Tag Archives: Hilton

Latina Symposium Held in Hartford

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The Latinas & Power Symposium, New England’s largest Latina professional conference, was held Thursday at the Hilton Hotel in Hartford. The sold-out event, titled “Connecting With The Latina Market,”  featured guest speakers including journalist and author Sandra Guzman and Juana Bordas, president of Mestiza Leadership International.

latina1 (2)Pictured at the conference (left) are state treasurer, Denise Nappier, Bordas, Guzman and business owner and conference organizer Marilyn Alverio.

About 500 people attended the conferencelatina2 including (below) Damaris Torres, left, and Brenda Pabon, who both work at Aetna, one of the symposium sponsors.

“Let’s Celebrate” Marks Hartford Stage 50th Anniversary

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MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

The stars in Hartford were inside Monday night.

They were at Hartford Stage where its 50th anniversary celebration continued with a who’s who of past artists reading vignettes from their Hartford roles and reminiscing about the city and the theater that gave them opportunity, welcoming audiences and cherished memories.

“”I have never been more happy that I am in this building,” said an exuberant  Richard Thomas, who gave impassioned readings  from Tennessee Williams’ “A Distant Country Called Youth” and William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” plays he had done under former stage artistic directors Mark Lamos and Michael Wilson. “I can’t tell you how much this building and the people here meant to me.”


MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

Thomas, am accomplished stage actor who is best known for his role as ‘John Boy’ Walton on the television series “The Waltons,” was just one of many actors who turned out for the Hartford Stage retrospect that offered a glimpse of the stage’s 50 years of theater history.

“Oh to get that role was so exciting to me,” recalled actress Dana Ivey who  read from Sophocles “Antigone,” the production she starred in when Hartford Stage was located on Kinsley Street in the late 60s. “I was in my late 20s and I was so excited to get that job,” she said. “It will always be a special memory.”


MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

“I remember when Jacques came home and said he wanted to establish the theater,” recalled Hartford Stage founder Jacques Cartier’s wife Diana Cartier, as she shared the story of how her Yale School of Drama graduate husband decided to start the theater in 1963. “I said ‘go for it’ and whatever the saying was then and pushed him to do it,” she said as she and her husband fielded congratulations from guests. “I am tremendously happy for the theater’s success.”

 Following the performance at the theater, guests headed over to the Hartford Hilton for an after party that included an impressive anniversary themed cake and lots of star power including well-known set designer Karl Eigsti, actors Seret Scott, David Patrick Kelly, Kate MacCluggage, Bill Raymond and Lisa O’Hare.  

And there were the heartfelt perspectives of the value of theater and the longevity of Hartford Stage from those who should know.

“Hartford Stage is the one institution that nips this city together,” said Michael Price, longtime executive director at the Goodspeed in East Haddam, celebrating its own 50th anniversary this year. “It is the essence of what an arts institution should be.”

Latinas Meet For 10th Annual Symposium

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latina1It began with 100 people and a prayer 10 years but boy have you come a long way baby.

That would be the annual “Latinas & Power Symposium,” a program that began as a networking event for the area’s female Latina community and since has grown to a business and career workshop that on Thursday attracted about 500 women.

“We have much younger women participating now also,” said organizer Marilyn Alverio, CEO of Ethnic Marketing which organizes the event each year. “It is amazing how it has grown.

Held at the Hartford Hilton, the symposium featured singer/performer Vikki Carr as the featured guest. Honored at the luncheon were the state’s first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Carmen E. Espinosa, and Ada Rios, a West Hartford entrepreneur. 

Yolanda Villamil, traveled from Massachusetts for the event, noting that she was among those who were on the discussion panel the first year it began.

“It has come a long way,” said the Worcester travel business owner. “It’s still a wonderful event.”


Chef Leo Bushey Has A New Kitchen!

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busheyWell-known area executive chef  Leo C. Bushey has found a new kitchen.

Bushey has been named  as Executive Chef at the Clarion Hotel on Century Drive in Bristol.

An award-winning chef, Bushey has cooked at restaurants including The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Publick House Historic Inn in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and  the Acqua Oyster Bar in Vernon, as well as the the former The Emporer in Hartford, the Hartford Club, the Country Club of Farmington, Simsbury Inn and most recently his seasonal seafood shack, Fay’s Place, in Bolton.

“Our on-site restaurant and banquet hall is a focal point of the new hotel,” said  James C. Frenis, CHA, Chief Executive Officer of Prestige Hospitality Group, LLC , hotel operators.   “We are fortunate to have someone of Chef Bushey’s fame and caliber help us create a superb culinary experience for our guests.”

Bushey graduated from Johnson & Wales University in 1994 with a degree in culinary arts. In 2004, he was inducted into the prestigious Les Amis D’Escoffier Society and The Chaine des Rotisseurs.

The hotel  is currently being renovated and expanded with work scheduled to be completed next month.  The hotel will transition to a DoubleTree by Hilton and  include The Willows restaurant featuring New American cuisine and a 5,000 square foot ballroom serving up to 500 guests.