THEY BUILT THIS CITY SIX THAT MADE IT IN GREATER NEW HAVEN
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EDITORIAL The GE Disappointment Everyone from the bodega owner to the retired schoolteacher is happy to blame “Connecticut” for the loss of GE headquarters. Who or what in Connecticut is a different matter. Dare we pose the issue differently– we may lose some friends when we say the story is much more about that corporation, Connecticut culture, Connecticut politicians than it is about costs and taxes in Connecticut. To be certain, top corporate leaders in Connecticut and elsewhere don’t like Connecticut’s business climate, and the cost to do business here. We know this because they say so and numerous surveys underscore it – the narrative is set. Connecticut is an expensive place but that doesn’t really matter much to a corporate headquarters like GE had in Fairfield. New York and Boston are far more expensive places to do business than even Fairfield County. Rents, employment costs, and taxes are all higher in most of the alternate places that GE looked for new headquarters. So what then? AT TITUDE: First and foremost, many in Connecticut demonize business in a way that Massachusetts and New York, for example, simply do not. We invite Democratic politicians and members of the press to find in Massachusetts the shrill negative comments about any major company that are regular faire on the public air waves [especially NPR] or on the pages of the Hartford Courant from politicians, media, and the public
They Built This City
Let’s face it, business people have expressed a lot of anger, angst and just old-fashioned dissatisfaction about Connecticut in the last few years or so. We’ve done lots of reporting on it, the whys, wherefores, the whining— and so we decided we can only be negative Nellie’s for so much of the time. So we peered out at some of our friends and decided to tell their stories of endurance. Fritz and Hawley sells fashion 4
alike. Search back and you will find in Connecticut broadside attacks on Bayer, Pfizer, GE, United Technologies from leading legislators, even from those that represent districts where the employees live. While the political Left [search Slate magazine] is calling for taxing Harvard [Yale and other non-profits], we’re not hearing the Massachusetts President of the Senate calling for it as Connecticut’s Martin Looney has done. The attacks against Yale New Haven Health System come from both sides of the aisle and we don’t see a similar example at our neighbors in New York, Rhode Island or Massachusetts. Are their hospital CEOs working for the minimum wage? CULTURE: We would love the added opportunity to simply blame Governor Dannell Malloy [he’s become the whipping boy] and the rest of the Democrats, but GE is moving because the “land of steady habits” is not providing the culture that large corporations are now seeking. Trendy trend or real movement, we’ll have to see. McDonalds is moving from its suburban headquarters that it has occupied for 45 years to Downtown Chicago, Weyerhaeuser is moving from suburban Seattle to the city center, and that city’s $15 minimum wage is apparently no bar for the corporate headquarters. As huge global corporations get larger and more bureaucratic, it’s becoming nearly impossible for them to be creative and innovative, so the consultants propose “surround yourself with young innovative people, attract your best talent to one spot,” yada, yada, yada. By the time anyone knows whether this really works, there will be a new set of relocation plans to a Desert Island Oasis.
While no one is still talking about Red Sox Nation anymore, walking around Boston, the excitement of youth and creativity is everywhere, even a Yankees fan has to admit it is a city for the 21st-century. Connecticut has a history of innovation, but the government slogan “Still Revolutionary” has not caught on and innovations here do come, but they are slow and hard won. Then There Is GE: At 60, Jeff Immelt, CEO, still has to prove that his selection in 2000 wasn’t a mistake, he has only five years left to do it. Immelt’s predecessor [neutron] Jack Welch was a mixture of old school and visionary thinker and he turned around not only GE, but in many ways the entire American Industrial Complex. But in 2000, at 65, he still had to go. Welch made bets in media, finance and plastics and GE regained its bearing as one of the world’s most valuable and profitable companies. Immelt, a Midwesterner who came east to Dartmouth College and then Harvard for his MBA – he has GE in his DNA, his dad managed what is now GE Aviation. He beat out Rhode Island born Jim McNerney Jr [Yale ’71], also a GE insider, for the job. For the McNerney choice, age was a factor, but when he retired last year as CEO of Boeing it was a more successful company than ever. The financial crisis tarred GE Capital – Welch’s star achievement. The Internet knocked the wind from NBC, so Immelt is returning GE to its industrial roots, and today innovation is the only way to win that game. GE’s value has languished under Immelt and only recently returning to 60% of its 2000 level. Something had to change. BNH
eyewear in Hamden, its roots began well before the civil war, when Paul Rossler sold eyeglasses in New Haven. Russell Fritz Jr., the proprietor, is third generation in the business and himself has witnessed new technologies become old ones several times.
So, can business make it here in Connecticut? They have, they can, and they do. And organizations like the Foote School, which has reached the century milestone, have educated countless New Haven children and employed numerous educators over those years.
Marie-Louis Burkle, CEO of Branford’s Autac, runs a successful manufacturing business that has reached seventy years in Connecticut. She has shown true grit and has built and sustained her family enterprise through hardship, both business and personal.
We enjoy saying A.D. Perkins put their stamp on New Haven, that has been the case for 140 years, and trophies, and charts, and plaques, and signs… And on Chapel Street, there is Tom Maloney’s Raggs. For more than three decades, that store has
provided a place for those who appreciate young, urbane and far forward fashion – and they don’t have to go to New York to get it. Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin helped build the industrial revolution, Mrs. Whitney and some of her contemporaries laid a ground work in concern for women left behind that is a legacy as great as her husband’s, and it endures in the work of Mar y Wade. So at least for a moment, we ask you to suspend your skepticism and certainly any cynicism, and read and enjoy our history. Conntact.com | Business New Haven
Connecticut Saw First Monthly Net Job Loss of 2016 in May By: Mark Pazniokas
onnecticut posted a mixed jobs report for May on Thursday, recording the first monthly job loss of 2016, while unemployment remained unchanged at 5.7 percent. “Connecticut’s decline of 1,400 jobs in May follows a very slow month for job growth across the country,” said Andy Condon, research director at the Department of Labor. “Our labor force saw small but equal percentage declines in both residents employed and unemployed, resulting in an unchanged unemployment rate.” Five of the 10 labor sectors tracked by the labor department made gains, led by 1,200 jobs in manufacturing. The biggest losses came in retail, which shrank by 2,700 jobs. The Connecticut Business and Industry Association called the latest jobs report “disappointing but expected” after the U.S. Labor Department’s recent announcement that the country lost 38,000 jobs in May. CBIA economist Peter Gioia said, “It does point to the fact that we are still struggling here in Connecticut. … But this report does highlight that the economy and creating investment that creates jobs should be job number one for policymakers.” J UNE 2016
Only one of the four labor market areas, Hartford-West HartfordEast Hartford, added jobs in May, up 100. The Bridgeport-StamfordNorwalk market lost the most, down 1,300 positions. Losses also were recorded in the Norwich-New London-Westerly and New Haven markets. Connecticut now has recovered 93,900 jobs, or 78.8 percent of the 119,100 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs lost during the employment recession of March 2008 to February 2010. It needs 25,200 more nonfarm jobs to reach 1,713,300 jobs, the threshold of a clear employment expansion. The monthly labor report is based on separate surveys of households and businesses. The 1,400-job loss is based on the business survey, while the household survey is used to estimate the unemployment rate. The business survey found average hourly earnings at $30.66, up 6.9 percent from the May 2015 hourly earnings estimate. But the DOL noted that other data sources do not support “this aggressive level of wage growth.” The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index was only 1 percent. Reprinted with permission of CTmirror.com
Want To Be A Salesperson Customers Trust?
response. This is how sales get in trouble or lost when salespeople think they know what a customer wants or can afford. Salespeople are often trained how to “read customers,” so they can get the order. Listening to customers and paying attention to what they’re saying is a more helpful path to success.
By John Graham
5. Signal your willingness to work with customers
Most customers would like to believe salespeople. But, they’ve been burned so often they don’t let themselves do it. And that’s why salespeople make the mistake of trying to overcome distrust by “playing the part,” offering phony friendliness, or making exaggerated claims. All of that only further complicates their predicament.
Customers are not only cautious, but some are even afraid: they don’t want to go too far in buying something until they get a reading on the salesperson. No customer wants to discover they’re faced with working with the wrong person. That’s a bummer and a good reason for caution.
Here are seven ways to go about creating credibility and establishing trust: 1. Never let customers’ doubts taint you It’s a fact: customer distrust creates a long tail. It doesn’t go away. If that sounds like an overreaction or exaggeration, it isn’t. It becomes a part of your “resume” and no matter how you try to paint a different picture or how often you jump from one “opportunity” to the next, it’s still there. Anything that causes customers to question a salesperson’s integrity does damage. It’s the stuff that builds negative reputations are built, and in an increasingly transparent world, its stays as close as a dark shadow on a moonlit night. There’s no place to hide today.
When savvy salespeople recognize a customer’s discomfort, they might respond by saying, “I understand that a buying decision can be difficult, and I want you to know that I will work with you so you get what you want at a price that’s good for you, or “It seems as if you may be wondering how you can pay for this. I assure you that we will find a program that works for you.” That’s a good way to send the message that you’re willing to work with the customer. 6. Be thoughtful, not just informed Two physiologists at the University of California at San Francisco found that if rats were allowed to rest once they found their way through a maze, they could go straight through it—from start to finish—the next time. But if they were put back in the maze immediately, it was as if they had never been there before.
