Start your day off right with a fast paced, business oriented, educational seminar! The Chamber’s popular Good Morning SouthCoast!, breakfast event will be held at the Wamsutta Club, located at 427 County Street, New Bedford, MA on October 19th, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Join us for a buffet-style breakfast while staying up-to-date on matters that involve our community and businesses. This edition of Good Morning SouthCoast is dedicated to the state of immigration and how it affects the South Coast as a whole.  Immigration is a complex subject that is particularly relevant to our community and local economic climate.  The event will feature two keynote speakers. Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson will offer his insight and knowledge on the direction of immigration within the region.  Helena Hughes, Executive Director of the Immigrants’ Assistance Center will share her expertise on immigration, the intricacy of the process, and the stigmas attached. Learn from those who work directly with immigrants daily during and after the immigration process as they elaborate on this topic.

Thomas M. Hodgson, a law enforcement and corrections professional with extensive management, marketing and business experience was appointed Sheriff of Bristol County, May 21, 1997 by Gov. William F. Weld and was sworn in officially June 2, 1997 by then Lt. Gov. Argeo Paul Cellucci.

In 1994, Sheriff Hodgson, a former Maryland Police Lieutenant for Special Operations, joined the staff of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office and served as Deputy Superintendent of Investigations. He also served five years as a Councilor-at-Large on the New Bedford City Council.

Upon assuming the role of High Sheriff of Bristol County, Sheriff Hodgson immediately set out to implement his goals for corrections reform, public safety and raising the standards for the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office to enhance the primary mission of care and custody of inmates. He instituted structured discipline for the inmate population and expanded the Work Release programs to include graffiti removal.

Helena DaSilva Hughes became Executive Director of the Immigrant’s Assistance Center (IAC) in 1996, after over 32 years of experience working with the Immigrants’ Assistance Center and the immigrant community. Born in Portugal, she immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of ten. Ms. Hughes has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a minor in Paralegal Studies from Newbury College, and she a Leadership SouthCoast Graduate. She is committed to researching immigrants’ needs and developing programs to enhance the community potential. Her solid marketing background and program development experience have been invaluable to help her meet these goals.

Ms. Hughes developed a number of programs to assist immigrants in the community. The information exchange for Portuguese citizens (and later including Cape Verde) regarded legal, permanent residents that where being deported due to laws enacted in 1996. The AMIGOS project was developed to address the dropout rate of students who did not speak English as their first language. Ms. Hughes has spoken about issues pertaining to the immigrant population at numerous events and locations including Congress, universities and conferences in Washing D.C., Azores and Lisbon.

Ms. Hughes is active in the local community and involved in a number of boards. She has also been the recipient of various prestigious awards both locally and internationally.

Join us for this extremely informative Good Morning SouthCoast Breakfast Program on October 19, 2017 at the Wamsutta Club at 7:30 am.

In addition to the program, a full breakfast buffet will be available. Tickets are $27.50 for members, $45 non-members and $250 for a table of ten. Sponsorships are also available on all levels and a great way to gain exposure for your organization.  For more information, contact Deven Q. Robitaille at 508-999-5231 ext 26 or email deven@southcoastchamber.com. Register online here.