For three decades, Lucian Pawlak has been one of Connecticut’s most respected and beloved community leaders, a tour de force “man of the people” whose dedication to his New Britain community and those who call it home has known no bounds. Born of Polish heritage in Belgium in 1947, Pawlak came to New Britain in 1956 and distinguished himself as a star athlete at New Britain High School. His role as a city leader began with his 1987 election as City Treasurer, but it was during Pawlak’s term as Mayor from 1995-2003 that he cemented his legacy. Pawlak’s passionate leadership was vital to the revitalization of the city’s “Little Poland” corridor; the battle to fund a new city water treatment plant; and a successful city-wide effort to eliminate blight and bring new life to troubled neighborhoods. Pawlak is a leading figure in the success of the popular Dozynki and Little Poland Festivals; a director of the New Britain Institute, Trinity-on-Main and the Polish American Council of Greater New Britain Charities; a member of the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame; and a recipient of countless community service and leadership accolades. In 1998, Pawlak received the Cavalier's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for his outstanding contributions to Polish/U.S. relations.