STAMFORD, Conn. — In 1959, Lee Rizzuto Jr. started Conair in his parent’s garage in Queens, N.Y. Since then, his company has grown across the globe and has seen the need for more office space.
Rizzuto unveiled a new office in Stamford on Monday just down the street from the company’s longtime office on Cummings Point.
During the event, which was attended by Gov. Dannel Malloy and Stamford Mayor David Martin, Rizzuto praised the state in a set of thoughtful remarks.
“Connecticut is a great state for us,” Rizzuto said. “We enjoy being here.”
Although Rizzuto said the company looked at alternatives for a new office, it felt “at home” in the state.
The grand opening Monday came amid the news that Stamford-based Starwood Hotels was merging with Marriott in a $12.2 billion deal. It was unclear what would happen with Starwood's workers.
Conair’s new 197,000-square-foot building will house 400 to 500 workers. The company employs 450 people in Connecticut, but Rizzuto hopes to increase that number to 800 in the coming years.
Currently, the company is hiring. Malloy said he recently browsed Conair’s website and discovered it is looking to fill 80 open positions.
“This is a great company,“ Malloy told the company leaders and employees who had gathered on the first floor of the new offices. “Thank you for remembering us.”
Malloy, who was previously Stamford’s longtime mayor, said the building had a history of being on the brink of demolition.
A few years ago, it was almost torn down due to environmental concerns, he said.
Seeing the restored building at Monday’s event “does the heart good,” Malloy said.
But the building’s renovation didn’t come without hiccups. Rizzuto said “you never know what you’re going to find” when you renovate an old building.
In the case of Conair, Rizzuto said construction workers found leaking air conditioning units from 1947.
But everything came together Monday as Malloy, Martin and Rizzuto cut the ribbon.
After the ribbon cutting, Malloy greeted Conair employees before he headed to his next event.
In addition to its marketing and sales office in Stamford, Conair has a headquarters in East Windsor, N.H. It also has a distribution center in Phoenix and a manufacturing plant in Rantoul, Ill.
The company specializes in personal care products, health products, beauty products and appliances.
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