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Register for Sale — Again Parent Digital first to put itself on the block By Michael C. Bingham NEW HAVEN — Digital First Media, parent company of the New Haven Register, announced earlier this month that it planned to “evaluate and consider strategic alternatives” that could lead to the sale of some or all of the company. CEO John Paton said the company has retained UBS Securities to review a full range of alternatives — including selling the entire company, selling regional clusters or doing nothing.
Headquartered in New York, Digital First Media was formed in December 2013 with the merger of MediaNews Group and the former Journal Register Co., whose flagship daily
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“With the money we’re saving on energy, we’ll not only pay back the cost of the project, but reinvest in our company.” Rich Kaminski, General Manager, Calabro Cheese
Calabro Cheese doesn’t cut corners. The East Haven, CT manufacturer has been making quality Italian cheeses for 60 years. Using only fresh, locally obtained ingredients and traditional old-world recipes, shortcuts are simply not the Calabro family way. So when it came time to take control of energy costs for the company’s 74,000-sq.-ft. facility, they turned to Energize Connecticut’s Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs. Program engineers identified multiple energy-saving measures for Calabro, including new refrigeration motors and controls and a full interior/exterior lighting retrofit. Engineers also found that over half of the facility’s steam traps were malfunctioning; replacing these alone saved Calabro 15% of their annual natural gas costs. The comprehensive program comprising four separate projects was supported by a generous incentive from the Energy Efficiency Fund. With significant energy savings
in hand, Calabro can now further expand its offerings to new markets throughout the country. Project:
Calabro Cheese Corporation
Exterior & interior lighting retrofit; refrigeration motor replacement & evaporator fan controls; steam trap repair & replacement; insulated steam trap jackets; new compressed air distribution system
148,949 kWh electricity/year 62,556 ccf natural gas/year
Find energy solutions for your business.
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Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities with funding from a charge on customer energy bills.
PURSUING THE PINNACLE OF PAGEANTRY Name: Acacia Courtney Title: Miss Connecticut 2014 Organization: Miss America Organization Date of Birth: October 26, 1992, Bristol Education: A senior at Fordham University majoring in communications and minoring in theology. Accomplishments: Courtney is the founder and president of Racing for Home Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that retrains former racehorses for new off-track lives, sparing them from slaughterhouses. She has retrained more than 15 equines to serve as horses for riding or therapy. She was a dancer in the 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and a Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition semifinalist. As a vegetarian, she subscribes to observing “meatless Mondays,” a program that encourages people to make healthy choices and to be more active, thereby improving their health. Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: “Everyday obstacles which must be tackled present themselves,” says Courtney, who will compete for the Miss America title in Atlantic City on September 14 with an en pointe ballet performance. “I prefer not to focus on the things that have stood in my way, but instead to focus on all of my accomplishments. I have worked for everything that I have earned and my life has been full of significant obstacles. However, while my setbacks have made me who I am, they do not define me. I believe that support from friends and family is an incredible source of strength when overcoming obstacles but faith in oneself is perhaps the most important piece.” Advice for Other Professionals: Courtney, who was Miss Hamden before winning the Miss Connecticut title, believes that persistence is key to one’s success. “Growing up, I was a shy, introverted child, but my parents taught me to never settle and to never take no for an answer,” says Courtney, whose career goal is to become a sports broadcaster specializing in horse racing. “I learned that other people would never believe that I could do something unless I believed it myself. My best successes have come through being bold enough to keep going.” Courtney won the title of Miss Connecticut in her fourth year of comSEPTEMBER 2014
petition at that level, after competing in and winning the Outstanding Teen title in 2009 prior to that. She believes that competing in pageants has taught her discipline and prepared her for public speaking. “It was difficult each year to keep making the decision to come back,” says Courtney. “I have also noticed the value of persistence in my academic and professional pursuits and have been granted many opportunities because of my willingness to pursue each chance.”
Person Who Most Influenced Life: Courtney credits her parents as the people who most influenced her life. “As an only child, I am incredibly close with to parents and I believe that family is everything,” says Courtney. “I am consistently inspired by my mother and father and it is their tenacity, selflessness and kindness that inspire me daily. They have taught me that it is important to pursue your goals and to be successful but also that it is important to be someone who gives more than she receives. Compassion has always been paramount and my parents have so greatly influenced me to leave the
world a little better than when I came into it.” Guiding Philosophy: “Be more, say more, do more,” says Courtney. “These six words are my mantra, and my motivation. I want to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way and to never accept that something is ‘good enough.’ The hunger to continue striving for more can help us to pursue our passions. This philosophy has guided me in my attempt to not only accomplish a goal, but to accomplish it to my full potential. – Thomas R. Violante 3
Editorial Thinking Bigger About Long Wharf
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Southern Connecticut State University has taken over the former Long Wharf campus building of Gateway Community College. Southern officials say they have no immediate plans for the 150,000-square-foot structure and are evaluating the feasibility of whether and how to employ the facility.
transform government, education and society at large.
SCSU didn’t have to pay for the property; it was already controlled by the state of Connecticut. A consultant has been hired to determine whether the building can be modified for future use or should be demolished. More to the point is whether the building and its surrounding property should be occupied by Southern — or indeed, continue to be owned and controlled by the state.
Connecticut, home of many famous entrepreneurs and inventors including the first commercial telephone switchboard, has a political map that looks pretty much like its colonial antecedent. While the political map of 169 cities and towns hasn’t changed significantly, our state communications infrastructure has been transformed, almost invisibly, over the past decade. A digital high-speed fiber optic highway now connects our schools, libraries, police departments, fire stations and very soon, town halls and municipal facilities.
WHO’S WHAT, WHERE
More than a decade ago we championed Gateway’s move to downtown, consolidating its Long Wharf and North Haven campuses. At the time naysayers cited the value of the prime downtown location it would occupy and the loss of potential tax revenue. We saw the opposite: the value of Gateway’s Long Wharf property for potential commercial development.
The Gateway parcel represents one of the most desirable development opportunities in New Haven County — an ideal site for a large-scale residential development or commercial tower. It can have great views (if built up beyond the present structure’s two stories), it has great access to I-95 and Union Station. For perspective on the site’s potential value, right across the highway stand the twin towers of the Long Wharf Maritime Center (545-555 Long Wharf Drive) — the city’s most valuable commercial property per square foot. A year ago we editorialized about Long Wharf’s potential as the next and most critical development opportunity for New Haven. Matt Nemerson, now New Haven’s economic development administrator, who during his abortive mayoral campaign also championed the potential of Long Wharf for commercial development. Long Wharf needs a master plan, and the time is ripe to seek a master developer. The underutilized properties on Long Wharf are an enormous potential asset for the city, that can help change the city’s financial sructure
By Dale Bruckhart
As a member of the baby boomer generation I have fond memories of rotary dial telephones, party lines, black-and-white TV sets (with three channels), transistor radios, manual typewriters, Kodak cameras, and vinyl LP records. We still watch television, take photographs, type on keyboards and talk on telephones, but the digital medium and the internet has transformed our lives — and it’s just beginning to
Dale Bruckhart is vice president of marketing for Digital Back Office in Milford.
While other states are struggling to connect schools to the Internet with acceptable bandwidth (defined as 100 Megabits or higher), most Connecticut public schools now have Gigabit speed Internet access between most buildings and all K-12 public school districts. The stateprovided CEN (Connecticut Education Network) and
Develop or Sell Pirelli Inherent in the 2003 agreement with the city for Swedish retailer Ikea to open a store on Long Wharf was the eventual development of the vacant Pirelli building next door. Designed by architect Marcel Breuer, considered by some a “master of modernism” (ironically, also a furniture designer), the 1969 building has never received the support from the Yale architectural establishment that even the Stalinist Veterans Memorial Coliseum earned. Nevertheless, the Pirelli building is a landmark for Connecticut and New Haven. It is long past time that the humiliating advertising banners come down, and the building renovated and returned to productive use. If Ikea isn’t willing or able, then city government needs to “encourage” Ikea to put a for-sale sign on the landmark structure. BNH
The MORE Commission report issued May 2013, summarized the potential for this statewide network: “to remove barriers, provide opportunities, and create incentives to transform the delivery of state and local government services through technology. To develop best practices and models to enhance productivity, maintain information security and reduce cost for local and regional government service delivery.” Although the Nutmeg Network optical fiber is terminated in every Connecticut town and public school, there is much more to be done to maximize this significant public investment and infrastructure. Private, high-speed data transport available on the Nutmeg Network is critical to sharing software and applications located
in high-availability data centers. Sharing database applications, referred to as “multi-tenant software,” is the game-changer for our towns and schools. So is shared infrastructure known as Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) from private sector providers like Microsoft, Amazon and Digital BackOffice. High-availability data centers are capital- and knowledge-intensive, but the power of today’s processors combined with server virtualization software is driving enterprise computing to the “cloud” and multi-tenant data centers. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), a global provider of market intelligence, public IT cloud services spending will reach $98 billion in 2016, with a compound annual growth rate five times the growth of the IT industry overall. Unfortunately, the MORE Commission report does little to define or encourage a role for private sector application developers or Continued on page 28
A mixed-used commercial and residential project would also support downtown New Haven in the face of significant local competition, including developments in West Haven and Bridgeport. If jobs and strengthening the tax base are issues for Connecticut and New Haven, then the city of New Haven needs to control GCC’s Long Wharf campus and use it as a core asset in the redevelopment of Long Wharf.
the Nutmeg Network bring this reliable high-speed Internet access service to our schools and multiple municipal sites in every town.
Vol XX,I No.1 SEPTEMBER 2014
Mimi Friedman Jessica Giannone Felicia Hunter John Mordecai Melissa Nicefaro Priscilla Searles Karen Singer Tom Violante
Editor Michael C. Bingham
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Senior Publisher’s Representative Roberta Harris
Publisher’s Representative Gina Gazvoda Robin Ungaro Gordon Weingarth
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Malloy Challenges MTA Rate Hikes
Report: UConn Generates $3 Billion
Proposed fare increases draw scrutiny HARTFORD — Some Connecticut commuters might have to dig deeper into their wallets to get to work if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority realizes proposed fare increases. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy expressed his dismay with the proposal, especially in light of MTA’s assertion that it has realized a savings on expenses. In July, MTA released its proposed 2015 budget and four-year financial plan, which included fare increases in 2015 and 2017. In a letter dated August 14 to MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast, Malloy said Connecticut’s 2015 budget assumes no fare increases for Metro North’s New Haven line. “It should go without saying that Connecticut expects Metro North to control expenses and to live within the adopted budget for 2015,” Malloy wrote. The governor also demanded an accounting of MTA’s reported expense savings. “In the financial plan released last week,” Malloy wrote, “the MTA touts significant expense savings, but calls for fare increases in 2015 and 2017 that could impact the New Haven line. Those points don’t seem to add up. I would like a full accounting of Connecticut’s share of the proposed savings that were reported
in the budget plan. Please provide the requested information to Commissioner James Redeker of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The MTA noted in a release dated July 28 that although it expects to save $1.3 billion in 2015 and $1.5 billion in 2017, it also faces whopping labor-cost increases over the next several years. In addition to governing public transportation in southeastern New York, MTA is under contract with the Connecticut Department of Transportation to provide service lines in New Haven and Fairfield counties. Those lines are major sources of transportation to and from work for in-state Connecticut commuters and Connecticut residents who work in New York.
STORRS — The University of Connecticut generates approximately $3.4 billion in economic activity annually in the state, including more than 24,000 jobs and over $202 million in tax revenue, according to a report released Wednesday by the national research and consulting firm Tripp Umbach.
For example, Metro North’s New Haven rail line originates in New Haven and culminates at Grand Central Station, New York City. A typical route includes stops in Milford, Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford, among other cities. A single one-way peak-time adult ticket for the entire route — from New Haven to New York — currently costs $21.50 if purchased before boarding. (The on-board one-way fare is $28.) Riders also have the option of purchasing multi-trip passes at discounted rates. Among upcoming MTA expenses, according to the four-year financial plan, is a negotiated settlement with labor that amounts to a $260 million yearly increase, on average, for labor costs. Expenses also will include “a series of investments in new service, improved service quality and enhanced safety for customers and employees,” according to the MTA. Among other delineated MTA expenses include $20 million annually for new subway, bus and commuter railroad service; $125 million between 2015 and 2018 for new maintenance and operational necessities; and $363 million for employee, customer and public safety investments.
University administrators call the report is the most comprehensive measurement to date of the economic value UConn provides to Connecticut, encompassing everything from research grants won to the charitable contributions of students, faculty and staff members. “This report provides an empirical foundation for concluding what’s long been clear anecdotally: UConn is essential to the success of our state,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “This research also provides a baseline we can use to measure our success as we embark on new initiatives like Next Gen Connecticut and the UConn Technology Park.” Tripp Umbach reports that UConn generates $1.5 billion in direct economic impact and $1.9 billion in indirect impact. Also UConn supports about 24,235 jobs, both directly and indirectly, or one out of every 90 jobs in Connecticut. In addition, UConn generates around $202 million in state and local tax revenues, according to the report.
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Ion Acquires Cheshire’s Drescher NAUGATUCK — Ion Insurance has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Drescher Insurance Agency of 92 Main Street, Cheshire, a deal that will nearly double the 99-year-old Naugatuck agency, said David Rotatori, chief financial officer of Ion Bank, the insurance agency’s sister company. Financial terms were not released. The company also announced that David Drescher, the owner and founder of the Cheshire agency, will become the president and chief executive officer of Ion Insurance. Drescher Insurance was founded in 2003. Its seven employees will now join Ion Insurance, increasing the size of Ion’s staff to about 20. Ion Insurance will be moving its entire operation to the company’s new, 5,000-square-foot headquarters at 24 Cherry Street in Naugatuck by October 23, Rotatori said. Founded in Naugatuck as John M. Sutherland Inc. in 1915, the agency, which has 14 employees, was acquired by Nutmeg Financial Mutual Holding Co., the precursor to Ion Financial MHC, in 2005. Its name was changed to Ion Insurance in autumn 2013.
Optimism Takes a Tumble CBIA: Business owners expect economy to get worse before it gets better HARTFORD — Optimism about Connecticut’s economy is in short supply for business leaders who responded in a survey that they think the state’s economy will get worse, according to the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA). According to CBIA’s second-quarter 2014 Quarterly Economic Survey this summer, 43 percent said economic conditions in the state will become worse, while 42 percent predicted that conditions would remain as they are now. But perhaps most surprising is that only 14 percent of respondents thought the economy would get better. “The numbers should be improving, but confidence among business leaders seems to be stalled,” said CBIA economist Peter Gioia in a release summarizing survey findings. “And Connecticut’s economy continues to lag [behind] the nation and much of the Northeast,” Gioia added. “Clearly, more needs to be done to encourage growth and investment in Connecticut.” But that’s just the state. Respondents had a more positive perspective when the nation’s economy overall was the subject. Thirty percent anticipated economic im-
provement for the United States in general. Forty-five percent expected the economy to remain the same, and only 25 percent believed it would get worse. Compared to survey results from the end of 2013, more respondents to the current survey believed the state’s economy will get worse. As 2013 closed, only 36 of survey respondents felt that way -- a difference of 7 percent. Additionally, at the end of last year more of those surveyed (52 percent) thought the state’s economy would remain essentially stable. Only 12 percent thought it would improve, a two-percent difference between the 2013 year-end respondents
and the slightly-more-optimistic current respondents. As far as their own companies were concerned, 45 percent of the current group of respondents predicted wage-cost increases. Only five percent forecast lower wage costs. However, 47 percent expected costs for compensation and benefits to rise. With their own businesses, more of the respondents are thinking bigger rather than smaller. Thirty-nine percent predicted production and sales increases, and 24 percent are looking to increase their workforce. Only 15 percent see their workforces shrinking, and 19 percent expect a decline in production and sales.
Pension Funds Reap Returns
HARTFORD — Positive investment returns for the state’s two biggest pension funds constituted “great news” for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who credited the fiscal-year development to state actions and the investment plan of state Treasurer Denise Nappier. Over the 2013-14 fiscal year ending June 30, the Teacher’s Retirement Fund (TERF) posted a net investment return of 15.67 percent. That exceeded actuarial projections of 8.5 percent, and represents more than the “customized benchmark” of 15.25 percent, according to Nappier’s office.
Gourmet Heaven to close in 2015 NEW HAVEN — Gourmet Heaven will close both its Broadway and Whitney Avenue stores on June 30, 2015.
as Gourmet Heaven II, first opened its doors in December 2003.
