 2023 GOS Car Show


Happy Anniversary Greater Old Saybrook Chamber!

I am so excited to share that 2024 is our 85th year supporting local businesses and organizations in the lower CT river valley area. With your continued support, enthusiasm, and roll-up-your-sleeves attitudes, we will continue our work for another 85 years.

The team and I have set a goal of adding 85 new members to the Chamber by 8/5/24.

This is the perfect time to join the chamber, as our 2024-25 Business Directory & Community Guide will be published in June and delivered to every home in the region. What business wouldn’t want to be part of that!

Can you help us? I encourage you to invite your neighbors, business partners, colleagues, and friends to become part of the Greater Old Saybrook Chamber. Your support in spreading the word about the benefits of GOSC membership is invaluable as we strive to strengthen our business community together.

Thank you for your continued support – we can’t do it without you.

All the best,




(860) 256-8478

Old Saybrook, CT Building & Construction


(860) 510-3185

Old Saybrook, CT Holistic Healing & Wellness


(860) 460-5005

New London, CT Photography


(860) 249-7631

Hartford, CT Lighting


(860) 767-9768

Essex, CT

Electronic payment & POS System Sales


(203) 843-2634

Madison, CT Home Organization


(860) 339-5429

Old Saybrook, CT Fences, Sheds & Outdoor Structures

(917) 822-1712

Old Lyme, CT


Click here to visit our online Business Directory for more member information.



Middlesex Health

“Middlesex Hospital has once again been named one of the top 100 hospitals in the United States in the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success study.”

Interested in joining the GOS Chamber President Circle?

The President Circle consists of an elite group of members who receive the ultimate yearlong support and visibility by making a signifcant financial investment in support of the Chamber’s initiatives, programs, and projects. Click here to find out more information.

5 Old

Saybrook, CT Health & Wellness SOS TREES (860) 510-1918 Old
Saybrook, CT Civic Organization for OS Tree Canopy FOODWORKS (860) 395-0770
Saybrook, CT Natural Food Store CLASS 101 NEW LONDON COUNTY CT (860) 910-7568
Old Saybrook, CT Travel SLB PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC (617) 818-3407 Westbrook, CT Photography Click here to visit our online Business Directory for more member information. Open: Wednesday through Sunday Brewery & Taproom Beer, Wine, Hard Cider, & Seltzer Cans to Go Games & Events www myrceneale com | 860-339-3762 | 39 Ragged Rock Rd , Old Saybrook, CT Reserve a space for special events & holiday parties Catering Options Available Through Local Restaurants! Thursday Night Trivia Every Thursday @7pm


In the heart of the Chamber Chatbook this month, we shine a spotlight on an individual whose life’s narrative encapsulates the very essence of community spirit and entrepreneurial zest. Meet Dave Carswell, the esteemed President of the Greater Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce. A Virginia native, Dave’s early years were steeped in the vibrant hues of horse country and the bustling environment of a family-owned retail business. It was here, among the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, that he imbibed a robust work ethic and a firsthand understanding of business and public engagement.

Now a devoted resident of the Greater Old Saybrook area, Dave, alongside his wife and two dogs, revels in the coastal charm and cultural richness of Connecticut’s shoreline. His profound attachment to this “best little slice of America” is palpable, reflecting his dedication not just to living in the area but to nurturing its growth and community spirit.

Professionally, Dave serves as the Business Branch Manager for Guilford Savings Bank in Old Saybrook, a role that mirrors his commitment to community service. His philosophy of community giving is not confined to his job; it spills over into his active participation in various local organizations. His contributions to the Greater Old Saybrook Chamber, the Old Saybrook Historical Society, and HOPE Partnership Inc. underscore his unwavering commitment to fostering housing opportunities and preserving local history.

Dave’s journey with the Chamber began in 2015, marking the start of an enduring relationship characterized by volunteerism and leadership. His ascent to the presidency was fueled by a lifetime of saying “yes” to opportunities for service, a lesson in leadership and humility he generously shares with his peers. Under his guidance, the Chamber has

seen remarkable growth and development, a testament to the collective efforts of its staff and volunteers.

