Lombardi named chamber chairman

Norwich - John Lombardi Jr., owner of Lombardi Gravel & Excavation of Oakdale, has been named the chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.

Lombardi succeeds Bill Stanley, vice president of Development and Community Relations at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, as leader of the regional business organization. Lombardi was chosen at the chamber's annual meeting Thursday at the Spa at Norwich Inn.

Also at the meeting, four new board members were chosen and awards were presented to three community leaders. More than 200 business and community leaders attended the meeting.

"I am thankful that you have had the confidence in me to name me to this important position," Lombardi said. "And I will work hard in the coming year to continue progress made during Bill's time as chairman."

Tony Sheridan, the chamber's president and chief executive officer, said Lombardi has demonstrated during his long and successful business career that he cares about the business community and the region.

Lombardi said his particular focus in the coming year will be on membership.

"That is important because working together we have a strong voice, and I want to make it even stronger," he said.

New board members elected were: Gary Farrugia, publisher of The Day; Michael Rauh Jr., president of Chelsea Groton Bank; Robert "Bobby" Soper, president and chief executive officer of Mohegan Sun; and David Whitehead, president and chief executive officer of The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich.

The following awards were presented:

• Volunteer of the Year, David Hammerstrom, Chelsea Groton Bank.

• Small Business of the Year, Great Neck Country Club, David and Ann Mortimer.

• Board of Directors Special Award, Robert Congdon, Preston first selectman.

Editor's note: This version corrects an earlier version.

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