ireneMIDDLETOWN: The Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown, will be a little more flush as Makiaris Media Services, is celebrating its 30 year anniversary with a donation of 30 food items to the pantry.

The media consulting agency founded in 1987 will also be re-vamping its website, launching a new logo and marketing materials. Founder and CEO Irene Makiaris attributed the agency’s longevity and success to the her staff, saying, “our management team has a combined experience of over 140 years,” adding “what sets us apart is our dedication and commitment – we never stop learning, [we’re] always negotiating from a position of knowledge.”

HctglcARTFORD: The Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Chamber (CTGLC) is looking for volunteers to help the group in planning of the its 10th Anniversary Gala.

CTGLC is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year: from Connecticut Alliance for Business Opportunities (CABO) in 2007 to Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Chamber (CTGLC) in 2017 and the Gala Celebration is center stage.

If you are interested in being a part of the Gala Planning Committee contact

John Vincent Pica-Sneeden, Executive Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  The first committee meeting will be in late February. 

gem logoNew Haven: GEM Advertising has been named Agency of Record for Griffin Health  a 160-bed acute care community hospital serving more than 130,000 residents of the griffin hospitallogoLower Naugatuck Valley Region in Connecticut. GEM Advertising is a full-service agency with additional locations in Vancouver, British Columbia; Boston, MA; and Chicago, IL.

GEM Advertising CEO, Chris Bartlett, said, “we’re thrilled to be in the position to both clarify and sharpen the Griffin Health brand. With their philosophy of advocating for preventative healthcare and treating the patient first regardless of their clinical diagnosis."

According to the agency the marketing campaigns will include “media planning (traditional and digital media), website revamping, design, copy, social media marketing and public relations and collateral materials.”

kevin Hallkh logo sm

MILFORD: Kevin Hall Design, a graphic design and consulting firm, is celebrating 25 years in business. The firm specializes in branding, logos and package design, for which the firm has won numerous national and state-level awards.

As one of Connecticut's leading logo designers, Hall has also written extensively about the importance of logos and trademarks and its positive impact on a company's bottom line. Some of Hall's clients include Hummel Bros., Jamaican Gourmet Coffee.....

giardino MasonBETHANY: Joshua Giardino has been name the Director of Digital Strategies & Analytics at Mason an  “integrated marketing communications firm.”

Giardino was previously Manager of SEO & Marketing Solutions at Ipullrank, a Digital Marketing Agency in New York and the Bilco Company of New Haven as an IT Project Manager. A graduate of the University of New Haven, Giardino is a volunteer instructor at the Start-up Institute.

The agency release says that Giardino “will utilize his strategic methods for content auditing, keyword research, market analysis, site analytics and reporting to improve Mason’s marketing automation capabilities, and modernize the agency’s proficiency as a full-service partner.”

grazianoNEW HAVEN: The former publisher of the Hartford Courant and General Manager of Fox 61 Richard Graziano has been appointed General Manager of WTNH and WCTX. The station was recently purchased by Nextstar Media Group [Nasdaw: NXST] of Irving, TX as part of the company’s $4.6 billion acquisition of Media General.

By MItchell Young

HARTFORD: The date has been set and registration is open for The Connecticut Governor’s Conference on Tourism [registration link] on May 4th at the Connecticut Convention Center.

The confab comes at a time that Connecticut’s largest tourism draws, the Foxwoods and the Mohegan Casinos are bracing for significant competition from new casinos, in neighboring Massachusetts and New York.

The Nutmeg tourism industry is said to employ more than 60,000 people, nearly a third at the two Casinos and their immediate vicinity. The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development [DECD] says, that overall tourism employment grew 13.6% in the past ten years and the Department of Tourism says that more than 1.6 million people visited Connecticut in 2015.

snohublogo blue

DANBURY: The sharing economy will plow its way into a new market if James Albis has his way, with the launching of his new company and app Snohub. With the company’s app homeowners can find a snow plow provider without being a contracted account. Snowplow drivers can pick up a little extra business. Currently Snohub is available in Fairfield and Westchester County, NY.

