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Higher One Soaring or Coming In For A Landing? Lawsuits and Government Fines Behind It, New Haven’s Darling Start-Up Looks to Clearer Skies By Mitchell Young NEW HAVEN: As 2016 begins, a rocky couple of years for Higher One (NYSE:ONE) may be coming to an end as the company is putting behind it an investigation by the FDIC into some of its lending practices and an expensive class action lawsuit.

Patriquin Architects, New Haven and G. Christopher Widmer, AIA, Architect of Guilford teamed up to design the new Friends Center For Children in New Haven Higher One CEO March Sheinbaum: “I charged our team to set new standards for transparency and compliance.”

The NYSE listed firm with headquarters in Science Park, New Haven has 1,300 employees and annual sales of $202 million. Higher One has provided technology and other payment services to colleges and universities since 2000 and was founded by three Yale University students, Miles Lasater ’01, Mark Volcheck ’00, and Sean Glass ’02. Lasater and Glass moved on to other entrepreneurial pursuits, Volcheck, who was Continued on page 7

Awesome Architecture from Connecticut AIACT Issues Its Annual Awards

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Architecture Awards Honor Connecticut Talent Top Architecture Projects Recognized The Connecticut chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/CT) unveiled their 2015 selections for the Connecticut Design Awards. The program recognizes design excellence in projects either located in Connecticut or by Connecticutbased architects. Of the fourteen winning projects, judges selected 7 in the “Built” category, including industrial

spaces, schools/municipal buildings, and residential complexes, two winners in the “Residential” category for single-family homes, three in the “Preservation” category, one project in the “Unbuilt” category based on drawings, and one project in the “Architecture: The Encompassing Art” category—and this year, not all of the winning projects

BUILT PROJECTS Ironworks, South Norwalk, CT Beinfield Architecture, South Norwalk Jury comments: Ironworks creates an intimate residential neighborhood by defining the outdoor space within a city block. It successfully uses industrial remnants; its strength is in its place making.

are in Connecticut, but all of the winning architects are, in fact, in-state. Winning projects were noted for their sophistication, blending of old and new, as well as successful “place-making” for entire streets, in one case. The Jurors were professionals in the field who selected

winners out of more than 160 submissions. They were Peter Gisolfi, AIA, ASLA, of Peter Gisolfi Associates, Hastings-onHudson, New York; Stephen Dayton, AIA, Thomas Phifer and Partners, New York City; and Nancy Rogo Trainer, Vice President for Planning and Design, Drexel University, Philadelphia.

Bellas/Dixon Math and Science Center, Berkshire School, Sheffield, MA Centerbrook Architects and Planners, Centerbrook Jury comments: The single loaded corridor building is well-sited and happily defines the edge of a great sloping lawn. It fits well in the campus. PHOTOGRAPHER: PETER AARON


CCP Boiler Expansion, Yale University, New Haven, CT Prospector Theater, Ridgefield, CT Doyle Coffin Architecture, Ridgefield Jury comments: The theater successfully marries the restored street façade with the more transparent, modern exterior side walls. It has a compelling relationship with the adjacent library, its neighbor, making a pleasant outdoor space. PHOTOGRAPHER: JEFF GOLDBERG/ESTO

Charney Architects LLC, New Haven Jury comments: The elegant use of the early 20th century industrial aesthetic and vocabulary allows the power plant to fit comfortably within the city. PHOTOGRAPHER: ROBERT LISAK






East Rock Community Magnet School, New Haven, CT

Friends Center for Children, New Haven

Newman Architects, PC, New Haven, CT Jury comments: Beautiful and sophisticated, the building expresses its individual function within a context. The combination of brick and glass volumes relates well to the scale of the neighborhood. The school is a lively environment. It deals well with the sloping site, with a successful siting that creates an outdoor play space. 

Patriquin Architects, New Haven and G. Christopher Widmer, AIA, Architect, Guilford Jury comments: This charming building creates a friendly environment for the very young child. The scale and warmth of its materials relate to the child, the primary user.



Eaton House, Dublin, Ireland Pickard Chilton, New Haven

SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE Lake Wononscopomuc Residence, Lakeville Allee Architecture + Design, Lakeville Jury comments: An elegant, simple building with handsome materials that maximizes the owners’ enjoyment of a unique site. PHOTOGRAPHER: DAVID ALLEE

Jury comments: Eaton House’s office function is elegantly compatible with the adjacent Georgian row houses. The building successfully defines the edge of the street, effectively place making. PHOTOGRAPHER: DAVID SUNDBERG/ESTO

Rye House, Rye, NY Joeb Moore & Partners LLC, Greenwich Jury comments: There is an unusual and successful compatibility between the original half- timbered house and the modernist addition. PHOTOGRAPHER: DAVID SUNDBERG/ESTO

PRESERVATION Cheney Mill Dye House, Manchester Crosskey Architects LLC, Hartford Jury comments: This is an entirely sensible adaptive reuse project, a wonderful way to preserve the early 20th century urban, industrial fabric. It is a way to make positive the attributes of an otherwise derelict building. PHOTOGRAPHER: CROSSKEY ARCHITECTS LLC




Ingalls Rink, Yale University, New Haven Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates LLC, Hamden Jury comments: This is a beautiful renovation of a modernist icon with technical virtuosity. A light hand was used. The low impact, recessive addition defers to the original building. PHOTOGRAPHER: KEVIN ROCHE JOHN DINKELOO AND ASSOCIATES LLC STAFF

Saugatuck Congregational Church, Fire Reconstruction and Restoration, Westport Paul Bailey Architect LLC, New Haven Jury comments: This is a skillful and diligent restoration of a lost community landmark. It recaptures the original austerity and purity of the religious building. The sensible addition is almost invisible.  PHOTOGRAPHER: RICHARD CADAN

UNBUILT Covered Bridge House, Stonington Beinfield Architecture, South Norwalk Jury comments: The jury appreciated the simplicity of this highly spirited drawing by one individual hand.  DRAWING: JAMES WASSELL


Merritt Parkway Gas Station Canopy, Fairfield Newman Architects, PC, New Haven Jury comments: The canopy is functional, whimsical and elegant without being sentimental.  PHOTOGRAPHER: ROBERT BENSON



} HIGHER ONE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CEO from 2012 to 2014, remains with the company as a director. Initially, the company’s goal was to help students receive their financial aid funds quicker and easier and to allow parents and others easy ways to provide financial support to students. Today, the company has a suite of products and serves more than 11 million students. As 2015 ended, the FDIC and Federal Reserve have both levied fines against the company of $2.23 million and $2.23 million respectively. The Fed further ordered the return of $24 million to student customers. WEX Bank, a partner with Higher One, was ordered to share the cost of the restitution monies and was separately fined $1.75 million. In April 2015, a settlement of a class action suit over the company’s marketing practices was finalized with a cost to the company and partners of $15 million. Higher One, Inc., The Bancorp Bank, WEX Bank, and Taylor Capital Group, Inc., shared in the cost. The company and its “partners” maintain that there was nothing wrong with their marketing and fee practices and that they did not violate any laws. The class action lawsuit and the government fines stem primarily from past company practices, according to the company.

Chief Executive Marc Sheinbaum said in a statement that, “product and service changes have already been completed to comply with a significant portion of the issues raised, which mostly relate to practices ended in 2013. After joining Higher One in 2014, I charged our team to set new standards for transparency and compliance.”

“Higher One has retained the services of Raymond James to assist in the evaluation of all strategic options for that business.”

viced by Higher One, Inc. with student focused features.” The gross purchase price of the business unit is a reported $37 million in cash to be paid in three installments beginning with an initial $17 million paid at closing, followed by two $10 million installments in 2017 and 2018. Significant additional payments will be made to Higher One if the business grows beyond $75 million in revenues. The company is exploring other strategic moves as well.

Higher One currently serves 11 million students, their financial products are in use on more 1,100 campuses in the US.

