New Rotary president from Shelton highlights the club’s many projects

A longtime banker and Valley resident who likes to participate in community projects is the new president of the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club.

Cindy Rinaldi of Webster Bank in Huntington Center recently was installed as the 2014-15 leader of the local service organization. She succeeds Bill Miller in the position.

“I really enjoy being involved in the Rotary Club,” Rinaldi said. “I like the camaraderie — you walk into a meeting and everyone is so wonderfully supportive and willing to listen.”

She also is proud of the local Rotary Club’s many service projects — from organizing Shelton Day to constructing a pavilion at the Riverwalk, and sponsoring scholarships to providing dictionaries for third graders.

“We do a lot for the community,” said Rinaldi, who lives in Shelton.

She began her career in banking 30 years ago after graduating with a teaching degree in the early 1970s when few jobs were available for new teachers.

She took a position as a teller at a then-People’s Bank in Stratford, and has worked at various financial institutions since then. She now is vice president and manager of the Webster Bank on Shelton Avenue.

Rinaldi is a relative newcomer to the local Rotary club, having joined four years ago after learning more about its activities while attending the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Greater Valley program. “That inspired me to get more involved in the community,” she said.

Club sponsors many projects

The Derby-Shelton Rotary Club meets on Thursdays for lunch at the Brownson Country Club in Shelton.

At the meetings, they hear from speakers and discuss the organization’s various ongoing projects.

One of Rinaldi’s favorite programs is Salt and Sand, in which Rotary Club members deliver free five-gallon buckets filled with salt and sand at the start of winter to seniors’ homes in Shelton and Derby. The seniors sign up for the service at senior centers in the two cities or other locations.

The Rotary Club’s Dictionary Project involves giving a free print dictionary to every third grader attending a Shelton or Derby public or parochial school every fall.

The club sponsors a spring dance and auction, funds local beautification and transportation-related upgrades, and works with Rotary International on global projects such as helping to provide water purification devices in poor nations.

Involved in the schools

The organization also sponsors annual college scholarships for Derby High and Shelton High graduates, a Student of the Month at the two schools, and a luncheon for the annual Thanksgiving football game between the two high schools. It has Interact Clubs so high school students can pursue community projects.

The club organizes Shelton Day, the downtown street fair on Howe Avenue, every fall. Shelton Day will be Oct. 5 this year.

It put together the first Hoptoberfest — a craft beer festival and wing contest — in 2013 at Shelton’s Riverwalk, and it turned out to be a huge success. The second annual Hoptoberfest will take place Oct. 11.

Other Rotary Club officers

Other 2014-15 Derby-Shelton Rotary Club officers are president-elect, Kevin Bishop; vice president, Drew Scott; treasurer; Al Patuzzi; and secretary, Doug LoMonte.

Rinaldi also has been involved with the Valley United Way, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, and The Valley Goes Pink events.

She grew up in Bridgeport’s North End, and has four children and two grandchildren.

Learn more about the club at