As Dave approaches the end of his tenure, he looks forward with optimism to the Chamber’s continued evolution. His enthusiasm for the newly formed Tourism Committee and its potential to drive economic growth across various sectors encapsulates his vision for a thriving, interconnected community.

In echoing Dave’s call to action, we invite our readers to embrace the spirit of volunteerism. “When called upon, please say YES. Raise your hand and look for the opportunity to serve others.” Let’s join hands in advancing “Community, Culture, and Commerce,” guided by the inspiring leadership of individuals like Dave Carswell. Together, we can craft a future as vibrant and enduring as the shoreline we call home.




With winter almost in the rearview and spring just a few days away, the Old Saybrook Parks and Recreation Department is gearing up for a season of special events! On Saturday, March 23rd we are hosting our 15th Annual Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by the Old Saybrook Lions. We will kick off the day at 11:00am for the 1st of three “hunts” to find the most chocolate and prizes that can fit in their baskets. Be on the lookout for six special eggs to win a top prize.

On Friday, March 29th we host our Annual Rock Hunt for all 4th-6th graders at Clark Community Park on Schoolhouse Rd. at 10:00am. In this fastpaced hunt through the trails, you are looking to find up to 10 colorful rocks and return them for prizes. There will be a lot of candy, special prizes and a ton of fun! Bring a bag or bucket to hold

your rocks. This event starts promptly at 10:00am. For those students looking for some fun during April Vacation, The Rec. will be hosting April Vacation Camp for those in K-5th grade. On Wednesday, the Camp will head to Lessard Lanes in Plainville for a day of bowling and indoor mini golf.

Lastly, we cannot start the spring season without our annual Ray Dobratz Fishing Derby. Bright and early on Saturday, April 27th we will see who can reel in the biggest fish of the day. We will have snacks, coffee, hot chocolate, and of course hot dogs! Prizes will be awarded in three age categories.

To register for all these events or for more information, please visit our website at



Warmer weather is on the way! Living along the Connecticut Shoreline, many of us look forward to those initial outings on the water. It might be a sunny picnic cruise, glorious sunset, or even a ride out in the mist when shades of green blend together – any which way a return to the water beckons!

We started Seabird Cruises in 2021 and feature small group cruises for up to 6 passengers from May 1st through to October 31st from the Saybrook Point Marina. We have great options for 2 people celebrating, four people visiting, 5-6 gathering to simply enjoy the water together, multigeneration outings and whatever else you can dream up!

Seabird is a classic Dyer 29, New England picnic style power boat, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing with varnished wood trim

through-out the cockpit seating area. Pictures can be viewed at our Instagram site @Seabird_Cruises. Seabird Cruises is offering a May 2024 Special for Greater Old Saybrook Chamber members:

$250 for 1-6 passengers for any weekday Picnic Cruise (11am - 2pm); or Sunset Cruise (6pm - 8:309pm).

Come on out and enjoy the river or coastal Long Island Sound. We’ll support your outing and look forward to meeting. See you on the water!

Seabird Cruises




Drama Works Theatre Company of Old Saybrook is set to continue its 2024 season which began with The Baltimore Waltz, a play by Paul Vogel, and The God of Hell, by Sam Shepard. The theatre’s upcoming selections for this year include Five Women Wearing the Same Dress by Alan Ball, Mac Beth adapted by Erica Schmidt from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Two Rooms by Lee Blessing, and Venus in Fur by David Ives. This compelling mix of plays ensures the company’s dedication to fostering the talents of theatre artists and bringing high-caliber entertainment to the community.

At Drama Works Theatre, audiences find themselves transported to an intimate performance space where they can experience the impactful work

that artistic director, Ed Wilhelms, is committed to bringing to Connecticut. The 48 seat, off-Broadway style theatre is a hidden gem amid Old Saybrook’s thriving artistic community. Local actors may check online for audition updates throughout the year. Non-actors, especially those interested in set building, ushering, and stage managing are strongly encouraged to contact the theatre for opportunities.