Other big events, however, are at play in the company as well. In early December, Higher One announced an agreement to sell all assets and certain liabilities of its “Disbursements Business” — including the OneAccount — to one of its bank partners, Customers Bancorp, Inc. According to the company, the OneAccount “is a non-interest bearing, internet-only checking account, ser-

Sheinbaum told CR80 News magazine, which covers the electronic payment industry, that the company will continue to provide its “Payments Solutions” to colleges and universities. He added however, that “our Payments business has experienced strong revenue growth over the last few years and, at this time, Higher One has retained the services of Raymond James to assist in the evaluation of all strategic options for that business.” In spite of some of its difficulties with regulators, in New Haven, Higher One has been recognized for its positive corporate citizenship. In 2012, Business New Haven recognized the company with its annual Corporate Citizenship award, citing the company’s decision to stay and grow in New Haven and renovate a former dilapidated factory building in Science Park. The company also was cited for its record of

encouraging employee volunteerism, programs to help students in the region with scholarships and mentoring, food delivery to needy citizens and a comprehensive set of social responsibility programs. Then Chief Financial Officer Volcheck took on the role of Chairman of the Tweed Airport Authority. Wall Street analysts are apparently more excited about the prospects of the company now that government regulators have had their say. Recently, three analysts that follow the company have issued positive reviews expecting a consensus 30-40% percent increase in the company’s stock from its current $3.25 per share level. The fifty-two week low for the stock was $1.85 and the high $4.44.

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Two Connecticut Tech Innovators Get Whitehouse Recognition


ASHINGTON: Jonathan Rothberg, a “pioneer in genetic sequencing” and founder of multiple leading edge tech companies, has received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation at a ceremony at the White House. UCONN Professor Dr. Cato T. Laurencin was also recognized as a “pioneer in the field of regenerative engineering.” Rothberg, a Guilford resident, was born in New Haven. His father, Dr. Henry Rothberg, was a chemical engineer and the founder of Laticrete, the Bethany-based global manufacturing company.

to sequence the DNA of a single person, James Watson, who, along with Francis Crick, discovered DNA in 1953. Rothberg also “initiated” the Neanderthal Genome Project with Svant Paabo which, among other things, demonstrated that “elements of Neanderthals remain in modern humans” [although many of us probably suspected that]. Rothberg owns Chamard Vineyards in Clinton. His newest venture,

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Rothberg, a serial entrepreneur, has founded CuraGen, 454 Life Sciences, Ion Torrent, Raindance Technologies, Hyperfine Research, Butterfly Network Inc., LAM Therapeutics, 4Catalyzer, and most recently, Guilford-based marine science and imaging company, Oceanco LLC. Rothberg was recognized more than a decade ago as Business New Haven’s Business Person of the Year as CEO of CuraGen, one of the first companies to try and marry genetic information and biochemistry to treat disease. As founder of 454 Life Sciences, Rothberg was among the first to bring lower cost DNA sequencing to the forefront. Rothberg received his BS in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon in 1985 and a PhD in Molecular Biology from Yale in 1991. 454, in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine, was the first


Oceanco LLC, recently purchased the Stonehouse Restaurant in Guilford for use as expanded office space. The company is doing marine research as well as using ultrasound and sonar to develop new imaging technologies. Laurencin is a professor of chemical and bio-molecular engineering; professor of materials science and engineering; and professor of biomedical engineering and is a world-renowned surgeon-scientist in orthopaedic surgery, engineering, and materials science. Laurencin has made “fundamental and seminal contributions” in polymeric materials science and engineering, as well as to nanotechnology. His research has included the growth and regeneration of bone, ligaments, and other musculoskeletal tissues. Laurencin received an MS at Princeton, an MD from Harvard and a PhD in biochemical engineering from MIT. WWW.CONNTACT.COM


Connecticut Hits Job’s Milestone In Recovery

The private sector now has entered an expansionary phase, with 113,400 new jobs compared to the 111,600 jobs lost in recession. Seven of the 10 major “supersectors” tracked by the department added jobs in November, led by 1,500 jobs in leisure and hospitality.

By: Mark Pazniokas 


fter nearly six years of fits and starts, Connecticut’s job recovery hit a significant benchmark in November as the state added 5,100 jobs, giving the private sector a full recovery from the job losses of the Great Recession. The unemployment rate remained at 5.1 percent. The monthly jobs report released earlier this month by the state Department of Labor, which is based on separate surveys of households and employers, gave the state non-agricultural growth of 26,800 jobs in 2015. “Job growth in November was broad-based and noteworthy after two months of declines,” said Andy Condon, the DOL’s director of research. “Private sector job growth reached a landmark, recovering the losses seen in the 2008 to 2010 recession.”

But the public sector has lagged. It includes local, state and federal government agencies, as well as the two tribal casinos of eastern Connecticut, which have been shedding jobs in the face of increasing competition and shrinking market share. Overall, Connecticut has recovered 88.8 percent of the seasonally adjust-

The state’s jobs recovery is now 69 months old and has averaged 1,532 new jobs per month since February 2010. Connecticut has recorded 47 months with job gains, 21 with losses and one with no change over that period.

Sleeping Better In Windsor Locks Eight Million Dollar [Forgivable] Loan Provides Soft Pillow For Serta Move

“We know that numbers can and may fluctuate from month to month, but what is undoubtedly clear is that we are making significant progress,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat who took office in January 2011, early in the recovery. “This marks solid progress for Connecticut’s economy and is good news for our workforce,” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said.

Serta Inc. is relocating one of its 59 manufacturing facilities from Agawam, Mass to Windsor Locks with a little help from the state Department of Economic and Community Development which will provide a 10-year $8 million loan at two percent interest.

Wages have outpaced inflation over the past year, even as the private sector work week dipped slightly, from 34.2 hours to 33.9 hours.

ed total nonfarm jobs lost in the state during the employment downturn that began in March 2008 and lasted nearly two years. Labor economists generally downplay month to month reports in favor of longer trends.

Average hourly earnings were $29.82, up four percent from the November 2014 estimate. Average weekly pay in the private sector was $1,010.90, which was 3.1 percent higher than a year ago. The Consumer Price Index rose a half percentage point.

The facility will employ approximately 200 works, a combination of new jobs as well as relocated employees. If the jobs are maintained for two consecutive years, $5 million of the state loan is forgivable. Serta will lease space at a manufacturing facility on Old County Circle in Windsor Locks and will reportedly use the loan to make improvements to the space and purchase new machinery and equipment.

Initial unemployment claims for firsttime Connecticut filers declined by 4.6 percent in November to 3,528, a new employment recovery low.

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Vol XX,II No.4 December 2015



Higher One Soaring or Coming In For A Landing?

Obamacare Makes Steady Gains But 35 Million or More Remain Uninsured Coverage Numbers Increase, Big Penalties Come Into Play

Lawsuits and Government Fines Behind It, New Haven’s Darling Start-Up Looks to Clearer Skies By Mitchell Young rocky couple of NEW HAVEN: As 2016 begins, a may be comyears for Higher One (NYSE:ONE) behind it an ing to an end as the company is putting of its lending investigation by the FDIC into some action lawsuit. practices and an expensive class

By Mitchell Young Patriquin Architects, New Haven and G. Christopher Widmer, AIA, Architect of Guilford teamed up to design the new Friends Center For Children in New Haven

“I charged Higher One CEO March Sheinbaum: for transparency our team to set new standards and compliance.”

in Science The NYSE listed firm with headquarters and annual Park, New Haven has 1,300 employees sales of $202 million. and other Higher One has provided technology universities since payment services to colleges and University 2000 and was founded by three Yale Volcheck ’00, students, Miles Lasater ’01, Mark Glass moved on to and Sean Glass ’02. Lasater and who was other entrepreneurial pursuits, Volcheck, Continued on page 7

