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Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Announces “Distinguished Citizen Award” Winners

Submitted by Sierra Lopez.

(Middletown, CT) Maureen Westbrook, Chairwoman of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, has announced the 2021 winners of the Middlesex Chamber’s Distinguished Citizen Award.

Each year, the Middlesex Chamber presents this award to one or more individuals who has served as an inspiration to others and is recognized by the Middlesex community as having unselfishly given his or her time and talent to produce a lasting benefit to the area. The Distinguished Citizen Committee chose the winners from a list of 187 nominees.

The Chamber proudly announces that the 2021 Distinguished Citizen Award winners are Jacqueline Hubbard, Kelly M. Smith, and William J. Corvo.

Middlesex Chamber President Larry McHugh noted, “Again this year, our Distinguished Citizen Committee, under the excellent guidance of Chairwoman, Teresa Opalacz has chosen three outstanding individuals. They have contributed to making Middlesex County a better place to work and live and we are extremely proud of all of them.”

Jacqueline Hubbard

Executive/Artistic Director, Jacqueline Hubbard is celebrating her 30th year at the Ivoryton Playhouse; in 1991 she became a member of the Board and since 1999 she has been its Executive/Artistic Director. She has directed over 75 productions at Ivoryton including Steel MagnoliasSomeone Who’ll Watch Over MeAmadeusThe Glass MenagerieWait until DarkThe Miracle Worker, the US premiere of Calendar Girls and the world premieres of Comedy is Hard and I Hate Musicals: The Musical by Mike Reiss. Acting credits include Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Katerina in Taming of the Shrew; Maureen in The Beauty Queen of Leenane; Annie in Calendar Girls and Shirley Valentine. In 2017, she initiated the Ivoryton Women Playwrights Festival. She is the recipient of the 2012 Connecticut Critics Circle Tom Killen Award for Outstanding Contribution to CT Theater.

A past president of the Essex Board of Trade, Hubbard is also one of the founders of the Ivoryton Alliance and is the State of CT Tourism Rep for this area.

Hubbard was born and raised in the north of England and has worked as a teacher and a theater artist for all of her working life. Although this past year was the first year since WWII that the Ivoryton Playhouse was unable to produce, the Playhouse has spent the time archiving memorabilia and updating theatrical systems in readiness for a 2021 season.

Kelly M. Smith 

Kelly M. Smith is the Vice President of Financial Services for NFP, a leading insurance broker and consultant firm that provides employee benefits, property & casualty, retirement and individual private client solutions.  Kelly has over 29 years of experience as an Insurance Consultant and Licensed Broker. In 1998, Kelly founded KGS Insurance Services after working in the Employee Benefits field for over 7 years to offer a broader array of products with a focus on superior customer service. In September 2017, Kelly merged KGS Insurance with NFP after wanting to offer her clients expanded products and services.

Kelly is a licensed Insurance Producer in Life, Accident and Health.  She also has achieved her Certified Insurance Consultant license along with several FINRA certifications. Kelly’s name is synonymous with Employee Benefits throughout CT.

Kelly has been active in the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce since 1995 and in 2010 served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. She is an active member of the Board, Executive Committee, and Chair of the Healthcare Council. She previously held the position of chair of the Insurance Committee.

She has held several positions with the carriers she works with including; active member of the ConnectiCare Small Group Advisory Council, CBIA’s Agent Advisory Council and a past member of Anthem BC/BS’s Producer Advisory Council.

Kelly has been active in various civic organizations within the community including an 18-year tenure with the Middlesex United Way where she was a past President of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.  As an active United Way volunteer, she has held several key positions including, Chair of the Nominating Committee, Chair of the Personnel Committee and Chair of the Community Impact Council.  She was also a member of the Campaign Development Team and a founding member of the Women’s Initiative.

Kelly is a member of the Board of Directors of the Middlesex YMCA and is a past Board Chairman. She currently is the Board Secretary and serves on the Governance, Development, Project Planning and Capital Campaign committees.

She is a Corporator with Middlesex Hospital, and a member of the Philanthropy Council.  She is a former member and President of their Community Council.  She is also a past member of the Business Advisory Council of MARC.

