For the many people who devote their time and energy to improving their communities, Anthony Rescigno is a reminder that such work does not go unnoticed.

Rescigno, the current president of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce, will be honored this May for the many years he has worked as a volunteer in the New Haven area and for past accomplishments as the former first selectman of North Haven. He is set to receive the annual Distinguished Service Award from the Italian American Historical Society of Greater New Haven, as well as the first ever Distinguished Citizen Award from the Association of North Haven Black Citizens.

Past winners of the Distinguished Service Award include U.S. circuit judge and former Dean of Yale Law School Guido Calabrese and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.

Rescigno said the two awards were great achievements for him and that he will continue to work hard to help New Haven develop a strong economy.

“I’m gratified to be selected by these two great organizations,” Rescigno said. “I’m humbled by it.”

According to a press release, Rescigno was chosen for the Distinguished Citizen Award for what the association called his “special and unusual” contributions to North Haven.

Jim Hogan, vice-president of the Association of North Haven Black Citizens, said Rescigno’s leadership abilities and the effect he had on improving minority students’ educational opportunities in the region played a major role in the decision.

After becoming first selectman of North Haven, a position equivalent to mayor, Rescigno said he focused on fixing the local education system and building better libraries.

“He is very unselfish, very caring,” said Terry Gabucci, a member of the Italian American Historical Society. “He is a person who gives himself up to the community.”

Gabucci said that Rescigno’s active role in the community and the help he gave the Historical Society to preserve Italian heritage were important elements in their decision to give him the Distinguished Service Award.

Two years ago, after 11 years as first selectman, Rescigno was picked to head the New Haven Chamber of Commerce after a nationwide search. He said his main goal now is to develop the New Haven economy and ensure that the city and the surrounding region have the infrastructure to attract new businesses.

He said his current projects include working to improve and expand Tweed-New Haven Airport.

“My job is to assure that this city gets all the help and assistance it needs,” Rescigno said.

Rescigno previously served on the board of the United Way, and he currently is a member of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.

He grew up in New Haven and graduated from the University of New Haven with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He then worked for 17 years in the concrete business before becoming first selectman of North Haven.

The purpose of the Italian American Historical Society is to collect and preserve Italian oral histories, video tapes, photos and documents. The Association of North Haven Black Citizens’ main goal is to raise funds for awarding scholarships to minority students.