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Fastest Dog of Dog Festival

Friday, 19 May 2017 13:01
Fastest Dog Awarded Opal, a female Pit Bull mix rescue, was awarded fastest dog today by Paul Garavel owner of Garavel Auto Group, sponsors of the obstacle course at last week’s Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce run Second Annual Westport Dog Festival. Opal ran the course in 10.4 seconds beating the next best time by over 1 full second. Presentation of a year’s supply of dog food certificate Opal’s owner Chelsea Massimin received a year’s supply of dog food from Garavel to be redeemed at the Choice Pet outlet near her home in Danbury. “She just loves to run,” Massimin said of Opal. “She has run the course before, but never won. This is great, the dog festival was a lot of fun.” Opal running the course at the Dog Festival The Dog Festival drew an estimated 2800 people and over 700 dogs to Westport’s Winslow park for a great day of celebrating dogs. Over 100 dogs competed in the obstacle course which is known as the “Doggie Fun Zone” and can be seen at many dog festivals. “People actually follow this attraction around the Northeast,” said Matthew Mandell, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. “When I first saw…

Dog Festival 2017

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:01
The Second Annual Westport Dog Festival was a great success. We far exceeded attendance, actually running out of the 2500 wrist bands. The site of the Festival @ 11am, before the crowds really came. 63 vendors, 3 rings of activities, food trucks and more.... Families and their dogs came out, 2800 people and over 700 dogs The K9 Exhibition was fantasitc, a real crowd pleaser The obstacle course was mobbed all day. Here is Zack taking 2nd place in 12.08 seconds And the winner is Opal, who blew everyone away in 10.4 seconds. She wins a year supply of dog food. We look forward to next year where we expect to put together and even better experience

Real Estate Seminar Well Attended

Wednesday, 08 March 2017 12:38
Seminar Focuses on Future of Retail, Restaurants, & Shopping The future of retail, restaurants, and shopping for the area were the main topics of conversation today at a “Fairfield Real Estate Outlook” seminar sponsored by the law firm of Halloran & Sage and hosted by the Westport-Weston and Greater Norwalk Chambers of Commerce. Attorney Eric Bernheim (l) moderated the panel discussion. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo “Experiences are what people want,” real estate broker Julie Vanderblue of the Higgins Group told the meeting at the Inn at Longshore. “If it’s just another mall, it won’t cut it. It needs to be exciting and if done right they will come, especially if walkable.” She was responding a question about downtowns, malls and the future of retail asked by the moderator of the session, attorney Eric Bernheim. Joining Vanderblue at the dais for the two-hour event attended by about 110 business people were Andy Pforzheimer, co-founder of Barteca, owners of Norwalk’s Barcelona and Westport’s Bartaco, developer David Waldman, and John Hannigan, co-founder of Choyce Peterson, a commercial real estate brokerage firm. “It’s hard to pull off a project in a dense location, not in a mall, but we don’t want to have…

Nefaire Opens In Westport

Monday, 13 February 2017 13:24
Nefaire, A Fresh Spa, opened to rave reviews as the first 25 attendees received yearly membership and everyone attending received a free back massage. First Selectman Jim Marpe and Executive Director of the WWCC Matthew Mandell join Michael Chang and his staff for the official ribbon cutting. Then is was time to get down to business and enjoy what Nefaire had to offer.........

Legislative Update - Winter 2017

Tuesday, 07 February 2017 14:56
The Chamber of Commmerce hosted its 6th Legislative Update in partnership with the CBIA. Atteding were: State Sen. Toni Boucher, State Rep. Gail Lavielle and State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, State Sen. Tony Hwang & State Rep. Adam Dunsby the event was moderated by Chamber Executive Director Matthew Mandell Topics of discussion ranged from the Budget and Pension Obligations, Transportation Infrastruction, Preservation of Westport's Historic Bridge, Jobs, Medical Insurance to the overall health of the State.

