Laurie Watrous: Supporting the Community Through Business
Supporting local businesses is the primary goal of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. One of the people who help make sure that goal is met is Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director Laurie Watrous.
Shortly after moving to Clinton to retire, Laurie was looking for something to get her out of the house and utilize some of the skills she had developed during her professional career. Soon, Laurie spotted an opening at the chamber; six years later, she’s still there.
“It’s been a very good fit. I wanted something part-time that allowed for interaction and being in an activity outside the house. Also, I thought it would be a great way to get to meet people in the town, and it really has been,” Laurie says.
As the administrative assistant to the executive director, she’s responsible for activities like handling correspondences, billings, and generally just helping out around the chamber office.
“I also do a lot of interacting with the chamber members as well as the town, like when there are facility requests,” Laurie adds.
Laurie says she also helps to coordinate different events sponsored by the chamber. One notable upcoming event the chamber is working on is a comedy show for adults at American Legion Post 66 in Clinton on Saturday, March 11. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at clintonct.com or by calling 860-669-3889.
“The money raised by the event will go to events like the summer fireworks, Christmas in Clinton, and the summer concerts,” Laurie explains.
Besides the comedy show, the chamber is also hosting its annual business expo on Saturday,
March 25, allowing attendees to meet with local businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations in a fun, free environment. An annual shredding event is scheduled for April 1.
Thanks to the various events held by the chamber, Laurie says working at the chamber allows her to meet different people, an aspect of the job she loves.
“I would say my favorite part is interacting with the different members and members of the public as well as seeing the events go off,” Laurie says.
In fact, Laurie says it’s difficult for her to think of the hardest part of the job.
“It’s enough variety that it’s always something different. Whether it’s events or people calling up and asking about the town because they’re new or planning on visiting, there’s always something going on,” explains Laurie.
Before working at the chamber, Laurie worked for over 20 years in the insurance industry and then later in the financial field for a number of years.
“It was very exciting but stressful,” Laurie concedes. By working at the chamber Laurie says she gets to use her office experience in a calmer environment.
Laurie grew up in Stamford, but she and her husband Bill began looking for communities to retire to.
“We began looking at the smaller towns in Middlesex County and away from Fairfield County,” says Laurie. In 2016, they found Clinton and moved in full-time.
“It’s a small town which we liked, and having grown up in Fairfield County, it was fun, but we feel like it’s more of an area for younger people. We wanted something quieter. We’ve been extremely happy ever since we moved here,” Laurie says.
In fact, Laurie says that early on in their move to Clinton, they realized they had made the right call.
“We went to a summer concert on the Green, and while we were there, we just looked at each other and said, ‘This is exactly what we were looking for.’”
Asked her favorite thing about Clinton, Laurie says, “I love the sense of community.”
In her spare time, Laurie says she likes to travel as well as “spend time with my five grandkids, whom I adore.”