New Executive Director Appointed by Harold Webster Smith Foundation

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Foundation names Luria Executive Director

Waterbury-based, Harold Webster Smith Foundation has named Kathryn Tester Luria as its first executive director, beginning July 1, 2023, following her previously announced retirement from Webster Bank.

Founded in 1997, the Foundation honors the service and memory of Harold Webster Smith, Webster Bank’s founder and long-time citizen of Waterbury, Connecticut. The mission and strategic direction are consistent with the values and leadership that Mr. Smith demonstrated for decades as chairman (until 1995) and CEO (until 1987) of Webster.

The HWSF advances community revitalization across Connecticut by serving as a convener, funder and thought partner committed to guiding collaborative, community-driven solutions to pressing socio-economic needs and emerging opportunities, with a particular focus on housing.

“Kathy is a dedicated and innovative philanthropic leader,” said Jim Smith, HWS Foundation Chairman. “I had the privilege of working closely with Kathy for years at Webster, where she oversaw all philanthropic activities in addition to her other community-related responsibilities. Her efforts on behalf of Webster’s prolific United Way campaigns are legendary. The HWSF will benefit from Kathy’s extensive experience and deep relationships as she leads the Foundation’s mission in service to the state and city we call home.”

As a Director on the Foundation’s board for the past 17 years, Luria helped to lead the efforts that brought affordable housing projects Gaffney Place and now Linden Place to fruition, working closely with the board and community leadership.

Luria served on the board of the American Bankers Association Foundation, Washington, DC, which recognized her with their highest award – the George Bailey Distinguished Service Award – in 2019. This award was given for her outstanding initiative, commitment to customers and community, and the ability to inspire others.

In addition to the HWS Foundation, Luria is a member of the Elisha Leavenworth Foundation, both based in Waterbury, CT. She is a past board chair of the Connecticut Council of Philanthropy and served for 11 years as an adjunct professor in the School of Business Waterbury Campus at the University of Connecticut.

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