Giuseppe “Joe” Pisani of Middlebury, president of Pisani Steel Fabrication Inc. of Naugatuck, has been named the recipient of the Waterbury Regional Chamber’s 2019 Malcolm Baldrige Community Award, as the Chamber marks a quarter century of honoring the legacy the former Commerce Secretary and Scovill Inc. CEO. The award is the Chamber’s most respected, named in honor of Malcolm “Mac” Baldrige, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Ronald Reagan. Baldrige, who also was a former chairman of the Chamber, continually demonstrated his belief in community, leadership, and volunteerism as he worked to promote economic development in Greater Waterbury.

   The award will be presented during the 25th Annual Malcolm Baldrige Chamber Awards Dinner on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. The evening will include a silent auction and is a major fundraiser for the not-for-profit Waterbury Regional Chamber, supporting the Chamber’s public policy and economic development efforts. “For 25 years, the Chamber has presented our prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Community Award to a business leader in the region who is committed to economic development and growth in Greater Waterbury,” said Donald C. McPartland, Chamber chairman and an attorney with the law firm Moore, O’Brien & Foti in Middlebury. “Our Chamber is thrilled to present this year’s award to Joe for all of his immensely generous contributions to and support of the Greater Waterbury community.”

   Pisani Steel Fabrication Inc. in Naugatuck was founded in 1988 by Joe and his father, Frank Pisani, as a welding company. Today, it specializes in producing structural steel and miscellaneous metals for the construction industry. Over the years, it has grown substantially and currently serves a variety of sectors, including constructing government buildings & schools, strip malls, corporate parks, manufacturing and industrial buildings throughout Connecticut, as well as in New England and New York. In 2013, when Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary and businessman Fritz Blasius created the nonprofit Holy Land Waterbury LLC, Pisani Steel donated $375,000 worth of materials and labor to construct Holy Land’s 52-foot tall cross. Joe Pisani has served on the Waterbury Board of Alderman and the Zoning Board. He also previously served several terms, including as chairman, on the board of Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, and served on the Chamber board. He currently serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board. His employees supply services to the Abbey of Regina Laudis and numerous other charities throughout Greater Waterbury. Nominees for the Malcolm Baldrige Community Award are considered for their roles in supporting employment opportunities, for enhancing the overall economic growth and quality of life in the region, for playing a leading role in initiating new business or development, and for their community leadership.

   Past honorees are: Charles J. Boulier III of Ion Bank; Frank Monteiro of MacDermid Performance Solutions; Ralph Carpinella of Carpin Manufacturing Inc.; Judge James Lawlor, chairman of the Waterbury Housing Authority; M. Catherine Smith, chairwoman of the Mattatuck Museum board; attorney Gary B. O’Connor; 2 Frederick Blasius Jr. of Blasius Chevrolet Cadillac; Peter Baker of Crystal Rock; Waterbury Mayor Neil M. O’Leary (who at the time was police chief); Burton Albert of Albert Bros. Inc.; Sen. Joan V. Hartley; Joel S. Becker of Torrington Supply Co.; Charles T. Kellogg of Hubbard-Hall Inc.; Norman S. Drubner of Drubner Industrials; Carmen A. Vacalebre of Carmen Anthony Restaurant Group; state Banking Commissioner John P. Burke; John A. Michaels of Michaels Enterprises; William J. Pape II of the Republican-American; Jaci Carroll of Jaci Carroll Staffing Services; James C. Smith of Webster Bank; Daniel Leever of MacDermid Inc.; Robert W. Garthwait Sr. of Cly-Del Manufacturing; Joseph Carlson II of Hillside Properties LLC, and Gov. John G. Rowland.

   In addition to Mr. Pisani, the Chamber will honor William J. Palomba, marketing manager for Blasius Chevrolet Cadillac, with its 2019 Leadership Award, and Donna Johnson, community relations liaison for Diagnostic Radiology Associates in Waterbury, with its 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award. The Leadership Award is presented to a Chamber member who demonstrates leadership and contributes to accomplishing the Chamber’s mission to serve its members as a network, resource, and advocate. Mr. Palomba, a Watertown resident, is Vice Chairman for Public Policy of the Chamber and serves on its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He has been a strong supporter of all Chamber programs, especially its Public Policy Committee and related events and the Chamber’s Annual Golf Outing. “Bill is a tremendous asset to the Waterbury Regional Chamber Board and Executive Committee, and especially our Public Policy Committee,” said Lynn Ward, Chamber president and CEO. “His knowledge of the business community and familiarity with our elected officials in the region provides keen insight to benefit our Chamber and member businesses.”

   The Volunteer Award is presented annually to a member who dedicates time and expertise to volunteering for the organization. Mrs. Johnson, of Woodbury, just recently retired from the Chamber’s Health Care Council Board of Directors after serving for nine years. She continues to serve on the council’s Programs & Supplements Committee. She received the council’s Unsung Hero Award during its 2016 Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast. “Donna’s efforts on behalf of our Health Care Council show her commitment to the Chamber’s mission,” Ward said. “Her knowledge and support have contributed to the tremendous success and growth of the Council.”

   The event is supported by Diamond Sponsor: Webster Bank; Platinum Sponsor: Post University; Gold Sponsor: TBI Construction, A Tomasso Company; Silver Sponsors: Aqua Turf Club and Ion Bank; Bronze Sponsors: Eversource; O’Rourke & Birch Florist; Powerstation Events; Saint Mary’s Hospital, and Waterbury Hospital, and Brass Sponsors: AI Engineers Inc.; Albert Bros. Inc.; Bank of America; BMW of Watertown/Hoffman Auto Group; Bushka Lumber & Millwork Company LLC; Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP; Carpin Manufacturing Inc.; Fascia’s Chocolates; Hubbard-Hall Inc.; Jaci Carroll Staffing Services Inc.; King Industries; Shaker Auto Group, and The Lumbard Group. Additional sponsors and silent auction donations are still being sought for the Sept. 25 th dinner event. One of the largest chambers in Connecticut, the Waterbury Regional Chamber has more than 1,000 member businesses. Tickets for the 25th Annual Malcolm Baldrige Awards Dinner are $150/person, $1,750 for a table of 10. Reservations may be made online at, by sending an email to, or by calling the Chamber at 203-757-0701.