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Contents WINTER 2017 ISSUE #16


Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Annemarie F. Sliby, Executive Director Orange Economic Development Corporation


Mary Bialy Orange Economic Development Corporation

Contributing Writers

Alyssa Davanzo, Matt Gad, Kimberly Kick, Shaileen Kelly Landsberg, Daina Larkin, Markus Santiago, Karen Singer, Cindy Sloan

Contributing Photographers

AVANGRID Corporate Communications, Sharon Ewen, Vincent Farricielli, Teressa Hennessey (Amity Regional High School), Ryan Kennedy, Annamarie Mastrangelo, Dee Patel-Anil, Paula Severino, Yale West Campus

Advertisement & Graphic Artist Paula Severino

Design & Production

Dale J Pavlik | DJP Design LLC |


LSC Communications, Inc., Chicago, IL

OrangeLife Magazine

is distributed semi-annually by the:

Orange Economic Development Corporation 605A Orange Center Road Orange, CT 06477 203-891-1045 |

To Advertise

Rates are listed on Contact us at: (203) 891-1045 or email:

Submit Photos and Ideas

To be considered for photographs for our cover (seasonal) and ideas for articles featuring the people and business community of Orange, submit to:

On the Cover

Cover picture provided by Dee Patel-Anil, who lives in Orange. Anil says, “This photo was taken of my front yard. My son Michael sat on that bench with my mother waiting for the school bus all through his elementary school years. My mother passed away in 2013 and my son just started college in Boston this fall.”

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the OEDC. The OEDC shall not be held liable for typographical errors or errors in the publication or for failure to publish an advertisement. For more information, email 4


9 13 16 19 21 23 26 28 30 35 38

41 43 46 49 52 55 57

MARTY’S STAMP AND COIN Unique and Keeping it Simple VINCENT FARRICIELLI A Man with a Cause

PEOPLE’S UNITED BANK A Dedicated Resource in the Community THE EWEN FAMILY Guarding the Town’s Open Space

PARENTING Keeping Your Child on Track Through the Holiday Season

AVANGRID Dedicated to Generating Renewable Energy KEVIN PISCITELLI Finds New Life with a New Career RESIDENTIAL Protecting your Residence from Old Man Winter

BUSINESS MILESTONES AAI Flooring, Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers, Chef’s Emporium LAMP SHADES PLUS 40 Years of More Than Just Shades

TOM CAVALIERE, CLEM FUCCI, AND NICK MASTRANGELO Four Decades of Bigger and Better Real Estate DAVID KENNEDY Salute to Valor

EDUCATION Yale University’s West Campus

A TO Z PET SHOP Where a Pet Can Find its Forever Home MOBILE RESCUE Emergency Service for Technology

ORANGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Growing and Moving Forward AMITY HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS The Amity Spartans Dance for Spirit and Competition CALENDAR OF EVENTS Winter and Spring Calendar


Publisher’s Letter

We are excited to present our 16th issue of Oran geLife Magazine! One of the most rewarding experiences I have is learning the history of our business population and the exciting careers and generosity of our residents, and having the opportunity to share their stories with you by featuring them in Oran geLife Magazine. Marty’s Stamp and Coin, Lamp Shades Plus, Vincent Farricielli and David Kennedy are just a few, but there are so many more featured in this edition.

Marty’s Stamp and Coin has been on the Boston Post Road since 1972. If you are not in the coin business, you may never have had the chance visit his store — but, on the other hand, country singer/actor Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter have. Lamp Shades Plus has been on the Boston Post Road for 40 years. A successful business that rarely advertises but has a word-of-mouth reputation, her customer base has included actress, Nicole Kidman and talk show host, Martha Stewart.

Vincent Farricielli had an amazing career as a hair stylist and began charity work early in his career and continues to do so, fifty years later. David Kennedy, well known for his restaurant Reno’s and now Reno and Sons Pizza Truck, began a new charity this year to help veterans. I hope you have as much enjoyment reading this edition as I did creating it. When you visit any of the businesses or see any of the residents we have featured, let them know you read their story in Oran geLife Magazine.

Happy holidays to all!


Executive Director, OEDC

As always, we wish to thank First Selectman, James Zeoli; the Orange Economic Development Commission; and the Orange Economic Development Corporation board members; as well as our advertisers. Please support the advertisers and let them know you saw their ad in OrangeLife Magazine.







Marty’s Stamp & Coin: Unique and Keeping it Simple WRITTEN BY: KAREN SINGER

Over the last four-and-a-half decades, Marty’s Stamp & Coin has become a mecca of sorts for serious collectors and others. “Eighty-five to ninety percent of them know I’m here,” says owner Marty Hillman, whose tiny store at 161 Boston Post Road caters to customers seeking to buy or sell coins made in America since 1793 and US stamps produced since 1847.

“I will always look at anything to buy,” Hillman adds. “It’s a game of knowledge.”

He began learning the game in the 1960s, when he discovered Frank Dupee’s coin shop on George Street in New Haven, and began collecting coins and stamps.

“I am very unique on this road and have seen a lot of businesses come and go,” Hillman says. Asked why his store has lasted so long, he replies, “I try to keep it simple.”

Hillman opened Marty’s on October 1, 1972. He was 23 years old and determined to parlay his boyhood passion into a viable business. He did so, with hard work and frugality. WINTER 2017

“I never hired any employees,” he says, “and when I made a dollar, I put 10 cents away.” In the early years, Hillman often worked six days a week.

Marty’s Stamp & Coin has been at the same Orange address since its inception. Hillman chose the location for its proximity to the Post Road, in a busy area surrounded by retail stores.

Over the years, he has seen an ever-changing market for his wares. Stamp collecting, for instance, has lost its luster lately.

“Right now, coins are more desirable,” Hillman says. “I think it has a lot to do with the change of people’s interests. When I was a kid, we had the old-fashioned kind of hobbies like stamp and coin collecting. Kids today prefer electronics.”

In recent years, people have been buying more coins based on weight rather than condition and scarcity, because they’re more concerned about gold and silver content than filling collections.

Lincoln pennies and Morgan silver dollars are still in demand for collectors.

“They might have collected pennies as a kid,” Hillman explains, adding Morgan dollars are “reasonable in price and big in (silver) content.”

Marty Hillman holding a coin collection.

If you want to sell coins or other currency at Marty’s, you must show him a driver’s license, which he photographs, along with items sold. Copies are sent to the Orange police department. “Customers get their money immediately, but we have to hold onto their stuff for 10 days,” Hillman says.


The most famous visitor, so far, was Johnny Cash, who visited the store in the late 1970s with his wife, June Carter Cash.

Hillman’s busiest months are September through May. “More people come when it’s cooler and on overcast or rainy days,” he says.

The cozy confines of Marty’s Stamp & Coin

Over the years, several celebrities have shopped at Marty’s Stamp & Coin, including Dave Jennings, the late former New York Giants punter; and George, “The Animal” Steele, the late World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Famer.



Marty’s 260-square-foot store is a throwback to a bygone era. There’s a push button corded phone on the wall, and stacks of coin supplies and trade magazines lining the sides and back of the place, leaving an aisle barely wide enough for customers.

“I am very unique on this road and have seen a lot of businesses come and go,” Hillman says. Asked why his store has lasted so long, he replies, “I try to keep it simple.”

Hillman does not advertise. He does not have a cell phone, and he does

not use the Internet. He will, however, match online prices. “If I have a question about pricing,” he says, “I’ll call a couple of dealers.”

“I play it day by day,” he says. “That’s why

I’m glad I’ve kept it


Hillman also offers assistance to customers interested in collecting or investing in coins. “I am willing to take the time, at no cost, to give them free advice,” he says.

Hillman has three children, but they’re not interested in taking over the business whenever he decides to call it quits. “I play it day by day,” he says. “That’s why I’m glad I’ve kept it small.” 쮿

Marty’s Stamp & Coin is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can reach Marty Hillman at (203) 795-3815.




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Vincent Farricielli: A Man with a Cause WRITTEN BY: MARKUS SANTIAGO

After a lifetime of charitable work, it would seem that Vincent Farricielli would need a much needed rest. However, this Orange, Connecticut native responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for diabetes, AIDS and breast cancer research just won’t quit. Nearing his eighties, this titan of goodwill is still using his talents and charitable heart to make a difference in his community and beyond. UTILIZING TALENTS TO RAISE FUNDS FOR CHARITIES

A hairdresser by trade, Vincent used his talents to fundraise for charities very early in his career. After graduating from beauty school and working with various cosmetology companies, he opened his first salon just six years into his career as a hair stylist. Shortly after opening his first salon in Hamden, Vincent realized he could use his platform as a growingly well-known figure in the community to raise awareness to causes close to his heart. “I come from a family of diabetics. I am not a diabetic and my sister is not a diabetic, but early in my career I realized this was something I needed to do,” he recalls. Starting his work for diabetes research in the 1960s, Vincent used his status as the president of the Connecticut Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Association (and shortly after a member of the National Hairdressers and Cosmetologist Association) to put on elaborate fashion shows that grossed hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to the research and development of diabetes. AN ESTEEMED CAREER

All while raising these fantastic sums of money for charity, Vincent was working on his career as a WINTER 2017

hairdresser. To date, he has a total of 45 trophies from various organizations praising him for his humanitarian efforts and technical prowess. Many of these came from beauty competitions in which he participated. Vincent spent most of the 1970s competing in these competitions as well as teaching up-and-coming hairdressers. However, the next decade proved to be an exciting one as he truly began to make a name for himself in the world of beauty. In 1982, he joined the Hair America team named the American Image and worked to create just that. The American Image became the template for hairstyles during the 1980s; you might recognize it as Nancy Reagan’s famously distinct hairdo. Also in the 80s, Vincent became a resident backstage stylist for the Miss America beauty pageants, styling Miss Connecticut’s hair for 15 years. LOOK GOOD, FEEL BETTER

With all these major achievements happening simultaneously, it would seem Vincent would simply not have time for anything else. Wrong! All while competing, operating a successful hair salon, working at pageants, participating in various associations, and creating America’s iconic 1980s hairstyles; Vincent still

Vincent Farricielli creating the ‘American Image’ hairstyle with Theresa Lewis in 1982.

found time to give back to charity. It was during this time his diabetes fundraising hit its crescendo and the period where he got involved with the Look Good, Feel Better project. Vincent sent his salon team members into hospitals to pamper and style cancer patients to aid in their recovery and make them feel beautiful. During his efforts with Look Good, Feel Better Vincent, “saw many smiles and many tears in those hospitals.” One of his colleagues, Andrea Torre, still runs the program. Miraculously, Vincent also found time to create a line of hair products that

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Vincent Farricielli (right) with Barbra Streisand’s dress auctioned at the Spirit of Life. Standing with donor Robert Modena (left).

went nationwide, which a percentage of shampoo and conditioner sales went to diabetes research.

