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Executive Shake Up @ the Hartford Courant Page 12
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ON THE RECORD Economic Development One Business At A Time Hamden’s Long Running Economic Developer Talks Small Business and Regional Development
ince 1999 Dale Kroop has been the economic development go to guy for the town of Hamden. He’s been at it through five different Mayors and at least two major recessions. Hamden today is teeming with small businesses, both independents and national chains. Some long term seemingly intractable problem properties have been or are at the cusp of redevelopment. We talked to Kroop to see what it takes to bottle his secret sauce – it appears we’ll have to wait for cloning technology, but here’s what he had to say. •••
Since we’re sitting in front of a map of it, let’s start with something fun, how did the Peter Villano Park come to be? We’ll its recently finished , its officially opened, the Villano part was opened in November, and the field across the way was completed but we wanted to let the grass settle in. We had the first baseball game, Albertus plays Division III baseball at the park. It will be used for Albertus’ season, Hamden High’s Varsity and some of the recreational leagues will play there. There’s a little league field on the site of the old Middle” school. There was a consent order where there were contaminated properties. In 2003 there was a consent order and it assigned different responsibilities for remediation and restoration. The town was responsible for park area and the Regional Water Authority the old Middle school. Probably one of the most controversial development efforts in the region and apparently still is? We moved the kids to the new middle school. All we had was data from the late 90s, early 2000s. Whenever I would show the property they were afraid of the boogey man, are people going to turn green from being in here.
It is moving forward now? It’s a big property. Until we really studied the real impact of cleaning it up [not much could happen]. The Regional Water Authority is cleaning all the dirt and they’ve been doing it on and off, with more work this summer. We convinced the town to study the inside of the building, there were plenty of studies on the outside. We needed to know the implications if the town was to try to rehab it or to demolish it, which [demo] I was totally against. The cost with asbestos was $3 million. We made it more flexible, most [real estate] brokers told me that besides a school residential was the only thing that would fly there. We’re thinking that wouldn’t be popular with everyone? I’d been trying for nine years, bringing in schools [to look at it], I had Hill Health Center looking, Stone
Academy, Eli Whitney while they were doing rehab. Once we got the study done, we solicited proposals and received three from residential developers. We picked Mutual Housing of South Central Connecticut. They’re in an agreement with us now, they’ll buy the property for $1 and they will put between $15-18 million into the property. We [Town of Hamden] pay about $250,000 per year for maintenance now. They went to zoning in November and got rejected, they’re coming back in April, under the affordable housing statues. They are going to rehab the current classrooms into 57 apartments, some are elderly some are affordable, some are market rate. They are going to rehab the gym into a community center and knock down the auditorium and cafeteria. There will be a total of 87 units. We’ll have a new community. They are going to fix up and lease back the playing fields to the town. Where is the small business incubator we had talked about in the past? On the corner of Morris and  Newhall Street is the Incubator. That will be starting another phase of construction. A lot of [our development] is about taking difficult properties and making lemonade out of it, with tax producing jobs, small stuff. What do you expect Macys, Filenes? Hamden has a lot of independent smaller businesses. What do you think is the reason they thrive here? It depends where you’re talking about. Much is very focused on Mix Avenue, twenty percent of Hamden’s population lives on Mix Avenue. Part is that the town in encouraging this type of development, we have almost no vacancy. It’s northern Hamden that needs our focus on marketing, because that’s where the money is. We have the density around the High School and Mix avenue, when you get to the North.
Continued on page 6 MARCH 2016
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Years of State and Union Deals Coming Home To Roost A Look At State Employee Benefits
ith state budget deficits coloring the horizon for years to come many state lawmakers have begun to realize that union concessions will eventually have to be center square on the bagaining table. There are approximately 53,000 state employees including those working in higher education with Connecticut’s public colleges. At $6.3 billion in fiscal year 2015 including salaries, overtime and benefits, state workers make up 25% of the $38 billion state spend, [which includes Federal funds including Medicaid]. In 2014, the state paid out $1.6 billion in pension obligations to 49,616 retired state employees. Employee contracts are negotiated with state employee unions and the legislature may vote to approve or reject them, but if the legislature does not vote for or against a negotiated contract, it automatically goes into effect after thirty days. We took a look at the publicly available union contracts, as well as figures made available online by the state government through a transparency program. Links to both can be found at the end of the story. Here is a close look at how some union “benefits” drive up the cost of the state’s workforce:
Overtime Pay: a full-time employee work week for union employees was set anywhere between 32 to 36 ½ hours depending on department, yet all employees are required to work 40 hours. Time and a half is paid for hours worked over MARCH 2016
By Mitchell Young
the required workweek up to 40 hours, and then overtime pay is paid for hours worked over 40 hours at a rate of double time. Overtime worked by employees is monitored on an agency-by-agency basis and there is no cap, although agencies must make overtime pay fit into a preexisting budget. Managers are not incentivized to limit overtime pay. Pension Obligations: a retired state employee pension is calculated based on percentages of the three highest years of their state service. Additionally, overtime paid to an employee is counted toward those figures. Employees receiving a pension may still work part-time, not to exceed twenty hours per week, regardless of how much that part-time job pays. For example, a doctor working in a state facility may receive pension benefits equal to $183,000 per year after leaving state service, but go on to provide consulting services or work part-time at a similar or higher rate in private practice. Healthcare: Retirees and state employees receive health insurance benefits with approximately 86% of the costs of premiums paid for by the state. This includes insurance plans with a deductible ranging from zero to $350 and $15 co-pays. Retirees are entitled to maintain their state health coverage after retirement. The State has been trying to negotiate higher co-pays or higher percentages of premiums. Tiers: Tiers of employees are structured based on length of service and currently, there are 4 tiers with varying levels of benefits and rights. Unions often make concessions by bargaining away benefits for future employees, or those who have not been in state service very long, and these negotiations have led to the current Tier splits. For example, current pension negotiations will not affect long-time employees that are possibly closest to retirement or current retirees al-
The Secret to A Bank Acquisition: Keeping it Personal By Mark Candido
ready receiving benefits. Tier 1 employees with the highest levels of benefits and rights are those hired on or before July 1, 1984. Tier II employees are those hired July 2, 1984 through June 30, 1997. Tier
Retirees are entitled to maintain their state health coverage after retirement IIA employees are those hired on or after July 1, 1997 until June 30, 2011. Subsequently hired employees are a part of Tier III. Federal and state courts have struck down attempts by states (Wisconsin and New Jersey, most notably) to alter state government pension obligations to current retirees, even in the event of financial hardship. This hasn’t been unilaterally attempted in Connecticut. Bumping Rights: the crux of why handing pink slips to state employees may not save the State any money in the shortterm—or the long-term. Based on seniority, state employees have “bumping rights.” If their job is eliminated, they can bump another employee with less seniority in the department. This process ensures that a highly paid long-term employee may exercise bumping rights to take a lesser job at the same pay and benefits and negotiated retirement, right down to a starting position, ensuring that only the most recently hired and most inexpensive employees with little seniority are actually let go.
No banking institution, whether large or small, can successfully maintain its customer base without continuing personal, one-onone relationships with its customers. Having spent most of my professional life at New Haven area community banks, I can appreciate that customer loyalty and relationships are crucial to any bank’s ongoing success. The size of the bank shouldn’t matter, although a bank with larger assets naturally has the ability to provide significantly greater loans than smaller banks. Regardless, customers with business or personal accounts appreciate the close involvement with their bank’s staff and senior man-
agement. Ideally, a bank acquisition or merger should be a seamless transition with each customer’s financial goals in mind, and the ability to make them feel comfortable in their new “home.” Usually, the change in the banking environment is minimal. In a recent acquisition, Quinnipiac Bank & Trust Company was acquired by Fairfield County-based Bankwell, most accounts stayed aboard, having experienced close and productive relationships with Quinnipiac Bank over the years. The current office building is the same, the bank’s staff remains virtually unchanged, and personnel are familiar with each customer’s transactional routine; they’ve remained very close to the people entering the doors and came to know them by name long before the acquisition was in force. However, building on those past relationships is as critical as maintaining them. Acquisitions should be able to offer an expanded array of personal and business prod-
ucts and services to further consolidate accounts and expand “relationship banking.” Of paramount importance in an acquisition is the importance that the senior management of both banking parties keep lines of communication open with customers of the acquired bank. Customers enjoyed added convenience and services, and the same personal interaction with bank personnel. Acquisitions? Not all that difficult for both banking business and bank customers. Both sides benefit from the new relationships in many ways, and “change for the better” is always good even if the change is for something “bigger and better.” Mark Candido has been a local banker in new Haven for decades at the Bank of New Haven, as CEO and Founder of the Quinnipiac Bank & Trust Company, which was sold to Bankwell based in New Canaan in 2014. Candido is a Senior Vice President with Bankwell in New Haven.
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Data collected from transparency.ct.gov and state union contracts found at http:// www.ct.gov/opm/cwp/view. asp?a=2992&Q=383228
Continued from page 3
[interrupts] Not so sure development is a happy word up there, is it?