Being a sponge soaking up information is not nearly as valuable as understanding how the information applies to customers. A car salesman said to a prospective customer, “Ours is 2. Nothing is perfect the best selling SUV in the nation.” He knew The biggest hurdle salespeople face is failing to all about the vehicle, but nothing he said was think like a customer. So preoccupied with how meaningful to the prospect. And she walked out. to get a sale, they ignore what customers are thinking: they know the downside to whatever 7. Send the right message they buy— whether it’s a home, a car, a vaca“All salesmen are actors: their priority is tion package, or a particular cereal. persuasion, not sincerity,” notesPeter Thiel, Customers know nothing is ideal or flawless PayPal’s co-founder and author of Zero to One. and it’s a mistake to paint what you sell with He’s also right when he points out that the perfection. Being open and objective are the best actors aren’t seen as acting. They’re effecbig steps in building trust. This is true, whether tive because they’re authentic; they’re good at low-cost or high-priced. There’s always a down- what they do. It’s the same with salespeople. side to what you are selling. Even if it’s minor, Customer response is positive when they sense don’t try covering it up or pretend it doesn’t a harmony in salespeople between who they exist. Address it and turn it into an advantage are and what they do. They’re real; they don’t by pointing it out. It shows customers you’re put on an act. And that sends a powerful and honest and fair. persuasive message that dispels doubt and attracts customers. It’s called trust. 3. Create a collaborative climate Every salesperson runs into customers with unrealistic expectations, who are always angling to get more, and who often choose confrontation rather than collaboration. They push as hard as they can to win a concession.
Customers trust people who come across as genuine. And when a genuine person is in sales, customers may not see them as exceptional, but they like working with them and give them repeat business, as well as referrals.
But even with all that pressure, sales pros don’t give up. When they run into a barrier, they’re ready: “I appreciate your concern. If we can find a way to overcome that issue, would be satisfactory with you?” By creating an atmosphere of negotiation, the customer becomes part of the solution and the salesperson gets the order.
All of this points to one conclusion: salespeople like everyone else are far more transparent than they may want to think, and that’s why making sure customers say, “This is the right person to do business with,” is the key to success.
4. Focus on what matters to customers A customer in the market for a new car made it clear to the salesperson what she was looking for in a vehicle. “Oh, that’s going to cost you a lot more,” was the salesperson’s instant
John Graham of GrahamComm is a marketing and sales strategy consultant and business writer. He is the creator of “Magnet Marketing,” and publishes a free monthly eBulletin, “No Nonsense Marketing & Sales Ideas.” Contact him at johnrgraham.com.
Connecticut Health Insurers Seek Sharply Higher Rates As Obamacare Moves Forward, Double Digit Increases Proposed For Individual Plans By Mark Pazniokas
Once the rates are set, the actual increases paid by specific consumers will vary. Each customer’s actual rate is based on three factors: age, as older people pay more; geography, with consumers in Fairfield County typically paying the most; and the specific plan the person picks.
ome of Connecticut’s major health insurers are seeking rate increases far beyond medical inflation, including an average increase of 26.8 percent for the individual plans offered by the state’s biggest insurer, Anthem Health Plans, according to filings made public in early June.
Many consumers also get discounts on their premiums, subsidized by the federal government as part of the health law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 85 percent of consumers getting coverage through an ACA exchange receive tax credits that protect consumers from premium increases. Tax credits increase if the cost of the second lowest-cost plan, the silver level, goes up.
Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade has scheduled public hearings in August on the rate increases sought by Anthem, Aetna and ConnectiCare, three of the 14 insurers seeking increases on 18 individual and small employer plans providing coverage to 332,126 people in the state. Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade. The filings come as the insurance industry, Wade and her department are under intense scrutiny as health insurers are undergoing a period of controversial consolidation, with Anthem seeking a merger with Bloomfieldbased Cigna and Hartford-based Aetna seeking a merger with Humana. Connecticut drew fire from consumer advocates when it recently joined 13 other states in signing off on the Aetna-Humana deal. Matthew Katz, chief executive of the Connecticut State Medical Society, recently predicted that if the two proposed mergers are approved by state regulators and the Justice Department, about 64 percent of the Connecticut health insurance market would be controlled by one company, Anthem-Cigna. The requested increases ranged from a low of 2.1 percent sought by Oxford Health to 32 percent sought by Golden Rule, both for plans offered outside Access Health CT, the state-sponsored exchange created under the Affordable Care Act. The rate increases are for individual and smallgroup policies offered to employers with 50 or fewer workers. More residents get coverage
through larger employer plans, which are not part of this review process. The department has the authority to reject or modify rates, based on its review of the filings. The proposed increases are far higher than the 9.6 percent impact of medical cost inflation and increased demand for those services, a factor known in the industry as “trend.” One reason cited by the insurers is the discontinuation of a federal reinsurance program that provided money to insurers from 2014 to 2016 to offset costs from the early years of the Affordable Care Act. The assumption was an influx of the newly insured would yield highcosts claims from individuals who had long gone without care. A Connecticut Insurance Department analysis says other key drivers are the rising costs of drugs, as well as what the department calls “experience adjustment.” As the ACA, also known as Obamacare, enters its fourth full year of coverage, the previously uninsured are more familiar with care systems and are seeking more services.
Jonathan Gold, a spokesman for HHS, said rate increases on individual plans also are mitigated by the ability of consumers to shop around through the marketplaces created by the ACA. Last year, about 40 percent of returning customers to HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange, switched plans and saved an average of $42 per month, he said. “For consumers faced with these increases, it’s important they understand all their options and shop for the best plan for themselves and their families,” said Nora Duncan, the state director of A ARP. “The cheapest plan may not always be the best, but a plan that has seen a sharp increase in cost with no discernible added benefit to you, may not be either.” All the filings can be viewed online. Public hearings will be held at 9 a.m. on August 3 on Anthem’s filing and August 4 on ConnectiCare and Aetna at the Connecticut Insurance Department, 153 Market St., Hartford. Article courtesy of ctmirror.com
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Vol XX,II No.8 June 2016
THEY BUI S CITY THI SIX THAT MADE IT
IN GREATER NEW HAVEN
Editor & Publisher Mitchell Young Editorial Manager Rachel Bergman Design Consultant Terry Wells Graphics Manager Matt Ford Publisher’s Representative Robin Kroopnick Contributors Rachel Bergman Claudia Ward-DeLeon Emili Lanno Taylor Richards Derek Torrellas Photography Steve Blazo Steve Cooper Derek Torrellas Lesley Roy Business New Haven is a publication of Second Wind Media, Ltd., with offices at 315 Front Street, 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. Subscription at: Conntact.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Connecticut Senators Take Up Arms Blumenthal and Murphy Split On Connecticut Friendly Defense Bill
ASHINGTON: Connecticut’s two Democratic Senators have split over increasing military spending by $18 billion, [$600 billion total budget in 2015]. Senator Richard Blumenthal a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee voted with only 12 other Senate Democrats to increase the spending regardless of increases in domestic programs. The defense authorization bill was sponsored by Senator John McCain [R] of Arizona. The bill would have added thirty-six Sikorsky Helicopters to the Army’s purchases in 2017. Sikorsky was sold in 2015 by Hartford based United Technologies to Lockheed Martin Corp of Bethesda MD for $9 billion. Sikorsky has more than 7,500 employees in Connecticut and nearly 16,000 companywide. The bill also would have boosted Pratt and Whitney as well which makes engines for the 11 additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters included. Blumenthal said that the budget
Murphy: No defense spending increase without domestic increase.
increase was “critically important to national defense and Connecticut jobs and a core priority for me.” Senator Chris Murphy insisted however that domestic spending would have to increase to match the additional military spending, citing the Zika Virus aong other priorities. Sixty votes were needed to pass McCain’s amendment and it was defeated on a 56-42.
Blumenthal said that he also supported “increasing federal spending to combat the Zika virus “and other important goals,” but McCain’s amendment was too important to Connecticut’s manufacturing base to reject, even if it would not increase domestic spending.
Arizona Corporation Moves HQ to Connecticut STAMFORD: Providence Service Corporation [PRSC/ NASDAQ], founded in 1996 to provide in-home health assessments and patient transport services, has moved its headquarters to Stamford from Tucson, AZ, taking space at 700 Canal Street in the city’s South End. The company has a market value of approximately $770 million and while it has more than 9,000 employees, only a fraction are expected to locate in Stamford. Jim Lindstrom is the CEO of the company and a former executive at Tontine Associates, a Greenwich-based hedge fund. Lindstrom had also been CEO of Integrated
Blumenthal: Increase too important to Connecticut manufacturing to reject.
Electrical Services, which has offices in Greenwich and Houston. The company’s major revenue generator is its Logisticare Solutions subsidiary, based in Atlanta, which manages millions of trips for patients to healthcare facilities. Providence also helps government agencies place people in employment who have disabilities, illness or have been in prison. The company earned approximately $83 million off of $1.69 billion in sales in 2015.
