Chamber honors community efforts of Liguori

Sergio Liguori shares his moment in the spotlight with Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Denise Del Mastro as he receives the organization's
Sergio Liguori shares his moment in the spotlight with Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Denise Del Mastro as he receives the organization's "Distinguished Chamber Member Of The Year" award during the Chamber's Crystal Winter Gala in January 2014 at the Candlewood Inn in Brookfield.Trish Haldin

Sergio Liguori is a hardworking man invested in the community in which he lives.

That is one of the reasons the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce honored him in January with the organization's 2013 Distinguished Chamber Member of the Year Award for an Individual during the Chamber's Crystal Winter Gala.

Liguori has lived in the community since he came to the U.S. from San Paulo, Brazil, in April of 1986 -- except for a few years when he lived in Indiana.

During his years in town, he has been active in various organizations.

Liguori first became involved in the Northville Volunteer Fire Department in the early 1990s and later rejoined in 2011. Over the years, he has answered calls and served on several committees.

Last year, he took his volunteerism a step further and became certified through the DEEP as a wildland firefighter, doing everything "a smoke jumper does but not jumping out of a plane," he said.

One of his first assignments was in Montana, he said.

He is also dedicated to working with youth. He has helped New Milford Cub Scout packs 58 and 66, and Boy Scout troops 158 and 21, in particular, with fundraising activities.

"It's an accomplishment when you see a kid who all of the sudden gets it," said Liguori, explaining what it's like to watch boys learn how to do things, even just tying a knot.

Outside of Scouting, Liguori has also played an active role with the Village Fair Days Committee since he joined it in 2003.

His primary duties have been trash collection and clean-up, and helping the fair's youth volunteers.

Outside of town, he has spoken to the freshman class at Empire Beauty School in New York City, sharing his personal story.

In addition, he is known for quietly providing help to those in need around New Milford.

Over the years, Liguori has worked at various companies. In his early years in town, he worked as a "grease monkey" at Jiffy Lube, a position that helped land him a job running his own store while he lived in Indiana from 1993 to 1995.

Upon his return to Connecticut in 1995, after suffering a tragic motor vehicle accident that claimed the life of his fiancée, he assumed a job on the manufacturing floor of Wentworth Laboratories in Brookfield.

Liguori's interest and involvement in a particular engineering project for IBM eventually moved him to the engineering department, where he worked as an engineer technician.

In 2003, after losing his job at Memry Corporation, he followed the suggestion of a friend, who at one point had recommended he look into hairdressing, and he became a hair stylist.

Today, Liguori is part of a landscaping crew and is a hair stylist.

Liguori and his family were sponsored by his aunt to come to the U.S. from San Paulo, Brazil, when he was almost 17.

Upon arrival, he had to re-educate himself, which included learning English.

"I didn't say `hello,' let alone know how to spell it," Liguori said of the language barrier.

Liguori and his wife, Kristin, were married in 2000 and have two children, Dominic, 17, and Luka, 11.