Welcome to our New GNHCC Board of Directors

Welcome to our New GNHCC Board of Directors

The Transition Ceremony

On November 4th 2021, after the ribbon cutting ceremony at The America’s Restaurant & Cafe by Mayor Rilling, Mariella Castagnet and Warren Pena – founders of the GNHCC – introduced the new Board of Directors that are taking over to provide support to members, professional network, educational opportunities, and exposure throughout the Greater Norwalk region.

Our New President

On behalf of the new executive board, we are pleased and honored to have been elected to continue the mission and growth of the Greater Norwalk Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” said Zayed Rodriguez, new President of the Chamber. “We are committed and eager to provide our current and new members with the tools, resources and connections to help them take their businesses to the next level. A bright future is ahead and this board will deliver great experiences for our members.

Who was there..

We had the honor to gathering with friends and members of the Chamber like:
 

About the Board

The new board members, representing a wide range of industries, are:

  • President: Zayed Rodriguez RICP, ChFC, Small Business Consultant and Wealth Management Advisor, ZAMFER Group
  • Vice President: Cesar Pineda, Owner, Farmers Insurance Agency
  • Secretary: Ivonne Zucco,Transformational Career Coach, IZ Social Enterprises
  • Trustee: Fermin Vidal, Associate Broker, Berkshire Hathaway
  • Trustee: Robert Vargas, High Performance Coach, Vargas Strategic Management LLC
  • Trustee: Hector Pachas, Headshot Photographer, Hector Pachas Photography

Learn more about each Director >

The new Board of Directors is committed provides the necessary guidance for the Greater Norwalk Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to give its members a professional network, educational opportunities, and exposure throughout the Greater Norwalk region.

New Board of Directors at GNHCC!

New Board of Directors at GNHCC!

On Oct. 6th 2021, the Greater Norwalk Hispanic Chamber of Commerce elected six new members to its Board of Directors to renew and continue the work and legacy started by founders Mariella Castagnet and Warren Peña.

The new board members, representing a wide range of industries, are:

  • President: Zayed Rodriguez RICP, ChFC, Small Business Consultant and Wealth Management Advisor, ZAMFER Group
  • Vice President: Cesar Pineda, Owner, Farmers Insurance Agency
  • Secretary: Ivonne Zucco,Transformational Career Coach, IZ Social Enterprises
  • Trustee: Fermin Vidal, Associate Broker, Berkshire Hathaway
  • Trustee: Robert Vargas, High Performance Coach, Vargas Strategic Management LLC
  • Trustee: Hector Pachas, Headshot Photographer, Hector Pachas Photography

We welcome these respected leaders to the Greater Norwalk Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors,” said Mariella Castagnet, former president of the GNHCC. “Each of them brings experience in their own field that will strengthen our Board and help us achieve our goal of growing Norwalk’s Latinx and Hispanic owned businesses.

The new Board of Directors provides the necessary guidance for the Greater Norwalk Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to give its members a professional network, educational opportunities, and exposure throughout the Greater Norwalk region.

A formal introduction of the new board will take place on November 4th, 2021 at 5:30pm following the ribbon cutting for The America’s Restaurant & Cafe (90 S. Main St., Norwalk, CT 06854)

Affinity Launches SmartStart High Yield Savings for Low Balances

Affinity Launches SmartStart High Yield Savings for Low Balances

Affinity Federal Credit Union believes their members deserve to be rewarded for saving, especially those just starting to save during this time of economic downturn. Enter SmartStart Savings. A new savings account from Affinity that offers an awesome 2% interest rate on balances under $2,500.

What if I have a higher balance?

The Affinity MoreSavings Account lets you earn more with 4 balance tiers and higher dividend rates at each successive tier.

What if I am tempted to use the money when it’s not actually an emergency?

A Certificate Account is a convenient way to save while earning a guaranteed fixed rate dividend for a fixed period of time. Check out Affinity’s short time offer: 14-month and 22-month terms with APY up to 0.95%!

Announcing Telemedicine at AFC Urgent Care Norwalk

Announcing Telemedicine at AFC Urgent Care Norwalk

AFC Urgent Care Norwalk is launching telemedicine. You will be able to meet with their providers via video call. Use the check-in online button on their website, fill out the required information, and call 203-845-9100.

What if I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

First, check your symptoms HERE. If you have been experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to COVID-19 through travel or direct contact, AFC Urgent Care Norwalk can provide guidance, and direct you to a location for testing. AFC Urgent Care Norwalk is not currently providing testing. 

Are there changes to In-Person services?

AFC Urgent Care Norwalk is temporarily changing their hours. They will be open from 8am – 4pm, with hours subject to change. For questions, call 203-845-9100.

Broad Business Closures to Curb COVID-19

Broad Business Closures to Curb COVID-19

On March 17, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont joined with the governors of New York and New Jersey in ordering bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters to close until further notice. Additionally, they banned gatherings of 50 or more people, forcing most venues, museums, and cultural attractions to close as well.