Her professional organizations include the National Association of Health Underwriters, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Kelly’s distinctions include the Hartford Business Journal’s 2001 and 2002 Forty under Forty Award.  The 2005 Women & Families Center Community Service Award, The 2008 SBA Women in Business Champion of the year award, 2009 Middlesex United Way Community Service Award and 2018 OneAmerica Leader’s Conference qualifier.

She is a graduate of Middlesex Community College and has attained credits towards several designations at the American College affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Kelly lives in Middletown with her husband Bill.  Her daughter Samantha Smith, a graduate of UConn lives in Nashville, TN and her son Daniel is a sophomore at Keene State College in NH.

WILLIAM J. CORVO 

William J. Corvo is the President of Wm. Corvo Consultants, Inc., a Middletown, Connecticut based business and public relations consulting firm started in 1973 specializing in development of large projects. Corvo has more than 40 years of experience in various types of development projects in both the United States and Europe. He has specialized in the permitting and development of a variety of projects, from power generation plants to condominium developments and water development facilities.

In 1987 he pulled together a development team of Carabetta Enterprises and Gerard Weitzman, then the owner of Pelton’s Drug Store, to respond to a request for proposals for development of Middletown redevelopment parcel D-1-B and The Armory. Carabetta built the 102 apartment River’s Edge complex and Weitzman’s group eventually took ownership of the Armory which is now the 100 room Inn at Middletown.

In 1999 Corvo joined with Armetta Associates, LLC to begin the development of what was to become Connecticut’s cleanest and largest natural gas power plant project- Kleen Energy -on the former Feldspar mining site off of River Road. Corvo brought O&G Industries, Inc., a prominent Connecticut construction company into the project. They formed White Rock Holding Associates, LLC and permitting began in 2001.  White Rock decided with Energy Investors Fund (now EIF Ares) to provide equity for the project. Goldman Sachs was the lead arranger for the 620 Megawatt, $1.4 Billion-dollar project which closed financing in 2008 and achieved commercial operation in July of 2011.

Bill Corvo is still active in project development working with O&G Industries, Inc. as the Manager of CT Energy & Technology, LLC, an O&G subsidiary company specializing in renewable and distributed energy projects. They are currently working on development of a combined energy park and data center to be located in Connecticut.

He has also served two terms as the Vice Chairman of Adlebrook Corporation, a non-profit specializing in assistance to children with autism spectrum issues.

Corvo has been active in the Middlesex Chamber since 1983 when he was paid a visit by his former teacher Larry McHugh who had just taken over the leadership of the organization. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Chamber and provided active support.

Public Activity:

Long active in community affairs, Corvo served as the Chairman of the bi-partisan North End Task Force. Elected to the Middletown Common Council in 1991, he served as Chairman of the Public Works Committee and the State Properties and Facilities Committee He has also served as the Vice Chairman of the Veterans of OSS Organization and was the head of the staff for the 1986 OSS International Symposium held in Washington D.C. An amateur historian, he has provided presentations on the O.S.S. Italian Section before the New York Military Affairs Society in Manhattan as well as historical symposia in Cassibile and Melilli, Italy and more recently at Russel Library at the request of the Middlesex Historical Society.

He was named Irishman of the Year by the Middletown Ancient Order of Hibernians in 2009 and was honored by the Connecticut Legislature’s Italian-American Caucus as Italian American of the Year in 2010. He is currently a member of the Italian Society of Middletown and Middletown Elks Lodge #771. Corvo is also a member of the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of New York City.

A former editor of the Middletown Bulletin, an Italian and English language publication, he has written political columns for both the Middletown Press and the Hartford Courant.

A native of Connecticut, Corvo attended St. Sebastian grammar school and is a graduate of Xavier High School Class of 1969. He attended Boston College School of Management and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in History from Wesleyan University. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

Mr. Corvo and his wife Betty have been married forty years and worked together for thirty-eight years. They have two sons; Brian who resides with his wife Jennifer and their daughter Rosalyn in East Hampton, Connecticut and Andrew and his wife Alessandra and their children Louis and Julia of Middletown, Connecticut.

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