What do you see as the biggest challenge for the region having more development?
It’s part of the dynamic of the public being upset with Quinnipiac for their expansion and they don’t want a lot of commercial development. When you get to the corner of West Woods Road and Whitney, that’s where the sewer stop. We have a very good relationship with the Westwood Civic Association, but we disagree strongly. I want to keep extending the sewer to the north. That’s where the money is. Right now everyone is on a septic system, so even healthcare for example can’t expand.
It’s a combination of things, the leadership is scattered. You have the New Haven Chamber, Rex Development, the New Haven EDC, you have the Council of Governments, you have an attrition that is always going on with mayors and First Selectman.
What makes Hamden go?
Consistent leadership, it’s not anyone’s fault. When [former New Haven Mayor} John DeStefano left that was a major thing he was there for twenty years and was a strong leader. Toni Harp is doing what she can but she’s only entering her second term.
A very strong focus on business retention within the sectors we have. We have a cluster’s strategy, we have eight branded clusters and I spend seventy percent of my time helping small businesses, the independents and the chains. Doing anything I can to help them succeed and stay stable. We lose very few businesses even though we have among the highest taxes in the region.
There is not enough integration of what the suburbs have to offer. I said to Senator Marty Looney, “is there a law that requires incubators to only be in the city?”
What are the clusters?
A half of mile from Science Park!
Healthcare, fastest growing not even close. A very stable and slow growing manufacturing cluster, retail cluster, workforce which permeates all the industry. We get these clusters [groups] together, its comprised of all the people involved – in the workforce industry, the Department of Labor, Aces, Sarah etc. We invite the workforce cluster people to the other cluster meetings.
One of Hamden’s assets is its educated and skilled workforce. If you look at Branford and other places you’re gong to see the same thing. There needs to be more integration with the suburbs [in economic development strategy].
Finance and Insurance is a cluster. I never know what will come out of the meetings. We have all these business incentives, and they’re another reason we grown, we remind people we have them [at the cluster meetings]. Creative industries, we have a Green cluster. Our newest one is the solopreneur cluster, home based businesses. That is an unbelievably needy group. We had twenty-seven in a room three weeks ago and I had twenty seven different stories and lists of things to do. And they’re hungry to get help. My goal is to get them to the next level, get them to the incubator maybe, help them find real estate. Why clusters? The cluster strategy is where it all happens, whether it is solving problems [discussing] legislation, manufacturing always has an issue like that. I try to listen and respond to what they need. By and large it’s working even though the taxation is high.
Sure you want them to be near transportation but do they only have to be in New Haven. We’re here we have a skilled workforce. Hamden’s not exactly a far away suburb?
The [town leaders] in the suburbs are not as focused on economic development as they should be. They’re always struggling with the budgets and the pension funds, etc. so they don’t participate as much in the region. That makes the practitioners [economic development officials and staffs] really important, for consistency. There has to be more coordinated effort, we have the assets in New Haven, no doubt about it and a lot of people are talented and a lot of good will – it needs to be pulled together more. How much structure is there? REX [Regional Economic Accelerator group] does a good job of getting us together and we have a monthly meeting. We help each other out, if I worked on a grant and Milford wants to steal from it, I’m happy to give it them, we’re very collegial in that way. West Haven has talked to us numerous times over the years, we have similar issues, they have only ten square miles we have thirty three., so geographically we’re bigger but population wise just a little bigger. We have similar issues they have brownfields, we have brownfields.
Some towns are more volatile politically. People say Hamden’s political, we’re nothing like some of the towns.
There is not enough integration of what the suburbs have to offer
State government is involved in a great number of local government development. What do we need to do there better to help the cities and towns and what is being done really well? To answer the second part of the question first, they have a Deputy Commissioner now Tim Sullivan who really understands the amorphous process of redevelopment. These projects take between three and ten years, they don’t work within a First Selectman and Mayor’s cycle. The commissioner Catherine Smith has given the day to day to Tim and it has been a very good fit, it is going right. The amount that they are focusing on brownfields, helps Hamden, it may not help Woodbridge. We should have more money in Tourism, in terms of our assets. I wish the state wouldn’t look at tourism to minimize, its important to the region. Hamden’s not a tourism destination. No, but it is part of being a team, I believe in the region. Like Tweed [Airport] does Tweed help Hamden directly, I can’t give one example, but I know its important to the region. For the region to support me I have to support them. In terms of the state again. I think we could do more on the Business Express program. I was not a “First Five” person, when they had that program, its almost like corporate welfare, but when they shifted off to Business Express that was a very good move. Businesses were calling for state assistance, they were interested in buying forklifts and computers and other things that were personal property. It’s not always about helping the taxes. I like Business Express, it was things we couldn’t do with our programs. Is there a signature project for you? I would say two things as this is my soapbox moment. I’ve done well with creating destinations. The very first difficult project was helping Bill Brown with the Eli Whitney Museum, that was a nightmarish negotiation and conflict resolution issue. Amoco Oil and the DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] were at each other’s throats. There was a grant in place to buy the property and do some reno-
vations. Everybody was wrong, and everybody was right kind of thing. I came in what was suppose to be towards the end, and it went two years after. I helped to negotiate a settlement of their conflict and got the state to take the grant funds and use them for other than acquire a property from an oil company. Highwood square was the boogeyman in Highwood. It was the largest property in southern Hamden, it was the biggest piece on Dixwell avenue south of Putnam. These sites are best suited for creating some kind of landmark, completely different than what was there before. This took over ten years to get a spade in the ground to finish this. I got a grant from the state to demo the building to show the public we cared about the neighborhood, then a grant from UI to do a concept plan, with the neighborhood. We solicited proposals and over the course of years we ended up with Highwood Square, a rehab [two buildings] and new construction of twentyseven artist housing units and 14,000 square feet of commercial space $12 million to finish. Residential was immediately occupied with a waiting list, commercial is always the hardest in these areas and it is sixty percent occupied. We didn’t want a dollar store, we wanted a community service and we got a dentist and two financial service companies. In some of the grant writing was to subsidize their site costs so they could afford to lease at $9 a square foot instead of having to go to a dollar store at $15, just to pay the debt. To wrap up what does the business community need to know? Economic developers in the region not just me, work really hard eighty percent of their day with small businesses. We spend our time doing retention work, problem solving. Businesses should know the economic development practitioners in the region really care about the blocking nd tackling of what goes on in their communities. BNH
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Court To Rule: State Employee Fired For Smoking Marijuana On The Job After Union Wins Arbitration Seeking Unpaid Suspension Instead, State Appeals
By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas
he Connecticut Supreme Court will soon decide whether UConn was justified in firing an employee found getting high on marijuana while on the job, a case the state argues could have broad implications. The case – which will be argued before the justices on March 31 – surrounds the arrest of Gregory Linhoff, a skilled maintainer at the UConn Health Center, who was fired after he was arrested for smoking marijuana in a state vehicle during work hours. His union, the Connecticut Employees Union Independent, SEIU, LOCAL 511 AFL-CIO, fought back against the 2012 firing, and an arbitrator sided with the union. “The dismissal of grievant was not for just cause, but the State did have just cause to impose a substantial penalty on Grievant. Therefore, the proposed penalty of termination shall be modified to a period of unpaid suspension of six months,” ruled State Arbitrator Jeffrey Selchick, pointing out that the employee had favorable performance evalu-
tons or greater capacity, physical agility and auditory acuity, as well as access to HVAC, rooftops and fire escapes. The union argues that Linhoff was “dealing with serious personal struggles” after his wife filed for divorce and a cancer scare. ations and had no previous disciplinary problems. The state objected. “This award sends a message to state employees and taxpayers that prohibited drug use on the job will be tolerated. In light of our strong public policies against illegal drug use, possession and impaired driving, the public should expect and demand that State employees refrain from criminal conduct while on duty, and from conduct that jeopardizes the safety of others,” reads a brief from the state. The state appealed the decision and after a lengthy trial, a Superior Court judge sided with the state, ruling UConn officials were justified in firing Linhoff, whose job requires the use of complex motorized equipment, the operation of trucks of five
G.E.’s Barren Wasteland May Get Scooped Up After All Local University Eyes Properties For Development Fairfield University, a Jesuit Institution located in Fairfield, is “developing and transforming a high-tech hub with a variety of educational components including an executive education center.” Working with FairfieldFairfield University based Kleban Properties to President Jeffrey develop the new site, the soon-to-be-empty GE 68-acre P. von Arx taking the GE site high tech. corporate campus is on the list of potential sites. The development will build on Fairfield University’s STEM and business programs. Previously, the University engaged Kleban Properties to assist with development of the Fairfield University Entrepreneurial Lab (F.U.E.L.), an off-campus project, in conjunction with the Town of Fairfield. Of the potential expansion, University President Jeffrey P. von Arx said “We couldn’t be more excited about the potential development of this property.”