Conntact.com | Business New Haven
Mashantuckets To Manage Casino in Biloxi Financially Strapped Pequots Make Small Investment in Southern Casino
WHY WALLINGFORD? 56 New Businesses Opened In 2015
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MASHANTUCKET: The crowded northeast casino market is motivating the Mashantucket Pequots, owners of Foxwoods Casino, to look south for growth, announcing it is developing a “Foxwoods” branded casino at Biloxi Point in Biloxi Mississippi. The new partnership is announced as dirt is being cleared for three casinos in Massachusetts, the tribe lost its bid to build in Massachusetts in part because of concerns by some in the Baystate that the Pequots wouldn’t be competitive enough with their Connecticut casino.
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Slot revenue in May showed a 5% increase over the prior year for Connecticut casinos while Connecticut state officials are weighing a location for a new joint venture between the Pequots and Mohegans to address the coming competition from Massachusetts. New York State now has seventeen casinos, mostly upstate, but include one in Queens and one in Westchester. Connecticut casinos pay 25% of slot revenue to the state and current Massachusetts law has casinos in that state with a similar expected tax burden. The Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise will partner with Biloxi Boardwalk Ventures, LLC, Chris Ferrara, and with The Hartmann Group, LLC; the resort’s project management company. Ferrara won approval for the site in 2012 and has been searching for financing and management support since. The partners say they hope to open the casino by 2019. It would be the 13th casino and the third largest on Mississippi’s coast. Biloxi is a major southern tourism destination, and the new Foxwoods Resort Casino at Biloxi Pointe will be a $265 million “destination” resort and casino built on a 23-acre former Heinz company owned pet food manufacturing facility. The development will include a 781,000 square foot full-service complex with gaming and non-gaming amenities, including approximately 50,000 square feet of casino space with as many as 1400 slot machines and table games, a 500-room hotel and 71,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. While the Pequots will be managing the development, according to reports, they are initially investing only $2 million. TFA Capital Partners, based in El Segundo, California, is raising money for the development and according to TFA, foreign investors hoping to purchase American residency with an investment of $500,000 that creates 10 or more jobs, will also be tapped for financing. Ferrara owns Ferrara Fire Apparatus of Holden, Louisiana, a manufacturer of fire trucks and emergency response vehicles. Ferrarra has reportedly already invested $13 million in a marina at the site.
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Hospital Merger Moves Forward While Yale’s L+M Merger Waits, Prospect Moves Forward
Prospect and the not-for profit Waterbury Hospital have also agreed to a merger and that application is currently under review as well by the Office of Health Care Access. In February, Governor Dannel Malloy, reacting to a growing list of hospital mergers, put at least a temporary halt on the expansion of the Yale New Haven Health
Malloy’s order appeared to primarily target the Yale and L+M merger, which was under attack by healthcare unions and legislators from both sides of the aisle. Malloy said “to provide necessary time for a fair and thorough review, the order directs Department of Health to not make any final decisions on certain hospital acquisition and conversion applications - including those previously received and under review - until January 15, 2017, insofar as permitted by law” Both Yale and Hartford Healthcare and their merger partners all function as not- for-profit hospitals. The moratorium order “applies to cases where a smaller hospital would be joining a hospital system that accounts for more than 20 percent of the state’s total hospital operating revenue.”
Manchester and Rockville Hospitals are being sold to for-profit Prospect Medical Holdings. The hospitals are the predominant assets of the non-profit Eastern Connecticut Health Network.
HARTFORD: Connecticut regulators have given the go ahead to the outright sale of Manchester, Rockville Hospitals, both nonprofit community hospitals, to Prospect Medical Holdings of Los Angeles, CA for $105 million. Manchester and Rockville are the predominant assets of the notfor- profit Eastern Connecticut Hospital Network [ECHN]. Prospect currently owns thirteen hospitals in California, Texas and in Rhode Island.
System when he issued an executive order halting certain hospital expansions. Yale and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London were seeking to affiliate through a consolidation and Torrington’s Charlotte Hungerford [celebrating its 100 th year] and the Hartford Healthcare system had also announced merger plans. The New Haven Register reported at the time, however, that
Insurer Gains Selling The Old-Fashioned Way HARTFORD: No “Flo,” no talking lizards, not even any pained stories with the Statute of Liberty in the background, but apparently The Main Street America Group’s Connecticut agents and “discounts” are getting the sales job done anyway. The company launched its new “personal auto product” in Connecticut in February and it says it is already “generating significant market impact.”
Prior to the offer for Waterbury by Prospect, Tenet Healthcare of Dallas, Texas had agreed to buy Waterbury and four other hospitals in the state. Tenet announced a plan to invest $500 million in facilities’ upgrades and affiliate with the Yale New Haven Health System for management of the hospitals. After very strong opposition from the hospital’s health care unions, critics of “for profit” healthcare, and a long list of demands by Connecticut legislators, Tenet withdrew its offer.
Subway’s Digital Push To Bring 150 Jobs To Milford
MILFORD: Subway, the world’s largest restaurant chain, has more than 44,000 locations and now the company is launching a new digital group at its Milford headquarters. The move will create 150 new jobs combining IT and marketing in what the company calls a “digital omnichannel transformation.” According to a report by the website TechRepublic, Subway has hired the Manhattan-based business consulting group Accenture to help establish the digital effort. Carman Wenkoff, Subway’s CIO and chief digital officer, told TechRepublic, “We’ll be recruiting for all these positions now. We literally have 150 positions that are open. We’re also realistic about our timeline Subway and relocating CIO Carman people, we’re Wenkoff is not going to building a rush it.” digital team The positions for worldwide will be in data deployment. analytics, software development, user interface design, graphic arts, and campaign management to support its digital marketing efforts. Subway’s 2014 advertising budget was reported to be more than $500 million.
“In Connecticut, our results have been outstanding as new business production is up significantly year-to-date through April after less than three months in the marketplace,” said Steve Berry, Main Street America’s New England Region president. Berry added, “Our quoting volume is strong in Connecticut for a variety of reasons, including a new straightforward rating approach and new business issuance process, all of which enable our independent agents to transact business more quickly with us.”
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ALMANAC Wait, Is It The Economy? A recent Quinnipiac University poll of Connecticut voters showed that 72% are dissatisfied with the direction of the state. More than a third cite jobs and the economy as their biggest concern and a whopping 65% believing the legislature is not doing their job, a figure that spiked after the legislature approved the 2015 tax hike. Only 17% of respondents gave taxes as their biggest concern/worry and all other issues were in the single digits. The vast majority, almost ¾ of respondents, said jobs were difficult to find with only about 29% believe things have improved since last year.
LEAP Students Getting A Bit of Legal Aid New Haven law firm Neubert, Pepe & Monteith, P.C. recently awarded scholarships to four LEAP students for $2,500 each at an annual event held on the campus of Gateway Community College. The four students were Denaysia Silva, Autumn Thomas, Ken’Nia Threatt and Lauren White. Ms. Silva will graduate from James Hillhouse High School and plans to attend Quinnipiac University; Ms. Thomas will graduate from West Haven High School and plans to attend Western Connecticut State University; Ms. Threatt will graduate from James Hillhouse High School and plans to attend Southern Connecticut State University; and Ms. White will graduate from Wilbur L. Cross 12
Escape Lounges offer club-like amenities to unaffiliated travelers High School and plans to attend the University of New Haven. The students were chosen based on a “strong work ethic, a record of community service, commitment to their education, and a long and constructive relationship with LEAP.”
Take A Swing For Milford Chamber The Milford Chamber of Commerce Trust Fund provides student scholarships, mini-grants and community outreach in the region. The 19 th Annual BIC golf tournament to benefit the Chamber’s Trust Fund will be held on July 11th at the Mill River Golf Club in Stratford. The event includes food and entertainment and corporate sponsors from all over the region will participate. The Chamber’s Trust Fund was founded in 1981 for charitable purposes and has provided disaster relief, humanitarian aid, scholarships, and grants for Milford students.
Escape From The Airport. At The Airport Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks will be the next site of an Escape Lounge for passengers wishing to find more comfort than the average terminal provides. Escape Lounges are currently operating in two other airports nationally, Minneapolis St. Paul and Oakland. Escape Lounges offer club-like lounging and amenities like food,
beverages, wi-fi and newspapers to unaffiliated travelers flying at any class for an entry fee. The 2,000 square foot Escape Lounge will be located in the East Concourse with access to gates 1-12 and is expected to open in the fall of 2016. MAG, the U.K.-based owner and operator of the U.S. Escape Lounges, operates four sites in the U.K. as well as the lounges here in the U.S. MAG will invest $1million in the design and construction of the Bradley location.