The amount of funds raised for his causes and the success of his salon were mutually beneficial. The more Vincent fundraised, the more his salon generated visibility. The more visibility his salon received, the more he could participate and give back to charitable causes. This is what lead to his second salon location to open. It was here Vincent discovered his passion for his second (but not last) charity. The newly opened salon on Crown Street in New Haven was directly across from a Salvation Army, which his hairdressers frequented for vintage fashion. It was there he met a British woman named Marie Downs, who was dying of AIDS. She confided in Vincent her wish was to be in her hometown of London, England when she died. Moved by this woman and her story, he began ardently fundraising in his salon to get the woman back to England and succeeded in doing so. Knowing so many friends with AIDS, meeting this inspiring woman and fulfilling her dying wish, caused Vincent to dive head first into his new charitable venture, working tirelessly for AIDS Project New Haven. Through “Cut-a-thons” held at his two salons, fashion shows, and other fundraising efforts; he’s raised $250,000 to date and donated the organization’s transportation van, The Spirit of Life. 14



After his illustrious career of hairdressing, styling for the likes of Florence Henderson, Debbie Reynolds, Polly Bergen, Martha Raye, Phyllis Diller, and, yes, even Glenn Beck; Vincent finally hung up his scissors and retired from hairdressing. “I thought that’s what you do when you’re 65. After a year of retirement, I went to the doctor and I said, ‘Something’s wrong with me.’ He told me to go get a job! And that’s what I did,” Vincent remembers. Shortly after, he began working part time.

However, in classic Farricielli fashion, Vincent didn’t stop there. He needed to find a way to continue to be of service to the causes he holds so dear to his heart and decided to become a certified Justice of the Peace. He began marrying couples of all races, ages and orientations, officiating about two to three weddings per month, and donating one hundred percent of his fees to AIDS Project New Haven. Fees for each wedding is $150 and includes a face-to-face meeting, to get to know the couple, and a sermon. He tailors his sermon to the individual story the couple shares and makes a loving and truly magical affair come to life.

Vincent has come across some truly amazing couples in his years of being a Justice of the Peace. He’s done inter-faith marriages between Jews and Catholics. He’s married an international couple from England in Central Park in a beautiful New York City wedding. He’s even married a couple in his own dining room. “They just couldn’t wait! I was apprehensive at first, but I said, ‘Give me about 20 minutes,’ and prepared a sermon and married them right here,” Vincent laughs. It’s these rewarding occasions that make his work worthwhile to him.

“What’s rewarding to me [about my work] is basically doing it. The happiness I’ve achieved and the smiles on the faces of these people that are being accepted because of what we are able to give them. It’s while we’re actually serving the people, doing the shows, and seeing the people while I’m officiating the weddings, it’s… just what I love to do! I feel like a part of their life, like I’m coming in at the beginning of a new chapter and opening the door for them,” he explains fondly, truly a Man with a Cause, “I’m thankful for every single person that’s sat in my chair.” 쮿

A recent photo of Vincent Farricielli.

Vincent Farricielli’s ceremonial officiant services for weddings, vow renewals, or commitment ceremonies are just a call away. To set up a meeting, call him at home: 203-298-9327 or cell: 203-506-7953. WINTER 2017



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People’s United Bank: A Dedicated Resource in the Community WRITTEN BY: DAINA LARKIN

The community that nurtures itself will succeed. This is the mantra of People’s United Bank, a key player in the ecosystem of knowledge, love, and good karma that’s been helping Orange thrive. The branch opened in 1962 in the heart of town on Orange Center Road, surrounded by trees rather than bustle but still teeming with liveliness. Many longtime residents describe it as one of the town’s first banks, and since then it’s cultivated a wide and sturdy web of social support across town. GIVING BACK BY VOLUNTEERING

Volunteer work is one of the vehicles People’s United Bank uses to feed the camaraderie that makes up the community’s lifeblood. Each year, the People’s United Bank team volunteers at several town events, from planning and execution through cleanup. At the Fireman’s Carnival and Country Fair, they provide support to count cash; at the annual Orange Chamber of Commerce 5K, they provide their time & expertise to help carry out the event. The team also participates in the Annual Greater New Haven Heart walk and has successfully raised over $15,000 to benefit The American Heart Association. Silvi Sboui, the branch’s Vice President, believes it’s the bank’s responsibility to give back to the community that’s helped it succeed. “If we each do our little part, we will thrive as a community,” she said. “We encourage everyone, not just



From left to right: Silvi Sboui (Vice President), Kevin Dougherty (First Vice President, Growth Manager), and Antonio Ciarleglio (Vice President Branch Manager).

businesses but also residents, to help out. You give, and you also get rewarded. Orange is that type of town.” A RESOURCE FOR THE TOWN

Since its opening, People’s United Bank has strived to establish its role in the community as a resource rather than just a bank. In fact, Silvi and her team feel a personal obligation to share information and provide financial education.

Partnered with local community centers and the Police Department, People’s United Bank helps seniors understand their financial options and arms them against increasingly sophisticated scams. They host “Safe-Teas,” tea-time info sessions that promote safe financial practices among seniors including information protection, safe deposit boxes, fraud prevention and more. WINTER 2017


Kevin, Silvi, and the rest of the People’s United Bank team encourage everyone in town, from business owners to residents, to tap into the town’s deep well of resources. Enamored with the active community, Silvi serves on the board of the Orange Economic Development Corporation and the board of the Orange Chamber of Commerce, and she recognizes the vast network of connections that makes Orange such fertile ground for business. The girls ready and waiting for the first customers of the day. From left to right: Deanne Salito, Elizabeth Yelenik, Antonia Gomes and Sara Lehman.

Similarly, People’s United regularly visits schools to help teenagers understand credit, the importance of saving, spending wisely, and other tools to help them prepare for a financially secure future. People’s United Bank extends an open invitation to all area schools, welcoming school children to tour the branch and gain perspective on cash and coin.

Community partnership is an integral part of the People’s United Bank culture. In 2016, People’s United employees conducted more than 200 financial education lessons in Connecticut, reaching nearly 7,000 individuals of all ages. Additionally, last year the People’s United Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of People’s United Bank, awarded more than $1.1 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state.

counselors with the desire to spread financial expertise.

This dedication to the town is fostered in every People’s United Bank location and the Orange community gives back with fervor. Kevin Dougherty, former branch manager of the Orange branch and currently Growth Manager, First Vice President of the Greater New Haven Area, describes Orange as a warm and charming New England town.

“Everyone is friendly and cares about each other,” Kevin commented. “We’re grateful to our customers in Orange who make up such a pleasant and engaged community.”

“We look at ourselves

as counselors with

the desire to spread

financial expertise.”

“We want everyone to succeed. There are so many resources out there for business owners in Orange. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for guidance,” Silvi suggested. “We invest in the community of Orange because we deeply care about the town.” 쮿

People’s United Bank is located at 653 Orange Center Road and can be contacted by calling (203) 795-3596.

People’s United Bank offers the same support to every person in town, regardless of whether or not they have an account at the bank. In fact, it’s one of the branch’s goals, to be seen as an informational and social hub rather than merely a place of business, and this identity is taking hold in town. A small group of elderly, the self-described, “80 Club,” come together each Friday morning at People’s United Bank for coffee and conversation. “This is what we want. Come in for a cup of coffee. Come get advice,” Silvi said. “We look at ourselves as


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The Ewen Family: Guarding the Town’s Open Space WRITTEN BY: DAINA LARKIN

A community depends on the passion of its most dedicated citizens. In Orange, the Ewen family stands up to the task. Headed by Jim Ewen, lovingly referred to as the town’s “Honorary Trailmaster,” the Ewen family has guarded the town’s 1,000 acres of open space for decades. The eight properties (Racebrook Tract, Orange Triangle Trail, Housatonic Overlook & Tucker’s Ridge, Fred Wolfe Park, Paul Ode Natural Trail, Turkey Hill Preserve, Wright’s Pond & Wepawaug Conservation Area, and Ewen Farm Preserve) are maintained and advocated for by a council of nature lovers called the Orange Conservation Commission (OCC). This group is responsible for the records, acquisition, maintenance, improvement, and all else related to the town’s pastoral public oases. Sharon Ewen chaired the council for years, but her husband Jim did most of the field work – on an entirely voluntary level. Though he’s never been an official Commission member, Jim personally oversees, designs, and carries out many Commission projects from inception to completion. DEEP LOVE OF NATURE

Raised on a dairy farm and studied in wildlife biology, Jim runs on a deep love of nature. In retirement, much of his free time is spent on the trails and fields. “There are many projects our open spaces required, but that couples with the fact that I love working outdoors,” Jim commented. “It gives me enjoyment and benefits our community as well.” WINTER 2017

One of Jim’s latest undertakings has been the Fish Restoration Project, an Audubon grant meant to reopen obstructed waterways to native fish traveling the Indian River to Long Island Sound. The project calls for digging out longmuddied portions of the Indian River on the Ewen Preserve, a 43-acre farmland-turned-public park owned by the Ewen family since 1820. Together with his son Travis, a landscape architect, Jim designed the project, handled communications with Audubon, and steered the grant through to delivery. The newlyreopened river will be buffered by “coir logs,” lengths of fibrous material coated in sod, acting as natural beds for the rainbows of wildflowers Jim and his volunteers will plant. The site will invite fish and people alike, and the OCC envisions budding fisherman dropping their first lines here. Jim brings his personal equipment to open space maintenance and small development projects, from mowing

grass and felling trees, to constructing footbridges and information kiosks. If the wind-damaged trees are cut and removed, if the boundaries are clearly marked, and if the wild bluebirds have houses to shelter in; Jim is likely the person to credit.