“Defendant believed that smoking marijuana helped to alleviate stress and anxiety,” the union wrote in an appeal to Connecticut’s high court, pointing out that he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. The union also argues that the behavior was “not sufficiently egregious” to warrant the firing and that Linhoff is “not incorrigible.” A UConn Health Center police officer testified during the arbitration hearing that he had observed the employee smoking from a yellow pipe. When questioned by the officer, he admitted to marijuana use and voluntarily handed over less than an ounce of marijuana. Criminal charges were later dismissed. Reprinted with permission from ctmirror.org
UConn Wants To Act On Shrinking Student Enrollment
Connecticut’s Flagship University Seeks Satellite Campus Closure The Connecticut Board of Regents is set to take a vote on UConn’s request to close its Torrington Campus, a move that would mark the first ever closure of a satellite branch in the state. Enrollment has declined steadily at all of Connecticut’s public colleges over the past few years, and most recently, the Board of Regents approved tuition hikes at public colleges, as well. Enrollment at UConn’s Torrington campus is currently at 136 undergraduate students, comprising 88 full-time and 48 part-time learners. The decline in enrollment has largely been blamed on a shrinking high-school aged population in Northwestern Connecticut. In a notice to staff and students notifying them of the recommendation for closure, UConn Provost Mun Choi and Vice Provost Sally Reis said that “given the ongoing fiscal challenges in the state, and the resulting effect on the university, we have been carefully examining how we can maintain academic quality in an era of scarce resources,” while also reaffirming commitment to the “Agricultural Extension facility” located in Torrington.
Lawmakers Hoping Fed Study Will Block Plum Island Sale Closure Of Federal Research Facility Prompts Talk Of Sale
onnecticut lawmakers are hoping a study they helped commission will stop the federal government from selling Plum Island, 840 acres of land in Long Island Sound named for the beach plums that grow along its shores, where the federal government has long studied dangerous animal diseases. The U.S. Department of Agriculture ran biological experiments for decades on the island, working on animal illnesses like swine flu and footand-mouth disease, a highly contagious livestock illness and in 2013, announced plans to sell. Homeland Security is now in charge of the National Bio and AgroDefense Facility on Plum Island and is moving the laboratory to Manhattan, Kansas. The General Services Administration has been tasked with selling the island to the highest bidder, although the laboratory will not be moved until approximately 2022. A coalition of environmental groups and lawmakers from Connecticut and New York are trying to stop any potential sale to developers, saying it has unique flora and fauna because it has been kept from development and has had a limited human presence. Plum Island’s historic sites date back to the SpanishAmerican War. It is also home to the largest seal colony on Long Island Sound. The GSA has said there is tremendous interest in Plum Island from potential buyers, even Donald Trump was reportedly once interested in the parcel, which is part of the New York town of Southold. Vocal public commenting, particularly from Southold, since 2013 has asked lawmakers for zoning regulations prior to sale to preserve natural habitats and prevent casinos. To try to block a sale, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy helped insert language last year in a budget bill requiring the Department of Homeland Security, the General Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior to report on the best alternatives for conserving Plum Island’s natural and historic resources, due in June. Blumenthal said Congress mandated the sale of Plum Island to help pay for construction of the new bio-lab in Kansas, but that last year’s budget bill included money for the lab, so the sale of the island is no longer needed. But Sciafani said the GSA, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, is taking environmental and regulatory issues into consideration as they move forward on the sale. He said the GSA “continues to engage in several regulatory compliance efforts to protect endangered and threatened species, list eligible historic resources on the National Register of Historic Places, assess and protect wetlands, consider effects on the coastal zone, and address the potential presence of residual contamination associated with past use.” Edited with additions from Business New Haven and reprinted with permission from ctmirror.org by Ana Radelat
Vol XX,II No.6 March 2016
Courant and Corporate Parent in Shakeup
Small Business Food Companies Chart New Course Page 14
Bren Smith Oyster Farmer is Growing and Harvesting a New Crop From the Sea
Executive Shake Up @ the Hartford Courant Page 12
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inancial problems and a shakeup at Tribune Publishing have landed at the publisher’s desk of the Hartford Courant, with the replacement of a Hartford Courant Publisher that was hired only two months ago, Tom Wiley, a “veteran publisher and sales executive,” according to the Courant. Wiley was replaced by “veteran journalist” Andrew Julie, who is now set to take the roles of Publisher and Editor. The changes were made by the paper’s corporate parent, Tribune Publishing [NASDAQ: TRCO] and its new Chairman Michael Ferro. Ferro’s recent $44 million investment in Tribune Publishing made him the largest shareholder [17%] and with that investment, he took the reins of the company. Ferro became chairman just as the company’s lead investor was pulling out. Oaktree Capital Management had been the company’s largest holder, but it told the SEC last November it wanted to bail on its investment and sell 4.7 million shares of the company. At the time of Ferro’s purchase, Tribune CEO Jack Griffin said “he welcomed Ferro,” whose investment he recruited according to Politico Media to fund the purchase of the Orange County
Malloy Rejects Bill To Tax Yale Continuing Call for Spending Cuts, Malloy Stops Legislative Tax Hike Plan By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas A tax proposed by top legislators on the earnings of Yale’s sizable endowment was shot down Tuesday by the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. “Many proposals are put forward during the legislative session, and many stay as just that - proposals. We value Yale, the students it educates, the research and innovation it generates, and the neighborhoods it strengthens in New Haven,” said Devon
Register and Riverside PressEnterprise. Tribune owns the Los Angeles Times. Griffin’s love Wiley: Two months was unrequitas Courant publisher ed as Ferro and out canned him just a few weeks later. Tribune won an auction in bankruptcy court for the papers, but the U.S. Justice New Courant Department Publisher Julie is challenging the Tribune’s potential ownership. Tribune will also be facing down the SEC, which it has just told it had “found material weaknesses in the company’s internal control over financial reporting” adding, “which could have material” consequence to the company.
Puglia, the Democratic governor’s spokesman. “As the governor has made clear, we don’t believe that new taxes should be part of our solution as Connecticut adjusts to a new economic reality. Instead, we should make the spending reductions necessary for living within our means.” The proposal – backed by Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney and Appropriations Committee Co-chair Toni Walker, both Democrats from New Haven – generated national attention. Florida Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday pitched his state as a new home for the Ivy League school if the tax
moved forward, an offer Yale quickly declined to consider. “It’s wonderful to be recognized as an outstanding asset, but Yale, New Haven, and Connecticut have been on common ground to great mutual benefit for 300 years. We’re looking forward to reaching even greater heights in education, research and civic engagement over the next three centuries and more,” said Tom Conroy, Yale’s press secretary. University officials opposed the proposed tax, which could generate millions for the state, and promised to challenge its constitutionality in court. Reprinted with permission from ctmirror.org
Non-Smokeable Marijuana Drug Clears hurdle for Children HARTFORD: Responding to pleas from parents of children with a variety of ailments, particularly epilepsy induced seizures and a change in mind from Connecticut’s Pediatric physicians’ group the Public Health Committee, of the Connecticut legislature approved medical marijuana for potential prescription to children. Pediatricians appear somewhat split on the issue, but the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which previously opposed the legislation, is now supporting it in a scaled down format. According to the Connecticut Mirror news website, the bill was developed by the state Department of Consumer Protection with input from the pediatricians. Jillian G. Wood, the chapter’s executive director, told the ctmirror.org that “many general pediatricians had concerns about the concept, as did psychiatrists who treat young people with psychosis related to drug use.” She added, “the group’s leaders were swayed after hearing from pediatric neurologists and parents of children with severe seizure disorders.” Several of the legislators took pains to say they weren’t “sanctioning” the wider use of marijuana. The bill would allow the prescription of “non-smokeable” medical marijuana with epilepsy, seizure disorders, some case of spinal cord injury, terminal illness, cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis, Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing Medical Marijuana, Connecticut’s current legislation outlaws prescription to minors. While parents and many pediatricians have signed on to this new effort, not all healthcare providers are happy about it. On February 29, a group of healthcare professional descended on the Capitol to argue against the loosening of the state’s marijuana laws that many see as opening a door to commercialization, eventual legalization and wide distribution. Medical marijuana has been approved for use in Connecticut since 2012 and there are currently 9 dispensaries serving that patient population. The executive director of the Connecticut Association of Prevention Professionals, John Daviau, told the Harford Courant that he expected the medical marijuana industry to eventually target young people as the “tobacco and alcohol industries have.” The organization’s Facebook pages cite numerous articles and studies about the widening usage of marijuana by teens. The bill, H.B. 5450, heads to the House for approval. A similar bill proposed last year failed to garner support in the House.
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Quinnipiac’s $350 million investment is building a brighter future for everyone. We built a third campus in North Haven, home to our highly-ranked programs that include Medicine, Law, Nursing, Health Sciences and Education. Hiring local contractors who, in turn, hire local residents. Laying a foundation for the future. We major in Connecticut.
Robert Unikewicz of Portland didn’t discover until almost three months after, that in a pile of lottery tickets on his desk, lay a $50,000 winner. On Dec. 6, 2015 the winning Powerball numbers included: 13-27-33-47-68 and the Powerball number was 13. When Unikewicz finally got the chance to look at his pile of lottery tickets, he found out that his “Quick Pick” ticket had four matching numbers and the Powerball number, totaling the $50,000 prize. This winning ticket of Unikewicz’s was purchased at the Stop & Shop on West Street in Cromwell.
