I recently caught up with 1974 grad Joe Raiola who grew up in the Indian Neck section of Branford. While at Branford High, Joe played on the freshman football team and followed his passion for sports serving as manager of the basketball team for three years. During his high school years, Joe became interested in electronics and short-wave listening, learning Morse Code in the process, and eventually becoming a licensed amateur radio operator.
After attending the New Haven Academy of Business and Post College, Joe married the former Adriene Palumbo whom he met while Adriene was employed at the old Friendly’s Restaurant in what is now the plaza on Cherry Hill Road. Joe identifies himself as one of the “A-Bay-ers” at Friendly’s, in reference to his seating preference at the eatery.
Joe enjoyed a 32-year-career with AT&T as a Technical Architect/Systems Programmer and has recently started on a new path with RCM Technologies, contracted to Sikorsky Aircraft in their Foreign Military Systems Group in Stratford.
In addition to his hobby as an avid Ham Radio Operator, Joe has also served as varsity coach at and head coach of the Branford Soccer Club U12 Girls team. He has also managed the Guilford Premier U17 Girls Soccer team where his daughter Roxanne currently competes and is a member of the CJSA South Central District Soccer Board.
An excellent bowler, Joe has a lifetime average of 200 and has earned virtually every high score award with the exception of the elusive 800 series. His accomplishments include two perfect 300 games as well as one 299 game, and in 1996, Joe earned the distinction of Connecticut Telephone Society Champion.
Joe and his bride of 20 years, currently reside in Guilford with their daughter Roxanne and as Joe notes, he still “loves trucking around the shoreline seeking blue crabs, clams and the good old snapper blue.”