Awesome Architecture from Connecticut Companies

AIACT Issues It’s Annual Awards Paid Norwood, MA Permit #11 PRST STD US Postage

Editor & Publisher Mitchell Young Editorial Assistant Rachel Bergman Design Consultant Terry Wells Graphics Manager Matt Ford Publisher’s Assistant Amy Kulikowski Publisher’s Representative Robin Kroopnick Contributors Rachel Bergman Amy Kulikowski Emili Lanno Derek Torrellas Photography Steve Blazo Derek Torrellas Lesley Roy Business New Haven is a publication of Second Wind Media, Ltd., with offices at 458 Grand Avenue, New Haven, CT 06513. Telephone (203) 781-3480. Fax (203) 781-3482. Subscriptions: $32 annually. Send name, address and ZIP code with payment. Second Wind Media, Ltd., d/b/a Business New Haven, shall not be liable for failure to publish an ad or for typographical errors or errors in publication. Order your subscription at: email:


he US Census Bureau estimated that 48 million Americans did not have health insurance in 2006. Some universal healthcare advocates claimed that as many as 65 to 70 million did not have or had inadequate insurance and could suffer for lack of coverage or un-payable bills. The Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] was signed into law by an all-partisan Democratic vote in 2010 and has been subject to criticism and calls for repeal from Republicans ever since. Republican lawmakers, in what they know is a futile attempt to over ride the ACA, passed a bill rolling the act back, well knowing they could not over ride a veto. The ACA, while creating many new rules and providing some new taxes to the already insured, still does not appear to be meeting the goals of full coverage for all Americans. Many of the eleven million illegal immigrants do not have insuance and are not covered by the ACA. Under the ACA, Medicaid was extended to low income Americans while others receive subsidies based on their income if they purchase through a federal or state “Exchange.” In 2015, 11.4 million signed up for coverage and 87% of those are receiving subsidies, for a total of 17.6 million Americans with coverage under ACA that includes those receiving coverage through an extension of Medicaid. Connecticut’s Exchange, has been considered one of the more successful

exchanges for both sign ups and ease of use. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, the State of Connecticut Office of Health Care Access indicated that approximately 90% of residents had healthcare coverage in the state. Connecticut and a research study by Connecticut insurers claimed approximately 280,000 unisured in 2006. The Census Bureau placed the number around 325,000 and healthcare advocates in the state regularly made the claim of 424,000 were uninsured. Connecticut’s population is just under 3.6 million. Industry experts and the state are now settling on Connecticut’s intial count of the uninsured before the ACA. Connecticut’s exchange saw 34,000 new signups in the open enrollment period of 2015 to be potentially added to the 95,000 existing enrollees. However, approximately 12,000 existing customers are in danger of being dropped from coverage because they weren’t under an automatic re-enrollment and haven’t signed up again or they did not file their income taxes, which is required to qualify them for a subsidy. The Affordable Care Act requires that eligible residents sign up for insurance, whether through the exchanges or if they qualify for Medicaid. There is a penalty for not having coverage, which is 2.5 percent of household income or $695 per person in the household ($347.50 for those under 18) – whichever is greater.

Westfield Corp Sells Milford Mall In Multi-Property Deal As New Retail Competition Apears On The West Haven Horizon, $1.1 Billion Deal Could Transform Milford’s Mall



The Westfield Connecticut Post Shopping Center in Milford will be sold, along with four other properties located in different states, to a real estate consortium comprised of Centennial Real Estate Co. Montgomery Street Partners, which is the real estate investment affiliate of the private equity firm Blum Capital Partners and USAA Real Estate Co., a subsidiary of USAA, the financial services company that serves military families. The shopping center was built in 1960 and has been under the purview of Westfield Corp. since 1981, when it became a traditional enclosed mall from its original construction as an open-air shopping center. It is one of the largest malls in the state. Len O’Donnell, president and chief executive officer of USAA Real Estate, said in a statement that the consortium partners intend to reinvest in and revitalize the properties. Westfield Corp. still owns two malls in Connecticut, one in Trumbull and one in Meriden, with no public plans to sell at this time.

Loans For Storm Prep Move in New London Mayor To Host Information Session Shore Up CT, a low-interest loan program started in the summer of 2014, is designed to help shoreline residents elevate homes and businesses from future weather and flooding, provides financing for property owners located in Flood Zones VE and AE, as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The program replaced what was previously called “The Shoreline Resiliency Fund” and is specifically designed to include those who may not meet criteria to receive federal disaster aid. Loan terms stipulate a 1% origination fee; borrow $10,000 to $300,000 with 15 year term; no monthly principal or interest payments for the first 12 months; borrower must maintain property, hazard, and flood insurance for the life of the loan. New London Mayor Michael E. Passero is inviting shoreline property owners in that city to an informational meeting for the public regarding the State of Connecticut’s “Shore Up CT” loan program. The session will be held Tuesday, January 12 at 7:00pm in New London City Hall Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, 181 State Street. “This is a valuable state program for our coastal property owners,” said Mayor Passero. “These low interest loans can help shoreline residents make necessary improvements to protect their homes from coastal storms.” The loan program is administered by the Housing Development Fund (HDF), a non-profit community development financial institution based in Stamford.  HDF representatives will provide details and answer questions about Shore Up CT at the New London meeting, which is one of the first programs of its kind in the country to provide state revolving loan funds to assist in the ongoing Irene and Sandy recovery process and prepare Connecticut’s coast for future storms. More information on Shore Up CT can be found at  There is no deadline for submittal of applications.


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“Americans [overall] believe a fair state and local tax system imposes higher tax rates on wealthy households” Small Biz Victims of CC Leasing Fraud? The State Attorney General’s office is investigating claims that companies leasing credit card equipment are overcharging their customers with mysterious fees.

Ya Gotta Love Him Jim Ehrman, executive director of North America for Love 146, a New Haven-based international human rights organization which strives to end child trafficking and exploitation through survivor care and prevention, was awarded the International Humanitarian Award at the organization’s annual gala this December in Houston, Texas. The award’s goal is to honor a world leader as part of a campaign called, “Human Trafficking Awareness to Keep Our Children Safe.” Love 146’s effort is to help the growing movement to put child trafficking to an end and at the same time providing effective and helpful support to victims rescued out of such situations—like safe houses. Ehrman spoke to an audience of 26 nations about human trafficking and suggested corporations get involved. “It’s one thing to write a check,we are grateful when you do,” said Ehrman. “But we need you to partner with this work by going a step further, and taking a reflective look at how the industries you are part of may be unconsciously supporting human trafficking. We can help you do that.” Show them the love at

Many Connecticut small businesses have taken on the added expense of credit card machines to accommodate customers wanting the convenience of credit card payment options. However, many businesses reported signing leases for $50 a month in fees, only to have hundreds of dollars disappear routinely from their accounts. Jaclyn Falkowski, director of communications with the state Attorney General’s Office, said both that office and the state Department of Consumer Protection have received “a number of complaints,” related to two companies in particular, Lease Finance Group and Northern Leasing Systems. “We currently have an active investigation into whether there may have been violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act and have issued subpoenas as part of that investigation,” said Falkowski. The companies have faced similar allegations, and even settled lawsuits with the State Attorney General in New York. Lora Rae Anderson, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Consumer Protection, said if business owners have any concerns or feel they have been scammed, they can file a complaint with the department.

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IRS DROPS MILE RATE With the drop in gas prices, the IRS has lowered the mileage rate used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickups, or panel truck is: 54 cents per mile for business miles driven (down from 57.5 cents in 2015) 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (down from 23 cents in 2015), 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (unchanged from last year)

SURPRISE! CTTaxes 14th Fairest According to WalletHub, a website focused on financial tools and news, the Nutmeg state actually boasts some pretty fair tax policies, when compared to at least 36 of its mates. Analysts ranked states based on the “fairness” of their state and local tax systems — including income, sales, excise and property taxes. To contribute to the rankings, analysts also conducted a survey to glean what Americans think a fair tax system looks like at the local level and the state level. That public perception was compared to data on the real structure in all 50 states to reveal which states UNDERtax the top 1%, OVERtax the middle class, or OVERtax the lower class/poor. Connecticut fared very well in all three categories. According to the survey portion of the study, “Americans [overall] believe a fair state and local tax system imposes higher tax rates on wealthy households than on lower- and middle-income households.” This held true for conservative respondents as well as liberals.

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As of January 1, riders of the New Haven Line and Shore Line East on Metro North will see a 1% rise in ticket prices. The increase will apply to all travel to and from the state and reflect the cost of equipment upgrades, like the new M-8 cars being put into service. The increase is across all rail fare types, like weekly and monthly combined bus/rail line tickets. Increases are scheduled again for January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018, as well.

