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Simsbury Chamber of Commerce is Recognizing Locals Who Give Back

Chet Matczak, Richard Curtiss and Bill Selig are being awarded for their contributions to Simsbury.

The Simsbury Chamber of Commerce will honor three Simsbury residents at its annual meeting at the on May 16. An awards luncheon and golf outing will be celebrating the accomplishments of Chet Matczak, Richard Curtiss and Bill Selig, beginning at 11 a.m.

Chet Matczak, who was president of the Tariffville Village Association until April 30 and is now first vice president, is the Simsbury Public Servant of the Year.

Matczak has been a part of a team of residents in Tariffville for more than eight years who have envisioned a revitalization of Tariffville. Taking advantage of the small-town atmosphere and natural geologic beauty in the self-contained historic area, Matczak and his wife Laurie Matczak, among others, have given a voice to the people who love the village. The Tariffville Gazebo on the Village Green is becoming a reality with new landscaping, brick sidewalks, newly planted trees and period lighting in the works.

“We want kids to see live music [in the gazebo] — jazz, rock … musicians actually performing,” said Matczak.

Another part of the big plan: building a footbridge across the Farmington River to showcase the beauty of Tariffville Gorge.

“It is quite a place,” said Matczak.

The association has envisioned the Village Green, gazebo and footbridge as places where families and visitors can come to enjoy hikes and outdoor activities, including summer band concerts.

“I was happy to nominate Chet Matczak and the board of selectmen supported that nomination unanimously,” said Deputy First Selectman John Hampton. “From the designation of the Village Green, to the completion of the gazebo, to the annual Tariffville Village Festival and kayak races, Matczak’s efforts have safeguarded the historic, natural, and recreational resources of Tariffville.”

Richard Curtiss, social studies teacher and department chairperson, is the Simsbury Educator of the Year.

Curtiss was most recently recognized for his award-winning student collaborative film about Martin Luther King Jr.’s days in Simsbury, which had its premier at the State of Connecticut’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day 25th Anniversary Celebration. The film was also showcased on CBS news.

In describing the honor, Curtiss said in an email, “I’m extremely proud of the work that the students did on the Martin Luther King documentary project and the wonderful reception the film received around the state.”

He added that he greatly appreciates the support given by the board of education, Superintendent of Schools Diane Ullman, and Simsbury High School Principal Neil Sullivan.

Curtiss is also on the board of directors of the Simsbury Historical Society, a member of the Simsbury Cemetery Association, and Educational Liaison for the Simsbury Free Library.

Bill Selig, owner of located in Windsor and Simsbury, is the Simsbury Business Leader of the Year. This award recognizes service done by a business or business person that advances the appeal of Simsbury as a community in which to live, work and manage a business.

As a town resident for 22 years, Selig has continually provided service to the community whether it is by donating revenue from promotions to Foodshare or the Farmington River Watershed Association or as a member of the Rotary Club. For 32 years at Selig Jewelers, he has been helping redesign vintage jewelry, copying lost family heirlooms, finding something to commemorate special occasions, and repairing watches and favorite jewelry.

Most recently, Selig Jewelers donated pearl necklaces for Mother’s Day to mothers and wives of any service personnel. Selig said, “The response to that has been overwhelming. The women love the idea that somebody is recognizing a little bit of the hardship they are having by not having their loved ones at home.”

Honored by this recognition, Selig described how he has future ideas of increasing the store’s workshop in order to expand the custom jewelry and original jewelry design part of the business.

“We are going to do everything we can to grow with the community as a business,” he said.

For more information about the event or to attend, call the chamber of commerce at 860-651-7307 or email info@simsburycoc.org.

Charity Folk May 03, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Regina, Thank you so much for the wonderful article on this year's recipients of the "Simsbury Chamber of Commerce"'s Business Leader of the Year, Public Servant of the Year and Educator of the Year. These awards have been presented by the Simsbury Chamber, not Simsbury, since 1995. The Simsbury Chamber is very proud to be able to host and honor these individuals over the past 16 years. The public is welcome to attend the luncheon at Hop Meadow on May 16. Reservations can be made by calling the chamber office at 860-651-7307. Thank you again, Charity Folk, Executive Director
Regina O'Sullivan May 04, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Thanks for the comment Charity. There is a lot of good news in this town and thank you and the Chamber for showcasing it with this event!

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