Bill Stanley named as Crawford Award recipient
Waterford — The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut has announced Bill Stanley, vice president of development and community relations at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, as the 2017 recipient of its William Crawford Distinguished Service Award.
Stanley previously sat on the chamber's board of directors for 20 years, and he now sits on the board of Three Rivers Community College Foundation. He also has sat on the campaign cabinet of the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut for 12 years, served as commissioner of the New London Development Corp. for six years and chaired the Eastern Connecticut Heart Walk for five years, according to the chamber.
"Bill has done so much for so many for so long, and I just think this is so deserving. He is so deserving," said Ulysses Hammond, former chairman of the board at Lawrence + Memorial and a past recipient of the award. "He just gives and gives and gives until he can't give anymore."
The award is named for the late William Crawford, who served as general manager of Southeastern CT Broadcast Corp.
"It's a wonderful way for an organization like the chamber to honor somebody who deserves the recognition," said Tony Sheridan, president of the chamber. He announced the award recipient on Thursday, after informing Stanley.
"It's been a great ride, and then to receive an honor like this is just unbelievable," Stanley said, noting that when he was younger, he never could have predicted the twists and turns of his career.
Stanley, a Norwich native, got his associate degree from Three Rivers Community College in 1974 and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a bachelor's degree in English in 1977.
He went on to work for two years at The Norwich Bulletin and 10 years at The Day. At the latter, he covered Old Saybrook, Ledyard, Groton, sports and the police beat before becoming Capitol bureau chief in Hartford.
Stanley then worked as campaign press secretary for former Governor William O'Neill, became a lobbyist and then was named director of corporate communications at The William W. Backus Hospital. He has been at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital since 1999.
Lawrence + Memorial President Patrick Green said in a news release, "Bill's long history in our community, from his early years as a newspaper reporter, his activism and political expertise on important issues at the State Capitol in Hartford, and his tireless dedication to the promotion of health care in our community, truly make him a worthy recipient of this prestigious honor from the Chamber."
Stanley said that while saying "everybody knows everybody" often has a negative connotation, it's a good thing in southeastern Connecticut because it's the people who live here that make him love the area so much.
"It's a great community, and it's very close-knit," he said. "We have overcome all kinds of challenges: economic challenges, social challenges, political challenges, fiscal challenges."
Stanley will be honored at 6 p.m. Nov. 8 during a dinner celebration at the Mystic Marriott.
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