Ronald Pugliese was born and raised in Waterbury, and currently heads up the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce.

   Mayor-elect Neil M. O’Leary announced today his choice for the newly expanded role of Economic Development Director for the City of Waterbury. Ronald J. Pugliese, currently the President and CEO of the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce will transition to the position beginning January 1, 2012 and will be working directly out of the Mayor’s office, reporting directly to the Mayor.

   This fundamental change to the position, which was held by former Gov John G. Rowland and directed from the Waterbury Chamber, signals the new emphasis that Mayor-elect O’Leary wants placed on Economic Development in his soon to begin administration. In addition, the speed and thought that has gone into making this appointment also signals the O’Leary administration is truly serious about this critical city function and its impact on the city’s future.

   “I have spent months diligently studying and contemplating how to properly administer and focus on economic development “ Mayor O’Leary said. “What was most important to me was selecting the right person to make this successful and it came down to basic ABC’s. I wanted someone who would be accountable, bold, competent, committed, caring and is as concerned about Waterbury as I am. A tall order for sure, but all of that spelled, Ron Pugliese, to me. I am really thrilled that we were able to reach agreement on bringing Ron back home to Waterbury.”

Mr. Pugliese and his wife Janice were born and raised in Waterbury and Ron graduated from Wilby High School in 1968. He has held various positions in both government and finance and was also a registered lobbyist at the State Capitol for many years. Since 2010 he has been the President and CEO of the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Palace Theater, a gubernatorial appointee to the Connecticut State University Board of Trustees, a member of the Board of Trustees of Goodwin College and was recently elected to the Board of Selectman, Town of Southbury.