The Waterbury Regional Chamber’s Small Business Council has announced recipients of their prestigious 2013 Harold Webster Smith Awards and that Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy will be the keynote speaker at the Chamber’s annual awards breakfast Thursday, January 31, 2013 from 7:45 to 9:30 AM at Coco Key Conference Center in Waterbury, Connecticut. Governor Malloy will offer remarks on the state and national economy, state energy policy, the budget and the current legislative session, and take some questions from attendees. Recipients of the 16th Annual Harold Webster Smith Awards are Nardelli’s Grinder Shoppe in Waterbury, Connecticut for Small Business of the Year; Dr. Dean J. Yimoyines, owner of Middlebury Consignment in Middlebury, Connecticut for Entrepreneur of the Year; and Mary L. Cramer, president and owner of Marion Manufacturing Company in Cheshire, Connecticut for Manufacturer of the Year.
Harold Webster Smith founded First Federal Savings of Waterbury in 1935 to help people build, and buy homes. He served as CEO until 1937 and chairman of the board until 1995 when First Federal was renamed Webster Bank in his honor. Today, Webster Bank is the largest financial
service organization in New England, and each year, the Chamber honors small business leaders who, like Smith, have the vision to expand, diversify, and prosper. “In honor of Harold Webster Smith’s legacy and small business inspiration,” remarked Lynn Ward, president and CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber, “we recognize small companies and entrepreneurs who share his passion for business development and his commitment to positive economic progress of the Waterbury region. Throughout his career, Harold Webster Smith served as an inspiration for countless small businesses. We are very pleased to recognize the many companies that share his ideals.”
The 2013 Harold Webster Smith Small Business of the Year Award recipient, Nardelli’s Grinder Shoppe, was created by three brothers who emigrated in 1914 from a small town in Italy to America. They worked at jobs wherever they could, including in a store that eventually became Nardelli's Grocery Store on South Main in Waterbury. In 1920, the brothers opened a fruits and vegetable grocery store and began selling grinders that people stood in long lines to purchase. The Nardelli brothers became known as the “Grinder Kings” of Waterbury. In 1963, the youngest brother, Fred, died and a nephew, Joseph, took over the business until the building was demolished in 1978. Joe and his wife Rina continued the business in various locations in the Greater Waterbury area and settled in Naugatuck where the business continued to prosper until Joe’s sudden death in 1989. Rina and her children ran the business until 1998, and today Rina oversees both locations while the third generation takes Nardelli's into the new millennium. A seventh Nardelli’s grinder shoppe was added in July 2011 in Oxford, Connecticut. Coming soon will be the newest location on Route 372, at 136 Berlin Road, in Cromwell. The Cromwell shop will be the eighth Nardelli's, and the sixth owned by a franchisee.
Recipient of the 2013 Harold Webster Smith Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Dr. Dean J. Yimoyines M.D., is one of the creators and owners of Middlebury Consignment at 1365 Whittemore Road in Middlebury. In 2008, ophthalmologist Dr. Yimoyines and his family purchased the former Ambrozaiti’s woodworking shop for storage, and then began to develop the space into a 16,000 square foot retail and office complex. In 2009, the Yimoyines family developed the space into a furniture consignment shop. Linda Yimoyines believed a furniture consignment shop would be a good tenant and could differentiate itself by creating a physical plant/environment at the highest level which would result in consigned products of the highest quality. As the Yimoyines listened to the comments of their customers, ideas on ways to expand the shop evolved into what has become an exceedingly popular and well-known ‘destination’ furniture and home accessories consignment shop. Due to suggestions from customers, cooking lessons, private parties, and a café are now in place. The current 20,000 square foot building is ‘home’ to a stunning showroom that displays new and consigned used furniture and decorative home accessories including bedding and drapes. Customers from throughout Connecticut are attracted to the popular location as well as consumers from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. Today Dr. Yimoyines continues to help oversee the expansion of the shop. He also continues to serve as interim CEO of OptiCare Health Systems, Inc., which he has done since December 2005, and he is a member of the Executive Committee. Dr. Yimoyines is a founder of OptiCare Eye Health Centers, Inc. and has been the company’s CEO and president since 1985.
The 2013 Harold Webster Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award recipient, Mary L. Cramer, has been president and owner of Marion Manufacturing Company in Cheshire since 2008. The business was founded in 1946 by Fred W. Cramer and his son, Fred R. Cramer, in the basement and garage of their family home on Marion Road in Cheshire making clock hands for International Business Machines (IBM). In 1962, the company moved into its first manufacturing building, Fred W. Cramer retired, Fred R. became owner and president, and his son, Fred E. joined the company as a tool and die apprentice. In 1990, Fred E. and Thomas Cramer purchased the company and by 1999 the company outgrew its Marion Road facility and built a 30,000 square foot facility on Reinhard Road in Cheshire.
Fred E. Cramer became owner, CEO and president in 2006, and Mary L. Cramer joined the company. In 2008 Mary Cramer became majority owner and president, transforming the company into a “Women Owned Business”. In 2012, the company proudly celebrated 66 years in business.
To reserve a seat for the January 31st Harold Webster Smith Awards Breakfast at Coco Key Conference Center in Waterbury, and to learn more about the Waterbury Regional Chamber, visit www.waterburychamber.com, call 203-757-0701, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.