Chamber of Commerce names scholarship in honor of Joseph Strilowich

The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce has named a scholarship in honor of Ridgefield resident and business owner Joseph Anthony Strilowich, who died in October 2017.

The $500 scholarship will be offered to a graduate of Ridgefield High School who is going into the military or the hospitality industry.

“He was a student his whole life,” said Dee Strilowich, Joseph’s wife of 57 years. “I never knew him when he wasn’t studying. …

“Anything I needed him to do for our business, he took a class and learned it,” she added.

Strilowich served in the United States Air Force, as well as the Air National Guard, for a number of years.

The Strilowichs started Personal Touch Welcome in 1999.

The private welcoming service introduced new residents to Ridgefield, as well as new parents.  Dee — better known in the business community as “Ridgefield’s Welcome Lady” — still knocks on the doors of newcomers, gift basket of goods in hand.

“They worked together in that business for many, many years,” said Jennifer Zinzi, the Chamber’s executive director.

Students going into the hospitality industry were selected “because that’s their business — Personal Touch Welcome,” Zinzi explained.

The Chamber will offer the scholarship biannually, she added.

Dee said the Strilowich family will grant an additional $500 scholarship, awarded to a separate recipient, this year.

“We thought it would be very nice if two $500 scholarships could be provided to two different high school students,” she told The Press earlier this week.