The Wepawaug Conservation Area contains patches of wetland, and for years visitors had to cross them using decaying logs. In an arduous process, Jim and Sharon planned and constructed a wooden footbridge, completed in 2010. Jim looks back on this as a favorite challenge, in part due to the triumphs shared along the way by he and his wife. Historically, the Ewens operate best as a team. RETURNED TO ORANGE

“When I became Chairman of the Orange Conservation Commission, Jim is the man who did everything,” Sharon said. The Ewens spent 10 years in El Lago, Texas, where Sharon was elected mayor while Jim worked as a laboratory technician for the Upjohn Company. Eventually, fate returned them to their stomping grounds in Orange, where they settled with their two children, Travis and Chantelle. Four grandchildren later, Sharon and Jim split their free time between their two loves: town and family. 쮿

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Keeping Your Child on Track Through the Holiday Season WRITTEN BY: KIMBERLY KICK, OWNER, THE GODDARD SCHOOL, ORANGE

The holiday season is just around the corner. The holidays can be fun and joyful for families, but they can also be stressful and unsettling, especially for children. You can take steps to ensure your child has a positive experience and gets through this busy time with less stress. Here are some suggestions that may help.

Provide good nutrition: Eating healthy, nutritious foods can be a challenge with all the treats and special holiday foods. Stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean sources of protein to provide a balanced diet for your family.

Help your child get enough sleep: A tired child is a cranky child. Being consistent with naptimes and bedtimes is especially important during the holiday season. This can be a challenge, but by planning and incorporating these times into your holiday schedule, you can improve your child’s behavior and increase everyone’s enjoyment of an event.

Set expectations and consequences: Letting your children know your expectations for their behavior and the consequences of misbehaving is essential, especially during the holidays. You must be willing to follow through with the consequences, or the rules will have no meaning.


Keep the rules developmentally appropriate: When setting rules and expectations, be aware of what is appropriate for your children’s ages and developmental stages. Often, parents’ expectations do not align with their child’s developmental capabilities.

Stay calm and be flexible: Don’t lose sight of the goal of the holidays, which is to celebrate your family and the traditions important to you. Take a break if you are feeling overwhelmed, even if it is only 10 minutes to breathe and clear your mind. Staying calm will help you and your child enjoy this wonderful time of year. 쮿

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AVANGRID: Dedicated to Generating Renewable Energy


AVANGRID, formed by a utility merger, has made its corporate headquarters in Orange. In December of 2015, a merger between two large energy companies took place. UIL Holdings Corporation, a parent company of United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas Company and other utilities in Connecticut and Massachusetts, joined with Iberdrola USA, an energy company with utilities in Maine and New York and a coast-to-coast renewable generation business, to form AVANGRID, a publicly-traded company serving over 3 million people in the Northeastern U.S. Although it has operations from coast to coast, the company has made the Town of Orange its corporate headquarters.

complex is dominated by aesthetically-pleasing buildings with clean lines and a lot of glass. The facility houses AVANGRID’s executive offices and administrative functions, such as Human Resources, Legal and Communications. Just down the street, at 100 Marsh Hill Road, is UI’s operations facility, which houses the electric company’s fleet, dispatch, customer service and other functions. On the other side of I-95, at 60 Marsh Hill Road, is the Southern Connecticut Gas operations building.

Local residents may be surprised at the one thing not done on the campus, and that is generating energy. According to Vice President of Corporate Communication Michael West, traditional generation of electricity by UI, ceased in the year 2000, when utilities were deregulated by the Federal Government. COMMITTED TO RENEWABLE ENERGY

The company, which owns a total of eight electric, natural gas, or combo utilities in the Northeastern United

“With 1,300 employees on site, we not only employ a lot of locals, we have people relocating to Orange. We, and they, have an economic impact on retail and restaurants in town.” AVANGRID’s headquarters at 180 Marsh Hill Road stands out. The facility is located on the property adjacent to I-95, and the large WINTER 2017

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States, is however committed to generating renewable energy. West explains, “Our AVANGRID Renewables line of business has assets in renewable energy across 22 states, mostly out west.” These consist of mostly of wind turbines and solar farms. “The renewables do generate power, and we plan on continuing and expanding this.” In addition to UI, the companies they own are Southern Connecticut Gas, Connecticut Natural Gas, Central Maine Power, Berkshire Gas, Maine Natural Gas, Rochester Gas & Electric, and New York State Gas & Electric. CONSOLIDATION BENEFITS THE COMMUNITY

West describes some of the benefits a consolidated approach to running these different utilities under the same umbrella can bring to the community. “Although nothing in the provision of service of the power or gas has changed for the consumer, the company is able to call on other providers in times of need.” He goes on to point out that in the case of an extreme weather event or a disaster situation, the other companies can pitch in with service. “We can also look at how each sister company operates, share and embrace new technologies, and identify best practices, bringing them to the whole company to streamline how business is done and become more efficient.”

West and Ed Crowder, Communications Specialist, emphasize that the company specifically chose Orange for its headquarters. Crowder, in an article in the fourth quarter 2014 NL Magazine, writes “around 2008, when Showcase Cinemas closed, UI officials identified the parcel as a potential site…which would consolidate a half-dozen operations and administrative facilities across UI’s territory.” This held true when UI merged with Iberdrola USA to form AVANGRID, and as West goes on to say, “We were able to consolidate and have a central location for all of the companies. UI had a great experience at the site, it is right off of I-95, and 24


Southern Connecticut Gas is located just across the highway, so it made sense to bring it all here.”

In this time of corporations leaving Connecticut, AVANGRID’s plans are to remain in Orange, and to serve the community with commitment to excellent and reliable service.” INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

The company has a vision to be “constantly growing,” says West. “We will be investing over 9 billion dollars over the next 5 years in all service territories.” Plans include development of more renewable energy, which is consistent with AVANGRID’s vision to, according to their literature, “Provide clean energy through sustainable sources.” In the same literature, they explain that “AVANGRID holds safety, ethical practices, and good corporate governance in the highest regard.

According to West, the company is happy to be able to directly benefit the local community as well. “So many corporate headquarters have moved out of the State of Connecticut. AVANGRID has chosen to make the state, and the Town of Orange, the corporate headquarters, which helps the state and the town as well.” He goes on to explain that with the planned investment and expansion of the company, “We will be having an even more favorable impact on Orange. We contribute a significant amount of tax revenue and are usually #2 on the Grand List.”

He goes on to describe some of the other benefits of the company’s presence in Orange. “With 1,300 employees on site, we not only employ a lot of locals, we have people relocating to Orange. We, and they, have an economic impact on retail and restaurants in town.” In fact, from the projected increase in the workforce, West foresees a great benefit to local merchants in the form of increased volume of patronage by the employees. “Especially on the Post Road,” states West. “It’s a great place to shop and eat.”

In this time of corporations leaving Connecticut, AVANGRID’s plans are to remain in Orange, and to serve the community with commitment to excellent and reliable service. “We aren’t going anywhere,” says West, “AVANGRID is here to stay. 쮿




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Kevin Piscitelli Finds New Life with a New Career WRITTEN BY: KAREN SINGER

Sometimes a second career can be even better than the first. That’s what Kevin Piscitelli has discovered since he became an insurance agent five years ago, after working in the transportation business for more than two decades.

“It has given me my life back,” says Piscitelli, who is President and owner of the State Farm Insurance office at 380 Boston Post Road.

State Farm offers around 100 products in property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, annuities, mutual funds and banking.

“I am licensed in all of them,” Piscitelli says, adding the top three categories he deals with are auto, homeowners and life insurance.

“State Farm is the largest property and casualty insurance company in the country, insuring one out of every five homes and one out of every five cars,” he says. Piscitelli works with small and medium-sized businesses, but most of his clients are individuals. A North Haven native, Piscitelli attended Hopkins School and earned a B.S. in management from

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1985. After graduation, his career in transportation began with a position as Director of Sales & General Manager for William B. Meyer, Inc.; then moving on to Vice President and General Manager for Graebel New England Movers, Inc.; and eventually President of Suddath Relocation Systems. He also owned Bridgeportbased West End Moving & Storage, spent a couple of years in the mortgage business and started his own relocation and transportation consulting company.

As the years rolled by, however, the trucking business took its toll on Piscitelli. “I had 150 people working for me,” he says. “I was on call 24 hours a day and was having no fun.” By 2012, he was contemplating a career change. While at this crossroads, Piscitelli received a

phone call from a State Farm headhunter, who found him on LinkedIn and wanted to know whether he might be interested in selling insurance.

“Our goal is to help

people and their fam-

ilies and put them in

a better place,” he

says. “The two things

we want people to

take away are that

we’re the ‘good

neighbor,’ and we’re

here to help their life

go right.”

“When I looked at my former career, I saw a transportation industry that was very unstable and capital intensive,” Piscitelli says. By contrast, State Farm was “financially stable, and had solid management and a good network in terms of training and support.”




The Midwest firm’s “great core values” also appealed to Piscitelli, and the requirements to become a State Farm agent seemed to be a perfect match for his skills. Piscitelli decided to embrace the challenge. In late 2012, after completing a six-month training program, he became President and Owner of the State Farm Insurance office in Orange, which had been vacated by a previous agent.

“The first year was difficult,” Piscitelli recalls. “I started the business from scratch. I flipped the lights on and had one full-time employee, overhead costs, but no customers.”

of them,” Piscitelli

says, adding the top

three categories he

deals with are auto,

homeowners and life insurance.

“Our goal is to help people and their families and put them in a better place,” he says. “The two things we want people to take away are that we’re the ‘good neighbor,’ and we’re here to help their life go right.”

Piscitelli acknowledges being a State Farm agent has dramatically improved his own health and personal life. As he puts it: “It has exceeded my expectations.” 쮿




Kevin Piscitelli is ready for his clients.

Since then, Piscitelli has hired four employees and an agent-intern, while building up a customer base in Milford, Orange, West Haven and New Haven.

“I am licensed in all

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| 27

Protecting your Residence from Old Man Winter


As winter approaches, residents may want to reflect on possible perils to their property and become proactive to prevent, or minimize, cold-weather damage. Common issues are frozen pipes and ice dams, which form on the edge of roofs and cause backed-up melting snow to leak into homes. Although the damage may not become apparent until ice and snow begin to melt, there are some things that can be done to avoid problems. Using a roof rake to remove snow, for instance, can prevent ice dams from forming; so can installing a plug-in heat tape on the edge of a roof or in gutters.

