$1.50 SMALL BUSINESS
BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR
Business & Civic Awards 2014
Big Bank/Small Bank Loan Gap Smaller banks approve three times more applications than their larger peers By Michael C. Bingham If you own a small business and hope to get bank financing to reach your big dreams, the best advice may be to think small. The latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, based on January 2014 figures, revealed that nationally big bank and small bank lending
approval rates increased to an all-time Index high between 2011 and 2014. Small-business loan approval rates at big banks (defined as $10 billion-plus in assets) increased to a new high of 17.8 percent in January, up Continued on page 8
With projects that may transform downtown New Haven — just as his father did a half-century ago — Bob Landino is the man with the golden touch
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Photo: Jim Anderson
Companies We’ve Moved! Turner Construction Company 50 Waterview Drive - Ste. 220 Shelton, CT 06484 203.712.6070
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We congratulate Dr. Thomas Lynch for being selected as Innovator of the Year!
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Taking care of business. It takes drive, determination and dedication to get to the top. That’s why we’re proud to salute Business New Haven’s Business and Civic Award winners. Your vision and leadership improve the quality of life in our community.
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SMALL-BUSINESSPERSON OF THE YEAR
The Spirit of Success
MATT MURPHY, PRESIDENT MURPHY DISTRIBUTORS
How Matt Murphy leveraged his precocious knowledge of liquid assets into a thriving distributorship
By Thomas R. Violante
att Murphy is not at all what you would expect of someone who is a veteran in the wine, beer and spirits distribution business.
At the still-tender age of 30, he has already traveled extensively and lived in South American countries where he learned the infinite intricacies of wine and the art of its creation. He exudes such a passion and enthusiasm for his business that it’s contagious, making his listeners (and this reporter) eager to learn more about how wine is made, where it comes from and the many varieties available worldwide. And Murphy possesses that knowledge, having begun his oenophilic exploration shortly after graduation from college. “It was almost a domino effect,” says Murphy, who earned a BS from the University of Arizona in a triple major he designed for himself: Spanish, political science and international politics. “I had moved to Argentina when I was 22 and finished up college there. I had friends in the restaurant business in Buenos Aires. Wine is huge in Argentina, it being part of their culture. I was in the midst of this food-and-wine culture and it ignited a passion in me. From that I gained some contacts and moved to Brazil two years later.” Murphy helped a friend open a wine importing company in Brazil, where previously, there really hadn’t been much of a wine culture. “We started importing Argentine wine and really just tried to get people to drink it,” recounts Murphy, who was born in New Haven and was graduated from Branford High School. “We established a culture of wine-drinking and imported and sold wine. I did that for a year. Then it came down to either staying there or moving back up to Connecticut and starting a business here. My family is here in Connecticut and New York, so it was one of those crossroads in life.” In 2008, Murphy founded his original company, Do Valle (pronounced du vashay, a hybrid Portuguese and Spanish word), and was operational by 2009, after havContinued on page 21
Murphy: “It ignited a passion in me”.
Photo: Tom Violante
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Business New Haven Business & Civic Awards
Lately it’s fashionable (and highly marketable) for media outlets to create lists of “the best” — “Best of Pittsburgh,” “Best of Sioux Falls,” “Best of New Haven,” “Best Pizza,” “Best Burger” — the list of lists is endless. All in the service of attracting audiences and (it is hoped) currying favor with potential advertisers flattered to be included on such lists of “bests.” Business New Haven’s annual Business & Civic Awards issue takes a different approach. By now, we’re sure that’s of little surprise to our readers. For 18 of our 21 years of publishing this journal, we’ve been recognizing outstanding accomplishments in the commercial arena of greater New Haven.
Businessperson of the Year
RICHARD KENNEDY, JR DART MESSICK Kennedy & Perkins
WHO’S WHAT, WHERE
The businessmen and women we’ve honored over that span never cease to surprise us — and no doubt many of you — with their efforts and their accomplishments. As you’ll see again this year, members of the 2014 class of fan favorites have staked their place in the greater New Haven pantheon of business, as John Houseman used to say in Smith Barney TV commercials, “the oldfashioned way: They earned it.”
Citizen of the Year
Small-Businessperson of the Year
MATT MURPHY Murphy Distributors
Innovator of the Year
Achievement. Citizenship. Initiative. Persistence. Innovation. These are the hallmarks of success in business, in life, in community — and particularly in this special community of greater New Haven.
THOMAS J. LYNCH JR Smilow Cancer Center
Minority Businesspersons of the Year
In 2014 we recognize a family that has endured more than 50 years of business trials, an individual innovator that is leading us all forward, a citizen that puts us before herself, a pair of minority businesspeople who remind us that the American dream belongs to us all, a very small company that is on its way to making it big — and a very large company whose people put more than dollars into their community. Oh, yes, and of course a Businessperson of the Year who has a made career of making Connecticut a better place.
ABELARDO KING NORMA RODRIGUEZ-REYES LaVoz Newspaper
WELLS FARGO We congratulate Dr. Thomas Lynch for being selected as Innovator of the Year!
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We hope you’ll join us in recognizing and celebrating their accomplishments in the pages that follow.
Park City’s War on Kids
We’ve Moved! Turner Construction Company 50 Waterview Drive - Ste. 220 Shelton, CT 06484 203.712.6070
Bridgeport’s Board of Education is making national news for its policies. And not in a good way. On March 10 the board voted 6-2 to ask for a moratorium on the establishment of any more state-funded charter schools (note the words “state-funded”). The Park City is currently home to four of the state’s 18 charter schools — publicly funded schools that operate independently of local educrats and the teachers unions that are their puppeteers. A March 11 article in the Wall Street Journal holds the Park City up to the national scorn and approbation it so richly deserves. The article points out that charter schools are often the only decent education option for the inner-city poor, which is why the charter wait list in Bridgeport contains more than 1,100 names. Students in the city’s existing charters outperform their peers in traditional public schools — no one argues that.
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Vol XX, No.7 March 2014
Publisher Mitchell Young
Michael C. Bingham
Gina Gazvoda Robin Ungaro Gordon Weingarth
Advertising Manager Mary W. Beard
But rather than easing the way for expansion of these successful models, opponents want to snuff them out.
Senior Publisher’s Representative
In three of Bridgeport’s four charters schools, teachers aren’t unionized, and none of the charters is beholden to the work rules in place at the city’s poorly performing city public schools. That politicians would sell out its children is not shocking. That parents of schoolchildren and voters would allow this behavior by the Board of Ed and the city administration to go unpunished is beyond shocking. BNH
Mimi Friedman Jessica Giannone Felicia Hunter John Mordecai Melissa Nicefaro Kathryn roy Priscilla Searles Karen Singer Tom Violante
Photography Jim Anderson Steve Blazo Tom Violante
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Calling All Over-40 Females
Retirement Plan Creates Controversy \Business groups opposed state-run IRAs for private firms HARTFORD — The Senate and House majority leaders are pushing legislation that would create a state-run retirement program for private-sector employees over the opposition of insurers and private investment advisers.
said. “That’s why I think a payroll deduction component of this is critical.” Aresimowicz said the average Social Security benefit in Connecticut is about $15,000. Too many residents have no retirement plan other than Social Security, a program created in 1935, when the average life expectancy was 62.
On March 11 Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney of New Haven and House Majority Leader Joseph Aresimowicz of Berlin urged passage of legislation that would make Connecticut the second state after California to offer a state retirement trust program.
“Our senior population is going to be doubling within the next 10 years, and we’re going to continue to have to provide services for these folks,” he said.
The two Democratic leaders acknowledged that California has yet to resolve key questions about its program, including whether it would enjoy the same tax advantages to savers as 401(k) or individual retirement accounts. The goal is to offer a low-cost retirement savings program that could be offered as a payroll deduction plan to Connecticut workers who lack access to retirement programs through their jobs. “One of the things we’ve seen, unless there are payroll deduction plans offered, the level of participation is very low,” Looney
AARP says more than 600,000 workers in Connecticut have no access to a retirement plan. For those 65 and older, Social Security accounts for 87 percent of total income for low-income households and 70 percent of middle-income households. Looney and Aresimowicz could not precisely predict what the program would cost the state. The goal is a program the state could run for administrative fees of no more than 1 percent. “What we’re saying is let the state of Connecticut provide this product,” Aresimowicz said.
Looney said the program would be self-sustaining and low-risk with a moderate rate of return likely tied to the 30-year Treasury bond rate. Treasurer Denise Nappier and Comptroller Kevin Lembo have endorsed the concept, but the bill is opposed by the Middlesex and Windham chambers of commerce, the Insurance Association of Connecticut and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. The legislation would put the state in competition with private savings plans, and businesses say that administering a payroll deduction system would impose a cost on them. “Connecticut already places many mandates on its businesses,” Charles Firlotte, president of the Aquarion Water Co., said in testimony submitted to the Labor and Public Employees Committee. – Mark Pazniokas This story originally appeared on CTMirror. com, where the full text can be read.
NEW HAVEN — The business and networking group Over 40 Females is starting a New Haven County chapter. The group officially launches March 18 with a 7-to-9 p.m. shindig at Madden’s Gastropub, 175 Humphrey Street in New Haven. Over 40 Females founder Judy Goss will be on hand to tell how she has built a thriving networking community specific to the needs of over-40 female professionals. The guest of honor will be Mayor Toni Harp, the first distaff chief executive in the Elm City’s 376-year history. The New Haven county chapter will be headed by Becki Pastor. There is no charge to attend the kickoff, but an RSVP is a must. Visit over40females/chapter/connecticut/new-haven-county or email@example.com.
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Malloy Seeks E-Cig Ban for Minors
Residential Sales Post January Increase Nine consecutive months of home-sales hikes for state
HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wants to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors in Connecticut. Introduced March 11, Senate Bill 24 would also set fines for violations: up to $200 for the first offense, up to $350 for the second within 24 hours, and up to $500 for any further violation within 24 hours of the first offense. Electronic cigarettes are not currently regulated in Connecticut. “Connecticut should join the 27 states that have already prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes and other related devices to minors to continue our progress towards achieving long-term reductions in tobacco use and tobaccorelated illnesses,” Malloy said in a statement. “More than 75 percent of young people who have tried e-cigarettes also report smoking conventional cigarettes. This legislation will strengthen our prevention efforts and help reduce tobacco use among young people.”
Single-family home sales in Connecticut rose 2.0 percent in January, according to a new report from the Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record. This marks nine consecutive months of home sale increases in the Nutmeg State. There were 1,435 single-family homes sold in the month of January, up from 1,402 in January 2013. More home sales were recorded this month than any other January since 2009. “The modest increase in single-family homes sales for January is smaller than the 6.0 percent increase that was recorded for the full year of 2013,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of the Warren Group. “We expect to see bigger gains once the spring market gets in full swing. I think there is pent-up demand that will drive home sales upward.” The median price for Connecticut single-family homes sold in January was reported at $230,000, unchanged from January 2013.
“Median prices have remained flat on a year-over-year basis for three months in a row now,” Warren said. “Higher interest rates may be holding down recent price increases. In 2013 median prices rose 8.3 percent.” Condominium sales in January fell by 7.0 percent with 387 recorded sales, down from 417 in January 2013.
Condo median prices also fell slightly in January. The median price decreased by less than half a percentage to $162,500 compared with $163,000 in January 2013. For additional information visit thewarrengroup.com.
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Health Insurance for Small Business Contact your agent for a quote or call CBIA at 860.244.1900 cbia.com/insurance
CII Marks Milestone $1 million-plus committed to technology startups ROCKY HILL — Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII), the state’s quasi-public technology investment arm, has announced new investment commitments totaling $1.05 million through its Pre-Seed Fund to seven startup ventures focused on innovations in bioscience, information technology, financial technology and medical devices. The new commitments make CII the sixth most active early-stage investor nationwide.
Insurers Shun Subsidized Housing HARTFORD — Insurance companies that refuse to underwrite policies for subsidized housing or impose a surcharge for such a policy are breaking the law, warns the Connecticut Fair Housing Center. Nevertheless, a number of insurance providers continue to discriminate, the center reports. In a recent release, the center noted that it continues to hear from landlords who encounter discriminatory insurance policies when seeking to gain coverage for
subsidized housing for which residents may use vouchers. One such landlord was New Haven resident Marco Francia, who acquires apartment buildings in distressed neighborhoods and rehabilitates them. According to the center, Francia tried to obtain liability insurance for such a property, but the insurance company selected rejected his application because the property’s tenants used Section 8, federally subsidized housing vouchers. He submitted his application again. It was
accepted, but a surcharge was imposed. In addition, he has to assure the insurer that a maximum of only 20 percent of his tenants would have vouchers. Despite the Connecticut Superior Court’s ruling that the state’s Human Rights and Opportunities Act’s stance against housing discrimination applies to liability insurance and landlords, the center still receives complaints, it says. It urges anyone who has had such an experience to call 888-247-4401.
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“These new investments through our Pre-Seed Fund mark a significant fund milestone,” said CII CEO Claire Leonardi. “We have now invested in more than 50 companies through the fund since its launch in 2010. “Additionally, we’re excited about being recognized nationally among the top ten most active seed/angel investors,” she added. “With these recent pre-seed investments, we are building CII’s, and Connecticut’s, pipeline of promising, young businesses .” In this latest funding round CII has pledged up to $150,000 to seven startups, three in greater New Haven. GlyGenix Therapeutics Inc. of Woodbridge is focused on developing cures for metabolic disorders caused by genetic mutations. The company will use CII’s funding to continue research and development on its lead drug candidate, AAV-G6Pase, for the treatment of glycogen storage disease type 1a (GSD1a). Individuals who have this disease become hypoglycemic unless continually fed. AAVG6Pase has received orphan drug designation from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which gives the drug exclusivity in the marketplace for seven years following FDA approval of the drug.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, maintaining the status quo could leave you far behind— unless you have the right connections.
Madison’s Inbox Health, LLC is developing software that simplifies doctor-patient communication, with an initial focus on digital bill delivery and acceptance of payments online. nces Inc. of Branford is developing portable instruments and methods for use in molecular diagnostics. Its first product, which is being developed with assistance from CII’s investment, will be a point-of-care, DNA-based molecular diagnostic instrument for use in active pulmonary tuberculosis diagnosis. Physicians and other health-care professionals will be able to take sputum samples from patients in clinical settings, load them into the instrument and receive diagnostic results in under an hour.
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YNHH Named a Top Non-Profit for Executive Women National group cites hospital’s benefits, flexibility NEW HAVEN — Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) has been named to the 2014 “NAFE Ten Nonprofits for Executive Women” list by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE). One of the country’s largest associations for women professionals and business owners, NAFE provides resources – through education, networking and public advocacy – to empower its members to achieve both career and personal success. The list recognizes organizations whose policies and practices encourage women’s advancement and whose numbers at the highest levels of leadership demonstrate that commitment.
Congratulations MATT MURPHY
President, Murphy Distributors
Small Businessperson www.baileymurphycpa.com of the Year Branford, Connecticut
Bailey Murphy & Scarano, LLC
Well Done Matt! (203) 208-0572
“Yale-New Haven Hospital is and always has been committed to workplace equality. It is just one of the ways Yale-New Haven distinguishes itself as an employer of choice,” said Marna P. Borgstrom, the hospital’s chief executive officer. “We’re honored to be recognized by NAFE for
BANKS Continued from page 1
from 17.6 percent in December 2013, according to the Index, a monthly analysis of 1,000 loan applications on Biz2Credit.com. In a year-to-year comparison, lending approval rates at big banks have increased more than 15 percent. However, over the same period, smallbusiness loan approvals at small banks reached a new benchmark of 50.9 percent in January, up from 48.7 percent in the previous month. Lending approval rates at small banks are up by two percent in a year-to-year comparison.
something that we regard as integral to who we are and what we do.” YNHH notes that it has been recognized as an employer of choice nationwide, offering many benefits and programs to help not only female employees, but all employees meet work-life demands, such as internal advancement, tuition reimbursement, dependent tuition, employee health and wellness programs, and a unique performance incentive plan which allows employees to share in the hospital’s financial success. Hospital management has found that offering flexible work arrangements — such as telecommuting, part-time and casual status, compressed workweeks, job sharing and an on-site day care for hospital employees — are particularly appealing to older workers and also attractive to new applicants and women interested in returning to the workforce following childbirth. NAFE will honor each of the top companies at a gala luncheon in New York City on April 3.
in SBA lending accounts for the rise in approval rates at small banks, which rely heavily on the SBA Express program (loans less than $350,000) and SBA 7(a) program (loans between $350,000 and $5 million).” In Connecticut specifically, big bank approval rates of small business loans in January stood at 14.6 percent — a rate about 22 percent below the national average — while small bank approval rates were 50.5 percent. Among other categories of lending institutions, credit unions approved 42.1 percent of funding requests from entrepreneurs. Alternative (non-bank) lenders, such as cash advance companies, microlenders and others, granted 67.4 percent of funding requests, however, the interest rates they charge typically are much higher than those of banks and credit unions.
Bailey Murphy & Scarano, LLC Bailey Murphy & Scarano, LLC Branford, Connecticut www.baileymurphycpa.com (203) 208-0572 Branford, Connecticut www.baileymurphycpa.com (203) 208-0572 That means that on a nationwide basis small-business borrowers are about three times more likely to get a green light on a loan application from a small bank than from a big one.
In the small-business sector, “SBA lending has picked up considerably over the last month,” said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, who oversaw the research. “The increase in popularity over the last month
To view the historic chart of the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, visit biz2credit.com/small-businesslending-index/january-2014.html.
