The 2013 recipient of the Governor William A. O’Neill Public Service Award is Thomas J. Serra of Middletown.
The Governor William A. O’Neill Public Service Award, presented since 2002, is awarded to an individual who has performed outstanding public service for Middlesex County and the State of Connecticut. The award is named after Governor O’Neill, who dedicated himself to public service during his tenure as a State Representative, Lieutenant Governor and Governor.
Tom Serra has dedicated himself to public service throughout a long and distinguished career as an educator, a principal, a mayor, a member of the Middletown Common Council, and a supporter of countless community initiatives.
Tom attended local schools growing up and went on to complete a very successful career at Middletown High School both in the classroom and on the athletic fields. He ran track and played basketball and baseball, but he truly excelled on the football field where he earned All-State Honors. Tom was a starter on the 1964 MHS State Champion basketball team.
After high school, Tom went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Eastern Connecticut State University, a Master’s Degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Connecticut, and a 6th Year Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Administration, also from the University of Connecticut. In 2011, Eastern Connecticut State University presented Tom with its Distinguished Alumni Service Award.
Tom spent many years as an educator at Vinal Technical High School in Middletown where he held the positions of teacher, coach, athletic director and principal. He was instrumental in establishing programs for Football, Wrestling, Girls Softball, Girls Basketball, Girls Volleyball and Girls Tennis. In 2003, The Connecticut Department of Education named the athletic fields behind Vinal Technical High School the Thomas J. Serra Sports Complex in honor of his service to the school.
Tom began his political career in 1979 when he was first elected to the Middletown Common Council. During his time on the council, Tom has served as Deputy Mayor, Majority Leader and Minority Leader, and has served on each committee of the legislative body. He was elected Mayor of Middletown in 1993 and served until 1995. Tom has since returned to service on the Common Council and currently serves as Majority Leader. He sits on the Public Safety Commission,Finance and Government Operations Commission, Park and Recreation Commission, Personnel Review Committee, Economic Development Committee and Parking Advisory Committee. Tom has also been a very active member of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce through his service on its Scholarship Committee, as Chairman of its Business & Education Partnership Advisory Council, and his support of many other Chamber events and activities.
Tom is currently President of the Middletown Sports Hall of Fame and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame. He participates in the activities of the ECSU and UCONN Alumni Associations, and supports many other civic and social organizations.
Thomas J. Serra is a worthy recipient of the 2013 Governor William A. O’Neill Public Service Award. The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize him with this honor.
The Governor William A. O’Neill Public Service Award will be presented on Monday, September 23, 2013, at the Chamber’s Member Breakfast Meeting featuring United States Congressman John B. Larson.
The Member Breakfast Meeting, sponsored by Pratt & Whitney, will be held at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell, 100 Berlin Road, Cromwell, with networking beginning at 7:00 A.M., Breakfast Buffet opens at 7:45 A.M., and the Meeting Program, 8:00 to 9:00 A.M. Cost is $20 for Chamber Members and $30 for non-members.
Advance registration required, please register on line: www.middlesexchamber.com.