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WestConn Society luncheon honored Dianne and Bob Yamin

The WCSU Foundation annually recognizes leaders of the community who have devoted themselves to improving circumstances for their neighbors.

This year, the honorees were Robert and Dianne Yamin, who each have made a difference in their own areas of expertise, and who together are one of the most respected couples in the region.

More than 100 people attended the WestConn Society Luncheon at The Matrix Convention Center to honor the Yamins and raise money for the WCSU Foundation, the private fundraising organization that supports the university.

When master of ceremonies David Nurnberger introduced the Yamins to accept the Community Service Award from President James W. Schmotter, they took turns telling the audience about each other, in gently humorous terms.

“The other day the local paper referred to Dianne as a ‘high-powered woman,’ Bob Yamin said. “Now those who know Dianne, who is the most humble and self-effacing person I know, probably had to stop and think about that description. But high-powered doesn’t necessarily mean pushy or aggressive. High-powered also means influential and effective, and in that sense, Dianne is one of the most influential and effective leaders in our area.”

Dianne Yamin introduced Bob by describing his sense of humor and the fact that he shops for all of her clothes.

“Those of you that know my husband probably know him for his Yamin & Yamin pens, but he is much more than that,” Dianne said. “He has a heart of gold and he is the smartest lawyer I know.”

Both Yamins are third-generation Danburians. Bob graduated from Western Connecticut State University in 1979 at the top of his class, Summa Cum Laude, completing double majors (a BA in History and a BA in Political Science) in two years, with a 4.0 GPA.  He was then accepted at the Harvard Law School, where he earned his law degree, the first Western alumnus to achieve that distinction.

Bob is the Managing Partner of the Greater Danbury Law Firm of Yamin & Yamin. Since 2002, he has also served as the city of Danbury's corporation counsel and chief legal officer.

Dianne Yamin, a graduate of Lehigh University and the Mercer University School of Law, has been elected six times as Danbury’s Judge of Probate and is routinely the highest vote-getter in municipal elections.

Dianne is a partner at Yamin & Yamin, served as President Judge of the Connecticut Probate Assembly, as chair of the Mayor’s Task Force of the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness and in 2010 was elected the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the advisory board for the WCSU Institution for Financial Literacy

The Yamin’s described their deep belief in helping and improving the community.

“I credit my parents for involving me in volunteerism from a very young age,” Dianne Yamin said. “I fondly remember my days at Danbury Hospital in the 1970s as a Candy Striper. Danbury is a large city, but with a very strong sense of community. The business community is incredibly philanthropic with one of the five community banks and other businesses always donating or sponsoring. The religious community is strong and individuals galore come out always for community projects and volunteering.

Bob Yamin expressed his commitment to his alma mater.

“I know you’re being tugged in a million directions these days, especially being the core givers and doers in our community, but I believe no cause you support is more important to all of us than the support of this university at this time,” he said. “And no cause you can contribute to or volunteer for in our area has a greater multiplier effect or creates more synergy than this university. It’s at the core of our culture, or economy and of course our educational community, and none of those spheres of our collective lives would be the same without a robust WestConn.”

Mayor Mark Boughton, the keynote speaker at the luncheon, discussed the rigors of governing in the 21st century.

David Nurnberger, recently retired senior vice president of human resources at Boehinger Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and chairman of the WCSU Foundation board of directors, was the master of ceremonies.

The WestConn Society is the earliest established giving arm of the WCSU Foundation. This group has, for decades, supported innovative programs, outreach opportunities, and enrichment initiatives. With their support, members have optimized our students' collegiate experience and invested in our faculty's potential to meet ever-evolving demands of teaching to our future. Members of this club donate annually at the $250 to $499 level.

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(203) 837-8298