Connolly Receives Edward G. Molin Community Service Award | Local News


NEWBURYPORT – Local attorney Grace Gonzalez Connolly received the 2022 Edward G. Molin Community Service Award at the 2022 Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry Annual Meeting held recently at the Blue Ocean Event Center in Salisbury. Over 250 local business owners and employees attended.

The Molin Prize was established in 2004 and awarded annually to an individual from greater Newburyport, not necessarily a member of the House, who has personally contributed to the business community and the community as a whole over an extended period of time; has demonstrated a constant and tangible effort and involvement in improving the community; and demonstrates strong leadership. It is traditional to keep the identity of the recipient secret until it is presented.

Molin, a former mayor, councilman, school board member and business owner, was the first recipient of the award; the name of the award was later changed to honor the last philanthropist who helped so many in the greater Newburyport community.

“Ed came to Newburyport in the 1970s looking for a place to relocate his business and his family: luckily for us he never left,” Molin committee chair Mary Anne Clancy said in a statement. conveying to the crowd the significance of the prize. “He has worked with passion to improve so many areas of our community – the public library, the YWCA, the Boys & Girls Club, the Red Cross and of course our schools.” In the late 1990s, Molin established the Molin Award for Excellence in Public Schools to honor distinction in teaching. The award is given to teachers at each grade level and is always presented at a district-wide assembly of teachers on the last day of the school year.

Molin Award presenter and Interlocks Salon & Day Spa owner Ginny Eramo listed Connolly’s extensive community and professional involvement since moving to Newburyport in 1984 with her Newburyport native husband Jim. The couple have raised three adult daughters and are partners in their law firm Connolly & Connolly. Additionally, Grace has been active in more than a dozen local and nonprofit organizations, including the Newburyport Education Foundation, Rotary, The Chamber, Firehouse Center for the Arts, and Anna Jaques Hospital. Connolly is currently chair of the board of Anna Jaques, the first woman in the hospital’s 138-year history to hold the position.

But what’s not on Connolly’s resume, Eramo said, is the vast amount of volunteer work she’s done over the years. “I guess Grace has rewritten more bylaws and nonprofit articles than she can count,” Eramo said. “Her leadership skills, strategic thinking and sound judgment are highly valued by all who have had the chance to work with her.”

Earlier in the meeting, Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta delivered the keynote address, addressing the urgent need to support and rebuild the current workforce. with training, housing and childcare and citing a number of programs the state has to support businesses in this regard.

Chamber members also elected five new board members and a slate of officers led by new board chair Rebecca Fortado, branch manager at Salem Five.


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