A pamphlet published by the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) recommends keeping attics

well ventilated and the attic floors well insulated to avert ice dams. Insulating exposed pipes and sealing cracks and holes near them to prevent freezing is also recommended.

The pamphlet, cid/lib/cid/freezing-damage _pamphlet_residential_CT-DOI.pdf, also advises keeping cabinets open during cold spells and keeping a slow trickle of water in pipes running through unheated or unprotected

space. Make sure to review your insurance policy to ascertain what winter damage the policy covers –– and does not cover.

In another publication, the CID provides some information about general insurance coverage for winter risks: cwp/view.asp?a=3299&Q=493512.

Though published in 2015, the details are still relevant, according to CID spokesperson Donna Tommelleo.




Roof Collapses – Homeowner policies will normally cover sudden and accidental roof collapses. However, damage caused by age or pre-existing damage could be denied.

Snow Removal – Homeowner’s insurance does not cover injuries to the homeowner during snow removal. However, snow removal professionals should be covered under their own insurance policies.

Ice Dams – Interior or exterior damage caused by an ice dam on a roof is generally covered. But many policies do not pay for ice dam removal. WINTER 2017

Frozen Pipes – Most policies cover pipe replacement and water damage. However, coverage may not apply if the homeowner turned off the furnace for the winter without winterizing the home.

Storm Power Outages – An all-risk policy generally pays for damage caused by loss of power and appliances damaged by the outage. Check your policy to see if it covers spoiled food. Most policies will not pay for shelter when you lose power for extended periods of time unless there is damage to the home that causes it to be uninhabitable.


Renters – Landlord’s insurance will pay for winter damage to buildings. It will not pay for damage to personal contents, which must be covered by the renter’s own insurance.

The pamphlet also recommends calling your insurance company as soon as possible to report damage,


Removing snow from the roof is important so that ice dams do not form.

taking photographs and videos of damage and keeping records of communications with your carrier. Only make repairs necessary to prevent further damage, until your insurance company inspects your property to assess the full extent of the damage.

Insurance policies may vary, so be sure to call your insurance agent, or contact the CID, with any questions. You can reach the CID at:, or by phone at: 800-203-3447. 쮿

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Business Milestones

Owning your own business can be a challenge and maintaining a successful business can be an even bigger challenge. The following articles highlight the accomplishments and new developments of successful businesses who have reached a milestone anniversary. AAI Flooring: Five Years in Orange

achieved her goal for the project: to showcase her creativity and imagination. If she can execute these amazing pieces of fashion, think of the ways she can transform your home.


Starting a small business can be a challenge. Over the past five years, Annamarie Mastrangelo, owner, president and CEO of AAI Flooring in Orange, has worked tirelessly to build her business into the success it is today.

Five years ago, Annamarie was on a mission to rebuild 27 years of work in the interiors industry, undone by unfortunate family circumstances. However, the tenacious flooring store owner isn’t one to let adversity slow her down.

When someone walks into AAI Flooring’s showroom they’ll see a stylish and trendy space unlike any other store of its kind. A customer will be greeted at the door and receive a VIP treatment tailored to their individual needs.

Five years in the making, the store looks fantastic, offers prime customer service and has a strong leader at its helm. This state-certified womanowned business is certainly thriving. “To pull this off in five years and to restore myself above where I was is really good,” Mastrangelo says, “God has been good to me.” WHAT’S NEW SINCE OPENING

Annamarie first became known as a result of her creative design campaign, Anna’s Creations. The business owner says creating dresses out of various flooring materials was her idea, combining her love of fashion design and flooring. Initially, 30


Annamarie Mastrangelo (center); Courtney Jones, Vice President Karastan Carpeting (right), and model, Alyssa Rully (left) who is modeling an Anna’s Creations outfit created with Karastan carpeting.

Anna’s Creations sole purpose was to decorate her store windows. However, the concept quickly went viral after grabbing the attention of passers-by. An idea that was originally meant for decoration became an ingenious marketing tactic for Annamarie and her business.

Despite its success, Anna’s Creations has been dormant for some time, but is soon making a comeback. Annamarie is simply waiting on some inspiration. “All the signs are there that I should be doing this,” Annamarie says, “I hope I get inspired soon!” No matter how long Anna’s Creations is on hold, its mastermind has already

Aside from Anna’s Creations, the most visible change since the opening of AAI Flooring is its beautiful showroom. Adorned with chic lighting fixtures, expertly restored junk furniture, and zebra print runners over spotless tile, the space has the glamor of a Hollywood home. The store is purposefully designed for clients to easily realize their vision for their desired project. Instead of endless racks of tile, carpet, and wood samples to look through, Annamarie had floor-to-ceiling shelves built that allow clients to see all of her flooring options at the same time. She takes these measures to allow a seamless and easy shopping experience for her clients.

Though Annamarie built a luxurious image for her business, she wants you to know her prices aren’t what you’d think. Her business motto is, “Let us show you what affordable looks like.” That motto translates into affordable prices and top-quality materials for your next project. AAI Flooring offers competitive pricing and unique product lines that most stores just don’t have and, additionally, offers hands-on attention and interior design services at no extra charge to the client. WHERE THEY’RE HEADED

Although Annamarie Mastrangelo’s five years in business at times has been difficult, it hasn’t stopped her from looking ahead to the future. In the coming years, Annamarie would WINTER 2017

like her showroom to become more widely known. She would also like to gain more residential clients and better utilize her status as a WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise Nation Council) certified business.

A large portion of her business is in commercial work. AAI Flooring recently partnered with Shoprite, Town Fair Tire, and the Peck Place School in Orange for interior remodels. While these contracts are great for business, Annamarie’s true passion is home improvement. She wants to get started on helping more individuals realize their visions for their homes.

“I want people to know what we do: kitchen designs, bathroom designs, tons of mosaics. We define a design perspective for every client that walks in the door,” Annamarie mentions, “And we do countertops now!” 쮿

Floor to ceiling shelves displaying the many flooring options.

For all your interior design needs, visit AAI Flooring at 507 Boston Post Road in Orange. Hours are Monday to Friday, 10 pm to 5 pm and Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. The store also takes appointments for evening consultations.

Five Years of Healing: Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers

“We start up in every town that we don’t currently exist and try to become part of the culture of that town. We want to be known as the place in town that you’ll enter and always see at least one familiar face,” Anthony says, clearly feeling part of the community of Orange.


If you’ve ever sustained an injury, then you know what an unpleasant experience the recovery process can be. Those who need rehabilitation after such an injury will find solace at Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers (PTSMC) of Orange. There you will find experienced physical therapists trained in the latest techniques in the field, a state-of-the-art exercise space and a capable leader to facilitate it all. His name is Anthony Ciaburri, a doctor of physical therapy with 20 years of experience in the field. After graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with a degree in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine, Anthony completed his clinical work to obtain his doctorate in facilities all over Connecticut. Shortly after completing his degree in Physical Therapy from Sacred Heart University, Anthony took a job with Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine WINTER 2017

The office boasts a thriving customer base, a team of four highly trained physical therapists, and an availability to accommodate any new customer. “You can call me and we’ll get you in that day. We try to get patients in as soon as possible,” Anthony promises.

Anthony Ciaburri and Jasmine Lumasag

Centers of Westbrook. It was there he demonstrated his capability in the field and decided to pioneer a new branch for the company in Orange as a Partner and Director of his own clinic. The Orange office was the twelfth to open; its success, and the success of the other PTSMC clinics, led the way for seven more offices to open across the state. PTSMC now has 19 clinics operating throughout Connecticut.

Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers of Orange operates on a “patient-centric” model. This means that customers who seek out their services are guaranteed no more than a 24-hour waiting time from the time a call is placed to the office to their scheduled appointment. “No one is ever here because they want to be, they’re here because some injury or ailment has led them to our door,” says Juliann Chacko, Assistant Director of the Orange office. Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine’s Orange office wants their

| 31

patients, all of whom come to them in a time of need, to feel comfortable in their care and not have to wait to receive the treatment they need.

Not only will patients not have to wait longer than twenty-four hours for an appointment, but once they get to the office, they will be embraced by capable hands: literally. “We are manual therapists; we use our hands,” Anthony expresses, highlighting the importance of a healing touch when recovering from an injury. These therapists will not simply monitor a patient’s exercise routine and send them on their way. They will perform an initial consultation in order to cater to the individual patient’s needs and set up a treatment routine, all while making them feel like they’re the only patient in the practice. WHAT’S NEW SINCE OPENING

Anthony Ciaburri credits the success of his business over the past five years to his amazing staff consisting of four full-time therapists, multiple aides, and two front desk employees. Having started out with only himself and one other employee, Anthony admits that he would not be able to sustain the level of business he has

today without his current team. Most importantly, he’s hired people with a wide range of skill sets in order to treat many different types of injuries, “I’ve diversified my staff. We can treat anything from head to toe.”

Anthony has also participated in many community events in order to publicize his practice. He’s given talks at the Rotary Club of Orange and attended events like the Cohen and Wolf Cinco K De Mayo Road Race and the Orange Economic Development Business Expo. It is here that he can get the word out about the great work that Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Center does. He credits events like these, referrals from doctors, and the company’s Public Relations team, headed by Peter Decoteau, for the growth of his client base in the five years since the opening of the Orange branch. Just because his business is successful, does not mean that Anthony is willing to get comfortable in his formula for success. He operates on a philosophy of clinical excellence, in other words, making sure that no one in the office stagnates in terms of their growth.

“We all need to be able to progress,” he stresses. This is why Anthony and Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers of Connecticut is dedicated to providing continuing education to its employees in the most recent innovations and techniques in the field of physical therapy. Whether it be new evaluation techniques, corrective exercises, or new stretching techniques, Anthony and his employees are always learning new ways to treat clients. WHERE THEY’RE HEADED

Anthony has high hopes for the future of Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine of Orange. “I want to be able to offer more services like yoga, tai chi, massage therapy, and golf training in order to further provide a great experience for my patients,” he expresses hopefully. Being able to provide these services to new and existing patients could revolutionize the way this office runs. In addition to the already stellar service provided to its patients, being able to branch out in new ways could keep this company on its upward path of success.