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The Nanotube structure, sponsored by PerkinElmer, starts at the lower level of the science building at SCSU and escalates up to the third floor.

A NEW Home For Nanotechnology Faculty and Students at Southern’s New STEM Building take on the most minute of challenges Second In A Three Part Series: Southern on Science’s Edge By: Emili Lanno


ith the opening of Southern Connecticut State University’s new Academic Science and Laboratory Building came the initiative to expand the university’s STEM programs: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Applications span the full range from health care, computing to aerospace and renewable energy with predictions of substantial impact on the future of science, technology and society,” said Broadbridge.

On the lower floor of the new building, The Center for Nanotechnology also saw great expansion.

Professor Broadbridge, also the Director of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Center for Nanotechnology, said it was something that very much grew over time within the physics department at SCSU.

Professor Christine Broadbridge, Physics Department Chairperson, said the area of nanotechnology is based on manipulating and utilizing materials at a very small scale and “the science and engineering of matter at the nanometer level,” nanometer being a billionth of a meter. By gaining the ability to manipulate and “visualize matter at the nanometer level,” devices and materials with unique properties result.


“The center is stationed at SCSU,” said Broadbridge, “the system being the four regional universities, SCSU CCSU WCSU, and ECSU and also the community colleges. It is located at SCSU and is designed for the entire system of schools.”


Collaborations and resources also exist with other institutions, said Broadbridge, including University of Connecticut, Yale and area companies. Broadbridge also said the Center for Nanotechnology holds a research center that is a partnership between SCSU and Yale. Broadbridge is also a researcher and education director for CRISP (Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena), which is a National Science Foundation funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. CRISP facilities exist at both Yale and SCSU. The CRISP facility is located in the Center for Nanotechnology at the university. Broadbridge said as the Center for Nanotechnology started to grow, they eventually planned for the center to be a part of the new science building. Within the Center for Nanotechnology there are various programs open to students which include: Industry Academic Fellowship Program, Master in Applied Physics, Graduate Certificate in Nanotechnology, and Research Opportunities and Professional Development for Undergraduates and Teachers. Broadbridge noted that not all of these programs in the CNT require the students to take certain classes and some are research courses the students take to earn credit. The programs that are offered by the Center, like the Industry Academic Fellowship Program and Research Experiences for Undergraduates and

Teachers, are not taken in class form, but rather students participate in research and get paid for the credit, similar to an internship. The Graduate Certificate Program does involve coursework, a three-course program and involves the concept of getting the students involved with a broad range of residents and industries in order to see the rapid cutting edge field of nanotechnology.

dents working together. It’s more broadly to impact the STEM field but even beyond that. It’s also about really thinking about future work and learning opportunities in real world application.” Broadbridge explained that the design of the new science building greatly complements the structure and focus needed for research and projects in nanotechnology.

“This program is flexible and done in about a year,” said Broadbridge. “It gives students a chance to go back and experience being in the industry and learn with students who have different majors than them; chemistry, physics, etc.”

“The design of the building is so that you can do the kind of research that is very precise in nanotechnology,” said Broadbridge. “That is, characterize and visualize in nanotechnology in terms of vibrations and isolation for electrical signals.”

These different programs within the CNT give students a chance to expand their options with their undergraduate degrees in a variety of ways.

Also, when it comes to the design of the science building, Broadbridge explained the nanotube structure located in the building, which was sponsored by PerkinElmer.

“There are options for students in terms of getting an undergraduate degree and some nanotechnology concentration,” said Broadbridge. “They can get a professional science master’s degree as a track in nanotechnology and then there’s a certificate [Graduate Certificate in Nanotechnology]. The idea behind it is not a full master’s degree but an option for students to take a look into the industry.” The education and “hands-on engagement in nanotechnology” and research for Southern students is participating in a range of projects that involve collaboration and interdisciplinary practices “that are often motivated by the needs of local industry.” “It’s about student interaction and breaking down the interdisciplinary boundaries and having teams of stu-

Broadbridge said the nanotube in the new building, spanning from the lower level where the Center is located, up to the Astrophysics control room on the third floor, acts as both a “scientific representation” and “artistic model that adds to the beauty of the building.” It also adds to the “interdisciplinary nature of science and technology that is an overarching theme for the building,” said Broadbridge. The nanotube in the building “demonstrates the wide range of science disciplines with impacts that span from billionths of a meter to billions of a meter.” Broadbridge said based on the fact book at Southern and analyzing the different types of STEM areas,

Nominations for the “I grew up in Women of Innovation® Long Island and I originally went 2016 Awards to Southern to Due January 29, 2016 do cheerleading” Awards Gala Details: April 6, 2016 Aqua Turf Club, Plantsville, CT

Nominate online at DECEMBER 2015


“I grew up in Long Island and I originally went to Southern to do cheerleading,”

the diversity of students is great and the number of students involved is increasing. “It is one of the many reasons why I am at Southern,” said Broadbridge. “These areas are seeing an increase in students. The students are seeing it as more attractive to them, possibly because it is such a broad area and it’s not so narrowly focused.” According to Broadbridge, the majority of the students currently involved with the nanotechnology and physics departments are female. Alexis Ernst, recent graduate from Southern and currently attending the University of Connecticut for her doctoral degree in Material Science and Engineering, never imagined that she would be involved in physics when she first started at Southern. “I grew up in Long Island and I originally went to Southern to do cheerleading,” said Ernst, “and then as an undergraduate I took a physics course with Professor Broadbridge.” After the class with Professor Broadbridge, Ernst went on to seek a job working for the physics department while declaring her major in physics with a concentration in engineering. After working for the physics department, she then started to become involved in CRISP and the educational outreach portion of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). “I was exposed to all of these different things at Southern,” said Ernst, “and it made me want to do more in the field.” While Ernst was working toward her BS degree in Physics as an undergraduate, she was also completing the Graduate Certificate Program in Nanotechnology, which consists of a “capstone final project” at the end. Ernst’s project was working on a machine called the Ion Mill. This consists of a low voltage for electron microscopy (TEM) sample preparation. It is necessary for the TEM to have electron transparent samples, less than 100 nanometers in thickness, “in order to 16

Alexis Ernst [R] engaging in research and working with Professor Broadbridge on the Ion Mill (an instrument used in nano fabrication) located in the Center for Nanotechnology. view materials’ microstructures and collect data for the images.” “What my study consisted of was testing the parameters on the Ion Mill to establish a protocol for thin film TEM specimen preparation,” said Ernst. “Once the samples were mechanically polished using a polisher, they were placed into the Ion Mill for further thinning. I varied the angle between the ion gun and the sample.” While at Southern, Ernst was also involved in the Research for Undergraduates program that CRISP has, which she was included in twice. The first project was TEM samples being mechanically polished and the second was “looking at optimizing scanning electron microscope parameters.” Finally, Ernst was involved with the Industry Fellowship Program where she worked on nanoparticle sample preparation in order to be “characterized in the TEM.” Currently at UConn, Ernst is working with FEI, which is a microscopy company partnered with the university in the Center for Advanced Microscopy and Materials Analysis (CAMMA). This involves comparing Ga- and Xeion sources in dual beam focused ion beam (FIB) studies; FIB is an Ion Mill where focused ions are being “bom-

barded at a sample and there is a separate electron column for imaging,” said Ernst. She said her current research goes along very well with projects that she has previously done at SCSU for the graduate certificate. Ernst said she had no actual working experience in the new science building since she graduated before it was opened, however she did get a glimpse of the process. “I was mostly involved in the moving process for the science building,” said Ernst. “I helped move a lot of the boxes, saw many of the plans for the center, I spoke to some students about where the instruments should go. Like putting certain instruments in an area for drainage.” Being a female in the field, Ernst said at the start it was very intimidating, but the experience was what kept her going. “In my experiences I’ve had a great one,” said Ernst. “If you want that experience and prove that you are capable, they will give it to you. As a female, I have never had a problem. I know that some females have, but I have not. I know it definitely opens more doors for females since it is a very male dominant field.”