Connecticut Food Bank to Gain From Walmart Campaign Walmart has recently launched their new campaign, “Fight Hunger. Spark Change,” a nationwide initiative to get the public involved in fighting hunger. Connecticut Food Bank is also a member of Feeding America, a network nationwide consisting of 200 food banks. Connecticut Food Bank is standing to benefit from up to $3 million in possible Walmart donations based on the participation of citizens in the campaign being hosted. This campaign runs through April 25 and has a standing goal of about 75 million meals for the network, based on the combination of customer donations at checkout and donations from Walmart with supplier donations through purchasing products.
Three ways to get involved in the fighting hunger campaign includes: buying participating products, each purchase the manufacturer donates $0.09 to Feeding America, support through online networks with the hashtag #FightHunger, and donating at the register.
knowledge of the positives of solar.
Census Bureau Estimates Show Rapid Growing Counties in CT
This solar energy exhibit will teach its viewers how the technology works, the different process steps for going solar, and the different financial structures to paying for solar.
The Energize Connecticut Center, both museum and resource center, with staff who want to help residents and business owners in the state to make helpful and smart choices energy wise.
This was funded by Connecticut Green Bank and the solar panels were installed by students from the Connecticut Technical High School System.
The U.S Census Bureau has recently reported and located where the largest population growth in the state of Connecticut was centered the previous year.
both high school and college students.
Quinnipiac University students raised more than $115,000 for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. The money was raised through a seven-hour dance marathon for the kids at QTHON; which is part of a nationwide movement by the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals called Dance Marathon. It involves
Before the actual QTHON event to raise the money for the center, the Quinnipiac students sponsored many events and fundraisers throughout the school year.
The event engaged about 900 students in the Athletics and Recreation Center.
Dance Marathon has been around since 1991 and through those years as collected over $135 million for more than 179 hospitals they are affiliated with. Last year about $55,000 was raised.
Visitors are welcome to the solar exhibit in North Haven at 122 Universal Drive North where admission is free. Visiting hours are Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015, the fastest-growing county in Connecticut was Fairfield County. During this time span, their population grew 0.2 percent, and was the only county in CT that had growth in population, adding 2,237 people as well. Fairfield County has the biggest population in the state with 948,053 residents, then Hartford County and followed by New Haven County.
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A Taste of Yesterday Today and Tomorrow Greater New Haven’s food industry continues to innovate and grow
read, cheese, tomato sauce, hot dogs, pastry, wine, gelato, fresh fruit, soda – of course pizza. Greater New Haven’s food manufacturers and marketers have a storied history of offering great and distinctive foods and drinks.
Today that history seems more secure then ever before as we look at an established food manufacture, a “powerful” new drink and a fisherman turned environmental evangelist and sea farming innovator.
Family Sausage Business Links Generations Italian Sausage Company Thrives At Long Wharf By Rachel Bergman
Giuliana, and Johnny Salami’s – an estimated 8 in all according to Pollotti. Today, the company has 11 employees, including 4 original family members and staff drivers who manage all in-state distribution and delivery with a fleet of three trucks. In addition to extensive statewide distribution to restaurants and at most Connecticut supermarkets like Stop & Shop, Big Y, Price Chopper and independent grocers, Lamberti sausage is sold just over the New York and Massachusetts borders through an independent distributor, as well, and they also do some production for a private label. Averaging about 10-15,000 pounds of sausage going out per week, business is good. In 70 years, the recipes themselves haven’t changed, it’s just fresh meat (pork or chicken), a little water, salt with a spice blend and no preservatives, natural or unnatural. “No fillers, no ascorbic acid, no corn syrup or what they call quote unquote ‘natural preservatives,’” assures Pollotti. About five years ago, he even decided to add to the line of hot and sweet sausages by offering chicken versions of each, but he admits, “no changes to the flagship recipe. It never
occurred to us to make any changes.” Grandmother Jean Lamberti approved of the chicken sausage idea. Lamberti’s chicken sausages aren’t dramatically lower in fat than their pork counterparts because Pollotti says “the pork we use is so lean, it’s only about half a gram of fat higher than the chicken sausage.” Some people just prefer chicken. Pollotti also very recently introduced the company’s first new recipe: breakfast sausages. The family hasn’t argued about any new ideas, it hasn’t been a struggle to expand product offerings, according to Pollotti. While he never gets tired of eating sausages, he admits that he doesn’t eat them every day, which he says probably helps. He even orders them at restaurants on occasion, “just to see what recipes people are using them in.” The market hasn’t changed much over the years. Pollotti sees the changes more in the retail market, and by what supermarkets are in to, whether they want to promote local and fresh or bigger produced nationally labeled products.
Jay Pollotti is not the president of the Lamberti Italian Sausage company, but he has taken over many duties since his cousin, former President Joe Kelley, retired recently. Pollotti, third generation, works closely with his mother, Cindy Lamberti, on the day-to-day operations of the business. He grew up eating his family’s sausages and even as a kid, came in to build boxes. He’s been in and out of the business his whole life. Founded in 1946, Lamberti Italian Sausage has known three homes. Jim Lamberti began by making sausage in the backroom his family’s market on the corner of Chestnut and St. John Streets in New Haven more than 70 years ago. Lamberti decided to expand and took the sausage operation out of the store, which he left with his cousin while he moved into a place on Grand Avenue. Jim Lamberti was then a founding “father” of the Long Wharf Food Terminal, helping break ground when the site was built as one of the original developers. Lamberti moved in his pork sausage production operation, where it has remained. Currently, the Long Wharf Plaza is host to other food producers, as well, like Hummel Brothers, Gelato 14
Generations of family cranking out sausage from right to left, Cindy Lamberti, Joe Kelley (retired President) and Cindy’s son Jay Pollotti in front of founders (grandparents Jim and Jean Lamberti) WWW.CONNTACT.COM
On whether competition in the business is tight, Pollotti says, “There are the national companies, which are obviously capable of offering a more costeffective product, but there are all kinds of companies out there making sausage. It’s not that the market has changed, but as consumers are more interested in the farm to table movement, a clean label and a local product, we do well. I think there’s enough business out there for everybody.”
Seven Grams of Protein That Isn’t a Shake Trimino Protein Infused Water blows up in the millennial health food world By Taylor Richards Casey Hoban noticed a few years ago that there was nothing on the beverage market that was light, refreshing and “chuggable” with lots of protein and no sugar. He was working with the Vermont Cider Company in its climb to becoming one of the leading cider producers in the United States. In 2013, he teamed up with Peter Dacey and Robert Leary to start a company that provided what he felt was missing in a big market.
Based in Guilford, the Miami Beverage Company is powering up “protein water” under the Trimino brand
By February 2014, Trimino protein-infused water was founded under their new venture, the Miami Beverage Company, LLC. Hoban is the COO, Leary is the CMO and Dacey is the CEO. Trimino is currently the only brand out of their relatively new company, and Hoban said their product is a direct reflection of trends they’re witnessing in the health world now. “Protein was an explosive growth. We knew there were beverages on the market that had protein in them but they weren’t targeting the frequency of use or the market demographic that we were. We had seen a gap for products that focused on women. Protein shakes didn’t market well towards them,” said Dacey. “We did research on what was the right amount of protein to have in an everyday drink. We came up with Trimino after that.” Shoreline-based Hoban, Dacey and Leary have been marketing their product for the last two years and saw a rapid growth greater than what they initially expected. Originally, they wanted to target women, but after the drink was launched, they noticed that it had the most feedback from millennials. Even athletes, who weren’t their initial target, started drinking it. “Millennials are agitated consumers and know the value of protein and B vitamins in their diets. We realized right away that anyone who is concerned about healthy alternatives to the sugary drinks out there now would appreciate the value of protein in their drink,” said Dacey. To create the drink that the three men envisioned, they hired a chemist that had been working in the beverage industry for over 40 years. Hoban said that the three of them probably tried about a thousand different formulas before deciding on the right one. The purpose of Trimino is to provide a “functional beverage” that’s dense in protein, has 100 percent RDA B-Complex vitamins, was low in calories, and didn’t contain any caffeine, sugar or carbs. The “mino” in their name refers to amino acids in protein, and the “tri” stands for three different purposes: boost metabolism, energize without caffeine and curb the appetite. MARCH 2016
Although their name suggests otherwise, the Miami Beverage Co. is based out of Branford and only started to branch out to Florida in March of 2016. Hoban was a graduate of the University of Miami and Dacey had ties to the city as well, but the name was more of “brand positioning,” according to Hoban. He grew up in Southern Florida and said that everyone there wants to be healthy and active, so it was only fitting to name his health drink after the city.
real economic development— it’s a revival of our seafood industry.” From a conservation standpoint, the benefits are manifold; seaweed captures carbon five times more efficiently than land-based plants, the farms double as natural storm surge barriers, they rebuild reef ecosystems and bolster biodiversity, and they help to re-
Project and University of Connecticut (UConn’s own Dr. Charles Yarish is one of the most prominent experts on seaweed in the world, and GreenWave’s innovative farming model was partially influenced by his research). By performing quality research and development, these partners continue to foster a healthy economic ecosystem, and have aided Smith and his
“Even though our name is Miami, we’re a local Northeast brand,” said Hoban. “We employ a lot of local people and we’re based out of a North Branford warehouse. We’re excited to be here in Connecticut. We’re getting well received by the Northeast market.” The Miami Beverage Co. currently has 12 full-time employees, 11 of which are based in Connecticut. Hoban thinks that the location of their brand was directly tied to their initial success due to population density and being so close to two major cities. Trimino is currently sold at all Stop and Shops and the founders plan to expand distribution even further than their current Northeast, Texas and Florida markets.
