Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Valley United Way selects Ron Villani as 45th Charles H. Flynn Humanitarian Award winner

Ron Villani has been selected as the 45th Charles H. Flynn Humanitarian Award winner by Valley United Way. The award is the Valley’s oldest and most prestigious community service award. It is named for the late editor of The Evening Sentinel and has been presented annually since 1971.

The award is presented for a lifetime of service to the community, encompassing more that one town or organization. The award will be presented at Valley United Way’s 47th Annual Meeting & Recognition Dinner of April 21.

Jack Walsh, President & C.O.O. at Valley United Way said that, “We were very fortunate that when Ron came to Shelton with GE, he “adopted” the Valley as a home for his community involvement and shared his time and expertise with us so well.” Ron is one of the few people to serve two full terms as a Board member including two years as the chair (2003 & 2004), leave the Board and come back to serve two more terms including a term as chair of the Allocations Committee. Ron was also instrumental in leading the short and long term planning efforts at Valley United Way.

Ron has also been very heavily involved with the Birmingham Group (now BHCare). Its former Executive Director Marilyn Cormack said, “Ron was serving on the Birmingham Group board as Vice President at a critical period in the history of the organization.  We made the decision to enter into merger negotiations with another health care organization and if it was not done in a planful manner many people would be effected namely staff. Ron’s expertise working at GE Corporate Human Resources division was invaluable in helping the Group keep all staff from both organization and assisting with a successful merger. Ron’s advice was also very valuable to me as I was transitioning into retirement.”

Ron is also a member of United Way of America’s prestigious Tocqueville Society.

He was born in Somerville, NJ and raised in neighboring Raritan, where he attended public schools in the Bridgewater-Raritan school system. After high school he graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA with honors in Economics and then completed his MBA degree at The Wharton Graduate Division of The University of Pennsylvania in 1970, graduating in the top 5% of his class.

Following Penn he joined GE and completed the Human Resources Leadership Program. During his 35 year career with GE Ron held leadership assignments in nine different GE businesses and three corporate staff components in seven different geographic  locations. His final assignment and the one that brought him to the Valley was as Chief Human Resource Officer for GE Supply.

After retirement from GE Ron began his second career at The University of New Haven as an Adjunct Professor and Practitioner in Residence in the College of Business  and ran his own human resources consulting business that specialized in leadership development and improving organizational effectiveness.

In addition to being on the Board of Valley United Way he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of BHcare as well as that organization’s joint venture with Bridges, communiCare.

For the past 20 years Ron has been on the Board of Police Commissioners for the town of Monroe and is currently Chairman of that Board. He a volunteer reader for the School Volunteer Association’s Read Aloud Program in  Bridgeport’s Hallen School and mentors a fifth grader at Cesar Battala School. In the past he has also served as a Deacon and Property Chairman for the Monroe Congregational Church.

Ron has been married to his wife, Peggy, for almost 43 years. They have lived in Monroe for 27 years and raised two daughters and three golden retrievers there. Megan, Administrative Assistant to the Principal-Haldane High School, lives in Cold Spring, NY with her husband Chris, a Special Agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and their two daughters- Katie, 10 and Julie, 8. Lori Villani Cimeno is the Director of Student Services for the Wellesley Public School System (Wellesley,MA) and lives in Walpole Massachusetts with her husband Tim, the Scholastic Brand Manager for Marathon Sports in Boston. All the Villanis are proud graduates of Bucknell University.

Valley United Way is the leading philanthropic resource for the Valley towns of Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton matching the needs of the community and the interests of donors to improve the quality of life in the community. United Way supports and creates initiatives addressing youth, families and people in crisis. Each year Valley United Way funds programs and organizations that make a measurable difference in the lives of people living and working in the Valley.

This is a press release from the Valley United Way.

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