BANKING & FINANCE
Credit Conditions Down From Recent Highs Credit picture still not near 2007 levels by almost a two-to-one margin, indicating that credit conditions are still likely to be challenging for many firms as they move through the year.
HARTFORD — Credit conditions in Connecticut eroded slightly during the fourth quarter of 2013 after reaching high levels earlier in the year, according to the fourth quarter 2013 Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA)/Farmington Bank Credit Availability Survey
“It’s a little disappointing to see the fourth-quarter credit readings slip a bit when we’ve had other positive signs that the Connecticut economy is rebounding,” said Don Klepper-Smith, chief economist and director of research at DataCore Partners in New Haven
Overall, the credit picture is slightly better than one year ago but still has a way to go to reach the record levels attained back in 2007, before the economic recession “While conditions are not ideal, the credit spigot is open for businesses,” said CBIA economist and vice president Peter Gioia. “Together with low interest rates, conditions can continue to support growth.” The Farmington Bank Credit Availability Index (FBCAI) recorded the fourth quarter index level at 38.8, down from the third quarter index figure of 51.4. On a positive note, the fourth quarter reading also represents a 29-percent increase from the level recorded one year ago.
Only 17 percent of respondents rated conditions as either good or excellent, while 53 percent rated them average.
CBIA’s Goia: “The credit spigot is open for businesses.”
Farmington Bank’s Patrick: “Banks like ours are ready to lend.”
“From the credit surveys, we’ve seen significant improvement year after year,” said John Patrick, president and CEO of Farmington Bank. “Banks like ours are ready to lend to commercial businesses in Connecticut.”
The FBCAI’s future expectations component, which measures credit availability three to six months from now, stood at an index level of 40.9, down 20 percent from last quarter’s reading of 51.0.
In addition, when asked how they would use credit if available, almost half (46 percent) stated they would invest in new plant and equipment. Another 19 percent said that they would use new capital to maintain their current workforce. The Fourth Quarter 2013 CBIA/ Farmington Bank Credit Availability Survey was emailed to approximately 1,900 Connecticut businesses in January.
Negative opinions about future credit conditions outweighed positive opinions
For 25 years, you have been a leader in the development, construction and green energy fields. Congratulations, Bob, on being recognized as the 2014 Business Person of the Year. www.pullcom.com
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Lindy Gold On being recognized as
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The state’s Department of Transportation announced that the $10 million upgrade of the power supply for Metro-North’s New Haven Line has been completed, giving full back-up power redundancy for the eastand westbound lines. “This project was designed to prevent the type of catastrophic power failure that occurred last fall in Mount Vernon, N.Y., seriously disrupting New Haven Line service,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in a statement. “In addition, it will allow us to add more service on the New Haven Line as we move forward.” Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) installed new transformers to replace four aging transformers at Cos Cob (in Greenwich) to ensure reliability and safe operation of the electric supply that keeps New Haven Line trains moving. The project nearly doubles the capacity of the two west transformers from 16 megawatts to 30 megawatts, matching the capacity of the two east transformers that were previously replaced. This increases the power supply for trains and implements redundant power for this portion of the New Haven Line.
Museum Explores Innovation
HBA 2011 Builder of the Year
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Congratulations to Businessperson of the Year ROBERT LANDINO Exceeding expectations with every relationship by making client satisfaction our primary focus. 888-227-2677 Ext. 3309 Toll-Free 860-533-2522 Direct Dial Brian.Liistro@LICOGROUP.com
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BRIDGEPORT — The Discovery Museum has organized a new exhibition that highlights the state’s rich industrial history. Sponsored by Pitney Bowes, Connecticut Inventions & Innovations showcases elements of the state’s industrial heritage, including photos of factory workers and high-wheeled bicycles. The exhibition also features examples of early commercial innovation and women’s contributions to Connecticut businesses. Located at 4450 Park Avenue, the Discovery Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Monday. Visit discoverymuseum.org.
OSHA Cites Cheshire Firm CHESHIRE — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration has cited Artbeats Inc. for “repeat and serious” violations of workplace safety standards at its Cheshire facility. The company, which manufactures reproductions of prints and paintings, faces $56,430 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA’s Bridgeport office in December in response to a worker complaint. Inspectors found several hazards similar to those cited in June 2010 at the company’s Waterbury facility. These hazards include failing to provide a program to ensure workers are trained to power down and lockout industrial saws prior to conducting maintenance; provide a chemical hazard communication program and training on the risks and safeguards associated with chemicals, such as paints and gels; and pre-
vent usage of unapproved electrical equipment in areas that generate and accumulate combustible wood dust. The conditions resulted in the issuance of eight repeat citations, with $53,460 in proposed fines.
ADA Seminar Slated NEW HAVEN — The New Haven Free Public Library will host a March 19 seminar for small businesses and non-profits seeking to navigate the complexities of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Let by attorney Michelle Duprey, director of the Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities for the city of New Haven, ADA Compliance for Small Businesses and Non-Profits will help smaller organizations understand their responsibilities to persons with disabilities under the federal law. There is no charge to attend the seminar, but advance registration is a must. Phone 203-946-8130, ext. 211 or e-mail sgodfrey@ nhfpl.org.
Small-Biz Program Marks Milestone SEYMOUR — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith and other state and local officials, announced that the state’s Small Business Express Program (EXP) has now helped more than 1,000 Connecticut companies that are creating and retaining roughly 14,000 jobs for Connecticut residents. Malloy announced this milestone at a March 10 event at Microboard Processing Inc. (MPI), a woman-owned small business in Seymour and the 1,000th company to receive assistance through the job-creation program.
HCC Foundation Honors Pair BRIDGEPORT — The Housatonic Community College Foundation has announced the award recipient and chairman of its “Distinguished Citizen” luncheon for 2014. The second annual luncheon will take place March 13 at HCC’s Beacon Hall Events Center. This year’s Distinguished Citizen Award Recipient is Michael E. Niedermeier of Trumbull, a retired partner at BlumShapiro. The foundation also announced the luncheon chairman, Michael LaBella, market president of TD Bank and also a resident of Trumbull. The goal of the luncheon is to recognize community leaders who have positively impacted the lives of others, flourished within their professions and supported education within their communities.
Congratulations Robert A. Landino Businessperson of the Year New Haven From Jason S. Rudnick & Michael J. Lombardi and the rest of Centerplan Companies
10 Main Street | Suite B | Middletown, CT 06457 www.centerplan.com | 860.398.5390 MARCH 2014
BUSINESSPERSON OF THE YEAR
ROBERT A. LANDINO CENTERPLAN COMPANIES
With projects that may transform downtown New Haven — just as his father did a half-century ago — Bob Landino is the man with the golden touch By Michael C. Bingham
e’s rich, he’s busy, he drives a great car,” is how one reporter sums up developer Bob Landino, Business New Haven’s 2014 Businessperson of the Year. (The car in question is a Bentley Continental GT Speed coupe, which is inarguably fabulous.) Robert A. Landino is CEO of Centerplan Companies, an eight-year-old Middletown-based real estate acquisition, development, construction and investment firm. The firm maintains a principal ownership in over $150 million of real assets, accumulated over the last eight years, with a focus on retail, health care, urban mixed use and residential opportunities.
And his Elm City roots run deep, with a family background that bears particular significance.
American he was the first member of his family to go to college.”
“My father [Al Landino] grew up in tenement houses on Grand Avenue that were demolished as part of the I-91/I-95 interchange construction,” Landino says. “He grew up in public housing that was an extension of the Wooster Street neighborhood. After World War II he went to UConn on the GI Bill and chose civil engineering as a profession. As a first-generation Italian-
Fortuitously, some time following college Al Landino landed the position of city engineer during the administration of Mayor Richard C. Lee (1954-70) when the city embarked on a bold but controversial “Model City” experiment of urban renewal during the early 1960s. Lee leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars from the state and federal government to raze whole center-city
Its affiliate, Centerplan Construction, LLC, which Landino started in 2008, is charting an impressive growth trajectory. In 2013 it ranked No. 100 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies, with 70 full-time employees and 3,000-percent aggregate three-year revenue growth, posting 2012 revenues of $56.4 million. Most visibly, Centerplan Construction is at the center of the redevelopment and construction of all 23 service plazas in the state of Connecticut, a five-year, $178 million public-private partnership that is transforming the face of I-95 and the Merritt Parkway. But Bob Landino is nothing if not well diversified. He is also chairman of and an early investor in Greenskies Renewable Energy, a photo-voltaic (PV) solar integration development company founded by Westbrook entrepreneur (and Republican state senator) Art Linares Jr. (Today Greenskies operates out of the same Main Street Middletown building as Centerplan, on the former site of the Middletown Press.) Further afield Landino is also chairman of Dolan, a Los Angeles design and manufacturing company that creates and sells women’s contemporary fashions to some of the most prestigious retailers in the world. So far, at least, everything the man has touched has turned to gold. Still a relatively young man at age 53, Landino to date has known nothing but success in his professional career.
Landino: Creating gold in the blue state. Photo: Jim Anderson
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neighborhoods to clear a pathway for the interstate highways that Lee was convinced would be New Haven’s salvation, as well as to accommodate construction of major public accommodations such as Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Chapel Square Mall.
to Our Friend for More Than Twenty Years
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“At that time New Haven was receiving more dollars per capita than any other city in the country – much of that having to do with Mayor Lee’s connections with the Kennedy administration and later with President Johnson,” recounts Bob Landino. It was a dynamic time in the city’s history, and much of the rest of the nation was watching Lee’s bold experiment in urban transformation.
BOB LANDINO FOR BEING SELECTED
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As an elementary-school-aged boy soaking up details of this revolutionary experiment in urban planning around the family dinner table, Bob Landino recalls, “My father was a talker and a debater and challenged us [about] the good and the bad of urban renewal and what it meant to the city of New Haven.” After Lee left office the elder Landino would leave New Haven for an economic-development stint in New York City but later return to the Elm City to become development administrator for Mayor Frank Logue (1976-79). With the 20/20 vision that a half-century’s hindsight allows, how does Bob Landino today synthesize the legacy of Lee’s and his father’s bold experiment in urban renewal? “It’s easy to second-guess,” he acknowledges. “But I absolutely think it was an ideologically noble attempt to transform urban blight and mitigate poverty and mitigate some of the sociological chal-
lenges that seemed insurmountable to the urban population. It worked in some cases and didn’t work in others. “As it relates to the demolition of what today would be considered architectural jewels, we would criticize it today, when we have greater appreciation for old buildings,” Landino adds. But at the time “They were building high-density public housing with modern amenities that created safe and secure environments for young people to grow up in — not really understanding that those would deteriorate over time and that the high density and nature of those developments would be some of the causes of crime and decay.”
he youngest of three children by a considerable margin, Bob Landino considers himself “kind of an only child” who was compelled to communicate with his parents by default in the absence of siblings.
As a child growing up in the Beaver Hills neighborhood Landino characterizes himself as “precocious but a little bit of a troublemaker — but at the same time always interested in real estate and construction.” His father’s success allowed the younger Landino to attend parochial and private schools (St. Brendan’s, Hamden Hall and Choate), beginning during the late 1960s, when the Elm City was roiled by the Weather Underground and the 1969 trial of Black Panther Bobby Seale. During that turbulent period public secondary schools were considered anathema to many parents of middle-class white students.
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After graduating from Choate, Landino attended the University of Connecticut, intending to major in English. But some time during his junior year, with the harsh light of graduation waxing on the horizon, Landino decided to switch his major to civil engineering. Unable to meet UConn’s strict standards for transfer into its full-time engineering program Landino transferred to the University of Hartford, where he completed his undergrad degree. (He would return to UConn for a master’s in engineering but didn’t complete the program.) Why the switch? “I loved building buildings and I loved the whole concept of building public infrastructure and private real-estate development — of roads and bridges and transportation networks,” he says. Like father, like son. Upon graduation in 1982 and earning his engineering license, Landino went to work for Vollmer Associates, a New York City design firm that at the time was planning Westway — coincidentally (given his family connections) the “ultimate urban renewal project” involving burying Manhattan’s West Side Highway south of 40 th Street. Landino worked on the (never-completed) project for two and a half years. In 1987 personal and family reasons presaged a return to Connecticut, where he worked briefly for New Haven civilengineering firm FGA before striking out of on his own. After doing some consulting work Landino decided to take the bold step of starting his own company with his thenwife, a transportation planner. The firm, Barakos-Landino (a pairing of the couple’s surnames) performed transporta-
tion planning and civil engineering but grew into something of a powerhouse by diversifying into offering integrated architecture, engineering, environmental and related services to public- and private-sector clients. “From one desk and one computer, by the time I sold it [in 2003] to employees it had nine offices and 250 design professionals.” That firm, now known as BL Companies, remains employeeowned and has offices in seven states nationwide.
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elling out gave Landino the financial freedom to carefully calculate his next career move. In the meantime he backed into a second career, this one in politics. Landino had been asked to run for selectman in his then-hometown of Old Saybrook. The first-time officeseeking Democrat won election in what was then “a sea of Republicans,” as he recounts it. Seymour – 1± acre parcel located near Stop & That was as far as Landino says heShop ever and Walgreens. Great for retail or fast intended to go in politics, but when a use. Sale or ground lease. food state House seat opened up in 1994, he ran for it and won. He remained in the House for three terms before retiring in 2000 following divorce from his first wife but with three young children demanding his time and energy.
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Politically speaking, Landino describes himself as “a moderate to conservative Democrat who took some contrary positions — I voted against Adriaen’s Landing; I voted against the Patriots” — a failed plan to offer vast incentives to lure the NFL’s New England franchise East Haven – 1.027-2,427 sf new construction to Hartford from Foxborough, Mass. ideal for office, salon, spa etc. Route 80 at a corner location. Call for details.
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Other than that, Landino was essentially retired. But before long, “I got bored and started Centerplan” out of a tiny office in Hartford in 2005. “I had made a few dollars from the sale [of BL] so I was renting some space and buying a desk and basically just looking around” for opportunities, he recalls.
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Landino saw the new company as a “boutique” venture allowing him to pick and choose development projects that struck his fancy. Among those, “One of my first passions was to build a residential mixed-use building in downtown New Haven.” So in 2006 he acquired the block bounded by College, Crown and George Streets and set about developing what was originally dubbed CollegePlace.
In 2004 he was one of three Democrats vying for his party’s nomination for secretary of the state when incumbent Susan Bysiewicz launched an abortive bid for the governor’s mansion. When that didn’t pan out Bysiewicz elected to stay put as secretary of the state, and Landino’s possible window for statewide office closed.
A product of what the developer now calls “pre-2008 euphoria,” the original CollegePlace plan envisioned a 19-story luxury condominium with street-level retail and underground parking. “It was a bit of a reach for me,” Landino acknowledges in hindsight of the $200 million project.
Then, in the summer of 2008 the economy collapsed, Republican nominee John McCain “suspended” his Presidential campaign and investmentbank titan Lehman Bros. went the way of the dodo. Landino was forced to pull the plug on CollegePlace and go back to the drawing board. “The loan [to execute the project] was big enough to bury me if the asset didn’t perform,” he explains. “It was a gut feeling” to put the development on hold, Landino says. He acknowledges that “The mayor [then John DeStefano Jr.] wasn’t thrilled with me, but we felt that we needed to cut our losses, hold onto the property and wait for a better time.” That “better time” finally arrived last year when Landino announced a new, scaled-down proposal for the downtown block. “College & Crown,” now a $65 million project that broke ground in January, features upscale apartments (Landino says rents will not be announced before the end of the year), amenities including a clubhouse with private screening room, de rigueur “green” features, underground parking, street-level retail and more. The project is slated for completion in August 2015. Centerplan is also at the center of another urban mixed-use project in New Haven’s city-center: Continuum of Care, a 600-employee-strong non-profit
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that operates group homes and provides home health services. In the meantime Centerplan completed another major development, a 138,000-square-foot corporate office and manufacturing facility in downtown New Britain for the company that makes Carvel ice-cream cakes. After that project was completed some three years ago, Continuum of Care approached officials of New Haven’s Livable Cities Initiative and the city’s then-economic-development head, Kelly Murphy. “We need to find a way to partner you with a for-profit, so they called us in and introduced us to Continuum of Care,” Landino explains.
one of those folks who talks about how you can’t do business in Connecticut, because clearly we have done business in Connecticut,” he says. “There are four or five companies I’ve been involved with, and they’ve all made money.”
\drop cap\Like his father before him, Bob Landino is irrepressibly boosterish on downtown New Haven. “The city of New Haven is poised to do extremely well. I believe New Haven is experiencing a renaissance — and I don’t use that word lightly,” says Landino. “It’s got great ‘bones’; Yale has made an extraordinary investment in the city. “In many ways its time has come,” he adds. “Alexion [Pharmaceuticals, which will relocate to downtown New Haven next year] is part of that. More than just [creating] jobs, it’s a symbol that large companies think that proximity to Yale, and locating in an urban environment within Yale’s envelope, is a good thing for them.” Landino also points to the success of developer Bruce Becker’s 360 State Street high-rise apartment project, which “has been a phenomenal test in the market to prove that we can build new construction at a level equal to any place else in the country, and that there are people eager to live there and pay the rent necessary to support that type of asset.” Which naturally bolsters his confidence in the residential component of Landino’s College Street development.
to compete and [operate] here,” he concludes. “That’s become a reality. That’s not a criticism of Gov. Malloy; that’s the reality of what he has to do. Connecticut is the way it is; that’s how we keep jobs here and that’s how we grow companies here.”
