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Alumni Pour In for First Social and Wine Tasting

Former students are served by Senator Joan Hartley and treated to a free wine lecture

You know you've made it when the Senator is pouring your drinks, quipped Bob Ellis, a guest at the first NVCC Alumni Social. Bob was among more than sixty guests who attended the free event on April 3.

But Senator Joan V. Hartley appreciates the College's drive to re-energize it's Alumni Association, particularly at a time when business networking is critical for professionals and potential job-seekers. Aware that current economic times don't afford the college much of a social budget, Senator Hartley says she doesn't mind pitching in, and even serving colleagues like Senator Rob Kane and Representative Victor Cuevas, both of whom are NVCC, or rather Mattatuck, alums. 

"I believe in the value of a community college degree and it is absolutely something that deserves to be celebrated again and again," said Senator Hartley. "These are the people who have stayed local to support our community, and this is a reminder that our community continues to support them."

Led by NVCC Professor Peter Cisek, national director of education for the American Wine Society,
guests tasted a variety of reds and whites while learning trade secrets for assessing the value of a fine wine. Craft hors d’oeuvres were prepared by New England Flare LLC, owned and operated by 2011 graduate and distinguished student recipient Jonathan Miller and his sister, Sarah Miller, a 2012 graduate and President’s Circle member. Music filled the evening thanks to NVCC Music Professor Nick Biello. 

Alumni present ranged from legislators and corporate managers to manufacturers and current workers at the College. Recent Confluencia poet and alum Sandra Bishop Ebner attended to show her NVCC pride and so did former NVCC Marketing Director Kathy Luria.

"We're so thankful to everyone who took the time to pitch in for and participate in this event," said Sydney Voghel-Ochs, director of community engagement and marketing at the College. "We're very fortunate to have such a core group of support and we look forward to many more events like this."

If you're interested in joining the Alumni Association, email Elizabeth Catuccio or come to the next monthly meeting on Tues., May 13 at 5:30 pm in Room K714b in Kinney Hall. Meetings are held the second Tuesday, same time and location, of every month.

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Sydney Voghel-Ochs
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