After five years of practice in Orange, Anthony Ciaburri speaks of a personal journey his business has brought. When first starting the business, he felt overwhelmed with the daunting task in front of him, a feeling many new business owners can relate. With help from his staff, the community, his family, and the great company that stands behind him, Anthony has struck a perfect work/life balance that allows him to be 100% dedicated to his patients.

If Anthony’s determination is any indication of the future of his office, then the future looks very bright for them indeed. Juliann Chacko puts it simply, “Anthony is very dedicated to this office, and it’s contagious.” 쮿

Back row, left to right: Nick Almonte, PT, DPT; and Juliann Chacko, PT, DPT, OCS Front row, left to right: Katy Sullivan, PT, DPT; and Anthony Ciaburri, PT, DPT, ATC/L 32


Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers of Orange is located at Suite A8 in Spring Brook Common, 240 Indian River Road, Orange, CT 06477. Call 203-298-9828 to set up an appointment today! WINTER 2017

Chef’s Emporium is Much More than a Cookie Cutter Store BY: ALYSSA DAVANZO

Celebrating its fifth year in Orange, Chef’s Emporium is a 14,000-squarefoot culinary kingdom for food lovers and cooking connoisseurs alike.

When this family-owned-and-operated business first opened in 1971, it specialized in equipment from personal kitchen gadgets to large restaurant machines. SECOND GENERATION TRANSFORMATION

Fast forward 46 years later, and second generation owner Michele DeMartino has transformed her family’s business into the store that stretches for what feels like football fields long at 449 Boston Post Road.

Fulfilling the passions of customers with ranging tastes, Chef’s has something for everyone. Not only is the store fully stocked with 25,000 kitchen supplies, but it offers an extensive olive oil and balsamic tasting bar, free product demonstrations and in store knife sharpening. WINTER 2017

For those looking to learn something new while spending a few hours sampling mouthwatering dishes with good company, cooking classes for both children and adults are added to the store’s online calendar every month. A class like “South of Your Mouth” gives participants the unique opportunity to try their hand at classic southern dishes, while “Apples to Apples” features recipes like torn croissants with apple sausage stuffing and apple crisp cookie cups.

Its hands-on, inspiring space has earned Chef’s recognition as the 2017 Best Kitchen Store with Cooking Classes in New Haven County in the CTNOW newspaper.

With a large in-store kitchen that creates the ideal demonstration and teaching area for groups celebrating birthdays and hosting client appreciation dinners, the store can accommodate groups of 10-200 people.

In the summer, the store hosts a fiveday culinary summer camp, where children and teenagers learn the fundamentals of cooking, baking and kitchen safety. Not only do attendees have the chance to bake fudgy brownies and lemon bars, but on Fridays there is a weekly Cupcake

War. Similar to the Food Network hit show, children participate in friendly competition to create and decorate the most tasty and aesthetically pleasing cupcakes. WHAT’S NEW SINCE OPENING

One of the stores newest additions is its 36-foot-long catering mobile kitchen called Chef’s Cucina. From company barbecues to backyard birthday parties and wedding receptions, the finest and freshest foods are handed out to hungry partygoers. The truck features a 55” flat screen TV to display sports games and photo slides.

Chef’s Cucina serves classic Italian street food such as pea and prosciutto risotto balls and its popular fried calamari served with lemon aioli and a spicy Pomodoro sauce.

Whether you are searching for a Cavatelli maker or you want to treat your taste buds to a sample of lemony olive oil, Chef’s is every food lover’s one stop shop for culinary excellence. To find out more about the offerings at Chef’s, stop by the store on the Boston Post Road or call 203-799-COOK. 쮿

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Lamp Shades Plus: 40 Years of More Than Just Shades WRITTEN BY: ALYSSA DAVANZO

When walking through the doors of Lamp Shades Plus at 280 Boston Post Road in Orange, it’s easy to realize the name of the store only scratches the surface of what treasures occupy the shelves that run as far as the eye can see. Celebrating 40 years of business, the store’s eclectic mix of lamp shades, furniture, silver, finials and odd parts give customers the opportunity to walk out of the store with unique pieces that can’t be found elsewhere.

“You just never know what you’ll find in here. There are pieces that have been here for five minutes and other things that have been here for five years,” said owner of Lamp Shades Plus, Jill Pendergast. “We may have that one particular crystal or an odd part from a lamp that someone has been searching for and they could get lucky.”

the Post Road, a ceiling leak last year resulted in the complete stripping and remodeling of the store’s interior.

“Literally every inch of the store was redone,” Jill said. “Before the remodel, it looked like a warehouse; now it looks like a lighting store, and people love it.”

Boasting high-quality products and fair prices, Lamp Shades Plus offers on-premise repairs and custom designing. Almost any shade in the

store can be ordered in different sizes and with any kind of fabric, trim or fringe and many different combinations are available. “There are a lot of specialty products we offer that other stores might not have. If people don’t see what they want, it can be ordered,” Jill said. When someone decides they need a new lamp shade, Jill urges each customer to bring their lamp into the store.


Growing up with her grandfather who was a lamp manufacturer, Jill recalls her family moving to Orange in 1977 and opening Lamp Shades Plus. She originally began working at the store part-time when her son was born, and her time spent in the store increased more and more over the years. Eventually, she took over the business once her parents retired 15 years ago.

“When I first came into the business, I knew nothing,” Jill said. “After about 30 years, the knowledge I gained about this business is almost kind of scary. It’s second nature to me now.” Although Lamp Shades Plus has always occupied the same space on


The renovated showroom.

| 35

Lamp shade styles change and evolve as rapidly as fashion trends. Currently, one of the best-selling lamp shade colors is black. “It’s an unusual color but decorators love it,” Jill said. When seeing a lamp she feels would look beautiful with a black shade, she asks the customer to have an open mind and they usually take her advice.

Jill Pendergast creating a lamp (from a statue) while listening to classical music.

Once customers arrive, Jill asks a couple of very basic questions. What room does it go in? Is the room casual or dressy? “From there,” Jill said, “I go through the rolodex of information in my head and think of the best possible shade for the lamp.”

“Literally every inch of the store was redone,” Jill said. “Before the remodel, it looked like a warehouse; now it looks like a lighting store, and people love it.”

She then recommends a number of shades in a variety of sizes and colors, and 98% of her customers end up leaving the store with Jill’s first recommendation. If a customer wants to find a shade that matches a picture from a magazine, the shade can be duplicated. “There’s nothing better than when I work with a customer and hit that perfect lamp and shade combination,” the store owner said. “When my customers are excited, I get excited.”



The store owner informs it’s crucial to keep up with what’s hot in the world of design as well as what phenomenon is just around the corner. New styles are brought in all of the time, but shades from 50 years ago are still being manufactured. “We make sure we have enough of the bread and butter styles that could be ordered in a thousand colors. Then we have more kooky options.”

‘Kooky’ only touches on the creative and inventive talent that brings ordinary items to life in the Lamp Shades Plus workshop. The store consigns lamps and makes lamps out of objects. Football helmets, deer legs, clarinets and tea pots have all been made into lamps by Jill and her team. Most recently, a customer dropped off a bunch of driftwood from California and the store owner plans to make six lamps with the stock. AN EXTENSIVE CUSTOMER BASE

Although a lot of customers live and work in Orange, the shop has attracted people from across the country and beyond. Jill said, “At this point I’m pretty sure we have supplied lamp shades in all 50 states and the Caribbean.” Recently, a man bought a shade and brought it to Jamaica on his private plane.

In addition, a group of ladies from California, who visit Connecticut every couple of years, always make a stop at the store. Jill says, “They purposely come in to buy the metal lamps, which are designed to survive earthquakes.”

High-profile celebrities including Martha Stewart, Nicole Kidman and the late Willard Scott have relied on Lamp Shades Plus to make their lamps the main events in their homes.

Jill enjoys the business and meeting her customers and reflects on her life at Lamp Shades Plus. One of the most ironic and unusual moments Jill recalls is one afternoon when she found a smiley face balloon outside of the store.

“I saw the balloon had a phone number written on the back, so I called and a woman picked up,” Jill said. “She told me that in the morning she had released the balloon in New Jersey in honor of her father who passed away. When I said the balloon floated down in front of a lamp shade store, the woman said her father had a lamp he loved and he always talked about buying a new shade.” PHILANTHROPY

For over seven years on the store’s front counter sits a glass jar filled with donations to WIKS-USA, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting the Nambale Magnet School in Kenya. The store owner’s personal connection to the cause developed when her friend’s church built the school and they both realized that a heavy-duty washing machine and electrical outlets cost $3,000 in American dollars.

“We redeem tons of bottles and cans to earn money for the cause,” Jill said. Customers drop off empty cans and bottles, and 100% of the money earned on the return goes to the students. Enough money has been saved to buy the school a washing machine, books, recorders and toiletries. Jill adds, “Sometimes if we do a small service for a customer, I’ll ask them to make a little donation, instead of charging them.”

