For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Christine Schilke
Communications Manager
Connecticut Main Street Center Announces 
 2016 Awards of Excellence Winners
HARTFORD, MAY 2, 2016A local theatre helping to re-energize downtown Fairfield and a New London developer and property manager who took it upon himself to improve a neighborhood by offering attractive housing that is also affordable are just two of the initiatives being recognized with a 2016 Award of Excellence from the Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC).
In total five recipients were selected to receive the prestigious awards including organizations and initiatives from Fairfield, Farmington, Mansfield, New London and Waterbury. The other winning entries include: a public outreach effort in Farmington that resulted in hundreds of residents voicing their opinion on plans for a new gateway into the town; a holiday window display competition that draws shoppers back to downtown Waterbury while garnering extra press and marketing for the businesses; and a new Town Square in Storrs Center, built around the unique needs of the space and the people that use it.
In addition to the competitive Awards of Excellence, where CMSC members submit applications that are reviewed by a jury of industry-related professionals and CMSC staff, CMSC also named the recipients of its Founder's Award, presented by Eversource Energy, and the Jack Shannahan Prize for Public Service. Upper Albany Main Street (a CMSC member community) and the University of Hartford were selected to receive the Founder's Award for their long and fruitful partnership - a relationship that has not only helped improve the appearance of the Avenue, but empowered many of the small business merchants in the neighborhood as well. The Jack Shannahan Prize for Public Service was awarded to the Legislative Commission on Aging in recognition of their Livable Communities initiative.  This initiative aims to create thriving places for residents to grow up and grow older, notably by helping prepare Connecticut for the challenges presented by a rapidly increasing aging demographic through education, awareness and advocacy.
"There can be no doubt that Connecticut's downtowns play a strong role in maintaining Connecticut's quality of life," said Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  "Not only are they economic drivers with their dense array of shops, restaurants and businesses, but their cultural offerings, walkable streets, and modern housing contribute to a vibrant state.  I congratulate this year's winners for continuing the tradition of downtown being the epicenter of ingenuity, opportunity and public discourse.
"This year's crop of winners is really special, because they demonstrate how important incorporating the voice of the people is in the final success of a project," said CMSC President & CEO John Simone. "In Farmington, Fairfield and Mansfield especially, each one either specifically asked - or was smart enough to observe - what people wanted in the space, and made changes accordingly.  As a result, there is greater support and usage of their public spaces and private businesses, meaning more people on Main Street and more money for the town coffers."
Created in 2003 to recognize outstanding projects, individuals and partnerships in community efforts to bring traditional downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts back to life, socially and economically, the Awards of Excellence are presented annually at CMSC's Awards Gala.  This year's awards will be presented on June 6th at E.O. Smith High School in downtown Storrs, and will be followed by interactive experiences in the new Storrs Center.  Activities will include guided tours of the downtown development, a collaboration with the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, time for dinner and exploration among the Center's many shops and restaurants, and a closing concert featuring the Funky Dawgz Brass Band.
The full list of 2016 Awards of Excellence winners is as follows:
2016 Connecticut Main Street Awards of Excellence
Business Owner of the Year
          Award of Excellence to Fairfield Theatre Company, Fairfield, submitted by the Town of Fairfield.
Property Owner of the Year
          Award of Excellence to Tony Silvestri - New London's City Flats, submitted by New London Main Street.
          Award of Excellence for Mansfield Town Square, Storrs Center.
Events & Programming
          Award of Excellence for Holiday Window Display Competition, Waterbury, to Main Street Waterbury.
Planning: Public Participation Component - Sponsored by Webster Bank
          Award of Merit for Farmington Center Study - Public Participation Element.
CT Main Street Center Founder's Award, presented by Eversource Energy
          Presented to Upper Albany Main Street and the University of Hartford.
Jack Shannahan Prize for Public Service
          Presented to Connecticut's Legislative Commission on Aging.
CMSC would also like to thank our Welcome Reception Sponsor, United Illuminating

For more information on the Awards Gala, click here

About Connecticut Main Street Center
CMSC's mission is to be the catalyst that ignites Connecticut's Main Streets as the cornerstone of thriving communities. CMSC is dedicated to community and economic development within the context of historic preservation, and is committed to bringing Connecticut's commercial districts back to life socially and economically.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Sponsors, the CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) and Eversource Energy. CMSC is also supported by its Growth Sponsors, UIL Holdings Corp.  and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at