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February 24, 2012 / Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce

Nearly 200 Turnout for 1st New Britain/Berlin Chamber Event

New Britain City Journal

By Robin Vinci, February 23, 2012

It appears combining the New Britain and Berlin Chambers into the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce New Britain-Berlin was a success. About 200 people showed up for the first event, since the two were combined, at Schaller Auto World Wednesday.

“It’s great to have our new family members, many from Berlin here tonight,” said Chamber President William Millerick to open the meeting. “We had a goal of attracting about 100 new members from Berlin. I am happy to say we are already at 35 in less than a month. I think this is going to be a very successful partnership.”

“It seems like we are right at home here in New Britain,” said Berlin Mayor Adam Salina. “We share so many different services. It’s wonderful to be here and see a wonderful group of people. It is a natural fit for Berlin to be part of the New Britain organization. We appreciate all the efforts to make this happen. It is an easy transition.”

New Britain Mayor Tim O’Brien said, “We have a strong working relationship already between the mayors of New Britain and Berlin. This only makes the working relationship that we have all the stronger. There are so many things we need to achieve together. This new partnership will help us grow.”

Both mayors said they would work with businesses from each town to help them in any way they could.

Millerick thanked Richard Pentore of Berlin and Rob Bucilli of New Britain, chairs of each chamber, for making this work.

“This is almost a natural group to get together. There is a lot of common things between New Britain and Berlin,” said Pentore. “We are very excited about what the future holds.”

Bucilli thanked members new and old for putting this group together.

“Congratulations to New Britain and Berlin,” said Bucilli. “This is a great event.”

Art Schaller Jr. hosted the event and spoke a bit about his new Auto World Shop on Veteran’s Dr.

“There probably is not a family here who has not had a car from Schaller,” said Millerick. “This is a state of the art investment by Schaller. It is the future of auto body shop repair. They really put a lot of effort in it.”

Schaller thanked JoAnne Pescosolido for all her hard work in getting the auto body shop.

“She handles everything that looks good here,” said Schaller.

Schaller’s business partner Mark Smith and Bruce Plourde, body shop director, were also thanked.

“What you are standing in is a major investment,” said Schaller. “You have seen this building for an awfully long time.”

It was added on to several times and about 5 or 6 years ago, there were problems at the Berlin facility. So, Schaller had this empty building and decided to put its new auto body shop in it.

“It was a prime spot for doing what we needed to do,” said Schaller. “Here we are 3 or 4 years later standing in what we think is the most state of the art body shop in Connecticut.”

Schaller said the building has air in every shop so technicians can use it where ever it is needed. A vacuum system is used throughout the system rather than brooms in order to keep dust down.

Paint is now water based rather than solvent based paint.

“It is a more environmentally safe product,” said Schaller. “Most every car made today has water based paint on it from the factory.”

The water based product provides a better chance to match the paint of cars, he added.

State Senator Theresa Gerratana said that it was wonderful to see so many people at the event.

“When I first heard about what was happening with the chamber I emailed and said what can we do,” said Gerratana. “The chambers got together and we thought it was great to bring the communities together. I am delighted that this happening.”

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