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Economic Development Officials Honored for Careers Dedicated to Assisting Businesses, Advancing State

Two individuals who have earned a reputation for helping Connecticut businesses and advancing economic development in Connecticut have been honored by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CERC). Mary Kay Della Camera, intake manager at the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC), and Shelly Saczynski, director of economic and community development at The United Illuminating Company (UIL), were presented with awards at CERC’s annual Celebrate CT! event, which brought together economic development officials from throughout the state to recognize achievements in 2016.

North Branford-resident Saczynski and Tolland-resident Della Camera have earned the respect of colleagues in the economic development field for their dedication, integrity and persistence in working to advance the profession in Connecticut. They were presented with CERC’s Connie Maffeo Award, which was inaugurated in 2013.

The award is named for Connie Maffeo, a long-time economic development professional in Connecticut who is best remembered for her consummate customer service. Maffeo worked at CERC for close to 20 years, and since her passing, the organization has recognized an individual that exhibits the talents and skills of excellent customer service in accordance with the way she conducted her daily life, both personally and professionally. This was the first year that two awards were presented.

Shelly Saczynski

Saczynski has served as CERC’s board chair since 2013 and is stepping down this year following her retirement from UIL. She also is board chair of REX Development, and serves on the boards of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, CT Institute for the 21st Century, and CT Main Street Center.

“For nearly two decades, Shelly Saczynski has been a strong voice for women in business, a respected leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic community, a disciplined and admired trailblazer and mentor, and a dedicated, determined advocate for businesses in Connecticut,” Santy said. “Her contribution to organizations, like CERC, has been significant in our economic development community.”

Mary Kay Della Camera

At CTSBDC, Della Camera is responsible for helping new clients navigate resources and pair them with the right business advisor.

“Mary Kay empowers CTSBDC clients with the appropriate information and guidance so they achieve their full business potential,” said Bob Santy, CERC’s President and CEO. “Her passion, attention to detail and professionalism offers high quality service.”