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August 1, 2012 / Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Breakfast to welcome Kelt Cooper & John Willi

The Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce: New Britain, Berlin will be hosting a “Welcome to the Community” breakfast on August 9th in honor of new superintendent Kelt Cooper and president of the New Britain Rock Cats, John Willi.  This event will take place at 7:30 AM til 9 AM at the CCSU ITBD and will include a hot breakfast buffet.  The breakfast buffet will start at 7:30 and the speaking program will take place promptly at 8.  Reservations for this event are $20 a person.  Reservations and payment can be made by contacting Teresa at the Chamber at 860.229.1665 or email

The article below was featured in today’s New Britain Herald and highlights the various components of this much anticipated event, sponsored by COMCAST!

By Robert Storace
Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN — In an effort to familiarize the new superintendent of schools and the new president of the New Britain Rock Cats to the business community, the Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a ‘welcome to the community’ breakfast next week.

“We do this occasionally when there is an influx of significant new leaders to the community,” said Chamber of Commerce President Bill Millerick. “It gives our members an opportunity to hear directly from them about their plans and also gives them an opportunity to speak to a large group of people in the business and non-profit sectors, who they will be working with.”

“It’s all about our continuing efforts to build a sense of community in New Britain,” Millerick said.

The 90-minute breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 9 at the ITBD Building, 185 Main St. At least 125 people are expected.

While Superintendent Kelt L. Cooper, a Texas native, is new to New Britain, the new president of the Rock Cats is a familiar face.

John Willi was vice president and general manager of the team from 2000-2010. Willi, 36, returned to New Britain to take over the team in February.

Willi said Tuesday he would outline new “exciting things” revolving around the baseball team this year and in the near future at the breakfast.

“We will introduce a few new initiatives,” Willi said. “Part of this get-together will also be about me re-introducing myself, re-engaging people and getting feedback from the community about what the Rock Cats could and should be doing in the community.”

Willi added, “Now that I have additional responsibilities, I need to be the face of the franchise and be out in the community more.”

Cooper, 52, said he will discuss his hopes and goals for the future of the city’s schools.

“We are in a tough situation,” said Cooper, who began in the job July 1. “We are eager to turn around the schools and we have to make sure our kids are graduating. Our numbers are not where they need to be.”

Cooper said the Chamber audience is important “to give me feedback. Local businesses have a pulse on the community.”

Reservations for the breakfast must be made by close of business Tuesday. Tickets are $20 per person. For more information call the Chamber at (860) 229-1665.

Robert Storace can be reached at (860) 225-4601, ext. 223, or at

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