Connecticut’s minimum wage is currently $8.70 per hour.
The Broadway lease was slated to expire in two years, but University Properties and Gourmet Heaven agreed to terminate the lease next June, Yale Vice President for New Haven and State Affairs Bruce Alexander ’65 told the Yale Daily News.
The 24-hour deli has been a subject of controversy among community residents and Yale students since last summer, when the state’s Department of Labor (DOL) began investigating store owner Chung Cho for wage theft. Cho was subsequently arrested earlier this year on 52 charges related to wage theft.
Last November, workers who came forward to the state DOL revealed that they were being paid wages as low as $4.44 an hour and were working 72-hour weeks without overtime pay, according to the YDN.
The Broadway Gourmet Heaven opened for business in March 2001. Its 44 Whitney Avenue sibling, formally known
Wage theft is defined as the practice of paying workers less than the legal minimum wage according to state law.
Cho presently operates a total of four Gourmet Heavens: two in New Haven and two in Providence, RI.
During the same period, the State Employees’ Retirement Fund (SERF) marked a net investment return of 15.62 percent. The actuarial projection for this fund was 8.0 percent, and the customized benchmark is 15.41 percent. The sum of investment gains was $3.8 billion. “This is great news and I want to commend Treasurer Nappier for her good work,” said Malloy in a statement. “Over the past three and a half years, we have cut the state’s long-term obligations nearly $12 billion by reducing post-employment costs and increasing the state’s contributions to the pension fund. Our actions, together with the Treasurer’s investment strategy, have us on the path to get our long-term obligations under control.” The two funds represent 91 percent of the state’s pension and trust fund portfolio. Nappier noted that earnings for both funds have been in the double digits for four years of the last five. As of fiscal year end, the market value for TERF was $16.2 billion. For SERF, it was $10.5 billion. As for the performance of TERF and SERF for the most recent fiscal period, “We are rightly proud of it,” according to Nappier. “The soundness of our strategic, diversified approach to portfolio design has enabled us to achieve returns that approach double their actuarially assumed rates of return.” Overall, Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds increased in investment gains by $4.15 billion for the 2014 fiscal year. After factoring in net withdrawals, the net increase over the previous year was $3.5 billion. In addition to TERF and SERF, the remaining nine percent of CRPTF consists of assets held on behalf of the following: Connecticut Municipal Employees’ Retirement Fund; Probate Court Retirement Fund; State Judges’ Retirement Fund; State’s Attorneys’ Retirement Fund; Soldiers’ Sailors’ & Marines’ Fund; Endowment for the Arts; Agricultural college Fund; Ida Eaton Cotton Fund; Andrew Clark Fund; School Fund; Hopemead Fund; Police & Fireman’s Survivors’ Benefit Fund; and State of Connecticut Other PostEmployment Benefits Trust Fund.
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Amistad Operator Placed in Receivership State takes control of financially troubled Amistad America NEW HAVEN — Amistad America Inc., the financially distressed non-profit that owns and operates the Freedom Schooner Amistad, has been placed into receivership. The 79-foot sailing ship Amistad, which is Connecticut’s official flagship, makes its home port at Long Wharf in New Haven. The vessel is a replica of its 19 thcentury namesake, made famous for the mutiny of its African captives en route to America to be sold into slavery. The event became the subject of a renowned legal battle in Connecticut in 1839-40 that became the subject of a 1997 Steven Spielberg film. Launched in 2000, the schooner had served as a floating classroom in New Haven Harbor, Long Island Sound and beyond, and the non-profit that operates it has been the beneficiary of millions of dollars in state aid. Under a court order sought by state Attorney General George Jepson, an independent receiver was appointed August 21 to take control of Amistad America’s precarious finances. The order strips Amistad America’s leadership of control over the non-profit and places it in the hands of New Haven attorney Katharine B. Sacks. According to financial audits released last month, Amistad America’s net assets declined from more than $1 million in 2008 (the year the most recent audit of the group had been performed) to negative assets three years later. The
REGISTER Continued from page 1
was the Register. It is the nation’s secondlargest newspaper company, based on circulation, operating in 15 states, with 800 multi-platform news and information products, including 76 daily and Sunday newspapers and 160 weeklies. The company is owned by the privately owned New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital. These are tough times for the Register, which has seen its circulation plummet in the digital era — an irony, considering its new parent company’s name. Earlier this year the daily sold its longtime 220,00-square-foot 40 Sargent Drive headquarters to billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Co. (which will open a Jordan’s Furniture — another company owned by Buffet — on the site). Instead, the “New Haven” Register will no longer even have a presence in its namesake community, decamping for a space 8
state has since frozen all grants to the non-profit. “There remain substantial challenges ahead for the Amistad – not least of which are designing an appropriate governing structure for the organization and identifying consistent and adequate sources for its operational funding,” said Jepson in a statement. “Success is not guaranteed, but today’s action is a necessary first step and one that can give the state the confidence needed to continue expending funds allocated for the ship’s operations.”
less than one-tenth the size of its former headquarters — the 18,000-square-foot former Star Supply building at 100 Gando Drive in North Haven. The downsizing was made possible by the fact that the daily no longer prints itself. The Register now jobs out its printing to the Hartford Courant — a business deal unthinkable just a few years ago between two implacable media rivals but now made practical by the grim realities of the daily newspaper industry. Media analysts said it would be hard to find a buyer for Digital First Media as a whole, and that a more probable outcome would be for multiple regional buyers to acquire pieces of the company. According to a company release, newspaper analyst Ken Doctor of Outsell, who first reported that Alden Global Capital was getting ready to sell Digital First Media, predicted a sale in the near future. “I think we’ll see largely the dissolution of this company within six months,” Doctor said. WWW.CONNTACT.COM
Report Charts Wage Disparities
CII Offers Grants for Tech Interns
Study: State’s recovery mostly benefits upper-income workers NEW HAVEN — Fewer jobs, declining wages and growing unemployment plague segments of Connecticut’s workforce who find it more difficult to sustain a living wage even as the economy purportedly improves, according to the latest Connecticut Voices for Children report. Titled “States of Working Connecticut 2014,” the report maintains that lack of jobs and low wages for low- and middleincome workers must be addressed in order for the state to fully recover from the recession. “Only Connecticut’s highest earners have seen wage growth since 2000,” a release summarizing the report states. “Lowand median-wage earners have watched their inflation-adjusted wages stagnate, while high-wage workers have enjoyed a raise of nearly 50 percent.”
education are hit much harder than others where jobs and wages are concerned. Last year, the unemployment rate for workers ages 16 to 24 was about twice that (13.8 percent) of adults age 25 to 54 (7 percent), according to the report. Race also played a factor in wages, with black and Hispanic workers earning less than whites. The median hourly wage for black workers was 72 percent of what whites made, and for Hispanics the median wage was 63 percent of the wages of whites.
The state has 50,000 fewer jobs than it did at the beginning of the recession, and some 100,000 fewer positions than in 1989, according to the report. What is more, says the report, young workers, workers of color and those with less
CVC, a research-based policy think tank that focuses on how social, economic and political issues impact Connecticut’s children and families, asserts that the job and wage disparities it documented are dire.
“The children of today’s struggling workers will form the backbone of tomorrow’s workforce,” said Ellen Shemitz, CVC executive director, in the release. “If we want to ensure the future success of our state, then we need to make smart investments today in children, families and educational opportunity. Smart policies that make work pay and that ensure meaningful pathways to success should not be considered matters of choice. They are clear necessities.” CVC recommended restoring the state’s earned-income tax credit to its original level, and making high-quality early childhood care and education more accessible, among other remedies to help low-income families. This would benefit the economy in the long run, according to Wade Gibson, CVC’s director of fiscal policy and co-author of the report. “By investing in the education of our children and supporting them through our tax code,” said Gibson, “we can support struggling families today and build a healthier economic future.”
Are you an established small Connecticut technology company seeking interns? Then you may wish to consider Connecticut Innovations Inc.’s (CII) Technology Talent Bridge program, which makes grants of up to $25,000 available to help tech firms attract and hire the state’s top talent. The Technology Talent Bridge Program is intended to develop stronger university-industry collaborations in Connecticut for the purpose of strengthening the state’s workforce and retaining talent in the state. There is a limit of one Talent Bridge project per company per 24-month period. The primary use of funds is to provide for student internship compensation, with a total funding maximum of $25,000 per project. A 50-percent match is required (25 percent in cash and 25 percent in kind). Companies must have been in business for at least 12 months and registered as a business in Connecticut.
SCORE Celebrates Milestone NEW HAVEN — The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) marked its golden anniversary September 12 with a commemorative event at Gateway Community College. SCORE is a nationwide volunteer organization with seven Connecticut chapters. Over the past three years its 330 volunteer mentors statewide have conducted more than 800 workshops in Connecticut for some 28,000 participants. Likewise, they have mentored more than 7,500 startup and existing business owners and entrepreneurs.
Seymour Gets State Grant
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SEYMOUR — The town of Seymour will receive $375,000 to make the downtown area compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The money is part of $5 million awarded to 13 Connecticut municipalities to develop and/or improve town commercial districts to attract small businesses, grow jobs and improve pedestrian access and livability in town centers. The Seymour plan calls for replacing trees whose roots are displacing the sidewalks. Funds will also be used to replacing lighting fixtures that are 20 years old and inefficient, saving the town an estimated 77 percent in energy costs.
CII Slates STEM Challenge ROCKY HILL — Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII), the state’s quasi-public technology investment arm, has announced the upcoming launch of the fourth annual Sikorsky STEM Challenge. The event, designed to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and workforce development by creating opportunities for students to apply their classroom learning and innovative thinking to real-life technical challenges, will ask nearly 150 students to reconfigure the Corsair aircraft to deliver as much potable water as possible in a 72-hour period from Beaumont, Tex. to Wichita Falls, Tex. Winners of the challenge will be awarded in May 2015 at the Student Innovation Expo in Hartford. A kickoff event will take place from noon to 3 p.m. September 26 at the Connecticut Corsair Hanger, 61 Winthrop Road in Chester. To learn more or RSVP for the event contact email@example.com or phone 860-257-2358
Good Deed-Doing MILFORD — The Milford Bank is sponsoring a drive to collect items for victim-support packages by the Rape Crisis Center of Milford. Donated items may be dropped off at any bank office through September 30. Items needed include lightweight pants, sweat pants, elastic-waist shorts, sweatshirts, T-shirts, white low-cut socks and underwear all in sizes, especially large and extra-large. Also, flip flops, comb/brush sets, toothbrush/toothpaste set, water, Gatorade, individual tissue packs, small hand sanitizer, and individual snacks like granola bars or crackers. The mission of the Rape Crisis Center of Milford (which also serves Ansonia, Derby, Orange, Seymour, Shelton and West Haven) is to eliminate violence and sexual assault through education and prevention and to empower victims to regain control of their lives.
UNH Dedicates Cyber Forensics Lab WEST HAVEN — The University of New Haven will dedicate Connecticut’s only cyber forensics laboratory in a 4 p.m. ceremony September 19 in the Buckman Building of UNH’s Tagliatela College of Engineering on the school’s main campus at 300 Boston Post Road. The laboratory is part of the UNH Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group, which the college began last fall. Designed to be a think tank for cyber forensic science and security research, the lab will provide investigative assistance for law enforcement, intelligence agencies and private corporations and will complete basic and applied research and raise awareness of cybercrime through training, education, knowledge dissemination and conference organization.
New Home for SHU Biz School FAIRFIELD — Sacred Heart University’s new academic building on the corner of Park Avenue and Jefferson Street in Fairfield will be named for Frank (SHU Class of 1969) and Marisa Martire. The building will house the John F. Welch College of Business and the Department of Communications & Media Studies. “We are honoring the Martires in recognition of years of service and leadership as well as a multi-million dollar philanthropic commitment to the University,” said James T. Morley, Jr., chair of SHU’s board of trustees. Bridgeport native Frank Martire earned a bachelor’s in economics from Sacred Heart before embarking on a distinguished career in finance and technology. The former CEO of Metavante Corp. is presently chairman and CEO of FIS.
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CULTIVATING CHEMISTRY IN THE COURTROOM Name: John Cordani Title: Associate Organization: Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey, LLP Date of Birth: July 14, 1987 in Wolcott, Conn. Education: BA (magna cum laude), 2009, chemistry and philosophy, Cornell University; JD (summa cum laude), 2011, Cornell Law School Accomplishments: John Cordani has parlayed an improbable background in chemistry and philosophy into a burgeoning law career. The up-and-coming attorney at the New Haven office of Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey, LLP practices in the areas of intellectual property, antitrust and commercial litigation, and represents clients in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Cordani has had a lifelong interest in chemistry and philosophy, especially philosophers like Immanuel Kant and René Descartes. Philosophic thinking, he says, was a perfect start since he enjoyed writing and crafting arguments, something vital in the complex and wideranging world of patent law. “Chemistry and philosophy are analytical fields and I found that being analytical and creative in your thought process is the most important thing for an attorney,” Cordani explains. “Patent law is so diverse and the law is so complex, it’s an area where the cre-
Photo: Priscilla Searles
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NO M AT T E R HOW YOU L O OK AT I T, OU R F O C US R E M A I NS T H E S A M E :
R E C O G N I Z E D L E A DE R S H I P You want to work with legal leaders who are close to the issues you face. Our lawyers strive to remain at the forefront of business and law and have received widespread recognition for leadership in their field.
L E A DE R SH I P
E X PE R I E NC E C ONG R AT U L AT IONS TO JOH N C OR DA N I, J R . Carmody congratulates our associate, John Cordani, Jr., on being selected as a Rising Star by Business New Haven.
For information, contact Brian T. Henebry at 203-573-1200. NEW HAVEN
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BUILDING A TRADITION OF WINNING Name: Eric Da Costa Title: Head Men’s Soccer Coach Organization: Quinnipiac University Date of Birth: November 6, 1979, New Bedford, Mass. Education: BS business management, 2001, Quinnipiac University; MBA management, 2003, Quinnipiac University Accomplishments: Soccer is a way of life for Eric Da Costa. Quinnipiac University’s head soccer coach has been playing for as long as he can remember. Hailing from a family of Portuguese descent in New Bedford, Mass., soccer was the go-to game. But Da Costa never imagined it would lead him far beyond his hometown. The first member of his family to go to college, Da Costa was recruited to attend Quinnipiac in 1997, as the school’s soccer program was transitioning from the NCAA’s Division II to Division I. He was a fouryear starter for the Bobcats, serving as team captain during his junior and senior years. He went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the school before playing on professional teams in New England, including the Connecticut Wolves and the Western Massachusetts Pioneers. A leg injury led him back to the university level as an instructor, landing his first head coaching job at Waterbury’s Post University at age 24. “Where I come from it wasn’t the norm to go to college after high school. It was normal to finish high school and go into a trade,” Da Costa recalls. “I was the youngest Division II coach when I got my first Continued on page 28
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A HILL RISES IN THE VALLEY Name: Chris Hill Title: Chairman, Young Emerging Professionals group, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce; board member, Moving with Hope Born: September 18, 1980, Westwood, N.J. Education: BS, 2003, Human Development & Family Studies, University of Connecticut Accomplishments: “Is it a young person’s world? You could say Chris Hill is helping to make it so. As chairman of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Young Emerging Professionals (YEP) group for the past two years, Hill is working to engage workers from their early 20s to late 30s and get them involved in their community, whether through afterhours social and networking events, fundraising and volunteering initiatives. He is determined to provide young professionals with more enjoyable activities, especially after having attended several
lackluster networking events in the past. “We want to see you and hang out with you,” explains Hill. “We’re not some cult. We’re out here having a great time and if we can build community and see you at a few events, great.” Hill was determined to extend his group’s reach and bring in some working capital. So he started by initiating a paid membership to YEP, with 40 members signing up in the first year. Despite the fact that Valley activities are more dependent on members driving to and from than in walkable cities such as New Haven, he says attendance has been consistent. Hill was able to drum up enough activity from more than just members last year, when YEP raised the most money — $7,000 — during Pinktoberfest, part of the Valley Goes Pink initiative, which raises money to support the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Derby’s Griffin Hospital. The group holds regular events each year in addition to its monthly YEPresent networking event, including team-based sport competitions (the YEPOlympics), a CEO lecture series (CEO Speaks), and the Back-2School Backpack Drive.