Exceptional service and a strong sense of community take priority at this incredible store. “I love living in Orange and working with other merchants in the area. Any way we can accommodate someone, we will do anything to try and help each customer as best we can. A happy customer is truly the best customer.” 쮿




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Four Decades of Bigger and Better Real Estate


For nearly four decades, Clem Fucci, Tom Cavaliere and Nick Mastrangelo have been successfully redefining real estate services. Presently, they are affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, however, their real estate careers have intertwined since Clem Fucci envisioned bigger and better things for real estate agents when he was affiliated with the Beazley Company’s West Haven office in 1979. Most recently, Fucci was broker / owner of Weichert Realtors Regional Properties which became part of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in April 2017. PARTNERING WITH THE BEAZLEY COMPANY

Tom Cavaliere, an ambitious agent, affiliated with Fucci’s office in 1980 and, soon, the two became business partners under the Beazley brand. Together, they focused on the core foundation of their business model: a full-service real estate company providing quality customer service and unlimited opportunities for the

agents. The first of many changes and expansions began with the relocation of their West Haven office to a larger floor plan on Campbell Avenue and the acquisition of the Westville office of the Beazley Company. Their success grew with another acquisition of the Beazley Stratford office, as well as the opening of a new office in Trumbull. Soon, it was apparent that there was a great demand within the greater New Haven area to provide a regional office that would conveniently service the towns of Orange, Bethany, Woodbridge and Milford. This location provided full-service sales and leasing of new homes and commercial properties, as well as REO corporate services throughout New Haven, Middlesex and Fairfield Counties. In 1995, the Regional Properties office of Beazley was opened at 185 Boston Post Road in Orange. In 1999, Nick Mastrangelo, another ambitious agent who had affiliated with the firm in 1986, joined the managing partnership. The Beazley Company's Regional

Properties office prided itself on offering a broad scope of comprehensive services for every client and maintaining its leading edge in the regional real estate market. The focus was to provide limitless opportunities for the agents, which ultimately grew to nearly 150 affiliated real estate professionals. AFFILIATION WITH WEICHERT REALTORS

Choosing to position the company for further growth, Fucci, Cavaliere and Mastrangelo affiliated their company with Weichert Realtors in 2005, with offices in Orange, Hamden and New Haven. Year after year, Weichert Regional Properties offices maintained a nationwide leadership position in the top ten percent of all Weichert affiliate offices. In December 2012, Weichert Realtors Regional Properties expanded to a brand new state-of-the-art clientfriendly office at 236 Boston Post Road in Orange near the intersection of Racebrook Road. WORLD-CLASS EXPOSURE OF COLDWELL BANKER

Speaking at a company breakfast in April 2017, Cavaliere announced, “Our services to both our clients and agents are growing once more. We are pleased to announce that we have focused our vision to broader horizons in becoming part of one of the most powerful names in real estate. We have sold our company to the icon of real estate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Our location, expertise, experience and commitment haven't changed. With the added 38



resources and market share, our services have expanded to serve the agents and our clients with the worldclass exposure of Coldwell Banker.”

Fucci noted, “Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is known for its emphasis on providing exceptional educational opportunities and access to cutting-edge technology and resources that equip real estate sales professionals to succeed.”

Joseph Valvano, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Connecticut and Westchester County, New York stated, “We are very pleased that this well-respected company has aligned its business with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, and we are very excited to welcome their talented team of sales professionals.” From their broadening of services evolved two powerful real estate teams at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage: Regional Properties Group and The Cavaliere Group. THE CAVALIERE GROUP ESTABLISHED

Cavaliere, who leads The Cavaliere Group, has been a licensed broker since 1978 and is a member of the New Haven Middlesex Association of Realtors. Cavaliere’s expertise is not limited to residential real estate, as he has had a tremendous success in marketing commercial real estate, new construction, as well as land acquisition and development throughout the greater New Haven and Valley areas for nearly four decades.

Cavaliere established The Cavaliere Group with a focus on sales and marketing of residential properties, commercial investment properties, new construction and land development. Cavaliere earned his Graduate, REALTORS® Institute (GRI) designation and has consistently been chosen as a featured Five Star Professional in Connecticut Magazine since 2012.

Cavaliere has been actively involved in his hometown, serving as past chairman of the Economic Development Commission for the Town of Bethany and a past Lion of the Year of the Bethany CT Lions Club for his contribution and commitment to the WINTER 2017

From left to right: Clem Fucci, Aileen DeFeo, Tom Cavaliere and Nick Mastrangelo.

town. He also serves as an executive board member of the Orange Economic Development Corporation, as well as serving as a past director of the Greater New Haven Association of Realtors Inc. He resides in Bethany with his wife Lorri, where they raised their three grown children. REGIONAL PROPERTIES GROUP ESTABLISHED

Mastrangelo, broker associate, established Regional Properties Group, also has an impressive real estate career track record. When he affiliated with the Beazley firm in 1986, Mastrangelo developed a niche market to broker corporate-owned real estate, creating one of the largest REO sales divisions within a company throughout the state, and also maintained a traditional real estate sales business. With the ability and expertise to service all forms of real estate transactions from private and corporate sellers to sales of commercial investment properties, Mastrangelo quickly became the top producer for the entire Beazley Company's 23 office statewide network for ten consecutive years.

In 1999 when he joined the partnership, Mastrangelo combined strong management skills and wellrounded sales expertise and continued to be a top sales producer in both residential and commercial sales. Over the years, Mastrangelo has earned significant designations, including being Five Star Certified, Certified REO Specialist (CREO) and

was named a Master Broker for the state of Connecticut with the National REO Brokers Association. His thirty plus years of experience as a managing partner and broker has positioned him to expand his servicing of residential sales with his new team, Regional Properties Group. A resident of Orange, Mastrangelo is very active and has served as a longtime board member of the Orange Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) and annually supports the Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven. “I am excited to continue an enhanced level of personal services with my new affiliation at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. My team Regional Properties Group, looks forward to delivering the highest level of service to our clients.” Mastrangelo resides in Orange with his wife Patty and their two children.

“We are excited to blend the talents of both offices and to be increasing our market share throughout New Haven County while continuing to serve our local Orange market.” said Aileen DeFeo, Branch Vice President Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. 쮿

Tom Cavaliere and Nick Mastrangelo can be reached at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Orange, located at 236 Boston Post Road, at 203-795-2700. Cavaliere can be reached directly at 203-907-7800 and Mastrangelo can be reached directly at 203-641-2100.

| 39





A new charity to help veterans, hit the ground running several months ago, with a golf tournament raising nearly $18,000. “I thought it went great,” says David Kennedy, who founded the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Salute to Valor, shortly before the tournament. The former owner of Reno’s Pizzeria, Kennedy, 51, currently operates a wood-fired pizza truck, making New Haven style pies, mainly for special events. He grew up in Orange and went into the pizza business after a decade as an attorney, handling cases ranging from personal injury to real estate closings and bankruptcy.

In 1997, Kennedy opened his first restaurant with the late Carmine Gangone and Edward Martino in Newtown. As the eatery, Carminuccio’s, thrived and garnered national acclaim, he learned to make pizza there. His teacher was Gangone, who was well known for producing top-notch pies. Several years later, Kennedy wound up his law practice and opened Reno’s Pizzeria in Orange. The restaurant relocated once before closing in 2015. Shortly thereafter, Kennedy went mobile with his Reno & Sons Pizza Company truck.

“We would just like to do our small part to do things that may improve the lives of men and women who have fought for our country.”

During its 10 years in business, Reno’s Pizzeria earned accolades and awards, and not just for the items on the menu. The restaurant hosted dozens of fundraisers for local schools and sports teams, and even a family whose house


From left to right: Ernest Johnson, Jonathan Smith, Mike DeTulio, Neil Meighan and Wilfredo Gutierrez.

was demolished due to a fire. Kennedy attributes his community-mindedness to his upbringing. “I’ve always believed in giving back to people and paying it forward,” he says. Kennedy was awarded the 2008 Business Community Service award from the Orange Chamber of Commerce.

His concern for veterans also has deepseeded roots. “Ever since I was a young boy, I remember my father being proud he was a Korean War veteran,” Kennedy recalls. “I’ve often thought how our country treats veterans, how they give so much and how their lives are altered and changed when they return.” Kennedy’s desire to help veterans began to crystallize recently, when a long-time friend encouraged him to act on his idea to start a charity.

Salute to Valor’s aim is to fund “needs not fully covered by our government,” enabling veterans to “successfully transition” back into their community.

“The government is doing a great job, but we want to supplement the gap where it falls short in covering basic needs,” Kennedy says. Donations to Salute to Valor pay for veterans’ expenses such as home goods and furnishings, therapy, medical bills and security deposits, and down payments on houses and vehicles.

So far, the non-profit has teamed with the Errera Community Care Center in West Haven (part of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System), to facilitate distribution of its donations. “We have given Errera gift cards from Target and Walmart,” Kennedy says,

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adding he and his board members also are looking to link up with other organizations supporting veterans.

Salute to Valor officially became a nonprofit in May of 2017 and held its first event, a golf tournament at Orange Hills Country Club, just two months later. Reno’s pizza truck donated food for the event, which drew nearly 100 players. “We had almost 100 players,” Kennedy says, “and I give all the credit to the local people and businesses who support this great cause.”

Looking ahead, Kennedy says, “We want to do another golf tournament, and we’ve talked about a bowling tournament, maybe this winter.”

Kennedy is optimistic about the future of Salute to Valor. “We would just like to do our small part to do things that may improve the lives of men and women who have fought for our country,” he says. 쮿

For more information, or to donate, visit the Salute to Valor website at




• Burns Insurance

• The Flaumenhaft Family

• Kevin Houlihan, CPA

• Nantucket Embroidery

• The Nugent Family and Woodlawn Duckpin

• Robert’s Chrysler Dodge Ram • RX Innovate Consulting

• The Smith Family and Orange Hills Country Club

• The Sperrazza Family • Star Distributors

• The Stone Agency • TD Bank

• Texas Roadhouse


Yale University’s West Campus WRITTEN BY: SHAILEEN LANDSBERG

Yale University’s West Campus, situated along I-95 right off Marsh Hill Road is a sprawling complex of research, study, and learning that is somewhat of a mystery to many Orange residents.

Formerly a research facility for Bayer Corporation, a global organization focusing on health and agriculture, the campus was purchased by Yale in 2007, just as the university was looking to upgrade its research facilities for science and medicine.

The 136-acre property, which straddles the Orange and West Haven line, then underwent major renovations to create state-of-the-art research facilities. The research areas were equipped with cutting-edge equipment and technologies to provide researchers with the absolute best tools for their work, both indoors and out. THE FOUR PILLARS

The campus operates on advancing research and understanding in four general areas, which are referred to as the Four Pillars: Health, Culture, Energy and Environment. Seven institutes are housed on campus and high-level interdisciplinary research is done in each. These are the Yale Energy Sciences Institute, the Yale Systems Biology Institute, the Yale Chemical Biology Institute, the Yale Cancer Biology Institute, the Yale Nanobiology Institute, the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, and the Yale Microbial Sciences Institute. In addition, the Yale School of Nursing is housed on the campus.

The Yale Energy Sciences Institute has some very high-tech equipment being used to further the study of current energy use and modalities and develop new ones. Equipment bearing WINTER 2017

Aerial view of the campus.

the monikers of Solar Simulator and Characterization, which mimics sunlight’s energy, a Spectrophotometer, which measures color, and an HPLC, which stands for High Performance Liquid Chromatography help researchers in their evaluation of current technology and invention and refinement of new technology. RENEWABLE ENERGY

One of the current projects focusing on developing renewable energy is called the “artificial leaf,” which uses nature’s example of efficiency as an inspiration. Since much of the sun’s energy is not able to be put into use by solar cells but plants are able to

put it all to beneficial use, new technology to create a more effective means of using all of it is being explored.

