BERLIN - Members of the business community met town and elected officials over food and drink last Monday afternoon.
For about two hours, the Economic Development Commission hosted a meet-and-greet at the Italian Independent Political Club.
“It’s beautiful,” said Willie Yousef of the opportunity to meet fellow business people. He relocated Yousef Tae Kwon Do to Farmington Avenue from New Britain within the past year. “We like to help the community anyway we can, because that’s how everything is going to get better.”
The event, which cost roughly $1,000 for the town to put on, according to Economic Development Director Chris Edge, featured boneless chicken wings, mozzarella sticks and pasta from The Avenue Restaurant.
The restaurant, Schaller Subaru, Sign Boss and Sharon Elizabeth’s were sponsors, defraying 75 percent of that cost.
“It’s amazing (that) our family has been in New Britain for 65 years and I don’t really know too many people here in Berlin, so it’s a good opportunity to say hi to some new friends,” said Art Schaller.
“It’s more networking opportunities,” said Jay Polydys of Total Energy Connections, on what brought him to the event. His business provides energy solutions for commercial, industrial and municipal clients.
“We’re always trying to do things for the community. I like being involved.”
Words from Mayor Mark Kaczysnki started the night before members of the Town Council, Board of Finance, Acting Town Manager Jack Healy were introduced.
“We really tried, in my first term, to make sure we were very positive for business, help you guys out with what we can within our rules and regulations,” said Kaczynski, in his second term as mayor.
The prospect of better years ahead after debt from the high school and an underfunded pension plan eases was also among Kaczynski’s talking points.
Also introduced was new Town Planner Marek Kozikowski, who started in January.
“This is what Berlin is all about, Berlin pride” said Sam Lomaglio, chairman of the Board of Finance.
He said he enjoyed the opportunity to explain to business people that the budget for next year, with its funding of capital projects, is an investment in the town.
“We are so pleased that we received such a great turnout,” said Edge.
The event was attended by over 50 people, including the owner of the recently built Acura dealership on the Berlin Turnpike, John Orsini.
“The combination of business owners, residents and Berlin leaders made the night a success,” Edge added. “We thank the Italian Independent Political Club for hosting our event.”
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.