“Building community and doing great things in the area in which you live or work has been really enjoyable,” Hill says. “You want your young people to get engaged in the community, volunteering or giving back in some way. And it’s a great representation of your company when someone’s devoted to their community. Don’t you want them on your payroll?” Hill took his own involvement in the community further when he joined the board of Shelton’s Moving with Hope, which provides physical activity, therapy and support to those disabilities. This year he accepted the challenge of revamping the foundation’s fledgling annual Wheel-Walk to Work fundraiser, which featured little more than a few vendors and typically brought in about $800 per year, into the Down By the River festival, complete with a charity bike ride, a lineup of local bands, arts vendors, food trucks and a chili cook-off that qualifies winners for the International Chili Society’s World Championship. Between 500 and 750 people participated throughout the day, and based on early estimates, Hill says they’re off to a good start by earning enough to cover the cost of the festival and walking away with more than $2,500. “I thought about what kind of event we could create that’s more about the event for the sake of raising money for a cause, and not just about the cause,” he says “Think of the Ice Bucket Challenge: Most people probably still don’t know much about ALS, but [the challenge] was something stupid and fun you could do to raise some money. We’re thrilled that we have begun the building of a brand name and image. Bigger and better things to come!” Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: An ongoing challenge for Hill is one he admits is still a good one to have: being too busy. His involvements with the YEP and Moving with Hope are already time-consuming on top of working more than 40 hours per week with his day job. “Finding that balance between work, life and play isn’t easy and can wear on you a bit; sometimes there’s a lot of babysitting, trying to keep cooler heads prevailing. And as chair of the YEP, it really never stops,” he says. “But I don’t regret it at all. There’s something to be said for getting involved and not just going home to sit on the couch watching TV.” Advice for Other Professionals: From the professional who works regularly with other young professionals, Hill urges: “Get involved, plain and simple. Never turn down a good opportunity to meet someone new. Get involved in your local United Way or your young professionals group. Have a plan, and never be afraid to open a new door.” Person Who Most Influenced Your Life: Michael Jordan may have been
Hill’s childhood hero, but he admits the inspiration has transitioned with him into adulthood. “It’s that never-say-die attitude, the unwillingness to give up and the ability to control the game in your hands,” he says. “It’s an inner confidence that you can get the job done better than anyone else. I’m not the best salesman — I struggle, I’m human. He didn’t make every shot, but he’s still regarded as the best and will be for a long time. So it still rings true.” Guiding Philosophy: Hill looks no further than the Golden Rule of treating others the way you want to be treated. He draws upon his work as a salesman with Paychex and specifically the sometimes-negative reactions he gets from potential customers uninterested in his business, which usually sound more like “Get the hell out of here” rather than “No, thank you.” “I’d have shaken your hand like a professional, and [if you’re a restaurant], I might still grab lunch here some time. You’re a lawyer? An accountant? I might have a friend who would need your services sometime,” he says. “Whatever the case is, never be close-minded and close the door on an opportunity.”” — John Mordecai
The entire Griffin Hospital Family congratulates
Chairman, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Young Emerging Professionals Thank you for all you have done for the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital
through your leadership of
Pinktoberfest will be held Thursday, October 9 from 5:00 till 8:00 at Molto Bene Restaurant in Ansonia. For more information www.griffinhealth.org/pink 203.732.7504 13
BUILDING A BUSINESS WITH BUSINESSBUILDING Name: Nicholas Lombardi Title: CEO, Principal Organization: One Source Facility Maintenance, LLC, Wallingford Date of Birth: December 12, 1984 Education: BS, Business, 2007, Marist College; Notre Dame, West Haven, High School. Accomplishments: Nick Lombardi started out early in business — getting his real estate license at the tender age of 19. He had some help when cousin Lou Proto, president of the Proto Group, took Lombardi under his wing to teach him the real-estate ropes. The mentoring achieved traction, and Lombardi worked real estate for nearly ten years and even won a Deal of the Year award in 2005 from the
Commercial Industrial Division of the Greater New Haven Board of Realtors. His current career path started after Lombardi graduated from Marist, where the college hooked him up with FM Facilities Maintenance. “I had a national sales territory, and I signed a national maintenance deal with Circuit City about two and a half years before they would go down the tubes. I coldcalled the chief operating officer of Circuit City and we did the deal and it was a $25 million annual maintenance contract.” As a commissioner on the Wallingford Housing Authority, Lombardi is using his background in building and commercial real estate to help what is considered a needed turnaround of the authority. “I love the town of Wallingford,” says Lombardi. “I love living here. I have our business here and wanted to find a way to give back” to his hometown. “I knew there were struggles with the operations side [of the Housing Authority], and felt I could help. Now there is a good team and it’s moving in the right direction.” Creating a different type of company and outsourcing activities that companies typically handle themselves is a pioneering type of challenge, he adds. Continued on page 27
Nicholas Lombardi, Mendy Hecht
all the winners of Business New Haven’s Rising Stars 2014
To our nephew, friend, colleague and client
Nick Lombardi congratulations on being awarded
Business New Haven's Rising Star Your family and friends at The Proto Group
Open Doors. Close Deals. 114A Washington Avenue â€˘ North Haven, CT 06473 203-234-6371 â€˘ www.theprotogroup.com
A LIFE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS Name: Juan Marquez Title: Realtor Organization: Geenty Group, Realtors, Branford Born: October 14, 1980 in New Haven Education: Ana J. Candelas High School, Puerto Rico, 1999; holds Connecticut real estate license; member of the National Association of Realtors and the Greater New Haven Commercial Industrial Division (CID) Accomplishments: In both his professional and his personal life, Marquez is most proud of the impact he has been able to have on the lives of others. His mother Maria instilled in him at a young age how satisfying it can be to help others and that’s something he has carried with him into adulthood. On a personal note, “being a dad of two girls” is his greatest accomplishment, he says. “Raising two individuals in this society is a hard task.” He has Anaira, ten, and six-year-old Nilmari with his wife Ariana.
In his career, he is most proud of the mentoring he has done and his ability to help grow ventures. While previously working in loss-mitigation at GMAC Mortgage in Shelton, he and his wife both faced losing their jobs when the company moved their positions to Dallas as part of a corporate restructuring. Rather than watch his job leave the state, Marquez took a chance and moved his family to Texas. There, he and a small group of colleagues grew the company’s presence.
Photo: Priscilla Searles
When he later took a job in asset management for the National Groups, he helped build that company’s workflow and train new hires. His team grew from five employees to a workforce of about 80. “I’m particularly proud of being part of something small and watching it grow,” he says, especially because it has allowed him to cultivate young talent. He still keeps in touch with those he has mentored along the way. Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: “The transition from a salaried position to [working for] strictly commission” has been a challenge, Marquez acknowledges. “It’s been one of the toughest and hardest experiences I’ve had in my career,” especially with two young children to support. Continued on page 26
A SANDMAN LIVES HIS DREAM Name: Founding Member Zev Sandman and partners Yechezkel Edelman, Menachem Sandman Title: Attorneys, partners Date of Birth: Zev Sandman: Jan. 27, 1978 Organization: Sandman Law Group, LLC, New Haven Education: Zev Sandman: Rabbinical College, Venice, Italy: received rabbinical ordination in 1999. Yeshiva University, New York, 2003. JD, UConn School of Law, 2009. Accomplishments: Zev Sandman is most proud of his, and his firm’s, ability to survive and even thrive during tough economic times. Against the backdrop of a weak economy, he took a chance when he founded Sandman Law Group in 2010. Having previously worked at other firms, it was a risky move to strike out on his own. “The legal market was just completely hammered from all sides from the recession,” he recalls. Still, after several years of working for others, he wanted to be his own boss and decided to take the plunge. Today he’s glad he did. “I never expected it to grow this quickly in this way,” he says of his firm, which specializes in real estate, landlord/tenant, business and corporate law Photo: Priscilla Searles
Continued on page 29
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ALWAYS TRY SOMETHING NEW Name: Danielle Skinner Title: Director of Sales Support Organization: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Date of Birth: September 20, 1982, New Haven Education: BA in business administration, University of Connecticut, 2004; MBA, University of New Haven, 2010 Accomplishments: When she started at Anthem in 2006, Danielle Skinner was new to the work of a finance organization but the administration there gave her great support and coaching leading her to an opportunity to be in charge of support for four states. “I held four different positions in five years,” says Skinner. “Part of that time, I was working on my MBA while working full time. I was able to finish my MBA in just over two years. That was a big deal for me. During that time, my managers at Anthem were great in terms of the work and school balance.” Skinner was nominated by Anthem to attend the Greater New Haven Leadership training program and was promoted by Anthem’s new president, Jill Hummel, to her current position three months ago after having served as chief of staff for David R. Fusco, Anthem’s former president, says Sarah Yeager, director of corporate communications for Anthem. Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: “The biggest obstacle for me was helping to implement the Affordable Care Act,” says Skinner. “About two years ago, I was tasked with being the state exchange lead for Anthem Connecticut. As you can imagine, there was a lot of hard work and challenges throughout the last two years in trying to get things up and running. I think we definitely had our fair share of challenges but we were able to band together and work together as a team to overcome those obstacles. We ended up coming out on top, since Anthem was the only established [insurance] carrier in Connecticut that decided to participate in both the individual and small-group exchanges in Year One. That’s something we were really proud of. It was a great accomplishment for us and it was in the best interest of our customers for the future. We knew the task would be great, given the limited time frame and everything that needed to be done. It showed our strength as a company and how much we were able to do for our customers. Skinner says there was significant buy-in for the program since Anthem had the largest share of the individual commercial market in the state’s exchange. “We received great feedback,” says Skinner. “We hit some rough patches and we’ve acknowledged that. But I 18
think that throughout everything, our focus remained on the customer and doing what was best for them. Our focus included going above and beyond and out of our way to make sure we were doing everything that we could so that our customers had a smooth experience.” Advice for Other Professionals: “My advice would be, ‘Don’t be afraid to try something new’,” says Skinner, who is a practitioner of CrossFit, a demanding physical exercise regime and fitness program. “I think from very early on, I was very focused on math and the analytical side. Within the last few years, I took on a new challenge with my job as director of sales support. It’s a new direction from what I’m used to. It was something new and an opportunity was presented to me so I thought it was best to try something different. Don’t pigeonhole yourself. Be open to new experiences and new ideas.” Person Who Most Influenced Life: “In my professional life, I’ve had a lot of great leaders at Anthem, both past and present, who saw the potential in me and gave me a lot of great opportunities that I don’t think I would have gotten elsewhere,” says Skinner. “They’ve helped to push me along in my career and I’m thankful for that. In personal life, I think my mother and my father have been the greatest influence. Everyone says my analytical mind came from my father. He recognized that about me pretty early but he also pushed me to do more and not rest on what came easy. My mother pushed me to challenge myself even today. She’s finding new challenges for herself and that’s something I try to emulate. They’ve both definitely shaped me in my personal life and I think it’s carried over to my professional life as well.” Guiding Philosophy: “My guiding philosophy is to do everything to the best of your ability, no matter who is watching,” says Skinner. “In everything that I do, if I’m going to take time to do something and make sure I give it my all to the best of my ability. Whether it’s a project or a workout at the gym, that’s something that I strive to do all the time.” Skinner credits her parents, Ellen and Richard Skinner, with instilling in her a standard that says everything worth doing is worth doing your best. “My mom always pushed that home for us, too, to make sure you’re always giving your all,” says Skinner. “She saw what we could do and she pushed us a little further.”
Photo: Tom Violante
Danielle Skinner ’10 MBA as a recipient of Business New Haven’s 2014 Rising Stars Award
Skinner’s personal goal is to continually challenge herself in all facets of her career. “I’m not one who likes to say that I got to a certain point and wanted to stop,” says Skinner. “I want to continue to grow and to try new things and challenge myself. I would love to continue to move on, to get new challenges and get to new steps in my career, whatever that may be.” — Thomas R. Violante
New Graduate Business Campus in Orange, CT
University of New Haven
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 2014 Rising Stars, including Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s own Danielle Skinner. Her vision and leadership improve the quality of life in our community.
Life and Disability products underwritten by Anthem Life Insurance Company. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans, Inc. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. 24126CTEENABS Rev. 08/14
HELPING OTHERS HELP THEMSELVES Name: Michael Storz Title: President
Congratulations to our Rising Star,
Michael Storz! Your Passion Lights the Way for All! From the staff, students, community members, families and Board of Directors
CHAPELHAVEN A unique integration of social communication and independent living
Attend a Fall Open House: Tuesday, October 28—5 to 7 pm Saturday, December 6—10 am to noon Register online at www.chapelhaven.org
Organization: Chapel Haven Inc. Date of Birth: Oct. 2, 1972, Freehold, N.J. Education: BA, Providence College, 1995; MBA, Southern Connecticut State University, 2006. Accomplishments: “I am proudest of the achievements happening every day for the men and women of our Chapel Haven community,” says Michael Storz. Chapel Haven is a special-education program licensed by the state’s Department of Developmental Services. It’s a two-year program, during which residents live at Chapel Haven, for adults with developmental and social disabilities to learn “all the skills they need to become truly independent adults.” “The fact that a program like Chapel Haven provides them with the necessary tools to succeed and, in turn, the use of those tools results in adults with developmental and social disabilities living happy, independent lives is one of the greatest accomplishments I could dream of,” Storz explains. People from all over the country and world attend Chapel Haven, which has a main campus on Whalley Avenue in New Haven as well as one in Tucson, Ariz. Most transition into the broader community with minimal support once they graduate from the program, Storz says.
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Chapel Haven teaches participants life skills — things like how to maintain an apartment, access recreation programs in their community, find and keep employment and make friends. “We are a lifelong program,” says Storz, adding Chapel Haven offers continued support to graduates. Storz has been at Chapel Haven since 2000. He previously directed a program for adults with autism in New Jersey. He has been drawn to helping people with developmental disabilities since high school when he volunteered as a Special Olympics swim coach. “I knew right then and there I wanted to do something in the field, helping people.” Previously on a career path to work in finance, Storz recounts an experience in college as another turning point. He was working in a classroom of students with disabilities and connected with one, a young boy named Adam, in particular. “That little boy Adam is what really drew me to the field,” he recalls.
He is proud of several initiatives he’s helped oversee. One is “Weigh To Live,” a class Chapel Haven and the Cornell Scott-Hill Heath Center created to help Chapel Haven participants achieve and keep a healthy lifestyle. Storz also spearheaded a partnership with Yale-New Haven Hospital that made Chapel Haven the first Connecticut agency to implement “Project SEARCH,” a national, one-year high school transitional program for students with disabilities that trains participants to help them find employment. He also helped Chapel Haven receive national recognition, as well as earn a $40,000 grant from the state’s Office of the Arts, which will launch a pilot program to create entrepreneurial opportunities for artisans with disabilities. Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: “On a personal note, the most significant obstacle I face is self-confidence,” Storz acknowledges. “I remember the days that I feared standing up in front of a group of people and speaking. I remember the days second-guessing whether or not I was making the right decisions.” Today, public speaking is a significant facet of his job and Storz is happy and eager to discuss the mission and work of Chapel Haven with others. He credits supportive mentors with helping him overcome previous insecurities.
He also feels strongly that confidence shines through in those who are passionate about what they are saying — and he is passionate about Chapel Haven. Advice for Other Professionals: “Remember the people who are hitting the ground every day for you,” Storz advises. He can have passion for the cause and great intentions, but he wouldn’t accomplish any of his goals without the support of his 184-person staff. Person Who Most Influenced Life: His parents, Ralph and Donna, have profoundly shaped Storz’s life since his childhood in New Jersey. “They believed I had much more to offer the world than a life in business” and they supported him when he turned down an opportunity to work on Wall Street to follow his passion. Their support, he says, “has truly led to the life decisions I made for myself.” Guiding Philosophy: His motto, he says, is simple yet crucial: “I haven’t earned my paycheck for the day until I help someone smile.” Amid all of his other duties, one of his main priorities is to spread some joy through Chapel Haven. It’s important to bring happiness to others, he says. “I tell my staff that all the time.” — Cara Rosner
Congratulations to Rising Star Jamie Cosgrove On Your Team Rick Goodwin
CCS congratulates Michael Storz, President, Chapel Haven, on his recognition as one of Business New Haven’s Rising Stars!
