Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Essex Happenings 2.22.12

ESSEX HAPPENINGS 2.21.12….Ash Wednesday

Essex Heritage Development Committee Meeting

The Essex Heritage Development Committee met recently and I was able to participate in the discussions electronically. The items covered were the status of the corporate membership renewal process currently underway. The efforts to date have been successful but there is still more work to do and corporate members to be contacted and a schedule of those contacts was established. As in the past, finding connections to insure that both existing and prospective Corporate members are exposed to the mission of Essex Heritage was discussed. One of the most effective strategies is to encourage the participation of members in the activities of ENHC and one of the methods to continue to be used is to develop strategies to insure that prospective and renewing members attend a Commission function. The Committee discussed the semi annual meeting of Essex Heritage that this spring will be held at Merrimac College in Andover, MA on April 10, 2012. In this space and through other communication we will continue to provide much more information on the event gets closer. We will continue to offer information on how you can participate. The following announcement recently appeared in the Essex Heritage Newsletter.

Join us for a morning of engagement in Cascia Hall at Merrimack College! Participate in this FREE, valuable networking opportunity that will further connect you with the work of Essex Heritage and our partners. For more information and to RSVP click here.

About Cascia Hall: This New England style wooden church building was saved from demolition when donated and moved to Merrimack College in 1996. Cascia Hall now serves as a venue for concerts, lectures, and performances for the College community.

A special thanks to the School of Education at Merrimack College for hosting the Annual Spring Meeting. Learn more about the College's unique Community Engagement programs designed to engage students in making a difference locally and globally.

The committee also discussed ongoing efforts to plan the annual Heritage Hero event scheduled for May 9, 2012 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. For information on sponsorships or to purchase tickets for the event visit

Essex Heritage is proud to introduce the Honorary Committee for the 2012 Essex Heritage Hero Award Dinner. This group of committed business colleagues, volunteers and friends of the 2012 Award recipient, Thomas M. Leonard, is chaired by Joseph M. Gibbons, President & CEO of Salem Five. Plans to honor Tom Leonard are underway and we anticipate an exciting evening at the fifth annual Essex Heritage Hero Award Dinner!

Essex Heritage is grateful to regional and local businesses that have made an early commitment to the Heritage Hero Event through sponsorship and program ad patronage. A special thanks to Eastern Bank and Saugusbank for their support as Banner Sponsors. We thank Hunt's Photo & Video and The Provident Bank for Lead Sponsorship contributions, Green Meadows Farm, Hospice of the North Shore, North Shore Community College and St. John's Preparatory School for Landmark Sponsorship contributions and Salem State University for sponsoring a table and Wire 4 Hire for sponsoring a toast. 

Please join us in honoring Tom! Tickets are available for purchase online and we welcome your interest in all available sponsorship opportunities.

Thanks to Salem Five for their generous commitment as the Presenting Sponsor of this event.

We appreciate the help of Elizabeth Rankin the Assistant Director of communications at Essex Heritage for her help in providing information used in this posting.

Salem State University Hockey Coach and long-time friend Bill O’Neil to Establish Record of Success
The next victory Bill O’Neil achieves as a coach at Salem State University will be the 500th of his legendary Vikings' career.
Ask O'Neill what approaching the milestone means and he'll say it just points to the fact that he's been around a long time. But those who know the veteran bench boss best say his success is not due to longevity, but hard work and a keen eye for talent.
Coach O’Neil is highly respected in both local and national hockey circles. O'Neill (499-308-54) and he long ago put the Vikings on the college hockey map during his 31-year tenure — the longest of any Salem State coach ever.
A Danvers native, he was only 25 years old in 1981 when then-SSU athletic director John Galaris hired O'Neill to become the third hockey coach in school history, following legends Barry Urbanski and Mike Gilligan. O'Neill quickly proved Galaris made the right choice.
"What a career Bill has had. I'm so proud to call him my friend," said former Vikings Sports Information Director Tom Roundy. "He's such a special guy. I've met a lot of coaches ever since I started tagging along with my Dad (the late Elliot Roundy) and Bill is one of the most humble I've ever met.
"What he has done to keep the tradition going is amazing. In 51 years of hockey at Salem State, there have only been a couple of losing seasons and Bill has never had a rebuilding year. He just kept reloading."
Bill is fourth on the list of active Division 3 college hockey coaches in victories and sixth in all collegiate division. O'Neill has led Salem State to the ECAC tournament 26 teams and won three East titles. Six times the Vikings received bids to the Division 3 NCAA O'Neill is a member of the St. John's Prep Hall of Fame (Class of 1974) and was a member of the Boston University's 1978 national championship team.
Congratulations in advance to Coach O’Neil on all of his accomplishments, particularly for a half a thousand wins and for how he continues to be a wonderful ambassador for the university, the region and the sport of hockey.
North of Boston CVB Hosts Tourism Summit
Earlier this month, North of Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted a tourism summit at the Peabody Marriot, and a substantial focus of the meeting was to point out that the regional agency has recovered from recent economic challenges and found new ways to promote Essex County as a tourist destination.
Travel and tourism in the region supports nearly 122,000 jobs at lodgings, attractions, nonprofits and restaurants, noted Sue Ann Pearson, executive director of the North of Boston CVB, in her address at the summit.
These businesses in 2010 generated $384 million in tax revenue and $3.5 billion in payroll income, according to figures provided by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.
The North of Boston CVB's recovery has allowed that regional agency whose geography closely mirrors the region served by Essex Heritage to resume advertising and other initiatives on behalf of this membership, including the reopening the Maria Miles Visitor Center on Interstate 95 South in Salisbury.
CVB offerings included sessions at the summit to help members recognize and capitalize on new trends in tourism.
Speakers at a presentation on "What's Hot and What's Not" discussed strategies for attracting travelers/ to the region served.
Small businesses can raise their profile with this group by donating gift baskets or auction items to nonprofit fundraisers devoted to LGBT issues, Zimmerman said.
Another speaker credited a federal Travel Promotion Act from 2009 with helping to draw more visitors from abroad.
In spite of what he described as "a few border-crossing issues," Canadians constitute 70 percent of all inbound travel to the United States, driven largely by favorable exchange rates, said Bolduc, who is director of sales and marketing for Midtown Hotel.
Europeans are second most likely to vacation here and in spite of their economic challenges, the euro remains strong relative to the dollar, according to Bolduc who forecast increases in travel from almost every nationality.
Looking to the east, a new nonstop flight between Tokyo and Boston, which will be offered starting in April by Japan Air Lines, is expected to boost travel from that country by 14 percent, and that new infusion of visitors could be a boon to the region with visitation to the Peabody Essex Museum a targeted destination for visitors from Japan.
Essex Heritage has long had a working relationship with NBCVB, as the energies expended by that group closely matches the ENHC mission.
City of Haverhill Receives State Park Funding
Like a number of other communities in the region, the city of Haverhill has a received a grant from the Commonwealth in the amount of $250,000 to improve parks, playgrounds and cemeteries and possible walking trails. The state delegation representing that community played a large role in obtaining this important grant that will help to improve the quality of life for the residents of Haverhill. The improvement and enhancement of the quality of life in the region has been an important feature of the mission of Essex Heritage.

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