Drama Works Theatre Company is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, resident performing arts company dedicated to the production of thought provoking, inspiring and relevant theatre. The theatre is located at 323 Boston Post Road. Tickets for the season and additional information are available through




21, Thursday: Ambassadors Meeting

22, Friday: Bridging Businesses Business Connections in Old Lyme

28, Thursday: Women in Business Luncheon at PLP APRIL MEETINGS

4, Thursday: First Thursday Business Connections

11, Thursday: PLOT Quarterly Zoom Meeting

16, Tuesday: Women in Business After Hours Event at SIP

18, Thursday: Ambassadors Meeting


2, Thursday: First Thursday Business Connections

Raffle Winners at the DLS Insurance Chamber Connections Click

3, Friday: 1st Annual Pickleball Tournament for Business!

8, Wednesday: Local Leader Spotlight with Heather Emanuelson

14, Tuesday: Chamber on Tap

16, Thursday: Ambassadors Meeting

16, Thursday: Chamber Connections at Berkshire Hathaway New England Properties

23, Thursday: Women in Business Luncheon with Suzanne McColl

Here to View Online

Bridging Businesses Business Connections

March 22 8:00 - 9:00am

Join us at 8:00 am in Old Lyme for Bridging Businesses Business Connections! Forge meaningful connections, foster collaboration between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme members, and unlock new opportunities for your business. Networking hour designed for growth and partnership. Lyme Art Association. 90 Lyme St.

Chamber Connections

This business after hours is hosted by a member and held the third Thursday every few months throughout the year - check the calendar! Whether you are a seasoned member or new to the community, discover the benefits of expanding your professional circle. The host will have the opportunity to showcase their business, whether it’s a new product or service, or even a new location. Time: 5:30 - 7:00 pm

First Thursday Business Connections

Held the 1st Thursday of every month, this fast paced networking event provides members the opportunity to introduce their business, its offerings and products. One member commented that “the meeting was the equivalent of knocking on 40 doors in one hour.” Meetings are moderated. By reservation, a small number of attendees have three minutes to present their business. Free to attend! Members only. Time: 8:00 - 9:00 am, Vicky Duffy Pavilion, OS

Find the full Calendar on our website!
Bridging Businesses at Lyme Art Association First Thursday Business Connections Chamber Connections hosted at 745 Osteria



On Saturday, March 2, 2024, the Greater Old Saybrook Chamber hosted its 27th Annual Chili Fest on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Over 20 chefs took on the task of making at least 18 gallons of chili for the public to sample and vote for their favorite.

The Chamber is thankful for all event sponsors, chefs, and attendees who braved the weather and thrilled of the significant amount of compostable material and funds raised for the Chamber’s scholarship. Additionally, the top three chefs earn a donation to a charity of their choosing.

Congratulations to all winners!

FIRST Place: Red House, Chef #2, “Three Chef’s Smokin’ Chili”

Charity: Valley Shore YMCA

SECOND Place: Gladeview Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, Chef #16, “No Mas”

Charity: Alzheimer’s Association, CT Chapter

THIRD Place: St. John School, Chef #19, “Mindy K’s Chili”

Charity: Saint John Catholic School

Judges Award: Little Pub, Chef #19

Spirit Award: Cuckoo’s Nest, Chef #5




Taxes are stressful for many individuals and can lead to a lot of procrastination. Here are some quick and easy ways to avoid common mistakes.

First, make sure not to file too late. The benefits of filing as early as possible are faster refunds, more flexibility with timing, you can avoid the rush with tax professionals and avoid unnecessary extensions. Filing early also gives you time to save if you want to make contributions to a retirement plan or need to make a larger than expected tax payment. Always make your payment before Tax Day. Extending your return does not grant you the ability to pay late, the IRS still expects full payment of any balances due before April 15th or you will be subject to penalties.

Another common mistake is not planning. This is where a year-round tax professional can offer a valuable service. Most taxpayers will have similar tax returns year after year. For those with small businesses or unexpected changes, the ability to pick up the phone and discuss how an event will change their current year taxes is invaluable. This gives you time to make estimated payments or save for the tax due at year end.

The final mistake is not reviewing your return before filing. The most common mistakes usually involve basic information. Misspelled names, wrong social security numbers, incorrect filing status and incorrect dependents are some of the most common errors.