CCS is proud to serve as fundraising council to Chapel Haven. Let CCS help you surpass your development goals. 800.223.6733 | www.ccsfundraising.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Eventus Strategic Partners congratulates our client and friend
Michael Storz, President and CEO of Chapel Haven,
A LEADER WHO’S A LISTENER Name: James C. Cosgrove Title: First Selectman Organization: Town of Branford Date of Birth: February 10, 1973, Branford Education: BS, 1997, Finance, University of New Haven Accomplishments: James Cosgrove is a Branford guy through and through. While he may be in his first year as the town’s new Republican first selectman, Cosgrove is no stranger to the town or its politics. SEPTEMBER 2014
Born and raised in Branford, Cosgrove served on the town’s Republican Town Committee (RTC) for two years from 2009 to 2011, before serving another two years on the Board of Selectmen. Not that his name wasn’t already well-known in town: he was a project manager for Cosgrove Construction, the local firm started by his grandfather Daniel Cosgrove, himself a former Democratic leader. James was also a registered Democrat and considered going independent before being approached about running for the RTC, for which he changed his affiliation. Cosgrove’s willingness to switch political teams can be chocked up to his belief that party affiliation makes no difference in running and doing what’s best for the town. Continued on page 31
on being selected as a Business New Haven Rising Star. We salute his dedication and work to empower people with developmental and social disabilities to live independent and self-determined lives.
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’FIX THE ROOF WHEN IT’S NOT RAINING’ Name: Sue Rapini Title: Executive Vice President Organization: Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Date of Birth: February 22, 1960 Education: Quinnipiac College, 1984. Also graduated in 2013 from the Institute of Organizational Management, a four-year accreditation program presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Accomplishments: It has been a notable year for the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce. Among its most significant achievements was gaining the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce as an affiliate. Among her various successes, Sue Rapini is most proud of the role she has played in facilitating that process. It was a daunting task, she says, to “merge the cultures” of the two chambers since both have such long histories. The Greater Haven Chamber has existed for 220 years, the Quinnipiac chamber for 100. The chambers remain separate entities with separate boards of directors, but have successfully integrated some of their operations in ways that will benefit both chambers going forward, she says. As executive vice president of the Greater New Haven chamber, Rapini oversees nearly all of the day-to-day operations of the organization, including programming, business development, events and any aspects other than the group’s finances. She came to the chamber in 2004 and started as its part-time insurance program coordinator. Over the past decade she climbed the ranks, serving as a business-development executive and then director of member services. She became executive vice president in 2011. She previously was executive director of the Hamden Chamber of Commerce from 2000 to 2003, following a career in marketing and advertising. Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: While helping to bring the Greater New Haven and Quinnipiac chambers together has been one of her greatest challenges, it’s also been one of the toughest tasks Rapini has faced. “This year was especially challenging, just trying to build a team together when you have two separate teams,” she says. 22
She overcame the challenge, she says, with the help of dedicated colleagues. The chamber’s “very talented, very diverse staff” made the transition as smooth as possible. “It’s been great. We’ve invested a lot into professional development” to facilitate the process, she says, and everyone has been eager to help. Her colleagues play a key role in helping her surmount any challenges that come her way. “Everybody sweeps the floor here,” she says, alluding to everyone on staff’s willingness to chip in with any task needed. That attitude has allowed the chamber to thrive and expand. “There’s definitely a new energy here at the chamber,” she says. “Now it’s really a hub, where business people come in all the time. I feel very lucky I’m surrounded by such great people; my job’s amazing.” Advice for Other Professionals: It can be easy for conscientious professionals to feel the need to do it all, and subsequently feel overscheduled overwhelmed. “Don’t be afraid to say ‘no,’” advises Rapini. It’s important to continually take a step back and reassess priorities. “Try to keep your goals clear.” Person Who Most Influenced Life: Rapini says her boss, chamber President Anthony P. Rescigno, has had a profound impact on her. “Tony has been amazing. He’s an incredible leader, he’s very passionate,” she says. “I’m very lucky to work with someone like him.” Her husband Dominic also has played an essential role. “I definitely get my business sense from my husband,” she says of Dominic Rapini, an executive with Apple Computer. He took a chance when he originally went to work for Apple — at a time when many were leaving the company — but he followed his heart and found a fulfilling career there. Another hugely influential figure in her life has been her mother, Ann Dandrow, a former state legislator.
Rapini was awarded a front-row seat for some of the action. She remembers heading to events at the Capitol in Hartford with her mother as a child, and her family was invited to the White House when the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990 under President George H.W. Bush.
who believes in being pro-active and taking steps to nip problems in the bud. “If the chamber wasn’t so well run and in such great financial shape, we could not have successfully done that affiliate with the Quinnipiac chamber,” she says. — Cara Rosner
Guiding Philosophy: “Fix the roof when it’s not raining,” advises Rapini,
“I would not be who I am without my mom,” says Rapini. “She’s a strong, motivated leader.” When Rapini’s younger sister was born profoundly deaf, her mother was outraged that there were no educational options available to her. A mother of four, Dandrow became a passionate advocate for special education and other political issues. “I remember her picking up the phone and calling [then-Gov.] Ella Grasso. She just worked tirelessly,” Rapini says. Dandrow was part of the collaboration that made special-education mandatory in Connecticut public schools, and she authored Connecticut’s Safe Haven bill.
and the other Rising Star honorees! WWW.CONNTACT.COM
time and right place,” he says. “I’m not looking to create an Orthodox haven; there are plenty of places for that. I’m looking to create a place where Jews of all types can feel comfortable, and I think we’ve achieved that.” Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: Hecht recounts the numerous naysayers who questioned the worth of reinvesting in the shul as an example of the value of new ideas, and not just for life in the Jewish community, but in the city as a whole. “New Haven is a community very set in its ways; you try to do something countercultural and people look at you like you’re nuts,” he says. “I believe it will help everybody — every institution, every organization, every business and every community will grow if we can get over why New Haven is such an afterthought in people’s minds. We have to continue to push who we are to grow and move forward.”
SEEKING, AND GIVING, DIVINE INSPIRATION Name: Mendy Hecht Title: Rabbi/Spiritual Leader Organization: Congregation Beth Israel (Orchard Street Shul) Date of Birth: October 23, 1984, New Haven Education: Machon Lehorah Rabbinical College of Pretoria, South Africa, 2006 Accomplishments: Mendy Hecht, rabbi at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue (colloquially referred to as the Orchard Street Shul) is taking a progressive and fresh approach to rebuilding the Jewish community in New Haven. Once a center of religious life in the Dwight neighborhood, the 100-yearold shul fell into disrepair due largely to a growing exodus of the Jewish population to suburbs such as Woodbridge in the latter years of the 20th century. The shul, which was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, became less and less used until finally closing in the late 1990s. A governing board, which remained active, considered selling it at the end of the last decade. Hecht, whose grandfather Maurice was the congregation’s rabbi from the 1940s through the ‘90s, didn’t think that should happen. “I used to come here as a kid — it’s too special a place to just let go,” he says. “It’s hard to come in here and not like the place; the building sells itself. Just like people, buildings can have souls, SEPTEMBER 2014
especially one that’s 100 years old. All types of people have prayed here. That raises it above the physical bricks-andmortar element.” Hecht was instrumental in raising money – close to half a million dollars – to carry out a piece-by-piece restoration of the building (which continues), which re-opened for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services in 2010, gaining 30 membership families. It now has a membership of 125 and growing, but Hecht insists membership is not mandatory.
Achieving that lies in the ideas of its people: “If you believe in a religion, that’s something bigger than you. But I don’t think anything in a city transcends the people who are in it. We create what it is.” Advice for Other Professionals: Being able to identify with and relate to others is key in accomplishing most things, and the young, idealistic Hecht says keeping that idealism grounded in
reality is what will bring your goals to fruition. “The guy who’s 45 and says you’re an idealistic idiot isn’t wrong. You have to have an idea that’s grounded in some kind of reality, and in order to make things happen you need those people who are well established, you need to learn to speak the language while not compromising your dream and vision, and that takes understanding the dynamics around you.” Person Who Most Influenced Your Life: Hecht points squarely to Hasidic philosophy and the late Menachem Mendel Schneerson (known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe), who promoted unity and love for all people. “His teachings are the backbone and inspiration for why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Hecht says. Guiding Philosophy: “We don’t believe God is distant from anything and that there’s a sublime energy behind everything, and when you start to see other people and objects as an embodiment of divine energy, you see the world in a whole different light. In a world like that, it’s hard to hate,” he says. “If you have this as some kind of understanding, you can overcome any barrier or challenge that faces you.” – John Mordecai
And though it’s an Orthodox synagogue, the 29-year-old rabbi is far more interested in encouraging the attendance of new generations while creating a welcoming atmosphere for all Jews than he is to focus on denominational labels. It’s hard not to appeal to a younger crowd when you offer sushi and shots after Friday night services. “You have to play to a different tune. Yes, the service is a traditional orthodox service, but for Judaism to survive we have to get beyond that. My generation doesn’t care about belonging to a synagogue. I may know how to pray in Hebrew but not everybody does, and they shouldn’t feel unwelcome just because they don’t understand. A Jewish person should feel comfortable in any Jewish setting,” he says before cribbing a popular gym slogan. “This is a judgment-free zone!” That’s all the more important for what is essentially the only Jewish presence between downtown and Westville, Hecht says. He encourages members and non-members to come if and when they’re ready, but average attendance is on the rise, and he predicts it will grow along with New Haven itself. “There is a community that’s come together around this shul, and as the city grows this will grow. It’s the right
Orchard Street Shul Congratulates our Spiritual Leader, Rabbi Mendy Hecht for his vision: Changing A Shul for Changing Times. A true Rising Star! Orchard Street Shul -- 101 years young -- welcomes Jews from all backgrounds. Not all Synagogues are alike. Visit our welcoming community in downtown New Haven -- a Landmark Sanctuary listed on the National Register of Historic Places -- in the old Jewish neighborhood in downtown New Haven. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur Services are free and open to all! Every first Friday Night of the month; Services & Sushi. Shabbat Services start 9:30 a.m. followed by Kiddush. See first hand why people are coming back and becoming part of our traditional and inclusive Jewish Community. Orchard Street Shul ~ A New Haven Treasure. A Synagogue that knows how to change with the times. Sign up for our weekly newsletter! www.orchardstreetshul.org Orchard Street Shul, 232 Orchard Street, New Haven, CT 06511 • 203-776-1468 23
LEARNING TO GROW
Name: Ryan Van Wilgen Title: Vice President Organization: Van Wilgen’s Garden Center, North Branford Date of Birth: March 14, 1985, New Haven Education: BS, 2007 University of Massachusetts/ Amherst, Ornamental Horticulture, Business (minor). Graduated from Branford High School. Accomplishments: “They kicked me out of the family business,” Van Wilgen says, referring to the decision that his father and business coach made to send him outside the company to have him learn the ropes somewhere else. After graduating college he went as far away as possible, applying for a position at a nursery retailer in Oregon. Van Wilgen came back to deal with a full-blown recession and a tough business and personal situation. “We were going through a pretty tough economy and my dad was sick with leukemia,” he recalls. “We were able to level off sales after two years of negative sales. We started three garden marts, which my dad and I worked on together. I think that was a big accomplishment for Van Wilgen’s. We had to adapt our growing facilities and change procedures to handle shipping. The company he worked for in Oregon “was about three to four times our size, so I was able to learn a lot. We set up one outlet at Bishop’s Orchards [in Guilford], one in Old Saybrook and one in Milford. We call them garden marts because we open in spring and close right after Christmas. It was our goal to make it through the recession without losing key employees and wanted to find a way to keep everyone on staff. We never dipped down; we actually added employees during the recession.” On Father’s Day weekend in 2008 Van Wilgen’s father was diagnosed with leukemia. “But we had already torn down our building and had to go forward with the renovations [for a new larger facility]. We added a geothermal heating system because we were re-doing the building but the money wasn’t really flowing.” The geothermal system turned out to be a great energy saver: the company added 6,000 square feet of space and are using approximately the same amount as before the expansion. Ryan also oversaw a conversion to natural gas. “It took me about three years to convince the gas company to bring the gas lines three miles. We just got through a conversion last winter and now our new heaters are 94-percent efficient or better.” Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: Ryan cites the family and self imposed-exile to Oregon right after graduating college as his biggest personal challenge to date. “Moving away from the family business, it was difficult for me to understand how it was going to help me,” he recounts. “I had a wonderful family that took me as their own. But getting over the first couple-month hump was the most difficult thing, moving by myself to an unfamiliar area and working for someone else for the first time.” 24
Apparently it worked out well for all involved. By year’s end he had his own office and was running several of the locations. But by then the elder Van Wilgen’s health problems were becoming more urgent. “I was flying back and forth from Oregon to help my dad, but I had a commitments [in Oregon] that I had to keep as well.” Advice for Other Professionals: Van Wilgen says systems and presentation really matter, especially in how your customers view your business. “In my opinion business and life are about perceptions,” he says. “In my store somebody can wait three minutes in line or three seconds and perceive they are waiting a long time. There is a view in our business that because we’re a garden center we can have wet or gravel floors,” but that’s not the young Van Wilgen’s view. “We’re a retail establishment, and we have to be up on the same level as Starbucks or a Whole Foods.” Person Who Most Influenced You: My dad is definitely one of them but I call him my Oregon dad because he was most influential at a time when I most needed it.” Ryan was able to find his footing, albeit in an industry he knew, but more than 3,000 miles away. “We had no other ties, I flew out there and had an eight-hour interview with Jack Bigej. I’ve always worked in the family business. I got this job and it wasn’t like my dad and he were best friends. I moved through the rank-
ings in the company in the year I was there. That was a great feeling and accomplishment, without being part of the family business. The lifestyle was different than out here, but the way he ran his business and was involved and how passionate he was.’ His “Oregon dad” understood he was preparing his employee for a return. “I asked him, ‘What do you for fun?’ and he said, ‘I work.’ The way he was willing to teach and share. On my days off he would make me meet him and we would go on trips to other garden centers and growers to look at product. But Bigej included him in more than just day trips. “He included me at family picnics and even family strategy meetings for the company, just so I could see how he and his kids interacted and planned and communicated and worked together so well.” Guiding Philosophy: A life inside the company helped Ryan form his working worldview. “One thing I say to the kids who work here is that I’ll never ask you to do something I haven’t done. When I started work for the garden center so young, I weeded, got dirty, sweated in the greenhouses and worked in the landscape crew mowing lawns. I think it’s important for someone to know and experience all aspects of the business for some portion of time.” — Mitchell Young WWW.CONNTACT.COM
Congratulations to Rising Stars Ryan Van Wilgen and Jamie Cosgrove S C H O O L
congratulates Acacia Courtney ’10 and all the Rising Stars!
Congratulations Ryan Van Wilgen on being honored as a Rising Star!
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David A. DeMaio, President 750 East Main Street, Branford • 203-483-3645 www.mungerconstruction.com • email@example.com
from all of us at
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Congratulations Ryan! Our very own Rising Star~ A 4th generation Van Wilgen keeping the business growing!
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PUTTING OUT FIRES — IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE Name: Rose Criscuolo Title: Executive Customer Relations Supervisor Organization: Comcast Date of Birth: December 21, 1961, East Haven Education: West Haven High School Accomplishments: “I’ve had a lot of opportunity to grow,” says Comcast’s Rose Criscuolo. “I started as a part-time account executive, customer service, troubleshooting, and advanced to the supervisor position, solving customer issues that come to the group. Criscuolo supervises two teams of troubleshooters: executive customer service, and billing and research teams. The problems that rise to this level for resolution are the tougher customer-service issues. “It never is easy; you really have to have some background knowledge to do this,” Criscuolo explains. “It could be about a piece of equipment, a promotion, a bill — they have to have some good investigative skills.” One team handles problems that customers have brought to management outside of the normal customer-service channels, maybe even calling the corporate office in Philadelphia, or a state regulatory agency. They’re a last line of customer defense. “Maybe they [customers] feel they didn’t receive satisfaction. We do the research and investigation and have to resolve it.”
