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Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Announces 2019 Distinguished Citizen Award Recipients

Submitted by Mike Fallon, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.

(Middletown, CT) Chairman Jay Polke of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce has announced the 2019 recipients of the chamber’s Distinguished Citizen Award.

Each year, the chamber presents this award to individuals who serve as an inspiration to others, and are recognized by the Middlesex community as unselfishly giving his or her time and talent to produce a lasting benefit to the area. The Distinguished Citizen Committee chose the recipients from a list of over 230 nominees.

The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce proudly announces that the 2019 recipients of the Distinguished Citizen Award are:

  • Anthony Assante
  • Geoffrey Jacobson
  • Bill Currlin
  • Nancy Currlin

Chamber President Larry McHugh noted, “Once again, our Distinguished Citizen Committee has chosen four outstanding individuals. They are committed to making Middlesex County a better place to work and live, and we are extremely proud of all of them.”

The 2019 Distinguished Citizen Award recipients will be honored at the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce 2019 Annual Awards Dinner to be held on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel in Cromwell.

About the Recipients:

Anthony Assante

Anthony Assante grew up in Long Island, NY, near the Borough of Queens. Anthony was fortunate to have a loving family and great friendships. His mother and father instilled the importance of having good character and putting in an honest day’s work. Whether working as a paper delivery boy, bussing tables at a restaurant, skating around Barrett Park as a hockey referee, or helping swimmers at the town pool, Anthony always strived to be the best in all of his work.

After completing his undergraduate degree in Accounting and Finance at the Barney School of Business, University of Hartford, he went on to earn an MBA in International Business. During that time, he traveled throughout the Pacific Rim and Australia as part of his graduate studies and developed and appreciation for the emerging economies.

Immediately after receiving his graduate degree, he started his career in the financial services industry in 1993 with a Fortune 500 company. But, having entrepreneurial blood flowing through his veins and yearning to be in control of his future, he decided to start a private practice with a few other colleagues in 1999. During that time, he developed a lasting friendship with his current business partner, Mark Egidio. The two merged their practices in 2007 and Anthony became the Managing Partner of Egidio Assante Wealth Management in 2009.

An active member in the community, Anthony has been a corporate sponsor for numerous philanthropies throughout the state of Connecticut and continues to remain involved on various boards including Northern Middlesex YMCA, MARC Community Resources, Middlesex Health, and Glastonbury Swim Parents Organization to name a few. For five years, he served as the Chairman of the Economic Development Commission for the town of East Haddam and this is where he met his ‘Chamber Tribe’.

He served six years as the Co-Chairman of the Chambers Legislative Committee and was Board Chairman from June 2009 to May 2010. He helped start the Young Professionals Alliance and continues to serve as Chairman of the Executive Compensation Committee.

When work takes a back seat, Anthony can be found in Narragansett, Rhode Island with his wife Amy and their children, Natalie, Sylvie and Ian.

Geoffrey Jacobson

Geoffrey Jacobson is the President, Treasurer, Principal Engineer at Nathan L. Jacobson & Associates, a Chester Connecticut-based consulting civil and environmental engineering firm. Jeff is responsible for coordination and quality control of municipal engineering services to numerous clients throughout Connecticut and New York. He also design projects include road and storm drainage system improvements, recreational facilities, sidewalks, bikeways, boat launches, sewage collection systems, water distribution systems, parking lots, bank stabilization projects, navigation channel improvements and dredging projects among many other engineering roles. He previously served as Associate, Vice President, and Corporate Secretary for the company. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Public Works Association. Jeff is registered as a Professional Engineer in both Connecticut and New York.

Jeff has been on the Board of Directors at Camp Hazen for 21 years, serving as president for the past 11 years. Jeff has also served as Chairman of the Chester/Deep River/Essex Chamber Division for several years. Through Nathan L. Jacobson & Associates, the company has provided pro bono services for many non-profit organization projects over the years and has been the sponsor of the Chester Elementary School STEAM Fair, previously known as Invention Convention.

Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering with Distinction from Clarkson College of Technology in 1976, where he was a member of Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon honor societies. He resides in Chester, Connecticut. He is married to wife Carol Jacobson and has two children; a daughter Kaitlyn Taylor and a son Matthew Jacobson.

Bill Currlin

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Bill Currlin was the oldest of three children of Egon and Murian Currlin. The family moved to Middletown, Connecticut in the mid 1950s. He enrolled in Middletown schools and Bill soon found out that the Yankees were not on any local stations. Bill graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1963 lettering in football, swimming and track.

