The Dibble Award goes to Pugliese

Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation CEO and President Ronald Pugliese is recipient of the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s 93rd annual Lewis A. Dibble Award. –CONTRIBUTED
Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation CEO and President Ronald Pugliese is recipient of the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s 93rd annual Lewis A. Dibble Award. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Ron Pugliese knows his ABCs.

Three downtown land tracts known individually as parcels A, B and C are where Pugliese, the president and chief operating officer for the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation, wants to bring jobs and create tax revenue.

“We’re off to a pretty good start, so far,” said Pugliese, who started in his current role 14 months ago.

For his efforts, Pugliese has been named the Lewis A. Dibble Award winner from the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce. Each year, the award is presented for an individual’s outstanding contributions to the business and socioeconomic well-being of Naugatuck.

Pugliese will be honored at the chamber’s Annual Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble Awards evening in January.

Pugliese, a former burgess and community leader in Naugatuck, now lives in Southbury, where he moved with his wife, Janice, after their three adult sons left home and started families of their own. Pugliese said he never imagined he would be back in Naugatuck, but said he’s glad he did.

“I grew up in Waterbury, which I am very proud of, and when we got married, we moved into a little apartment on New Street in Naugatuck,” he said. “Since then, the people kind of adopted me.”

In the past 14 months, he has overseen demolition of a blighted former industrial building — former Uniroyal administrative hub, Building 25 — and has seen two developers sign options signifying their intent to develop on parcels C and A — Parcel C is on the corner of Maple and Water streets, and Parcel A is the former General DataComm property.

Pugliese believes those plans look promising. He said he’s also proud of helping to get the owners of the former Risdon Manufacturing property on Rubber Avenue to settle an outstanding tax debt feud by agreeing to pay $300,000 in back taxes while also promising to give Naugatuck a parking lot for Peter J. Foley Little League and to rebuild on the property — the plan states they cannot construct low-income housing.

Pugliese said he’s also proud to have found space for YoCrunch, which was looking to consolidate operations, into the building currently used by Coca-Cola in the Naugatuck Industrial Park.

Working for Naugatuck is nothing new to Pugliese. He has served as a burgess, three-time president of the local United Way, chair of the Democratic Town Committee, and on the boards for an array of prestigious local and state organizations. He was also a selectman in Southbury.

Much of his career was spent at Household International, which later became HSBC. He worked there from 1994 to 2009, serving as senior vice president of government relations responsible for all of New England and seven other states.

In 2010, he became president of the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce until being appointed as director of economic development for the City of Waterbury in 2011. He was hired in Naugatuck in 2013.

“Being as involved in Naugatuck as I was when I lived here, I went to all the events,” he said. “The Dibble Award was always among the most prestigious and many amazing individuals have won this award. I never thought I’d be named in their company, but I am honored that I am.”

For more information on the Annual Meeting or to become a sponsor, call Courtney Ligi at (203) 757-0701.