Mandell Speaks @ Ys men

Thursday, 12 January 2017 14:23
Chief Cheerleader of the Town - Chamber Exec speaks about the Chamber, Business and our Community. Executive Director of the WW Chamber, Matthew Mandell, spoke at Westport's weekly Y's Men meeting today. He told the packed crowd that Westport was doing well businesswise and while there are always bumps in the road ahead we are well prepared to deal with them. The value of Commercial properties are up and a new "Way Finding" study was in the works to help promote and brand the town and ease any parking issues by pointing people towards underused lots. He did point out potential futures issues with the construction of the 95/7 mall and possible replacement of the Cribari (bridge st) Bridge in Saugatuck. Both of these could have ill effects on the town. The former meaning the Westport had to ensure its unique qualities to ensure visitation and the latter the protection of the historic bridge to prevent traffic and especially 18 wheel trucks from devasatating our community. Mandell also announced as he did two years ago the Ys Men, the Chamber would be holding a photo contest to have the winning photo grace the cover of the new Visitors Guide being…

OSMstat Opens in Westport

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 13:45
OSMstat opens in Westport at 1800 PRE. This is the group’s second orthopedic emergent care facility. The other is in Trumbull as well as a standard practice office in Fairfield. The primary focus of this venue is to have local urgent orthopedic care available to all, but especially schools and little leagues as a way to streamline the medical process and remove long waits at Emergency Rooms. Pictured are partners Dr. Gerard Girasole, Jim Marpe (First Selectman), Dr. Daniel Weiland, Dr. Michael Redler, Matthew Mandell (WWCC)

Winfield Deli Opens on PRE

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 14:32
#winfieldstreetdeli officially takes over arts deli on post road west #westport, 3rd location in area. Breno runs his own mom & pop chain, mangia.

Halloween 2016 Winners

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 11:22
THE WINNERS Here are the winners of Halloween Window Painting Contest. The judges were Paul Lebowitz (Chamber Board Member, Owner Westport Mortgage) Betsy Pollak (Editor, Our Town Crier), Leslie LaSala (Director Marketing, Westport Arts Center). Winners received a certificate, a ribbon placed on the window which they get later and a $25 gift card to Saugatuck Sweets. 1st Place – Scariest Elementary – Kaitlynn Comerford – Westport Yarns Middle – Sophie Alcyone – Rockwell Art 1st Place – Best Halloween Theme Elementary – Ella Schweizer – Westport Library Middle – Jessica Schweizer – Westport Library 1st Place – Most Original Elementary – Alexandra Lieber – Soleil Toile Middle – Danielle King – Bella Bridesmaids (helper – Jordan Conlon) Photo Pending.... High School – Ben Roland – Halstead Property

Westport Paints the Town (Wall)

Thursday, 03 September 2015 11:48
Westport Paints the Town - Actually the Citizens came out to paint the construction wall in Downtown. The great event was co sponsored by the Westport Arts Center, Downtown Merchants Association and the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.

First Book

Tuesday, 07 July 2015 13:47
Patricia, a Westport resident, was the first person to pick up the new Chamber of Commerce Visitors Guide and Membership Directory. This is a big day, as this is the first new guide for the Chamber in 5 years. The new book has a restaurant guide with articles written by local chefs, an arts and environment focus and a map. Please come on by the office and get yours.

Legislative Update July 2015

Tuesday, 07 July 2015 13:42
The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce along wth the CT Business and Industry Association hosted a 2015 Legislative Update. It was a vibrant discussion concerning the budget, transportation and infrastucture, jobs and living with disabilities. Sen. Tony Hwang, Sen. Toni Boucher, Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, Rep. Gail Lavielle, Rep. John Shaban and Matthew Mandell Executive Director of the Chamber

