By Michael Puffer, Republican-American
NAUGATUCK — A local business giant with a history of bringing big business to Greater Waterbury has located the corporate offices of a new chemicals and industrial services company in Naugatuck.
For now, Drew International only has 12 staff, mostly executives, in a building formerly owned by Liberty Bank at 333 Church St.
Drew Marine already announced in May the creation of a manufacturing and research center in Waterbury. Drew Marine CEO Frank Monteiro expects to have that operational by the end of this year and complete sometime in 2021, bringing about 65 jobs.
Monteiro said he created Drew International to serve as parent company to Drew Marine and a growing list of industrial service lines, with a lot of that growth happening in Greater Waterbury.
“We are definitely going to grow them here,” Monteiro said.
In 2014, Monteiro, then an executive with MacDermid Performance Solutions, convinced that multi-billion-dollar chemical company to return its headquarters to Waterbury.
An accompanying expansion brought dozens of new jobs and millions in investment, city officials say.
Monteiro was hired by Court Square Capital to lead and grow Drew Marine when the investment group bought Drew Marine in June 2019. Drew Marine’s headquarters and dozens of its office staff will remain in New Jersey. But the newly formed parent company is in Naugatuck.
Drew Marine provides chemicals for water treatment, boilers, chillers, fuel additives and other applications for cruise ships, U.S. Navy ships, tankers and other large, ocean-going vessels. As of May, it employed 310 people globally and provided products through contracted agents at 900 ports worldwide.
Monteiro said Greater Waterbury offers a trained workforce, good highway access and affordable real estate costs.
Ron Pugliese, CEO of the Naugatuck Economic Development Corp., said Monteiro is known as a “guy who makes things happen” and a generous patron in the communities he operates. Monteiro has agreed to sponsor a “field day” for YMCA Day Camp participants who were unable to take their annual field trip due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Waterbury, Monteiro had helped the United Way shatter fundraising records.
Real estate developer John Lombard, Drew International’s new landlord, agreed Monteiro brings a lot more than just business.
“Yeah, this is a good gain here, but the community, they don’t have any idea yet the gain of having Frank Monteiro in the area,” Lombard said.