The next day, in Greenwich, First Selectman Fred Camillo ordered all body care facilities, including hair salons, barber shops and nail salons, as well as massage establishments to close through April 30.

As of this post, restaurants are still permitted to offer takeout and delivery services, and body care facilities outside of Greenwich may choose to operate at their own discretion. Supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, and other essential businesses will remain open.

Changes to the initial restrictions are expected, as per the recommendations of the CDC, and leading state and local governments, such as NYC, where a “shelter-in-place” mandate is under consideration.

“This is changing so fast. We’ve got to work together on a coordinated basis,” Lamont said.

The same is true of the effort to keep our small businesses afloat during this disruption. Below is a list of the Chamber businesses that have been effected by the closures, and ways to support them during this time of economic uncertainty for all.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children

Stepping Stones closed to the public voluntarily on March 13, just days after celebrating 20 years in business. Read their statement to the public here.

As a non-profit organization, Stepping Stones is dependent upon the generosity of donors to remain open, now more than ever. In 2020, donations benefit Open Arms, an initiative to improve accessibility to children with financial, language, and special needs barriers.

Make a donation HERE.

Museum mascot BooZoo hugs children at Best Birthday Party Ever!  

The Ridgefield Playhouse

Ridgefield Playhouse will livestream a star-studded performance this Friday, March 20 at 8pm! Celebrity performers include Stephen Schwartz and Debbie Gravitte! More info HERE.

As a non-profit organization, Ridgefield is dependent upon the generosity of donors to remain open, now more than ever. In 2020, donations benefit community outreach and facilities upgrades.

Make a donation HERE.

 

Ridgefield Thrift Shop volunteers presented a grant to The Ridgefield Playhouse.

Real Estate University

When the CT Real Estate Commission and Department of Consumer Protection approved live-streaming classes on March 9, 2020, Real Estate University was prepared and ready to go!

Take their live-streaming CT Real Estate course on a PC, Mac, Android phone, iPhone, or tablet. There’s nothing to download or install. Just log into their website on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 9:00am and 6:00pm.

Sign up HERE.

Prospective students attend a recent information session at Real Estate University.

Cesar Pineda Agency

From Cesar: “The unknown is what we deal with on a daily basis, and we try to advise our clients to always hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. We are available to service your insurance remotely or until further notice in person. Contact us to asses your risk and protect those you care about today.”

Book a one-on-one consultation by phone (203) 803-2153 or email cpineda@farmersagent.com. Receive general advice by following his social media accounts, Facebook and Instagram, where he regularly posts informational videos. 

Cesar with his partner in business and life, Mae Pineda.

Causality Tattoo Company

Causality Tattoo Company encourages clients looking to consult them or book future appointments to email causalitytattoo@gmail.com.

View artists’ portfolios, get inspired, and book HERE.

Javier Eastman, Owner/Artist, and wife. Photo by Lidia Monrroy Photography.

Rene Soto Gallery

renesotogallery.com contains an extensive gallery of historical exhibitions, from 2018-present. 

View artists’ pages, find a piece you can’t live without, and email renesotogallery@gmail.com to inquire if it is available for purchase. 

Rene Soto, Owner/Founder, with Charles Gulbrandsen, featured artist of March 2020.

Kostas’ Norwalk Shoe Repair

Kostas does more than repair shoes. He has a diverse portfolio of leather goods for both men and women, including belts, bracelets, and guitar straps.

Contact him at 203-838-1481 or info@NorwalkShoeRepair.com to propose a commission or inquire about an item posted HERE.

Kostas teaches his trade to a participant of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program.

Cigar Factory Outlet

Discountcigars.com is the online store of local business Cigar Factory Outlet. They accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Can’t find what you’re looking for or overwhelmed by the options? Call a cigar expert TOLL FREE: 1-888-PUF-CGAR (1-888-783-2427).

Cigar Factory Outlet has been family-owned for 4 Generations, since 1932. 

Real Estate University Welcomes New Students

Real Estate University Welcomes New Students

The winter term of Curso de Real Estate en Español is underway! Those already enrolled are a group of motivated learners who are ready to be immersed in a program that will give them a new career.

Classes will meet every Monday and Wednesday, from 6-10pm, for a total of 15 sessions or 60 hours. Topics of study include: Connecticut real estate law, principles and practices in real estate professional and mathematics applied to real estate.

Successful completion of all classes qualifies students to take the Connecticut state exam and obtain their real estate license. This can be done in as little as five weeks at their own pace.

Would you like to join them? The priority deadline may have passed, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to apply for the next term! Contact Mariella Castagnet at 203-919-1154 or castagnet.mariella@gmail.com to discuss your options.

About Real Estate University

Real Estate University was founded by Karena Piedmont in 2015. Today, it is the most recommended school in the entire state of Connecticut, and the only one that offers classes in Spanish. Course selections include: Real Estate Principles and Practices, Broker Licensing, and Continuing Education. Whether you are new to the industry, or an established real estate professional, they have a course for you! Learn more at their profile HERE.

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