Newtown’s Peter D’Amico named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’
DANBURY, CONN. — Peter D’Amico, a distinguished businessman and community activist, has been named the 2015 Macricostas Entrepreneur of the Year by Western Connecticut State University. He will be honored at a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, at The Ethan Allen Hotel, 21 Lake Ave. Extension, Danbury.
D’Amico is the founder and president of SCB International Materials, a supplier of products to the global cement industry. He was one of the first to import raw materials into the U.S. from international sources. Drawing on his chemical industry background and technical expertise, D’Amico saw the need to integrate technical support services and logistics capabilities in the company’s offerings, setting new industry standards for quality and service.
SCB International focuses on providing products and technology that have a positive environmental impact. In fact, more than 80 percent of the products supplied to the cement industry by SCB are “waste” products from other industries. Most recently, SCB has developed a patented technology to capture and remove mercury from various industrial products.
In addition, D’Amico is respected for his role in the creation of the Newtown Youth Academy on the former Fairfield Hill campus, offering affordable programming to promote health, fitness and general well-being through sport competitions, community events and training. He also is the managing partner of semi-professional soccer team AC Connecticut, which plays its home games at Western Connecticut State University.
“Peter was selected because of his business success and his great commitment to Newtown and its youth,” said Dr. David Martin, dean of the Ancell School of Business. “He is one of the people who step up when the community has a need. He figures out how to get the job done – the true mark of an entrepreneur.”
D’Amico immigrated to America with his family from Italy when he was 14. He knew no English and as he prepared to enter high school in Orange, New Jersey, he learned that administrators planned to send him back to the fifth grade. He spoke to a vice principal and asked for the chance to start in the ninth grade. He told the principal, “Just give me the opportunity.” He succeeded, capping his academic career with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
He has faced similar obstacles in his business career. When D’Amico was 39, he left his job in marketing and sales at Union Carbide and joined a firm that wanted to start a chemical business. The salary was small but he was confident he could grow sales and revenue. Three months later, the parent company was sold and he was out of a job. D’Amico decided to start his own company and got backing from another businessman in the cement industry. When that backer’s firm was sold, D’Amico was on his own again. Several banks turned him down before he found another private lender who helped the firm stay afloat and eventually thrive.
D’Amico credits his success to support from people who backed him along his entrepreneurial journey.
“I’ve had a lot of people help me in life and that’s what drives me now to help other people,” he said.
D’Amico and his wife, Marie, have lived in Newtown since 1980 with their four children. Two sons, Chris and Matthew, also work at SCB International.
The annual entrepreneurship award is sponsored by the foundation of Brookfield industrialist and philanthropist Constantine “Deno” Macricostas and his wife Marie. The couple established the award and other activities to encourage entrepreneurship among students and to recognize business leaders in the region. The award has been given since 2008.
For tickets to the Entrepreneur of the Year luncheon, go to www.wcsu.edu/eoy or contact Sheryl Scott at (203) 837-8486.
Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.