Tony Guerriero New Board President 

  Welcome to Main Street Waterbury.  The month of June is always such a busy month.  Between summer break for the schools, graduations, father’s day, and other activities, there is much to do.  For Main Street Waterbury, there are three significant events happening in the month of June. 

   On June 6, the Connecticut Main Street Center will hold their Annual Awards of Excellence in Torrington.  Main Street Waterbury has garnered two awards.  The first being in the category of Historic Preservation.  Waterbury’s Cass Gilbert City Hall Building has the award this year and the City of Waterbury, The Waterbury Development Corporation, The Rededication Committee, and other involved parties will be recognized for their great efforts to restore this magnificent building to its original grandeur.  With the Main Street program falling under the auspices of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, our nomination of the City Hall for this award seemed like a natural for us.

    The second award is in the category of Best Adaptive Reuse and will go to Parag Mehta for his conversion of the Hodson Building at 70 Bank Street to a mixed-use development project.  From the very beginning, Main Street Waterbury was endorsing a policy of market rate housing and mixed use development for downtown Waterbury, and Parag has actually made it happen.

   On June 8, Main Street Waterbury will hold its annual meeting at the Mattatuck Museum.  In addition to reviewing our projects and accomplishments for the year, this is also our forum to recognize the hard work of our many committee volunteers and Board of Directors.  We’ll also introduce the new slate of Board officers.  The new Board President will be Tony Guerriero manager of the Brass Mill Center Mall.  Tony has been a Main Street Board Member for approximately four years.  He currently is a Vice-President on the Executive Committee in charge of Board Advocacy.  He is also past Treasurer and has served as a volunteer on the Economic Restructuring Committee.  With this new position, Tony will bring his expertise in retail management and recruiting as well as his superb organizational skills.

   Outgoing Board President Frank Tavera will remain on the Board as Immediate Past President to offer guidance and ensure a smooth transition.  Frank has served as Board President for the past three years.  Our organization would not be as successful as it is today without his strong and dedicated leadership.  In the years that Frank has been at the helm, he has guided Main Street Waterbury through the tenuous years of economic recession, instituted strategic planning and governance, and ensured fiscal stability for the foreseeable future.  I would like to thank Frank for his tremendous service to Main Street Waterbury, not only as an original Board Member but also for his role on the Executive Committee.

   On June 23, the second annual Stephen R. Sasala II Community Partnership Award will be held at the Palace Theater.  This year’s recipient is Ingrid Manning from the Connecticut Community Foundation. Ingrid had worked very closely with Steve Sasala on several community initiatives including the forming of the Arts & Culture Collaborative. In addition, she was responsible for convening quarterly “blight team” meetings with community stakeholders in the Mayor’s Office. She co-chaired the City Hall Rededication Committee and spearheaded the first Cass Gilbert Symposium in Waterbury. She has assisted and aided Main Street Waterbury very well over the past seven years with various projects including the Downtown Waterbury Clean Team, the smoker’s posts, and the Architectural Walking tours. She has been a supporter at all Main Street Waterbury events. Ingrid’s commitment goes above and beyond her responsibilities at the Foundation all while demonstrating the same qualities that Steve stood for in Community Partnership building, collaboration, and good public policy.

   Main Street Waterbury will also be presenting the first Stephen R. Sasala II Partnership Scholarship.  This year’s recipient is Marissa McCann from Wolcott High School.  Marisa is a young leader by example. In her scholarship application essay, she noted, “…it is the simple things I do throughout my school and community that makes a difference.”  Marisa has devoted much of her high school career in being what we call a “well balanced meal”. From her spiritual insight to community common sense, the scholarship committee was impressed with her passion, sense of community awareness and determination in building people and community affairs.

   We hope you can join us on June 23 for this great event.  It should be fun.

  I’ll have more to say in our next column regarding our strategic plans and working with our new Board Executive Committee.  In the meantime, please consider helping us with our efforts to revitalize downtown.  If you are interested you can call me at 203-757-0701 ext. 302 or email me at and remember, keep thinking Main Street Waterbury, Culture, Education, Business!