BRISTOL - Nuchieâ€™s Restaurant was filled Thursday for the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce and United Way of West Central Connecticutâ€™s annual holiday party that also celebrated the career and retirement of Linda DiMatteo.
About 150 people attended the festive event that showed appreciation for all the chamber members, but a special focus was put on DiMatteo, a 21-year veteran chamber employee that is retiring at the end of the year.
â€śThis year is very special because we are also celebrating Linda DiMatteo,â€ť Susan Sadecki, chair of the board of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, said to the elected officials, community members and business owners at the event.
â€śAs we reflect on 2017 and wish every one of you a great 2018, we notice a lot has changed in the chamber world in the past year,â€ť said Cindy Bombard, president and CEO of the chamber, adding that one of those changes is DiMatteoâ€™s bittersweet retirement.
Bombard recognized the positive impact that DiMatteo has had on the chamber and the Bristol community.
â€śShe has touched many of us. She has assisted four chamber presidents. She has done it all and has dedicated a good portion of her life to the City of Bristol,â€ť she said. â€śItâ€™s been a pleasure working with Linda for over 14 years. She is a dear friend to me. Itâ€™s been a great journey and now she heads off to another journey in life.â€ť
â€śThe walls in the hallways of the chamber of commerce will not be the same without your laugh,â€ť she added.
The spotlight was then on DiMatteo when Bombard called her to the front of the room and put a tiara on her while special guest, Santa, walked into the banquet hall to greet the guest of the hour.
â€śIâ€™m so humbled and honored to have you all here tonight,â€ť DiMatteo said. â€śTwenty-one years, just really flew by for me.â€ť
â€śAll in all, the chamber has been great to me. I thank my chamber family - get over here,â€ť she said while signaling for all the chamber employees to join her at the front of the room. â€śI donâ€™t think you all realize how hard all these girls work at the chamber. I hope the chamber goes in the direction it is going right now, and Iâ€™m sure it will with all you girls.â€ť
John Leone, former president of the chamber, then took to the microphone and spoke about hiring DiMatteo.
â€śFor 21 years Linda made her impact on the chamber, and let me tell you, she did a lot of things,â€ť he said. â€śThe chamber has grown quite dramatically over the years â€¦. And it was because of the hard work of Linda and others, but Iâ€™ll specifically say Linda today. We appreciate everything you did for Bristol and the chamber.â€ť
â€śLinda has always been the go-to person matter what the project,â€ť said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. â€śThereâ€™s no better embodiment of what Bristol is then all of you here tonight, but especially Linda.â€ť
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at 860-973-5088 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Lorenzo Burgio on Twitter @burgioBP.