In terms of accomplishment, “It’s the ability of the team to identify trends and patterns that may be affecting the customer or even the company,” she says. “Because we have a process in place, it may not be the right process. We look at it and try to strategize for enhancements. We engage and collaborate the work groups that are affected.” Criscuolo has also invested her energies into the volunteer sector as member of East Haven’s fireman’s auxiliary. Criscuolo grew up in both East and West Haven and now is back in East Haven. “I wanted to give back,” she says. Seeing as she was just appointed president of the auxiliary in January, she appears to be well on the way toward accomplishing that goal. The auxiliary raises money and support for both firefighters and victims — “anyone who may suffer in our community connected to a fire, and we support both paid and volunteer firefighters. You’ll find auxiliary members at large fires with support for the firefighters, supplying towels, water and snacks, as they’re often fighting the fires for hours.” Biggest Obstacle and How Surmounted: “The biggest obstacle transitioning from a front-line person to a leader and having to lead people,” she acknowledges. I don’t think I was prepared enough for what the true experience was going to be.” To overcome that obstacle Criscuolo fell back on her personal style. “I tried to be fair to everyone. I think we’re all a little different on how we like to be managed; we’re not all cookie-cutter people.” Entering management also brought some personal changes. “Your friendships change,” she says. “You can’t have the same type of relationships when you’re a colleague versus a leader.”
MARQUEZ Continued from page 16
He credits his faith in God and the support of his colleagues with helping him overcome the challenge. “I landed with a great group at the Geenty Group,” he explains. “They have an aggressive approach to life and business,” he says. “I have a great team that surrounds me, not only at work but at home, too. I have a great support system.” Advice for Other Professionals: “Find something you’re passionate about, and that you have the skill set to perform at a high level, and go for it,” he says. He urges others not to let money or a job title determine their life path. “The passion you have for what you do” is what ultimately defines your success, Marquez says. “I love helping people. That’s my passion.” Offering an example, he speaks proudly of how he recently connected an entrepreneur to a space that 26
Advice for Other Professionals: “If you’re the leader of a team it is really important you are connected to the team,” Criscuolo says. “Our team will do anything and everything they can when you’re part of it.” Today, however, teams are often virtual — and that creates its own challenges. “You have to be connected in a way, you know each other a little bit on a personal basis, you’re aware of their work performance, you talk often,” she says. “We’re not all face-to-face. You have to approach this a different way when they [team members] are not with you.”
Makia Green. “There were a lot of things going on for me and she arrived at a really good time,” recalls Criscuolo. “She brought real-life experiences, connections, and also a lot of professional knowledge and leadership style. She works for Comcast in a different state now but we still keep in touch.” Guiding Philosophy: “Be true to yourself. It is important that you’re here because you want to be, not because you feel you need to be.” Criscuolo adds, “Sometimes people may not think they have a choice, but I think we all have choices.” — Mitchell Young
Person Who Has Most Influenced: Criscuolo cites a former manager,
will give the business owner the chance to grow a start-up company. The most important quality of any job, he says, is that it is enjoyable. Person Who Most Influenced Life: Marquez doesn’t hesitate when naming his mother, Maria, as his biggest influence — “and I am not a mama’s boy,” he jokes. She had Marquez and his brother at a relatively young age, he explains, and always put them first. “She had a lot of dreams and a lot of goals and she put all that aside to raise two boys in a pretty rough neighborhood in New Haven,” recalls Marquez. She also made the decision to move the family to Puerto Rico when Marquez was in eighth grade, when she felt their Fair Haven neighborhood was no longer the best place to raise her boys. Marquez attended high school in Puerto Rico and moved back to New Haven with his family when he was 19. Throughout their childhoods, Marquez and his brother saw their mother continually open their home to neighbors and friends who needed a place to stay or a hot meal.
“Our house was always open,” he recalls. “She’s a modern good Samaritan.” Today, Marquez’s mother is resuming her own ambitions: she is working toward a degree in social work, serves as an associate pastor at a local church and has traveled the world helping those in need. Marquez also is an associate pastor, at Radiant Start of Jacob Christian Church in New Haven, where he hosts a weekly Internet radio show. He is also in the process of earning the credentials needed to become a minister. His father Juan also has inspired him, particularly when it comes to his strong work ethic and humility. “He had a no-nonsense approach to work,” Marquez says of his dad. Guiding Philosophy: “The Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated.” His mother taught him from a young age that you get out of the world what you put into it. “That has been my philosophy and my approach to everything I do,” he says. — Cara Rosner WWW.CONNTACT.COM
LOMBARDI Continued from page 14
“When I meet with a new [potential client], I say ‘You’re outsourcing human resources or accounting; have you ever considered outsourcing your facility maintenance?’ And they look at me and say, ‘I didn’t even know I could do that.’”
Significant Obstacle and How Overcome: “Our offering at One Source is very unique,” says Lombardi. “On a national scale there are companies that do what I do, but on a regional and local scale it is not common. The biggest obstacle I face is helping people to understand who we are, what we do and how we’re different, and the types of issues we handle. It’s an educational sale; it takes time. We’re a single solution for building, we have all the relationships for finding quality contractors — everything from cutting the grass, to power-washing your building. We’re not a property manager, we go to a real estate trust, or a community bank or a health-care chain. We can be an extension to make sure you’re paying what you should be paying [for facilities services]. We also operate as a strategic partner, where we put a full-time person into our customer’s building to become their facility maintenance department. Our forte is multi-site operations.” Person Who Most Influenced Life: “There are really two folks: Louie [Lou Proto] was the first, who brought me into commercial real estate and trained me,” Lombardi says. Also, “Jim Barnes, who was on the board of Marist and was the founder of Oakleaf Waste Management. He had built the largest waste and recycling company in North America without owning a truck.
close relationship, and I still go to him for input. But I am the sole owner and I’m proud of that.” Advice for Other Professionals: Do what you say you are going to do.
Congratulations to our very own
– Mitchell Young
CELEBRATING A LOCAL STAR ON THE RISE
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He purchased and built FM Facility Maintenance and used the model of using a network of contractors in 45 trades to grow a client base that includes companies like McDonalds and Exxon. At Barnes Oakleaf and FM companies they are thriving (Barnes sold his interest) on a national and international basis.
On being chosen as a 2014 Rising Star For Business New Haven
“I believe in Connecticut and saw that he was able to build a business and employ people here in spite of what you would hear.
up, but is how you respond to it that matters.”
We are proud to have a Rising Star in our family
“I was introduced to him, and before I knew it I was selling for Oakleaf. Oakleaf aggregated large national customers and leveraged that portfolio to become the single largest customerto-local trash haulers.”
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DA COSTA Continued from page 12
position. After that things happened very quickly.” Two years later Da Costa leapt at the opportunity to return to Quinnipiac as head coach. Today, after ten seasons helming the Bobcats, he is now the team’s longest-tenured coach, with a 64-66-33 record (19-10-10 over the past two years). “I’ve always felt grateful and indebted to Quinnipiac and the people who helped me come here and grow as a man,” says Da Costa, who credits his years of experience to guide him in building new teams. “Bringing in strong people with good character who wanted to be a part of building something is important to me and my staff.” Da Costa’s accomplishments on the team are many. The Bobcats have recently averaged more wins per season than ever before, and the team earned the conference title and an NCAA tournament berth in its first year as a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in 2013. The previous season he was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year. He says 12 of the team’s players have turned professional all over the world over the past decade (their jerseys hang on the
walls of his office). Six of his players were named All-Conference last season. Da Costa, along with Houston Dynamo president and former Quinnipiac baseball player Chris Canetti, even helped organize the “Soccer Night in Newtown” fundraiser in December 2012 after the Sandy Hook school shooting, bringing in pro soccer stars including Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm for a night of much-needed fun and games. “I’m extremely proud of everything that’s led us to where we are now,” he says. “It’s been the byproduct of oldfashioned hard work and by surrounding myself with loyal and committed people.” Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: Da Costa points to his start as a Division II coach at age 24 as a daunting experience, trying to earn the respect of the seasoned and more experienced professionals around him. Tough to do when during his first season at Post his team won just one of its 17 games. “I spent a lot of time in my office with my door closed and didn’t want to be seen,” he recounts. “After some self reflection, it forced me to work harder and believe in what I was doing.” The following season, his team won nine games.
Advice for Other Professionals: Drawing on his own insecurities while making his way as a young coach, Da Costa urges others to take the time to reflect and find strength. “Have the confidence and the courage to self-reflect and ask questions of yourself and get to know what your philosophy is and whether you truly believe in it. And if you do, you need to remain confident, stick with it and push forward,” he says. “There will always be self-doubt but if you’re courageous enough to ask those questions then you’ll find your way.” Person Who Most Influenced Your Life: Da Costa says that when the opportunity came to leave New Bedford and play soccer for Quinnipiac came along, it was his brother Gary who encouraged him to go for it. “He sat me down and gave me a good shake and said, ‘Wake up: There’s a bigger world out there. You have this opportunity and you have to take it.’” Guiding Philosophy: “The players don’t care how much you know unless they know that you care about them,” says Da Costa. “I think our players know my door is open and we make them realize they’re cared about for more than their athletic ability. II want them to succeed in life.” —John Mordecai
OP_ED Continued from page 4
IAAS providers. Considering the significant state and federal investment in the infrastructure, Connecticut would be well served to embrace and incent private sector investment and innovation on the Nutmeg Network. Private technology initiatives and private capital have a greater potential to transform the delivery of government services than public sector or non-profit initiatives. The Nutmeg Network has great potential but like any building, highway or railroad, it requires ongoing operating funds, maintenance and patronage to succeed. Ultimately the market place will determine a role for the private IT sector as well as the future of the CEN/Nutmeg Networks. Technology will continue to transform our lives, but in order to transform government we need to unlock the potential of the CEN/Nutmeg networks. Angel investors and state-funded economic development programs can incent entrepreneurs and the technology industry to develop applications and services shared by all state and local government agencies, schools libraries and first responders. The Cloud Industry Forum (cloudindustryforum.org) and other industry groups or standards bodies can provide our administrators and legislators with a framework for best practices, governance and service level objectives. Private-sector IAAS providers already offer service level agreements that guarantee performance and metrics for measuring service levels. We encourage state executive agencies, local officials, regional planning teams and our legislators to “remove barriers and create incentives” for private sector partnerships with the CEN/Nutmeg Networks.
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SANDMAN Continued from page 17
He attributes the firm’s success largely to word-of-mouth endorsements, something in which he takes great pride. “A lot of it comes from building up a reputation and getting people to tell their friends,” he says. “It’s [about] building up our customer base and really being able to service them and their needs. We really give a lot of individual attention to our clients without nickel-and-diming them.”
Person Who Most Influenced Life: His father Joshua had a profound influence on Zev Sandman from an early age. “Growing up I saw him work,” he says of his dad, who in addition to teaching at UNH also helps run a family business and is involved in running his synagogue’s charity fund. He also saw his father “making sure that we as kids always had what we needed, had the tools to survive,” Sandman says. His father always
urged him to push himself and fight complacency. His father’s community involvement also rubbed off on him. In addition to being active in his synagogue, Sandman is a coach and sponsor of Westville Little League, in which his son plays. Sandman is father to four children with his wife Leah: Yitzchok, 12; Bella, ten; six-year-old Toby; and Chaya, who is two.
Guiding Philosophy: There’s one principle Sandman says he continually circles back to in his life: consider how what you’re doing impacts others, not just yourself. He abides by this in both his personal and professional life. When advocating on behalf of clients, he says his primary motivation is helping them improve their own situation. “It’s about really working with my clients to make them more comfortable,” he says —Cara Rosner
. g n i h t y M
Offering great service to clients is among the most important things he and his partners do, and what sets them apart, he says. “There are a million attorneys they [clients] could choose from,” says Zev Sandman, and quality service is what attracts and retains clients. Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: The biggest challenge Zev Sandman has faced so far in his career was getting his firm off the ground initially.
Improving facilities. And the quality of the lives inside them.
It was hard “starting from scratch, really just jumping into the deep end,” he says. “It wasn’t easy to make the decision to try to do it on my own.” He credits other New Haven-area attorneys who generously gave him the support and advice he needed to take the plunge. “That really, really helped out a lot.” His passion for the legal field also helped him overcome the challenge. He spent more than a year, from 1998 from 2000, in Italy studying to become a rabbi and subsequently worked in banking at the Bank of Southern Connecticut. But he couldn’t deny his true calling. While working at the bank, he says, “I loved seeing all the attorneys at closings and said, ‘That’s what I really want to do.’” The career change pleased his father, Joshua, a pre-law professor at the University of New Haven who always had a hunch his son would enter the legal field. Advice for Other Professionals: From the outset, Sandman Law Group has focused on real estate, landlord/tenant and business law, and Zev Sandman urges other entrepreneurs to find a niche they love and focus on it. “You can’t overreach,” he says. “You have to really know what your target is, what your goal is, and work at that.” Having a game plan and knowing your target market are essential, he adds. He also urges others to see the potential in a weak economy. “Don’t be afraid to take that jump” and start a new career when the job market is not strong. Those who can succeed in the worst economic times, he says, will only thrive more once conditions improve. SEPTEMBER 2014
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CORDANI Continued from page 11
ativity of an argument and the way you litigate a case is very important, and that appeals to me. There are so many applicable legal issues, none of the cases I have are similar to each other. Inventions are always different, so the theories are always different. As opposed to negligence or liability, [where] the issues are very narrow and easily defined.” Some of Cordani’s most recent cases have included canceling an infringing patent by West Haven chemical and coatings manufacturer Enthone, and this summer a $35 million victory in an antitrust suit against Massachusetts manufacturer Cortron by Waterbury chemicals manufacturer MacDermid. Cordani cautions that patent law will continue to be a vital law discipline for businesses especially because of the changing economic landscape. “America is becoming less of a place for manufacturing but it’s still a place for innovation, so patent law will become more important as time goes on and
industries take on a more high tech role,” he says. The big mistake many small businesses make, Cordani says, is either not filing for a patent (the process can cost as little as $10,000 to $15,000 or upwards of $50,000), or simply by hesitating — if you don’t file within a year of disclosing the idea, you forfeit your right to a patent, leaving it free for anyone to claim. “For smaller companies the importance of their invention might not be clear at first, but then by the time it does become clear or the product becomes successful, it can be too late,” he says. Carmody Law often puts on presentations and seminars to clients and groups like chambers of commerce to emphasize the importance of protecting intellectual property. In addition to serving as a special public defender for needy defendants (a fulfilling and satisfying task, he says) Cordani is entering his second semester as an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University School of Law this fall, teaching a course on patent litigation and strategy.
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“Teaching is a very stimulating and enjoyable thing for me,” explains Cordani. “In law you always have an adversary, but not here – you’re teaching future colleagues so it’s much friendlier. I’m trying to give [my students] a good foundation and understanding of patent law and what a patent lawyer does.” Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: Cordani is still a young lawyer and realizes that experience, and a good mentor, is important in figuring out what works in theory versus in practice. “The biggest obstacle for a young lawyer is learning how things work in the courtroom,” he says. “In the past three years I’ve seen how some arguments can be nice in the abstract but not in practicality. Nothing beats being in court and seeing what works. If it doesn’t, you won’t try it again.”
taking the adversary role too seriously,” Cordani says. “You have to be a fierce competitor and do everything you can for your client, but at the end of the day these are people you’re going to work with a lot and you have to be able to separate the personal from the professional.” Person Who Most Influenced Your Life: Cordani points to John Horvack, a Carmody partner who has served as a valuable mentor in his years as a young lawyer. “He is my boss,” Cordani laughs. “But he’s been an excellent mentor tp me and has taught me all the practicalities of law that I know so far. He’s always been approachable and willing to give advice — not as a boss, but as a colleague.”
Advice for Other Professionals: Posing an argument in court shouldn’t be personal — everyone’s got a job to do, after all.
Guiding Philosophy: “Do everything you can to win,” Cordani says. “Be as zealous an advocate as you can but, but while within the bounds of courtesy and professionalism.” — John Mordecai
“I tell my students that if they want to be a lawyer for the long haul, it’s better to be civil and professional rather than
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COSGROVE Continued from page 21
“When you’re talking about local government, party ideology really isn’t so significant,” he says. “It’s important to find quality and reasonable solutions, and that’s not dictated by party, that’s dictated by how reasonable you are.” Cosgrove’s term comes on the heels of his predecessor Anthony (Unk) DaRos, who served a combined 12 years as the town’s chief executive, from 1997 to 2003 and again from 2008 to 2013. He felt the town was getting stagnant and leaning too heavily on the grand list from expensive waterfront properties to balance budgets. His focus as the new leader is to work with leaders in the greater New Haven area to build the region as a whole, while addressing town infrastructure and economic development.