Photo Chosen for Visitors Guide

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 14:14
Chamber Chooses Winner of Photo Contest Picture will be featured on cover of new Visitors Guide / Membership Directory The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that photographer and Westport resident Marc Litvinoff is the winner of our community-wide photo contest. His photograph of the Levitt Pavilion, upriver from the grass of Grace Salmon Park, will be on the front covers of the Chamber’s 2015-16 Visitors Guide / Membership Directory and map. “We had a great response to the contest and received well over 600 photos from scores of residents,” said Matthew Mandell, Executive Director of the Chamber. “We had to make some tough choices, there were so many we could have used, but in the end we felt this one said “Westport”.” Some of the most beautiful and artful shots simply could not be used due to logistical and/or layout reasons, making the decision that much more difficult. The redesigned Levitt Pavilion is the new iconic structure in town and being one of the first publications to show it off helped make the decision. "I'm thrilled that the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce has selected my image for their publication,” said winning photographer Marc Litvinoff. “Westport…

Multi-Chamber Expo

Monday, 06 April 2015 15:06
What a great event this year's Multi-Chamber Expo, held on March 18 at Norwalk Community College was. 6 of members set up shop and met hundreds of attendees interested in what they had to say.
Westport CT – January 13, 2015. The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce announces it will be publishing a new Membership / Visitor’s Guide for 2015 and will be holding a photo contest for the front cover. “It has been five years since there has been a new visitor’s guide, it’s time for a new one,” said WWCC Executive Director Matthew Mandell. “To make the publication even more about and a part of the town we want a photo taken by a resident to grace the front cover. So we are holding a contest.” The new guide, to be published in early spring, will feature an upgraded pull out map, a focus on Westport’s vibrant restaurant scene and a section emphasizing the arts which make our community so unique. This is all in addition to highlighting our businesses what makes our community a great place to work, live and visit. "I am pleased that the reinvigorated WWDC is undertaking a new visitor’s guide,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe. “My administration is working closely with the business community to help our Town maintain its strong business environment. The new guide will be a great compliment to our many other ongoing efforts to…

WWCC Sponsors Carolers

Monday, 22 December 2014 14:01
WWCC Sponsors the Fairfield County Chorale Carolers to Sing at Member Restaurants The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce  sponsored the Fairfield County Chorale Carolers to do a series of seasonal songs at member restaurants in Saugatuck on Saturday evening December 20th. “The singing was great, but the best part was when the customers joined in as well,” said Matthew Mandell, Executive Director of the WWCC. “Diners got quite a thrill when this ensemble came in and treated them to a few songs.” The Carolers will began their rounds at Tutti’s Restaurante beginning at 7pm and then madee their way around the train station area stopping at The Black Duck, Tarantino, Mario’s Place and Tarry Lodge. They then proceeded north entertaining the guests at Rizzuto’s, Dunville’s and the Boathouse. The Carolers are all members of the Fairfield County Chorale, a 53 year old organization, which just finished a wonderful production of Handel’s Messiah. There next concert will be in March with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. “We are thrilled to be able to sing in Westport,” said Carolers Director Elisabeth Rose. “Music and singing makes people happy and brings smiles to their faces and those of the singers as well.”

Post Election Legislative Update

Thursday, 04 December 2014 09:28
                    Post Election Legislative Update Where do we go from here? Sen Tony Hwang [R] 28th, Sen Toni Boucher [R] 26th, Rep Jonathan Steinberg [D] 136th, Representative Gail Lavielle [R]143rd Matthew Mandell WWCC, Adam Ney CBIA  The Chamber held a very successful Forum Dec 4, 2014. Below is from It's Relevant and Westport Now      Planned Multi-Family Housing Tops Legislative Forum  By James Lomuscio In the face of two multi-family housing projects planned for Westport, state legislators at a Westport forum today focused on state statute 8-30g, which allows developers to overstep local zoning laws if a town does not have 10 percent of its housing stock classified as affordable, which Westport does not. Participants in today’s forum included (l-r) state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, Sen. Tony Hwang, Sen. Toni Boucher, and Rep. Gail Lavielle.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com “It is the worst violation of local control, an overreach of best intentions,” newly elected Sen. Tony Hwang, a Republican serving District 28, said about the 1989 law intended to create more affordable housing in the state. Hwang was speaking at a Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce (WWCC) sponsored legislative update titled “Where Do We Go from Here.” The…

WWCC BNI Holiday Mixer

Tuesday, 02 December 2014 13:56
  Another Great Business After Hours 60 People came to the BNI / Chamber Mixer The WWCC and the Westport Entrepenuers BNI group held a holiday mixer to share common interests and introduce each to the others' organization. Held at WWCC member Rizutto's in Saugatuck, it was attended by over 60 people. The hope is to do more intergroup mixers moving forward.