Elm City Express Master 1200px copy 360 360 86 sha 100NEW HAVEN:  Professional “football” is coming to New Haven in the form of The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). The Elm City Express has joined the league as an expansion team and the club will compete in the Northeast Region’s Atlantic Conference. Just last month, Aron Sarwar and Hami Kara announced that they were bring soccer and the league to Hartford.

The NPSL is a national league that operates in the 4th Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid.  And has more than fifty teams spread across the country in cities as diverse as Perkaski, Pa., Fort Worth Tx., Chattanooga Tenn., Miami, Fl., and now Hartford and New Haven.

“We’re very excited about adding another team in Connecticut,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone commented. “We are also enthused by this ownership group, one that has international connections and massive experience.  Our fans and supporters will be treated to an incredible rivalry between Elm City Express and Hartford City FC.  There is no question that it’s an exciting time for NPSL soccer in Connecticut.”

Critics said Lady Gaga was also a winner at the Superbowl and now the superstar has announced her world tour will include the Mohegan Sun Arena on November 10th.

Lady Gaga will be traveling the globe with the ‎Joanne World Tour starting on August 1st in Vancouver, BC with a series of concert dates throughout Europe and the U.K. before returning to North America in November and December this year.  Tickets prices can be rich with some going at $399 but are also available at $49. Tickets go on sale February 20th.


NEW HAVEN: After a seven year run Mark Higgins, the general manager of WTNH and WCTX-TV, will be heading south to Media General’s western Carolinas CBS affiliate, WSPA in Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.

Media General purchased WTNH then corporate parent LIN Media in 2014. WTNH/WCTX is the nation’s 30th largest market and WSPA/WCYW is the 37th largest market.Paul Spingola, director of marketing and digital media at WTNH/WCTX, said he will serve as interim general manager until a permanent one is named.


truminoBranford: Miami Bay Beverage LLC is changing its name to trimino Brands. trimino, is a leading protein water in the functional beverage category, and according to the company has “experienced explosive growth since its launch in late 2014.”

Bob Leary, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of trimino Brands said, “the change was made to better reflect the core brand and to position it for exciting brand extension coming in 2017.”

Match Buffalo NY 1 730x502NORWALK: - Match Marketing Group [Match] has acquired Chicago-based creative agency, Trisect. The company says the acquisition “adds capabilities and personnel to further strengthen its position as North America’s leading end-to-end integrated marketing agency.”
Trisect has delivered marketing campaigns for PepsiCo, Kawasaki, Chicago Bears, Slim Jim and Mike’s Hard Lemonade among others.


NEW YORK: Pepsi’s [NYSE: PEP] legal team of Monique N. Bhargava, Michael S. Elkin and Scott R. Samay of Chicago’s Winston & Strawn LLP, filed a response to Fairfield’s Betty Inc. [Advertising], that the soft drink company used copyrighted material pitched to Pepsi by Betty. Betty claimed the that the beverage company used its ideas for a Super Bowl ad.

New York federal judge Kenneth Karas will rule on the company’s dismissal request of  Betty’s suit. Pepsi contends its “Joy of Dance” Super Bowl halftime ad, was “substantially” different than the ideas presented in Betty’s pitch.

unh royWEST HAVEN: Subroto Roy, Professor of Marketing at the University of New Haven, in a paper coauthored with K Sudhir, the James L Frank Professor of Marketing at Yale University and Mathew Cherian CEO of HelpAge, India, wrote in INFORMS Journal of Marketing Science that small changes in the wording of a fundraising letter can increase donations by more than 300 percent.

newhavenlivingHARTFORD: The Hartford Courant announced it is ceasing publication of its New Haven Living magazine and its New Haven-focused edition of CTNOW, at the end of 2016.

