Monthly Archives: June 2012

Nichols Leaving Twain

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Jeffrey Nichols is moving on to Virginia! This from Twain House…

“Gregory Boyko, President of the Board of Trustees of The Mark Twain House & Museum, announced today that Jeffrey L. Nichols will resign his position as Executive Director of the museum to take the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s plantation retreat near Lynchburg, Virginia.

“The board and staff of the museum are deeply sorry to see Jeff go,” Boyko said. “His tenure has been a memorable one here – leading the museum out of a severe financial challenge and initiating a marketing strategy that has brought attendance to record levels two years in a row. He has been a respected and admired manager, winning the museum the Hartford Courant/Fox CT Top Workplaces Award. But we understand that the Poplar Forest position is a significant career move for Jeff, and wish him all the luck in this exciting new endeavor.”

Nichols added: “I will always cherish my time at The Mark Twain House & Museum. It’s been an honor to lead the museum over the past five years, and I know that the future is very bright for the organization. I can’t thank the board, our donors, and the wonderful staff of the museum enough for their hard work and dedication to the organization. I will miss everyone in Hartford, but I’m also thrilled to begin the next chapter in my career.”

Poplar Forest Board Chair Madeline Miller said the choice was made following an extensive nine-month national search. Nichols succeeds longtime President and CEO Lynn Beebe, who announced her retirement last year.

“It was his understanding of how to successfully lead an historic property during challenging economic times that impressed us,” Miller said. “Jeff’s approach to strategic growth and development will serve us well as Jefferson’s Poplar Forest expands its presence on the regional and national stage as a historic property destination and a center for education and research on an important period in the life of Thomas Jefferson and the nation.”

During Nichols’ tenure as Executive Director, The Mark Twain House & Museum has not only achieved record attendance figures and been named a Top Workplace, but also has balanced its budget over the past four years; greatly increased the number of museum events, mounted important exhibits, instituted a community writing program and new programs for local students, and offered an important experience for visitors from every state in the Union and dozens of foreign countries.

Boyko said the Mark Twain House & Museum Board of Trustees has formed a Search Committee to begin the process of finding an Executive Director. The position of Interim Director will be filled by Patti Philippon, who is Beatrice Fox Auerbach Chief Curator of the museum.

The 577-acre Poplar Forest, run by the nonprofit Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, is a National Historic Landmark recently added to the United States nominations list to become a World Heritage Site.”


Mayor Segarra Cuts A Rug At Talent Show In Hartford

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Ya gotta love that Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. He is such a team player, especially on the dance floor.

When the city’s Marketing, Events, & Cultural Affairs (MECA) Division hosted the Hartford Municipal Employee Talent Showcase Wednesday, he was right there.

Segarra put on his cool dude clothes and his Fred Astaire feet, performing with Miriam Rodriguez, executive assistant to Yasha Escalera, director of housing and property management.

The talent show was open to municipal employees, giving them the chance to show off what while contributing to the “Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Workplace Giving Campaign.”


Carberg’s Husband Named To Hall of Fame

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And speaking of NBC CT, anchor Lisa Carberg is doing some celebrating. Her husband, Jeff Palmer ( who grew up in Plainville, Ct and whose dad, Charlie,  was the high school’s longtime football coach ) was recently inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame for Milford Academy.

Carberg notes: “Of just 20 players in their hall of fame, 3 are from Plainville! Nico Koutouvides, R. J. Anderson and Jeff Palmer!”

She adds: “It’s a football-focused prep school that used to be in Milford and is now in NY. They turn out lots of NFL players who change their lives there.       Jeff was only there for 4 months, but earned several football scholarship offers and accepted University of Miami’s to become a Hurricane.  His team in 1972 was undefeated. Jeff had 10 interceptions as a fearless defensive plan. For a guy from Plainville, it was quite an accomplishment. His Milford Academy yearbook write up said “We will never understand how such a firiendly guy could cause such devastation on the field.”