2016 Health Care Visionary Award Recipient 2016 is the 150th anniversary of the Mary Wade Home [ see legacy articles], making it a perfect year for David V. Hunter, its CEO, to receive the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s Health Care Visionary Award. Hunter has been with Mary Wade for thirty-five years and has guided it through physical expansions and expanding services including Outpatient Rehabilitation, an Adult Day Health Center, Mary Wade At Home, Primary Care Office and Transportation Services. Hunter is past Chair of the Institute for Long Term Care
Policy, the South Central Connecticut Agency on Aging Interagency Council, and Connecticut Coalition to Improve End-Of-Life Care. Hunter holds an undergraduate degree in Business Economics from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Haven.
The Instant Gratification Lottery Connecticut’s Keno sales are up $6 million in its first month of statewide availability. While the state projected about $17million in the first six months of sales, the first month surpassed expectations. The controversial lottery game is much more widely available than other forms of gambling, with screens set up in various stores, bars and restaurants around the state. Keno winning numbers are projected every four minutes, unlike a traditional lottery in which winning numbers sequences are typically announced a few times a week.
New Leader at VNA of South Central CT John Quinn is retiring this summer after seven and a half years as CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut. Lisa L. Dupuis, OTR/L, MBA of Shelton, has been selected by the Board to become its new President & CEO/Administrator, effective June 29. Dupuis most recently was the President/CEO of Constellation Health Services based in Norwalk, and has more than twenty seven years in managerial and administrative roles in health care delivery with a majority of that time in home health care services.
Conntact.com | Business New Haven
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A.D. PERKINS | ESTABLISHED:1876
The Stamp of Longevity Shop Weathers The Storms of Depression, War, Personal Tragedy and Fierce Competition By Rachel Bergman
lthough New Haven lost its capital seat in 1873, business was still good for Connecticut’s second city when Arthur David Perkins founded his shop in 1876 on Center Street as a supplier of rubber stamps and marking devices. He served a growing business community of professionals and manufacturers. Perkins never had children, but had groomed his employee, William B. Schroff, Sr., to take over the A.D. Perkins Company when he passed in 1923, as well as care for Perkins’ widow. The A.D. Perkins Company provided marking devices for Winchester and other weapons and ammunitions manufacturers during both World Wars, since many were based in Connecticut. The shop provided the markings denoting caliber and amount of ammo in a box and business boomed as battles raged in Europe. When The Great Depression hit and Schroff was at the helm of Perkins, business remained steady as professionals invested in inexpensive stamps in lieu of expensive printing orders for stationery and letterhead. By the 1950s, the company had purchased its current building on Elm Street and Schroff’s sons, Bill and Al, were taking over daily operations. The former location on Center Street is essentially a parking lot today. Al Schroff’s wife Nancy, who stayed at home with their children, never thought she would be running the company next, but everything changed when, shortly after Al bought out his brother’s share, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and soon passed away. Since their children were in high school, Nancy stepped out of the kitchen and into the business in 1978. Bill reached out to a knowledgeable and dedicated former employee, Jay Smilowicz, convincing him to leave his new job at Colt Firearms and come back on board to help orient Nancy. He had come to work for Bill and Al at A.D. Perkins as a college graduate from St. Michael’s in Vermont in 1973, but left to pursue other opportunities. That didn’t last. “Customers must have thought ‘oh ok, what’s this ditzy blonde going to do now?’” Nancy laughs. A.D. Perkins continued to weather the storms. Since his return, Smilowicz has stayed to see the company through many more hurdles. When his trusted assistant left in 1983 to open a competing shop nearby, he admits, “that hurt us.” The former employee went after Perkins’ clients, even
For one hundred and forty years A.D. Perkinks, now led by owner Nancy Schroff and Jay Smilowicz, has put its stamp on New Haven’s business community. winning a few over. Ultimately, the competition made Perkins stronger. They began to aggressively pursue business statewide and continue to maintain a healthy client roster of manufacturers who still have to comply with government standards to stamp parts and products made under federal contracts—like Sikorsky and Pratt & Whitney. The industry also began to change, things became computerized and what once took an engraver all day, could be done with lasers in under half an hour. The competition encouraged the company to computerize early, but Smilowicz recalls, “we sometimes got burned getting into new technologies too soon, before bugs were worked out.” With industry changes, Perkins also expanded product lines over the years to include professional signage and personalized and engraved awards (like the ones Business New Haven gives out to its
Rising Stars each year). Automation forced Perkins to shrink their workforce—while they once employed 13, they currently employ 6, but most products are still made in-house. In spite of cheap internet competition, according to Smilowicz, they still do business with just about everyone in New Haven. A tattered client list from the 1960s provides insight into their work; they still do business with anyone who is still in business. When asked about the future, Smilowicz admits he recently celebrated a retirement-age birthday and Schroff is down to three days a week in the shop. Her sons are not interested in coming in to run the business, either, but neither Schroff nor Smilowicz wants to stop coming to work. “Why retire if you still like getting up and coming to work?” Nancy says. BNH
Conntact.com | Business New Haven
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AUTAC | ESTABLISHED:1947
Dad’s Dream REALIZED By fearless Daughter Future Looks Bright For Cord Business By Rachel Bergman
arie-Louise Burkle barely remembers her father, who passed away when she was five years old, but she’s spent most of her adult life carrying on his legacy at Branford-based Autac. Robert Napoleon Joseph Edward Louis Frederick Burkle (“Bob”) started a coil cable distribution business in his garage in 1945. By 1947, he opened his first Autac location in Hamden. A pharmaceutical salesman with an entrepreneurial spirit, Burkle and a friend working in textiles took note of the market—the trucking industry was starting to boom and only one other company was providing coil cables to meet a growing demand from the industry—and it also happened to be located in Hamden.
ing industry in the U.S. really crapped out on us for a bit,” she recalls. Dealing with that competition hasn’t been easy, according to Burkle, and there are only about 20 companies in the market stateside (4 in
Connecticut), so her goal has always been to be the “anti-China.” Her products are high quality, her customer service can’t be beat, Autac does not have minimums for orders, and have an engineer on staff willing to make anything custom.
Autac was in the business of selling very large rubber coil cords that connect the cab of a truck to the trailer that connects the electric and the brakes, the refrigeration, etc. Later, Autac was ready to make its own product and a manufacturing facility was opened in Branford. Unfortunately, Bob Burkle passed away ten days before it opened. Marie-Louise’s mother took over the business at that point and ran it for ten years until she passed away when Marie-Louise was fifteen, leaving trustees to manage operations until the surviving Burkle was ready to take over. Marie-Louise studied entrepreneurship, business and marketing and cut her teeth working on marketing plans for NASCAR racing teams. Later, Burkle started out with Autac as a consultant, studying the company and preparing a business plan. By the time she was 27, she took over as CEO and the trustees were dismissed. Since then, there have been more than a few hurdles. “Back when I took over the company, China was just getting to be strong in taking business off shore. I took over right before 9/11. That made things tough for a couple of years, the manufactur16
Left to right is Robert Furtado, State Rep. Lonnie Reed, Marie-Louise Burkle and State Rep Sean Scanlon. Mr. Furtado is Marie-Louise Burkle’s former teacher from Vocational Tech H.S. and was her boss when she taught there. She says he is like a dad to her. Conntact.com | Business New Haven
To explain her strategy, Burkle says “A lot of them, the bigger companies, they manufacture overseas and sell. I don’t consider that competition, because they don’t make the quality of product that we make in the United States. We don’t want to massproduce a product, we want high quality product for small business consumption.” Indeed, selling to other small businesses who care about a supplier that will bend over backwards to meet their needs, has become a market niche. The workplace has definitely changed since her father started the business, saying, “My father never had to deal with the employment laws, the regulatory industries, the manufacturing regulations. We’re a clean manufacturing facility, but there is a lot that we’re required to have in place. There’s
more red tape, more expense. Even the employment situation is tough, it used to be the people just parted ways, now you have to worry about them coming after you with a gun.” Burkle pays her small staff one of the highest wages in the industry, offers 401(k) plans and a myriad of other benefits and perks because, she says, it was her father’s philosophy, “employees come first.” All in all, Burkle and her staff of 13 remain optimistic about the future. She took a few years off to battle kidney cancer and lung disease, but after a year back at the helm, says the company has a rare opportunity to customize, make changes, and try new things thanks to its size. Compared to competitors, Burkle is a fairly young CEO for the industry
with plenty of time to roll with the punches in her view. Clients today are not only from the trucking industry, but also the medical field, commercial lighting, military needs, commercial boilers—anywhere you see a cable as part of machinery or design, Autac can make it. “The industry is ever-changing. We’re definitely looking at doing new things, like dealing with new types of products. We have a great engineer, we try to never say no, and because we’re small, we’re able to try things that a larger company might not have the bandwith to try.” BNH
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J UNE 2016
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the foote school | ESTABLISHED:1916
AT 100, Foote School Looks TO THE Future From Hard Knocks to a Community of Educators and Families That Built A Tradition of Learning By Claudia Ward-De Leon
Young learners dance around the maypole, a time-honored annual tradition at The Foote School
lot has changed since the first students at the Foote School met in a Huntington Street living room that served as their first “school house” in 1916. Even so, Brywn Mawr-educated founder Martha Babcock Foote was greatly ahead of her time in terms of the way she thought about education: hands-on, creative, and child-centered, these are common buzz words now for parents and children seeking progressive alter18
natives to public school, but 100 years ago, these ways of envisioning and describing education were downright visionary. Through the sheer grit and dedication of faculty members and dedicated parents, the Foote School survived its first years, but just barely. With the arrival of each spring, the uncertainty of whether the school would reopen the following fall was always present. While the living room or parlor where classes were held from year-