Historic Kemper Gunn House Moved and Saved

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:59
Historic Kemper Gunn House Moved to New Home and Saved   As the historic Kemper-Gunn House was moved onto its new foundation Tuesday morning, Morley Boyd took a step back. He was struck by the vision in front of him. "This is the way it was meant to be seen," he said. "This location gives it more dignity. It has its own space." "Nobody alive has seen this view of the building until today -- until an hour ago," said Boyd, a member of the Downtown Steering Committee and former chairman of the town's Historic District Commission. Boyd was among several dozen on hand around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday when the 1880s Queen Anne-style structure began its short journey from Church Lane, across the road, to a 0.13-acre spot at the nearby town-owned Baldwin parking lot on Elm Street. Although it was only a few yards away, it took several hours to relocate the structure. For many, it was a very moving experience and one that was a long time coming -- more than 18 months, in fact. That's how long it took to get the needed town approvals after the house was literally saved from the wrecking ball in October 2013 when the…

WWCC Donates $5000

Thursday, 06 November 2014 14:06
Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce Donates $5000 to Food Pantry The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce today donated $5000 to Homes with Hope for their Gillespie Center Food Pantry. The funds came from proceeds from the Third Annual Slice of Saugatuck Festival run by the Chamber this past September. “It’s always great handing that check over,” said WWCC Executive Director Matthew Mandell, “I’m glad that we bought back the festival so we could do it again.” “Last month the festival fed those who could afford to eat, now it gets to feed those who might not otherwise have that opportunity.“ This is the second time proceeds from the Festival, originally created and run by Matthew Mandell as an RTM member in 2011, have gone to the pantry, the first donation occurring after the 2012 festival. “This is a great partnership for us,” said Homes with Hope Executive Director Jeff Weiser, “this donation gives us the ability to refill our panty’s shelves when we need to, which is important during different times of the year.” The festival which is now a mainstay of Westport events, is a walking, eating and retail tour of Saugatuck Center where each merchant offers tastes of…

Halloween Window Painting

Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:29
  Halloween Window Painting Contest brought the Community to the Businesses Here are the winners Clockwise from top left Danielle Spadacenta of Bedford Middle School painted Calises Food Market  Danielle King, Heather LaPalme and Kayleigh Levent of Weston Middle School painted Westport Yarns Kaitlyn Comerford of Hurlbutt Elementary School in Weston painted Brooks Brothers Shealeigh & Courtlyn Crombie  and Molly Liles of Greens Farms Elementary School painted Matsu Sushi.  

Restaurant Week a Grand Success

Monday, 13 October 2014 13:34
Restaurant Week a Grand Success Eat Local Campaign Brings Out Residents  To help promote Westport Restaurant Week and urge residents to “eat local,”  First Selectman Jim Marpe (3rd r) and Matthew Mandell, Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce executive director, (2nd l) had lunch at Post 154 today and tasted the creations of Executive Chef Alex Rosado (3rd l) They were joined by Jonathan Baron, chairman of the coard of the WWCC, Steve Desloge president of the Downtown Merchants Association (2nd r), and Dewey Loselle (r) operations manager for Westport. Many restaurants saying this was the best weeks they had this year The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that this Fall’s Restaurant Week(s) will run from Sunday October 5th though Sunday October 19th. It’s all part of their “Eat Local” campaign to promote area restaurants, which began two weeks ago with the Slice of Saugatuck. This year Restaurant Week features 27 eateries offering Prix Fixe meals to suit any foodie’s interest and pocket book. Venues from one end of Westport and Saugatuck, all the way into Southport, will once again be treating diners to a gastronomical feast. New this year, to augment the offerings, will be two…