“I’m not naïve; I know that after the state election I have to start focusing on the next election and I’m sure there will be some attempt to throw obstacles in my way, but I’m not concerned about it,” he says. “If I stay focused on what I told people I was going to do, continue to listen and move the town forward, then I don’t think there will be any obstacles.” Advice for Other Professionals: “Really listen to your constituents, that’s who you’re really working for,” he says. “The key to being a good leader is to listen. Even if with different groups, we
might not be in agreement, but if you give a person the opportunity to be heard and they feel that you respected their position, I think they’ll end up respecting your decision.” Person Who Most Influenced Your Life: The biggest influence on Cosgrove, particularly in politics, comes not surprisingly from his grandfather Daniel, who through his years as a political leader, construction company leader and even boxer, instilled in him the importance of learning from mistakes and maintaining a respectful attitude.
“He always told me that everyone makes mistakes, but you need to learn from those mistakes and move on,” he recalls. “When I was going to run for First Selectman, he told me not to get involved in any name-calling or nastiness. He was the type of person who might disagree with you, but would still respect you.” Guiding Philosophy: “Listen, learn, lead,” he says. “I always try to stay true to that.” — John Mordecai
“We want to rebuild our economy locally, but we have a greater chance to succeed by working with other municipalities in the area, how we complement each other and work together to truly grow,” he says. “Even getting a business to hop one or two towns over isn’t helping the overall economy the way we need.” Cosgrove says Branford is poised for greater development, noting plenty of available unused land along its four I-95 access points, but the real challenge being how to convince a business to not only move to the area, but to stay, something a one-time tax incentive won’t necessarily guarantee. He’s also future-focused, as the town embarks on large-scale projects like aggressive debt paydowns, and even relatively smaller ones like establishing a senior citizens center and how it will affect the town years later. “If I had the magic bullet, I’d be governor,” he jokes. “I’m always looking long-term and how what we do now will impact that. The greatest asset any town has is its human capital.” Cosgrove laughs when facing the question of whether or not he’ll spend another decade in the First Selectman’s office, but concludes: “I came in focused on the long term, so I have to be committed to that.” Most Significant Obstacle Encountered and How Surmounted: Cosgrove says he feels fortunate to have had an overall smooth transition into his new seat and doesn’t feel the threat of many obstacles, but admits the real problems will arise come reelection time if he doesn’t stick to his guns. But he remains positive all the same.
Real Estate and Construction
Forgotten Neighborhoods of New Haven From Ditch Corner to Goatville, recalling the Elm City’s rich (and sometimes not-so-rich) history By Thomas R. Violante Those of us who live in or were born in New Haven can easily tick off the names of the neighborhoods everyone knows: The Hill, Westville, Fair Haven, Newhallville, East Rock, Morris Cove, to name a few. Also included are Amity, Beaver Hill, Dwight, Brookside, Wooster Square and Broadway. The number of modern-day neighborhoods and historic districts lies somewhere between 30 and 65, depending on whom you ask and where you’re standing when you do the asking. This is not a definitive story about these forgotten neighborhoods because back in the early days of the colony, nearly every corner was a neighborhood or area named after someone famous or dead. But when you do a little research and look at a few historic maps, that’s when the “forgotten” neighborhoods appear, bringing with them a new understanding of just how steeped in history the Elm City remains. No such research can be undertaken without a trip to the Whitney Library and its archives, located inside the New Haven Museum, where reside 30,000 printed works, 300 manuscript collections and countless maps and drawings that document the life of the city that was founded in 1638 by Rev. John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton, the latter of whom was the stepfather of Elihu Yale and — well, it quickly becomes easy to see how this is all intertwined. Thanks to the work of several writers, including Doris B. (Deb) Townshend, Robert M. Lattanzi and Colin Caplan, one can discover the origins of these forgotten neighborhoods, the way of life in the early days of this seafaring colony and the origins of the city’s street names and neighborhoods. For example, City Point still is referred to by locals who live there as Oyster Point or Oyster Point Quarter, harkening back to the oyster fishing industry that once was based there, now removed to the Quinnipiac River 32
Oyster Point New Haven, maybe it’s better off lost.
area (or “Dragon” as it was known in the 19th century. If you left the Quarter and traveled west, you’d come upon Sodom Hill, later named Mount Pleasant and now known as “The Hill.” Travel down Congress Avenue to Congress Circle (or Square), near George and Church streets, and you’ll be in the Oak Street area, host to newly arrived ethnicities including Irish, Jewish and Italian immigrants a century ago. Head east and up Columbus Avenue to the Six Corners neighborhood, also bounded by Hallock Street, Dewitt Street and Washington Avenue. You’d be a stone’s throw away from the Suburb’s Quarter and Mr. Lamberton’s Quarter, having never stepped out of the modern-day Hill neighborhood. Heading toward downtown, you might cross through the Thompson Square neighborhood, named in the 1860s after a Mr. Thompson (obviously). This later became Spireworth Square and, yet later, was renamed Trowbridge Square. Nearby you’d find possibly the oldest building in New Haven at 198 North Front Street, owned by the Fargeorge family back in the 1600s.
\drop cap\Sailing into the mouth of the Quinnipiac River, known as the Neck and then Dragon in the early 1800s, you might have agreed with Capt. Richard Russell when he passed through Clamville and looked upon the west side riverbanks, noting it was a “Fayre-Haven,” while the Farms and Waterside occupied the east bank of Dragon. Farther up the river, the Hemingway family farmed their property, known as Quinnipiac Meadows. And where the Mill River joined Dragon, you’d find Grapevine Point and the Barnesville Hotel, located in Barnesville. Moving toward the East Shore, one would find Woodwardtown near the intersection of Main Street, Quinnipiac Avenue and Forbes Avenue. Wooster Square wasn’t always the namesake of Revolutionary War hero Gen. David Wooster. Once known as Oyster Shell Field, it later become known as New Township Park (the neighborhood that arose to the east of the original nine squares was known as New Township), and finally Wooster Square, says Colin Caplan, a New Haven native who has written five books about the city and operates “Taste of New Haven,” whose WWW.CONNTACT.COM
mission it is to educate visitors to the city on its food, culture and history. “Slineyville was an Irish neighborhood located in an area near Barnesville and close to what we now call Wooster Square,” explains Caplan. “It was named for a man named John Sliney. It was kind of like a slum for poor workers who lived on the outskirts of town in the early to mid-1800s. There was even a Sliney’s Corner, at the corner of Chapel and Chestnut streets. “Not too far from that in the same time period was an area called New Guinea,” Caplan continues. “That was part of William Lanson’s development; [he] was a runaway slave. He became a contractor in the city and the only person who devised a way to extend Long Wharf into the longest wharf in the country [jutting approximately three-quarters of a mile out into New Haven Harbor] at that time. He developed New Guinea and also New Liberia, located near Green and East streets, a black and Irish neighborhood.” Caplan says Hell’s Alley, located at the top of Beaver Pond Park, lived up to its name. “It was on the border with Hamden,” says Caplan. “In the late 1800s to early 1900s, the newspapers mention it as a kind of scary romantic area. It’s what we now know as Cherry Ann Street in Hamden. There was a shanty village of largely Polish families. Conditions were reported as deplorable and there were knife fights and murders. It was cleared when the city developed Beaver Pond Park.” “Let’s not forget Goatsville on upper State Street near where Route 80 is now,” says Joe Taylor, a well-known
local researcher and city historian. “And before we had Westville, it was known as Hotchkisstown, named after the Hotchkiss family that lived out in that area.” Farther on up the western bank of upper West River, now known as Amity, there existed Chestnut Hill, a farming community. The Broadway District, now a popular shopping mecca with exclusive and unique shops developed by Yale University, wasn’t always that glamorous a location. “The area where Broadway now is located was a small busy commercial zone because of all the roads that converged down there that created a small business district,” adds Caplan. “It was an early dense area of commerce. Before it was called ‘Broadway,’ it was referred to as Ditch Corner. But the actual Ditch Corner, which is an old term going back to the 1680s, refers to a ditch that was dug between Beaver Pond and a creek, which later was known as the Farmington Canal. They dug the ditch to try to reverse the flow of Beaver Pond into the old creek to create a new mill closer to town. The corner to which we refer was that of Goffe and Orchard streets, the old way out of town. That corner was the site of a big battle in 1779 between the British and American troops.” Next time you’re shopping on Broadway, glance northward toward that intersection and imagine that, only a few hundred years ago, people were fighting over our 55 independence and not haggling over the price of a new pair of shoes.
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Real Estate and Construction
At Long Last, a Real Real-Estate Boom? Following a half-dozen years in the doldrums, greater New Haven appears on the precipice of a renaissance By Mitchell Young
Greater New Haven is experiencing a surge in economicdevelopment activity unseen in the region in half a century. One may attribute the wealth of new projects to demographics or the region’s location. But credit also needs to be extended to Yale University, business supporters and a longtime effective if not always well-loved mayor, John DeStefano Jr. Recently retired Yale president Richard Levin spearheaded a two-decade-long effort to revitalize what was a financially challenged university when he took over the corner office of Woodbridge Hall in 1993. His efforts to forge a better relationship with the city of New Haven found a partner in DeStefano, and their twodecade-long partnership in reinvigorating the city center is now bearing fruit across the New Haven region. More work needs to be done and the battle especially for jobs and overall economic growth is challenged by the state of Connecticut and New England’s sub-par economic growth. But literally billions in current and future investment demonstrate that the economic future of south-central Connecticut is looking brighter than it has in many years.
West Haven: The Haven Perhaps no development in the region has posed a more pleasant surprise than The Haven. A 350,000-square-foot development housing 100 “high-end” stores and restaurants, the Haven is expected to cost $200 million in West Haven’s Water Street district, off the Kimberly Avenue exit of I-95. The developers — Greenwich-based Sheldon Gordon and Dallas real estate investor Ty Miller — have cobbled together a 25-acre waterfront location from more than 20 property owners and are expected to break ground in 2015 with an opening date slated for 2016. Today the area decidedly low-end and industrial, a neighborhood best known for the tiny but popular Sandbar Seafood restaurant, a no-tell motel, a marina and on Water Street itself the Bilco Co.
The City of West Haven, which has sold 4.7 acres to the developer, projects that 1,200 jobs will be created by the development and will yield $3 million in annual tax revenues. Developer Gordon has undertaken successful highend projects across the country including the Shops at Mohegan Sun, new outlet stores at Foxwoods Resort Casino, the Bridgemarket in Manhattan and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, thought to be the most successful mall in the country. Access-door manufacturer Bilco is among the companies that will be selling land for the new development. Bilco is exploring a new location in West Haven and beyond. The company says it needs approximately 12,000 square feet for its headquarters’ 65 employees. Bilco’s manufacturing is no longer done in Connecticut, but in Truman, Ark. and at a recently opened plant in Zanesville, O. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided $200,000 for brownfield remediation on Water Street, at the site of a former oil company. The feds and the state together granted $2 million in 2012 for the West River bulkhead reconstruction project, a 462-foot section of the 1,400-foot wooden bulkhead at 105 Water Street with a new steel bulkhead, which consists of a piling of steel sheets and stands 11 feet above sea level. The project, which is expecting to have a 2,000-car surface parking lot, will require substantial transportation improvements in the area. Gordon has said negotiations with state officials for better access from I-95 have commenced. The project is minutes away from Sargent Drive, retail giant Ikea store and the soon-to-be built Jordan’s Furniture. Jordan’s is owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Co., which bought the former New Haven Register headquarters and is expected to have four co-tenants. Jordan’s has a reputation for creating an atypical shopping experience featuring laser shows and an IMAX theater in some locations. The “Disneyland of Furniture Experience” is expected to draw shoppers from far beyond greater New Haven. The New Haven Register, which now jobs out its printing to the Hartford Courant, is relocating and downsizing from its longtime 220,000-square-foot home on Sargent Drive to
the 18,000-square-foot former Star Supply building at 100 Gando Drive in North Haven. The Register first considered a downtown location but even an arm-twisting attempt by city Economic Development Administrator Matt Nemerson couldn’t convince the Register’s Pennsylvania-based parent company to move downtown in the face of higher rents, limited parking and a dearth of available space. Nevertheless, the Haven’s 100 stores, “world-class” restaurants” and their big-box neighbors will present tough new competition for both downtown New Haven and Westfield’s Trumbull and Milford malls as well as outlet centers in Clinton and Westbrook.
National Chains Find Success Downtown For most of the past four decades most national retail chains and New York financiers alike had essentially redlined New Haven. The city’s “reputation” for failed policies and struggling business climate was widely accepted and no major developments or office buildings were built that were not financed by well heeled local developers such as David Chase (Connecticut Financial Center) and David Beckerman (One Audubon Street). Downtown merchants can remember when the Gap fled one of New Haven’s most visible retail locations (intersection of Chapel and College streets) in 2003. The defection helped cement an impression that New Haven’s downtown wasn’t hospitable to national retailers. But the city’s retail landscape began to improve and Yale’s University Properties (with 85 retail locations) became more aggressive and now that picture has changed in a big way — likely both helping and hurting local retailers and restaurants. Apple, perhaps the world’s most desirable retail brand, opened in September 2011 on Broadway. The even hipper Urban Outfitters was already open for business in newly redeveloped high profile space on Broadway, and along with J. Crew another national fan favorite resides next to the Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Together this fearsome four-
some helped turn around the national retail in New Haven failure story. Today several national retailers have discovered New Haven and not all have been brought to Yale University Properties. Chipotle opened in 2013 in what had been the local restaurant Café Bottega (and an earlier failed attempt at resurrecting the Yale Co-Op) in the Chapel Square Mall at Temple and Church streets. The ever-so-hip Shake Shack brought its burgers to the home of the birth of the burger (talk about an interloper) in a Yale storefront in 2012, and shopping-center favorite Panera Bread found its way to Chapel Street as well. All three chains appear to be doing very well, while many of New Haven’s restaurants are operating under increasing pressure for business and as we see a steady flow of restaurant failures and replacements in New Haven. Even lower Chapel Street — a neighborhood once thought to be impossible to attract national tenants — has two new arrivals. The really hip (they just opened in Park Slope, Brooklyn — what else do you need to know?) employee-owned 23-store Portland, Me.-based, regional chain Artist & Craftsman at 813-817 Chapel Street is opening this fall in a 6,000-squarefoot retail location half a block from the New Haven Green. The building is owned by Pike International, New Haven’s largest residential landlord. Pike is renovating the upper floors for apartments. Several blocks up Chapel Street across from the Yale School of Architecture is New Haven’s longtime go-to art store, Hull’s Arts Supply, which will now be duking it out with a much larger competitor. The cachet of Dollar Tree, the store that sells most everything for $1, is nothing to write home about, but it now occupies “prime” space in downtown New Haven. Dollar Tree has located in the seemingly un-rentable 9,000-square-foot space of C.A. White’s CenterPointe residential and retail development at the corner of Church and Chapel. CenterPointe apartments filled almost immediately more than a decade ago but the large un-modifiable retail footprint was apparently too much for New Haven’s retail base and the space has stayed vacant. According to the New Haven Independent, Matthew Nemerson, the city’s economic development administrator, tried to convince C.A. White CEO Michael Schaffer to hold out for a tenant more in keeping with a “hipper” version of downtown. But after ten years Schaffer decided it was time to shake the dollar tree.
The story won’t end there, however. Just a bit down the street at 760 Chapel Street is another dollar store, Family Dollar. The two parent companies just began merger talks with Dollar Tree offering $ 9 billion for Family Dollar creating an $18 billion dollar-store behemoth. Among the issues for the companies and the Federal Trade Commission: overlapping retail outlets. Even as the dollars started to flow for C.A. White just next door to Dollar Tree, Citibank proved they weren’t too big to fail when in March they stole out of New Haven seemingly in the dark of night. Don’t be surprised to see another bank fill the space, however. Kiko Milano, a cosmetic brand from Italy, and Emporium DNA, a high-end fashion retailer, will open soon at Broadway and York streets. In a surprising turn, both European retailers are using New Haven as a sort of retail beachhead rather than another add-on. Emporium has only four U.S. locations and Kiko Milano three, the closest of each located in New Jersey.
College & Crown: A Centerplan Business New Haven’s 2014 Businessperson of the Year, Robert Landino, was recognized in part for his perseverance to develop 188-195 College Street in downtown New Haven. First planned in 2007 as a 19-story condo project, the effort was derailed by the collapsed real estate economy. The downturn also deep-sixed a development at the New Haven Coliseum site that was to be developed by Hartfordbased Northland Investment and financed by a collapsed Lehman Brothers’ real estate arm. Landino had already evicted the existing rent-paying tenants when things cratered. Today the steel is hitting the sky big time on the six-story, $50 million residential and retail project. The building will house 160 luxury market-rate apartments instead of condos, 20,000 square feet of retail space and an underground parking garage. Designed by New Haven architects Svigals + Partners, occupancy is slated for August 2015. In the heart of New Haven’s arts district and just blocks from a host of biotech employers at 300 George Street, the soon-to-becompleted Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Yale-New Haven Hospital, the project seems well positioned to succeed. Landino’s Middletown-headquartered Centerplan has also just been selected to develop a $350 million mixed-use development in downtown Hartford to include a minorleague baseball stadium for the Eastern League (A A) Minnesota Twins affiliate now known as the New Britain Rock Cats.