With the expansion of the science building and nanotechnology, Ernst said it is going to be “the best thing that could happen to the department.” “It is such a growing field that works with industry and it’s going to open a lot of doors for students,” said Ernst. “It is very broad and pinpoints on certain areas instead of being general. It also offers students the hands-on experience with instruments in the field, whereas some schools don’t allow students to even touch them.” Broadbridge said having this opportunity and expansion in the science building is getting future students and current ones very interested in the field and what lies ahead. “I’m hearing from students already how excited they are about it. Even high school students and teachers that have been through,” said Broadbridge. “They will have this new view of what this science is and how it impacts their lives. Getting involved in a field like nanotechnology can transform their lives and seeing that, they want to make a difference in their futures and career paths. Students are getting involved in these research discoveries that could potentially impact us in the future.” BNH


REAL ESTATE operating as Jaguar Land Rover Centre. Angel represented the landlord in this transaction. The Geenty Group, Realtors, participated in the lease of 233 Research Dr., Milford.  The Tenant is Swipe of Ink, LLC. They will use the facility as a silkscreen print shop. The Landlord is D’Amato Investments, LLC. Bill Clark, Senior Vice President at The Geenty Group was the sole broker in this transaction. A silkscreen print shop Swipe of Ink LLC, have signed on to 233 Research Drive in Milford.

Esposito Previously Worked In HIgh Technology Sales Management, Most Recently With Tangoe, Inc., B.S. degree in Accounting and holds his CPA designation. Hugh Bridgers joins Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson to the company. Bridgers is a real estate pro-

fessional focusing on the residential real estate market in Greater New Haven. He previously worked on advertising campaigns in New York City and he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Rochester.

AIA/CT Recognizes Emerging Talent

Leased M. D. Stetson has signed a threeyear lease for 12,234 square feet at 53 Robinson Blvd., Orange, to relocate from its East Haven location. M. D. Stetson is a third generation company based in Randolph, MA that distributes cleaning products and supplies. Carl Russell CCIM of Pearce/George J. Smith represented the landlord, 57 Robinson Boulevard, LLC. The Proto Group represented M. D. Stetson. NEC Woodmont LLC signed a five-year lease for 1,600 square feet at The Adams Plaza Shopping Center to open a Great Clips. Dan Schwartz and Jim Kempner of Woodmont Plaza Associates LLC negotiated the lease terms for the Landlord. The Proto Group represented the Great Clips franchise. Greg Bozzi signed a two-year lease for 1,400 SF at 195 Foxon Rd., North Branford. He will relocate a catering operation to his new address. The landlord is Scarpa, LLC of Hamden. The Proto Group was the only broker involved in the transaction. Joel Galvin, GRI, CCS and Senior Commercial Associate in Pearce Real Estate’s North Haven office, negotiated a 1200 SQFT, three-year lease at 9 Business Park Drive, Unit 11, Branford. Galvin represented both the tenant and the landlord, Bernabucci Real Estate, Inc., an LLC which owns and manages real estate properties. The tenant is Tru-Spec Metals, Inc., a distributor of CHQ (cold heating quality) wire for the manufacturing of fasteners and other similar products, and will use the new space as the Connecticut satellite office of its Illinoisbased parent company. Kevin Geenty SIOR of The Geenty Group, Realtors, participated in the lease of a 2,299 SF portion of a 20,000 SF multitenanted flex building at 20 Research Parkway in Old Saybrook. The Tenant is Iterum Therapeutics US Limited, a biotech start-up firm. The Landlord is Mill Meadow Development, LLC. Kevin Geenty SIOR was the sole agent in this transaction. Jon Angel, President of Southport-based Angel Commercial L.L.C., participated in the long-term lease of the industrial property located at 2170 Commerce Dr. in Bridgeport. The half-acre site has been leased to British Motor Works LLC DECEMBER 2015

The Maclaitis family will add a used car lot to the station they bought at 117 North Main Street in Branford.

Sold Angel Commercial, L.L.C. participated in the sale of a 4,000 square foot commercial building on 0.19 acres of land located at 5 Van Tassel Court in Norwalk. Lester Fradkoff, Senior Vice President, represented the seller in this transaction. All American Custom Pools and Spas, which specializes in custom pool design, pool renovation and pool service, purchased the property. Stephen Press, SIOR, principal of Press/ Cuozzo Commercial Services of Hamden, and Senior Broker Ted Schaffer represented the owner in the sale of an industrial building in the Medway Business Park in Meriden, located at 170 Pond View Dr. The buyer, Aperture Optical Sciences, was represented by Kyle Roberts, senior associate with CBRE/New England. Stephen Press, SIOR, of Press/Cuzzo Realtors represented the seller, 117 North Main, LLC on the sale of an automotive facility and gas station known as A & M Service Station at 117 North Main Street in Branford. The buyers, the Maclaitis family, will continue the gas station and service facility and will also sell used cars. Greg Robbins of Wm. Raveis Real Estate represented the buyers.

Pirie Associates of New Haven completed this project, the interior of the Amos Bull House, on behalf of Connecticut Landmarks. The Amos Bull House is one of only 4 remaining 18th century buildings in Hartford.

In 2015, the AIA also presented a local firm with the Emerging Architectural Firm Award. This year, a recipient of note was New Haven’s own Laura Pirie, AIA, Pirie Associates and Point One Architecture of Old Lyme, Honorable Mention. This award is a peer recognition program highlighting member firms that have been in practice no less than 7 years and no more than 15. Spin-off firms may only have work considered if it was produced independent from the original firm by its present entity. Honorees are recognized for commitment to design excellence and based on a grouping of built projects instead of a stand-alone work. The recipients are AIA member firms gaining recognition in the general design community. Point One Architects of Old Lyme designed a signature environment for Charter Oak Credit Union Branch and Headquarters in Waterford, CT. The design features a glass core that connects the two programs through a multi-story atrium, serving as a beacon to the community. (Photography by Robert Benson)

People Andrew Esposito has been appointed to Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson. Esposito previously worked in High Technology Sales Management, most recently with Tangoe, Inc., located in Orange. He specialized in complex business to business sales and negotiation of multi-million dollar software and managed services contracts. Esposito is a graduate from Fairfield University with a 17

Big Deals in 2015 Commercial Realtors Meet And Celebrate A Challenging, But Rewarding For Some, 2015 Each year, the New Haven Middlesex CID (Commercial Investment Division) of the Board of Realtors recognizes its largest sales and leases. Transactions are submitted by member Realtors [there are 140 member realtors in the CID] and awards are presented at the Deals of the Year ceremony, held this year in early December at the New Haven Country Club. Jed Backus of Backus Real Estate in Hamden was the 2015 CID Chairman and he organized and emceed the event. The incoming chair is Vance Taylor of Commercial Real Estate Group of Berlin. The Realtors presented three non deal awards. CID chairman Backus with their CID Award for “his hard work, creativity, and commitment to advancing the commercial real estate profession.” Bernadette Blaze, New Haven Middlesex Association of Realtors: Award of Appreciation, for “support of the CID and its efforts” Erron Smith, Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC): Award of Appreciation, for support of the CID and its efforts.

Total transaction volume for awarded deals was $255 million.

APARTMENT SALE The Connecticut apartment market continues to power along with sales and new construction. The New Haven Group, Inc.’s Steve Inglese was awarded the largest APARTMENT SALE for Elm


Commons at 967 Elm Street, Rocky Hill. The three building complex has 156 units on 10.45 acres for a total of 145,000 square feet and includes a swimming pool and fitness facility. The transaction was done in June of 2015 for a cost of $18.75 million. The transaction was off market between the seller, an entity managed by The Simon Konover Company, and a private investor. It was closed at a 5.5% cap rate [The capitalization rate is the ratio of Net Operating Income (NOI) to property asset value]. The cost per housing unit was $120,000. The complex was built in 1979 by the late Simon Konover in a syndicate company with a [Connecticut Housing Financing Authority] CHFA mortgage. Inglese told CID “unraveling this syndicate and mortgage presented issues in putting the transaction together.”

