Waterford — Alice Fitzpatrick, retiring president and executive director of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, has been named 2013 Citizen of the Year by the region's largest business association.
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, in a brief ceremony today at its offices on Hartford Turnpike, congratulated Fitzpatrick for her 18 years of stewardship over the region's largest community foundation. During her tenure, which ends June 30, the foundation's assets have risen from less than $7 million to about $42 million.
"This is really an honor that is overdue," said William Stanley, the chamber's board chairman, as he introduced Fitzpatrick as the 63rd Citizen of the Year.
"She is truly a regional thinker, and her work to serve the entire region has benefitted all in eastern Connecticut," added Tony Sheridan, president and chief executive of the chamber, in a statement.
Among Fitzpatrick's most notable accomplishments were her establishment of the first Women & Girls Fund in southeastern Connecticut, her development of the children's literacy program Let's Read and the community foundation's support of local libraries with a permanent endowment of $200,000.
In addition, the foundation has grown its territory to include 42 towns in the eastern third of the state after its merger three years ago with the Community Foundation of the Tri-County Area.
"She does work in the background," said Maura Casey, a former editorial-page editor for The Day and The New York Times who nominated Fitzpatrick for the honor. "She leads by example. People trust her."
Fitzpatrick will attend a dinner in her honor May 30 at a site yet to be determined.