‘Rearranging The Seafood Plate’ in New England New Haven’s GreenWave is about to revolutionize the seafood industry, and that’s just for starters By Vincent Amendola Bren Smith is going to change the way we produce and think about food in a big way, and judging by the vigor and passion that comes through when he talks about his work, he knows it. Smith is the executive director and CEO of GreenWave, a nonprofit devoted to the task of creating jobs and actively addressing environmental concerns through the creation of restorative kelp and shellfish farms. His 40-acre farm is located in The Thimble Islands, and the organization is in the process of moving its operations hub into an office on Front Street in New Haven. The building is owned by Lisa and Robert Fitch, who have been tremendously helpful as the GreenWave team settles into their new headquarters. Smith’s quest for a sustainable approach to farming began professionally at the age of fourteen when he became a commercial fisherman, and blossomed into a lifelong career of Blue-Green research and work in the Bering Sea and the agricultural farms of northern Canada. Eventually, his journey led him to the founding of Thimble Island Oyster Company in Long Island Sound, where he and his team conceived, developed, and tested their vertical ocean-farming model which is now the foundation of GreenWave’s mission. As Smith explains, the value of growing these “3D farms” is much greater than simply providing consumers with a tasty alternative food choice. “The benefit we see is the triple bottom line of growing good local food, creating jobs, and mitigating climate change. Once the farm started to be successful in the Thimble Islands, I wanted to get a bunch of other farmers in our region up and running, so this isn’t just a boutique food: it’s actually an anchor for
GreenWaves’ Founder and CEO Bren Smith, fisherman, sea farmer and forum speaker too.
duce overfishing by “‘rearranging the seafood plate’ so that bivalves and ocean plants are at the center, and then wild fish are at the edges.” On the business end, seaweed is a juggernaut of untapped potential. “The opportunity here is tremendous,” says Smith, “Seaweed is a $7 billion industry, and all of it comes from overseas. What consumers and a lot of businesses want is fresh local product that’s highly traceable. There’s just none grown. There are essentially two of us growing seaweed in the United States, at any scale.” One of the more remarkable aspects about seaweed is its versatility. In addition to bringing fresh locally grown product from sea to table, which GreenWave aims to do by establishing a strong network of 25 New England ocean farms, each farm plugging into its respective seafood hub, the organization will also work closely with entrepreneurs from other industries; beverage companies will incorporate the harvested kelp in their moonshine recipes (or “seashine” as Smith likes to call it), it will be used as a primary ingredient in lotions and skincare products, and will be converted into biofuel.
team in their efforts to “sink through the frontiers of what the future of food will be.” In terms of geography, New Haven is an ideal spot for GreenWave’s headquarters. Its close proximity to New York’s bustling food market makes shipping, transporting, and delivering the crops much easier. As Smith explains, logistics is paramount to success when it concerns food. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of GreenWave’s ocean farming model is its potential to stimulate job growth. The organization provides training and need-based grants for individuals interested in starting a farm of their own. They support the farmers by strengthening infrastructure and assist in developing the market so it will accommodate the new BlueGreen economy. “We don’t have to choose between creating jobs and protecting the environment. This is something where we can do both at the same time…it’s not just about conservation—it’s actually putting people back to work and reviving our Long Island Sound economy.” www.greenwave.org BNH
GreenWave collaborates with several state programs and institutions, including the Yale Sustainable Food
TECHNOLOGY Connecticut and The Need For Speed Government Groups Advocate For Faster Internet By Vincent Amdendola
n initiative backed by Comptroller Kevin Lembo will seek ways of advancing the “broadband environment” as well as increasing affordability and accessibility for businesses. A comprehensive study delivered to the Connecticut Office of Consumer Council outlines why the state’s localities should be proactive about tapping into the new highspeed innovations—it spurs job growth and supports companies that need to adapt to rapid digitalization—and also contains business models and financing strategies for local governments. “An Act Establishing A Bioscience And Health Data Network Collaborative Task Force” will address this issue by creating an “innovation corridor” that will allow broader access to high-speed internet options for healthcare and bioscience industries in Connecticut. “Throughout the country we have seen how the advancement and expansion of broadband technology access increases economic development. Over the past few years, I have traveled the state talking to businesses, residents and municipal leaders, all of whom see the benefits of investing in advanced, ultra-high-speed networks in our state,” said Lembo in this month’s press release. Lembo also referred to a success story from 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio, where a similar “Health-Tech Corridor” was established and “resulted in over 1,800 new jobs and over $4 billion of investment”. Bruce Carlson, president of the Connecticut Technology Council, suggested a trial “Innovation Corridor” project to be tested in Hartford County, the results of which would determine the economic impact such changes may have on the rest of the state. As Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz contends, jumping on the opportunity to advance internet speed and affordability is crucial part of making Connecticut both competitive with the rest of New England and appealing to young business professionals who wish to succeed in the state. “If Connecticut doesn’t provide it, our research demonstrates that these prize employees and citizens will pick up their multiple Internet access devices and move on.”
Platt Students Soak Up Knowledge For A Greener Tomorrow The Energize Connecticut Center, located on Universal Drive in North Haven, is a unique facility built for the purpose of educating the community about renewable energy and providing myriad resources for businesses and homeowners looking to go green. The center provides an outlet for presenters to inform the public through seminars, workshops, and conferences, most of which are free for admission. This month, 13 students from Platt Tech High School in Milford put together an exhibit showcasing solar panel technology. The display consisted of a scaleddown version of a house, preassembled by a team of students from New Britain’s E.C. Goodwin Technical High School, MARCH 2016
and a panel, which was installed onsite by the group from Platt Tech. Among the attendees at the event was Kerry E. O’Neill, managing director for Connecticut Green Bank, an agency that finances and promotes green energy projects in the state. According to O’Neill, the exhibit serves not only as a means of “demystifying” the photovoltaic systems; it is also a testament to the bright future that the younger generation will usher in. “It’s great to see the kids mastering skills for a growing industry here in Connecticut,” said O’Neill. By providing programs and connecting with area schools, the Energize Connecticut Center aims to incentivize the youth of Connecticut and encourage them to pursue green careers.
“There is an exodus happening of tech talent. I think that it really is time for us to compete.”
Former Bus Depot will Get a Tech Revamp
tion. This redevelopment will do just that by retaining close to 100 jobs and creating a new home for businesses to hire an estimated 200-300 new jobs at all skill levels,” said Mayor Harp in a statement.
This month, Entrepreneurs David Salinas and Eric O’Brien garnered approval for their project, DistriCT NHV LLC, which will transform a vacated CT Transit bus garage into a “tech hub” for digital innovators and emerging talent. The 9-acre lot, located at 470 James Street, was sold by the city for $1 and is now privately owned by the partners.
District NHV will not only be a haven for companies like SeeClickFix, LaunchCapital, and Crossfit (A company which O’Brien Co-owns); keeping with Salinas and O’Brien’s goal of creating an atmosphere which nurtures creative thinking by breaking with tradition, the facility will also house a café, beer garden, and kayak and paddleboard launch.
The site will undergo a structural makeover led by Kenneth Boroson Architects and STUDIOS Architects, including a courtyard and nearby park, and its grounds, which have suffered years of damage from leaked petroleum, will be restored using $5.5 million in bonds collected by the state as part of the deal. Salinas and O’Brien will also sink $16 million into the development.
District NHV will begin leasing offices at the start of 2017.
Salinas, CEO of Digital Surgeons— a brand development company that specializes in UX design and experiential marketing— says he is excited about the prospect of drawing techies to Connecticut and providing them with “workspaces that have energy”. “There is an exodus happening of tech talent. With this property and what the climate is in the tech world, I think that it really is time for us to compete,” said Salinas.
