Middlesex United Way’s upcoming roast to honor Young Leaders founder

Joe Santaniello is the type of person that after you meet him, you wonder how you had gone so long without knowing him. We at Middlesex United Way are so fortunate to be able to work with him day in and day out, and this year we are taking the opportunity to let him know how much he means to us.

We will be hosting our annual Middlesex United Way Roast, and this year’s guest of honor is certainly deserving. The roast, which honors a different community leader every year, helps to benefit Middlesex United Way’s work in education, income, health and housing.

Joe is a longtime friend of Middlesex United Way, serves on our board of directors and is a current campaign co-chairman. Over a decade ago, Joe helped found the Middlesex United Way Young Leaders Society. YLS is a group that focuses on providing networking, volunteering, and leadership development opportunities for young professionals. Joe has served previously as chairman and co-chairman, and still helps them in their efforts to this day.

Joe Santaniello currently works for Charles IT in Middletown as a business developer. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and is widely known for his contagious enthusiasm and positive attitude. Joe has proven his leadership skills through serving as a mentor for young students with the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce school mentor program, as well as working with the Middletown schools’ Project Graduation.

His volunteerism throughout the community spans from participating in the Credit 4 Life event, Middlesex Chamber of Commerce annual car cruise, Motorcycle Mania, Holiday on Main Street, and many more activities.

In 2017, he was a recipient of the Middlesex United Way Community Leadership Award, given to an individual whose leadership helps to strengthen communities. Joe also serves on the board of MARC Community Resources, and was a past member of St. Luke’s Community Services board, both of which are Middlesex United Way funding partners.

The roasts are always a great time, and it is all in the name of philanthropy. So please bring your best memories, stories (the more embarrassing, the better), and help us celebrate Joe with a laugh to honor his years of service to our community.

The roast will be held Oct. 30 at the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station. Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets, $75, are available at middlesexunitedway.org/RSVP or by calling 860-346-8695. Each ticket includes hors d’ oeuvres and dinner. A cash bar will be available.

Thank you to this year’s generous sponsor, Charles IT. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Amanda Furlong at Amanda.furlong@middlesexunitedway.org.

Kevin Wilhelm is president and CEO of the Middlesex United Way in Middletown.Editor’s note:

This column originally reported that Charles IT is in Cromwell. It is located in Middletown.