The spectacular First Annual Hartford Bishops’ Foundation Gala was held on December 3, 2016 at The Riverview in Simsbury. Cathy and Jim Smith were served as co-chairs.

This signature event helped launch the capital campaign titled Forward with Faith, which will raise funds for the critical needs of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph, including the restoration program for the Cathedral and the completion of its Master Plan. The proceeds from the Cathedral Gala will benefit the lives of many who reside in Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven counties through the altruistic efforts of our benevolent Gala Sponsors and the Hartford Bishops’ Foundation.

CATHY SMITH is highly respected throughout greater Waterbury for her leadership in philanthropic projects that have significantly improved the region’s quality of life and facilitated economic growth. Cathy serves on the board of the Leever Foundation; The Leavenworth Foundation; The Greenway Committee; Waterbury Community Investment Board of Managers, which advises the Harold Webster Smith Foundation on its Hillside neighborhood revitalization; Council of Governments Transportation initiative; Waterbury Public Art Committee; Anamet (Brownfields Remediation) Task Force; and the Rose Hill Project.

As past chair of the board of the Mattatuck Museum, Cathy led a successful $10 million capital campaign for the endowment and the installation of a new history exhibit and oversaw significant expansion in the museum’s mission. As president of the Fulton Park Conservancy, she is leading the historic renovation and restoration of the Warming Hut and Garden Cottage in Waterbury’s Fulton Park.

JIM SMITH  is chief executive officer (since 1987) and chairman (since 1995) of Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:  WBS) and Webster Bank. Jim has held a number of positions in state, regional and national banking organizations – including  his service on the boards of the Federal Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, and the Connecticut Bankers Association.

Jim has served as a Director of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and the Waterbury Regional Chamber, and serves on the Leadership Investor Council of the MetroHartford Alliance. He served on the board of directors of St. Mary’s Health System in Waterbury for over 30 years.

The Smiths were leaders in the beautification project of Waterbury’s Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church in 1997 as part of the church’s 150th anniversary.  They have provided generous ongoing support of the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal through their help in the Basilica, the Archdiocese of Hartford, in support of Archdiocesan programs, Saint Mary’s Hospital Foundation, and Catholic Charities. They have been supportive of Sacred Heart High School, which Cathy attended, and the Children’s Community School, both in Waterbury.

The couple resides in Middlebury and has two children, Haley Webster and James Voghel.

Next year’s Annual Gala will be held beginning at Noon on November 18, 2017,  at ARIA in Prospect, CT.