Salinas stepping up from software to real estate developer
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp sees the positives in making way for technology innovators to flourish in the city. “Putting city land back on the tax rolls and creating economic opportunities for residents is one of the priorities of my administra-
Mental Health Group Connects with SeeClickFix Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) has partnered with New Haven’s SeeClickFix to develop a new app called “Talk to CMHC.” The app will innovate the way the community interacts with the center by allowing patients and members to share ideas and concerns which will be relayed directly to the center’s administrative staff. The app includes a system which will help CMHC professionals triage and manage issues as they are submitted. Connecticut Mental Health Center opened its
doors in 1966 and has been serving Greater New Haven through recoveryoriented mental health and wellness programs, and it also functions as a training facility for students of the Yale Department of Psychiatry. SeeClickFix is a tool made available for citizens so they can submit suggestions—such as requests for wider sidewalks, speed limit signs, etc.— and report localized non-emer-
gency issues in real-time. SeeClickFix has established a robust network in New Haven, and CEO Ben Berkowitz has expressed interest collaborating with other facilities like CMHC who want to use the technology to improve their responsiveness and outreach. CMHC’s Chief Operating Officer Robert Cole believes “Talk to CMHC” will strengthen the institution’s community engagement and help officials meet the needs of the individuals who utilize the center’s services. “We hope people will use Talk to CMHC to send us feedback about everything from our physical environment to our clinical programs and services.” 17
MANUFACTURING Navy Names Electric Boat Prime Contractor On New Class Of Subs A Dozen Ohio-Class Subs Set For 2021 Construction
By Ana Radelat he Navy recently released a new submarine construction plan that makes [Groton-based] General Dynamic Electric Boat the prime contractor on the costly Ohio-class replace-
ment sub program. The Navy also said it would move assembly and delivery of some Virginiaclass submarines to Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, but it does not say how many. In December the Congressional Budget Office said the total price tag of the Ohio-class replacement boats will be between $102 and $107 billion. Congress still has to appropriate funds for the program. In announcing its new Submarine Unified Build Strategy (SUBS), the Navy said it plans concurrent production of the ballistic-missile-firing Ohio-class replacement submarines and Virginia-class attack submarines. Construction of the first Ohio-class replacement sub is scheduled to begin in 2021, and deliveries of Virginiaclass subs will continue through at least 2023. The Navy’s new plan also calls for adding a new payload module into the Virginia-class boats that will make them longer and give them more firepower. To deliver all the boats on time and maximize efficiency, the Navy decided to adjust the workload between the two shipyards and shift assembly and delivery of some Virginiaclass subs to Newport News. Currently both EB and Newport News build major components of the Virginia-class subs, and assembly is split between the two shipyards. Electric Boat, which has major facilities in Groton and nearby Quonset Point, R.I., said it “looks forward to continuing to work with the Navy and Newport News Shipbuilding to build the next generation of ballistic missile submarines.” Connecticut lawmakers said it gives Electric Boat a big boost. “For Connecticut, today’s announcement underscores the positive outlook for growth, not just at the Groton shipyard, but across the region and state,” said Rep. Joe Courtney, whose 2nd congressional district includes Electric Boat’s shipyard and the New London Naval Submarine Base. Courtney also said the Navy told him it intended to maintain a twoa-year pace for building Virginia-class subs through at least 2023, including an added boat in 2021. Edited and Reprinted with permission from ctmirro.org
The first Ohio-class replacement sub is scheduled to begin in 2021 Wallingford’s Manufacturers Praised
ing Advanced Manufacturing Certification programs, which would allow students the chance to train for such jobs on-site.
Connecticut Export Week, a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Connecticut District Export Council, is an event designed to promote the ‘going global’ initiative, celebrate successful export companies in the state, and provide training sessions and programs throughout the week.
Also this month, House Majority leader Representative Joe Aresimowicz (D) backed a bill called the “Act Encouraging Middle School and High School Students to Consider Careers in Manufacturing.” If passed, the legislation would get manufacturers to work directly with the Commissioner of Education to generate excitement and interest in students hoping for a rewarding career in a growing industry.
The week commenced on March 14 with a breakfast held by Choate Rosemary Hall with special guest Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3rd), who commended Wallingford’s exporters, many of which are manufacturers. “Connecticut exports over $15 billion of products annually,” said DeLauro, “Many of the sales from Wallingford companies are in the tens of millions, supporting hundreds of jobs.” Wallingford currently boasts over 150 exporter companies— quite impressive for a relatively small town with a population of 45,000. Some manufacturers, which were spotlighted during Export Week, include APS Technologies, a company which designs and assembles drilling hardware, and Nucor Steel, who recycle and manufacture a variety of steel products. Wallingford’s public school system is also expanding its curriculum to include courses with a focus on manufacturing and offer-
Aerospace Supplier Opens New Materials and Process Lab In light of the Connecticut Aerospace Reinvestment Act, UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) has announced the opening of a new Materials and Process Engineering (MPE) lab in Windsor Locks. The lab will feature 3D printing technology, which engineers will utilize to craft various aerospace components from plastic and metal. UTAS is a company that manufactures products and provides a host of services for various aircraft and aerospace programs, and their facilities can be found in over 150 locations around the world. UTAS benefits from a state tax credit package that allows the company to use $400 million worth of tax
“Manufacturing is still associated with the famous images of early 20th century factories, but much of today’s manufacturing is no longer what it was during our childhoods. These are the types of jobs we need more of: high quality, stable, family-supporting jobs,” said Aresimowicz.
offsets to be invested in Connecticut’s aerospace industry over a 14 year period. The new $8 million lab is a representation of the advanced technological resources we can expect to see in the years ahead. UTAS is also attracting students interested in the field to the MPE lab; recently, the company partnered with University of Connecticut to establish the materials engineering Center of Excellence, which provides students with the opportunity to gain actual lab experience working alongside engineers at MPE, thus enhancing their professional marketability after graduation. University of Connecticut’s Provost Mun Choi remarked on the collaboration with UTAS after visiting the MPE lab. “We are very excited about the new MPE lab, which will transform the way engineers and scientists will collaborate to produce
UCONN Provost Choi: “MPE Lab will transform.”
innovative solutions using a spectrum of material and manufacturing combinatorial techniques,” said Choi, “The Center of Excellence we’ve established will provide our students with a unique learning experience by working in the lab with UTC Aerospace Systems’ talented engineers.” As part of the agreement, UTAS will also fund research for Materials Science and Engineering and Institute of Materials Science schools, amounting to $1 million over a five year period.
Road Ready Used Cars, has purchased the former Healey Ford properties in downtown Ansonia.
first firehouse in Meriden was last occupied by King Travelways. Press/ Cuozzo was the sole broker and dual agent in the transaction, representing the seller, Firehouse Realty, LLC. The buyer, Art Capsule, LLC, was represented by Anthony Solarino of Press/Cuozzo. The transaction closed at $195,000.
LEASED Jon Angel, President of Southportbased Angel Commercial, L.L.C., signed a long-term lease of 9,566 square feet of industrial space located at 120 Allen Street in Stratford to AutoParts International Inc.
the 340 unit gated community Eaves Trumbull was sold to a division of Marcus & Millichap.
SOLD Marcus & Millichap has arranged the sale of Affordable Self Storage, a 77,760-net-rentable-square-foot selfstorage facility at 162 Bouton St. in Norwalk. The property sold for $19 million or $242 per square foot. O,R&L Commercial, LLC sold an 11,920 square foot industrial/ warehouse building on 111 Kendall Street in New Haven from Louis LaViola. The buyer, Performance Environmental Services, LLC will be converting the property to their new corporate headquarters. They are adding 4,500 square feet for corporate offices and improvements to the warehouse and operations areas. Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a division of Marcus & Millichap purchased Eaves Trumbull, a gated multifamily community consisting of 340 apartment homes from their original developer AvalonBay Communities. The property is located in a private, wooded setting at 100 Avalon Gates, Trumbul. Trevor Davis, CCIM of Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate LLC, participated in the sale of 344 Main St. in Middletown to restaurant company Perk on Main, LLC. This retail/restaurant building was owned by Bun on the Run, LLC and sold for $203,000. Perk on Main will open their third restaurant specializing in crepes. Colonial Realty sold a 17,472 square foot office building located at 303 Linwood Avenue in Fairfield. The purchaser was Melwood Contracting.
Trevor Davis Commercial Real Estate LLC participated in the sale of Commercial Condominium Units 1 & 2 at 415 Killingworth Rd. in Haddam to Dr. Keith Campbell for $200,000. The seller of the 2128 square foot corner office was KDLSC, LLC. Dr. Campbell will move his office there from Saybrook Rd. in Higganum. George Zwally purchased 1-acre of commercial development property in Monroe at 215 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe from George W. Ganim & Josephine Ganim & Monroe Investments, LLC for $585,000. Stephen Hodson of Hodson Commercial represented both parties in this transaction. Ron Saracino, President of Bridgeport-based Road Ready Used Cars, has purchased the former Healey Ford auto dealership properties on the corner of Main Street and Healey Drive in downtown Ansonia. The two, 2-acre corner parcels are across the street from each other and include a 25,380 square foot showroom with repair bays, a 3,627 square foot auto body shop and a 1,859 square foot gas station. The purchase price was $1,525,000. Alan M. Fischer, CCIM, SIOR, of Fischer Real Estate Inc. represented both the seller and the buyer.
