The award is named for the late Mr. Flynn, who was, at the time of his death, editor of The Evening Sentinel, a daily newspaper that was the main source of community information in the Lower Naugatuck Valley. Mr. Flynn had also been one of the founders of the Valley United Fund. He had been president of the Ansonia Community Chest. In 1968, he led that organization into a merger with the Derby-Shelton Community Chest and the Seymour United Fund which resulted in the formation of what is now known as the Valley United Way.
A native of Derby, he was an Ansonia resident most of his life and a long time Sentinel employee. He had an abiding interest in the Valley community and served it in myriad ways. At the time of his death he was first vice-president of the Valley United Fund; president of Catholic Family Services; president of the Ansonia Board of Assessors; director of the Ansonia Public Library and director of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Chapter, American Red Cross.
Following his death in 1969, this award was established because of his life long dedicated service to the entire Valley. The award was presented for the first time in 1971 to Alice Russ Cochran of Shelton. Several individuals have been named to this list of distinguished Valley citizens. It is restricted to living persons whose service has been to the Valley community. That service must encompass more than one town and more than one organization.
This Year’s Winner – John J. Walsh
Jack Walsh is the 47th Charles H. Flynn Humanitarian Award winner, the Valley’s oldest and most prestegious community service award named for the late editor of The Evening Sentinel. The award is presented for a lifetime of service to the community.
Jack was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Valley United Way until retiring in November of 2016. A life-long resident of Derby, he was with United Way since 1989. Jack was previously a teacher in Shelton and Derby as well as the head boys basketball coach at Shelton High School. He was also the Director of the Recreation Camp in Derby, a United Way funded agency, for fourteen years.
During Jack’s tenure, Valley United Way has grown as a community resource by adding the Youth Leadership Program, the Volunteer Action Center, and the partner Agency Council which has since expanded to become the Valley Council for Health & Human Services. He was also one of the leaders in the Valley’s successful effort in the All America City competition. Jack was the longest serving Chair of the Chief Professional Officers Council for United Way of Connecticut and was on the Board of Directors at United Way of Connecticut.
Jack is an active member of the community. He is a past Chair of Derby’s Park & Recreation Commission and currently chairs the City’s Greenway Committee as well as co-chairing the Naugatuck River Greenway Committee. He is also Chair of the Electronic Valley project, President of the Board of Directors at the Derby Neck Library and a member and past president of both the Derby/Shelton Rotary Club and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He is a past President of the Board of Directors for the Derby Historical Society and is a former member of the board of directors for the Hallock’s Landing Senior Housing Project which renovated the old Derby High School where he was once a student and later a teacher.
He served on the Valley Advisory Committee for the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. Jack is a corporator for Griffin Hospital and a member and past Co-chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Yale/Griffin Prevention Resource Center. Jack is a member of the Board of Directors for the Online Journalism Project, the parent organization for the Valley Independent Sentinel, the Valley’s on-line news site. He was also one of the founders and a committee member for the Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race. He was on the Community Advisory Board for the Yale Community Rowing Program.
He is a past recipient of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Gold Seal Award and the Lewis Savitsky Staff Excellence Award presented by the Valley Council of Health & Human Service Organizations. He has also received the Valley Council of Governments’ Hazel Knapp Award for regional leadership as well as the Derby Historical Society’s Dr. John I. Howe Award. In 2007, he received the Parent Child Resource Center’s Outstanding Service to Children and Families award. He was also named to the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Alumni Association Hall of Fame.
The Lower Naugatuck Valley Bar Association presented him with their Liberty Bell Award in June, 2008. In November, 2008 he received the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Platinum Award.In 2010 the YMCA presented him with their Strong Community Builder Award. The Women and Heart Disease Committee at Griffin Hospital presented him with their “Caring Heart” Awardin 2011. In 2012, he received the Spirit of St. Mary – St. Michael School award from the school. He is a graduate of St. Mary’s, and later taught at both schools before their merger.
Previous Award Winners