North Shore Chamber, UniCare to honor nation’s military at Salute to Veterans Breakfast

Tuesday November 02, 2021

PEABODY — The North Shore Chamber of Commerce and UniCare are uniting this fall to co-host the inaugural Salute to Veterans Breakfast honoring Massachusetts service men and women and veterans on Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 7:30 to 9 a.m.

The event — to be held just two days before Veterans Day at the Boston Marriott Peabody, 8A Centennial Drive, Peabody — will be a celebration of patriotism, service and the nation’s military community.

Through the support of business and individual sponsorships, the region’s veterans and service men and women are invited to attend the breakfast for free. Advance registration is required through the Chamber website by visiting,

The program will feature speakers, tributes and the presentation of two Minuteman Service Awards recognizing remarkable acts of selfless dedication and outstanding leadership on behalf of our nation’s military through volunteering, advocacy, community projects or other actions.

Abiomed, a leading medical device company based in Danvers led by Chairman, President and CEO Michael Minogue, is being honored in the business category for its efforts to provide jobs for veterans and members of the military community

Command Sergeant Major (ret.) Kim Emerling, the Director of Veterans’ Services for the city of Salem, is being honored in the individual category for his work to aid and improve the lives of veterans in the community and beyond.

The honorees for this inaugural award were selected, through a nomination process, by the members of the Salute to Veterans Breakfast Host Committee.

“Giving back and serving those who serve is who we are at UniCare — it’s embedded in our culture and in the work we do every day to advance better health for our members and our communities,” said David Morales, general manager of UniCare, a health benefits company in Massachusetts.

“In that spirit of service, we’re honored to partner with the North Shore Chamber to recognize those who have selflessly served our nation in defense of our freedoms, as well as recognize the incredible efforts of Abiomed and Kim Emerling in their service to Massachusetts veterans.”

Karen Andreas, president and chief executive officer of the North Shore Chamber, said she is proud to join with one of the Chamber’s dedicated members and a leader in the business community in recognizing the commitment and valor of the nation’s military and veterans.

“Service is a key component of the Chamber,” Andreas said, “and giving back to those who have served and continue to serve our country to uphold our democracy is paramount to our mission not only as members of the business community, but as citizens of our greater community.”

U.S. Army Sgt. Major Kyle Lamb — who retired after 21 years of service, including 16 years with Delta Force (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment — Delta) — will be the keynote speaker at the breakfast. He served in Mogadishu, Somalia (for the Black Hawk Down incident), Desert Storm with the 5th Special Forces Group, and five tours in Iraq during the Global War on Terror.

U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Marisol A. Chalas, the first Latina National Guard Black Hawk helicopter pilot, will offer special remarks. The Dominican-born Chalas serves today as the Reserve Schools Branch Chief at Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The Host Committee for the Salute to Veterans breakfast includes:

  • Jennifer DeLuca, executive director, Fisher House of Boston

  • Gumersindo Gomez, U.S. Army, Sergeant (ret.); executive director, Bilingual Veterans Outreach Centers of Massachusetts

  • John Hall, U.S. Army, Lieutenant Colonel (ret.); former chairman, North Shore Chamber of Commerce

  • Robert Hallinan, Chief Warrant Officer, Massachusetts National Guard

  • Gary Keefe, Major General; Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard

  • Joseph Milano, Brigadier General (ret.); president and CEO, Union Oyster House, Boston

  • Adrienne Mitchell, former National Guard aviation operations specialist

  • Joanne Patton, Patton Homestead, Hamilton; daughter-in-law of Gen. George S. Patton and widow of Major Gen. George Patton IV

  • Cheryl Lussier Poppe, secretary, Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services

  • Jim Vallee, Esq., Brigadier General (ret.); partner, Nixon Peabody

Tickets are $45 for North Shore Chamber members and $65 for nonmembers. They may be purchased through the Chamber’s website,

Sponsorship packages that will support attendance by veterans are available. Contact Cheryl Begin, the Chamber’s director of sales and marketing, at 978-774-8565, Ext. 101, or email for more details.

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