“As a Democrat — someone who believes in social change and helping those in need, and who believes that government has a role and a responsibility to do that — I believe we have done many things to create an environment that lessens our ability to help others that need help because we’ve driven our costs to a point where we can’t compete with other states,” Landino says.
Having said that, he acknowledges, “It is more expensive than most other places in the country” to operate a business. In addition, Connecticut “can’t use as an excuse that it has a better quality of life” than elsewhere. Choosing his words carefully as the former state legislator he is, Landino says, “Government — not just Democrats and not just Republicans — has not taken the
The $11 million project, known as Route 34 West, will include a new 30,000-square-foot headquarters for Continuum of Care at Dwight Street and Legion Avenue, a pharmacy, space for medical personnel and labs and a surface parking lot. State funds for the project were garnered with assistance of then-State Sen. (and now Mayor) Toni Harp. As of now a land-disposition agreement is being finalized with the city, which Landino hopes will be finalized by late spring.
reins to reduce or control the cost of living [in Connecticut] and ultimately the cost of doing business here.
True or not, certainly Bob Landino never had to rely on the largess of state government to be successful or to execute projects that transform urban spaces. Al Landino would have been proud. BNH
To compensate, “Companies need to be heavily subsidized [through tax incentives, state-backed loans, etc.] in order
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Landino likewise points to the opening of Yale’s new School of Management on Whitney Avenue as a potent statement — not just of Yale’s commitment to training business leaders, but even of New Haven’s stature on the world stage. Of the business climate in his native state, Landino is sanguine. “I’m not MARCH 2014
Architecture + Art 17
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
LINDY LEE GOLD
Distaff Dynamo Lindy Lee Gold has always been in a hurry to make a difference — and she’s not slowing down any time soon
By Karen Singer
n August 29, 2012, Lindy Lee Gold was among the onlookers as Gateway Community College President Dorsey Kendrick and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy cut a ceremonial ribbon marking the official opening of the school’s new downtown campus.
“It was really fun to be there when we opened the doors,” recalls Gold, then chair of the Gateway Community College Foundation. “That doesn’t always happen.” She should know. For more than four decades Gold, 69, has served on and/or presided over area non-profit boards of directors literally too numerous to mention. Her leadership roles include chairman of community relations for the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, president of the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven and chairman of community relations for the Connecticut chapter of the Anti-Defamation League. A mover and shaker in multiple arenas, Gold works a “day job” as economic development specialist for the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). She’s a familiar figure at meetings and events, with her close-cropped hair, husky voice and 100watt smile. “For me it’s kind of visceral to try to be a catalyst for change for the better, or to contribute to efforts to do that,” she explains. One of Gold’s earliest memories of civic-mindedness stems from her grade-school days, when she and her three sisters raised money for the New Haven Register’s annual Fresh Air Fund campaign by washing and waxing their father’s car in the sun, and then attempting to fix the damage with Brillo.
“He had to have the car repainted,” she says, chuckling. “We received a big donation — as long as we promised never to do that again.” An Elm City native, Gold grew up in the spotlight. The progeny of prominent attorneys, she and her siblings were known around town as the “Gold girls.” Her father, Marvin Gold, also was a local developer specializing in multi-unit lowincome residential housing.
for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) because they had a position available that interested me, and I thought I could make a huge difference in both their public persona and their financial position, which was not healthy when I came in.” Gold tackled fundraising, membership, public awareness and state and federal government regulations.
“I was successful not only in the scope of the job but also in dealing with the [MADD] regional boards of directors,” she says. “It just took me into the realm of being able to work for a non-profit as a professional, with all the headaches and heartaches and joys, and to make a living at the same time. And that’s when I Continued on page 20
“From the time I was 12 on, I worked in my dad’s office, doing correspondence and managing his law library,” Gold says. “He had probably the best library in the city, outside of Yale, and other attorneys came to use it.” Gold had no desire to be a lawyer. She attended Hamden Hall Country Day School and Emerson College in Boston, where she majored in theater arts. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, Gold returned to New Haven, where she and several friends (among them John Jory, who went on to be the artistic founding director of Long Wharf Theatre) created a short-lived summer theater series at Yale’s Ingalls Rink. She appeared in several productions before the group disbanded. One role was the meddlesome mother in Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn. For the next several years Gold worked as a commercial interior designer, employing the set-design skills she honed in college. In 1969, she purchased Shure Tours, a New Haven travel agency, learning the ropes from its former owners, “who I retained for a very long time.” After selling the business in 1990, Gold stayed on for five years, handling acquisitions and negotiating supplier deals. “When I lived out the terms of that contract, I realized that was not what I wanted to do,” she says. “I went to work
Observes Gold: “Being able to do for a living what you do for a life is really pretty gratifying.’ WWW.CONNTACT.COM
Business New Haven’s Annual Business and Civic Awards
Congratulations Innovator of the Year
Businessperson of the Year
Dr. Tom Lynch Smilow Cancer Center
Robert Landino Centerplan
Minority Businesspersons of the Year
Norma Rodriguez and Abelardo King LaVoz Newspaper
Richard L. Kennedy Jr. and J. Dart Messick Kennedy and Perkins
Lindy Gold Citizen of the Year
Small Businesspersons of the Year Matt Murphy Murphy Distributors
GatewayCT.edu Gold ad_Layout 1 3/10/14 12:47 PM Page 1
Congratulations to the Business New Haven Citizen of the Year.
We are proud to honor a member of the Workforce Alliance Board of Directors for her outstanding contribution to the business community and the residents of Connecticut. LindyLee Gold sits on the boards of many of the institutions, including the state’s Workforce Investment Boards, which help to define the future of working and living in the state. She is a vital catalyst connecting civic, business and government organizations, sharing information and stimulating cooperation. We look forward to many more years of her service to Connecticut.
www.workforcealliance.biz • www.facebook.com/CTWorks4U • http://twitter.com/@ct_works
GOLD Continued from page 18
decided that’s the path I wanted to follow — to really work with a mission.” And so she did, snagging a state-government position in 1998 as a senior development specialist responsible for business retention, recruitment, development and expansion, and development of public housing. The job suits her. “Being able to do for a living what you do for a life is really pretty gratifying,” Gold says. “It allows me in an unelected way to learn and to have my voice heard in a lot of areas that I care about, that really make for social and educational change, and for improving people’s lives. “It’s hard work and I do it seven days a week, but its work that’s significant,” Gold adds. “I have really been allowed the privilege of not having to conform or be slotted, so while I can make deals in terms of economic development, I also sit on a lot of commissions and boards that do workforce investment and higher education. It’s interesting, it’s meaningful and there are metrics. “I think that everybody can work on shortterm initiatives, but what we really need is sustainable, systemic change,” she adds. Gov. Malloy speaks highly of his employee, whom he has known since he was mayor of Stamford in the 1990s. “She’s hardworking, earnest, knowledgeable, does her homework and is fully engaged with whatever she’s doing,” Malloy says. The same holds true for Gold’s volunteer efforts. “The old adage is, ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person,’” the governor adds. “Lindy fits that description to a T. She cares a great deal about people and institutions, and throws herself into her work quite successfully. This is a person who understands the cross-section of politics, bureaucracies and community involvement, and does a good job of marrying them.” Gold often references her “moral compass,” which guides her decision-making. “Everybody assumes that I have some incredible religious drive, and it’s based on study of that,” she says. One spiritual leader however, was an immense inspiration: the late Rabbi Robert E. Goldburg of Miskan Israel in Hamden, where Gold attended Sunday school through high school. Goldburg supported civil rights and other causes, and brought in Stokely Carmichael, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other controversial figures as guest speakers. Goldburg’s tutelage was “based on social justice and morality and ethics that didn’t need to look so much into ancient history as it looked into current events,” Gold recalls. “He lived and practiced and preached the very same message, both 20
with personal sacrifice and commitment, and I think he was a great role model. “Certainly my dad had an influence, but Bob [Goldburg] was really where it started,” she adds. “Our household was really always about social justice. My father didn’t need to take criminal cases but he did, because something was inequitable and he wanted to solve it.”
uring the late 1960s, Gold became a volunteer at Fellowship Place, a socialization program for psychiatric patients housed in the basement of the then-Jewish Community Center on New Haven’s Chapel Street. From 1970 to 1975, she was a founder and president of Fellowship Inc., the new name for the program when it relocated to Elm Street. (Fellowship Place reopened on Howe Street in 2012 after a $1.2 million renovation, and now provides a wide range of services, including employment training.) In the early 1970s, Gold also was a founder and board president of Cornerstone Inc., a New Haven drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. In the mid-1980s, Gold became the first female president of the JCC, following in the footsteps of her father, a past president. In recent years, she has been a board member of Casa Otonal, a New Haven organization providing services to Latinos. “I think of Lindy as being a kind of noble liaison from the Jewish community to the larger community,” says Mishkan Israel Rabbi Herbert N. Brockman. “Her interests are so varied, and there’s no end to her ubiquitous efforts to make the community better than it is. “Lindy is a really progressive soul,” Brockman adds. “She’s full of energy and a lot of moxie. Nothing stops her. If she believes in something she’ll go after it.” Gold knows she can be polarizing. “I don’t think there are a lot of people who are neutral about me, because I think I’m probably very strong in my own opinions and my own sense of how to get things done, and there are people who are stylistically different and don’t necessarily appreciate my style,” she acknowledges. “They might see my style as the leadership skills of Attila the Hun. But I’m not afraid to be a vocal minority. I certainly respect other points of view but if there’s something in my core I think is right or I think is wrong I’m not going to acquiesce. The Community Action Agency of New Haven [CA ANH] is a case in point.” In 2009, shortly after joining its board, Gold discovered larceny at the CA ANH. “I was a whistleblower,” she says. “Stealing is bad enough. Stealing from poor people is reprehensible.” Gold describes the experience as her “most disheartening board service.
“But I was very proud of what I had done,” she says. “I just take it personally when anybody that’s in a position of public trust abuses it.” Also less than satisfying was Gold’s 2000-06 stint on the New Haven Board of Aldermen, representing the 26th ward. “It let me understand a lot about process but I could get more done making a few phone calls,” she says. “I introduced two things. One was that the partnerships of gay people working for the city should be recognized. It passed while I was there, despite the hate calls, some from clergy. “The other thing was something I had seen in Salt Lake City, which was to treat multifamily housing, particularly anything over a two-family that wasn’t owner-occupied, as a business subject to inspections and fire codes. It also passed, years later.” Over the years, Gold has received generous recognition for her community work. “The one thing I was most touched by was the Elm-Ivy,” she says, referring to the annual awards honoring individuals fostering understanding and cooperation between the city and Yale. “If it were not for the generosity of Yale, my father never could have gone there on a scholarship at age 15. I’m probably the only person in New Haven that thinks I owe Yale, rather than them owing me.” These days, Gold remains passionate but pickier about her volunteer work. “Over time I have really become very careful about accepting a new commitment because it means I would focus less on something or drop something,” she says. “So, I ask, much to the shock of many folks, to see a year of their minutes. Because if I see something that was discussed in January and nothing has been done and it’s December, I know that it’s not a board for which I have patience, and I know I’m going to annoy them.” Gold’s current board affiliations include the state board of the Anti-Defamation League, the United Way of Greater New Haven, the Jewish Federation Association of Greater New Haven, the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. She’s also on the advisory committee
for Leadership Greater New Haven, a Chamber of Commerce program. “Lindy has really dedicated her life to community service,” says Jack Healy, president and CEO of the United Way. “She takes her role as citizen leader very seriously, and she is a champion of poor and disenfranchised in this community.” Sydney Perry, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven describes Gold as “a cheerleader, a font of information, a great connector and the town crier. “She cares deeply about so many things that this comes naturally to her and she shares her enthusiasms liberally with her friends,” Perry says. “And every acquaintance immediately becomes a friend.” Though no longer chair of the Gateway Community College Foundation, Gold still sits on its board. “She never misses a meeting,” Kendrick says. “Lindy’s a wonderful, dynamic, energetic passionate person, and such a champion for the school.” Gold relishes her Gateway visits. “When I have to go to a meeting, I purposely get there very early just to be able to walk the halls and student-watch,” she says. “It’s an absolute joy to see the interactions that never could have happened at the Long Wharf campus. “It’s terrific to see students become more aspirational,” she adds. “When you think about a community college, many, many students are the first college goers [in their families], so they’re role-modeling for generations to come. [Earning a college degree] can mean a half-a-milliondollar difference [in income] over their lifetimes, so it’s not only raising a standard of aspiration but it’s raising a standard of living for future generations.” Gold enjoys spending time with her sixyear-old grandson. But she’s far from ready to retire. “What it really means is I could never financially support all of the things I care about in the same way I do now,” she says. “What makes me happy is being able to do what I do, and I would not be happy not doing any part of that.” BNH
Congratulates HAMDEN HALL COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL
Alumna Lindy Lee Gold
Citizen of the Year Business New Haven
1108 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06517 www.hamdenhall.org
MURPHY Continued from page 3
ing fulfilled all licensing requirements from multiple state and federal agencies. Once he began importing wines from international vineyards, the name no longer aligned with the company’s mission and was changed to Murphy Distributors, embodying the growth of the company. He began importing wine from Argentina, bringing in a Malbec variety whose origins lie in Bordeaux, France. Today, Murphy Distributors imports wines from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Romania, South Africa, Chile, New Zealand and Australia. In addition, they import domestic wines from California, Oregon, New York and Washington, D.C. Murphy describes the wine, beer and spirits business as among the most competitive among all U.S. industries. “It’s very competitive but, in Connecticut we’re all exclusive to our own products,” says Murphy. “We’re not competing to sell the same item but we are competing in terms of shelf space on the retail side or placement on a wine list in a restaurant. Our angle, in terms of product, is that because it’s a different set of products, how do we use the competitive edge to make ourselves more valuable to our customers than the next guy? That’s really what it’s all about — how your products separate you from the next guy.” In Murphy’s case, he asserts, “The products speak for themselves.”
ith so many wines, artisanal beers and spirits to choose from these days, Murphy says one has to actually sample them to get a true understanding of what they are.
“In terms of knowledge of the business, it’s just experience,” explains Murphy. “The more you’re in it, the more you drink the products and are around the industry, the more you’re exposed to different varietals because there is so much out there. There are hundreds of different types of wines and grapes and, on top of that, there are thousands of wines that are made from those grapes. Just multiply that and you’ve got hundreds of thousands of different types of wine out there. The same goes for beer and spirits. You can only read about this so much. In our business, you also have to experience it. All of our staff knows all of our products intimately. They’ve been educated on them.” Murphy would encourage entrepreneurs just starting out in business to fully commit to their goals. “My advice is to jump in head-first and do it with passion,” says Murphy. “If you commit yourself 100 percent to something, and you’re passionate and you care, you will find success. That’s what it takes. It’s about resourcefulness at the same time, but that comes with passion and focus. Anybody can do what I did to start a business. I’ve found the difference is the focus, the passion and the caring. “We’ve found success because we truly care about our customers,” he adds. “It’s gone from a product that we’re selling to a relationship that we have with our
customers. Products are on the side. Our customers know we care about their well-being. Our business is the growth of our customers. We call them ‘members’ here because we don’t believe we’re just selling them something. As a member, they’re part of our community and our growth, and that’s truly what we believe in.”
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“He cares about the people he’s trying to sell to,” he says of Dubin. “He’s identified an issue and he wants to solve it, and he truly cares about that. You can see success with people that truly care and understand that it’s not just about making money or the numbers per se. It’s finding out ‘What do you really do?’ That’s what we ask ourselves all the time. Are we selling and distributing alcohol or are we growing businesses and helping people in our community grow their business, and in turn providing jobs. That’s really what our passion is. Wine, spirits and beer are a vehicle for us to do that, because we love it.” BNH
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Richard Kennedy, Jr Dart Messick KENNEDY & PERKINS GUILD OPTICIANS
What You Get Is What You See At opticians Kennedy & Perkins, there is a team in ‘eye’ By John Mordecai
t’s hard to name many opticians who care as much about how you look as they do how you see. That’s probably one of the reasons Kennedy & Perkins Guild Opticians has been around for longer than most of us can remember.
The optical business’ flagship New Haven store was established in 1946 when Richard L. Kennedy, just home from serving in the Marines, utilized his optical training – he had previously worked for Bausch & Lomb – to open his own business with optician partner Bob Perkins (who would leave the company a few years later). This was back when glass lenses were carved by hand for each prescription; Kennedy would do that himself in the basement of his Hamden home at the end of each day.
Of course, it wasn’t all about looks; you had to be able to see well with the product. And Kennedy pere took that very seriously. “Even before the fashion came into it, you went to [an optician] because you knew that guy was good at making glasses,” Messick explains. Mr. Kennedy was very much into the precision and the exact equipment and training of the staff.