According to New Haven magazine publisher Mitchell Young on launching by the Courant, several accounts were told by Courant representatives “New Haven magazine would be out of business in ninety days.”


WEST HARTFORD:The Connecticut Food Association (CFA)named Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), as the recipient of CFA’s Outstanding Industry Leader award at its 2016 Person of the Year banquet.  Wayne Pesce, CFA president, said “Leslie is a tireless champion for the nation’s food retailers and wholesalers and we’re thrilled to recognize her efforts in advocating on behalf of the food retail industry.”

matt cyr

BOSTON & FARMINGTON:  The digital agency Primacy has hired Matt Cyr  as VP, Strategic Practices and lead for the agency’s higher education practice. Cyr will help account teams “provide strategic consulting, grow and deepen relationships” with Primacy’s existing education client base, and work with the business development team on prospective client activities within the industry.

FinalSaluteLogo5SUFFIELD:  Windsor Marketing Group (WMG) has announced the goal of hiring at least 12 military veterans in the upcoming year. 

In announcing the program, CEO Kevin Armata said “Veterans sacrifice some of the best years of their lives in service to our country and protecting our freedoms, yet it is no secret that many have had trouble finding employment as they make the transition back to the civilian workforce.” 

WMG has 185 employees and recently added 250,000 square feet to its facilities. 

tisonNORWALK: The Maritime Aquarium appointed Tina Tison Director of Marketing. Tison joins The Maritime Aquarium from Media Storm of Norwalk, where she served as a Managing Director for 10 years. Tison served as the senior executive on top brands including FX, Food Network and ABC Family and led integrated consumer marketing.

The Maritime Aquarium is  Connecticut’s second-largest family attraction; an aquarium rated by reviewers as one of the Top 20 aquariums in the U.S. and No. 1 in New England.  Previously, Tison held VP titles at both Grey Worldwide and Young & Rubicam in New York. She worked with top CPG brands, including P&G, Kraft, Campbell’s Soup and ConAgra Foods

cox 15MOHEGAN: Amber Cox was named the vice president of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun and the National Lacrosse League’s New England Black Wolves. Cox will manage operation of both teams.

Cox comes over from the Houston Dynamo (MLS), where she had been the chief marketing officer since Jan. 2015. She previously worked as the associate commissioner of women’s basketball for the Big East, and spent nine seasons in the Phoenix Mercury’s front office.


WESTERLY, RI: Kelley Tremaine, 48, former Advertising Director for the New Haven Register, Niche Products at the Hartford Courant, among other senior Connecticut media,  has been appointed associate publisher of The Westerly Sun, the Mystic River Press and the South County Press.

Elliot White, president of the Sun Media Group, is also publisher of the Meriden Record Journal and appointed Tremaine, who will head the advertising operations and report to Shawn Palmer, senior vice president and chief revenue officer.


eri gaulinBROOKFIELD: Indian Motorcycles are among the most storied bikes in America, originally manufactured in Springfield, Mass., home of the Indian motorcycle museum.
The Indian brand and its sister brand Victory are both owned by Polaris [NYSE: PII] in Medina, Minnesota.

HARTFORD:  Robert Kuss of Cheshire has pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges for scamming the Post Office out of  $750,000. Kuss used phony documents to show that he paid for mailings online for his Creative Marketing Group mailing company. Kuss sent more than 3.2 million pieces of mail within a two year period beginning in 2014 without payment.