to-year changed, Foote’s mission and perseverance did not, and finally in 1923, students, staff, and faculty settled into a remodeled stable on St. Ronan Street. In the late 1950s, the school moved a block northwest to what is now its present day campus in the Prospect Hill area of New Haven. Since the ‘50s, the school’s footprint has changed with the school residing on an almost 18 acre campus. Last month, the school celebrated its centennial with Conntact.com | Business New Haven
nearly 1,000 students, parents, faculty, staff, and alums participating in a three-day event including music, speeches, food, and family activities. Today, the school honors its past through participation in traditional Foote events such as the May Pole dance on May Day or through its “festival of the world” celebration, an event produced by the entire sixth grade that is the culmination of a research assignment. To kick off the assignment, students are aided with a bit of fate. They spin a globe and dropping their index finger on a random point, students are “assigned” a country to research based on wherever their index finger lands. In preparation for this festival, students learn a greeting, perform native music or dance, and build models of landmarks from whichever country they select, or rather, whichever country selects them. From origins as a home-school, to building a community that resembles the world that its students live in, the K-9 school boosts students from 28 sur-
rounding communities and provided $1.7 million in aid in the last year alone. “When we commit to someone with financial aid, we commit to their entire tenure at the school,” says Andy Bromage, a school spokesman. In addition, the school holds an academic enrichment summer program, Horizons, for qualifying lowincome New Haven Public School students. Every student that participates in the six-week program receives a full scholarship and participates in a “mini-Foote experience” doing everything from art, to yoga, to daily swimming sessions held at neighboring Albertus Magnus College. Last year, the program’s inaugural year, saw 48 students from kindergarten and first grade attending. Each year, Foote hopes to add a new class of students so that eventually the program includes students from every grade up to the eighth grade. By 2021, Foote’s goal is that its Horizons program reaches full enrollment with 135 students from K-8 receiving full scholarships. While Head of School
Carol Maoz says there are no plans to expand the physical campus or expand enrollment, the school plans to maintain its commitment to financial aid, in order to maintain a socioeconomically diverse school community. With regard to its curriculum, Maoz said the school wants to continue its emphasis on project-based learning, learning through play, immersion in the natural world, and the development of non-cognitive skills in its students, for example creativity, curiosity, ethics, collaboration and resilience. “We want Foote to remain a place where children love coming to school every day and enjoy the process of learning; students develop their attitudes toward learning in the elementary and middle school years and we take this responsibility seriously. When children know themselves and their passions, they can better pursue opportunities that will positively impact our world,” said Maoz BNH
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FRITZ AND HAWLEY | ESTABLISHED: 1900 ORIGIN 1855
The seeing Glass A Family “Tech” Business With Pre-Civil War Roots By Mitchell Young
Russell Fritz Jr, third generation of Fritz and Hawley, with an early photo of the then New Haven store. The 1878 “phone book” [R] listed a handful of businesses, one was Paul Rossler who sold his eyeware business to Gustave Fritz and George Hawley in 1900.
hen Gustave Fritz and George Hawley pooled their resources and bought Paul Rossler’s optical business, the century clock had just turned to 1900 on the store at 816 Chapel Street in New Haven. Rossler started the optical shop in 1855 and now the pair would sell binoculars, telescopes, opera glasses and of course, eyeglasses.They had a photo department, too, indeed it was one of the first Kodak [founded in 1888] dealers in the nation. Eventually the pair would be retailing projectors, screens, instant cameras, star gazing telescopes, spotting scopes and surprisingly, greeting cards. Jimmy Lewis, a friend of the current Fritz and 20
Hawley proprietor Russell Fritz Jr, lays claim to the source of Gustave Fritz’s optical retailing interest. Fritz explains, “there’s a rumor [laughing], that Hawley got his start at Harvey and Lewis in Hartford.” The Lewis family is itself on a fourth generation of proprietors for that store founded in 1890.
Fritz says, I conceded to him [Lewis] that they were the oldest [family optical retailer in Connecticut] notwithstanding the Rossler legacy. Gustave passed in 1935, while his son Russell was only 13, so Hawley bought out the Fritz interest. In the mid-forties, Mrs. Fritz, in her sixties, bought back in to pave the way for her son Edward Fritz [Russell Jr.’s uncle] to make his way into the business. Russell Sr., the younger of the Fritz brothers, graduated from Hobart College and served in England during WWII running airplane hangars for the Army Air Corps. On his return, the Fritz matriarch brought him in as well. It was a good move for the company, with a college degree and a
look at the wider world, Russell Sr. was expansion minded. It was Fritz and Hawley again and that reign lasted until the mid-fifties when George Hawley finally retired and sold his interest back to the Fritzes. Still operating their enterprise out of a single location in New Haven – by then the cards were out, but according to Russell,“weather instruments were in” – a high tech staple in many a 1950’s home. “My father saw that people were moving out of the cities and were moving to the suburbs, so he opened in Hamden around 1958. By the early sixties they opened in Milford, and in the mid-seventies we opened in Branford,” Russell explained.
Conntact.com | Business New Haven
The days of the independent retailer were good for the family business, but with four stores things were a little different than the earliest days, explains Fritz,“It was scrambling, we had two people in each of the outlying stores. In the New Haven store, we had three opticians, we hired four apprentices at one time, there was no Lenscrafters, no Sterling, no Target, no any of them.” “We had deliveries between stores, the main lab was in New Haven. Each store had their own edger, which is designed for cutting the lenses to fit a frame, so they could do it on location,” says Fritz. Adding,“I ran the surfacing lab while I was going to college, then they passed a law that with lenses, we were required to drop a 5/8th inch steel ball on them to see if they would break. Back then everything was glass.You had to grind it to the right shape, then cut it to fit the frame and then put in the oven and that would harden it, then you tested it. If it failed, you had to start all over again.” Regulation brought change, explains Fritz,“at that point my father said ‘this was nuts,’ we were starting to get plastic lenses, so we sold the surfacing lab equipment. At that point, I had to cut my hair [although you wouldn’t know it today] and put on a tie and go out and work on the floor.” Laughing,“well I didn’t really cut my hair, I just put on a tie.” Even today, Fritz will order the lenses and cut them and fit them to the frames on location. “A lot of places send the lenses out, but it allows me to offer service to my customers when they don’t want to buy a new frame. I order the lenses, they sit down for an hour [while the lenses are cut and sized to the old frame],” he explains. Opticians have a state license to fabricate lenses to a prescription and to fit and dispense contact lenses, with Connecticut being the only state in the country where an Optician can fit and dispense [a lens] from an existing set of glasses and dispense a pair of contact lenses. J UNE 2016
Fritz says,“we can’t say prescribe, but nowhere else [in the country] can you do it.” In the early seventies, Fritz Jr., who got his start in ’66 at sixteen grinding lenses in the servicing lab, talked high tech,“we had these digital thermometers, I’ll never forget they were a hit. We couldn’t sell them fast enough. It was aluminum strip and it had digital numbers along the strip and the number would show up when it reached the temperature.” Sound recorders too were booming in the 50s and early sixties and this author can remember taking his little reel to reel microphone in hand everywhere he went, perhaps the “tablet” of that day. Edward would soon sell to his brother and he opened his own shop in Trumbull. Not long after, Senior would retire, selling the three stores to Russell and cousin Craig [Edward’s son]. Eventually, Craig bought out the Branford location, which today operates as Fritz Eyewear. While there were no big chains, the store did have competitors; Dick Kennedy and Bob Perkins [Kennedy and Perkins] started up in the fifties providing some competition. Perkins eventually left and joined the Hamden location of Fritz and Hawley. 116 years later and a tale of meandering family management goes on at Whitney Avenue in the Center of Hamden, for what is now an independent eyewear retailer focusing on service and the latest independent fashion eyewear that can’t be found in malls or big box stores. Russell says,“I think there still is a future for an independent eyewear retailer and I hope some young person thinks so [not his own kids, one with a career in the military the other a large hotel company], adding,“I think I still have two pair of binoculars to sell.” BNH
mary wade | ESTABLISHED:1866
Mrs. Whitney’s Loom Once a Home for “Friendless,” Now a Home for Seniors and the Anchor of a Community By Claudia Ward-De Leon
n the mid-1800s, while the civil war raged, a modest brick building on Fair Haven’s Clinton Avenue became a refuge for homeless young women. Many of them were pregnant and alone, some of whom had lost their husbands due to of battles between Confederate and Union states. This building, dubbed the “Home for the Friendless,” was the brainchild of Mrs. Henrietta Whitney and a group of prominent women in the community. Widow of local inventor Eli Whitney, Mrs. Whitney and her group sought to provide a place where destitute women could receive temporary or permanent shelter along with support, guidance, and hope. In 1866, the group purchased the house on 118 Clinton Avenue. Thirty years later, a generous $20,000 donation from one of Connecticut’s leading philanthropists and New Haven resident, Lucy Hall Boardman, made it possible to begin construction on a new wing that added much needed space to the bustling home. Boardman’s donation was made in her sister’s name, Mary Wade. While both Lucy and Mary were born in Ohio, Lucy’s marriage to renowned attorney and Connecticut Speaker of the House, William W. Boardman, was catalyst for both sisters to live much of their adult lives in Connecticut. With the turn of the century and the changing times came changes for the organization. Among these changes was giving the “Home for the Friendless” on Clinton Avenue a name that would better reflect the population it now served. While other organizations popped up that would offer resources to women in need, the Mary Wade home expanded its services to female members of the elderly population, which became a large portion of those it served. In 1983, Mary Wade opened its doors to older men and married couples requiring senior care. At 150 years old, Mary Wade still stands in its original Fair Haven location employing 270 individuals.Throughout the decades, Mary Wade has continued expanding its services and programs, improving its campus, and today, it works closely with its neighbors and in particular, the Chatham Square Neighborhood Association, a neighborhood along the Quinnipiac River just east of downtown. Mary Wade continues to offer senior services
A modern Mary Wade has kept the tradition of service to the community alive for 150 years in New Haven’s Fairhaven.
