The Honorable Neil M. O'Leary
46th Mayor of the City of Waterbury
Mayor O’Leary joined the Waterbury Police Department in 1980 and rose through the ranks, becoming Chief of Police in 2004. Chief O’Leary served in that role until his retirement in 2009. Following his retirement, he was recruited by the town of Wolcott, Connecticut to serve as Police Chief to help rebuild the management structure and modernize the department. In 2011, O’Leary stepped down from this role to successfully run for Mayor of the City of Waterbury, taking office in December 2011. Mayor O’Leary’s career has been marked by a deep commitment to Waterbury with a “can-do” attitude to effect positive change through collaboration and community building.
President and CEO of the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board
Taking on the role in January of 2001, Cathy has led the Board’s administration of state and federal job training programs. Cathy oversees procurement and coordination of service-providers to ensure seamless delivery of workforce programs. Cathy leverages her work at NRWIB by serving in leadership roles on several other boards. She graduated from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston and studied at UConn, Waterbury. Her professional and community activities include: member of the Holy Land Waterbury Board of Directors, the Naugatuck Valley Community College Regional Advisory Committee, and the Connecticut Pharmacist’s Association.
Executive Director and CEO of Waterbury Opportunity Industrialization Center
Reginald G. "Reggie" Beamon, a lifelong Waterburian, is a well known leader in the state of Connecticut. Currently, Beamon is now in his 20th year as Executive Director/CEO of Waterbury Opportunities industrialization Center (WOIC). Beamon's expertise, in community development, government appointed and elective service, and as an university lecturer, has served the community and state well. For 20 years he served as State Representative for Waterbury's 72nd District.
Beamon is credited for securing funds for the Muriel Moore Day Care Center, Bucks Hill), the Joseph Jaynes WOlC Center, and a host of other projects. In 1999, Beamon was awarded, "Legislator of the Year".
The Rivera Memorial Foundation
Dr. Jessica Ocasio has deeply invested her life in community outreach through her family’s non-profit organization, Rivera Memorial Foundation. The RMF was formed in 1990 after the tragic passing of Jessica’s father, Waterbury Firefighter Heriberto “Eddie” Rivera, and fellow firefighter Howard Hughes. In 2010, Jessica became the organization's
Executive Director, ensuring to sustain programs by obtaining grants and funds. In 2021, Jessica was elected to lead the organization as Executive President. Through the organization, Jessica can continue to work with the youth of Waterbury by organizing and providing various low-cost after-school and summer youth programs and scholarship funding to Waterbury families. Being a lifelong learner, Jessica completed a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Bridgeport.
Executive Director, The Young and Gifted Foundation
Born in the inner city of Boston, Massachusetts, In a time where opportunities were limited and mentors were few and far between, Kelvin Earl realized how important community was at a very young age. As a first generation American, togetherness and collaboration helped Kelvin & family grow and develop a sense of pride and independence. Guided by the teachings of “Black Boston” which included the influences of Prince Hall, Malcolm X, Melnea Cass, & many others, Kelvin has been a member of the Waterbury, CT community for a little more than a decade. Most known for his will and effort to collaborate with like-minded people, Kelvin has most recently worked for and with members of many community groups for a common goal. Investing in the next generation. Kelvin is steadfast in being a catalyst for transformative change, with hopes to deposit knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to the youth.
This honoree will be announced at the gala.
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