The Yale Systems Biology Institute studies how all of the body systems work together all the way down to the molecular level. Researchers working within this institute study, as the Yale website states, “One focal area of particular relevance to Yale researchers involves dynamic gene regulatory networks.” FIGHTING CANCER

According to Yale’s website, the Yale Cancer Biology Center, interdisciplinary teams of scientists from the

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war, and indifference” and scientists and historians work to unlock the secrets of each artifact. Their website shares many of the interesting findings.

Since microbes are the most abundant forms of life on Earth, the Yale Microbiology Sciences Institute has much to study. At this interdisciplinary institute, scientists with multiple fields of expertise come together to discover how microorganisms interact with each other, the environment, and human and other life.

Gateway to the expansive campus.

University and Health System work together to “study the common underlying causes of cancer, wherever it appears.” Cancer is studied down to the genetic and molecular level with the goal of understanding the cause and developing new and more effective treatments that can be individualized for each person with the disease.

One such study occurring at this time is focusing on aggressively growing cancers such as glioblastoma, multiple myeloma, and melanoma. Researchers are working to understand every aspect of these cancers and how they work with the body, then will work to develop new ways to treat them.


Yale University owns far more cultural pieces of history and art than can ever be displayed in a museum. To create a space where these pieces can be catalogued, housed, and also studied was important, since each piece brings a story and a bit of a historical puzzle, but without a place for scientists to work to learn about them, that story would be lost. The University therefore created the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage on its West Campus. Its mission is to “… act to preserve the world’s cultural heritage, including its most vulnerable, helping to defend it from the depredations of commerce,

Lastly, the Yale School of Nursing is housed at the Yale University West Campus. Its postgraduate programs include the Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing, which attracts graduates with no nursing background in preparation for the Master of Science in Nursing, which is also offered at the campus. There are 2 Doctorate programs: the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. These rigorous programs aim to develop leaders and creative thinkers to advance the important field of nursing.

The Yale University West Campus is a vibrant, multidisciplinary, multifaceted research complex located right here in town. The bustling center of creative minds, currently 1,700 people strong, is a network of innovation and creation that will help preserve lives, enhance well-being, and likely even change the world. 쮿

In the Yale Nanobiology Institute, cutting-edge research is being done to discover ways to integrate natural and synthetic materials at the “nanoscale” level. As stated in the description of the institute, “This institute will catalyze the development of biosensors, genetic switches and biocompatible materials.” Applications of the developments can range from potentially assisting in the development of new tissue to understanding the transport vesicle, a nano-sized sac-like structure that assists in the delivery of chemicals in the body, and hopefully being able to create and use a synthesized version in supplying medication within the human body. A recent Sol LeWitt installation at the West Campus Imaging Core. 44





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A to Z Pet Shop: Where a Pet Can Find its Forever Home


It is a treasured day when a family brings home a new member. Opened in February of 2017 at 185 Boston Post Road in Orange, the A to Z Pet Shop connects its animal-loving customers with the pets that greet them at the door, whether it be an American Bulldog puppy, a kitten or an iridescent Beta fish. “We couldn’t call our store Yuppy Puppy anymore. The name A to Z Pets reflects the fact that we have everything-pets from A to Z,” Tara said.

“When I was first exposed to birds, I immediately developed a love for parrots,” Tara said. “After that, I became interested with reptiles. This business has gone through the process of constantly building and establishing.” Unlike other stores in the area, live feeders like crickets and insects are available for the store’s reptile community. EDUCATE AND ENCOURAGE

Tara Fleming

“When I was little, I remember always gravitating toward puppies and small animals,” said Tara Fleming, owner of A to Z Pet Shop. “I grew up with rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters – You name it.”

As her love of animals evolved into a career, Tara became a hobby breeder out of her home and soon realized that it was her passion to help 46


families find the perfect pet. Her family operated two pet shops in the Poconos in Pennsylvania since 2007 before moving to Guilford, Connecticut and opening Yuppy Puppy in 2012. As her store expanded from exclusively puppies to rabbits, mice, iguanas, birds and tropical fish, her business moved from Guilford to Orange and A to Z Pets was born.

“Children these days often seek instant gratification playing with video games and other electronics,” Tara says. “I want kids to get more into the hobbies of caring for animals and step away from electronics, so I try to educate children and encourage them to spend time playing with pets,” Tara said. “We want A to Z Pets to be an interactive experience for the public.”

The 5,000-square foot family-owned business is dedicated to giving back to the Orange community. “We have a WINTER 2017

Mom-and-Pop mentality,” Tara said. “We want to have a positive impact on our community, so we donate and participate in fundraisers. So far we’ve worked with the Boy Scouts and local schools, and we try to support all of the causes that are in the area.”

Aware of the string of negativity attached to pet shops, Tara says that people are not always educated about what stores have gone through to follow the laws. Once people get to know the Fleming family, Tara says that it is clear her family’s intentions are good and they have the pets’ best interests in mind. RESPONSIBLE OVERSIGHT

“The stigma can be addressed. People often say it is better to rescue than it is to purchase,” Tara said. “However, I don’t think that adoption agencies are always as regulated as the pet industry. By law, I cannot have a puppy in A to Z Pets if it is not from a USDA licensed facility. Since adoption agencies do not have strict laws about where their puppies are


coming from, I feel that there is a safety net if pets are bought through a pet shop.”

The state of Connecticut has implemented several laws to ensure that puppies available for sale in the state come from reputable, regulated breeders. Breeders cannot hold violations and the violations cannot affect the health of the dogs.

“With the Connecticut Pet ‘Lemon Law’ in place, people should feel more confident knowing they are getting a puppy from a responsibly sourced store. Breeders must pass a lot of rules in order to sell in Connecticut, and I’m responsible for going through books of paperwork.”

There are always clean inspections at A to Z Pets because the animals receive proper veterinary care and come from breeders with exceptional reputations. PROPER CERTIFICATION

“If the state says a vet must check my puppies every 14 days, that’s what

happens,” Tara said. “If I am required to give every customer a certificate of origin, I make sure everyone goes home with one. If a puppy comes down with a cold, we try our best to rectify the situation as best we can since it is very likely to happen with live animals. We always stand behind our pets.”

Transparency, customer service and the inimitable connections made in the store distinguish A to Z Pets from other stores. When a customer visits the store and unexpectedly forms an inseparable bond with an animal, Tara says the experience will be one that they will look back on for years to come.

“My family runs a reputable business. We always want to go above and beyond the state laws because we want customers to know it’s a cherished time in their life when they wrap a pet in their arms and give it a forever home,” Tara said. “We want people to happily reminisce and say ‘Do you remember the day Fido joined the family?’” 쮿

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Emergency Service for Technology


In this day and age, almost everyone relies on electronics in their everyday lives. It’s difficult to imagine life without smartphones, tablets, televisions or computers. When those devices malfunction, it can be difficult to accomplish tasks or even enjoy downtime. But what to do when an electronic device breaks? Enter Mobile Rescue Tech Repair, located at 550 Boston Post Road in Orange (in the Trader Joe’s plaza.) BROTHERS IN ARMS

This franchise location, owned and operated by brothers and business partners Shahzad and Ramzan Chugatta, opened in April of 2017. It caters to the needs of the community by offering skilled on-site repair of all types of electronics, as well as offering a wide selection of items to enhance user experience.

Shahzad and Ramzan take customer service seriously. The brothers are very attentive to everyone who comes into their shop and work to get the customer’s broken device up and running as quickly as possible. This is a labor of love for Shahzad. A self-described “tech kid” in school, he was the one who was always able to fix his friends’ electronics, and each repair gave him more skills and


The comfortable waiting area and cell phone accessories align the wall.

confidence in the field. Reflecting on his beginnings in tech repair, Shahzad said, “When I was just a kid, I enjoyed fixing things. If I couldn’t figure it out, I went on YouTube to learn how. I was successful and loved it, so I just kept at it.” He started with small jobs such as cracked screens, with eventually moving on to more difficult internal repairs. Shahzad gained more experience by working at a small repair shop in a local mall. As he learned new skills, he shared the knowledge with his brother Ramzan, who also showed aptitude in the field. “I really enjoy it,” smiles Ramzan.


When the two hard-working brothers had saved enough to purchase their franchise, they chose their location and set up the store. Because the storefront was previously a tech repair shop, there was not much reconfiguring work to be done, however the Chughattas worked to realize their vision of creating much more than a sterile retail/workshop space.

Their vision becomes evident when a customer walks through the front door. A cozy sitting area with comfy couches and a big-screen television is the first thing one notices, and the second, is one or both Chughatta

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into their shop and work to get the customer’s broken device up and running as quickly as possible. Doorto-door service is available and most repairs are covered by a lifetime warranty. Electronics insurance is offered through Mobile Rescue Tech Repair as well; for a fee of $4.99 per month, all devices are covered. In the event of a needed repair, a small deductible is charged and the brothers service the item.

brothers smiling a warm greeting. Customers are made to feel instantly welcome at the shop.

The front of the store, in addition to the seating area, holds racks of electronic accessories, tidily displayed on the walls. The colorful display draws the eye and helps the customer choose their new cell phone charger, phone case, earphones, or other accessory. MOST REPAIRS DONE ON-SITE

Cell phone repair is one of the main services offered at Mobile Rescue Tech Repair. The brothers, who perform most repairs on site at one of the two back room work stations, can replace cracked screens, refurbish old models, get precious photos from water-damaged phones, and more. Shahzad adds “We can even unlock phones for overseas carriers when our customers travel to other countries.” In the event a repair is not able to be completed in-house, the item will be sent out to be fixed.

When asked what the most unusual thing they had repaired was, Ramzan

Shahzad Chugatta works diligently repairing a cell phone.

smiles, “Drones. But we’ve fixed a lot of different things, like cassette players, CD players, TVs and even the old flip phones.” CUSTOMER SERVICE FOCUSED

Shahzad and Ramzan take customer service seriously. The brothers are very attentive to everyone who comes

It is clear the Chugatta brothers are passionate about providing quality electronics repair and excellent customer service to the people of Orange. They agree with each other about their favorite part of the business, “When a phone or something else is fully repaired and working perfectly, it’s the best feeling.” 쮿

Mobile Rescue Tech Repair is open 7 days per week. Hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday 10am-5pm. The telephone number is 203-553-9885 and the website is


Battery Life: Cell phone batteries are made to be charged and recharged and will need to be replaced after some time. Depending on how frequently the phone is used, and whether data-intensive applications are used often, this timeframe can be as much as two years, or as little as six months. Keeping your apps closed will help maintain battery life. Replacing a battery will be cheaper than buying a new phone.