Conntact.com | Business New Haven
including hospice care, and transportation services for the elderly. Just in a month alone, its fleet of eight vehicles makes around 800 trips.The transportation service offers weekend group transportation to recreational and social gatherings. In addition, a medical transportation program provides door-todoor service Monday through Friday for individuals aged 60 and older residing in New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, North Haven and Hamden.This program is free of charge, but collects voluntary donations to keep the wheels turning. As Mary Wade continues to grow, one of the biggest challenges ahead is the increase in Connecticut’s elderly population. “Between 2010 and 2040 Connecticut’s population of people age 65 and older is projected to grow by 57%, with less than 2% growth for people age 20 to 64 during the same period,” said Mary Wade’s CEO David Hunter.That, along with the state having the third highest life expectancy in the nation, has what Hunter calls “profound implications” on everyone in Connecticut. Hunter should have some insight into Mary Wade’s future he’s been there since 1981 35 years a bit
J UNE 2016
more than 20% of Mary Wade’s legacy. In early June The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce honored this long term health administrator with its health care Innovator award. Mary Wade however has been about a lot more than innovation in delivery healthcare to its residents and clients. Mary Wade has found new ways to stick to its 150 year old community service mission. In 2009 Business New Haven recognized Mary Wade, with the Healthcare Hero Community Service Award. We weren’t the first to recognize Mary Wade, there was the Leadership in Health Care and Development Investment Award from the Greater New Haven Chamber, as well as the Housing Good Egg Award from the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund. In the mid-1990s, administrators considered moving out of the Fairhaven neighborhood where it had become increasingly difficult to operate in the distressed, which had fallen prey to high crime and urban decay. In 2009, we wrote,“Hunter and the rest of the center’s leadership team decided not only to stay put but to embark on an ambitious expansion program that would include doing everything in
their power to heal and improve the surrounding community. “We tried to figure out ways to make it a great place to live as well as work,” recalls Hunter, who has led the facility since 1981.“We saw an opportunity to do good work and to keep our tradition, and that outweighed the benefits of a move.” Mary Wade expanded its services in the community icnludng the reently added in-home care, but the team went beyond healthcare rasing funds to purchase and renovate numerous houses on or near its campus, spearheading a “Light the Nights” campaign in conjunction with the United Illuminating Co. designed to make the streets of Fair Haven safer. Mary Wades increased its in house training and helps to pay education costs for employees. Perhaps for non-residents and clients it is best known for sponsoring the annual Fair Haven Parade which helps bring the Fairhaven community together for “fun, fellowship and boosting community pride.” BNH
Dressed For Success Three Plus Decades Suiting Up New Haven Fashionistas By Mitchell Young
nt’s hard to imagine the stylish and “chill” Tom Maloney, owner and co-founder of the menswear store Raggs on Chapel Street, ending up as an HVAC technician, but he almost did. Maloney was in school learning the heating, cooling and ventilation business, but he was working in New Haven nightclubs as a DJ to pay the bills. The DJ jobs set him on a different path,“when you’re a young guy working in the night club business, you’re around a lot of glamour, you get used to a different lifestyle.” It wasn’t just fashion that tugged on Maloney, he also wanted to be his own man,“I was exposed to the workings of a business, given responsibilities, I liked managing, being ‘the guy,’ an opportunity to be my own boss,” he adds. A friendship with John LoRicco, whose family was involved in fashion with the New Haven-born menswear designer Andrew Fezza, helped create an opportunity for the pair. Fezza was an up and coming American designer for higher quality and more fashionable men’s clothing, but still at less than the price of Armani suits, which was the fashion market he was aiming at. LoRicco and Maloney decided to bring the designer’s fashion to New Haven
and opened up Raggs in Westville Village in 1984. Originally, Raggs sold to men and women, but in the end, it was New Haven men’s shops Ensons, Rosenbergs, Backers, Ferrucci, and J. Press, who also all handled primarily classic or traditional men’s fashion, that created the space for a “new fashion forward” men’s store. Maloney says of the early years,“the economy and Westville were both strong in ’84, people would pull over and buy a $200 sweater like they were buying milk.” Soon, Joel Schiavone would come knocking and in ’88 when he was remodeling stores on Chapel Street, Raggs was the first tenant in the building, where the shop has been ever since. By then, the economy had softened up somewhat, but the location was more in keeping with a fashion retailer, Maloney explains,“we never really targeted the students, that was never our focus. It was the professional person who wanted nice clothing and could afford it, but [in Westville] we used to be across from Chucky’s Country Store, now we were opposite Yale University.” The student market wasn’t important, but the visibility that a revitalized Chapel Street and a downtown location provided boosted Raggs again. With the move downtown and
Tom Maloney has made men’s fashion a fixture on New Haven’s Chapel Street. Now he returns the store to serving fine fashion for women too. a variety of competition for women’s clothing, the Raggs team decided to put the focus on men’s wear only. “Our strength was men’s wear and being two guys, [it made sense to us].”
The Chapel Street location helped the company to grow,“there is great visibility and people from all over the world walking by.” Maloney explains that even today, Conntact.com | Business New Haven
students aren’t his market,“we do get some business from students but it’s more from people Yale draws, people that work at, or visit the University.” LoRicco bowed out about a dozen years ago and currently owns The Blossom Shop on Orange Street, but the pair remain friends; LoRicco was best man at Maloney’s wedding. Maloney is hoping that New Haven’s growth spurt with new residents will take hold, but it appears to be early in the cycle. He explains,“we haven’t really seen it as far as new people coming in to town. We’re hoping when Alexion is fully operational, some of those people will move downtown and that should be good for us.”
challenging world for independent retailers and he explains,“for 28 years, I’ve seen a dozen stores come and go.You have to have a good product, merchandise it, present it nicely.You have to be there for the customer, you have to have good service.”
the discussion towards his expertise and women’s fashion and by the end of the ride, Fracasse and Maloney returned to New Haven with a new plan.
While the store has never strayed from its fashion vision, Maloney tells us that now, with the help of young staffer George Fracasse, he’s making the move back into women’s fashion.
“Women come in all the time for their boyfriends and husbands and they always will tell you there is no place to shop, even though there are a dozen stores. Our best customer is the woman that’s already buying for their husband or boyfriend.”
Fracasse’s passion is fashion. He enrolled in The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan before discovering that while he loved fashion, the focus on designing clothes “wasn’t the right fit.”
The challenges of the boutique retailer are well understood, and even after three decades, Maloney says getting the message out still matters,“a lot of people don’t know the extent of the selection we have, they think they have to go to a [Nordstrom or New York], but adds that by and large between Boston and New York, we’re pretty much the store,” adding,“you can’t find this stuff at the Connecticut Post [mall] and our direction has never changed.”
It turned out that Fracasse was less interested in designing fashion than buying, managing the business relationships, retailing and helping others find their best look. Raggs became the place where he could exercise those interests and for much of the past six and a half years, the 26-year-old Fracasse has worked at the store while studying at Quinnipiac and getting a Masters in Supply Chain Management.
Tough haul for a small business doesn’t faze Maloney. He endured on Chapel Street in the
Upon return from a buying excursion in New York to review the new styles and trends, Fracasse turned
Maloney explains,“in order to grow our business, we needed to further merchandise and sell our existing customer.”
Fracasse reveals his philosophy and what he is helping to bring to Raggs when he says “everyone wants to have an individual fashion identity, but it’s not so easy because there is so much sameness, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t pockets of uniqueness and creativity.” Adding,“fashion is a language, sometimes what you’re wearing says more than what you say. Watching someone’s sense of style develop is fascinating and exciting and personal and you get to experience it here.” BNH
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MANUFACTURING Bilco To Be Sold To UK “Door and Window” Company New Haven Headquarters Expected To Stay Intact NEW HAVEN: The iconic Bilco Company is celebrating its 90th year by announcing its pending sale. In early 2015, the “specialty access” company moved its headquarters back to New Haven after sixty years in West Haven. The company’s West Haven sprawling waterfront complex was sold to developers forming the core of the 350,000 square foot Haven Mall, expected to open in 2017-18.
