A florist, a distillery owner, and a longtime manufacturer in Waterbury will each be honored during the 23rd Annual Harold Webster Smith Awards breakfast next month.
The Waterbury Regional Chamber will present the awards on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, from 7:45-9:30 a.m. at the Aria Wedding & Banquet Facility, 45 Murphy Road in Prospect. The annual awards recognize smaller companies and small business executives who have achieved excellence.
Recipients of the 2020 Harold Webster Smith Awards are Entrepreneur of the Year Virginia O’Rourke Cookson, owner of O’Rourke & Birch Florist Inc. in Waterbury; Small Business of the Year Litchfield Distillery of Litchfield, and Manufacturer of the Year Seidel Inc. in Waterbury.
The event also will feature keynote speaker David Lehman, commissioner of the state Department of Economic & Community Development. Mr. Lehman, who also serves as Gov. Ned Lamont’s senior economic adviser, has a background in finance that includes serving as global head of real estate finance for the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs.
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 as 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…