The Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce, an affiliate of the Waterbury Regional Chamber, has announced that Robert A. Mezzo, Mayor of the Borough of Naugatuck, is recipient of the Chamber’s prestigious 92nd annual Lewis A. Dibble Award. The Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s Lewis A. Dibble Award is presented each year in recognition of an individual’s outstanding contributions to the business and socioeconomic well-being of Naugatuck. Yvette Wilmot of Sarracco Mechanical Services and chairwoman of the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce stated that Mr. Mezzo will receive his coveted award on Tuesday, December 10th beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Crystal Room at 98 School Street in Naugatuck during the 92nd Naugatuck Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble Awards Evening. Over the past thirty one years, this event has grown to become one of the most prestigious business events in the Naugatuck community.
The highlight of the December 10th dinner meeting will be the presentation of the Dibble Award, presented to a local leader in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the business and socio-economic well-being of Naugatuck. Mayor Bob Mezzo will receive the 2013 Dibble Award for his dedication and leadership to enhance economic development in the borough of Naugatuck. Additionally, the Chamber will celebrate the success of its 2013 programs and acknowledge members of their board of directors.
Lewis A. Dibble founded the Naugatuck Chamber in 1921 and since 1976 the Chamber has honored his leadership by recognizing a key leader in the local community. Past award recipients include Laurie Yelding (2011), Terry Barber (2005), Rebecca Zandvliet (2004), John Ford (1995), Dr. Solomon Aordkian (1985), Robert Sutherland (1997), Frederick D. Zonino (1992), John Roman (2009), Rocco Corso (2006) and Thomas Sarracco (2010).
Lifetime Naugatuck native Bob Mezzo grew up among the hustle and bustle of downtown Naugatuck. After graduating Naugatuck High School in 1988, Mezzo attended UConn and graduated with a double major in political science and history, one of his life-long passions. While in his first year at UConn Law School, Mezzo obtained the Democratic nomination to run for state representative of the seventieth (70th) district. He lost his hard-worked campaign however it fueled his future political ambitions.
In 1997, after graduating from UConn Law School, he became the Waterbury Regional Chamber Director of Government Affairs. In July of that same year, he passed the Connecticut Bar Association Exam and he began his legal career as an associate for Attorney Franklin G. Pilicy in Watertown. In 1999 he was elected to the Board of Mayor and Burgesses, finishing second out of twelve major party candidates. Mezzo’s attentions were focused on creating economic development opportunities, improving Naugatuck’s commitment to education and protecting taxpayers’ interest.
In 2000, Mezzo opened his own law practice in downtown Naugatuck. In 2001, he was re-elected to the Borough board as Deputy Mayor, receiving the highest number of votes amongst all Burgess’ candidates. While Deputy Mayor, he helped to pass a Senior Citizen Tax Cut in preparation for the upcoming revaluation, worked to complete the Mt. Auburn Associates economic development study and create the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation, and fought to protect education in the face of drastic proposals to cut teachers and programs. Implementation of Naugatuck’s first revaluation in over two decades made these years difficult for everyone involved.
In 2003, Mezzo sought the office of Mayor, won the Democratic nomination but lost the general election. He continued coaching in the Naugatuck Basketball Association and stints with Naugatuck Youth Soccer, Union City Little League and Little Pal Basketball. He also served on the boards of Griffin Hospital, the newly-formed Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation, the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce, and as president of the Parent School Council.
In May 2009, Robert Mezzo discontinued his private law practice and was sworn-in as the 39th Chief Executive of Naugatuck. In May 2011, Mezzo was re-elected as an unopposed candidate for Mayor of the Borough. In 2013, Robert A. Mezzo was elected to serve his third admirably successful term as Mayor for the Borough of Naugatuck.
Premiere sponsors of the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner are Sarracco Mechanical Services and Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan.
The cost for the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner is $75/person. The evening will begin with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner and awards ceremony beginning at 6:30 p.m. To register for the December 10th Lewis A. Dibble Award and Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner, visit the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce website, www.naugatuckchamber.com.