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Connecticut Chapter Names Hartford-Area MS Corporate Achievers

HARTFORD, Conn. - The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter has named several leaders within the Greater Hartford region 2008 MS Corporate Achievers.

Established by the Connecticut Chapter in 2000, MS Corporate Achievers is a recognition program honoring some of Connecticut’s most influential leaders, while at the same time raising critically needed funds to ensure ongoing scientific research and the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to the more than 6,000 Connecticut residents living with the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. Honorees are nominated by their peers and selected by an advisory council board for making outstanding contributions to business, civic and cultural enrichment.

Through participation, honorees join an elite leadership network sharing a commitment to making Connecticut a better place in which to live. Since 2000  honorees have raised nearly $550,000 to help end the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis.

Recipients of this award include:

Hoffman, Lee

A resident of Windsor, Conn., Lee D. Hoffman received his Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental science and political science from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1991 and his Juris Doctorate from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1994. He went on to receive his master’s in environmental law from George Washington University in 1996. Hoffman has been a member of Pullman & Comley LLC, 90 State House Square in Hartford, Conn., since 2003.



A resident of Hartford, Conn., Christopher Peters received his Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., in 1994. Peters has been a financial advisor with Wachovia Securities, 185 Asylum St. in Hartford for a year. Peters has also worked the last 10 years as owner and operator of three restaurants: South City Café from 1997-2001, Mayor Mike’s from 2004 to present and Sweet Jane’s Rock & Roll Eatery from 2006 to present.


Ahern, Michael

A resident of Old Saybrook, Conn., Michael F. Ahern received his Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., in 1978, his Master of Science degree in 1981 and his Master of Business Administration in 1987 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Hartford. Ahern has served with the Northeast Utility Service Company for 27 years and is currently responsible for System Restoration and Emergency Preparedness, Distribution Engineering, Vegetation Management, Training and Corporate Training. 


Betkoski, John
A resident of Beacon Falls, Conn., John W. Betkoski received his Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., in 1974, his M.S. Certification in special education from Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, Conn., in 1977 and his Sixth Year Professional Diploma in advanced studies in Administration and Supervision from SCSU in 1992. Betkoski has been at the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control, 10 Franklin Square in New Britain, Conn., since 1997.


A resident of Hartford, Jennifer L. Cox received her Bachelor of Arts degree from State University of Connecticut in Storrs in 1990 and her law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law in Hartford in 1993. Cox is a founding partner and attorney of Cox & Osowiecki, LLC, 10 Columbus Boulevard, Ninth Floor Hartford, Conn. Cox is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the American Health Lawyers Association and the Connecticut Society for Healthcare Risk. Cox serves as a lobbyist for health-related causes. Her health law experience includes research issues, regulatory issues and patient rights issues for various chronic diseases and conditions. Cox is also an active member of several health law organizations throughout the state.


Montinieri, Paul

A resident of Wethersfield, Conn., Paul Montinieri received his Bachelor of Arts degree in business from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., in 1980 and his master’s in student personnel administration from the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., in 1982. His academic accomplishments also include advanced work at the University of Maryland College Park in College Park, Md. Montinieri has owned Kelly Container, 911 South St. in Suffield, Conn., for eight years.


A resident of Southington, Conn., James H. Gatling received his Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from Hampton Institute in Hampton, Va. in 1970 and his master’s in business administration from the University of New Haven in West Haven, Conn., in 1978. He went on to receive his doctorate in business administration from LaSalle University in Mandeville, La., in 1994 and his honorary doctorate of letters in humane letters from Teikyo Post University in Waterbury, Conn., in 1997. Gatling has been the president and CEO of New Opportunities, Inc. 232 North Elm Street in Waterbury, Conn., for 28 years.


Schweighoffer, Michael
A resident of Farmington, Conn., Michael Schweighoffer received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Trinity College in Hartford in 1984. Schweighoffer has been at TD Banknorth Connecticut, 102 West Main St., New Britain, Conn., for six years. He currently holds the position of president and senior lender of TD Banknorth Connecticut. Schweighoffer has been named a Corporate Achiever in the past and is a former board member of the Connecticut Chapter. He serves on the fundraising committees of the Cherish the Children Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation. Schweighoffer is also active in coaching youth baseball.



A resident of Wallingford, Conn., Wendy Kennedy Venoit received her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and Spanish from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., in 1993 and earned her Juris Doctorate cum laude at Pace University School of Law in White Plains, N.Y., where she was valedictorian in 1996. Venoit has been a partner at Pepe & Hazard, LLP, 225 Asylum St. in Hartford for nine years.
To nominate a candidate for MS Corporate Achievers 2009, please contact Kara Preston, associate vice president of development, at 860-714-2300, ext. 233 or kpreston@ctfightsMS.org. To learn more about MS and its effects, please visit http://www.ctfightsms.org/.


National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, public relations intern Megan Alexander is resident of Cheshire attending Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y. Alexander is majoring in public relations and psychology. If you or someone you know would be interested in completing and internship with the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter Communications Department, please contact Karen E. Butler at kbutler@ctfightsMS.org.

For More Information
Contact Lisa Cook
Communications Specialist
Phone: 860.714.2300, ext. 249


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