Lyons, Griffin and Joyce with bust of Bilco Founder George Lyons, Sr. at the company’s 85th anniversary.
Bilco’s signature product is the ubiquitous basement door, seen on the outside of countless homes and commercial buildings, which formed the original basis for the company’s success. Today, the company has plants in Truman, Arkansas and Zanesville, Ohio manufacturing a full line of products for the residential and commercial building markets. Tyman PLC, based in London [LON: TYMN], is an “international supplier of engineered components to the door and window industry” doing approximately $400 million in annual sales. Tyman is paying $71 million for Bilco, which had sales of $54 million in 2015 and had earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation [EBITDA] of approximately $7 million. A Tyman release says “Bilco will form the core of Amesbur yTruth’s [Tyman’s North American subsidiary] new commercial division which will be responsible for AmesburyTruth’s commercial sector activities in North America.” According to Roger Joyce, Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President of Bilco, “Amesbury Truth intends to maintain all Bilco facilities and workforce after closing.” The New Haven headquarters employs sixty-five at the former Starter Building, 370 James Street. Joyce added that he and [cousin] Chairman and CEO Bob Lyons, Jr. will be retiring and that family member Pamela Griffin, CFO will continue with Tyman. Joyce added, “Amesbury Truth is remarkably similar to Bilco in terms of values, culture and innovation. We are confident that the combined company will continue to excel in commercial and residential markets.”
EB is hoping to hire 1,500 new workers in Connecticut this year. Up Periscope For Hiring At Electric Boat
in upgrades and expansion this year as the company prepares for the new building program. Increased hiring in 2016 by
GROTON: Connecticut’s economy may be sinking, but the Navy’s submarine building and refurbishing program is floating the Electric Boat Company. EB is hoping to hire 1,500 new workers in Connecticut this year. Six hundred will replace employees leaving as they retire or relocate to other employment.
EB has a total workforce of more than 14,000 and the Navy says it will need it, as it begins to replace the Ohio-Class subs with the SSB[X], a huge Ballistic missile submarine. EB will build 12 SSBs at a cost of $100 billion.
EB paved the way for a $46 million contract to repair the USS Montpelier, a Los Angeles class attack submarine. The Montpelier was damaged in a collision with the USS San Jacinto Navy Aegis cruiser in October 2012 off the East Coast. As recently as 2007 employment was looking bleak at EB as employment was down to 6,000 expected to submerge further.
The Groton and Quonset Point, RI shipyards will see $1.5 billion
Laticrete at Sixty Not Ready To Retire BETHANY: Laticrete International Inc. celebrating its sixtieth year as manufacturer for the building industry is continuing to expand facilities to meet new demand for its tile & stone, care, masonry decorative floor finishes, construction chemicals and concrete restoration systems and products. The company is adding 70,000 square feet of space to its existing 100,000-square-foot building at its Grand Prairie, Texas manufacturing and distribution facility. “This major expansion is necessary to serve our Texas-region customers, maintain stock and distribute high-volume items and other specialty products,” said company VP and founder namesake Henry Rothberg. Rothberg said the expansion will help serve the “unprecedented growth” of the company’s operations. The hub employs more than 30 workers. The company has said the plant expansion coincides with a period of unprecedented growth for the family-owned and privately held business. Over the past three years the company has acquired three companies and expanded the product lines it offers, recently completing an expansion of a similar facility in Pottstown, Pa., which serves the northeastern U.S. sales region. Conntact.com | Business New Haven
CT Transit Keep Wheels Rolling For Bus Manufacturer WINNIPEG: Motor Coach builder New Flyer Industries Inc., has awarded a contract for up to 485 heavy-duty 35 and 40-foot Xcelsior clean diesel and diesel electric hybrid buses for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT). CT Transit kicks off with 267 Xcelsior XD40, XD35, XDE40 and XDE35 buses valued at approximately US$122 million, with an option for an aditional 218 units over the next five years.
Xcelsior buses are more fuel efficient and will replace older buses in the fleet CTDOT runs more than 31 million passenger trips each year on it 570 buses. New Flyer has delivered nearly 600 heavy-duty transit buses to CTDOT since 1993.
CT “Natural Foods” Pet Company Expands Production In Indiania WILTON – Blue Buffalo Pet Products [NASDAQ BUFF], will invest more than $100 million to construct and equip a production and distribution facility on 89 acres in Richmond, Indiana. The facility for its Heartland subsidiary will join an even larger plant in Joplin, Missouri, built in 2014 for manufacturing. Blue Buffalo was named and “inspired” by Bill and Jackie Bishop’s Airedale Blue that died of cancer. The company was founded in 2002 as a “natural foods” pet company, sales have reached more than one billion dollars and it went public in 2015.. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Heartland Pet Foods, is expected to create up to 165 new jobs. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is providing Blue Buffalo Company up to $1,625,000 in tax credits that it says are “conditional” based on the company’s job creation plans. In early May, the company announced a $6 million grant to the Ohio University School of Veterinary Medicine for use in its Clinical Trials Office.
Manufacturer Consolidates Plants Into Northeast Connecticut PAWCATUCK: — Davis-Standard LLC is adding 15,000 square feet of space to its main factory in Pawcatuck, and will move all manufacturing of blown film dies there from Gloucester, Mass. Davis-Standard bought Gloucester Engineering Co., last September announcing then the expected consolidation. Davis-Standard will add 30 jobs in the next two years, to the more than 400 already there. A $1.3 million grant from the state of Connecticut was provided to assist with the transition.
Davis-Standard has operated in southeast Connecticut since 1848 and is one of the oldest and largest employers the region. Davis-Standard bought Gloucester Engineering from private equity owner Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC, which owned the company since 2011. DavisStandard is owned by Oncap, part of Onex Corp.
A two year $50 million renovation project for its iconic Sky Tower.
Oxy-Maker Under Fire For Marketing Practices Pain Med Maker Back In the Spotlight As Media Coverage Of “Opiod Crisis” Gets Even Brighter STAMFORD: The privately owned-Purdue Pharma, maker of the well-known pain medication OxyContin, is currently being sued in the State of New Hampshire for “questionable marketing practices.” At issue, according to the Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire, is whether Purdue sales persons disseminated “misleading information” to doctors and engaged in “deceptive marketing” about the risk of addiction and whether the drug lasts for a full 12 hours, as stated in the State’s complaint. The State referenced a recent study by the Los Angeles Times that found OxyContin wears off early in many patients and leads to “agonizing withdrawal symptoms.” The drug-maker has contested those findings. Back in 2007, Purdue paid around $600 million in federal fines after admitting to deceptive marketing practices and misleading doctors and patients about the level of addictiveness of OxyContin. According to New Hampshire Assistant AG James Boffetti in his complaint filed with the Merrimack County Superior Court, the company’s salespersons “continue to tell New Hampshire prescribers that OxyContin lasts a full 12 hours, fails to disclose end-of-dose failure and its relationship to addiction, and advises doctors who complain about OxyContin’s shorter-than-promised duration to increase patients’ dosage, which further increases the risk of overdose and addiction.” OxyContin was approved for prescription use by the FDA in 1995 and hit the market in 1996, at which point it was aggressively marketed by Purdue. According to 2002 marketing plans from within the company, sales grew from $48 million in 1996 to almost $1.1 billion in 2000, and currently averages about $3 billion in profits annually.
Mard Moves Across The River GLASTONBURY: Cronin and Company has added Jeff Mard as Vice President of Mard Business Development and Innovation. Kim Manning, Chief Operating Officer at Cronin, said of Mard, “he’s passionate and energetic
and has been on the leading edge of innovation in the industry.” She added, “he really knows the digital space and will help us evolve and elevate into an agency that is more digitally-centric – a move we believe to be crucial to the agency’s continued success.” Mard was previously VP of Business Development at Horizon Marketing Group in Hartford.
This Connecticut “Castle” just got 15% more expensive to rent on AIRbnb.
Connecticut Taxes Airbnb Sales Starting July 1, a new tax plan negotiated by state tax collectors with the popular web-site Airbnb, in which anyone can rent out their home or just a room to travelers, will pay taxes to the State of Connecticut on that revenue.
According to Airbnb, Connecticut hosts earned approximately $3.5 million in the past year. While many states and other cities around the world have similar deals with the online company, this deal is the first in the tri-state area. Connecticut’s hotel occupancy tax is the highest of any state at 15%. Department of Revenue Services Director Kevin Sullivan has said that he
hopes the deal can be a model for attempts by the state to collect revenue from other online businesses operating in Connecticut. Airbnb is currently valued at around $25.5 billion and in an attempt to expand and add to its travel offerings, the company has just raised $1 billion in debt financing from banks.
