Two VCF Board Members Recognized at Chamber Gold Seal Awards

Sharon Closius
Valley Community Foundation Board Members, Diane Stroman and Ray Oppel

Two VCF Board Members were among those recognized at the 46th Annual Valley Chamber of Commerce Gold Seal Award Banquet on Wednesday, October, 26 at the Inn at Villa Bianca in Seymour. 

“Ray Oppel and Diane Stroman have a longstanding history of involvement in the Valley,” said Sharon Closius, VCF President and CEO. “Congratulations to all the award recipients. We are especially proud to have such engaged and passionate community members like Ray and Diane as part of our organization.” 

Raymond A. Oppel – 2017 Gold Seal Recipient

Throughout his life, Ray has shown a quiet dedication to his community. After attaining the rank of Life Scout, he became a Boy Scout leader with Troop 3– not for the sole benefit of his family, but for the benefit of many Valley families. Ray is a member of the Board of Directors of the Valley Community Foundation. He has shared his professional talents with many local organizations including the Shelton Little League, Babe Ruth Baseball and Huntington Congregational Church. Ray has led a life above reproach and stands as a role model to the many young lives he has touched. 

Diane Stroman – 2017 Platinum Award Recipient

A 1999 Gold Seal Award recipient Diane continues to inspire community leaders every day. She is committed to creating a positive impact, expanding opportunities, and building a better future for the Valley. 

She serves on several community boards including the Valley Community Foundation, the Lower Naugatuck Valley Boys & Girls Club, and the Valley Juvenile Review Board. Diane is the Chairperson of the Ansonia’s Elderly Services Commission, Co-chair of the Julian A. Taylor Scholarship Committee and former Chair of the Valley Council of Health and Human Services, Valley Council of Senior Services and Valley Council of Youth Services. 

Through the years Diane has also served as a member of the Ansonia Board of Education, past president of the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club, as well as having served with Ansonia Fair Housing Commission, Youth Advisor of the Valley NAACP, Curtissey Corp, Griffin Hospital, Mutual Housing Association, Valley Red Cross and Salvation Army. 

Always going well beyond the realm of her paid position, Diane is a recipient of the Valley United Way Flynn Humanitarian Award, Community Foundation of Greater New Haven Valley Advisory Board Chairman’s Award, Valley Women Makes a Difference Award, Ansonia Community Action Community Award, James E. Wilkins Masonic Community Award, the NAACP Regional Youth Advisor Award and Rotary International Paul Harris Recognition. 

Diane lives each day in true testament of her quote from the Gold Seal Program: “If I can help somebody as I pass along; if I can cheer somebody with a word or a song; if I can show somebody they are traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain.” Spiritual Song 

About the Valley Chamber of Commerce Gold Seal Awards:

These awards are given annually to recipients, individuals and groups who demonstrate outstanding community service through dedicated and effective leadership. They are among the most prestigious and time-honored community service awards in the Valley. The combined efforts of all our recipients have resulted in lasting contributions in the Greater Valley communities of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton.







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