“He was a tough guy to work for, having just come out of the Marines,” Messick adds. “If you didn’t do the right thing in the lab, you learned quickly.”
hat commitment to the craft is part of what has kept Kennedy & Perkins going as well; the company prides itself in staying on top of the most advanced optical technologies. They now craft lenses with a cutting-edge
It was at the insistence of his fashion-forward wife Jacqueline (herself a licensed optician) that the shop go beyond offering merely functional frames to those more stylish, something that wasn’t all too common to the area outside New York, where they would often visit to investigate the latest trendy designs. “My father would say, ‘What could be easier to sell than eyewear? [Glasses] help you see better and they’re the first thing people see when they talk to you,’” Richard Kennedy Jr. recalls. “The competition were the oldschool — more medical prescription-type devices. Mom and Dad morphed it into fashion.” “Back then there weren’t many options in eyeglasses, it was very basic,” says co-owner Dart Messick. “It wasn’t a fashion accessory, just something you had to have. You can get a whole lot accomplished with one pair of glasses, and you can get a whole lot more accomplished with two or three.” Messick says there are customers who use several pairs for just those reasons — some even getting frames without prescription lenses in them simply to appear more professional or more serious in their line of work. Kennedy & Perkins has expanded to five other locations over the years: a Hamden store opened in 1962, and the most recent K&P opened in Guilford last year. Richard Kennedy, Jr., 51, has been involved in the family business since his teenage years and today co-owns the company with brother-in-law Messick, who is 65. Messick hadn’t initially planned on joining the family business after marrying Kennedy’s sister Janet (he earned a degree in forestry from the University of Connecticut in 1974), but decided to work there after completing school, and it took: This year he marks 40 years with the family firm. 22
Richard Kennedy, Jr. (L) with Dart Messick: “fun and different”, join sophisticated and advanced to keep this sixty plus year old company seeing growth. WWW.CONNTACT.COM
digital procedure that masters all the information for near/far-sightedness, astigmatism or bifocals on the back of the lens, making it closer to the eye itself, and even compensates for the curve of the lens, reducing distortion as the eyes move. It’s that kind of technological sophistication, Kennedy and Messick say, that gives Kennedy & Perkins the ability to offer clients exclusive frames; the two often keep up and share with colleagues about global brands that have barely a presence in the U.S. Chances are you won’t find too many other places around selling eyeglasses with a velvety suedelike exterior. “We’re dealing with companies that want that technology in place, where it’s sold properly,” Messick says. “There are things here that you’re not going to find anywhere else, and that’s great — especially if you want to wear something fun and different.” The “fun and different,” as well as the sophisticated and advanced are what Kennedy & Perkins relies on to maintain a competitive advantage over its competition, including nationwide chains such as LensCrafters as well as quick-vision centers that are becoming more ubiquitous even in big-box retailers such as Walmart. “The Walmart customer is probably more budget-conscious and that might scare them from us, but we’ve always had a reputation of being expensive,” Kennedy says. “But our lenses are the same price if not better than Walmart or LensCrafters.” Messick says that reputation shouldn’t necessarily divert people away, though. “I don’t care who you are and what you do, you’re welcome to come in here; we never wanted to be exclusive for that,” he says. “We have good frames that could cost $50 or $60; we want to have something for everybody. But some are different and complex to make, so they cost more.” Even the Internet is cutting into the brick-and-mortar eyewear game; in a college town like New Haven, there’s no shortage of folks coming in with a pair of frames ordered online via sites like Warby Parker. They’ll take a look at them for a fee, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be perfect. “If you pay $99 for your frames and lenses doing everything through the computer and no one sees you, keep your fingers crossed,” Kennedy says. “It’s a college town, and they’re very savvy. We’ve had a lot of Yale students who bring [Internet eyeglasses] in to get adjusted.” Messick credits Kennedy & Perkins’ 34 employees (including four independent optometrists) most for its continued success. “The most important component of Kennedy & Perkins today and for 68 years is our staff,” Messick says. The company holds regular training seminars with staff and visits labs throughout the Northeast to stay on top of technologMARCH 2014
ical and manufacturing advances. Says Messick of his staff: “They’re happy, and that really helps for not walking out there [onto the showroom floor] with a sour face, and they know what they’re doing. That’s critical.” The knowledge of the staff extends to helping customers select the right eyeglass frames as well — a person’s facial structure, complexion, hair color, and even their intentions with their glasses (whether to make a bold statement or to blend in) — factor into choosing the right pair. If the client simply can’t decide, Messick says they’ll send the customer home with a few pairs to show them around.
“If we get it wrong, we’ll just start over; the worst thing I can do is send you out of here upset,” he says. And don’t worry about pushy salespeople: “We don’t get commissions on selling a more expensive frame, and that’s on purpose,” Messick says. “You’re going to get the truth.” The familial partnership has been key to keeping Kennedy & Perkins going for so long: Both Kennedy and Messick are close and trust each other as brothers — a saving grace when one isn’t around. “It’s helpful to have a brother-in-law partner that I happen to like; it doesn’t always go that way” in other partnerships, Messick says.
“I’d be thrilled if one of them showed interest but there’s no pressure there; I want them to go to college and see what else is out there,” Kennedy says. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Messick adds. “I may not retire. It’s too much fun.” BN
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As for the future, it’s uncertain if either Kennedy’s four children or Messick’s two will assume ownership when the times comes for them to pass the business on.
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MINORITY BUSINESSPERSONS OF THE YEAR
ABELARDO KING NORMA RODRIGUEZ-REYES LA VOZ HISPANA DE CONNECTICUT
hen Abelardo King arrived in New Haven from the Dominican Republic in the early 1990s, he found it lacked a media outlet to address the needs of a diverse Latino community. While the Spanish language newspaper of that time, Los Andes, targeted mainly the Peruvian community, King saw a need for a newspaper aimed at the growing Caribbean population.
Bringing the Message Home La Voz Hispana has carved a niche by bringing together otherwise disparate Spanish-speaking communitiesBy Felicia Hunter By Kathryn M. Roy
La Voz Hispana versus when you specifically target it for one particular group,” Rodriguez-Reyes says. The paper struggled in its early years. Several other businessmen became involved, and the publication’s frequency was increased from a monthly publication to a biweekly. In 1998, Rodriguez-Reyes entered the picture.
“I was director of the largest senior center in New Haven — the Atwater Senior Center,” says Rodriguez-Reyes. “I had never worked with the Hispanics. When I came to America [from Puerto Rico], it wasn’t fashionable to work with Hispanics. I wanted to speak perfect English. We wanted to be Americans.”
Rodriguez-Reyes was intrigued by what La Voz was trying to do, and decided to buy the paper in 1998. She assumed $40,000 in debts such as a loan, printing, distribution and a 25-percent commission on accounts receivable to the previous owner. She continued working in the social services field while trying
After unsuccessfully approaching Los Andes’ management about adding content to meet the demand for more diverse content, King decided to start his own newspaper. So in 1993, La Voz Hispana de Connecticut was born. “After interacting with different community leaders of that time, I came to the conclusion that Hispanics needed a media outlet to break the stereotype that the Anglo community had about Hispanic newspapers — that they were simple community newspapers that didn’t transcend beyond their own community,” said King through an interpreter. “In other words, the newspapers were incomplete. I also felt the community needed to have a medi[um] to inform, guide, educate and to contribute to its development.” Today’s La Voz looks nothing like it did in those early days. King, a journalist, started the newspaper in a small one room office on West Street in New Haven. “He talked about how life was very difficult back then because the readership was there, but the advertisers weren’t,” recalls La Voz’s president, Norma Rodriguez-Reyes. “He always wanted it to be a free paper to the community so there wouldn’t be a reason why someone who read Spanish would not pick it up. All the Latinos from 20 different countries that we have here can relate to 24
Abelardo King and Norma Rodriguez-Reyes’ newspapers bridge cultures and communities from Stamford, Connecticut to Western Massachusetts.
to decide if the newspaper business was for her. After translating at a demonstration in the Hispanic community against a New Haven Advocate article, she made some connections in the media. ThenNew Haven Advocate Publisher Gail Thompson mentored her, giving her the introduction she needed to learn how to run a newspaper. La Voz continued to struggle to secure advertisers until the 2000 U.S. Census came out, showing that Latinos were the largest minority group in Connecticut. “When that happened, the advertising agencies started calling,” RodriguezReyes recalls. “We had an excellent product, but the only thing that the mainstream knows about Hispanics is all the negative stuff, unless they have a personal relationship [with a Latino]. The majority of what they know is [about] folks that have ruined their neighborhoods, or the negative stuff they see on TV.” Rodriguez-Reyes wanted to change that perception.
“[Many] of the people from the suburbs, they’re afraid to even come to New Haven,” she says. “New Haven is a great city but that’s not the perception of those who never really come to the city.”
hen Rodriguez-Reyes took over the newspaper in 1998, it was 16 pages and was published biweekly. Now, it’s 36 to 48 pages, 11 inches by 17 inches, with four colors. It is printed weekly, with 40,000 copies circulated. Rodriguez Reyes says it reaches an average of 135,000 readers per edition, with distribution in honor boxes and at business establishments in areas with high concentrations of Latino population. Topics covered include local, state and national news; society; health and science; sports and entertainment; help wanted and classified, and invitations to bid. La Voz circulates in the Connecticut cities with the highest concentration of Hispanics: Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, Meriden, New Britain, Danbury, Stamford and Norwalk. It
also reaches readers in the Springfield, Mass. metro area. Headquartered in New Haven, it has offices in Hartford, Stamford and Springfield. “My goal was that when we asked Hispanics what newspaper they read, they say La Voz Hispana,” RodriguezReyes says. “It’s the largest and mostread Spanish newspaper in Connecticut, and the only statewide vehicle to reach the highest number of Hispanics across the state.” Rodriguez-Reyes says La Voz is an efficient buy for advertisers who want to reach Hispanics in the Bridgeport area. The newspaper’s $750,000 in annual revenues comes solely from advertising. “If you want the Bridgeport/Stamford/ Norwalk/Danbury market for TV, you have to buy [advertising in] New York,” she explains. “The price is high because you’re paying for the New York market.” When it comes to radio, there are four Spanish-language radio stations in the Hartford and New Haven markets, but no single station that reaches the entire state.
And La Voz has what local Hispanic readers are looking for. “We have that constant immigrant wave that has come and is still coming,” Rodriguez-Reyes explains. “They need something in their language they can read.” And while many advertisers are passing over print advertising in favor of other avenues to reach consumers, RodriguezReyes believes that’s a mistake. “They are going with TV, radio and social media, but that is definitely not the way to reach out to the Spanish community,” she asserts. “In their countries, they come from reading print. In Peru, they still go door to door selling the newspaper in the morning and in the evening.” Rodriguez-Reyes explains that La Voz focuses on many of the issues that are important to immigrants. “I think social justice is very important to them,” she says. “It becomes a sharing
Continued on page 43
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IN N OVATO R O F TH E Y E A R
THOMAS J. LYNCH JR., MD SMILOW CANCER HOSPITAL YALE CANCER CENTER
Cancer’s Public Enemy No. 1 Doctor Lynch will see the future of cancer care now By Thomas R. Violante
hose of us who live and work in New Haven and frequently drive past the sleek steel-and-glass building that houses the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven at South Frontage Road and Park Street, probably don’t realize that it’s one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S.
That designation means the center integrates clinical trials of new treatments, studies of cancer prevention and control in the population, employment of expert physicians that perform basic laboratory research, and psychosocial support services for patients, all under one roof. And the man who heads up the organization — Thomas J. Lynch Jr., MD — wears two hats: physician-in-chief of Smilow and director of the Yale Cancer Center, and is Business New Haven’s 2014 Innovator of the Year. Lynch notes that the New Haven region offers bioscience companies access to rich resources and a pool of talented professionals ready to make their home in the area for a lot less than it might cost them to locate in Boston or New York. “It’s one of the things I’ve been incredibly impressed with when I was looking at this job,” notes Lynch, who lived in New Haven during his undergraduate and graduate days. “In Boston, where I worked before coming here, they told me not to come to Yale because I would never be able to recruit people to New Haven. They said nobody would ever come here, but I said I would make this work.” So, who was right? “I found that recruiting in New Haven is incredibly easy,” Lynch says. “This is a very appealing place to live. It’s a fantastic place to raise a family. Housing costs are much more moderate here than compared to New York or Boston. It’s been a big plus.”
Lynch: “Recruiting in New Haven is incredibly easy”. Photo: Peter Baker
Continued on page 28
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB congratulates
THOMAS J. LYNCH, JR., M.D. Physician-in-Chief Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale-New Haven and member of our Board of Directors for his recognition as
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
To discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.
ÂŠ2014 Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
e West Campus Shaping a Better Tomorrow
Yale West Campus Congratulates
Shaping a Better Tomorrow
Lynch is the Jonathan and Richard Sackler Professor of Medicine at Yale Medical School, where he earned his MD in 1986 following graduation from Yale College in 1982. He is also chairman of the board of directors and a founding member of the nationally recognized Kenneth B. Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare in Boston, named after a former patient of his.
therapies for the treatment of lung cancer, Lynch still sees patients in a consultative role. He and his research team have developed methods to predict a tumor’s response to targeted drugs based on confirmed mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor gene. This enables oncologists to create treatment plans that target each patient’s specific type of tumor.
“What we’re seeing nationally is that a lot of the best biomedical universities are becoming places that are incubators for spinoffs of effective biotech and small technology businesses,” Lynch explains. “At Yale, we’re beginning to see that in New Haven as well. There are a number of companies in Science Park doing this. There’s Koltan Pharmaceutical, at 300 George Street. I think Alexion is going to have a huge impact on the community, when it comes here [relocating from Cheshire in mid-2015) by bringing the type of people that are associated with biotech and drug development.”
“I’ve always wondered why only 15 percent of smokers develop cancer,” says Lynch, whose father, Thomas J. Lynch Sr., also was a lung-cancer specialist. “Why don’t all smokers develop cancer? What’s the difference between the 15 to 20 percent that do and the 80 percent that never develop cancer? Looking at the factors that predispose us to getting cancer is a huge part of what’s happening in the [Yale] School of Public Health. What about exposure to infectious agents? Viruses are a very important cancer causation. It’s a very interesting time.”
Before coming to Yale Lynch spent 24 years in Boston, where he was a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of hematology/oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, where he completed his internship and residency. “In cancer, that connection between research and patient care is absolutely vital,” explains Lynch, who began his tenure at Smilow on April 1, 2009. “That’s really how we’ve done better in cancer treatment by bringing new drugs to patients early through clinical trials and through research. Unlike a lot of diseases, where research is separate from actual clinical care, in cancer, research and clinical care are intimately involved, really tightly joined.” Before working at Massachusetts General Hospital, Lynch served a fellowship in medical oncology at the DanaFarber Cancer Institute, notably the largest comprehensive cancer center in the world.
Dr.Thomas Lynch, INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR yale.edu/westcampus 28
“Comprehensive cancer centers are where the very best cancer research is happening, without a doubt,” says Lynch. “They’re the only places that are doing all aspects of cancer research. In terms of integrating basic clinical and population sciences — that’s one of the things that Yale does well. We’re not only interested in what causes cancer and how to treat cancer; we’re also interested in the epidemiology.”
nternationally known today for his leadership in the development of novel
What’s new on the horizon for cancer treatment? “The biggest thing about the treatment of cancer is understanding the genetics behind cancer,” says Lynch, who also sits on the board of directors of BristolMyers Squibb Co. “There is a whole movement in comprehensive cancer centers toward what we call personalized cancer medicine or precision cancer medicine. This is where you look at difficult-to-treat cancers: Take the tumor and determine all the genes that are abnormal in the cancer, and then you design a plan for attacking those abnormal genes. “That approach, still in its infancy, I think will yield great dividends in terms of how we go after cancer,” Lynch adds. “It’s already yielded some great successes. It’s the ability to refine what we’re going after.” “As a doctor, he is unbelievable when referring someone for an oncologist,” says Jon Soderstrom, managing director of Yale University’s Office of Cooperative Research (OCR). “You will get a response from him in 20 minutes or less. He is amazing, and the team he has assembled is incredible to say the least. And it’s noticed in particular by investors on the outside. They have seen the quality of the people he’s pulled together for the cancer center. It’s quite remarkable.” “In terms of health-care delivery, he has been transformative as a figure at Smilow,” adds Soderstrom. “Yale has had a comprehensive cancer center since the beginning of time, but in terms of a combination as a cancer center and Smilow Hospital, the team of people he has assembled would rival any cancer
center in Boston or New York. He has succeeded.” Earlier this year Bristol-Myers Squibb, a global biopharmaceutical company located in Wallingford, announced that its board of directors had elected Lynch to the board starting in January. He will serve as a member of the board’s Science and Technology Committee. Lamberto Andreotti, Bristol-Myers’ chief executive officer, affirms that Lynch is not only a world-class oncologist, but also a highly accomplished business leader.
Bayer Pharmaceutical campus in West Haven), which will promote collaborative research and will include the fields of cell signaling, cancer immunology, and drug development and target acquisition. He is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. He is on the editorial boards of the journal, Clinical Cancer Research, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. He has published more
than 100 original scientific papers and authored or co-authored over 90 review articles and book chapters. Lynch lives in New Haven with his wife, Laura. His daughters attend college and his son attends school in New Haven. He notes that the future of cancer treatment, especially with chemotherapy, continually improves in terms of patient tolerance compared to when his father treated cancers of the blood.
“For me, it was going into the family business,” says Lynch, whose father was one of the first oncologists in the country. “It was never really a hard decision. I saw what he did and saw how much he loved what he did and, like a lot of people, when you see your parents happy and see what they’re doing, you’re excited by it. I decided that would be a good thing to do. I wish it was more complex than that. But it’s not.” BNH
“As we advance our work in immunooncology and build our leadership position in oncology, his guidance and scientific and business perspectives will be invaluable, says Andreotti. “We are very pleased to have Tom join our board,” adds Bristol-Myers Chairman James M. Cornelius. “His rare combination of skills and track record of success in both medicine and business uniquely qualify him to serve on our board.” Lynch is also overseeing the creation of a new Cancer Biology Institute on Yale’s 136-acre West Campus (the former
We congratulate Dr. Thomas Lynch for being selected as Innovator of the Year!
Contributing to a Strong New Haven onhsa.yale.edu
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CO R P O R AT E C ITI Z E N O F TH E Y E A R
WELLS FARGO BANK
Deploying Dollars and Good Deed-Doers \Wells Fargo perfects the art of doing well by doing good By Thomas R. Violante
t is not a whim. It’s not a knee-jerk impulse. Nor is it a gratuitous activity. And it certainly isn’t an afterthought.