Carberg notes that UCONN Football Coach Paul Pasqualoni was the speaker at his Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.

ESPN College Basketball Reporter Katz In White House PSA

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ESPN College Basketball Reporter (and West Hartford resident) Andy Katz is one of  the high-profile men featured in a White House-sponsored PSA that targets violence against women. He joins President Obama, VP Biden, Joe Torre, David Beckham and others. Take a look:  here.

A Wednesday With A Bang At Ballo

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Looking to make “hump day” special?

BALLO Italian Restaurant and Social Club at Mohegan Sun announces the launch of the exclusive Wild Wednesday VIP After Fireworks Party starting Wednesday, June 27th.

Every Wednesday as part of the Hot Summer Fun at Mohegan Sun, the rooftop of the Riverview Garage transforms into a party featuring a classic car show, live music, summertime games and food and drink specials at the Tiki Bar.

The fireworks extravaganza starts at 9 p.m. with the VIP after party at BALLO Italian Restaurant starting following the fireworks.  In order to attend the VIP after party, guests must register at the BALLO booth on the Riverview Garage to receive an after party pass. Guests at the after party will enjoy a complimentary Limonata, pizza and passed antipasti. Guests must be 21 or older to attend the after party.

For more information call BALLO Italian Restaurant at 860-862-1100.  Visit for more information.

Cashman An Emmy Award Winner Again

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Tony Cashman, president and CEO of Glastonbury’s Cashman + Katz Integrated Communications is celebrating these days. His brother, Shaun Cashman,(a former graphic artist at the Courant and Middletown resident)  just won his second Emmy award. Shaun Cashman  received the award for “Outstanding Directing In An Animated Program”  for his work on “Penguins of Madagascar.” The award was presented at ceremonies at the 39th Annual Daytime entertainment Creative Arts Emmy Awards held recently at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. Shaun is pictured with wife, Jodey after receiving his award.

Lyme Academy Parties To Warhol

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More than 350 guests got into the retro mood recently at the Lyme Academy College’s PopArtsBall, “A Night at Warhol’s Factory.”  The  sold-out fundraiser featured dinner from Jonathon Rapp’s River Tavern, dancing and a 60s theme designed by decorators Patricia Spratt and Lisa Schroeder.  All proceeds are used for student scholarships. Among those at the party were Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts President Debra Petke, left, college board Chair Diana Atwood Johnson, Lyme resident Andy Barnard and sculptor Gwen Marcus. Photo by Howard Margules.

Cheers “Cliff Clavin” At Quinnipiac Wednesday

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He may be most remembered as Cliff Clavin on the popular TV series “Cheers,”  but to those in the know he is Connecticut’s own John Ratzenberger.  And on Wednesday he is  coming home to be part of a movie filming at Quinnipiac University.

Ratzenberger, raised in Bridgeport,  will working alongside nearly 90 Connecticut residents who are spending the month at the Hamden university filming the movie, “Local Commercial.”

“Local Commercial” is a short comedy that explores the trials and tribulations of a low-budget commercial crew, and the film industry’s youth-centered culture. It’s about a 58-year-old director, who’s replaced by a 14-year- old director, who’s then replaced by an 8-year-old director.

The production of the movie is part of the fifth annual Connecticut Film Industry Training Program at Quinnipiac. The program is for Connecticut residents who want to learn the basics of feature film and episodic television production and pursue entry-level freelance work in the industry. Trainees are learning about union membership, which is required to work on most large productions shooting in the state.

“This comprehensive program equips students with the specialized skills and intensive hands-on experience they need to pursue careers in the industry,” said Charles Miller, administrator of the Film Industry Training Program. “In addition, they have had the valuable and unique opportunity to build relationships with accomplished professionals in the field.” Richard and Didi Dobbs of Easton wrote the film and Richard is directing it. For more information about the Connecticut Film Industry Training Program, go to