A Very Successful Sentinel Award Event with Frank Gaudio
By Liz Leamy
On the last Thursday in June, Frank J. Gaudio, the dynamic and benevolent Chief Executive Officer and President of the First Bank of Greenwich was honored in golden style at the 2023 Greenwich Sentinel Foundation’s Annual Awards Ceremony as Sentinel of the Year at the Greenwich Audubon Center on Riversville Road.
In characteristic humble manner, Gaudio accepted his honor graciously thanking everyone there, as well as all of those individuals he has known and met along the way over the years, for helping him reach this benchmark juncture in his life and career.
“I want to thank all of you,” said Gaudio at this standing room-only event. “It’s not me, it’s all of you, and this is a good opportunity for me to thank all of you.”
Gaudio, whose last name in Latin translation fittingly means ‘love and joy,’ also gave big accolades to his mother for all of her support, strength and inspiration over the years.
“I was raised with a lot of love,” said Gaudio, whose mother was at the event. “Mom, this award is for you.”
Clearly, Gaudio’s impact as a business leader, friend and colleague to so many individuals in Greenwich and its surrounding communities has been profound and also demonstrative as to why he was chosen for this honor.
“I love that Frank is a He has the town and its Ashley of Greenwich, the Sentinel because he embodies community so close to his 2021 Greenwich Sentinel all that a Sentinel means. heart,” said Stephanie Dunn Award recipient who is Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Metro New York North Chapter.
“He is so committed to helping people through everything he does. It’s wonderful and because of that, the individuals he affects have more opportunities and can do more things.”
Greenwich Chief of Police James Heavey, the 2016 Sentinel Award recipient, agreed.
“A manager takes care of things and a leader takes care of people,” said Heavey, in his introduction of Gaudio at the ceremony. “Frank is a leader.”
Fred Camillo, First Selectman of the Town of Greenwich, expressed similar sentiments in his introduction of Gaudio during which he declared Friday, June 30th as Frank J. Gaudio Day in town.
“Frank’s ability to enrich the world around him comes as naturally as the air he breathes,” said Camillo. “Frank is a pillar of the Greenwich community. He is a tireless supporter of local businesses who has brought joy, creativity and humor to work, and he always remains humble and appreciative.”
Gaudio certainly seems to understand and practice the concept of humility, gratitude and hard work, that is for certain.
Gaudio, who grew up in Westchester and attended Iona College in New Rochelle, began building his business brand with these concepts in mind as a young adult.
In college, Gaudio hosted a series of Westchester-area events with Louis D’Esposito, a fellow classmate and friend who went on to become a famed film producer and director and Co-President of Marvel Studios that were said to always be packed with people and were a big hit.
After finishing college, Gaudio went on to pursue a career in banking, where he went on to achieve remarkable things and become the renowned force that he is known to be today.
Since joining the First Bank of Greenwich more than eight years ago, Gaudio has helped establish it as one of the main financial forerunners in the Fairfield and Westchester County New York City-metropolitan areas.
Currently, the First Bank of Greenwich has locations in Cos Cob, Stamford and Port Chester. With his laser-sharp mind and big-picture thinking, Gaudio is also a big advocate and supporter of small businesses, as the First Bank of Greenwich has been working over the years with many proprietors in the area to help provide them with optimal opportunities for growth, impact and success.
Meanwhile, the First Bank of Greenwich has also been a big supporter of many local charity organizations in and around town, with these relationships having had affected scores of individuals in and around the area in a profound way.
For Gaudio, who was also recently named as the next Chair of the Connecticut Bankers Association, some of the key characteristics for achieving success include good character, having a strong sense of community and maintaining a rock-solid work ethic, among other things.
By all accounts, this approach has been effective, especially in seeing the huge impact Gaudio has had and continues to have upon so many individuals he has met, worked with and befriended over the years.
“I can’t say enough good words about Frank, he truly deserves this honor in every way and he is awesome,” said Damiano Alessandro, Universal Banker II at the First Bank of Greenwich. “He puts people before himself and supports everybody. Working for Frank and the First Bank of Greenwich is amazing and I would not ever want to work anywhere else.” Others agreed.
“I met Frank through business and it’s become a friendship for life. He has a magnetism and is just an amazing person,” said Griff Harris Jr., a longtime friend of Gaudio who is a First Bank of Greenwich client and President and Owner of Griff Harris Insurance Services in town. “I admire him so much and he has helped make the bank the force that it is. I also believe the First Bank of Greenwich is the most philanthropic bank in the town due to his commitment to everyone here in the community.”
This heartwarming celebration for Gaudio featured other memorable highlights, including an option for guests to interact with Beardsley Zoo experts who had a three-week old baby alligator, among other exotic animals.
At the same time, there was also a smorgasbord of edible offerings at tables all over the venue, including tasty shrimp cocktail, cheeseburger sliders, pasta and fruit salad, Lindt chocolates and French macarons, along with an open bar.
In addition, guests also had a chance to win one of more than three dozen prizes such as fine chocolates, gift certificates, f lowers, wine, puzzles and other items and experiences by participating in a raffle as they entered the event through the Greenwich Audubon Center’s main doorway area.
Certainly, this was a wonderful experience on all fronts, especially since it seemed to reflect so much of the heart and spirit of Gaudio himself.
“It’s been a great time with great people,” said Tommy Finocchio, owner and operator of Stamford-based Finocchio Brothers Inc. that provides commercial waste management and waste removal services for individuals and businesses in and around the Westchester and Fairfield County areas. “Frank is a wonderful guy and I love the fact that he’s being honored. He deserves it.”