The community initiatives in which Wells Fargo Bank participates are a part of its DNA, says Kevin Burke, the financial institution’s regional vice president for commercial banking. “It’s our overall philosophy, from corporate down,” Burke says. “Our view is that we can’t be successful unless the communities we operate in are successful.” That means supporting worthwhile initiatives across the spectrum, from business to the arts to education. For example, Wells Fargo has supported a Gateway Community College initiative that allowed high-school students to take college-level courses. They gain not only advanced knowledge, but save money by earning college credits before entering college. “It’s more economical” for students, Burke points out. Wells Fargo has contributed grants to the local community that total in the millions of dollars. In 2011 it contributed almost $700,000 in grants and donations to area nonprofits. Among its future-investing projects is a $300,000 contribution to underwrite the total cost of the New Haven Promise: Partnership for its initial year. A program of New Haven Promise, the program helps students, parents and community members increase college enrollment and help students take advantage of a possible free college education. Funding is important, yes. But “It’s not just providing funding” for various projects that closely knit Wells Fargo into the fabric of the greater New Haven community. The bank has become a part of the organizations they support. Wells Fargo affiliates have volunteered for hundreds of local projects ranging from financial education to life 30
Photo: Tom Violante
Top row: Arnoldo Ulloa, Bob Hannon, Kent McClun, Christine Testani, Patrick Witheril, Kevin Burke Bottom Row: Helene Robbins, Bosko Trputec, Alexandra Cherubin, Kim Larkin, Vin Massey WWW.CONNTACT.COM
and social skills to small-business seminars to arts education. The community members served ranged from students to professionals to retired seniors. “Our team members participate in these organizations,” Burke explains. They match their own interests to those of the community, and are allowed time off from work to lend support. Burke himself is a patron of the arts, for example. He serves as chairman of the board of the Shubert Theater. He’s been involved for the past decade or so. Being involved means having first-hand knowledge of what is needed and where Wells Fargo can most effectively deploy its resources — both financial and human. “In talking to community leaders [in the arts], they told us that government is cutting back a lot on arts funding,” Burke says. So the bank was able to target its resources where they could be most helpful. For example, as part of outreach efforts a dance ensemble went into New Haven schools to help improve conflict-resolution initiatives for at-risk students. Wells Fargo has also supported New Haven Symphony Orchestra performances in area schools.
who has been with Wells Fargo and its predecessor banks since 1979. “We’ve gone through a number of different mergers and acquisitions before we became Wells Fargo, and I’ve actually come through most of those organizations. So giving back to the community and getting involved has always been a part of our role.”
“There are a lot of wonderful organizations in the Greater New Haven area and they are always looking for new people to serve on their boards, to be volunteers and certainly to be donors,” says Robbins, who lives in Cheshire. “My advice [to bank employees] would be to find out what motivates you, what your passions are and go out into the community and do some good work.”
or our bank’s community outreach, one of the things is philanthropy,” says Kent McClun, area president of Wells Fargo Bank in Connecticut. “We support a lot of the non-profits in the New Haven area and across Connecticut. Continued on page 33
to Thomas Lynch
for bringing the world
closer to free.
Wells Fargo employees have in fact taken time off work to wield hammers and saws, helping to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, a frequent partner with the bank. Last year some 30 Wells Fargo employees worked on a house being built on Congress Avenue, in New Haven’s Hill Section. Such projects, reiterates Burke, “help bring people into the community.” The bank is constantly seeking out opportunities to be an exemplary corporate citizen and contribute to the community that it serves. “We’re going to be teaching in New Haven schools with Junior Achievement in April,” says Helene Robbins, a vice president of Wells Fargo Private Bank and a trust and fiduciary specialist. “There are a lot of dedicated people in this office.” Robbins herself serves on the boards of the Community Fund for Women & Girls, the Gateway College Community Foundation and the ACES Education Foundation. She and some of the staff at Well Fargo’s New Haven office are also involved with the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity and St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
Thomas J. Lynch Jr., MD Director, Yale Cancer Center; Physician-in-Chief, Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven; Richard Sackler and Jonathan Sackler Professor of Medicine
“Community outreach has always been a common theme here,” explains Robbins, MARCH 2014
YNHH-2139 TomLynchAd7.625x9.625.indd 1
3/10/14 2:41 PM
Wareck To Helm CID
Group, Realtors represented the Sekerovics and the sellers, Gil and Glena Ames.
▼ ant and the landlord, M&K Post Road Associates, LLC. NEW HAVEN — Three Fifty Orange Street LLC has acquired 348-350 Orange Street from the Professional Arts Group, LLC for $1.175 million. Stephen Press of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services represented the buyer. John Keogh of Colliers International represented the seller. The 17,246-square-foot space comprises two four-story townhouses connected in the rear by a three-story building.
HAMDEN — Hamden Partners, a New Jersey LLC, has purchased Broadmoor Apartment Homes, a 498-unit, 419,220-squarefoot apartment community at 676 Mix Avenue for $58,500,000, or $117,470 per unit. The complex houses 66 studio apartments, 288 one-bedroom and 144 two-bedroom apartments. Institutional Property Advisors (IPA) executive directors Steve Witten and Victor Nolletti advised the seller, Fairfield Apple Hill, a Delaware limited partnership.
HAMDEN — Hamden Partners, a New Jersey LLC, has purchased Broadmoor Apartment Homes, a 498-unit, 419,220-square-foot apartment community at 676 Mix Avenue for $58,500,000, or $117,470 per unit. The complex houses 66 studio apartments, 288 one-bedroom and 144 two-bedroom apartments. Institutional Property Advisors (IPA) executive directors Steve Witten and Victor Nolletti advised the seller, Fairfield Apple Hill, a Delaware limited partnership.
NORTH BRANFORD — Globe Electric, LLC is relocating its corporate headquarters from East Haven. The company has purchased a new 6,161-squarefoot industrial building on 1.65 acres at 285 Branford Road for $500,000. Alan Fischer of Fischer Real Estate represented the seller, Michael Berkun. Jeff Dow of Dow Realty represented the buyer.
TECHNOLOGY John Wareck, partner and broker of Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio, was recently elected chairman of the Commercial Investment Division (CID) of the New Haven Board of Realtors. Wareck has worked in the commercial real estate industry for nearly two decades. In 2005, he received a Business New Haven Rising Star award for the Johnson Simons downtown revitalization project. In 2011, Wareck and Frank D’Ostilio Jr. formed Wareck D’Ostilio Real Estate. The company joined Real Living in 2012.
HAMDEN — Mango, LLC has acquired the Carriage House, 2297 Whitney Avenue, for $836,750. The 19,470-square-foot building on 0.69 acres includes 42 single-room residential units. Ted Schaffer of Press/ Cuozzo Commercial Services represented the seller, House of Hamden, LLC, and procured the buyer.
REALESTATE HAMDEN — A 4,700-square-
SOUTHINGTON — Advanta, LLC has purchased a 14,156-square-foot industrial building at 161 Atwater Street for $850,000.
BRANFORD — Progressive Benefits Solution, LLC has leased 4,500 square feet at 14 Business Park Drive. Lou Proto of the Proto Group represented the tenant. Richard Guralnick of H. Pearce Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord, BRP XIV, LLC. BRANFORD — Vedran Josic has leased 857 square feet at 71 West Main Street for a cell phone business. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented Josic and the landlord, 71 West Main LLC.
MARKETING&MEDIA Robert Gaucher and Carol Karney of OR&L Commercial represented the seller, Benito Brino. The buyer was unrepresented.
CLINTON — An 11.2-acre industrially zoned site at 30 Old Post Road has changed hands for $700,000. Kevin Geenty and Kristin Geenty of the Geenty Group, Realtors represented the buyer, 30 Old Post, LLC and the seller, 30 Old Post Road Associates.
EAST HAVEN — ImagePaper. com, LLC has purchased 463-465 Main Street, a 19,897-square-foot commercial building on 1.15 acres, as well as a 696-square-foot home on 0.15 acres. The sales price was $445,000. The company is relocating from New Jersey. Fred A. Messore, of Colonial Properties was sole broker in the transaction. The seller was JT Ventures, LLC. EAST HAVEN — Brani and Renato Sekerovic have paid $106,000 for a 1,879-squarefoot retail condo at 192 Main Street, where they pair plan to open a beauty salon and spa. Kevin Geenty of the Geenty 32
foot commercial building at 986 Dixwell Avenue has a new owner: 986 Dixwell Holding Co., LLC. The sale price was $385,000. Irfan Ahmed of Sette Real Estate represented the buyer. Stephen Press of Press/ Cuozzo Realtors represented the seller, TDR Realty LLC. MILFORD — A 49,625-squarefoot flex building at 100 Washington Street has sold for $3.9 million. Jon Angel of Angel Commercial represented the seller, KC Cubed, LLC, and the buyer, 100 Washington Street, LLC. MILFORD — Bounce Town USA, LLC has leased a 14,576-square-foot light industrial space at 1770 Boston Post Road for children’s events with giant inflatables and a rock-climbing wall. Carl Russell and John Bergin of H. Pearce Commercial represented the ten-
WALLINGFORD — HNRSJ, LLC has purchased a 6,600-square-foot caR wash on 1.02 acres at 893 North Colony Road for $1,612,000. The Proto Group was the sole broker. The seller was Fulton Forbes.
ANSONIA — Better Packages is relocating from Shelton to 4 Hershey Drive, where the company has leased 27,600 square feet of light industrial space. Bruce Wettenstein of VidalWettenstein represented the tenant. Carl Russell of H. Pearce Real Estate represented the landlord, John A. Frey, et al.
CHESHIRE — Osprey Strategic Research Group, LLC has leased 1,800 square feet at 1520 Highland Avenue. Tony Valenti and Ralph Calabrese of the R. Calabrese Agency LLC represented the tenant and the landlord, 1520 Highland Partners Inc. HAMDEN — Bruno Distributors has leased 4,000 square feet at 1004-1020 Sherman Avenue. Joel Nesson of Press/Cuozzo Commercial Services was sole broker in the transaction. He is the exclusive broker for the landlord, WTE 100 Sherman, LLC. HAMDEN — The Institute of Professional Practice has leased an additional 2,870 square feet at 1125 Dixwell Avenue. The five-year lease is valued at $180,000. The Proto Group represented the landlord, Elm City IP Holdings. Steve Wallman of Wallman Realty in Kensington represented the tenant. MADISON — Dan & Joe’s Barber Shop and Meriano’s Bake Shoppe are new tenants at Madison Commons, 200 Boston Post Road. Each signed a five-year lease for 1,260 square feet. Joel Galvin of Pearce Commercial was sole broker in
the deal. The landlord is Madison Commons, LLC.
MIDDLETOWN — MHS Primary Care Inc. has signed a ten-year lease for 8,660 square feet at 520 Saybrook Road. J. Richard Lee of OR&L Commercial represented the landlord, SPIII Middletown LLC c/o Seavest Healthcare Properties of White Plains, N.Y. The tenant was unrepresented. The lease is valued at close to $2 million.
MILFORD — L.P. Dwyer & Sons has signed a five-year lease for 2,038 square feet at 338 New Haven Avenue. Carl Russell, Richard Lombardo and Eileen Russell of H. Pearce Commercial represented the landlord, Diamond Realty Associates. Lombardo also represented Dwyer.
MILFORD — Connecticut Cabinet Center LLC has leased 800 square feet at 158 Research Drive. The landlord is D’Amato Investments, LLC. Bill Clark of the Geenty Group, Realtors was the sole broker. NEW HAVEN — Noble Wealth Advisory Group of Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC has leased 4,000 square feet at 321 Whitney Avenue. Stephen Press and John M. Cuozzo, Jr. of Press/ Cuozzo Commercial Services represented the tenant and the landlord, 321 Whitney, LLC. NEW HAVEN — Diversified Employment Services has inked a two-year lease renewal for 1,864 square feet at Whalley Commons, 1463 Whalley Avenue. The Proto Group represented Diversified and the landlord, ACL/Smartyale, LLC of Atlanta.
WELLS Continued from page 31
But more so, we have a very strong focus on volunteerism. That’s really bringing the 1,500 people in Connecticut that work for us to come together to volunteer time and effort toward the non-profits. That’s what we really put a lot of muscle behind. Not just dollars, but commitment in time and effort that help support the community.” Southington resident McClun, who has been with the bank for 15 years in different parts of the country, notes that Wells Fargo collaborates with other organizations in New Haven to further serve the community. “We’ve done some things in New Haven with Yale, the Hope Scholarships, and the Wells Fargo Community Room with the United Way so that non-profits could actually have a place to meet,” says McClun, who serves on the board of the Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross. “I’m also involved with the Waterbury [Regional] Chamber of Commerce. I’ve been with the bank in Connecticut for the last four years.” “I’m specifically responsible for community development to help meet our Community Reinvestment Act goals, primarily focused on deploying capital
and investments in low- and moderateincome communities,” explains Arnoldo Ulloa, Wells Fargo’s vice president of community development. “I will focus on community development organizations and serve on the board of New Haven Neighborhood Housing Services, which is a non-profit affordable housing developer.” Ulloa says New Haven Neighborhood Housing Services focuses in the Dixwell neighborhood of the city. “They have recently purchased several of the foreclosed homes in that area and have converted them into affordable homes for people in the community,” says Ulloa, who resides in Bridgeport and covers the state for the bank. “We donated several homes that were foreclosed and provided some funding as well to [enable] the organization to retrofit those buildings and put them on the market for families that need affordable housing. We’ve also been very active with foreclosure mitigation and have a close relationship with their clients in making sure we provide modifications and other forms of solutions for people that are struggling to stay in their homes.”
Fund in Meriden, which serves the entire state. “My role is statewide, so I try to be positioned close to all the locations I serve,” says Ulloa, who has been with Wells Fargo for four years. “But I have to say that New Haven has been the market where we probably have committed the most — not just in financial resources but also in human capital. It’s a place where there are a lot of really innovative solutions being provided to community development. It’s been a very exciting time to be working in this market.” Ulloa works with other bank staff on the New Haven Promise scholarship initiative and has provided seminars to
parents on 529 savings accounts to help them save for their children’s college education. “We really try to invest all our time, our people and our financial resources in helping to improve educational access for communities, because Connecticut has the largest achievement gap of any state in the country,” says Ulloa. “We identified that as something that’s a priority and we want to use our resources to help address it. We’ve been very active in improving education — not just in New Haven, but throughout the state.” Felicia Hunter contributed additional reporting to this article. BNH
Congratulates Wells Fargo on being named Corporate Citizen of the Year! Thank you for supporting the Symphony’s young people’s concerts.
Ulloa serves on the board of New Haven Neighborhood Housing Services and the Community Economic Development
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EMPLOYMENT The standard external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer is called intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is a newer treatment that delivers a greater dose of radiation per treatment than IMRT. As a result, patients receiving SBRT can complete an entire course of treatment in one to two weeks, compared to seven to nine weeks for IMRT. There have been few studies comparing the costs of these treatments, and their toxicity.
either SBRT or IMRT as a primary treatment for prostate cancer during 2008 to 2011.
Gaylord Unit Partners with QU Med School
“All the reports we have about the toxicity of SBRT comes from pioneering institutions,” said first author James Yu, MD, assistant professor of therapeutic radiology at Yale Cancer Center. “But now that SBRT is being used nationally, it is important to determine the costs and complications on a national level.”
Yu, senior author Cary Gross, MD and their colleagues found that the mean per-patient cost to Medicare for a course of SBRT was about $13,600, compared to $21,000 for IMRT. The team found that at 24 months after the start of the treatment, there were increased side effects for SBRT compared to IMRT, due to urethral irritation, urinary incontinence, and obstruction. However, even when including the cost of treating complications, the overall medical costs due to SBRT were still lower than that of IMRT.
MARKETING&MEDIA New Weapon Against Prostate Cancer?
Published March 10, the new study by researchers at the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center at Yale Cancer Center— compared IMRT to SBRT in a national sample of 4,005 Medicare patients aged 66 and older receiving prostate cancer treatment. Participants received
HEALTHCARE NEW HAVEN — A faster and less expensive form of radiotherapy for treating prostate cancer may come at a price, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers — a higher rate of urinary complications.
Author To Give Wellness Lecture NORTH HAVEN — Holly Atkinson, MD, medical correspondent and editor at HealthiNation, a digital health network, will deliver a lecture, “The Five Keys to Optimal Health,” in the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Quinnipiac University’s North Haven Campus. Atkinson will explore five dimensions of optimal well-being, offering practical advice from recent medical research mixed with advice for improving one’s emotional, social, intellectual, physical and spiritual well-being. An assistant professor of medicine at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine who holds degrees in both medicine and journalism, Atkinson has written the bestselling book Women and Fatigue. She wrote a regular health column for New Woman magazine and feature pieces for the South Beach Diet Newsletter. Atkinson earned her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry and a master’s degree in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She was graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Colgate University with a bachelor’s degree in biology. The talk will take place at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8. Part of Quinnipiac’s Campus Cross Talk series, the event is free and open to the public. To learn more phone 203-582-8652. 34
Mothers’ Big Helper NEW HAVEN — Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH) and the Yale School of Medicine (YSM) have partnered to open the first center of its kind in the region — the maternal fetal medicine center and pediatric specialty center expansion — offering comprehensive services with complete coordination of care in order to help mothers-to-be achieve peace of mind throughout their pregnancy. The maternal fetal medicine center is the first and the only center in Connecticut that performs both the fetoscopic laser procedure for advanced twintwin transfusion syndrome, as well as serious complications associated
WALLINGFORD — Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, a long-term acute care hospital, has formed a five-year clinical affiliation with the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. Under terms of the agreement, Gaylord staff will work with the leadership of the new QU medical school to recruit physicians as teachers, design clinical components of the curriculum, and create academic policies and procedures.
