Chamber talks business at annual dinner

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Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce President Lynn Ward, right, presents Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation CEO David Prendergast with the Lewis A. Dibble Award during the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s 91st Annual Dinner Dec. 6. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual dinner last Thursday to greet new members, talk about their past accomplishments, and present the Lewis A. Dibble, Sr., Award.

The event marked the 91st anniversary of the chamber and the 36th anniversary of the Dibble Award.

The evening began with Rocco Corso, the chamber’s chairman of the Board of Directors, explaining the strides the chamber made in the past year.

Corso said that in 2012 the chamber increased their total membership by 10 percent and raised more than $33,500 for community non-profit organizations at the 7th annual Duck Day Race in June.

“To date, the Duck Race event has generated over $225,000 to participating non-profit and community organizations,” Corso wrote in the event’s program.

The chamber also bid farewell to three members of its board. Jay Carlson, Roger Plourde, and John Roman will all step down from the board at the end of the year.

“We sincerely appreciate all of their hard work and contributions. These three gentlemen … were involved with the chamber for many, many years and have all given their time talent and resources,” Corso said.

Mary Kay Andrews of Sutherland Insurance Group, Joseph Ciarleglio of Access Rehab Centers, LLC, Steve Yonych of Webster Bank, and Lou Barth of JAB Rentals will be stepping up as new members of the board of directors.

Corso also announced that he would be stepping down as the chamber’s chairman at the end of the year.

“I will be retiring as chairman in January but will remain active with the chamber. I would like to thank the board of directors, who have supported our efforts to build the chamber as a strong affiliate of the Waterbury Regional Chamber organization, as well as all chamber members for their support,” Corso wrote in the event program.

Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce first Vice Chairman Yvette Wilmot addresses the audience during the chamber’s 91st Annual Dinner Dec. 6 at the Crystal Room in Naugatuck. During the dinner, it was announced that Wilmot will step into the role of chairman when Rocco Corso, the current chairman, steps down in January. –LUKE MARSHALL

Yvette Wilmot, the chamber’s current first vice chairman, will be stepping into the chairman position when Corso leaves. Pedro Pires, who is currently on the board of directors, will be the new first vice chairman.

The evening concluded with the presentation of the Dibble Award to the CEO of the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation David Prendergast.

Prendergast, who is also on the chamber’s board, said he was honored to receive this award.

“Since I started with the NEDC in 2003 many of my board members have received this award and I never imagined I would become one of them. I accept this award as a representative of the NEDC, as I truly feel that those who worked hard to create the NEDC took great strides forward in forming a public-private partnership that has served the borough well,” Prendergast said.