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Westport Weston Chamber Honors Joseloff, McDowell With First Citizen Awards

Gordon Joseloff Photo Credit: Contributed
Tony McDowell Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. -- A former Westport first selectman and Internet publisher and the executive director of Earthplace have been chosen as recipients of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce's First Citizen Awards.

Gordon Joseloff, publisher of, and Tony McDowell, executive director of Earthplace were announced as the winners Monday.

“These are two very deserving people of this award,” said Matthew Mandell, the chamber's executive director. “Each year, the board looks for one nonprofit and one traditional business and these fine individuals stood out and represent what is best in our town for their work ethic, generosity and how they approach business.”

Joseloff, who also was a two-term Westport first selectman, created WestportNow in 2003, and it continues to be a leading source of news and information for the town.

“I am deeply grateful to be honored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce this year,” Joseloff said, “I know well the importance of having a vibrant and successful commercial presence in our community. It is something I have strived to promote throughout my Westport career.“

McDowell has led the turn-a-ound story of nonprofits in the area. Earthplace for years was suffering financially and its future was in question. Through McDowell's hands-on leadership, Earthplace started new programs, focused on outreach, expanded the nursery school and attained financial stability. No longer “the hidden gem of Westport,” Earthplace is now in plain sight and is eager to serve the community.

“I am greatly honored by this award,” said McDowell, “For me it epitomizes the level of public support I have received since taking on this new role at Earthplace and it makes me very appreciative of all the hard work from our staff and board as we look to restore the vitality and quality of nature programming in our community.”

Also receiving awards will be four “Young Entrepreneurs;” Haley Burns, Ben Goldstein, Mira Jeffrey-Craft and Lucas Lee-Tyson from Staples High and Weston High for their efforts in creating new and intriguing business ventures.

“It is with great pleasure that we have the opportunity to recognize the next generation of our community's entrepreneurs,” said Jonathan Baron, the chamber's chairman of the board. “I am encouraged by the capital intellect, drive and passion that each of these young persons has demonstrated. I believe our future is very bright.”

The gala dinner is Tuesday June 14 at the Westport Inn. Tickets are available through the chamber and cost $80 per person. Tables of 10 are available.

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