Chamber celebrates at annual meeting

Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce Director Courtney Ligi, left, talks with Caitlin Sheedy, who works at FD Community Federal Credit Union, during the chamber’s 95th annual meeting Jan. 11 at the Crystal Room in Naugatuck. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s annual Duck Day and Race in June raised over $18,000 for nonprofit organizations. That was just one of the highlights from the past year celebrated by the chamber during its 95th annual meeting last week at the Crystal Room.

Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce Director Courtney Ligi, who was promoted to the position last year, said the chamber strives to shine the spotlight on businesses and connect them with customers.  To help achieve this, the chamber published a business directory that was sent to approximately 30,000 homes, updated and reformatted its website, and created a monthly newsletter to help inform people about what is available in Naugatuck, Ligi said.

The chamber, which partners with Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce, also gained 14 new members last year. Waterbury Regional Chamber President and CEO Lynn Ward said the Naugatuck Chamber has done well but has the opportunity to grow. She encouraged those at the annual meeting to bring other business owners into the chamber.

“Our membership has remained strong, but we have the capacity to serve so many more businesses. We encourage you to send them our way,” Ward said.

The evening marked the beginning of the terms for two new members of the Naugatuck Chamber Board of Directors — Kevin McSherry of McSherry Law Office and Timothy Carr of Nobis Engineering Inc. — and the end of a term for Rocco Corso of Corso Printing & Engraving

The chamber took a moment to recognize Corso for his dedication to the organization over the years.

Ion Bank President and CEO Charles Boulier III, left, the 2017 Lewis A. Dibble Sr. Award recipient, shakes hands with Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren ‘Pete’ Hess, right, as Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Ron Pugliese looks on during the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s 95th annual meeting Jan. 11 at the Crystal Room in Naugatuck. –LUKE MARSHALL

“Your interest was phenomenal from day one. You have had a tremendous impact on our organization,” Ward said.

The evening was capped with the presentation of the annual Lewis A Dibble Sr. Award, which was given to Ion Bank President and CEO Charles Boulier III. The award honors an individual’s outstanding contributions to business and the socioeconomic well-being of Naugatuck.

“What is important to me, when I look at an award winner, is the way you conduct and carry yourself as a man or woman while you are making those achievements and making those accomplishments. Are you sincere, do you really care, are you willing to drop everything at a moment’s notice and just get in there and fight,” Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said. “I know, as mayor, that Chuck has.”

Boulier said the honor of receiving the award isn’t his alone.

“This award is a conformation that Ion Bank is achieving its mission of being an exemplary corporate citizen. That’s the measure of our success. So my acceptance of the Lewis A Dibble Sr. Award is a celebration of my mentors, my family, my Ion Bank team who provided me with the ability to lead a bank whose mission is simple: to serve our community,” Boulier said.