Thousands Walk the Slice of Saugatuck

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 13:44
Sunday, September 14, 2014 Thousands Walk ‘the Slice’     By James Lomuscio  From Westport Now With gastronomic gusto and under sunny September skies with the temperatures in the 60s, more than 2,500 persons today came out for Westport’s third annual Slice of Saugatuck festival. Ashley Borner of Westport cools off today with ice cream from Saugatuck Sweets at the Slice of Saugatuck Festival. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Tony Riggio for WestportNow.com Surrounded by new and old Saugatuck, they sampled an outdoor array of chilies, oysters, hot dogs, yogurt, olive oil, pulled pork, ziti and sesame chicken. The food seemed endless. So did the walk from the corner of Saugatuck and Riverside Avenues to Railroad Place. This is the heart of the once working-class Italian community now revitalized by construction of the Gault Family-owned Saugatuck Center complex of retail, residential, and offices. The Center with its two plazas was the gathering point for many of today’s 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. events. They included everything from firefighter door breaking demonstrations to making animals out of balloons. Music from three Staples High School bands and a steel drum band in front of Tarry Lodge kept the mood upbeat, the crowd energized. This…

Chamber Brings Back Slice of Sauguatuck

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 00:00
  The Slice of Saugatuck Returns       The third annual Slice of Saugatuck Festival is fast approaching with lawn signs, banners and posters popping up all over town announcing its return. This crowd pleaser of an event is set to go off on Sunday September 14, from 1-4pm (rain date Sept 21). The family friendly Wine & Food and Retail Experience has once again expanded, both in the number of participating venues and what is being offered to the festival goer, especially kids. “The festival is back and it’s bigger,” said WWCC Executive Director Matthew Mandell, “Not only will there be tastings at over two dozen eateries, and great offerings by all the other merchants; there will be a mini maker space, drones, obstacle courses, bouncy houses, magicians, hoola hoops and rock climbing. The kids are going to love it.” Also added this year, will be a retrospective of historic Saugatuck created by the Town curator Kathie Bennewitz. It will feature many old photos of the area, historic items and a copy of the, currently being restored, Saugatuck Mural by Robert Lambdin. “Overall it’s a triple win for Westport,” Mandell continued, “it promotes the Saugatuck merchants and area,…

Chamber Holds Legislative Update

Friday, 20 June 2014 12:52
Chamber Holds Legislative Wrap Up   The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce in association with the CBIA (Connecticut Business and Industry Association) will be holding a “Legislative Wrap Up” to discuss the recently finished 2014 Connecticut  General Assembly session. Residents and members of the business community are invited to attend. State legislators considered many bills impacting business and company bottom lines in this year's session in Hartford. Nicole Cline, of the CBIA said, the attendees will “find out what passed, how these measures could affect their business and Connecticut’s national competitiveness rankings, and learn what lawmakers’ priorities are shaping up to be for next year's session.” “This is a great opportunity to hear directly from your state representatives,” said Matthew Mandell, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, “it will be an informal discussion, so attendees will be able to participate.” Attending will beState Sen. Toni Boucher, State Rep. Gail Lavielle andState Rep. Jonathan Steinberg.  

Mandell Hired as New Executive Director

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 13:28
WWCC Hires Mandell as New Executive Director  The Westport-Weston Chambers of Commerce is pleased to announce that long time Westport resident and RTM member Matthew Mandell has taken over the helm of the organization as its Executive Director and President. "Matthew has shown a rare ability to advocate and lead," said Jonathan Baron, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chamber. "He's imaginative and processes the right social and technical skills to break new ground in the changing landscape of business in our community. Matthew caught our eye with how he created the Slice of Saugatuck Festival to promote local businesses and his influence to promote what is now a new restaurant district on the west side of the river, downtown." "Westport sells itself," said Mandell. "I love this place, and I believe this is a great opportunity to continue my work to make it even better. It's time to revamp what a Chamber of Commerce is and embrace new technology, innovation and adopt new practices to bring our businesses and community together." He elaborated, "It's all about building relationships and getting people out to experience and know what our businesses have to offer, everything else will fall into…

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