The '90s

1990...Robert Pelliccia began the decade as Chamber President.

1991...The birth of Milford Chamber of Commerce Child Care Consortium led by Jody Culmone who is also President of the Chamber. Its purpose is to provide day care for employees of chamber members. The Consortium solicits $100,000, $25,000 from each company – IBM, Schick, BIC and United Way to begin program. The program is still in existence and very strong.

Robert Gregory retired in 1992 after 19 years as Executive Vice President of the Chamber. He was succeeded by Kelly Golden Lauver a former employee of the Bridgeport Chamber.

1992...Paul Hoffman, President, Orange Research, is elected President of the Chamber. Harrison's Ace Hardware celebrated 85 years in Milford. Fred Lisman was Mayor throughout the decade. The Legislative Action Committee, founded and chaired by Armand Cantafio and Paul Hoffman in 1990, is still a very strong force within the chamber. Lobbyist Marshal Collins was hired and remains our lobbyist to this day. Phyllis Holt, a former officer at Bank of Boston, brought the SBA program Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) to Milford (housed in Chamber building)

1993...Armand Cantafio of Northeast Electronics elected President. Costco Wholesale, J.C. Penney, Filene's and ShopRite all opened their doors in Milford. Dr. Kramer, Superintendent of Schools, discussed the desegregation plan proposed by Governor Weicker. The downtown sidewalk reconstruction is completed and Senator Joseph Lieberman visits the chamber membership.

1994...Bruce Miller, Harrison's ACE Hardware, elected President. The Chamber supports the Milford Jai Alai fronton's ability to simulcast dog-racing events in Connecticut. Legislative Action forms a political action committee for the Chamber. They continue fighting for workmen's compensation reform, and support of the Head of the Harbor Plan.

1995...Willard Chamberlain of Fleet Bank elected President. He presides over the renovation of the Taylor Library Building in celebration of its one hundredth anniversary. Kathleen Alagno hired as new Executive Vice President (Executive Director). Governor John Rowland speaks to the membership.

1996...Wendy Weir, ReMax Realty, elected President. Lt. Governor Jodi Rell speaks to the Chamber at the Annual Meeting. The chamber opposes the increase in starting wage to $6.06 per hour. Supports consignment shops in their efforts to stay in business, supports the opening of Milford Harbor Project, and lobby's against the high cost of doing business in Connecticut. The first BIC Golf Classic took place at Yale University for the benefit of the Milford Chamber of Commerce Trust Fund. The Milford Chamber partners with the Valley Chamber for the first "Business Showcase", a 14 town expo event. Milford ties are sold to benefit the holiday lighting program. The chamber advocates on behalf of manufacturers for reducing permit process times. Milford Landing, a 40 slip transient marina, is dedicated.

1997...Michael Paolini, CPA, elected President. The chamber in cooperation with the City of Milford, develops access to the Internet with the first city home page. The Mini-Grant Program for Students is expanded. A " Welcome to Milford" sign at the Head of the Harbor is erected. Expansion of insurance benefits for members is entered into. Legislative activities of the chamber include: lobbying for lower electric rates and the deregulation of electricity, lobbying against increases in workers compensation claims, and opposing corporate responsibility bills. The State of the City Address by Mayor Lisman is begun.

1998...Lisa Arenberg, Advanced Placement, Inc. is elected President. The chamber supports the existing system of tourism boards, especially the Greater New Haven Convention & Visitors Bureau. Legislatively it supports the Coalition to Deregulate Electricity. Supports the restructuring of the electric industry. They oppose the Corporate Responsibility proposal. Fights against the increase of minimum wage. Supports the Connecticut Armed Forces Week. Opposes the public usage of dollars to build shopping mall in New Haven. Holds a day-long retreat for the Board of Directors retreat facilitated by Barbara DeBaptiste and completed long range planning document for chamber future. Institutes a Standards of Stewardship for Directors. Expansion of the scholarship program with additional funding.

1999...Attorney Robert Kappel of Jacobi, Kappel & Case elected as President. The Milford Chamber of Commerce Trust Fund expanded. The Mini Grant Program for Students was increased. Ken Brannin of BIC Corporation leading the Manufacturing Committee creates an IOS 9000 certification program for Milford manufacturers working with Central Connecticut State University resulting in 9 new certifications. Dollars are committed to fund the Downtown Plan of Development along with Milford Progress and City as partners. MPI contracts with Dean Allan Plattus of Yale School of Urban Design for Downtown study as part of the overall city Comprehensive Plan of Development. The Connecticut Post Mall presented plans for expansion. The chamber supports the City in a request for Open Space Grant. The Strategic Plan 2000 for the Chamber was published. The Summer Concert Series grow thanks to Kapusta & Otzel. SCORE counsels over 73 new business cases in Milford. Chamber supports the need for a sewer study in downtown Milford to open up development. The chamber supports the demolition of blighted buildings on River Street and an open-air plaza. The building of Schooner Wharf is supported by the chamber. The Milford Chamber continued the fight against the Long Wharf Mall project in New Haven

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