Yale University signed a 5-year lease for the entire 8th floor at One Church Street in New Haven. The 11,065 square foot space will be occupied by Dr. Christopher Van Dyke for his Alzheimer’s research. Susan Cascio of Yale University Properties negotiated the lease for Yale and The Proto Group represented the landlord, One Church Street Associates, L.P. Nutmeg State Nutrition, LLC signed a 5-year lease of 3,962 square feet of retail/warehouse space for an outlet store and space dedicated to fulfilling online orders. The lease was valued at $123,000. Dom DeMartino of DeMartino Colony Realty, LLC is the landlord and The Proto Group was the sole broker in the transaction. Colonial Properties, Inc.’s Fred A. Messore, completed two leases totaling 16,000 square feet. Messore represented the Tenant, Gold Medal Bakery, and the landlord, Clarke Properties, in the negotiation of a lease for 14,000 square feet of warehouse space at 155 Hill Street, Milford, a multi-tenanted industrial campus.
The Geenty Group, Realtors, reports the lease of a 1,000square foot unit in a multi-tenanted facility at 2344 Foxon Road, North Branford. The Tenant is Austin Mahon. He will use the unit for storage of his personal equipment. The Property Manager for a significant portion of this multi-tenanted complex is Bob Joy of Joy Real Estate. The landlord is Cooper Partners, LLC. Bill Clark, Senior Vice President at The Geenty Group, was the sole agent for this transaction. Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut, Inc. has located in Quarry Walk – Oxford’s Towne Center located on Route. 67. Market 32 by Price Chopper and Newtown Savings Bank are scheduled to open in June. Located at 274 Oxford Rd., the new 12,000 square foot Goodwill Retail Center is anticipated to open later this summer. Acording to the company, “in keeping with the feel and theme of Quarry Walk, the Goodwill site will have crafted stone walls along Rte. 67.” Cushman & Wakefield has arranged a long-term lease for Coyne, Von Kuhn, Brady & Fries, L.L.C. at 4 Armstrong Road, shelton. The law firm, which has operated out of Stratford for the past 15 years, will relocate to its new, 3,955 square foot headquarters this spring. Michael Dillon, Kevin Foley and William Mercorella represented the landlord, Rugby Realty Co., Inc., in the transaction. Bruce Wettenstein, SIOR of Vidal/Wettenstein represented the tenant.
PEOPLE John Wareck and Frank D’Ostilio, Jr., partners of Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate appointed Karen Kline to the company as the Director for the New Homes Division. Kline has been a professional realtor since 1998 and specializes in managing new home subdivisions, active adult communities, mid-rise and high-rise buildings.
Stephen Press, SIOR, co-principal of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services, has completed the sale of the historic Charter Oak Firehouse located at 105 Hanover Stret, Meriden. The two-story, 3,762 s/f brick building with Romanesque styling features a four-story tower. Built in 1876 and totally renovated in the 1990s, the
Founded in 1912, Gold Medal operates throughout the Northeast and is one of the largest independently owned bakeries in the country. They are relocating their Connecticut shipping and distribution operation from West Haven, where Colonial also collaborated on the sale of their building at 958-978 Boston Post Road.
The historic Charter Oak Firehouse in Meriden sold for $195,000.
Hospital executives maintain that a 4% profit margin is required for a system’s sustainability.
State Continues Sparring Match With Hospitals The Battles Rage On
By Rachel Bergman tate Representative for Windham, Susan Johnson (D) has proposed a new way to get hospitals to contribute to city coffers a bill proposing that any non-profit hospital paying a CEO north of $500,000 per year in salary would be subject to paying municipal property taxes.
According to a recent study completed by financial and accounting firm BDO, compensation for healthcare executives was up 8% for 2014, making healthcare third in growth across eight sectors (only behind energy and retail) with current assessments showing a continued trend for 2015. As State government attempts to cap breaks, reimbursements, and subsidies for hospitals in Connecticut. Several legislators and many consumers have charged that salaries of hospital CEOs are too high. Financial reports for Connecticut’s healthcare systems show that all are in the black, even after paying the hospital tax. Hospital executives argue that profit margins are used to upgrade technology, improve care and services, increase levels of service, pay off debt and make needed repairs and conduct ongoing maintenance to facilities and the current hospital tax is a burden. A non-profit hospital doesn’t pay out profits to shareholders, profits are reinvested and hospital executives maintain that a 4% profit margin is required for a system’s sustainability, and only one system has achieved that: Yale, which also includes Bridgeport and Greenwich hospitals. Yale-New Haven Health reported a 4.5% profit margin last year. Bill 5174, An Act Concerning Salaries for Nonprofit Hospital Administrators, states that “Tax payers on the federal, state and local level have provided subsidies to hospitals by eliminating federal, state and local taxes. If the hospital board chooses to pay its administrators salaries in the millions of dollars they can also afford to pay the state and local taxes. Most hospitals are located in cash strapped urban communities with a property tax bill that is much higher than their surrounding communities. To make urban low and middle income people carry the burden of making up the difference because hospitals with resources don’t pay property taxes creates an unfair burden on these communities.” Additionally, a February executive order by Governor Dannel Malloy placed a hold on hospital mergers, citing fears that mergers create an environment that drives up medical costs and the need to reevaluate regulations and laws governing mergers, changes in services and acquisitions. Mergers and acquisitions among health systems have long been seen as a way for providers to weather the hardships of the Affordable Care Act and shrinking government reimbursements Some consumer groups argue that mergers and the acquisition of physicians’ groups that have been tied to higher prices. Malloy’s order has effectively put on hold a proposed affiliation between Lawrence+Memorial Hospital of Hartford and the Yale-New Haven healthcare system. Alternatively, Senate Bill 49 is proposing that Connecticut’s six smaller independent hospitals be exempt from paying the hospital tax at all. This pool includes Day-Kimball, Bristol, Griffin, Charlotte Hungerford, Johnson and Milford Hospitals, which, along with the larger healthcare systems, have paid a hospital tax to the State that was instituted in 2012. The state hospital tax was instituted to take advantage of a federal benefit providing money to states that collect money from hospitals and healthcare systems. Some of the hospital tax is refunded to hospitals, but typically not as much as they pay in.
The Mosquitoes Are Coming! Zika Virus Lands In Connecticut With 1 Confirmed Case
Connecticut’s Department of Public Health (DPH) recently confirmed the state’s first confirmed case of the Zika virus in a patient who traveled to a Zika-affected area and then returned home. In late February, the Department of Public Health made Zika a reportable disease and the state laboratory began testing for the virus. The Zika Virus has been linked to birth defects in infected pregnant women
and has been confirmed in 34 states and Washington, DC. Of the 273 confirmed U.S. cases, none were locally acquired and all were travel-related with 6 reported as sexually-transmitted. The mosquito said to transmit the disease is not a species local to the State, but rather a type found in tropical regions of the world. Still, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station plans
YNH Children’s Hospital Receives Quality Award Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH) was recently declared the overall winner of the 2015 Pediatric Quality Award for a quality improvement project that reduced the number of days infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) were hospitalized. Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a term for a group of problems a baby experiences when withdrawing from exposure to narcotics during pregnancy. When a mother continues to use narcotics and the baby subsequently becomes addicted, the newborn will present symptoms of withdrawal at birth when the narcotics are no longer available. Dr. Matthew Grossman, attending physician, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital explained, “A mother using drugs may be less likely to seek prenatal care, which can Dr. Grossman increase the risks for her and her baby. treating mothers In addition, women and babies of opioid abuse who use drugs are more likely to use more than one drug, which can complicate the treatment. The risk of contracting HIV and AIDS is also greater among intravenous (IV) drug users.” Typically, these patients are provided with morphine treatment and lengthy hospital stays, but with Yale’s approach of early intervention and treatment, hospital stays and pharmacological treatment has been reduced dramatically since 2011 by identifying non-medical intervention opportunities. As opioid use is on the rise across the country, improving outcomes for babies affected has become an important undertaking. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, NAS increased 5-fold from 2000-2012.
to monitor the state’s mosquito population as there is concern that imported cases of the virus could lead to local spread. Additional mosquito management will focus on any area of the state that has previously seen the type of mosquito linked to transmission of the disease. According to the DPH, “the most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. However, one in five cases will show no symptoms. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Infection is thought to provide lifelong immunity.”
Center Seeks “Responsible LGBT Care” Community Health Center, Inc., based in Middletown, is one of the largest primary care providers in the State, with a large population of uninsured patients.
Masselli: “transforming practices for LGBT patients
In a new initiative Project ECHO, launched through The Weitzman Institute, the research arm of CHC, medical professionals will attempt to “improve health outcomes for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people by expanding the availability of culturally responsible, comprehensive primary care through awareness, education and knowledge sharing.” “Mark Masselli, President/CEO of Community Health Center, said “health centers around the U.S. are transforming their practices to create a welcoming medical home for LGBT patients.” The LGBT population presents unique needs like HIV prevention and care; comprehensive health history; conceiving and raising families and behavioral health. According to survey results released by a Grindr, a dating app for the gay community, many users reported negative experiences with medical providers when asking for things like PrEP drugs, a drug shown to be effective in preventing transmission of the HIV virus. In conjunction with Boston’s Fenway Institute, Project ECHO will provide training, information and a full curriculum of educational support to primary health providers seeking “specific recommendations to better address the medical and behavioral challenges related to LGBT patient care.” The project operates at no cost to participating providers from community health centers.