Tax software has all but helped eliminate calculation errors but are only as good as the person using the software. If you’re not confident in your ability to do your own return, then it’s time to talk with a trusted tax advisor to get the most out of your return.



Welcome back to ASK HR. Each issue will include answers to your questions regarding a variety of human resources-related topics to help you with some of the pressing needs of your business. Our expert is fellow member, Sheila McKinley-Bell of Shoreline HR Consulting, . Please feel free to let us know what questions are on your mind.

Today’s question is: I am hearing that the IRS has made a change to the rules regarding how to differentiate between an independent contractor and an employee. Is that true and, if so, what is the difference?

Yes, it is true that the IRS has updated a final rule regarding the way in which to differentiate between an independent contractor and an employee. The article that appeared in this newsletter in May 2023 was based on the IRS final rule published on January 7, 2021.

On January 10, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) published a new final rule revising the Department’s guidance on how to analyze who is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This final rule rescinds the rule published on January 7, 2021 and replaces it with an analysis for determining employee or independent contractor status that is more consistent with the FLSA. The USDOL believes that this final rule will reduce the risk that employees are misclassified as independent contractors, while providing added certainty for businesses that engage (or wish to engage) with individuals who are in business for themselves. The final rule is scheduled to take effect on March 11, 2024.

The USDOL submits there is no single rule for determining whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee for purposes of the FLSA. Rather, an “economic reality test” looks to the facts of a situation to assess economic dependence of an individual by

taking into account multiple factors by which to understand whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, with no factor or factors having predetermined weight.

The final rule provides six factors that businesses and workers should consider when analyzing the economic realities of the working relationship. These factors are:

(1) Opportunity for profit or loss depending on managerial skill.

(2) Investments by the worker and the potential employer.

(3) Degree of permanence of the work relationship.

(4) Nature and degree of control.

(5) Extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the potential employer’s business; and

(6) Skill and initiative.

No one factor or subset of factors determines if an individual is an employee or independent contractor. Rather, all the circumstances of the relationship should be examined. The weight given to each factor may depend on the facts and circumstances of the relationship. Also, additional factors may be relevant if they in some way indicate if the worker is in business for themself as opposed to being economically dependent on the employer for work.

I recommend exploring the website for further information. In particular, the USDOL Small Entity Compliance Guide: https://www.dol. gov/agencies/whd/government-contracts/smallentity-compliance-guide

Sheila can be reached online at sheila@shorelinehr. com or by phone at 860-256-9881.



The Women in Business Council is dedicated to fostering a vibrant community of women entrepreneurs by providing a platform for inspiration, guidance, and networking. Each month, engaging events are hosted at various local restaurants, featuring dynamic speakers from diverse entrepreneurial backgrounds.

Pre-registration is required for all events. Click on event names below for more information.

Thursday, March 28

Luncheon at Penny Lane Pub, Old Saybrook

“Does Your Branding Support Your Business Strategy?” with Suzi Lee Schell & Kristy Tupper

Tuesday, April 16

After hours event at SIP Wine Bar, Old Saybrook

Mental Fitness: Growing the three core mental muscles that help you thrive even in challenging times with Melissa O’Hara

Thursday, May 23

Luncheon at Penny Lane Pub, Old Saybrook

Limiting Beliefs with Suzanne McColl


Leap Day, February 29, 2024. Half Day Event

“This was my first OS Chamber Event and it exceeded all my expectations. If you are new to the Chamber and want to surround yourself with some remarkable women, attend the next Women in Business Event!” -Cheryl Nadzam



“ absolutley simple and delicious one pan meal! Low in carbs, but high in protein and flavor.”


• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

• Rinse and pat dry chicken (butterfly in half if whole chicken breast)

• Make rub with Italian seasoning, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pat rub on both sides of chicken. Heat an oven safe skillet to medium/high and add olive oil. Place chicken in pan and brown each side for about 3-4 minutes.

• Lower heat to medium and move chicken to the side of the pan. Add chopped garlic to the center of the pan.

• Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and squeeze in the juice of one half lemon (if you don’t have lemon you can substitute white vinegar/wine).

