NAUGATUCK — Marcelo Martins joined the board of directors for the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce after starting Luso Cleaning Services with his father, Manuel, in 1990. It marked the first time Martins served on the board of a local community organization, but it wouldn’t be the last time he volunteered.
Over the years, Martins, a Naugatuck native, has amassed a lengthy record of community service.
In 2005, he helped start the Naugatuck Chamber’s annual Duck Day and Race, and he still supports chamber events today.
Martins also actively volunteers with the United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls, which he has done since 1999. He has served as secretary, vice president and president of the organization’s board of directors, and this year he is chairman of the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign.
Martins has served in leadership positions with the Naugatuck YMCA. He’s a member of the Naugatuck Rotary Club — including serving as secretary, vice president and president for the club — a community sponsor of the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation, and a member of the Naugatuck Portuguese Club.
Martins said it was people in the community, like Caren Bouchard, a former recipient of the Naugatuck Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Award, who showed him the importance of supporting the community.
“I was fortunate to cross paths with pillars in our community. Caren Bouchard being one of many people that took the time to explain to me how important it is to give back to our community that we all love,” Martins said.
Marcelo said he opened his business and volunteers in Naugatuck because he loves the borough.
“I was blessed to be born and raised in Naugatuck and I would not think of a better community to work in and volunteer in,” Martins said.
For his efforts, Martins has received numerous awards, including the United Way’s Mary H. Connolly Community Caring Award and the Naugatuck Rotary’s Service Above Self Award.
In January, Martins will add the Lewis A. Dibble Sr. Award to the list.
The Naugatuck Chamber presents the annual award, which is named after the man who founded the chamber, to recognize an individual’s outstanding contributions to business and the socioeconomic well-being of Naugatuck.
“I’m humbled by receiving this award. Looking at all the people before me that received this award, it is a true honor to have my name along with theirs,” Martins said.
Martins will receive the award during the chamber’s Annual Meeting & 2019 Lewis A. Dibble Sr. Award Dinner Jan. 8 at the Crystal Room, 98 School St. The awards program and dinner start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $85 per person. To register, visit www.naugatuckchamber.com or call 203-729-4511.
Dawn Derwin, executive vice president and chief retail delivery officer for Ion Bank and chairman of the Naugatuck Chamber, said the chamber chose Martins for the award because of everything he does for the community.
“Marcelo is a tremendous asset to the Naugatuck business community,” Derwin said in a news release. “He gives generously and enthusiastically of his time and resources to so many organizations, and is someone who doesn’t know the meaning of the words, ‘we can’t.’ He approaches everything with uplifting positivity and a belief at his core that together we can make it happen.”
Martins said he continues to volunteer because he knows it makes a difference.
“To see that we all can make a difference keeps me excited and honored to continue to volunteer,” Martins said.