NEWARK, NJ: The privately held DeliveryCircle is expanding to service Hartford, Stamford, and Windsor, Connecticut and Atlanta Georgia.
“We are thrilled to offer affordable same-day delivery options in four new cities,” said Vijaya Rao, CEO, DeliveryCircle. “

capalboMANCHESTER: Angelina Capalbo has joined the Axis901 co-working space as its new community manager. The Town of Manchester brought in Capalbo to oversee marketing, promotions, and day-to-day operations of the three-year-old shared workspace and startup incubator.
Capalbo is a veteran of the Connecticut entrepreneurial scene having founded two startup networking initiatives — Startup Hartford and CT Startup Trail. Capalbo currently serves as the director of CT Innovation Nights and publishes an online family event guide called for moms in greater Hartford.

woodsNEW HAVEN: Edward L. Woods has been named vice president of sales for Digital First Media in Connecticut, including its web and print publications.
Woods was president and publisher of DFM’s New England newspaper division and has held three other executive-level positions for the Denver-based national newspaper chain between 2002 and 2014. He also worked as advertising director for Gannett’s USA Today Network.

gaineyHow is your 2017 strategic marketing plan shaping up? Whether it’s your first time planning or you’re a seasoned marketing pro, crafting strategies for marketing is becoming more and more challenging given the ever-increasing choice of devices, platforms and channels to reach audiences on.  As you gear up for 2017, here are five key things to make sure you’re considering as part of your marketing plan arsenal.

Maximizing Data Collection & Analysis

As the amount of data available in the world continues to accumulate and grow, the opportunity to collect relevant information and use it for smarter, more effective and better marketing is also rising. Think about all the places you have been collecting data or can access and leverage data to make smarter marketing decisions.  From your existing customer data and insights to things like website analytics and social listening, there are probably a variety of untapped outlets you could be better leveraging to get smarter about your audience and relevantly engage with them.

Amy Kao beauty queen

FALLS CHURCH VA: HubShout, LLC, announced the winner of the company’s Fall 2016 Digital Marketing Scholarship. The white label SEO agency awards a $1,000 scholarship to students who have completed at least one year of post-secondary education, have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA, and have demonstrated passion for the digital marketing field.

Amy Kao is a proven performer and self-marketer, an MBA candidate at the Yale School of Management, class of 2017 and now the 11th recipient of the Hubscout’s biannual scholarship.

blois patrickDARIEN: Noble House Creative Group, is partnering with Valpak Connecticut, “to bring marketing and advertising jobs back to Connecticut.”

The partnership will handle production of Valpak Connecticut’s digital and print advertising previously managed out of state.

“Digital media has been outsourced from Connecticut to West Coast companies and elsewhere for nearly a decade now, who then outsourced the work abroad,” said Patrick Blois, Owner of Valpak Connecticut, serving Hartford and The Shoreline.The partnership said it expects to “create jobs for Connecticut based graphic designers, web developers, copywriters and editors, videographers, and social media managers, bringing opportunity to home-grown talent. “

soccerHARTFORD: Two local entrepreneurs are trying to buck the odds to bring a National Premier Soccer League expansion team that will compete in the Northeast region’s Atlantic Conference.

The league has agreed, but now Aaron Sarwar and Hami Kara have to find a home for the team to play. Kara was a goalkeeper and captain of the University of Pittsburgh soccer team and now an underwriter for The Hartford. Sarwar is an Air National Guard Airman based out of Bradley, an entrepreneur with a Subway franchise in Putnam, owner of the Shish Keba House of Afghanistan Restaurant in West Harford, and a partner in Bareskin Laser also in West Hartford.

ann duke headshot 1478108524 1137 1SOUTH WINDSOR: The Residence at South Windsor Farms an independent and assisted living with Memory Care options for local seniors named named Ann Duke as its new Sales and Marketing Director. Duke received a BA Degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts and has had nearly thirty years of sales experience within the elder care industry.

park new haven lot logoNEW HAVEN:  The City of New Haven’s Park Haven manages more than 8,000 public parking spots and 7 garages and a variety of surface facilities in Downtown New Haven. To facilitate an easier parking experience Park New Haven is adding valet parking. The new service will be located on College Street near the Crown Street Garage and Shubert Theater, in the heart of the Downtown entertainment and restaurant district. Operating Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 5:30 PM to Midnight, the new valet stand will make a perfect addition to your next trip into New Haven’s vibrate downtown for dining, shopping, or just a night out on the town.

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