Our mission is to build a passion in our community for nature and the environment through education, experience and action.

10 Woodside Lane Westport, CT 06880   203-557-4400 Earthplace Preschool: 203-557-3638

Chamber Announces First Citizen Awards Gordon Joseloff and Tony McDowell to be Honored

May 9 2016


For Immediate Release

Westport CT – April 25.  The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Gordon Joseloff, Publisher of WestportNow and Tony McDowell, Executive Director of Earthplace will be this year’s First Citizen Award recipients.

“These are two very deserving people of this award,” said Matthew Mandell, Executive Director of the Chamber.  “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.”

Mr. Joseloff, while also known for being a two term Westport First Selectman, created in WestportNow the morning must read for anyone in the community.  The online hyper local focus, now a norm, was new to journalism in 2003 when it was started, and 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,” said Mr. Joseloff, “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.“


Mr. McDowell has led the turn-a-round story of nonprofits in the area. Earthplace for years was suffering financially and its future was in question. Through Tony’s direct and 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 as ever 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 and Weston High Schools, 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, Chairman of the Board of the Chamber. “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, to be held on Tuesday June 14th, will be catered by Garelick and Herbs and held at the Westport Inn. The Keynote speaker will be announced soon.

Tickets for the dinner are available through the chamber and cost $80 per person.  Tables of 10 are also available.   

 Matthew Mandell   matthew@westportwestonchamber.com   203-227-9234