Business Spotlight

Business Spotlight

The Westerly Sun

Financial adviser earns Fast Start award

GROTON — Todd A. Gestrich, a financial adviser with Charter Oak Retirement and Investment Services, has received a Fast Start award from CUNA Brokerage Services Inc. for his strong production and sales achievements.

“We commend Todd for his outstanding performance as a new financial adviser with Charter Oak Retirement and Investment Services,” said Jack Crawford, sales manager-asset accumulation with CUNA Brokerage Services. Crawford said the Fast Start award recognizes Gestrich’s strong commitment to the financial well-being of Charter Oak Federal Credit Union’s members and to the strong partnership between Charter Oak and CUNA Brokerage Services.

Gestrich joined Charter Oak Retirement and Investment Services in March 2013 and has more than a decade of experience as a financial-services representative. He is located at Charter Oak’s Waterford branch, 3 Boston Post Road, and provides investment and retirement-related services for the credit union’s Waterford, Niantic, Norwich and Montville branches.

Before joining Charter Oak, Gestrich was a financial adviser with Navy Federal Credit Union. He is a Stonington resident and attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He is a member of the Groton Lions Club International and the Estate and Tax Planning Council of Eastern Connecticut. He is a registered representative with CUNA Brokerage Services as well as a licensed representative of CMFG Life Insurance Co. of Waverly, Iowa.

For more information about Charter Oak Retirement and Investment Services, contact Gestrich at 860-446-3312 or via email at

Wash. Trust promotes Westerly-area employees

WESTERLY — Washington Trust has promoted the following local employees to new positions within the bank:

• Lori J. Siciliano, of Westerly, was promoted to vice president and portfolio manager, Commercial Lending. She is responsible for credit analysis and underwriting commercial loans. Siciliano, who joined the bank in 1991, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island. She is active in Westerly-area community service projects and has earned recognition as one of the bank’s top employee volunteers.

• Erine E. Lewis, of Westerly, was promoted to assistant BSA/AML compliance officer, and is responsible for administering key regulatory policies and procedures, such as the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering. Lewis, who joined the bank in 2011, holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rhode Island and is a certified associate in anti-money laundering. She is also a member of the board of directors for the Jonnycake Center in Westerly.

• Dawne M. Breen, of Charlestown, was promoted to assistant vice president, Retail Lending Systems. She is responsible for maximizing system effectiveness, strengthening data integrity, and improving end-user experience. Breen, a bank employee since 1988, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in business ethics and compliance from New England College of Business and Finance (NECB). She serves as an NECB adjunct professor and in 2012 received the “Faculty of the Year” award.

• Christopher M. Grasso, of Mystic, was promoted to business banking officer, and works with business customers in southeastern Connecticut, and the Westerly and Richmond areas. A Washington Trust employee since 2005, Grasso holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Bryant University.

Fields of Fire awarded Business of the Month

MYSTIC — Fields of Fire, 715 Noank Ledyard Road, is the November recipient of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Month award. The award is nomination-based and determined by several factors, including community involvement and overall success.

Fields of Fire, a full-service paintball and airsoft park, opened in 2011 and has grown into the premier paintball park of the region. Set on 50 acres ranging from rugged woodlands to wide-open spaces, the park is professionally designed, with knowledgeable staff members who emphasize the importance of a safe and exciting experience for all participants.

In addition to providing a unique experience, Fields of Fire has become an active member of the community, thanks to owner Tom Vignato. On Election Day, Nov. 5., Fields of Fire offered free paintball all day, reminding residents to go vote and then have fun. They also offer military discounts for all open play days. Most recently, it partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of southeastern Connecticut to host a Gettin’ Muddy for Kids Mud Run. Fields of Fire hosted the event, with all proceeds benefiting the Boys & Girls Club.

For more information on Fields of Fire, visit

Business After Hours scheduled at Pendleton

MYSTIC — The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce will host its monthly Business After Hours on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Pendleton Health & Rehabilitation Center, 44 Maritime Drive. The center is a provider of both short- and long-term health care. Through its affiliated entities, the center provides services in skilled nursing facilities.

Business After Hours is a monthly networking event, so bring business cards. The cost is $10 for members, $20 for non-members. To register, contact the Mystic Chamber of Commerce at 860-572-9578 or email

Mystic Blues Festivial seeks sponsors

MYSTIC — The second annual Mystic Blues Festival, June 27-29 at Mystic Shipyard and various area host venues, is seeking sponsors for the weekend-long summer event.

Sponsorship opportunities range from inclusion on the custom Mystic Blues APP Directory to exclusive sponsorships tailored to fit a company’s needs. Sponsors seeking exclusive contracts might consider sponsoring the Mystic Blues Tent or Mystic Blues Transportation, or sponsorship of special activities for blues fans and families; or sponsoring the contract for a particular musician or band.

For more information, visit

S. County Hospital only hospital in R.I. to earn ‘A’ safety rating

WAKEFIELD — For the third consecutive quarter, South County Hospital has received an “A” hospital safety score rating from The Leapfrog Group. It was the only hospital in Rhode Island this quarter to earn the “A” rating.

The scores (A, B, C, D or F) are assigned to hospitals based on preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections. The hospital safety score was compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is designed to give the public information that consumers can use to protect themselves and their families.

The Leapfrog Group is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, independent health care transparency advocacy group. The safety score uses national performance measures established by the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors determines its score.

The safety score is one piece of information consumers should use when planning a hospital stay, according the Leapfrog Group. The group recommends health care consumers use hospitals that score an “A.”

CL&P implementing new technology to improve storm response

BERLIN, Conn. — Connecticut Light & Power is launching a new damage assessment tool that will make the process of surveying damage to the electric system following a storm more efficient, and provide real-time information about the materials and resources needed to make repairs.

“In the aftermath of a storm, a utility company must physically survey the damage to its system to learn what repairs must be made and determine how long those repairs will take,” explained Peter Clarke, senior vice president of emergency preparedness for Northeast Utilities, parent company of CL&P. “The number one question after a storm is ‘when will my power be back?’ With this technology and the improvements to our damage-assessment process, we’ll be able to make those restoration estimates more quickly.”

CL&P is the first utility in the country to use this state-of-the art technology, integrating a new damage-assessment tool with the company’s existing outage management system. The technology drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to transmit information about damage and required repairs from the field to the planning and logistics teams in the office. Those teams can better plan the work and deploy crews more efficiently with the exact materials needed, and better estimates can be provided regarding the length of time to complete repairs.

By the end of this year, the new damage-assessment tool will be fully implemented across CL&P’s service territory.

Kent Washington Assoc. of Realtors raises $2,600 for Habitat for Humanity

EAST GREENWICH — Participants raised $2,600 at the Realtors’ third annual Home Run 5K Run/Walk for Habitat for Humanity. The event was a collaboration of local realtors throughout Rhode Island and was coordinated by the Home Run 5K committee under the leadership of co-chairs Jennifer Bove and David Tetreault. A check was presented to South County Habitat for Humanity on Oct. 3 during the Kent Washington Association of Realtors Annual Meeting and Installation, held at the Warwick Country Club.

Eighty runners/walkers turned out for the Aug. 25 event, held at the Quonset O Club in North Kingstown.


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