Karen DelVecchio has always been an unabashed booster of Trumbull, and now as executive director of the Trumbull Chamber of Commerce, she has another tool to use in promoting the community and its business environment.
Coldwell Banker Real Estate has ranked Trumbull as the leading community in Connecticut in its "Top Booming Suburbs in America" survey. The town led four other Fairfield County towns in the top five state list, followed by Westport, Ridgefield, Newtown and Fairfield. Others in the top 10 were Mansfield, Greenwich, Simsbury, Shelton and Glastonbury.
Being ranked atop the list validates what DelVecchio, a Trumbull resident, has valued about her community for years.
"It's great news. It shows Trumbull is a great place to live and work," said DelVecchio, whose chamber is an affiliate of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. "It's great information to take to prospective businesses that are thinking of moving to a place like Trumbull."
DelVecchio touted the town's economic base, school system and municipal park system.
The "Booming Suburbs" ranking rated 1,500 communities with populations of 22,275 or more across the country based on increased year-over-year levels in employment and unemployment percentages below the national norm, along with a range of attributes that include access to suburban staples (including grocery stores and banks), proximity to good schools, commuting by car and community safety.
The survey, the final installment of the "Coldwell Banker Best Places to Live" series, was done in partnership with Onboard Informatics, a provider of real estate information and technology solutions.
Trumbull's ranking is the result of team effort by citizenry, the business community and town and school officials, said Timothy Herbst, the town's first selectman.
"I'm absolutely elated. It's important because people across the tri-state area are starting to see Trumbull as a place of choice," he said, adding that annual property tax increases have been below the national inflation rate -- much of it due to business growth.
The ranking builds on a 2011 recognition by Family Circle magazine, which rated the town as the seventh-best in the nation to raise a family.
Shelton, which shares a border with Trumbull, was ranked ninth on the Coldwell Banker list, and William Purcell, president of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, based in the town, attributed much of it to a strong business base.
"It's a vibrant economic center with a great quality of life," he said, citing an eclectic mix of international and local businesses.
Greenwich has been highly ranked in similar studies in recent years, and Marcia O'Kane, executive director of the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce, said she was not surprised by the town being among the state's top 10.
"Greenwich has always been a tremendous place to work and reside," she said. "We are continually ranked in national polls as one of the best towns to live in the U.S. One of the many attractive selling points of Greenwich is that there is something here for everyone -- whether it be the small community feeling or first-class shopping. The town provides a safe environment and a quality lifestyle."
Quality schools and access to Long Island Sound, parks and outdoor facilities also are important attributes, she said.
The recognition for Newtown comes as the town continues to heal from the murder of 20 pupils and six school staff members last December at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"It's a great place to work and live. This is a real boost for us. We're enthused about it. It's amazing that we were No. 4," Haas said.
The chamber will refer to the recognition when dealing with businesses considering coming to Newtown, he said.
"As America continues to bounce back from the recession, this ranking identifies suburbs that have shown strong economic growth since the recovery," Budge Huskey, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, said in a statement. "These communities have the American ideals we love, the suburban dream intact and a population that is finding jobs at a better rate than the national average. That is the definition of a thriving community."
Below are the top 10 booming suburbs in the country based on methodology created by Coldwell Banker and its partner in the study, Onboard Informatics:
1. Cottage Lake, Wash., 1,000
2. Prairieville, La., 986.42
3. Fruit Cove, Fla., 985.68
4. Sammamish, Wash., 985.56
5. Mercer Island, Wash., 983.13
6. Riverton, Utah, 979.65
7. Brentwood, Tenn., 976.50
8. Lehi, Utah, 975.58
9. Cooper City, Fla., 972.10
10. Maple Valley, Wash., 971.73