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Connecticut hospitality industry professionals from across the state gathered to network and honor eight state residents for their work in helping to secure and promote meetings and events that have a profound impact on the State's economy. The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization, presented its 2017 Bring It Home Awards and two major leadership honors at the organization’s third annual “Hospitality Industry & Awards Night” on October 3.

The CTCSB’s Hospitality Industry Night celebrates the positive impact that conventions, conferences, meetings and sports events have on Connecticut – from job creation to generating local, regional and State revenue. “It was tremendous to network with so many hospitality industry members, who understand the importance of marketing our state to meeting planners and sports promoters,” explains H. Scott Phelps, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau. “We were very pleased to honor a dynamic group of Connecticut residents who have stepped up to help promote our state and grow the economy.”

Six 2017 Bring It Home Awards were presented:

  • Matt Fleury of Hartford, President and CEO of the Connecticut Science Center, for bringing the future Association of Science – Technology Centers’ (ASTC) 2018 Annual Conference to the Connecticut Convention Center next Oct. 2018;
  • Jason Guyot of Mystic, Vice President, Resort Operations & Development for Foxwoods Resort Casino, for bringing Baseball Winter Weekend to Foxwoods in Jan. 2017;
  • Luis Lopez of Ridgefield, the founder and owner of Latin Moves Dance Studio in Stamford, for bringing the CT Salsa Fest to the Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Meeting Center in May 2017;
  • Raymond Pineault of Glastonbury, President & General Manager of Mohegan Sun, for bringing the Barrett-Jackson Auction to Mohegan Sun in June 2017; and
  • Elaine Sangiovanni of North Haven and Trish Wang of Farmington, for bringing U.S. Figure Skating’s World Junior Synchronized Team Selection Event to the CT Synchro Skating Classic at the International Skating Center of CT in Simsbury in Feb. 2017. Both are members of the Hamden Figure Skating Assn.


Two major leadership awards were presented:

  • Donald A. DeVivo of Berlin, President of the family-owned DATTCO, Inc., based in New Britain, received the CTCSB’s first-ever Distinguished Leadership Award; and
  • Aidan Charles of Guilford, founder of the CT Cycling Advancement Program, Inc. in Middletown, received the 2017 Thomas J. Shortell Award, honoring Connecticut residents who have had a long-term successful sports career, for bringing USA Cycling’s 2017 Cyclocross National Championships to Hartford’s Riverside in Jan. 2017 and the New Haven Grand Prix to Downtown New Haven in Sept. 2017.


The event featured appetizers from Bear’s Restaurant Group’s Chango Rosa and The Blind Pig Pizza Company and beverage sampling by Back East Brewing, Brockmans Gin, and Hartford Flavor Company. Auction items focused on Connecticut’s hospitality industry. A social media photo booth added to the fun. The Co-Presenting Sponsors of the event were Foxwoods Resorts Casino and Mohegan Sun. Major sponsors included Bank of America, TAPSNAP 1188™, the Connecticut Airport Authority, DATTCO; Bear’s Restaurant Group; and Riverfront Recapture.

Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all of the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. In the last fiscal year alone, $69,597,748 was spent by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating over $4,364,448 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, more than 24,083 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry were supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For more information about the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, contact or 860-728-6789.   (* Destinations International economic calculator FY 2016-17).