“We are honored to be part of this new education affiliation agreement with Quinnipiac University School of Medicine,” said Steve Holland, MD, chief medical officer at Gaylord Hospital. “We look forward to this exciting opportunity to partner with Quinnipiac as we collectively work together to create a new approach to medical education.”
“Gaylord Hospital shares our commitment to primary care and medical education,” said Bruce Koeppen, MD, founding dean of the School of Medicine. “I am confident that the physicians and staff at Gaylord Hospital will provide our students with a high quality clinical experience.” with identical twin pregnancies. YNHCH is also one of the very few centers in the world that treats twin anemia-polycythemia sequence patients with partial exchange transfusion. The center also treats congenital heart defects, fetal arrhythmias, airway lesions, intracranial abnormalities, fetal anemias, cleft lip or palate, clubbed feet, conjoined twins, spina bifida, intra-abdominal masses and many other conditions.
UrgentCare Franchise Opens in B-Port
Avenue, effective March 3. A fully staffed patient-care facility catering to any age, from pediatric to geriatric, Doctors Express says it is equipped to handle all types of medical emergencies from life threatening and painful physical conditions to preand post-treatment assessments and follow-up attention. Led by veteran Greenwich Hospital emergency room physician Steven Heffer, MD, the first Bridgeport office of the nation’s largest urgent-care franchise positions itself in the market
BRIDGEPORT — A new Doctors Express Urgent Care Center has opened for business at 161 Boston WWW.CONNTACT.COM
“Not only will Doctors Express help reduce the burden at our area’s busiest emergency rooms, like Bridgeport Hospital and St. Vincent’s, but our services can greatly decrease the wait time for patients and meet their most immediate medical needs,” said Heffer. “Our objective is to help our patients quickly and effectively. The Doctors Express goal is to have all patients treated in 30 to 60 minutes.” The Bridgeport Doctors Express is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
Author To Discuss Eating Disorders BRANFORD — A Shoreline Eating Disorder Presentation will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 18 at Blackstone Memorial Library,758 Main Street. This year’s speaker is Margo Maine, founder and advisor of the National Eating Disorders Association and founding fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders. Author of The Body Myth: Adult Women and the Pressure To Be Perfect, the first book to address eating disorders at or beyond midlife, Maine will discuss the many contributing factors, the unique characteristics and needs of adults, and the importance of identifying the problem and accessing care. Maine is also senior editor of Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention, has numerous other books on the topic of eating disorders, lectures widely and maintains a private practice in West Hartford. The program is free and open to the public. To learn more phone 203710-6665 or visit blackstonelibrary.org.
s e o r e H HEROES
as a quicker, easier, more convenient and affordable alternative to large hospital emergency rooms.
FALLEN HERO Joel Silidker, MD (1953-2013)
Due to a production error the photo meant to illustrate Joel Silidker in the February issue of Business New Haven Healthcare Heroes was not Mr. Silidker. We sincerely apologize to his family friends and colleagues. A corrected version is shown here and will run in the March April issue of New Haven magazine.
‘One in a Million’ The passing of a beloved obstetrician leaves a hole in the hearts of all who knew him
o matter whom you talk to among those who knew him, the mere mention of Joel Silidker’s name evokes an array of emotions that let you know he was truly loved by all and that his passing deeply affected their lives.
make sure they were all right. He was an excellent surgeon, he loved teaching and he was excellent at that. He was a motivator.” Fletcher notes that Silidker received an award for teaching medical students just prior to his death.
Silidker, a physician in practice with Obstetrics-Gynecology and Infertility Group, PC, with offices located in greater New Haven, died suddenly last July 6 at age 60. He was en route to the hospital in a car driven by Tina, his wife of nearly 37 years, after he experienced chest pains at home. He left behind a legacy that few feel will ever be duplicated. Born in Newark, N.J., Silidker was graduated from George Washington University with a BA in 1974 and the George Washington University Medical School with an MD in 1979. He completed an internship in internal medicine and a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), where he was awarded the Irving Friedman Award as chief resident, an honor bestowed for his outstanding clinical and humanistic skills. He was a clinical professor in the obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences department at the Yale School of Medicine. He was offered fellowship positions in both reproductive endocrinology and maternal fetal medicine, but turned both down to enter private practice in obstetrics and gynecology. Silidker was one of the first to train and practice advanced operative laparoscopic surgery, pelvic floor and urinary incontinence repairs, as well as robotic-assisted gynecologic surgeries. Silidker was renowned as a teacher and a mentor to countless residents and medical students, garnering virtually every teaching award offered by the department. He served YNHH on its medical board and obstetric practice committee, and authored the departmental newsletter. “When I came to New Haven in 1982 as a young attending [physician in training], Joel, who was chief resident
“He didn’t expect it,” says Fletcher. “He was proud of it. I don’t know anybody who had anything negative to say about him. It was very much a shock when he passed away. He was one of my best friends and he was well-respected in the community. [Following his death] the patients called here and people were crying. For several months, patients who came in to the office were still devastated by his loss. He was one in a million. I don’t know anybody like him and I don’t think I’ll ever meet any other doctors like him.”
at Yale-New Haven Hospital, took me under his wing and introduced me to everybody and brought me into his circle where I was immediately accepted because of the esteem in which he was held by others,” recalls Norman Ravski, MD of County Obstetrics and Gynecology Group, PC. “Joel and I became friends — but we were really more like brothers and spoke three times a day.” Ravski explains that for 30 years Silidker provided compassionate, evidence-based, care to New Havenarea women. “As a partner in his practice he made everyone he knew feel as if they were his best friend. He offered sage advice to residents and opened his heart and home so that people could feel like a part of his family”, Ravski adds. “He had a presence, an aura about him and he was just fun to be with. And he made sure that every minute you were with him was a fun, memorable moment.”
Silidker established his own tradition for incoming classes of residents at Yale-New Haven. “He would buy them a case of wine with the proviso that they could only drink a bottle of it if at least three out of the six of them were having dinner together,” says Ravski. “He actually did it for them this year because the residents start in June, so it was before he passed away. I intend to continue that tradition for him. He wanted people to enjoy life. His message was, ‘Yes, you work very hard but you also have to enjoy life’.” “Joel was one of the most sincere people I’ve known,” says Kim Fletcher, MD, who was in the same practice as Silidker. “He was someone who not only took care of patients but cared about the patients he took care of. “He would go out of his way in ways that I can’t even imagine how he kept up,” Fletcher adds. “He’d call patients when they had family problems that had nothing to do with their medical issues. He’d check up on them and
“He was such a special person,” says Diane Prunier, office manager of Silidker’s practice. “I’ve worked here for 32 years and he came in here six months after me, so we had a real special relationship. He just made everybody feel so special, whether it was his patients or his staff. Every day he would thank us. He would call me every morning and ask, ‘What can I do for you?’” Prunier says that, even half a year after the fact, Silidker’s patients remain devastated by his loss. “I can’t tell you what we’ve gone through here in the past six months,” says Prunier. “I feel so bad for my staff because they were upset about him passing suddenly. And then, to have to come in here the day after his funeral and pick up the phone and tell the patient that he’s gone, one after another. And the physicians and the midwife who are seeing his patients have a hole in their heart and the patients are crying. He made everyone feel like they were his only patient. We’ll never be the same here. There will never be another Joel.” — Thomas R. Violante
Connecticut Exports Rose in 2013
Led by sales of transportation equipment, Connecticut-made goods posted record export sales in 2013.
According to a report from the International Trade Administration, Connecticut’s export shipments totaled $16.5 million last year, up $515 million from 2012. No other New England states were among the 16 state record-setters. Texas topped the export list with $279.7 billion in export sales in 2013, while Oklahoma ranked No. 50 among the states, with $6.9 billion.
with fewer than 500 employees. More than a quarter of manufacturing workers in the Constitution State were reliant on exports for their jobs.
Transportation equipment was the state’s leading export in 2013, accounting for $8 billion in sales, followed by machinery ($1.9 billion), computers and electronics ($1.3 billion), chemicals ($998 million) and electrical equipment, appliances and components ($760 million).
($1.22 billion) and Mexico ($1.21 billion) for the top five. China ($904 million) and the UK ($696 million) were close behind. Thirty percent ($5 billion) of Connecticut’s exports were with countries with which the U.S. has free trade agreements. Connecticut exported no goods to a number of countries in 2013, such as Greenland, which imported $61,599 of Nutmeg State products in 2012.
Including data from 2011, the ITA report found that of the 6,020 companies exporting from Connecticut in that year, 89 percent (5,357) were small and midsized businesses, defined as enterprises
France accounted for a plurality of the state’s exports in 2013, totaling $2.4 billion (14.8 percent of Connecticut’s total), followed by Canada, at $1.9 billion. These were followed by Germany ($1.4 billion), United Arab Emirates
HEALTHCARE Sikorsky Inks Contracts
STRATFORD — It’s a busy time for Sikorsky Aircraft, as the defense manufacturer takes on additional national and international defense contracts.
and support contract for helicopters used for training at Naval Air Stations in Corpus Christi, Tex., Pensacola and Whiting Field, Fla., and seven other satellite locations across the country.
quarters in Waterbury, as well as a 5,000-squarefoot leased space in Naugatuck.
EMPLOYMENT Bead Hits
MILFORD — When manufacturer Bead Industries first opened its doors, World War I was consuming Europe, and the first scheduled airline flight took off. It’s been a while.
Concentric TECHNOLOGY Earns Top The company has signed a $3.5 billion deal with Turkey for 109 helicopters featuring a newly designed cockpit. Nearly every component of the new aircraft will be manufactured in Turkey. The agreement includes options that if exercised could result in billions of dollars in additional orders over the next 30 years.
WATERBURY — Component maker Concentric Tool & Manufacturing was named the top manufacturer by the Waterbury Regional Chamber.
Foreign-controlled enterprises employed 102,600 Connecticut workers in 2011, according to the report, primarily businesses headquartered in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany and France.
Based on 2012 data, the Bridgeport/ Stamford/Norwalk metropolitan area ships the highest concentration of the state’s exports at $10.3 billion, followed by the Hartford/East Hartford/West Hartford area with $9.7 million. New Haven/Milford trails behind those at $2.7 million in exports, while Norwich/ New London brings up the rear with $262 million in exports.
Nationally, export sales rose to record levels in 2013, totaling $2.3 trillion. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker says the numbers show the importance of selling internationally; in a statement she indicated that 5,000 jobs are supported for every $1 billion in exports nationwide.
— John Mordecai
was named FamilyOwned Business of the Year for the Connecticut district by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Laticrete Buys Chemical Maker BETHANY — Construction materials maker Laticrete International has
acquired a Nebraska company to augment its penetration into the decorative construction market. The Bethany mortar/ adhesive/grout producer purchased Omaha-area L&M Construction Chemical, a 53-year-old manufacturer of concrete construction chemicals that includes coatings,
REALESTATE Concentric, which has been in business since 1972, received the 2014 Harold Webster Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award at the chamber’s January 30 ceremony. The company was founded by Klaus J. Babiarz and is still family-owned, now being helmed by his son Klaus D. Babiarz.
Bead celebrates its centennial in 2014, having manufactured electronic contact pins for the connector industry as well as for cars and telecom applications since its founding in Bridgeport in 1914. The company’s first president was Yale College grad Waldo Gerald Bryant.
Bead originally produced chain pulls (the “Bead chain”) for electric lights, before diversifying into electronics components, such as radio contact pins, in the early 1920s. The company produced more than 22 million bead necklaces in World War II for soldiers’ “dogtag” identification plates.
Sikorsky was also recently awarded a $110 million maintenance
Concentric specializes small- and large-run machined components used in the aerospace, medical, commercial hardware, electronics, defense/military and private industry sectors. The company employs 17 workers at its 7,000-square-foot head-
More recently, the company has launched an online 3D CAD catalogue detailing all its products and parts, and in 2013
sealers and color hardeners for polished concrete. L&M products will still bear the company’s name under the Laticrete brand, but production will continue to take place in Omaha. Integration of the company’s sales, service and manufacturing functions will continue through the year.
Ashcroft, Inc 250 East Main Street,
Stratford, CT 203.378.8281 www.ashcroft.com
MARKETING&MEDIA Sikorsky also expanded a contract with Anaheim, Calif.-based Milestone Aviation Group to provide it with 37 new S-92 helicopters (up from a previous order of 29 aircraft) to the tune of $1.2 billion. The helicopters are scheduled for delivery over the next five years, with 15 to be delivered through 2015. Milestone already has 73 Sikorsky aircraft in its fleet, being leased to operators all over the world.
Over 160 years ago, Edward Ashcroft saw the need for safer, more sophisticated pressure and temperature instruments for use in the emerging steam industry. Ashcroft introduced a then revolutionary new Bourdon Tube Pressure Gauge. The rest is history.
Products manufactured by Ashcroft Inc. have become the benchmark in pressure and temperature measurement and include gauges, thermometers, switches, transducers, transmitters, instrument isolators, and diaphragm seals and control and calibration equipment. Specified around the world for the most demanding requirements, these instruments are widely recognized under the brand names; Ashcroft, Heise, Willy, and Weksler. And you can find them in wastewater treatment facilities, biotech and pharmaceutical labs, medical applications, semiconductor facilities, refineries, power generation plants, food processing plants, pulp and paper mills, chemical manufacturing plants and the host of support companies that serve these industries.
The Made in CT Program is a dedicated feature on the CONNSTEP website, creating a directory for the state’s manufacturers to showcase products and services, and to feature companies that contribute to the growth of the economy, are involved in continuous improvement, strive to create jobs, and to grow their businesses.
CONNSTEP Delivering Top-Line Growth & Bottom-Line Improvement
www.connstep.org Featured manufacturers are chosen from CONNSTEP’s Made in CT Program, found at www.made-in-ct.com”
EMPLOYMENT QU Offers MS in Biz Analysis
Stanching TECHNOLOGY State’s ‘Brain Drain’
lawmaker can identify with the law’s target group: The 25-year-old senator is a young entrepreneur, having established his own solarenergy business at the tender age of 19.
“We also want to do all we can to get them to consider starting businesses of their own,” added Linares. “Allowing young people to make these investments in their futures will help them pay for startup costs associated with the establishment of a new business. This proposal sends the message to young people that their state wants them to be innovators and entrepreneurs.”
HAMDEN — In an effort to stay ahead of the curve as it trains students to enter the job market, Quinnipiac University will introduce a brand new area of study in business analysis beginning this autumn. The 33-credit master of science in business analytics program will be offered online only. It will consist of seven core courses and four electives.
W Donuts are between $294,000 and $1.5 millon. At the top of the list is Anytime Fitness, a much smaller franchise with 2,425 locations. And start-up costs are estimated to be between $56,300 and $353,900. The 24-hour gym is successful because it caters to clients, says MSNMoney.com. The clubs “focus on people and culture. The company carefully selects its employees and treats them well, committed to the idea that a workplace should develop and challenge, not be stagnant and boring. Clients, meanwhile, appreciate the convenience of 24-hour accessibility to the small gyms – typically 2,500 to 5,000 square feet – whose staff and personal trainers take an interest.” Others among the top 10 franchises, according to MSNMoney, are #9 Pizza Hut, #8 Denny’s, #7 Servpro, #6 7-Eleven, #5 Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, #4 Supercuts, #3 Subway, and #2 Hampton Hotels.
MARKETING&MEDIA HARTFORD — There’s a push by a number of GOP legislators to encourage students educated at Connecticut colleges and universities to remain in the state to launch their professional careers. The effort to stanch the so-called “brain drain” and help the state’s business community benefit from the minds it educates is now being considered by the General Assembly.
The new addition is a “unique program,” according to Richard McCarthy, professor of computer information systems at Quinnipiac. “It combines statistics, technology, marketing and financial analysis into one unified approach. The program fills a need that is missing in that there are so many jobs that have become dependent on information analysis.” Susan McTiernan, associate dean for graduate programs for Quinnipiac’s School of Business, noted that the school “monitors what the market needs” to determine offerings for its graduate programs.
Dubbed An Act Concerning the Learn Here, Live Here Program and Business Creation, the proposal (a/k/a House Bill 5275) would allow college graduates to establish a “Learn Here, Live Here” savings account to establish a new business. It also would open the door for informational programs for first-time homebuyers. The “Learn Here, Live Here” program would be established by the Commissioner of Economic & Community Development, with assistance from the Board of Regents of Higher Education and the Commissioner of Revenue Services, according to the bill. The proposal was cosponsored by State Sen. Art Linares (R-33) and State Reps. Melissa Ziobron (R-34), Tony Hwang (R-134) and Christopher Davis (R-57). “We want to do all we can to get college graduates to stay in Connecticut after graduation,” said Linares in a statement. The Westbrook
“Connecticut has found success in creating incentives for first-time homebuyers, so why not try it with start-up businesses to encourage entrepreneurship? ” said Davis in a statement. Added the 27-year-old East Windsor Realtor: “We think this would be a great way to encourage young people to stay in Connecticut, to put their educations and skills to work right here, and to create private-sector jobs in the process. Our goal is to not only slow down the Connecticut brain drain, but to reverse it. Want Connecticut graduates to stay [in the state]? Let’s start providing them with great reasons to stay.”