WHO’S WHAT WHERE grees: one in journalism at Southern Connecticut State University and one in Computer Science from Kaplan University.
Kuzma Marta Kuzma, vice chancellor and rector of the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, Sweden will be the next dean of The Yale School of Art. Kuzma will be the first woman to lead the School of Art, which opened in 1869 as the nation’s first art school connected with an institution of higher learning. Kuzma has over 25 years of experience in leading international institutions of contemporary art as a curator, writer, and academic. The New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) elected Jennifer Morgan DelMonico, Managing Partner of Murtha Cullina LLP, to the Board of Directors. DelMonico is a trial lawyer for defendants in product liability cases and parties in intellectual property and complex litigation matters. DelMonico received her undergraduate degree in Music Performance from Northwestern University.
DelMonico Alan Olenick will take over as the new director of the West Haven Chamber of Commerce. Olenick has been involved with the Chamber since 1998, serving as a member of the Board of Directors. He will oversee nearly 200 members of the Chamber. He is a long-time resident of West Haven and received has two bachelor’s deMARCH 2016
Ingi-Mai Loorand was appointed as principal with the New Haven firm Neubert, Pepe & Monteith, P.C. Loorand joins the firm’s Taxation, Trusts & Estates practice group. Attorney Loorand earned her J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law, an M.A. in World Music from Wesleyan University, and a B.A. from State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Loorand Ion Bank of Naugatuck has awarded their top annual customer service commendation to Wayne Work, Web Developer. The Bank’s SARF Award (Safety & Security, Accuracy, Responsiveness and Friendly, Personalized Service) is given every quarter to the employee who best exemplifies the Bank’s service standards. Work has been with Ion for only 17 months and is a volunteer coach for the Peter J. Foley Baseball league. S/L/A/M Construction Services (SLAM CS) appointed Robert Daddona, Jr. as Director of Business Development. Daddona will be responsible for the leadership of the SLAM CS marketing team, developing new business opportunities and enhancing engagements with existing clients. Cathy L. Bromberg has been named the new Director of Development for The Westport Arts Center. Bromberg has over ten years of fundraising and strategic planning experience and most recently served as the
Director of Development for Stamford’s Palace Theater.
Bromberg Absolute Logic in Wilton, Conn. appointed Lars Andersson of New Canaan to the position of Business Development Manager. They are a firm providing technical support and technology consulting to Connecticut and New York businesses since 1991. Andersson was the former owner of the Norwalk IT firm, Cloud 9 IT, which Absolute Logic acquired last month. The Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century (CT21), has named Scott Bates of Stonington as its new executive director. CT21 was founded in 1999 to recommend non-partisan, data-driven policy solutions to government leaders. Bates recently served as President of The Center for National Policy in Washington, D.C. In March, he was appointed to the recently constituted Connecticut Port Authority and elected as its chairman. Lula White of New Haven received the Thurgood Marhshall Award from the Quinnipiac University Black Law Students Association. Each year, the BLSA recognizes an outstanding person in law, education or politics that exemplifies Marshall’s dedication to improving society through the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights. White, a civil rights activist and educator, has participated in and held leadership roles for many organizations, including the New Haven Federation of Teachers. She was also a former Freedom Rider during the civil rights movement.
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MARKETING Buyers Personas: Knowing Your Potential Customers
Connecticut Weighs In On Fantasy Sports Regulations
By Ali Parmelee and Lauren Miller
f you’re marketing— especially inbound marketing—then you’ve probably heard of buyer personas. But, do you really know what they are and why they’re an essential part of your marketing strategy? And, most importantly, have you created your own yet? Before you throw your hands up in the air in frustration and defeat, read on for some ‘Buyer Personas 101.’ Buyer personas. What are they again? Simply put, they are who you imagine when you think of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better, and make it easier for you to tailor marketing content to the specific needs, behaviors and concerns of different groups. The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.). You could have as few as one or two buyer personas, or as many as 10 or 20, based on your business, marketing budget and goals. If you already know the basics of inbound marketing, you know that you don’t want just any traffic to your site—you want the right traffic. You want the people who are most likely to become leads, and, ultimately, happy customers. Who are the “right” people? Your buyer personas! At the most basic level, buyer personas allow you to personalize and target your marketing to different segments of your audience. For example, instead of sending the exact same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database, you can segment by buyer persona and tailor your messaging according to what you know about each of those different personas. This is especially important for prospects on what is referred to as the Buyer’s Journey. Made up of three stages—Awareness, Consideration, and Decision—the Buyer’s Journey is based on the fact that today’s consumers are online and more informed than ever, which puts them on a track to make an educated decision on their purchase before they even contact you. The Buyer’s Journey is essentially doing a ton of Internet research before making a purchase—and we’ve all been there before. During the Awareness stage of the Buyer’s Journey, prospective customers are merely experiencing the symptoms of a problem and trying to put a name to it. When they move into the Consideration stage, these same prospective customers are starting to research potential solutions to their problem. Finally, in the Decision stage of the Buyer’s Journey, the prospects are vetting specific approaches to the problem (i.e. companies, products) in the hopes of landing on the most appealing option (i.e. hopefully, you!). Targeting prospects on each stage of the Buyer’s Journey is a crucial step to converting them into customers. So, how will you know what customers are thinking during each stage of the Buyer’s Journey so you can target them correctly? By creating buyer personas, of course. When creating buyer personas, set aside a good amount of time with your team to take a deep dive into the lives of your customers. Bring along any research you’ve gathered and brainstorm everything from background and demographics to goals and pain points for each potential customer. You really need to put yourself in their shoes and look at your product or service from their perspective. It might be tough to take a cold, hard look at your business, but this process is a crucial first step to getting more leads and converting these leads into customers. The best personas get to the very heart of why—or, perhaps more importantly, why not—this person would purchase your product or service. Logistically, the process is as easy as finding a good template, plugging in the info that you’ve already pulled together, selecting a stock photo to give your “buyer” visual representation and creating a clever, alliterative name (Hi, Sample Sally!). For a complimentary buyer persona template, visit bit.ly/thinkpersonas. Parmelee and Miller are with Think Creative in New Haven.
At the most basic level, buyer personas allow you to personalize your marketing
Following Virginia’s landmark passing of the “Fantasy Contests Act” this month, Connecticut lawmakers are now approaching a decision on how to regulate online fantasy sports betting. Legislating standards for gameplay would ensure the financial security of players who buy into contests hosted by websites such as FanDuel and DraftKings. These popular websites have undergone scrutiny for allegedly allowing their own employees to partake in matchups, thus giving them unfair advantage over outside participants who did not
have access to the same information. Along with Virginia, Connecticut’s legislative committee has also reached a consensus that defined fantasy sports betting as a contest of skill, requiring strategy and research. So far, eleven states maintain that the activity is a form of gambling. If the proposed bill is made effective, the website companies would acquiesce to regularly scheduled audits and an initial registration charge of $50,000 dollars. It would also provide the state an opportunity to tax the site’s revenue.
Energizer Not Hoppy About Duracell’s Use of Tireless Mascot
began cropping up on Duracell’s products in the U.S. marketplace. Duracell, headquartered in Bethel, was the first to conceptualize the pink bunny in a campaign launched in 1973. Energizer developed their own accessorized version and won a trademark patent in 1989. It was eventually decided that Duracell’s appropriation of the character would not be permitted for sale in North American retailers. The recent packaging which featured the Duracell Bunny was purportedly intended for distribution overseas. However, Energizer contends that this oversight was an act of willful negligence and a continuation of Duracell’s history of “deceptive trade practices.”
In a feud that keeps going and going, Energizer [NYSE: ENR] filed a lawsuit last month when the iconic pink bunny
Bill to Restrict Dose of DTC Drug Ads
n what is being called the Responsibility in Drug Advertising Act, Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT 3rd District) is seeking a three-year moratorium on advertising for freshly approved prescription drugs. DeLauro maintains that flashy, expensive ads often mislead consumers . “At the end of the day, we should allow informed medical professionals, not advertising executives, to guide our healthcare spending,” said DeLauro. The bill was met with dissent from the advertising industry, The Association of National Advertiser’s top lobbyist Dan Jaffe in a statement released to Advertising Age, claimed “cutting people off from truthful, valuable and lifesaving information is not only deceptive but unconstitutional.” Drugs spending continues to increase, it is up 13% in the past year to $374 billion.
Gilead Pharmaceuticals with a research facility in Branford spent $100 million advertising the Hepatitis C Drug Harvoni in 2015 According to the health research web site STAT, advertising spending for prescription drugs reached $5.2 billion, up 60% in the past four years. DeLauro’s bill tracks presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who last year voiced her Plan for Lowering Drug Costs on the campaign trail. Clinton’s proposal involves doing away with corporate adver tising write-offs, which she says will result in an increase in research and development.
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