The North Haven Community Service Awards Dinner sponsored by the Hamden Elks, serving Hamden and North Haven, was held on February 23. Honored for their Outstanding Service to their community were North Haven Citizen of the Year Raymond Fowler; Outstanding Police Officer Valdemar Queiroga; Firefighter Christopher Murray and Volunteer Firefighter Ronald Mattei. On behalf of North Haven’s First Selectman Michael Freda, Proclamations were presented to each honoree by Executive Assistant Valerie Goodkin; Hamden Elks President 2013-14 Carl Gorman presented award plaques to each recipient on behalf of Hamden Lodge #2224 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and Lodge member and State Representative David Yaccarino presented State Proclamations. Fire Chief Vincent Landisio and Police Chief Thomas McLoughlin introduced their honored Officer and Firefighters. Hamden and North Haven Community Service Award nights are annual Lodge events; proceeds support the Elks many youth and veterans projects and area charities in Hamden and North Haven.
North Haven Community Service Awards February 23, 2013
Our North Haven Community Service Awards Dinner was held on Saturday, February 23, in our Main Hall. We honored North Haven Citizen of the Year Raymond Fowler; Outstanding Police Officer Valdemar Queiroga, Firefighter Christopher Murray and Volunteer Firefighter Ronald Mattei.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR RAYMOND FOWLER
Citizen of the Year Raymond Fowler is a 40 year resident of North Haven. His commitment to community service began with his earliest upbringing in an Irish and French Canadian household where expressions such as “service above self” were part of the very fabric of his life. A forty-three year military and civilian business career strengthened that commitment. While serving his country, Ray first became aware of the seriousness, commonness, and insidious effects of Child Abuse and for over forty-five years, Ray has been an advocate in promoting the end of this scourge on our society.
During the past two decades, Ray has worked with the North Haven Library, Veterans Memorial Services, and Veterans Educational Initiative. In 1991, based on service to country and community, Ray was presented with the key to the Town and Ray Fowler Day was proclaimed in North Haven. Although a participant in many civic activities, raising awareness of the Child Abuse problem is Ray’s priority and with his wife of 41 years by his side, his work will continue.
POLICE OFFICER VALDEMAR QUEIROGA
Police Officer of the Year Valdemar Queiroga was born and raised in North Haven. He attended North Haven High School, Class of 1999, played football for 4 years and was an All-Conference Lineman. While Attending the University of Connecticut at Storrs, Val was accepted into the Washington Center for Internships and was offered an internship with the United States Department of Justice in Washington. He graduated with honors, Cum Laude overall GPA, Magna Cum Laude and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Theory from the School of Liberal Arts. He attained membership in the Political Science National Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, UConn Chapter.
Upon graduation from UConn, Valdemar returned to Washington DC and worked for the United States Secret Service for a year while applying for police officer positions. Upon hire by the North Haven Police Department he attended the Connecticut Police Officer Standards & Training Academy (P.O.S.T) and graduated as #1 overall recruit receiving the TFC Allan J. Tuskowski Award for Excellence in Training.
Currently in his 9th year as a patrolman in North Haven, Val is a member of the South Central Regional S.W.A.T. Team and also acts as a S.W.A.T. instructor. He was instrumental in designing and implementing the use of the North Haven Police Department’s official patch. He is currently President of the North Haven Police Union, Local 3087 and has been active organizing, hosting and participating in numerous fundraising endeavors.
He is an avid cross trainer. In 2010, he began working on his Masters in Business Administration from the University of New Haven. In 2013, Val will marry the love of his life, his inspiration and best friend, Kristy Varvaro.
FIREFIGHTER CHRISTOPHER MURRAY
Firefighter of the Year Christopher Murray was raised in North Haven. After graduating from North Haven High School in 1978, he served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve on search and rescue boats as a small boat engineer. He was a member of North Haven’s Northeast Volunteer Fire Company 4 as a volunteer firefighter from 1976-1980. In 1980, Christopher was hired by the Town of North Haven as a professional firefighter and assigned to North Haven Fire Department’s Headquarters Company 1. He has served the Town of North Haven for 37 years as a department member of which 32 years have been served as a career member. He has worked on Emergency One, as an EMT, engine driver and is a longtime driver of ladder Truck Number 1.
Christopher is a charter member of the North Haven Professional Firefighters Local 2987. He started on the Executive Board in 1984 where he was elected to Vice-President. While President of the North Haven Local 2987, he implemented the grill safety program and the bike helmet safety program. He is a member of the IAFF where he has represented the local as a delegate in conventions in Florida, Las Vegas, Vancouver BC and Chicago and is the Chairman of the Contract Negotiating Committee. Christopher Murray’s certifications include Firefighter I, Hazardous Materials Operation, Hazardous Material Technician and Instructor.
He is a member of the New Haven Area Special Hazards Team, the New Haven County Emerald Society and the Northeast Fire Association. He is the recipient of “The Four Chaplains Award” from the American Legion and numerous Letters of Commendation. He has enjoyed participating in a number of Department sponsored charitable events. He and his wife, Stacy, enjoy cooking together and watching their children Sarah and Christopher Jr. play lacrosse and softball.
VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER RONALD MATTEI
Volunteer Firefighter of the Year, Ronald Mattei a lifelong resident of North Haven was born in New Haven in May 1956. He attended North Haven public schools and started his own company, R & M Cleaning that he has owned and operated for the past 34 years. Ron joined the North Haven Volunteer Fire Department, West Ridge Company #3 in 1973. During his 40 years with the department, he has been a top responder several times, with over 5000 Alarms, as well as holding the respective titles of Company Lieutenant for years and President of the West Ridge Volunteer Fire Association.
Recently, Ron served as Chairman of the State Fire Fighters 2012 State Convention held in North Haven during North Haven’s Fire Department’s 100 year anniversary. Ron is an avid motorcyclist and proudly serves as treasurer of the local CT chapter of the International Red Knights MC; Chapter 4 is composed of firefighters (paid/volunteer active and inactive) that enjoy motorcycles and support charitable organizations. Ron is also a member of the BPOE #2224 Elk’s Lodge in Hamden CT. He is also a seasoned snowmobiler and travels to Canada and Vermont annually for riding with friends. His family includes Andrea and Brytani Randlett.
(Shown L-R) Volunteer Firefighter Ronald Mattei. Firefighter Christopher Murray, Police Officer Valdemar Queiroga; Citizen of the Year Raymond Fowler, Hamden Lodge President Carl Gorman, and Hamden Lodge Past President and Master of Ceremony, Stanley Mendygral.