Main Street Waterbury has announced that the recipient of the 2014 Main Street Waterbury Stephen R. Sasala II Community Partnership Award is Frank Tavera, chief executive officer of the Palace Theater Group, Inc. Tavera will receive the award during a presentation Thursday, May 15 at the Palace Theater between 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Award was created by Main Street Waterbury to celebrate the leadership and contributions of the late Stephen R. Sasala, former CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber and former president of Main Street Waterbury Board of Directors.

   Steve Sasala advocated for quality planning and policy development, and practiced the leadership approach of setting goals and staying the course while recognizing and working toward the bigger picture. With these qualities, he continually provided support for addressing local work in ways that ultimately benefitted the more global good.

   Tavera, chief executive officer of the Palace Theater since May 2002, has been an integral part of the rebirth and renaissance of Waterbury’s historic landmark theater. As CEO his responsibilities include the governance of the Board of Directors of the not-for-profit corporation, oversight of the operational business plan, implementation of marketing and fundraising activities, management of daily operations, management of the Palace Theater staff, and community relations with all the local arts and business organizations.

   Actively engaged in the Greater Waterbury Community, Tavera was integral to the creation of the Arts & Culture Collaborative Greater Waterbury where he currently serves as the chair. He also serves on the Waterbury Development Corporation Board of Directors, the Leadership Council of the Greater Waterbury United Way, the Board of the Connecticut Arts Alliance, and is a past president of Main Street Waterbury’s Board of Directors.

   Main Street Waterbury CEO Carl Rosa stated, “Frank Tavera was one of the original Main Street Waterbury Board members and succeeded Steve Sasala as Board President. With the same collaborative style that Steve had, Frank strengthened Main Street Waterbury’s mission and standing in the community positioning the organization for future success.”


   At the May 15 event, Main Street Waterbury, for a fourth year, will present the Stephen R. Sasala II Scholarship to a local area high school senior. The successful applicant must possess the following attributes of public policy, via academics, leadership and community involvement while fully understanding how each attribute is linked together for the greater good of a community. Applicants must demonstrate their leadership interests by being actively involved in the classroom, student clubs, and community organizations. Each applicant must also demonstrate how their involvement has contributed to their development as a future community leader.

   Main Street Waterbury is a 501c3 non-profit, downtown management and revitalization program in the context of historic preservation. Through improving the physical appearance of downtown Waterbury, promoting its architectural and cultural assets, organizing volunteer initiatives, sponsoring events, and fostering public/private partnerships, the organization strives to economically rejuvenate Waterbury’s downtown district without sacrificing its character or heritage.

   O’Rourke & Birch, Inc. of Waterbury and Bourassa Catering & Events of Wallingford are sponsors of the May 15 award event. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information contact the Main Street Waterbury office at 203-757-0701 ext. 302 or email Carl Rosa at

   RSVP’s for this award event are required and tickets are $35/person. Tickets can be purchased at the Palace Theater Box Office at 100 East Main Street in Waterbury, or by calling the box office at 203-346-2000 or visiting A portion of all proceeds will be directed toward the Stephen R. Sasala Scholarship Fund.