After attending the University of Bridgeport, Bill was drafted/enlisted into the United States Army. Two years of training and attaining the rank of sergeant, Bill was enrolled in Infantry Officer Candidate School, graduating as a 2nd Lieutenant. After ranger training and jungle school in Panama it was off to Vietnam. First Lieutenant Currlin served as a platoon leader in the 101 Airborne Division. At 22 years old duty in Vietnam required leading 44 man patrols in search and destroy missions along the DMZ. After almost a year patrolling Quang Tri Province, Bill was promoted to battalion level duties including Operations, Intelligence, and Psyops. Lt. Currlin thankfully returned home with a Combat Infantry Badge and 6 Air Medals and just in time for his wedding to Nancy Lilienthal of Meriden. Bill met Nancy around the time he was commissioned. Sadly Nancy’s brother, ‘Butch’, a young very brave Marine was unfortunately killed in action near Da Nang, Vietnam.

Returning home Lt. Currlin, promoted to Captain, commanded the rail facility on Mile Lane in Middletown. This unit continued the construction and lying of rail up to East Haddam, now known as the Essex Valley Railroad. Capt. Currlin went on to a promotion to Major and a support command in Military Intelligence. After 17 years of Active and Reserve duty, Major Currlin returned to a fulltime civilian life.

Working most of his life in the new areas of computers, Bill retired and learned that there was so much more to be done in his community. He has engaged in a variety of community service initiatives in the Town of Middlefield. He was a member of the Board of Education for the Region 13 School District from 1993-2011, and served as Chairman of the ACES Board of Governors during that same period. He was the Co-Founder of Project Graduation, an initiative that promotes a safe and healthy graduation experience for high school students that is free of alcohol and drugs, and has been a Justice of the Peace for over 47 years.

Bill is a volunteer as the Durham Fair Coordinator for Administrative services, the Entertainment Committee for over 30 years, and has been the emcee for the Durham Fair Talent Show for 15 years. Bill also dedicates himself to veterans’ affairs by having served as Chairman of the Board for St. Luke’s Elder Care Board of Directors, Vets4Vets program, and serving as Veteran Chairman and Chaplain of the Middletown Elks #771. He is a member of the American Legion Post #75, Middletown DAV Chapter #7, VFW in Middlefield, and is a life member of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Bill is also currently a Veteran Hospice Companion for the Middlesex Health Hospice. He was also Co-Founder and Partner of The Town Times, a weekly newspaper that covers Durham and Middlefield.

Bill was also the recipient of the 2012 William Pomfret Award, the Middlefield Lion’s Humanitarian Award, and the 2019 Connecticut State Elks Veteran Volunteer of the Year Award.

Bill enjoys his life in Middlefield with his wife Nancy. They have a daughter, Jenna-Brynn Currlin that still reigns as their greatest joy.

Nancy Currlin

Born in Meriden, Connecticut, Nancy Currlin was the first child of John and Jeannette Lilienthal and was soon joined by her brother Mark, known to all as Butch. Nancy led an active childhood attending St. Stan’s School, Maloney High School, and graduating from Central Connecticut State University where she majored in Marketing.

At age 20 Nancy experienced one of the biggest life changes imaginable when she came home and found the local monsignor sitting with her mother. Her mother told her “Butch is gone. A land mine got him in Vietnam. Dad’s on his way home.”

Her first job after college changed her life again, this time for the good – she married her boss’ son Bill Currlin. Not wanting to appear a favorite in the company, Nancy started to look for a new career path.

One day she saw an ad looking for a real estate agent – then she could have the freedom to leave her cubicle! She was delighted to be hired on her first interview. Once again her life was changed for the better, for over 40 years she’s been lucky enough to never get up in the morning not wanting to go to work. Her mother always told her, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Nancy still doesn’t believe how lucky she’s been to be a Realtor.

Her career accomplishments include being elected Realtor of the Year twice, being Central CT Board of Realtors president, being a national director, state director and countless other elected offices. She’s also been awarded membership in Chairman’s Elite Club, Chairman’s Circle, President’s Club and has received various other production awards.

Throughout these years Nancy has also been a PTO member, project graduation member, Show Choir chaperone, junior women’s club officer, Republican town committee member, 18-year member of the Middlefield Board of Assessment Appeals, Susan B. Komen charity fundraiser, 30 year volunteer and director for the Durham Fair, current vice president of her Timberlin golf league, 12 year Elk member, Realtor/Chamber 15 year member where she currently serves as co-chair and a Chamber director.

Through all this Nancy’s biggest accomplishment is still being married to (her first husband) Bill and their raising of their wonderful daughter Jenna-Brynn. Jenna is and always will be the light of their lives, seven years ago Jenna joined Nancy as the second half of Team Currlin selling real estate – life doesn’t get any better than working with your daughter every day. Nancy looks forward to hopefully many more years of being able to enjoy her life with Bill and Jenna.

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For more information on the 2019 Annual Awards Dinner, please contact Johanna Bond at Johanna@middlesexchamber.com or 860-347-6924.

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