The proposal would allow students graduating from colleges or technical schools in Connecticut after January 1, 2015 to deposit a maximum of $2,500 each year into the “Learn Here, Live Here” account. Over the next ten years, the funds would be available for withdrawal in order to establish a new company in Connecticut. The bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Commerce on February 20, and a public hearing was held shortly afterward. – Felicia Hunter
“The new program in business analytics will fill a genuine need for well-trained individuals with the skills required to manage large amounts of data and leverage it for organizational success,” McTiernan said. The program provides advanced study in statistical methods, data management and business intelligence and analytics for current and aspiring business professionals, said McTiernan. She added that studies indicate demand for skilled business analysts growing in the next five years. If you’re looking to launch a profitable franchise, you might get some help from MSNMoney. com, which has announced its top franchise picks for 2014. Some on the list might be expected, and others might come as a surprise. Of its top 10, probably the only surprise that Dunkin’ Donuts brings is that it is at the bottom of the list. The popular coffee and donut fastfood eatery has 10,833 locations worldwide, and continues to expand both within and outside the United States. It will take a lot of money to start a franchise, however, notes the financial website. MSNMoney estimates start-up costs to launch a Dunkin’
Overcoming Employment Barriers NEW HAVEN — Landing a new job could present barriers that have nothing to do with actual work performance. These include purchasing a uniform, securing child care or finding reliable transportation, according to the WorkPath Fund. A new initiative that seeks to help families address ancillary jobrelated needs and their costs, the fund offers a one-time grant paid directly to a vendor. The fund is a collaborative effort of the Connecticut Commission on Children, Liberty Bank Foundation, Workforce Alliance and four additional state workforce investment boards. Together they raised $105,500 from 11 nonprofit organizations to launch the fund. The maximum amount for any single
grant is $1,000. To be eligible for a WorkPath Fund grant, families must not be eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
“We know that when families have been out of work, they have often used up their savings and don’t have the money needed to cover costs associated with starting a new job,” said Jennifer Heath of the United Way of Greater New Haven, one of the supporting nonprofits. “One of the United Way’s areas of focus,” Heath added, “is to help improve families’ financial stability. This investment will help people get back to work so that they can support their families and contribute to the economy.” The fund stems from legislation passed in 2010 by the Speaker’s Task Force on Children in the Recession that focuses on supporting parents with dependent children during periods of high unemployment and economic downturns. Working parents in need of assistance may apply for a grant by contacting CTWorks Career Centers at 203-624-1493.
McMahon Speaks to Biz Group STAMFORD — Ladies Who Launch of Southwest Connecticut will present a talk by Linda McMahon on successful entrepreneurship from 6 to 8 p.m. March 20 at Safavieh, 230 Atlantic Street. McMahon, of WWE fame, will discuss the highs and lows of her entrepreneurial journey in the professional wrestling arena. She is also a two-time former U.S. Senate candidate. In association with Ladies Who Launch, McMahon has agreed to fund $4,000 in scholarship money for female entrepreneurs. For more information, visit ladieswholaunch.com.
TECHNOLOGY CTC REALESTATE Honors Distaff Innovators EAST HARTFORD — The Connecticut Technology Council has nominated 59 women throughout the state as part of its tenth annual Women of Innovation awards, recognizing professionals and students for being innovators, role models and leaders in science,
Accelerating Trip to the Accelerator NEW HAVEN — The Elm City enjoys a relative abundance of resources, events and infrastructure for entrepreneurs and their startup businesses, including access accelerator programs that emerging entrepreneurs can use to workshop and hone their enterprise from the idea stage to a nearly ready-for-market stage. Even the worldwide Startup Weekend events roll into town each year.
▼ provides structural integrity to muscles. The Laminin-111 drug shows promise in treatment based on early studies. There are no currently approved therapies for the disease. Another of Alexion’s drugs, Soliris, which prevents complications after organ transplants (particularly delayed graft function), was granted “orphan” status in Europe. Orphan drugs are made to treat rare medical conditions; getting official status aids in marketing and other potential financial opportunities.
MARKETING&MEDIA HEALTHCARE technology, engineering and math. The 59 nominees include 13 local women:
A worldwide pre-accelerator program, NEXT, will come to New Haven in April to help early-stage startups prepare for investor opportunities and accelerators. New Haven NEXT consists of weekly three-hour sessions over five weeks from April 1 to April 29 at the Grove co-working space, which will have teams test their ideas and field advice from mentors and peers. The best NEXT teams will advance to a First Look Forum to pitch their ideas in front of accelerators, investors and other media.
TECHNOLOGY • Michelle Addinton, Hines Professor of Sustainable Architectural Design at Yale University
• Kathy Ayers, director of research for Wallingford gas manufacturer Proton OnSite
• Manon Cox, president and CEO of Meriden biopharmaceutical developer Protein Sciences Corp.
REALESTATE • Julie Dorsey, professor of computer science at Yale
• Mary Kay Fenton, CFO and senior vice president Achillion Pharmaceuticals, New Haven • Andreanne Johnson, information technology principal consult at Sikorsky Aircraft • Paula Kavathas, a professor at the Yale Department of Laboratory Medicine
Applications are accepted through March 27. More information can be found at swnext.co.
Microgrid Powers Up MIDDLETOWN — The first of the state’s nine microgrid power systems that Gov. Dannel Malloy touted last summer is up and running. The $694,000 natural gaspowered turbine is now online at Wesleyan University. It will provide power to the emergency shelter at the Freeman Athletic Center, which will serve Middletown residents in the event of a large-scale power outage. The $18 million microgrid program was part of Malloy’s 2012 storm bill (PA 12-148), passed after the devastating effects in Connecticut and the Northeast of Hurricane Irene and an October 2011 nor’easter, and Superstorm Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
MARKETING&MEDIA Alexion Teams • Yvonne Kielhorn, CEO and founder of New Haven software developer Why Science
• Nuriye Elif Kongar-Bahtiyar, associate professor at the University of Bridgeport’s Department of Technology Management & Mechanical Engineering
Up For MD Drug
CHESHIRE — There are some new rare disease treatment updates for pharmaceuticals developer Alexion, which just entered into an agreement with two other firms and has attained approval for one of its drugs in Europe.
HEALTHCARE • Lynn Madden, president & CEO of substance abuse treatment center APT Foundation, New Haven
• Elaine Pagliaro, grants coordinator for the University of New Haven’s Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science. Local student nominees include Eeman Abbasi of Amity Regional High School; and Lu Han, of Cheshire, a graduate student and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering.
The women were nominated by their peers and selected based on professional experience, innovation history, leadership, problem solving and creative thinking skills, or in the case of students, accomplishments, research and academic achievement. Winners in each of eight categories — biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, software, computer hardware, advanced materials, medical devices and information technology, plus a student category — will be announced at the Women of Innovation awards ceremony at Southington’s Aqua Turf Club on March 27. — John Mordecai
The company is researching and developing Laminin-111, a protein-replacement treatment for the ultra-rare merosindeficient congenital muscular dystrophy (MDC1A) with Massachusetts muscular dystrophy pharmaceutical maker Prothelia as well as the University of Nevada/ Reno. The deal gives Alexion an option to acquire Prothelia as well. MDC1A is a life-threatening disease caused by deficiency of laminin-211 protein, which
The nine microgrid projects in eight communities would provide round-the-clock power to government organizations and emergency services and facilities. The microgrids in the other towns (Woodbridge, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Groton, Hartford, Storrs and Windham) are expected to come online over the next 18 months.
CCAT Doles Out R&D Grants HARTFORD — The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) has awarded grants to several technology-based startups
working on orthodontic components, solar roofing and retinal implants.
The three grants, each between $30,000 and $50,000, came through the state’s Manufacturing Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) to fund research and development, fabrication methods and manufacturing processes.
New Ortho Polymers is a UConn Ventures company developing equipment to produce clear filaments to be used in orthodontic braces that may having an impact on future product designs.
SolVilla Energy is developing a solar energy roofing shingle, and will be utilizing CCAT’s 3D plastic printer system to assemble strings of photovoltaic cells.
Another UConn Ventures company, LambdaVision, is developing a high-resolution retinal implant to restore vision for those suffering age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
UConn Ventures is an offshoot of the UConn Office of Economic Development, and aims to turn faculty- and staffdeveloped technology into new startups. Settlement Action for CT Consumers
Connecticut consumers who purchased an electronic device between 1998 and 2002 may be entitled to a piece of a $310 million pie. According to a class action lawsuit over Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) components (typically chips and modules responsible for data storage) in devices such as DVD players, printers, video game consoles and other electronic devices were subject to price fixing by manufacturers (including Samsung and Toshiba), resulting in inflated consumer prices.
Receipts and paperwork aren’t required to file a claim, and those who do file will get at least $10. More information can be found at dramclaims.com.
for overseeing, directing and managing the sales and service efforts of the bank’s mortgage loan officers.
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Yale Law School in 2009 and serves as the school’s 16th dean.
WHO’S WHAT, WHERE
Herbst Jennifer L. Herbst of Hamden, assistant professor at the Quinnipiac University School of Law and the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac, has been selected to participate in Georgia State University College of Law and its Center for Law, Health & Society’s Future of Public Health Law Education: Faculty Fellowship Program. The purpose of the program is to foster innovation and build a learning community among those who teach public health law at professional and graduate schools. Herbst joined the School of Law faculty in 2011 and the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine faculty in 2012 Heather O. Berchem of Milford, a partner with the law firm of Murtha Cullina partner, has been appointed to the legal committee of the American Health Care Association, a nonprofit federation of affiliate state health organizations. Berchem chairs Murtha Cullina’s Long-Term Care Practice Group and is a member of the Health Care and Information Security and Privacy Practice Groups. Charles J. Noble III, executive vice president/ wealth management of the Noble Wealth Advisory Group of Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC, has been named to Barron’s 2014 list of “Top 1,200 Advisors” published February 22. Previously Noble was named Janney’s 2012 Financial Advisor of the Year and a year later was included among the FT 400 Top Financial Advisors by Financial Times. Newtown Savings Bank has hired two new lending officers: James Lynch of Milford has been named vice president of residential mortgage sales, responsible MARCH 2014
Mary Jascha of Monroe was named vice president, commercial business development officer, responsible for developing new commercial loans, along with the retention and service of NSB’s existing commercial loan portfolio.
Stephan John Stephan has been named visiting associate professor of entrepreneurship in the School of Business at Quinnipiac University. He teaches strategic business problemsolving, an online MBA introductory course, as well as strategic integrated management seminar to undergraduates. Stephan earned a bachelor’s degree in math and theater from the College of Williams & Mary as well as an MBA and doctorate from Columbia. Naugatuck Valley Financial Corp., holding company for Naugatuck Valley Savings & Loan, has named J. Allen Kosowsky of Shelton a director of both the company and the bank. A CPA, Kosowsky is founder and president of J. Allen Kosowsky, CPA, PC, a forensic accounting and business advisory firm in Shelton. Yale University President Peter Salovey has announced the reappointment of Robert C. Post as dean of Yale Law School and Sol and Lillian Goldman Professor of Law, effective July 1 for a term of three years. Post joined the Yale Law School faculty in 2003 as David Boies Professor of Law, specializing in the area of constitutional law, including the First Amendment, equal protection and legal history. He was appointed dean of
Joanna Green of Plainville has been named assistant director of admissions for Quinnipiac University Online. QU offers seven online graduate programs, as well as bachelor’s and certificate programs. Previously Green was an international account specialist at Sportika Export of Berlin, a sports nutrition exporting company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Hartford.
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Terry Mangan of Wilton, senior vice president, investor relations for Webster Financial Corp., has been cited by Institutional Investor magazine’s 2014 AllAmerica Executive Team list for excellence. Mangan was ranked second for Best Investor-Relations Professional in the Banks/ Midcap sector. He has now achieved top-three rankings in this category for three years running. Mangan has been with Webster since 2003 and since then has headed the organization’s investor-relations function.
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SPECIAL EVENTS The ninth annual Women in Business Summit is for females who work for corporations, hospitals, non-profits, social services and of course women business-owners. Keynote presentation by Jacky Wright, vice president of IT strategic enterprise services for Microsoft. Breakout sessions include “Values-Based Financial Planning,” “Whole Person Wellness,” “Light the Path to Inspirational Leadership,” “Ready, Set…Pause: Navigating Transitions,” “Strengthening Your Assertive Voice” plus an entrepreneur panel discussion on “How To Start & Grow Your Business.” 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 22 at Travelers Claim University, 99 Lamberton Rd., Windsor. $125. Registration. 413-237-0274, firstname.lastname@example.org.
publishing director at Coastal Connecticut Media. Noon-1:30 p.m. March 19 at Clinton Country Club, 128 Old Post Rd., Clinton. $15 members, $25 nonmembers. Registration. 860-669-3889, chamber@ clintonct.com. The Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce hosts its monthly Business After Hours. 5-7 p.m. March 19 at Now Security Systems, 7 Corporate Dr., North Haven. Free. Reservations. 203-269-9891, email@example.com. Each third Friday the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce (GNHCC) hosts Discover the Chamber, an informational and networking session for new and prospective members. Free pizza, even! Noon March 21 at GNHCC, 900 Chapel St. (10th Fl.), New Haven. Free. 203-787-6735, gnhcc. com.
EDUCATION Human Resources Quinnipiac University hosts a panel discussion, Social Media: Key Issues for Companies & Their Employees. Part of QU’s Social Media Breakfast Series, the panel will include vice president for HR Ron Mason, Brian Murray, director of talent and culture for Likeable Media, and Chuck Stohler, who heads the Labor & Employment practice group for the law firm Carmondy & Torrance. 7:30-9:30 a.m. April 3 at Center for Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, Quinnipiac University, North Haven. Free. Registration. 203-582-8841, firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO’S WHAT, WHERE
SYMPOSIA, CONFERENCES & EXPOSITIONS The Connecticut Technology Council and Crossroads Venture Groups present the “first annual” Mobile Summit Connecticut with the theme “Exploring Mobile Venture Opportunities & Challenges.” Keynote speaker Qualcomm SVP William Davidson will discuss “Mobile: The Biggest and Most Disruptive Platform in Human History.” Also, panel discussion on “Connecticut Mobile IT Ventures: Solving Big Problems & Moving Markets.” 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 2 at AT&T Center, 310 Orange St., New Haven. $40 CTC/CVG members, students; $50 others. Registration. 860-282-4978, cvg.org.
CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
After the winter we’ve just had, the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce’s SouthwesternThemed Business After Hours can’t come soon enough. Networking, door prizes, giveaways — plus take a swing at a piñata full of surprises. 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 25 at Consign & Design, 616 E. Main St., Branford. 203-488-5500. The West Haven Chamber of Commerce hosts Business After Hours. 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 25 at City Hall, 355 Main St., West Haven. $10 members, $15 others. 203-933-1500, email@example.com. The Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce presents Business After Hours Featuring the Transition Expo. Attendees will learn about youths with disabilities and how businesses can pitch in to lend a hand. 5-7 p.m. March 26 at Four Points by Sheraton, 275 Research Pkwy., Meriden. Free. 203-235-7901, firstname.lastname@example.org. Back by popular demand is the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce’s second annual Chili Challenge. Sample sumptuous chili from 16 area restaurants and vote for your favorite — proceeds will benefit a worthy cause identified by the winner. Noon-3 p.m. March 29 in Branford Green Merchant District, Branford. $10. 203-488-5500, branfordct.com.
The Clinton and Madison Chambers of Commerce co-host a Women in Business Luncheon. Subject is “How To Brand Right the First Time,” with Leslie Singer, creative director of Coastal Connecticut Magazine, and Kim Hewson, custom
Non-profit Accounting Solutions SOC 1, SOC 2 Audits (formerly SAS 70) Fundraising Solutions Network Security Audits HIPAA Security Compliance IT Policies and Procedures Business Continuity Planning Software Selection
Fred Pryor presents Microsoft Excel: Beyond the Basics. Learn the formulas, database techniques and macro commands that optimize Excel’s capabilities, as well as learn Excel tips and shortcuts the pros rely on to make data more useful and worksheets easier to manipulate. Covers Excel 2007 and 2010. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 19 at Hilton Garden Inn, 291 Old Gate Ln., Milford. $99. 800556-3009, events.careertrack.com. Caren Schwartz of Time & Sense Consultants in Southport leads a workshop on Working with QuickBooks Desktop for Windows: An Overview. Focus is on tips and tricks for setting up QuickBooks and using it in your business. A program of the greater Bridgeport chapter of SCORE. 7 p.m. March 20 at Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, 10 Progress Dr. (2nd Fl.), Shelton. 203-450-9484, email@example.com.
The New Haven County Bar Association’s Ask a Lawyer program offers free ten- to 15-minute consultations with an NHCBA attorney to all comers (no pre-registration necessary) each third Wednesday. 5-7 p.m. March 19 at Hagaman Memorial Library, 227 Main St., East Haven. Free. 203-468-3890, hagamanlibrary.info.