Connecticut Firm Sues Pepsi Over “Stolen” Idea NORWALK: Betty, Inc. is suing Pepsi over the 2016 Super Bowl ad, claiming the soft drink company’s commercial is based off of drawings and a presentation the firm made to the company prior to the spot airing this year. According to the advertising firm, Pepsi excutives A Connecticut company lays claim to listened to its pitch in creative ideas behind one of this year’s November of 2015 for top Superbowl Ads. Now they want to be an ad titled “All Kinds/ paid for it. Living Jukebox” featuring a character moving from room to room with a change in music style for each scene change. The Super Bowl Ad in question featured actress and singer Janelle Monae moving from room to room with a changing music style, personal appearance and scenery in each transition. Betty, Inc. says it wants to be paid for its idea, which the company rejected in December of 2015. The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court this month. PepsiCo is based in Purchase, NY and says it plans to vigorously defend itself.
Conntact.com | Business New Haven
New Hotel Tower To Open, Renovation In Works For The “Sky” UNCASVILLE: The Mohegan Sun’s new 400-room, $130 million Earth Tower will be opening in a few months. With the construction crew buttoning down the finishing touches, Mohegan Sun management has announced a two year $50 million renovation project for its iconic Sky Tower. The 1,200-room hotel first opened in 2002. As part of the update, rebranding of the existing 22,000 square foot Elemis Spa will be renovated and rebranded as an Mandara Spa, [opening 2017]. The new Mandara Spa in the new Earth Tower will open this fall with the new tower. The Mandara Spa which will be in
best pizza in the US. Thrillist.com has for four years published an extensive list of pizza offerings around the country.
Let’s Get Pizza It was no surprise that Sally’s Apizza would make it to a national list of the
The editors note that they have previously included long time New Haven and national favorite and Sally’s rival Frank Pepe’s Pizza. The reason given for this year’s ommision is that Pepe’s expansion to multiple locations has effected the “consistency” of the product – perhaps more likely the uniqueness.
Many best pizza lists have also included, Modern Pizza in New Haven, Zuppardis In West Haven., which celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2014. On the Thrillist this year came Camille’s Wood Fired Pizza, in Tolland, population 15,000. Tolland is in driving but not Pizza delivery distance of UCONN. The website liked the Spicy Roni, [pepperoni, red onion and peppers], and the Billy Bianco, a white pie created by chef and proprietor Dave Noad who did do an employment stint at Pepe’s.
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two separate locations on the property, the company’s release says the brand was established in Bali, Indonesia and features a “tropical, multi-cultural spa experience rooted in the Balinese tradition of healing touches.” Victoria’s Secret is being added to The Shops at Mohegan Sun, this fall. The Art of Shaving, a “premium barber spa” and shop has opened this summer and Tom’s Urban, will open with what the casino decantation calls a “travel inspired menu” with more than 40 beers on tap. A new sit down Asian restaurant, Jumbo Oriental, will also open this fall open featuring Chinese, Vietnamese, and Southern Asian offerings
CTrides Week May 16 - 20, 2016
The renovated rooms will feature a new “e-tray arrangement” in lieu of a mini-bar, refrigerators, as well as an iPad, for controlling room temp, room service and TV control. The hotel corridors and lobby furniture will also be updated as part of the project.
J UNE 2016
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“The move is to tap into the talent at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design”
UCONN Researchers Settle With US Attorney Over Funds
Tech Center Moves Forward
Tech Start-Up Runs Afoul of Grant Process From National Science Foundation MASNFIELD: Founded by researchers from UConn, Aquatic Sensor Network Technology [AquaSeNT] is a “marine sensor and communication” technology company and was recognized as a Connecticut Technology Council “Tech Company to Watch” in 2010 and 2011. The company and five of its employees [three UConn faculty] entered into a settlement in May with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut and the National Science Foundation [NSF]. While the company had to pay $400,000 to the government as part of the civil settlement, officials denied the government’s allegations and did not admit guilt, nor did the government retract their claims that the company misused federal grant funds and misrepresented itself on applications for funding. AquaSeNT has received more than $1 million in NSF funding since 2008. The settlement agreement said, “the AquaSeNT parties expressly deny each and every one of the government’s allegations set forth herein, and they expressly deny they engaged in any wrongful conduct whatsoever. This settlement agreement is made in compromise of disputed claims and is neither an admission of wrongdoing or liability by the AquaSeNT parties, nor a concession by the United States that its contentions and
claims are not well founded.”
According to the company, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has deployed the company’s acoustic telemetry system in the Chesapeake Bay since 2012.
Jeff Seemann, Vice President for Research at UConn, told the campus newspaper The Daily Campus, “during their research at UConn, the professors filled out a sole source disclosure stating that the only people that had the right equipment they needed for their research at UConn was AquaSeNT. They didn’t tell us that they owned it (AquaSeNT),” adding “they also signed a form saying they had no knowledge or interest in the company they were buying the equipment from, which was false.” The $400,000 that the company paid to the NSF was part of a total of $2 million in NSF grants lost by the company.
The five employees that are party to the settlement are Dr. JunHong Cui[CEO], Dr. Yong Ma, Dr. Shengli Zhou, Dr. Zhijie Shi, and Juanjuan Liao. Cui, Zhou and Shi are UConn faculty. June-Hong (June) Cui, President of AquaSeNT, responded to the settlement with the government, saying, “AquaSeNT is on the forefront of new and exciting advances in underwater wireless communication. With this settlement in place, the company is moving forward to write the next new chapter. We believe our research and development in underwater communication technology is unmatched in the
The Campus reports NSF currently has 239 active awards at UConn totaling $98.4 million.
NEW HAVEN: Backed by $16 million of private investment and an $8 million investment by the state, a tech center development in the old Connecticut Transit building at 470 James Street took another step forward with a groundbreaking in early June. The site was heavily polluted for years as the bus hub, which closed in 2010. The state failed at finding a developer in 2012 and has now remediated the site. David Salinas [former Business New Haven Rising Star], CEO of Digital Surgeons, a digital marketing and advertising agency, is the lead developer of the site. Digital Surgeons is currently located across the street in the old Trolley Street Car building, today better known as the former home of Robby Len manufacturing. Salinas’ landlord, Jason Carter, a well-heeled New York developer who bought the 250,000 square foot Street Car building at auction for $3.5 million, also wanted to buy the CT Transit property. The city chose the proposal for the Tech Center instead and Carter put his building up for sale.
Conntact.com | Business New Haven
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“It’s Really About Talent” GE to Locate Large Tech Operations in Providence and Atlanta
GE makes it clear plans to construct a new GE really don’t include Connecticut.
When GE began looking at other locations, the company reportedly looked at Atlanta and Providence as potential locations before choosing Boston for its new headquarters. Now the company has announced that it will open “research” facilities in both cities. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced that GE will be placing its global Digital
Two Programs. Endless Possibilities.
Operations Center in Atlanta. Deal said that the new facility would bring 250 jobs to the city. Chris Drumgoole, vice president and chief technology officer for GE told WGCL-TV that, “GE is excited to leverage the top talent in Atlanta and the inclusive business environment across the state to deliver innovation through IT services and operations across GE.” The newly created jobs are expected to include positions in systems administration and engineering, full-stack operations as well as engineering and service desk professionals.
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Citing the creativity of Brown University, GE has apparently overlooked the much larger and diverse southern Connecticut universities’ student bodies in choosing Providence for a new GE Digital Division. Rhode Island Democratic Governor said “They’re going to start with 100 jobs and move to several hundred jobs in the years to come, all high-wage, highskill, advanced economy jobs.”
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GE Digital spokeswoman Amy Sarosiek said one of the chief reasons for the move is to tap in to the talent at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, adding, “it’s really about talent.”
Fast Growing Connecticut Event Management Co. Acquires Competitor NORWALK: E-touches, an event management software company, has purchased Zentila, a web-based venue sourcing and booking site for corporate event planners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the move is to expand E-touches’ footprint in Orlando, Florida. Zentilla “boasts a strong convention-business industry.” Zentilla CEO Mike Mason will join the company as E-touches vice president of sourcing and Zentila is expected to maintain its company name and Orlando presence, as well as its 15 employees. However, E-touches’ spokeswoman Kristen Carvalho told the Orlando Business Journal that it plans to hire about 35 more people by the end of 2017. The combined firm employs approximately 165 employees. E-touches has raised more than $30 million in venture financing in the past six years.
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Harvard Pilgrim’s wide-ranging health benefits and services have always had one thing in common: you. Your unique benefits. Your version of healthy. As a not-for-profit health plan, we’re not looking for higher profits; we’re looking to provide access to higher-value and higher-quality health care across Connecticut and beyond. After more than 45 years serving New England, you can count on us to make your well-being our top priority.
To learn more, call your broker or visit harvardpilgrim.org/Connecticut
Harvard Pilgrim’s wide-ranging health benefits and services have always had one thing in common: you. Your unique benefits. Your version of healthy. As a not-for-profit health plan, we’re not looking for higher profits; we’re looking to provide access to higher-value and higher-quality health care across Connecticut and beyond. After more than 45 years serving New England, you can count on us to make your well-being our top priority.
To learn more, call your broker or visit harvardpilgrim.org/Connecticut
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care includes Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of Connecticut, and HPHC Insurance Company.