Anthony J. Vallillo, who launched his career at The United Illuminating Co. as an assistant engineer 44 years ago, has announced he will retire as the company’s president and chief operating officer, effective Dec. 31.
Vallillo chose to postpone the planned announcement until the company completed restoration efforts during Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter. He felt it was important to lend his help in one of the largest restoration effects in UI’s history.
Vallillo also will leave his role as executive vice president of UI’s parent company, UIL Holdings Corp. James P. Torgerson, UIL’s chief executive officer, will assume the position of UI’s president after Vallillo’s retirement takes effect.
“Tony’s long and remarkable tenure at UI, spanning many positions at various career levels, has made him a tremendous asset and leader for our companies,” Torgerson said. “His vision, passion and commitment are unmatched. Tony has always shown an uncanny ability to remedy challenges and offer strategic insight that has helped fortify excellence in our organization. ”
Vallillo, who is currently one of the longest-tenured employees at UIL, began his UI career in 1968 as an assistant engineer. He was immediately recognized for his determination and drive. Over the course of the subsequent decades, he held positions in the areas of operations, engineering, production, marketing, client services, sales and marketing. He became UI’s president in 2001.
Vallillo has been credited with starting many of the programs, policies and practices that are in place at the company today. He also oversaw several major developments in the company’s history, including the divestment of its power plants as a result of deregulation, and integral in the integration of three natural gas utilities as a result of UIL’s 2010 acquisition of The Southern Connecticut Gas Co., Connecticut Natural Gas Co. and Berkshire Gas Co.
“It’s not often you find a person as dynamic as Tony,” Torgerson said. “Not only has he been extremely active within UIL and instrumental in the growth and development of UI, Tony has also been a tireless civic leader in the community.”
Vallillo has served on numerous boards of directors over the years, including most recently St. Vincent Health Services, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, Fairfield University School of Engineering and Connecticut Business and Industry Association.
“I have had an incredibly rewarding and gratifying career and will undoubtedly miss our UIL family,” Vallillo said. “After 44 years in this business, I look forward to experiencing the next phase of my journey. While I’m somewhat uncertain what I’m going to feel like or even do that first day of retirement, I do look forward to finding out.”