Network Systems and Support Network Security Network Vulnerability Assess-
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For the second session of its six-session Human Resources Roundtable Breakfast Series, the labor and employment group of the law firm of Carmody & Torrance presents Creating, Updating & Enhancing Your Employee Handbook. Roundtable discussion designed principally for HR professionals and in-house counsel. 8 a.m.-9:15 April 24 at 50 Leavenworth St., Waterbury. $65 ($250 for six sessions). Reservations. 203-5784247, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Management If you employ 50 or more workers, your company must provide Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for managers and supervisors within six months of employees taking on supervisory responsibilities. This CBIA workshop will teach supervisors: how Connecticut and federal laws
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define sexual harassment; where supervisors go wrong; steps to take when problems arise; steps to take before problems arise; how to develop and communicate sound policies; how inaction can cost you and your company. 8:30-11:30 a.m. March 7 at Best Western Plus North Haven Hotel, 210 Washington Ave., North Haven. $125 CBIA members; $195 others. 860-244-1900, cbia.com. Fred Pryor presents a workshop, Team-Building, Mentoring & Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors. Day-long seminar is designed to teach attendees powerful coaching methods to turn even problem employees into super-productive, motivated winners. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 14 at Omni New Haven Hotel, 155 Temple St., New Haven. $199. 800-556-3009, events. careertrack.com.
Manufacturing The New Haven Manufacturers Association meets to hear a Manufacturing Economic Forecast. Don Klepper-Smith of Data Core Partners will discuss his firm’s Connecticut Manaufacturing Competitiveness Index and how manufacturing in the Nutmeg State stacks up against those in the other 49. Noon-1:30 p.m. March 27 at Graduate Club, 153 Elm St., New Haven. $15 NHMA members, $20 non-members. 203-387-5121, newhavenmanufacturers.com.
Small Business The New Haven chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) holds a Pre-Business Workshop. Attendees will learn essential business information on how to write a business plan, insurance needs of a business, financing/ bookkeeping, Connecticut tax information and marketing tips. 8:30 a.m.-noon March 12 in Rm. S105, Gateway Community College, 20 Church St., New Haven. Free. 203-865-7645, newhavenscore. org. The Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce in partnership with SCORE offers free and confidential Mentoring to entrepreneurs and small-business owners the second Thursday of each month. Call for appointment. 9, 10 & 11 a.m. March 13 at 3 Colony St., Suite 301, Meriden. 203-235-7901, meridenchamber.com. Under the auspices of the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, SCORE volunteers offer free and confidential Mentoring to entrepreneurs and small-business owners the third Wednesday of each month. Counselors have experience in such areas as marketing, management, business-plan preparation and more. Call for appointment. 9, 10 & 11 a.m. March 19 at Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, 100 S. Turnpike Rd., Wallingford. Free. Reservations. 203-269-9891, maribel@quinncham. com. SCORE New Haven and the New Haven Free Public Library jointly offer a four-session spring workshop series for entrepreneurs. Led by Dennis Brown, Business Planning will cover how to draft a business plan, risk management, technol-
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ogy and other issues of import to prospective business owners. 5:30-7:30 p.m. April 2 at NHFPL, 133 Elm St., New Haven. Free. Registration. 203865-7645, newhaven.score.org.
RECREATION Specifically designed with the business golfer in mind is the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual Quinnipiac Golf League, which commences play April 22 and continues Tuesdays throughout the season. Shotgun start so all players finish nine holes at (approximately) the same time to allow time for networking. 5 p.m. Tuesdays (beginning 4/22) at the Traditional Golf Club, 37 Harrison Rd., Wallingford. $600/season members of Quinnipiac and New Haven chambers of commerce; $700 non-members. 203-269-9891, email@example.com.
LEADS/NETWORKING GROUPS The Fairfield I chapter of Business Network International meets Tuesdays. 7-8:30 a.m. March 4, 11, 18, 25 at First Congregational Church, 148 Beach Rd., Fairfield. Free. 203-430-4494. The Waterbury chapter of Business Network International meets Tuesdays. 7-8:30 a.m. March 4, 11, 18, 25 at the Village at East Farms, 180 Scott Rd., Waterbury. 203-755-5548, waterburybni.com. The Shoreline chapter of Business Network International meets Tuesdays. 7:15-8:30 a.m. March 4, 11, 18, 25 at Parthenon Diner, 809 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook. 203-245-0332. The Hamden chapter of Business Network International meets Tuesdays. 7:15-8:45 a.m. March 4, 11, 18, 25 at Knights of Columbus, 2630 Whitney Ave., Hamden. Free. 203-294-1505, hamdenbni.com. The Milford Chamber of Commerce’s Tuesday Morning Leads Group meets. 8:30 a.m. March 4, 11, 18, 25 at Milford Chamber of Commerce, 5 Broad St., Milford. Free. 203-878-0681, firstname.lastname@example.org. Connecticut Business Connections meets first and third Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. March 4, 18 at
Tuscany Grill, 120 College St., Middletown. 860343-1579, connecticutbusinessconnection.org. The Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s (GVCC) Valley Business Network meets first and third Wednesdays. 8-9:15 a.m. March 5, 19 at GVCC, 10 Progress Dr. (2nd Fl.), Shelton. Free. 203-925-4981, email@example.com. The Trumbull Business Network (formerly Bottom-Line Business Club) meets Wednesdays. 7:308:30 a.m. March 5, 12, 19, 26 at Helen Plumb Building, 571 Church Hill Rd., Trumbull. Members free (annual dues $50). Reservations. 203-4528383, trumbullbn.com/contactus.htm. The New Haven chapter of Business Network International meets Wednesdays. 8-9:30 a.m. March 5, 12, 19, 26 at the Bourse, 839 Chapel St., New Haven. $100 registration; $365 annual fee. 203-789-2364, boursenewhaven.com. Milford Chamber of Commerce’s Wednesday Morning Leads Group meets 8:30-9:30 a.m. March 5, 12, 19, 26 at Milford Chamber of Commerce, 5 Broad St., Milford. Free. 203-8780681, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Greater New Haven Business & Professional Association, an association of predominantly African-American business people, holds networking sessions Wednesdays. 11 a.m.noon March 5, 12, 19, 26 at 192 Dixwell Ave., New Haven. Free. 203-562-2193. The Connecticut Alliance for Business Opportunities (CABO), which describes itself as the state’s LGBT chamber of commerce, meets first Thursday mornings. 8-9:30 a.m. March 6, March 6 at the Pond House in Elizabeth Park, 1555 Asylum Ave., West Hartford. $15 members, $25 others. 203-903-8525, thecabo.org. The Entrepreneur Business Forum (EBF) meets Thursdays. 7 a.m. March 6, 13, 20, 27 at Hamden Healthcare Center, 1270 Sherman La., Hamden. Free. 860-877-3880. The Professional Networking Group of Waterbury (PrefNet) meets Thursdays. 7 a.m. March 6, 13, 20, 27 at Waterbury Regional Chamber, 83 Bank St., Waterbury. 203-575-101, ProfNetWaterbury.com.
The Milford chapter of Business Network International meets Fridays. 7-8:30 a.m. March 7, 14, 21, 28 at Hilton Garden Inn, 291 Old Gate La., Milford. Free. 203-214-6336, greatermilfordbni.com. The Sound chapter of Business Network International meets Fridays. 8-9:30 a.m. March 7, 14, 21, 28 at Parthenon Diner, 374 E. Main St., Branford. Free. 203-208-1042. Milford Chamber of Commerce’s Friday Morning Leads Group meets. 11 a.m.-noon March 7, 14, 21, 28 at Milford Chamber of Commerce, 5 Broad St., Milford. Free. 203-878-0681, email@example.com. The Hamden Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Business Network III (formerly Leads Group III) meets second and fourth Mondays. 5 p.m. March 10, 24 at SBC Restaurant & Brewery, 950 Dixwell Ave., Hamden. Free. 203-288-6831. The Hamden Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Business Network I (formerly Leads Group I) meets second and fourth Tuesdays. 8 a.m. March 11, 25 at 2969 Whitney Ave., Hamden. Free. 203-281-1233. The Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s (GVCC) Women in Networking Leads Group meets second and fourth Tuesdays. 8:4510 a.m. March 11, 25 at GVCC, 10 Progress Dr. (2nd Fl.)., Shelton. Free. 203-925-4981. The Hamden Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Business Network II (formerly Leads Group II) meets second and fourth Tuesdays. Noon March 11, 25 at Lifetime Solutions Community VNA, 2 Broadway, North Haven. Free. 203-288-7305. The Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s (GVCC) Seeds-to-Leads Group meets second and fourth Wednesdays. 8 a.m. March 12, 26 at GVCC, 10 Progress Dr. (2nd Fl.), Shelton. Free. 203-925-4981, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce’s QNet Group meets the second and fourth Wednesdays. 8-9 a.m. March 12, 26 at 100 S. Turnpike Rd., Wallingford. Free. 203-234-0332, 203-269-9891, quinncham.com.
The Greater New Haven chapter of Toastmasters meets second and fourth Wednesdays. 6:30 p.m. March 12, 26 at New Haven City Hall, 165 Church St., New Haven. 203-871-3065. Connecticut Business Connections meets second Thursdays. 7:30 a.m. March 13 at the Greek Olive, 402 Sargent Dr., New Haven. 860-3431579, connecticutbusinessconnection.org. The West Haven Chamber of Commerce’s Leads Plus A.M. Group meets second Thursdays. 8:30 a.m. March 13 at 140 Capt. Thomas Blvd., West Haven. 203-933-1500. Middlesex County Toastmasters meets second and fourth Thursdays. 7 p.m. March 13, 27 at Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown. 860-301-9402, middlesex.freetoasthost.com. The Jewish Business League meets third Wednesdays for networking and informationsharing. March’s guest speaker is Gerry Barker, principal of Barker Specialty Co., who will discuss “Fighting Conventional Wisdom: The Benefit of Contrarian Thought in Business.” 7:30-9:15 a.m. March 26 at Temple Beth David, 3 Main St., Cheshire. $8 advance, $10 at door. tinyurl.com/8-alnnuz. The Connecticut Business Hall of Fame hosts a statewide networking event the third Friday each month. 7:30-9 a.m. March 21 at Connecticut Laborers Council, 475 Ledyard St., Hartford. $5. 860-523-7500, ctbhof.com. The West Haven Chamber of Commerce’s Leads Plus P.M. Group meets fourth Thursdays. Noon March 27 at 140 Captain Thomas Blvd., West Haven. 203-933-1500. The West Haven Chamber’s Women in Business meets the fourth Monday of each month. 11:45 a.m. March 24 at American Steakhouse, 3354 Sawmill Rd., West Haven. 203-933-1500. Editor’s note: Fraternal meeting listings can be found on our website (ctcalendar.com) along with additional events taking place statewide. Send CALENDAR listings to Business New Haven, 20 Grand Ave., New Haven 06513, or e-mail to email@example.com.
The Hamden Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Business Network IV meets first and third Thursdays. 8 a.m. March 6, 20 at chamber office, 2969 Whitney Ave., Hamden. Free. 203-985-1200. The Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Alliance Leads Group meets first and third Thursdays. 8-9 a.m. March 6, 20 at GVCC, 10 Progress Dr. (2nd Fl.), Shelton. 203-925-4981, nancie@ greatervalleychamber.com.
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NewCo A Difference-Maker Blazes an Entrepreneurial Trail
year ago, Susan Oderwald was a successful business executive, holding down a prestigious position with a wellknown company. But she wanted to do more than be successful. She wanted to make what she considered to be a real difference.
So Oderwald left her position and acquired an Always Best Care Senior Services franchise, serving as its executive director. The grand opening took place Feb. 28 at the 1 Schooner Lane location in Milford. Her company serves New Haven County and Shelton. Acquiring it is the fulfillment of a longtime desire, she says. “I have always wanted to own my own business, and have experience with startup and turn-around organizations,” says Oderwald, adding that she believes she possesses qualities that are an asset for a small-business owner. “I hold an MBA, and have the experience, business acumen and personality type to run my own business.” Before embarking on the Always Best Care venture, Oderwald was global marketing manager for metal packaging for the Dow Chemical Co. Her responsibilities included channel management and new product development for metal coatings in the food and beverage industry. Before that, from 2004 to 2011, Oderwald was executive director of the Society of Plastics Engineers. She served as SPE’s deputy executive director from 2001 to 2004. Before joining SPE, Oderwald worked with several industry nonprofit groups. These included work in the forest products and food-related agricultural industries. “I’ve spent the first half of my career working for global organizations, which gave me great opportunities to travel and meet people all over the world,” says Oderwald, of Newtown, of her vast professional experience. “I wanted my next move to allow me to put down roots
dynamic — now and for the next 20 years,” she notes. “The introduction of the Affordable Care Act is also bringing fundamental changes to how we consume heath care. Seniors are the primary consumers of health care, and while the Affordable Care Act does not directly change Medicare today, there are many aspects of the legislation that will change the way seniors consume health care in the future.
here in Connecticut, and work with the local community. I also wanted the work I do to genuinely make a difference in people’s lives.” Always Best Care assists seniors and their families manage illness and personal needs. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Roseville, Calif., the company offers skilled home health care ranging from registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, therapists and home health aides. All are licensed, bonded and insured. “In terms of finding Always Best Care, I knew I did not want — nor could likely afford — a food franchise, and was not interested in retail,” Oderwald explains. “My professional background gave me a great deal of knowledge about the home health-care market, and my family experiences made issues around quality of life as we age very important to me. I looked at several franchise opportunities in different industries, but this one brought together my interests, my background and my personality.” Oderwald’s franchise provides nonmedical in-home care. Her caregivers are certified nursing assistants and home health aides. Employees must have a current Connecticut state license, and pass a written examination. They must also undergo and pass full criminal background and reference check before being considered for employment. She currently employs ten caregivers and two full-time office staff members, including her. “We’re looking to add good CNAs and HHAs to our staff,” she says. Clients may be in any condition, including bed-ridden. They must be 18 or older, the age group for which Oderwald’s business is licensed. Oderwald says that when looking to start her own business, she especially sought out a franchise.
“I wanted a franchise simply because I recognized that there are several advantages,” she notes. “First, you are given a great deal of operational training and back-office systems and structure. This allows you to put business development first, instead of other operational startup concerns. Second, I wanted a support team and cohort who I could learn from and rely on to help me get started and build my business as quickly as possible.” She found that team among existing franchisees. “There are five other Always Best Care offices here in Connecticut, and I have an area representative, all provide me with ongoing coaching and support,” explains Oderwald. “Finally, the franchise supports a national brand, [and] both local and national advertising campaigns — something a small independent owner could never afford.”
n addition to local support, national initiatives and the social climate are factors contributing to her business decision to open an Almost Best Care, Oderwald says.
“Age and economic demographics makes the market for health care extremely
“When you look at the demographic changes — the aging of baby boomers, added to legislative initiatives and health care technology advances — all three trends are pushing care back into people’s homes, and minimizing long-term stays in hospitals and nursing homes. Already, nursing homes are changing their emphasis from long-term care to a mix of long-term and short-term rehabilitation services. For home health care, this means that people are more likely to recover at home after a hospitalization, or live at home with chronic infirmities longer — meaning they will need to consume more in-home health-related services.” Making that special difference means, for Oderwald, helming not just a home care business, but one that she says is superior in terms of service and commitment to clients in what is becoming an increasingly competitive market. There is emphasis, for example, on taking time to explore and determine options. Even blending two or more options — eschewing an either/or stance with care delivery — is something that many home health services don’t consider, Oderwald says. That is an advantage that Always Best Care has, she says. “This is an industry where there are no gimmicks, no short-term fixes,” Oderwald notes. “Quality of care, consistency of effort, and personal integrity are the only ways to build a sustainable company. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” – Felicia Hunter
LA VOZ Continued from page 25
of both cultures – their culture and the American culture.” La Voz has been involved in that cultural exchange in other ways. The newspaper, in a partnership with the New Haven Independent online newspaper, has sponsored mayoral debates and organized other community events. Both Rodriguez-Reyes and New Haven Independent Editor Paul Bass serve on the board of directors for the Online Journalism Project, formed in 2005 to encourage the development of hyperlocal and issues-oriented online news websites such as the Independent. Independent editor Bass says he has developed a strong relationship with Rodriguez-Reyes and King, with whom the Independent shares office space. “I’ve always enjoyed sitting in the office and watching how they work,” Bass says of the La Voz staff. “They run a small business so well — they run it humanely, they run it with heart. They’re kind to the people they work with and they have made tough decisions to make their business succeed.” Bass adds that Rodriguez-Reyes and King are active in the community. “We see people come to the office all the time from all walks of life,” he says. “They informally help people who are new to the country. They promote young people who are talented [by giving] them internships at La Voz. We’re both community-focused and we both cherish New Haven’s diversity.”
In addition, La Voz and the New Haven Independent translate and share their own articles for the other to use. New Haven’s state representative from the 95th district, Juan Candelaria, says La Voz serves a pressing need in his district, which has a high concentration of Latinos.
“We have used La Voz to promote economic development promoting the many new businesses that have flourished through the city and state,” King explains. King adds that it’s always been his goal to have La Voz enrich the lives of its readers.
“The paper is very critical — very informative and very educational,” says Candelaria. “The content of the newspaper targets the whole Latino community — Puerto Ricans, Latin Americans and Central Americans, so it has a lot of their country’s current events. They’re just doing a great job informing our community.”
“We have been an essential vehicle in keeping our readers informed about what happens at the city and state level and how the events and political decisions impact the Hispanic communities,” says King. “La Voz, from its founding until today, has contributed to the educational, political and economic development of the Hispanic community in Connecticut.” BNH
King says La Voz is a professional publication, with professionally trained journalists, designers, production staff and translators, who turn out an informative, balanced product. Its employees hail from countries such as Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras, Belize, the Dominican Republic, reflecting its readership. “Our readers are very diverse and come from different Spanish-speaking countries,” he says. “But I think they like our journalist aggressiveness, objectivity and newspaper content.” A member of the National Association of Hispanic Publications, chambers of commerce for greater New Haven, Stamford and Waterbury, and the Hartford Spanish-American Merchants Association, La Voz works to promote a strong economy in the state’s Latino communities.
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