• Place block of feta in center of the pan.

• Scatter tomatoes over the entire pan.

• Put pan in the oven to bake for 20 minutes or until chicken reaches internal temp of 165 degrees F.


2 to 2.5 lbs organic chicken breast

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 ½ tsp chili powder

1 tsp sea salt (guideline salt to taste)

½ tsp pepper

1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves chopped

½ lemon

½ cup organic chicken broth

1 block feta cheese (in brine)

1 box grape tomatoes

Follow @WellnessWithKristinCT for more tips and recipes! Visit for more information.

here for more information


The Greater Old Saybrook Chamber is thrilled to offer three scholarships to local, deserving graduating high school seniors. Two of the three scholarships are continued traditions from the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber. All applications must be submitted to the Chamber by Friday, April 12, 2024 in person, by mail, or by email (

Find eligibility requirements and applications on

C. Wilfred Hunter Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was created in memory of Will Hunter by his family to honor his dedicated career as a teacher, a coach and his love of Old Saybrook. Mr. Hunter was the Executive Director of the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce from 1984 – 1989.

Click Here to View Application

Lyme-Old Lyme Business Leadership Scholarship

Click Here to View Application

Lyme-Old Lyme Promise & Achievement in the Arts Scholarship

Click Here to View Application




Creation of the Greater Old Saybrook Chamber Business Directory & Community Guide for 2024-2025 is underway! 28,000 copies will be printed and distributed to every home in the Old Saybrook region. Copies will also be available at local hotels, visitor centers, and The Big E.

Take advantage of this amazing advertising opportunity! Interested? Contact Laura Carpenter at Shore Publishing. Phone: 860-304-3298 Email:

Deadline is Friday, May 17th - ACT FAST! Publication date is June 27, 2024.

Deadline: May 17th

Publication: June 27th


Looking to connect with other local businesses but don’t know where to start? Join us at Chamber on Tap to get your business match(es) made in heaven! Meet the right people with matched introductions specific to you. More success with less stress!

Tuesday, May 14. 5:30 - 8:00 pm

Click Here to View Rate Sheet Click Here to View 2023-2024 Guidebook
$25/Member $35/NonMember
Myrcene Ale Co. 39 Ragged Rock



President: Dave Carswell, Guilford Savings Bank

1st Vice President: Kevin Kennedy, Kennedy Real Estate Solutions

2nd Vice President: Tony Marino, The Rockfall Foundation

Secretary, Kara Pachniuk, Nourish + Nosh Nutrition

Treasurer, Brendan Redfield, WollackLewitz


Chris Bird, Saybrook Point Resort & Marina

Brett Elliott, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

Gabriel Flugrad, North Cove Capital

CJ Jack, Shoreline Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram & Shoreline Hyundai

Dan King, Lahan & King

Sally Ann Lee, Middlesex Health

Sharon Lewis, AdviCoach

Heather Milardo, The Estuary

Nancy Morin, Custom Designs & Embroidery

Jonathan Paradis, Old Saybrook Parks & Recreation

Christine Reynolds, Shore Appliances

Marnie Serksnas, Miranda Creative

Jennifer Waldron, Pizza Works


Judy Sullivan, Executive Director

Christa Maynard, Member Services Manager

Hannah Stella, Marketing Coordinator

Mike DeLisa, Bookkeeper

“Always On Our Game!” Annual Mtg. Chili Fest Judges & Lion’s Club WIB Event - Leaping Into AI Chamber Staff - “Always On Our Game!” Annual Meeting Chili Fest Volunteers

How to get your advertisements in the next Chatbook?

Email to secure your spot. The Chamber is always looking for graphic ads, articles, topics, ideas, and more!

NEW in May: Community Event Listings! For only $40 per event, get your events exclusively shared. Photo included. Inquire for more information - great opportunity!

The Chamber Chatbook was created to provide readers with helpful Chamber and community information. If you have any suggestions, please let us know! Chapters are issued the second week of every other month with a deadline to submit advertisements or articles of the first of said month. Next Chapter releases in May 2024.

24 One Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 860.388.3266

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