BUSINESS SALE The sale of Branford’s Marco Pizzeria at 313 East Main Street, brought the award for the top BUSINESS SALE to Shawn Reilly of Levey Miller Maretz. The business is in a 2,500 square foot restaurant space with 65 seats and it was sold in September for $425,000. An option for the purchase of the property was included in the transaction. Reilly was the only agent involved in the deal and it took six months to negotiate and close.

INDUSTRIAL LEASE It took four showings beginning in April of 2015 and a series of offers, but a deal was reached for 28,8080 square feet on five acres at 80 Commerce Street, in East Haven in October 2015. The three lease with options was for just under $420,000. The preserving agents were Bill Clark and Kevin Geenty SIOR of The Geenty Group. The build has a new two story office, very high ceilings, 9 truck docks, 3 interior docks, and a 10 ton crane. The new tenant, The Boston Granite Exchange is a distributor of “high quality granite” with multiple Boston area locations and is now expanding into Connecticut. Seth Boynick of Boynick Realty Company was the agent for the tenant.



The Northeast Technology Center, a 97,000 square foot property on 5.82 acres at 15 and 35 Industrial Road, Branford, was sold for $10.5 million in August. The three building complex was sold by Tim McMahon, Rich Lee and Frank Hird of OR&L Commercial representing the seller. The complex has previously been [2010] a single occupancy facility. It was sold as 87% percent leased.

The CID’s LARGEST LAND SALE was made by Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Realtors, the sole Realtor in the transaction. The property was on 3.6 acres at 505 and 511 Washington Avenue in North Haven, which contained a to-be-demolished small house and automotive building, and sold for $1,500,000. The sale closed in early December after the listing was active for three years and under contract for just under one when the transaction closed. The buyer, 511 Washington Avenue LLC, plans to reposition the site as a mixed-use development, and the seller was Byrant Munson. Steven McLarty of Middlefield is listed as the buying LLC’s manager.

LAND LEASE The LARGEST LAND LEASE was made by Lou Proto of The Proto Group. The property at 249 State Street in North Haven was on .87 acres and sold for $2,320,500. The twenty-year ground lease was to the Cumberland Farms Company with headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts.


Congratulations to our 2015 CID Deal Of The Year Award Recipients:

Mike Richetelli President

Fred A. Messore

Senior Vice President

Tom Doyle

Senior Broker

Mike Richetelli & Tom Doyle - “Mixed Use Transaction” Fred A. Messore - “Most Transactions” And Kudos to all the 2015 CID award winners! 203.795.8060


MIXED USE SALE Colonial Properties’ Michael Richetelli represented the seller at Broadway Square Plaza 2-14 Broadway in North Haven - a Victorian style shopping center that houses several medical professionals as well as Bellini’s Classic Italian Restaurant. The property sits on three acres and constitutes 28,593 square feet of developed retail and was sold for $3.9 million, closing in October. Tom Doyle, also of Colonial, was the cooperating agent. The seller was Broadway Medical Associates Inc. and the buyer was Broadway Medical Group LLC.

MOST SALES OR NEW LEASES Four time winner [last four years] Fred Messore of Colonial Properties had fifteen deals in 2015. Among the deals was a lease at 310 Winchester Avenue, New Haven to Crossfit Science Park (CFSP), which opened a “state of the art, 4,000 square foot Crossfit Facility with full locker rooms, across from newly developed Winchester Lofts. The landlord is Yale University, University Properties. He helped sell 1003 Boston Post Road, West Haven, a .86 Acre of vacant land. The site was the longtime home of Chuck’s Steakhouse, which was destroyed by a fire in 2013. The property sold for $575,000 to O’Reilly Automotive Stores, Inc., which plans on constructing an 8,000 s/f retail auto parts store. The Seller was 1003 Boston Post Rd, LLC. Gene Arganese of Westerly, Rhode Island is listed as the LLC member.

Key Bank officials recently met with First Niagara employees to discuss the merger and continued operations.

INVESTMENT SALE The LARGEST INVESTMENT SALE PROPERTY was awarded to Steve Miller of Levey Miller Maretz. The building has 119,761 square feet and is on 18.1 acres in Wallingford at 29 Toelles Road. The transaction closed in September of 2015 and was for $10 million. 29 Toelles Road Associates LLC, was the purchaser and Arizonabased EMH Investment LLC the seller. Fed Ex is the tenant in the building. Michael Mauro, the President of Mauro Motors of North Haven, is listed as the manager of 29 Toelles Road Associates LLC.

RETAIL LEASE Allston, Massachusetts specialty supermarket Fresh Formats opened it second store in Fairfield with the leasing of 10,400 square feet at 1262 Post Road in Fairfield. The transaction closed in May and was for $4.68 million

and was awarded the largest RETAIL LEASE in 2015. Lou Proto of the Proto Group represented Fresh Formats. Christian Bangert of Rhys Real Estate of Stamford represented Red Gate Partners of Southport. The owner of the property, Leo Redgate, is listed as the LLC Member. The building is a former U.S. Post Office Complex, which was sold to Red Gate Partners in 2012. Redgate, a real estate developer, operated the non–profit Community Theater movie house in Fairfield until it closed in 2014.

RETAIL SALE Steve Patten of The Proto Group was recognized for the largest RETAIL SALE. The 5,400 square foot property at 285 Boston Post Road, Orange closed in April of 2015 for $1.68 million. Patten was the listing agent and Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Realtors of Hamden represented the buyer, the Eli’s Restaurant Group, headquartered in Hamden. Eli’s has restaurants in Hamden, Orange, Milford and Branford.

The Connecticut former headquarters of Kelly Construction for over 50 years consisting of 9,500 square feet of office and warehouse on a 1.55 Acre lot sold for $450,000. The Apt Foundation is demolishing the existing structures making way for a new 10,000 s/f treatment facility. The seller was Kelly Realty and Development Co. LLC. Arthur Kelly Jr. and Maureen Kelly are listed as members of the LLC.

Messore brokered 363 Boston Post Rd, Orange, a new master for Porch and Patio. Porch and Patio is increasing their existing space, so they have a new long term lease for the entire property consisting of a 10,000 square foot “free-standing” retail Building and 5,000 square feet of warehouse. Landlord is 363 Post Road Assoc. LLC.

OFFICE LEASE A seventeen year lease is the largest OFFICE LEASE of the year for 2015. The 213-bed William W. Backus Hospital based in Norwich leased 45,000 square feet in Plainfield on Route 12, the transaction was closed in March of 2015. No listing or lease agent was provided to CID, the firm handling the transaction was OR&L. The hospital already has an Emergency Center in Plainfield and is constructing what it calls the Backus Center for Specialty Care, which will include ambulatory care and a medical office building.

OFFICE SALE Cushman and Wakefield’s Robert Motley was the listing agent for the sale of 195 Church Street New Haven, once known as the New Haven Savings Building, now the First Niagara Building. The 264,000 square foot building sits on only seven tenths of an acre in downtown New Haven. The sale was for $18.25 million and closed in November 2015. The seller was the First Niagara Bank and the purchaser was the Northside Development Company. New Haven businessman and developer Paul Denz is the president. Denz already owns several downtown properties within a block or two from the bank. First Niagara will be the building’s “anchor” tenant and is expected to continue to use the street level for its downtown branch. First Niagara Bank, with $39 billion in assets based in Buffalo, New York, is expected to be sold to Key Bank of Cleveland, Ohio, the 22nd largest bank in the U.S. [assets of 91 billion before the acquisition]. New York Senator Chuck Schumer threatened to derail the merger last October, but the deal is expected to close. DECEMBER 2015



Medicare spending in Connecticut is approximately $4.6 billion annually, nearly $1.2 billion in New Haven County

Hospitals To Take Huge Hit To Medicare Payments Eighteen Connecticut hospitals will lose tens of millions to Medicare penalties According to a report in Healthcare IT News, more than 720,000 hospitalized patients will acquire a “serious infection” during their hospital stay this year and approximately 75,000 will die from the Hospital Acquired Infection [HAI].