Winchester Lofts Forest City, Science Park New Haven When Higher One welcomed guests in March 2012 to its new Science Park headquarters, it was a somewhat surreal “grand opening.” The $46 million headquarters in the former Winchester Repeating Arms Co. was for this guest marred by the surroundings. In spite of nearly $20 million of state support for environmental remediation, most of the building still stood in disrepair and a pock-marked face of broken windows and bruised brick greeted all those about to enter. The main entrance for the company would be around the corner in a renovated 140,000-square-foot space — a testament to the sheer scale of the Winchester site. Today that has all changed as Forest City, with nearly $9 billion of real estate assets nationwide and manages 40,000 apartments, are now marketing 158 mixed-income loft apartments. Twenty percent of the apartments, supported by a $4 million state grant, are deemed “affordable” and the rest market-rate. They are expected to fetch between $1,475 and $3,300 monthly. The $54 million project was financed with the $4 million from the state, $10.6 million of equity from the developer, $23 million in loans and nearly $20 million in federal and state (primarily historic) tax credits. Carter Winstanley developed the site for Higher One as well as a 1,186-space parking garage and 15,000 square feet in 2009 of still mostly empty retail across from the Winchester building. With the added residential component and the soon-to-bebuilt new Yale residential colleges with 700 additional students within walking distance, the retail space is expected to become more attractive.
Trolley Square, New Haven What do SoHo, Central Park South and Delancey Street on the East Side of Manhattan have in common with New Haven’s State Street (albeit on the other side of the highway from the otherwise trendy neighborhood) besides small shops and pizza, pizza, pizza? The answer is their ownership, the Manhattan-based Carter Management Co., which purchased Trolley Square at auction for almost $4 million in June. The scale of the 250,000-square-foot-plus building was apparently too daunting for Brooklyn developer Joshua Guttman, who purchased the building in 2003 for $1.8 million. Guttman had hopes of turning Trolley Square into a beehive of activity, but he may have been too early and/or undercapitalized. In June Guttman also auctioned off two other large southern New England industrial properties. His vision may have fallen victim to the recession but in some ways Guttman did prove his concept. Trolley Square is home to a diverse and interesting group of tenants: artists, a skateboard shop, Capoeira (Brazilian fitness), CrossFit and Aikido centers as well as Digital Surgeons, a growing Internet and digital-services company. All were attracted by the relatively low rents and open floor plans and a promise of continuing improvements. Carter apparently isn’t promising any big action yet, beyond fixing up the building and working with the city of New Haven on the best continuing use. We’ll have to wait and see if Carter’s deeper pockets also mean a deeper commitment to the property. Carter recently bought a Delancey Street (Manhattan) property of approximately 50,000 square feet for $21 million. That makes Trolley Square look like a low-risk bargain.
As a growing and well heeled public company Alexion Pharmaceuticals brings, status, well paying jobs and a vision for New Haven’s future, that no other real estate development to date has achieved. SEPTEMBER 2014
The Big Kahuna: Alexion Pharmaceuticals The “skin” is up on 100 College Street, future home of Alexion Pharmaceuticals — and heartbeats are beginning to race downtown. Alexion is the first major step in undoing the divide that many blame for the secular destruction of downtown a half-century ago. What was once called the Oak Street Connector (officially Richard C. Lee Highway) is a 1.1-mile-long freeway section of Route 34 that begins at the junction of I-95 and I-91 and terminates at York Street, the Air Rights parking garage. The connector and Route 34 itself turned into a downtown divider, renting a neighborhood asunder and placing a highway right through the city center. The connector would eventually undermine the goals of Mayor Richard Lee in rebuilding downtown New Haven. For decades the state department of transportation wouldn’t give up the dream, or more importantly the property, on Route 34. The wisdom brought on by a growing city, an aggressive mayor (DeStefano) and an empowered legislative group finally brought the state and its Department of Transportation to heel, allowing the city to create the vision of Downtown Crossing. The Downtown Crossing project will replace the “limited-access highway stub that cuts through downtown with a pair of urban boulevards” and get pedestrians and cars on street level again. One Hundred College Street sits next to Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine, and also abuts 300 George Street, home to several biotech companies including Achillion Pharmaceuticals. A public company whose stock is on the rise, Achillion itself may soon spread its wings from a pure
research company to a full pharmaceutical developer. The 100 College Street building will be 500,000 square feet, and cost more than $140 million. Alexion Pharmaceuticals, currently in Cheshire (its present property is on the market), had first committed to occupy 300,000 square feet, but the company later pushed for the project to expand to 500,000 square feet and its own occupancy to 400,000 square feet. There will be some street-level retail on College Street and the Yale School of Medicine will occupy approximately 100,000 square feet as well. Alexion currently has a $32 billion market cap,, annual sales in excess of $1.5 billion and profits of more than $250 million in the past year. Economic-development officials became nervous, though, when rumors circulated earlier in the year that Alexion was a takeover target by Swiss pharma giant Hoffman Roche. The idea didn’t go anywhere. The Motley Fool, an investor-oriented media outlet, called the rumor one of the “three most ridiculous” biotech investment ideas of the year. Since then the lift has gotten even harder for a would-be acquirer as Alexion’s market cap increased by 50 percent from $20 billion, making a buyout even more difficult. It’s not that a pharma giant couldn’t swing the vig: By contrast Pfizer offered $116 billion for Astra Zeneca (which it turned down). But AZ has annual sales of $25 billion and profits of $2.5 billion, making it ten times Alexion’s size — but only three or four times more expensive. Alexion is a strong and growing company but it has made its success by developing
treatments for rare diseases, not the stuff of “Big Pharma.”
Hamden Business Incubator With the aid of a $5 million grant, the development of a 40,000-square-foot business incubator is taking shape in Hamden and is expected to open by mid-2015. The incubator is at 496 Newhall Street and will be owned and operated by the Hamden Economic Development Corp. (HEDC). The former school has been abandoned since the early 2000s when environmental concerns were raised about the property. Several proposals to reuse the site as a school were consistently opposed by parents, even as the state DEP awarded the site a clean bill of health. The incubator is expected to be home to as many as 20 small companies. The HEDC is expected to provide reception, parking, rest rooms, WiFi, conference space, security, etc. — “all at an affordable rent structure,” it says.
New Yale Residential Colleges In early June, Yale University president Peter Salovey said Yale had reached its fundraising goal for the construction of two new residential colleges. The expansion of Yale College will be the first since 1969 when the university first began to admit female undergrads. Construction is expected to begin in February 2015 and be completed by 2017. The university will add approximately 700 students, an approximately 15 percent increase in undergraduates. Yale currently admits less than ten percent of applicants. In 1999 that rate was 20 percent.
The buildings have been designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York. Stern is the dean of Yale’s School of Architecture and will follow the design of Yale’s other colleges, what us plebeians would likely call Gothic architecture. The two new colleges will be located north of the Grove Street Cemetery in the triangle comprised of Prospect, Canal, and Sachem streets in New Haven. The original timetable for construction was to be built by 2015 but was set back by the recession and the hit to Yale’s endowment by the financial collapse. A plan by Yale’s then-president Rick Levin to raise $400 million of new funds to pay for the school was placed in motion. The fundraising effort was set on its way when Charles Johnson (net worth $5.6 billion), retired chairman of the moneymanagement giant Franklin Templeton Investments, which manages more than $800 billion in assets, gave $250 million to Yale for the effort. This was the largest gift ever by an alumnus. Aside from his mutual fund career, Johnson is also the largest shareholder of the San Francisco Giants, winners of the 2010 and 2012 World Series. Unlike stadium naming rights, however, Johnson will not get his name on either college. Yale policy is not to name a college after a living person. Nevertheless, controversy over the naming of the two colleges has roiled the campus. Yale and community members have called for a female namesake or for Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first AfricanAmerican student to graduate Yale College (Class of 1874), and the first American black to earn a Ph.D. degree. (Bouchet was awarded a doctorate in physics from Yale in 1876.) In making his announcement Salovey said he was ready to go forward and that an additional $80 million had been raised. He added other projects such as a new biol-
Schiavone’s Chapel street “parking lot” realzed by another developer eight years later.
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If fully developed the Live Work and Play development at the 4.7 acre Coliseum site will change the shape and scope of downtown, New Haven.
ogy building that had been placed on hold would also go forward, with an opening likely in 2019.
expansion onto the former Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield (now in a sufficiently downsized location on Leigus Road in Wallingford) campus in North Haven.
New Yale School of Management Building
UNH acquired the 47-acre campus and its 70,000-square-foot building for a new graduate school campus. The satellite campus is located adjacent to the Wilbur Cross Parkway at exits 55 and 56. The Bergami & Pompea Graduate Center recognized the support of Samuel S. Bergami Jr. a 1985 UNH executive EMBA graduate, and Charles E. Pompea who graduated UNH in 1971 and returned in 1990 for a UNH EMBA as well.
It is hard to miss the new Yale School of Management (SOM) Building at 165 Whitney Avenue. The 242,000-square-foot Edward P. Evans Hall opened in January, designed by Foster + Partners of New York. Evans was the son of Thomas Mellon Evans, a New York financier who pioneered hostile corporate takeovers in the 1950s and was a cousin of businessman and philanthropist Paul Mellon. Edward P. Evans was an executive at several family businesses and CEO of the publishing company Macmillan Ltd. He was also known as a breeder and racer of thoroughbred horses. Evans Hall sits on 4.25 acres and dominates lower Whitney Avenue, which has attracted both critics and admirers. An inner courtyard brings the outside inside, the glass walled interior creating a haven for gathering students and faculty. Its massive size has put SOM on the map in New Haven and throughout the construction industry. It took 2,000 tons of steel, more than 8,000 tons of concrete, 123 miles of copper wire and apparently a lot of doors — 500 in all. (No word at press time if they came from local stalwart Sargent.)
’Eds & Meds’ Power On at UNH, QU With a huge increase in retail space expansion regionwide and 2,000-plus residential units coming online in downtown New Haven, clearly an engine of job growth is also needed. For now, that job is clearly in the hands of the region’s “other” universities too. That fact is no more obvious than with the mid-2013 sale of the former Hubble headquarters to the University of New Haven, as well as Quinnipiac University’s continuing SEPTEMBER 2014
The EMBA program apparently was quite effective as Pompea, 65, purchased Primary Steel in 1993 and grew it into a $600 million company. Now “retired,” Pompea is majority owner of the Springfield (Mass.) Falcons, an American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Bergami spent a half-century business career at Alinbal Inc., where he rose from tool-and-die apprentice to CEO and coowner of the 400-employee manufacturer based in a 200,000-square-foot facility in Milford. Bergami chaired the UNH Board of Governors between 2006 and 2012 a time that UNH reinvigorated itself. New projects included expansion of the school’s Tagliatela College of Engineering (with major support from another local business leader, Louis F. Tagliatela), the opening of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, several new dorms, the David Beckerman Recreation Center and the Bergami Learning Center for Finance & Technology. North to the shadow of the Sleeping Giant, Quinnipiac President John Lahey proved again he wasn’t letting the school’s well manicured lawns grow under his feet when the school purchased Anthem’s North Haven campus. The first class entered last fall at the Frank H. Netter, MD School of Medicine with the support of a $100 million investment from the Netter family.
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Netter was a surgeon and renowned medical illustrator whose 4,000 medical illustrations grace many books and medical journals. The mission of the med school is to develop primary-care physicians. The North Haven campus is also home to QU’s other extensive graduate health career programs and Quinnipiac School of Law.
Live Work Learn Play: New Haven All this and we still haven’t talked about New Haven’s largest and perhaps most significant development project. Earlier this year city Economic Development Administrator Matt Nemerson confirmed the $400 million multi-phase development is moving forward, powered in part by the momentum of Downtown Crossing and the relocation of Alexion Pharmaceuticals from Cheshire to downtown New Haven (see above). The ambitious project by Toronto-based Live Work Learn Play will sit on a 4.25-acre site (now surface parking). The former Veterans Memorial Coliseum site will eventually house a 160-room hotel, more than 700 residential rental units, more than 75,000 square feet of retail space and 200,000 square feet of Class A office space. The project’s first phase is expected to house 242 residential units and 39,000 square feet of retail space. Newman Architects of New Haven is the architect for the project. Significant city and state improvements for stormwater protection and bringing Route 34 to grade as part of the Downtown Crossing plan are needed to bring the project to full fruition. Confronted by doubters, LWLP CEO Max Reim offered he has more than $1 million of “my own and family money” already invested in the project. Phase I has been projected to be completed by the end of 2016 and the full project by 2020.
West Haven Train Station In today’s economy, many believe transportation infrastructure is destiny. If true, West Haven’s long-awaited Metro North station, which became a reality in summer 2013, will help propel that city forward as its serves the new and growing needs of the University of New Haven and the West Campus of Yale University. The station is situated on Sawmill Road between Hood Terrace and Railroad Avenue and has more than 650 commuter parking spaces. Passengers are served by Metro North’s New Haven Line and Shore Line East trains. A decade in the making, the $80 million project has two 12-car platforms, a station building, a pedestrian bridge and rebuilt track.
Luxury Apts. for Chapel St. — a Land Bridge to YNNH When Joel Schiavone and a couple of Boston-area investors ponied up eight years ago for a parking lot, four houses and a rat-infested former Chinese restaurant at Chapel and Howe streets in New Haven, many observers scratched their heads over the desirability of the area. Indeed in a recent interview, former mayor and current banker John DeStefano admitted he was in the doubters camp. Urban pioneer Schiavone has a back full of arrows and his reach has often exceeded his grasp, but once again he’s been proven true on his knowledge of the trail ahead. Now a new $17 million, six-story luxury apartment block with 136 residential units, 92 parking spaces and 5,000 square feet of retail is taking shape on the property. New Haven has the Shubert Theater, the College/Chapel Street shopping district and a renewed belief in Fair Haven, for which to thank Schiavone. He originally wanted the space for an apartment block, but couldn’t pull financing in the real-estate collapse that followed the 2006 purchase. This project however is a major step in tying downtown and Yale student apartment-dwellers to Yale-New Haven’s St.
Petra Development seeks to create a new neighborhood on Olive street in New Haven.
Raphael campus. YNNH’s entrance has already resulted in some properties along that end of Chapel being cleaned up and renovated. Just the other day we saw a female jogger heading up Chapel past the construction site toward the St. Raphael’s outpost. Yale University itself had considered buying the property in 2008 for its own parking needs when it was building the Yale Sculpture & Gallery Building on Howe Street. The site had originally been tagged by the DeStefano administration for the Arts High School now located on College street, but was pushed back by neighborhood-dwellers who weren’t eager for high school students to invade their community, as well as Chapel Street retailers weren’t eager to lose prime locations. Yale tucked its building into a tighter space and opposition evaporated. The back story on the parking lot acquisition is Yale wanted two of the homes demolished as part of its purchase, but wouldn’t put it in the contract. The university apparently didn’t want to blamed for tearing down the properties. The owner (Schiavone was out of the picture by then) balked at the terms and Yale eventually included a parking garage in the project to meet its needs, the former restaurant did bite the dust. Real estate sources (see August BNH) said there was interest in the properties from developers from D.C. to Boston. Randy Salvatore, president of RMS Co., a Stamford real estate firm that constructs and manages residential and commercial properties, including the “urban chic boutique” Hotel Zero Degrees in Stamford and Norwalk, is developer for the project.
Steelpointe Harbor: Bridgeport After a 1995 vote by the State Senate rejecting then-Gov. John G. Rowland’s plan for a casino in Bridgeport, the governor and the state would eventually pledge more than $100 million for Bridgeport development plans. Steelpointe harbor is a 52-acre site on a peninsula on Long Island Sound. Named after a former steelworks on the site, its development had been a priority of six mayors. The first, Leonard Paolettas, started in the early 1980s but couldn’t advance the plan. Property acquisition that cleared much of the site began with eminent domain takings in the early 1990s. The project hit its first road block when Mayor Joseph Ganim was convicted in 2003 on receiving $500,000 in bribes and kickbacks. The feds said the money was to support his gubernatorial campaign in exchange for supporting a group of developers to take over the site. Ganim never got the money as the feds started investigating the developers. The damage to the project was done, however, and it would soon run into a new headwind: the real estate debacle of 2007, which squashed nearly every major development in the Northeast and beyond.