What to do when a Cell Phone gets Wet: Retrieve the device from water as soon as possible, shut off the power (keeping it powered on can short its circuit board), dry it off as best as possible (do not blow dry, as heat will damage it), let it air dry and keep it powered off for at least 24 hours. It is recommended to bring it to a professional to make sure the internal features do not contain moisture.

Breaks and Cracks on the Screen Face: A cracked screen must be replaced. Continued cell phone use with a cracked screen can eventually lead to complete loss of functionality. Screen replacement requires a very careful hand with several delicate ribbons and pieces. A wrong move can cause extensive and costly damage to the device; therefore, it is recommended a professional replace the face.

The Chugatta brothers, Ramzan (left) and Shahzad (right). 50




Orange Chamber of Commerce: Growing and Moving Forward WRITTEN BY: ANNEMARIE SLIBY

New programs, new events, and joint projects have been popping up at the Orange Chamber of Commerce (OCC) to help boost membership and give the Chamber new life. In addition, a new Executive Director has taken the reigns in January of this year. Carol Smullen replaced Anna Accetta, who left the position the end of 2016. Third time is the charm for Smullen, as she has occupied the position twice previously. Smullen says, “I’m excited to be back at the Chamber and am enjoying the challenge of moving the Chamber forward.”


Connecticut is facing tough economic times and the business population is looking for new ways to increase sales, network and advertise cost effectively. The Orange Chamber membership fees are relatively low and is attractive to businesses. “We’ve had 20 new members join in 2017 and I’m dedicated to continue growing the Chamber,” Smullen says.

Women in Business Group combines members of the West Haven and Orange Chambers of Commerce. 52


New programs have also lured businesses to the OCC. Joining forces with other Chambers of Commerce is one method that has been successful. For example, joint Business After Hours with the Milford and West Haven Chambers have given members opportunities to network with a larger audience of business professionals.

“I’m excited to be back at the Chamber and am enjoying the challenge of moving the Chamber forward.” Another joint program combines the Orange and West Haven’s women’s business groups. Beginning in September of this year, the West Haven Chamber’s Women in Business group has welcomed members of the Orange Chamber Women’s Group to their monthly meetings to maximize efforts. Goals of both groups are to enrich the professional lives of women through education, networking and mentoring at combined monthly meetings.


world interaction with the business community struck us as a practical way to help grow the local talent pool,” says Neil Feigl, Manager of Geico Local Office-Orange. GEICO has been an Orange Chamber of Commerce member since 2013.


New programs are on the rise and not only is the OCC working with other Chambers, but the organization is collaborating on new ventures with the University of New Haven, GEICO Local Office-Orange, and the Orange Economic Development Corporation.

A Student Membership and Internship program was announced in September. In partnership with the OCC, the University of New Haven and GEICO Local Office-Orange, 10 students from the University of New Haven’s School of Business were invited to become members of the Chamber. The goal of the program is to mentor the young professionals as they prepare to enter the business world. The students, sponsored by GEICO Local OfficeOrange, will participate in Chamber events and learn how to network and communicate with other business professionals to build relationships. In addition, the students will have the opportunity to get involved in Chamber committees and community initiatives. They will gain visibility and personal and professional leadership skills

Carol Smullen

through their involvement. The students will be listed on the Chamber website under the membership category “Student” and “Job Seeker.”

GEICO Local Office-Orange is excited to fund the program. “GEICO engages in ongoing efforts to recruit the best qualified talent. Getting college students involved in real-

Working together toward attracting consumers and visitors to the retail corridor and to the town in general is one of the common goals of the OCC and the Orange Economic Development Corporation (OEDC). The two organizations are currently working on a project designed to bring the community together and establish the Town of Orange as a tourist destination. The project, still in the planning stages, is set to launch in June of 2019. Keeping programs fresh and exciting, and collaborating on projects with other organizations are ways to attract the business population and keep them engaged. We are all trying to achieve the same goal; to keep Orange thriving with business, as Orange is truly a great place to live, work and play. 쮿

A recent Business After Hours event. From left to right: Sally Miller, Antonio Ciarleglio, Silvi Sboui, Gina Durso, Cathy Bradley, Sue Vigorito and Carol Smullen. WINTER 2017

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The Amity Spartans Dance for Spirit and Competition WRITTEN BY: MATT GAD

The Amity Dance Team has taken on new life with Teressa Hennessey at the helm. Hennessey, in her seventh year as a dance coach, is enjoying her second with the Spartans. MOTIVATED AND DRIVEN

“The difference with Amity and the other teams is that we’re very motivated,” she said. “The dance team used to just do halftime shows for the football and basketball games; now we also compete in five competitions each year, as well as states.”

Last year, Amity finished third in pom and qualified for regionals, which included Vermont and Massachusetts. The Spartans finished first out of all Connecticut schools and fourth overall.


Hennessey said it is a year-round sport and noted that colleges are now awarding scholarships for dancers. The programs are mainly located in the Midwest portion of the United States.

The Spartans team, which has tryouts but keeps a large percentage of girls involved, is made up, on average, of six freshmen, four-to-five sophomores, four-to-five juniors and two seniors. They also hold a fundraiser with local

fourth through eighth graders to encourage them to get involved in the Amity Dance Program.

During one football game each year, the “pink game,” the team wears pink ribbons in support of breast cancer awareness. Hennessy brings in choreographers from Philadelphia and New York to help work with her team. They also wear Under Armour uniforms and have a strength and conditioning program that includes mileage training.

During the state competition, which includes performances in jazz, kickline, pom, and hip-hop; teams must choose two of the four categories in which to compete. Amity reached regionals after competing in hip-hop and pom-pom routines.

“During the fall we perform at the basketball games and we have practices and weekend competitions,” Hennessey said. “The regionals are in March and then we take April off. In May we start tryouts for the following year.” The team prepares over the summer for a four-day camp, held each July, that is considered their pre-season training. At the camp, each team is asked to perform a routine that will be analyzed by a set of judges.


Teressa Hennessey (back row, left) and the Amity Dance Team.

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You need to have some dance experience but we really just want people who are willing to learn.”

She said they do not want to just serve as a “spirit team” for the school but they also take pride in competing in various competitions. She said a lot of high school dance teams perform at sporting events and may only do one competition each year.

“Recently, the girls

expressed an interest

in competing, we

don’t just want to do

Amity Dance Team in action.


“Recently, the girls have expressed an interest in competing,” Hennessey said. “We don’t just want to do halftime shows.” She said the previous coach had a different philosophy because she was only trained in ballet. Hennessey has



coached for the last six to seven years and assisted the dance programs at Sacred Heart University and Hamden High School. She graduated from Sacred Heart.

“We are hoping to do really well this year,” she said. “Over 10 girls tried out last year and we are currently at 17.

halftime shows.”

Amity’s spirit has been split up now with the recent launch of the cheerleading team. At football games, both the dance team and the cheerleaders are in action. “Both teams create more hype and entertainment,” she said. 쮿


Winter and Spring Calendar of Events WRITTEN BY: MARY BIALY


The Fifth Annual Rotary Club Turkey Trot steps off at the High Plains Community Center on Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd at 8:00 a.m. Cost for the Trot is $25 for the 5K race and $12 for the 2-mile fitness walk. For questions and/or more information visit You may register for the race at WAGON RIDE WITH SANTA: NOVEMBER 26TH

The Party Barn at Mapleview Farm, 603 Orange Center Road on November 26th, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The event, including a horsedrawn wagon ride with Santa Claus is sold out but come visit the handcraft vendors for your holiday shopping. For more information call 203-799-6495 or email HOLIDAY FESTIVAL – CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING: DECEMBER 3RD

The Annual Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting takes place on and around the Orange Town Green on Sunday, December 3rd, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

All activities are free of charge:

• Tour the Stone-Otis House to experience what a Victorian Christmas was like.

• The Academy Building and the

antique shop will be open, as well as the Orange to Derby line model railroad in the lower level.


• The Orange Congregational Church Bell Choir will perform a hand bell concert and carol sing.

• The Annual Gingerbread Contest will be featured in the Clark Building and an ice carving demonstration will take place on the front lawn.

The Tree Lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Immediately following, Santa Claus will arrive at the Town Green for a visit with the children. The Festival ends at 6:00 p.m. AMITY TEEN CENTER CHILLY CHILI RUN: JANUARY 21ST

The 21st Annual Chilly Chili Run steps off at the High Plains Community Center at 10:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Monday January 1, 2018. The event is a showcase for 90-year old and older runners. All pre-registration fees through December 16th are $22 for 5K Road Race, $12 for 12 & under, and $12 for 2 Mile Fitness Walk. After December 16th and Race Day, Entry Fees are $27 for 5K Road Race, $15 for 12 & Under, and $15 for 2 Mile Fitness Walk. Online registration is available until midnight on Monday, December 26th. Early Packet Pickup and Late Registration is Friday, December 29th at High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Visit for information and to register.


The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge will take place on Saturday, May 19th to Sunday, May 20th from noon to 8:00 am at the High Plains Community Center in Orange. Relay For Life is an overnight walk and is the largest fundraising movement to end cancer. Participants form teams and raise money together leading up to the event. Then, everyone comes together for an overnight of fun that is symbolic of the fact that cancer never rests, so neither do we. Cancer Survivors are honored by having them kick-off the event by taking the first lap and then celebrate with a dinner for survivors and their caregivers. Funds raised by the event helps the American Cancer Society’s mission to create a world free from the pain and suffering caused by cancer through research, education, patient services, and advocacy. Last year, 435 people participated in the event in Orange, which raised over $57,750. Teams and individuals can sign up for the Relay for Life event by visiting: 쮿

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605A Orange Center Road Orange, CT 06477


OrangeLife Winter 2017  

OrangeLife Magazine, Issue #16 - Winter 2017

OrangeLife Winter 2017  

OrangeLife Magazine, Issue #16 - Winter 2017