The Clinton Chamber of Commerce website states the group’s mission is to “coordinate the concerns and efforts of the business community in improving the business climate of the area.” Jeff Mastroianni, the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, is working to help refine the focus of the Chamber in meeting that goal.
Jeff is quick to list his favorite aspect of his role with the Chamber.
“My favorite part is being involved getting events up and going,” Jeff says.
Jeff says he began working with the Chamber last year. In that one year, Jeff says he has seen the focus of the Chamber change.
“We’re trying to steer the Chamber to be more business friendly,” Jeff says.
Jeff says he wants to get the Chamber “away from doing mostly social gatherings” like it had been doing. Jeff says the Chamber’s new philosophy is to “help people get into business and to help the business.”
Within the Chamber of Commerce, there are several different committees of which members can be part, such as a committee working on the town SummerFest, and the committee that plans the Dancing with the Stars event. Soon after his election to the chair position in June, Jeff considered volunteering on the SummerFest committee. It wasn’t long before he was informed by Chamber Executive Director Ken Hartley that volunteering for the committee wouldn’t be necessary.
“Ken told me that as chairman of the Board of Directors, I’m basically on every committee,” said Jeff.
Being so busy sometimes can be a downside of Jeff’s position with the Chamber.
“Not having enough time to get to everything in a day is my least favorite part,” says Jeff.
Jeff says the Chamber is currently looking for volunteers to help with various events the Chamber is putting on. “We’re definitely looking for volunteers” says Jeff.
One event that the Chamber is particularly interested in obtaining volunteers for is planning the 2018 SummerFest. After the 2017 SummerFest was canceled this spring, the Chamber has been recruiting volunteers to help plan next year’s events.
“We’re looking for volunteers inside and outside the Chamber,” Jeff says.
Jeff says goals for the SummerFest include the possibility of a car show or carnival to go along with the fireworks display. Planning is already underway; those interested in helping can get more information by calling the Chamber office at 860-669-3889 or sending an email to email@example.com.
Jeff grew up in Hamden, but moved to Clinton in 1996.
“My wife grew up here,” says Jeff.
When he isn’t working, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family. He and his wife Shelley recently celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary. Jeff and Shelley have four kids, Jake, 21, Neena, 18, Sonia, 14, and Max, who is 10.
Jeff worked as a mortgage appraiser with People’s United Bank until a friend gave him a new career path. Jeff was playing softball when a friend told him he worked for Pirelli Tires. Jeff liked how the job sounded and went to work there, too.
“I worked there from 1995 to 2010,” Jeff says.
After leaving Pirelli, Jeff began working with American Tire Distributors. Around the same time in July that Jeff was named chairman of the Board of Directors, Jeff was also given a promotion with American Tire Distributors to the director of sales deployment. Jeff’s new job calls for “a lot of traveling,” which Jeff admitted could be difficult to get used to after many years of not being required to travel around the country.
In addition to his job with American Tire Distributors, Jeff also is an owner of Chow Food and Beverage Company in Clinton. Jeff says he has been involved with the restaurant business since he was 15 years old working as a bus boy. The experience has definitely paid off, since Jeff was named the Best Bartender of 2016 by the Shoreline Times readers poll.
Jeff says the keys to being a good bartender are “listening, always being in a good mood, and being a good conversationalist.
“You can’t make a bad drink either,” Jeff adds with a chuckle.