NAUGATUCK — Three years ago, William Calderara took the helm of Naugatuck Valley Financial and Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan at a time when the bank was having financial difficulties.
As president and CEO, Calderara, 55, helped to lead a turnaround at the bank. He succeeded in returning the bank, which is planning a merger with Liberty Bank, to profitability within 18 months.
“What I saw was a gem in the rock. I saw good people at a very good franchise. A loyal customer base. I knew with those we could fix the issues,” Calderara said.
For his efforts, the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce will honor Calderara with the Lewis A. Dibble Sr. Award.
The award is named after Lewis A. Dibble Sr., who founded the Naugatuck Chamber in 1921. It’s presented annually to those who make outstanding contributions to the business community and the socioeconomic well-being of Naugatuck.
Lynn Ward, president of the Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce, which oversees the Naugatuck Chamber, said Calderara fit that description to a tee.
“He brought a fresh perspective and ability to serve the bank and serve the community,” Ward said.
She added, “In a short time he has impacted the community a positive way.”
Calderara said he was humbled to be chosen as this year’s recipient of the Dibble Award.
“I know what the Dibble Award means in the Naugatuck community,” Calderara said.
Calderara, a Newtown resident, has been working in the banking industry for about 30 years.
In addition to working at Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan, Calderara worked as the senior vice president-chief lending officer at Newtown Savings Bank, the executive vice president at Fairfield County Bank, and as the president and chief financial officer of BNY Holdings, LLC.
While he is the one being honored, Calderara said the praise goes to everyone at Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan.
“It’s a little bit of a validation of what we’ve been able to accomplish. … I didn’t do that alone by any stretch,” Calderara said.
Calderara will be honored Jan. 12 during the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s 94th Annual Meeting at the Crystal Room, 98 School St. For more information or to register for the dinner, visit www.naugatuckchamber.com.