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) consider HAIs as preventable conditions. Infections can be the result from a variety of causes including blood work, surgery, and transmission from caregivers and other patients. The 2008 Affordable Care Act requires Medicare to impose a penalty on the lowest 25% performing hospitals across the country each year. The penalty is one percent of Medicare payments under Medicare. Across the country, 25% of all hospitals are being penalized in 2016. Eighteen Connecticut hospitals will see this reduction of payments in 2016. A spokesperson for the Connecticut Hospital Association told the online website Connecticut Health I-Team (, that the data for the 2016 penalties was for events in 2013 and 2014 and that the hospitals have made progress since then. Medicare spending in Connecticut is approximately $4.6 billion annually, nearly $1.2 billion of that in New Haven County. Sixty percent of the hospitals in Connecticut will see the penalties, a long list constituting some its largest hospitals, including Hartford and St. Francis Hospitals, Yale New Haven Hospital, Waterbury Hospital, Midstate and Middlesex Hospitals, Bridgeport Hospital, Greenwich and Danbury Hospitals. Based on Medicare spending and the hospitals under penalty, the expected total cost of the penalties may well exceed $150 million dollars.

HARTFORD: A new proposed contract that covers custodians at downtown office buildings, schools, universities, municipal and state buildings [more than 100 buildings overall] demonstrates the impact of health care costs on employee compensation. The proposed contract provides a $1.70 per hour [in greater New Haven, $1.60 in Hartford] increase to the custodians over a four-year period. 20

than 70,000 custodians on the East Coast. The $1.70 will be increased over six increments during the four-year timetable, bringing the hourly wage from $12.40 to $14.10.

Twelve contracting companies agreed to the new contract with the SEIU representing the custodians. Greater New Haven has 500 custodians covered and Hartford 1,600, more than 2,600 among all covered employees. The custodians had authorized a strike if negotiations weren’t successful. The SEUI represents more

By Arielle Levin Becker UnitedHealthcare plans to stop paying commissions for insurance policies offered through exchanges beginning Jan. 1, a move brokers say signals the company’s retreat from Obamacare business. “That’s typically always the first thing to go if they’re going to start pulling out of a specific market or not offering those programs any longer,” said Tim Tracy Jr., a Fairfield insurance broker and president of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters.

Medicare has penalized 758 hospitals nationwide for what it considers a high rate of infection. More than fifty percent of hospitals nationwide have been cited previously for high HAI rates.

New Janitorial Contract Heavy on Healthcare

Unitedhealthcare To Stop Paying Commissions For ACA Exchange Plans

Payments by employers to a healthcare fund managed by the union will increase to $6.55 per hour nearly 50% of the wage cost. Sick time has been extended in the new contract as well. Increasing the healthcare payments was a major objective of the union’s bargaining. Full time custodians do not pay any premiums for their health care costs.

Tracy noted that eliminating the commission payments probably would significantly reduce sales, since brokers wouldn’t be promoting the company’s products. Between 30 and 35 percent of the Connecticut exchange’s business comes from agents and brokers, exchange CEO Jim Wadleigh said. UnitedHealthcare has already signaled the possibility that it would pull out of the public exchanges in 2017. UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley said last month that the company was losing money on exchange business and would determine during the first half of 2016 whether it would continue to sell plans through public exchanges. Asked about the decision to stop broker commissions, the company issued a statement that said, “Our current actions are consistent with our long-stated approach to continually evaluate the dynamics of exchanges as they evolve and adjust to changes in the market accordingly.” Hemsley alluded to the move in his Nov. 19 earnings update, saying the company had taken “several immediate actions to reduce our exposure in this segment,” including suspending marketing and reducing or eliminating commissions in most markets. UnitedHealthcare has a relatively small presence on Connecticut’s exchange, Access Health CT. The company didn’t participate in any of the exchanges created under the federal health law in 2014, the first year they operated. In 2015, its prices on Connecticut’s exchange were among the highest, and the company captured about 2 percent of customers (as of March, at the end of the open-enrollment period, 2,278 people had signed up for the company’s plans). The company’s prices for 2016 coverage remain among the highest on the exchange, and as of mid-November, UnitedHealthcare had received only about 2.7 percent of the business from new customers.

The company sells plans through exchanges in 34 states. According to a memo the company sent to brokers and agents, UnitedHealthcare will not pay commissions for new individual exchange enrollments starting Jan. 1. The change also applies to health plans sold outside the exchanges that are identical to exchange plans – so-called “mirror plans.” UnitedHealthcare will still pay commissions for exchange plans sold before that date. The changes don’t apply to New York and California, the memo said. The move will likely have a “chilling effect” on sales of exchange business, said John Calkins, president of Bozzuto Associates in Watertown. “If that’s United’s direction, they could forget any business from agents,” he said. Commissions for agents and brokers are included in the premiums insurance customers pay. Asked whether anything would prohibit a company from collecting premiums with commissions included but not paying them when agents or brokers sell the policies, Connecticut Insurance Department spokeswoman Donna Tommelleo said, “The department is in discussions with UnitedHealthcare.” Wadleigh called agents and brokers a key partner for the exchange in educating consumers about how health insurance works, and said he expects they won’t sell UnitedHealthcare products if they aren’t compensated for it. Wadleigh said he hasn’t spoken to other insurers about the issue, but wondered whether others will also make changes to their broker commissions. “United could be starting an industry trend,” he said. If that happens, he added, the exchange will have to revisit how it sells its business. Although leaders of other insurance companies have indicated that they plan to stick with exchanges for now, Wadleigh said he expects them to examine the business climate in each state where they do business – and that exchanges will have to help ensure the climate is conducive to insurers offering products. Insurer HealthyCT said it has no plans to change its broker commission program. “Brokers are our valued partners in helping to educate, enroll and serve our on- and off-exchange members,” the company said in a statement. ConnectiCare also plans to continue paying commissions for exchange plans, a spokeswoman said. A spokeswoman for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield did not immediately respond to questions about whether the company would change their commission policies. Reprinted with permission from ctmirror. org WWW.CONNTACT.COM

WHO’S WHAT WHERE in the History of Art and an A.B. from Georgetown University.

Chase Christy Chase has been appointed director of student health services at Quinnipiac University. She previously worked as an overnight nurse at the university. Chase earned a bachelor of science in nursing from Southern Connecticut State University and is currently enrolled in the doctor of nursing practice (APRN track) program at Quinnipiac with an anticipated graduation of May 2017 The ShopRite of Waterbury recently welcomed Sarah Zappone as the store’s new retail dietitian. A 2010 graduate of the University of Connecticut’s Coordinated Dietetics Program, Zappone will be on-site at the Shoprite to equip customers with the tools they need to shop and eat healthy. As part of ShopRite’s Retail Dietitian team, Zappone is one of more than 120 Registered Dietitians who service ShopRite stores.

Zappone Thomas J. Loughman has been appointed the 11th Director and C.E.O. of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. Loughman previously served as the Associate Director of Program and Planning at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. Loughman holds a Ph.D. in Art History from Rutgers University, a M.A. from the Clark/Williams College Graduate Program DECEMBER 2015

Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) appointed Wanda Montalvo, PhD, RN as Associate Director of the Weitzman Institute (WI). Prior to joining CHC, Montalvo was the advisor and reviewer for the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veteran Healthcare, Partners Investing in Nursing, CDC/NIH National Diabetes Education Program, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars. She earned her Bachelors and Master’s degrees at Long Island University School of Nursing and received her PhD from the Columbia University School of Nursing. Ross Mezzanotte and

Montalvo Bob Nelson have been promoted to Senior Project Managers at KBE Building Corp. Mezzanotte joined KBE in 1995 and has served in several roles including Project Administrator, Project Estimator, and Project Manager. He previously managed key senior living and retail projects including the Whitney Center, Jewish Senior Services, and Stamford Town Center. Mezzanotte earned a B.S. in Industrial Technology and Construction Management from Central Connecticut State University. Nelson Joined KBE in 1996 and has served as a Project Superintendent before becoming a Project Manager. He previously managed key retail projects including various LA Fitnesses, Sierra Suites, Guilford Commons, and Seabrook Commons. Nelson attended New England College of Business.

Laima Karosas, clinical professor of nursing and chair of graduate nursing programs in the School of Nursing at Quinnipiac University has been awarded the American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ (AANP) Clinical Excellence Award. The AANP presents the award annually to a nurse practitioner from each state who has demonstrated excellence in clinical practice. Karosas received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Connecticut. She also has a master’s degree in nursing from Yale University and completed her post-master’s certificate as a family nurse practitioner from Fairfield University. She received her PhD in nursing from the University of Connecticut. Former ebm-papst Inc. president and CEO Robert Sobolewski was elected chair of CBIA’s board of directors. The board also elected two vice chairs: John Ciulla, president of Waterburybased Webster Bank and Webster Financial Corporation, and Mary Kay Fenton, executive vice president and chief financial officer with Achillion Pharmaceuticals in New Haven. Sobolewski is president and CEO of Bob Sobolewski Consulting. He also is a founder, chair, and president of ingenuityNE, a nonprofit organization that manages NE FIRST, which has over 190 high school Ievel FIRST Robotics Competition teams in New England and 200 FIRST Lego League teams in Connecticut. Ciulla is president of Webster Bank and prior to being named to his new role, Ciulla was executive vice president, responsible for all middle market activities, chair of Webster’s Regional Presidents Council, and regional president for Fairfield County. Fenton is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, where she is responsible for financial strategy development and capital formation, financial reporting and compliance, and treasury and tax functions.



"Elm City Communities loves making a difference because we know we are part of a larger community. Partnering with United Way is the best way to help all of our residents achieve financial stability and thrive." Karen DuBois-Walton, Executive Director Housing Authority of New Haven (Elm City Communities)

UNITED WAY WORKPLACE CAMPAIGNS • Build employee morale • Promote a “giving back” philosophy • Improve Greater New Haven’s quality of life



TECHNOLOGY Lawsuit Claims Gartner Reports Not “Magic” At All By Mitchell Young STAMFORD: A Connecticut court has let a lawsuit against the research company Gartner, that could have a major impact on the presentation of “research”, reviews and rankings provided by research, and even potentially media companies, proceed to the next stage. Judge Charles Lee of the Connecticut Superior Court of Stamford/Norwalk refused to dismiss the claims of Netscout, a Westford, Massachusetts cyber security firm that has challenged reports published about the company in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant rankings.

Netscout’s lawsuit claims that Gartner’s reports “were corrupted by favoritism” The Sound and Fury of the Wind COLEBROOK: The Waterbury Republican reports that Dr. David Lawrence, an internist in Winsted and his wife Jeanie of Flagg Hill Road, have claimed they are having health problems caused by the low frequency noise of two recently installed wind turbines 1500 feet away from their home. Dr. Lawrence said that his wife is now suffering from headaches, high blood pressure, unsteadiness on her feet and insomnia.

Netscout’s lawsuit claims that Gartner’s reports “were corrupted by favoritism shown to Gartner’s major customers” and that “its ranking system is based not on objective facts, but rather on Gartner’s ‘pay-to-play’ business model.”

Lawrence added that both he and his wife are suffering sleep problems and that he is waking up “muddled.”

On a second count, for corporate defamation, Netscout alleges that the ratings and statements about NetScout in Gartner’s 2014 Magic Quadrant report for “network performance monitoring and diagnostics” were defamatory and untrue.

The couple has three sons, two of which he says are not affected, and one that has symptoms similar to his wife.

Netscout has said that its ranking as a “challenger” instead of a “leader” gave the impression that Netscout is “essentially, a technology company that saddles its customers with outdated technology.”

The Republican reported that some other neighbors to the turbines have also had sleep problems.

The suit also alleges Gartner stated falsely that NetScout is “currently struggling to deal with new technical demands and rising expectations and has architectures, feature sets and pricing structures that require modernization to better compete with those in the leader’s quadrant.” Gartner is defended by attorneys Frederick Gold, Andrew Zeitlin and Diane Polletta in the Stamford office of Shipman and Goodwin. Gartner had won some earlier skirmishes to narrow the information presented in the case and claims its reports are “protected opinion.” In denying Gartner’s motion, the court held that “Gartner has not met its burden of showing that the statements in the Magic Quadrant are protected opinions.” In a similar suit against Gartner by ZL Technologies in 2011, the US Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit sided with Gartner and provided a three part test to determine if the information was protected opinion, including essentially whether the information “implies an assertion of objective fact.” In the ZL case, the court found that the claim that ZL was a “niche player” was not an assertion that its “products are inferior to its competitors products.” The court added that Gartner described its process and that included disclaimers to the information being made on the basis of objective fact. For now, at least, Judge Lee is allowing the case to go forward with a presentation of facts. Netscout counsel Jeff Levinson said “the court ruling makes clear that no law allows Gartner to defame technology companies.”

TECH COUNCIL SEEKS WOMEN INNOVATORS HARTFORD: The Connecticut Technology Council is seeking nominations for its Women of Innovation awards. Women working in Connecticut in the fields of technology, technology education or management, science and/or mathematics are eligible. Awards are given for both Large and Small Business, Youth, College, Community 22

leadership, Research, Entrepreneurship, Academics. The deadline for entries is January 29 and more information is available at Awards are presented at a presentation event on April 6 at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville.

Lawrence claims research about low-frequency noise was not taken into consideration by the Connecticut Siting Council, and that ambient noise studies that are to be conducted by the council will not measure the low frequency sounds. The turbines generate just under 3 megawatts of electricity, and were subject to

significant local opposition by a group of residents in Northwest Connecticut under the banner of Fairwind CT. The group achieved some limited setback rules from the legislature. The turbines were built and are operated by West Hartford-based BNE Energy.

Yale Students Bracing For Change

Previously, the company received $100,000 from the YEI [Yale Entrepreneurial Institute ] Innovation Fund and has received recognition in Business Insider and Fast Company magazines. Ellen Su (’13), Levi DeLuke (’14) and Sebastian Monzon (’14) are the cofounders and have been working on prototypes at the Yale Entrepreneurial

NEW HAVEN: Wellinks, founded by three students, has raised $265,000 for their “wearable health Yale students Deluk [l], Su and technology.” Monson, teamed up on medical Connecticut device start-up. Innovations, the New Institute in addition to England Pediatric Device making use of 3-D printConsortium and angel iners at the Yale Center for vestors are in this round. Engineering, Innovation Wellinks has a patentand Design (CEID), where pending brace-monitoring they met and joined forces. device and smart phone app, which is “being developed for scoliosis patients,” the company adds that it can work for knee braces which make up “70% of the brace market.” Wellinks’ press release says “the device uses novel sensors to track the wear-time and tightness of braces and allows doctors to follow patient progress and respond to problems in real time.”

A study of their device and software with 30-40 patients is underway at New York Presbyterian Hospital. The company is seekingto hire a full time software developer and a Chief Medical Officer. The company is already in discussion with potential customers and is planning an initial manufacturing run of 1000 units.

Real Estate Firm Provides Computers in Haiti STAMFORD, LES CAYES, HAITI: Building and Land Technology (BLT), a Stamford-based real estate development and private equity firm, is providing a computer lab in a school serving 400 high school student in Les Cayes and up to 1000 computers to students in Haiti. The lab and the computers are developed by San Francisco-based Endless, which designs computers for the developing world. BLT is in partnership with the Naples, Florida-based Hope for Haiti, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, to provide the equipment and support. Carl R. Kuehner, Chairman and CEO of BLT, said at the lab’s opening, “up until now, these students have been learning computers theoretically on a chalk board. The majority of these students have never had the opportunity to actually touch or use a computer.” Endless was founded by Connecticut native Matt Dalio, a Harvard and Stanford grad, who is the CEO and

Chief of Product for the company. The USA Today reported in August that the Endless computer is expected to cost approximately $170 each. While Dalio is the son of Connecticut hedge fund entrepreneur Ray Dalio, founder and CEO of Westport-based Bridgewater Associates and the 69th richest person in the U.S., the younger Dalio launched financing for the computer on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site. According to a BLT press release, the Endless computer “has been designed to have apps that people care most about, like education, health and livelihood. For emerging markets like Haiti where Internet and connectivity can be hard to come by, this computer brings access to information for all.” WWW.CONNTACT.COM


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Profile for Second Wind Media Ltd

Business New Haven December 2015  

Business New Haven December 2015