Bob Christoph of RCI Group, a well heeled Miami developer was tapped by the city to develop the project. The city and state have put $100 million into buying and clearing properties for what is expected to be a project that tops out at $1 billion. The plan includes what the city and the developer says will be 2.6 million square feet of housing, 200,000 square feet of office space, 300,000 square feet of hotel and conference space, a 250-ship marina as well 800,000 square feet of retail space. The city hopes to yield nearly $20 million in annual tax revenues. The real estate collapse has left the site vacant and ready for some time. But today the first anchor, Bass Pro Shops, one of the country’s premier destination retailers is now in the building phase with a 150,000-square-foot store costing $68.5 million to construct with the state kicking in an eventual $30 million for improvements and support. Bass Pro is expected to open next year, employing more than 225 people. Christoph says he has attracted support from two hotel companies and other retailers, but no announcements have yet been made.
Olive Street, New Haven Reinvisioned Two developers are proposing mixed-use projects that will bind together Wooster Square and downtown New Haven with more than 500 new residences and street-level retail. Currently the boarded-up former Comcast service center at the southwest corner of Chapel and Olive streets will be demolished and replaced with a new four-story building by Fairfield developer Spinnaker Residential. Community support for the project — which is expected to add 200 one- and two-bedroom apartments with rents in the $1,500to-$2,000 range and ground-level retail appears strong. The project, however, must first overcome complex zoning challenges before moving forward. With support from City Hall, aldermen and local community members, the project is expected to go forward even as the developer withdrew his application until more I’s are dotted and T’s crossed. With easy access to both the State Street and Union train stations, Wooster Square and downtown the project is seen as replacing a no-man’s land with a bridge to Wooster Square and Union Station. Just down Olive Street, Petra Development is also facing some zoning issues. Its proposal would “create a new neighborhood” including new retail space along Olive and Union Street, townhouses on Fair Street and an apartment block that together would provide a total of 285 new residences, just over the train tracks from downtown and three blocks from Wooster Square.
for complex care, and our new Old Saybrook Medical Center allows us to bring Yale-New Haven quality care and expertise directly to our patients living in eastern Connecticut. It will truly be a unique specialty medical center in Middlesex and New London Counties.”
on the legalization of marijuana and its effect on today’s youth along with internet safety.
YNHH Expands EMPLOYMENT to Old Saybrook
TECHNOLOGY OLD SAYBROOK — Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) has unveiled plans to bring advanced specialty medical care to Middlesex and New London counties. The hospital will begin renovations at 633 Old Middlesex Turnpike in Old Saybrook to develop a state-ofthe-art outpatient facility, complete with the latest technology and amenities.
Workshop Targets Substance Abuse
REALESTATE Slated for a spring 2015 opening, the Old Saybrook Medical Center will offer clinical services including pediatric specialty services, a comprehensive Smilow Cancer Care Center, musculoskeletal services, urology and vascular services.
ANSONIA — BHcare’s Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council (VSAAC) will host a “Piece of the Prevention Puzzle” workshop. “A Piece of the Prevention Puzzle” is aimed at providing members of the lower Naugatuck Valley and greater New Haven communities with the resources and tools to help address some of today’s most critical issues affecting young people. Guest speakers Scott Driscoll, Alicia Farrell and Yifrah Kaminer, MD will focus
The workshop will also feature VSAAC’s Community Champion Awards, which recognize individuals who take action to effect change in the field of substance-abuse prevention and/or intervention activities. VSA AC’s mission is to keep young people safe from alcohol, tobacco, drug use, suicide, risky behaviors and promote good mental health.
The workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 1 at Grassy Hill Lodge, 77 Sodom La., Derby. The cost is $25 and CEUs are available. To learn more or register, visit www.vsaac.org. Registration deadline is September 22.
PEOPLE VantagePoint Hires Former OHCA Head Vogel HAMDEN — VantagePoint Healthcare Advisors has retained Cristine Vogel, MPH, as a senior consultant. She will assist clients with strategic planning and marketing initiatives in response to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and with the Certificate of Need (CON) process. Former commissioner of the state’s Office of Health Care Access (OHCA), Vogel was also the Governor’s Special Advisor for Health Care Reform, in which capacity she spearheaded implementation of ObamaCare and attended meetings organized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to initiate the designing of the Health Insurance Exchange for Connecticut.
MARKETING&MEDIA According to YNHH President Richard D’Aquila: “Yale-New Haven Hospital is the premier medical center in Connecticut
Ferrucci Joins CT Orthopaedic
HAMDEN — Allen M. Ferrucci, MD of Guilford has joined Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists, PC. His hire brings the total number of physicians in the practice group to 31, working in 12 offices throughout southern Connecticut.
Ferrucci, who is fellowshiptrained and specializes in foot and ankle and general orthopaedic care, most recently was with Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Center of Westerville, O. He will keep clinical office hours in five different Connecticut Orthopaedic locations around the area to provide widespread access to patients.
Ferrucci earned a degree in biology from Boston College and was graduated from Georgetown University Medical School. \
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Seldera’s Building Dynamics Watches the Energy Meter
REALESTATE NEW HAVEN — A New Haven platform is keeping an eye not just on the power meter, but on the building itself to help owners manage energy costs. Developed by Science Park-based Seldera, Building Dynamics is a software platform that measures energy usage in buildings but also employs sensor technology (such as occupancy sensors) to track the usage behaviors of people occupying the buildings to spotlight energy inefficiency or redundancy.
Massachussets-based energy provider Energy New England to work in tandem with its own management software. Seldera CEO and founder Andreas Savvides, a former Yale University professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has a background in researching sensor technology. He saw an opportunity in using the potential information gathered from sensors as useful in energy-efficiency applications.
MARKETING&MEDIA That even includes new buildings. The technology was demo’d in several Yale buildings, including the 2009-commissioned Rosenkranz Hall, where initial tests of Building Dynamics spotted 20 percent more potential energy-saving measures than were already in use.
HEALTHCARE This technology has made it a useful tool for large facilities such as manufacturing centers, universities and other large-capacity structures where there is large variability of use. Building Dynamics is in use by 30 companies and municipalities including Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport and various industrial sites locally, as well as in larger-scale projects in Chicago and at the University of Illinois.
“That made the case pretty clear that even when buildings are recently commissioned, once they’re occupied and the occupants come in and figure out how they’re going to use the building, there are additional savings you can find,” Savvides explains.
TECHNOLOGY Seldera was founded in 2011 and acquired by Middletown-based energy management company Amaresco the following year. This summer Building Dynamics was adopted by
Building Dynamics users can leverage information gained from sensors to monitor everything from occupant behavior to building automation sys-
REALESTATE Top 40 Tech Hits It’s time again for the cream to rise to the top. Fourteen area companies were among the 40 named to the seventh annual Marcum Tech Top 40, an annual list of Connecticut’s fastest growing technology companies.
iSend (Middlebury); Reality Interactive (Middletown) • Software: Clarity Software Solutions (Madison), Core Informatics (Branford), Fitlinxx (Shelton), Higher One (New Haven), Square 9 Softworks (New Haven), Tangoe (Orange).
Seldera CEO and founder Andreas Savvides
tems to better manage energy use. It can even zero in on individual breakers. “The ability to expose information and communicate how the energy is consumed raises awareness and triggers people at all levels to try and save,” Savvides says. “Sometimes it’s just behavioral changes like turning off a light switch when you leave a room, but also it can be in building automation systems. People might be in a building for ten hours a day, but the systems run for up to 22 hours per day. That’s a redundancy.”
the attention of potential partners, investors, customers and talent. There also will be mentor meetings, a funding fair for business owners to meet capital sources and services including investors, incubators and government programs, a “Pitch Fest” for companies to give a three-minute presentation before a panel of judges (think: Shark Tank), and awards ceremony recognizing the most promising talent.
“Connecticut shines with very specialized manufacturing, and this means sometimes you can’t just buy a new machine off the shelf,” Savvides says. “So having the ability to manage energy is key to those businesses’ survival.”
It’s that basis in information that Savvides says sets Building Dynamics apart from competing platforms from companies like Schneider Electric or Siemens. He plans additional functionality and controls in the platform in the near future, including for lights and thermostats.
Eligible companies are those who have a demonstrated record of growth in each of the past four years, generate a minimum of $3 million in annual revenue (although four of this year’s finalists have broken through the $1 billion barrier).
HEALTHCARE Local companies making the grade this year include: • Advanced Manufacturing: APS Technology (Wallingford) • Energy/Environmental/Green Technology: Proton OnSite (Wallingford) • IT Services: Cervalis (Shelton) • Life Sciences: Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Cheshire), Bio-Med Devices (Guilford) • New Media/Internet/Telecom: HealthPlanOne (Shelton), 40
The Marcum Tech Top 40 is a joint program of the Connecticut Technology Council and investment firm Marcum, LLP. More information and a full list of the Top 40 may be viewed at ct.org.
Gathering of the Minds WALLINGFORD — Emerging startups get another chance to show what they’ve got this year at the Connecticut Innovation Summit, the state’s largest entrepreneurial confab. The Summit features exhibits from 150 early stage and growing companies hoping to attract
The Innovation Summit takes place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. November 12 at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford. Particulars can be found at ct.org.
We Drive with the Sun NEW HAVEN — Quality Hyundai is New Haven’s first solar-powered auto dealership. The dealer has installed 521 solar panels to provide 14,000 kilowatt hours (or 87 percent) of its monthly energy needs. Its August celebratory event was even visited by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Quality Hyundai is located at Forbes Avenue and Peat Meadow Road in a former U.S. Postal Service facility, where it moved from Branford last year. Owner
“The way technology is maturing today [is] enabling a whole suite of smaller systems, controllers, sensors and thermostats,” he says. “That technology is going to enable us to keep integrating more pieces into Building Dynamics.”
Joe Blichfeldt, who sold solar panel parts back in the 1970s, invested $400,000 into the project, which he says will save between $3,000 and $4,000 per month on energy costs. Additional services and incentives came from the state’s Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit program, which allows Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) customers who install renewable energy projects to sell energy credits back to CL&P.
MARKETING&MEDIA The elect are divided into six categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Energy/ Environment/Green Technology, IT Services, Life Sciences, New Media/Internet/Telecom and Software, with one winner from each being announced at an October 2 event at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford. An overall winner demonstrating the largest growth across all tech sectors will also be announced.
The platform even factors in changes in weather and fluctuating building occupancy, such as for holidays. This makes Building Dynamics a better fit for large buildings and college campuses where there is significant variability of use throughout the calendar year. Its primary customers in Connecticut are industrial.
The solar panel array was designed by Boston-based Independence Solar, while project construction was handled by Branford’s Pat Munger Construction.
Bioscience Projects Get Push NEW HAVEN — Four bioscience projects were awarded a piece of a $2 million pie to speed up their paths to commercialization. Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII) doled out funds through the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF) to both a pair of Yale-based projects and a pair centered at UConn.
– John Mordecai
Demetrios Braddock, associate professor of pathology at the Yale School of Medicine and medical director of Principio Diagnostics, was awarded $500,000 to fund a treatment for a fatal orphan disease resulting in heart failure and cardiac arrest. CaroGen Corp., a Hepatitis B vaccine developer that originated at the Yale School of Medicine, also received $500,000 in funding.
Quing Zhu, associate professor of electrical & computer engineering at UConn, received $500,000 for development of a hand-held infrared imager for use with ultrasound machines. Dura Biotech of Storrs received $400,368 to fund development and testing of a lower-diameter valve for use in aortic valve replacement surgeries.
The CBIF was established in 2013 to support promising bioscience projects statewide, with a focus on startups, earlystage businesses, non-profits and accredited colleges and universities. CII also recently awarded Branford life sciences tool company IsoPlexis a $300,000 grant to develop a beta version and conduct testing of its cancer therapy device that provides cellular data to drug makers. WWW.CONNTACT.COM
C. Cowles W Gets State Cash To Quit N.H. W
NORTH HAVEN — Relocation comes at a price, with which state government in this instance was happy to abet.
MARKETING&MEDIA HEALTHCARE Happy Mftg. Day To All
October 3 this year, compared to 831 that took place a year ago.
EMPLOYMENT Aerospace Summit If gifts were given on annually on Manufacturing Day, Connecticut would likely ask for more jobs on its wish list.
TECHNOLOGY This year’s National Manufacturing Day will be celebrated in Connecticut on October 3, with a variety of plant tours, demonstrations and events statewide. Manufacturing Day is a nation-wide initiative, now in its third year, to put a spotlight on manufacturers and address the challenges of the industry.
GROTON — Connecticut’s aerospace industry is the cornerstone of its manufacturing sector and makes products used far and wide, so it only makes sense we shake hands with the rest of the world.
Such is the aim of the state’s first Aerospace & Defense International Trade Summit, which will be held September 21-23 at the Mystic Marriott in Groton. The event will connect Connecticut firms with companies in ten countries that include Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands and more with the hopes of encouraging international partnering and innovation growth.
REALESTATE Of note presently are figures from Manufacturers News’ 2015 Connecticut Manufacturers Register show a loss of 1,894 jobs between June 2013 and June 2014.
According to the Manufacturing Day website, there are a number of events scheduled at Connecticut firms this October 3, though only one locally: Milford-based electronics component manufacturer Bead Industries will host a tour of its facility, followed by a presentation, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Aerospace manufacturer Alcoa, which has a facility in Branford, will host a virtual tour of its Davenport, Ia. facility online for students from 1 to 2 p.m.
HEALTHCARE Other state participants include CNC Software of Tolland, which will host two tours and demonstrations; Glastonburybased Conard Corp., which will give a presentation about photo etching in precision metal component manufacturing; injection molding manufacturer Dymotek Corp. will host tours of its Ellington facility and its newly opened Somers location. The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology in Hartford will also hold a private “Manufacturing Mania” event for students to get a hands-on crash course in product manufacturing. There will be an estimated 1,500 manufacturing events taking place nationwide on
The summit has partners in a number of companies including Sikorsky Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney, Boeing, Kaman and Lockheed Martin. More information, including registration, can be found at intltradesummit.com.
Sikorsky + Boeing Going Up
C. Cowles & Co., the long-time New Haven manufacturer that announced in the spring its consolidation and move to North Haven later this year, received a $1.77 million loan from the State Bond Commission to help in the move of its six divisions to the 23-acre former Marlin Firearms factory.
Five of the company’s six divisions – Cowles Stamping (metal stamping for the automotive industry), Phillips/Moldex Co. (plastic injection molding), ABS Lighting (specialized beam lighting systems), Cowles Products Co. (trim products for the automotive industry) and Hydrolevel Co. (liquid level controls for boilers) – are based at its current New Haven facility, but the sixth, heating parts manufacturing Carlin Combustion Technology, is based in East Longmeadow, Mass.
1 program to develop a new vertical-lift aircraft, with first flight scheduled for 2017. The team presented its idea for the SB>1 Defiant helicopter at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting & Exposition in October 2013, and was selected to carry out the project this summer. The Army plans to invest $217 million in the project; competing teams (which included Bell Helicopter+Textron and AVX Aircraft+Kaman Aircraft) each received $6.5 million to start work.
Amphenol Connects with Casco WALLINGFORD — Electronic cable and fiber optic manufacturer Amphenol is connecting with a new manufacturer. The company will acquire Bridgeportbased Casco Automotive Group, which makes connectivity, power and sensor products for the automotive industry, for $450 million. The buyout is part of Amphenol’s efforts to reach into the automotive market.
MARKETING&MEDIA The summit also will include seminar sessions on regional aerospace opportunities, export compliance, and military programs; business-to-business meetings between participating countries, speakers from U.S. and foreign governments, schools and industry leaders; and exhibits from numerous international companies.
Casco has more than 70 years experience in sensor and module development, with roughly 1,300 employees in facilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Its annual sales reach $220 million; Amphenol, on the other hand, generated $4.6 billion in revenues in 2013.
TOMZ Expands with DECD Help
STRATFORD — Sikorsky Aircraft and Boeing are working to reach new heights.
BERLIN — Aerospace and medical device manufacturer TOMZ Corp. is expanding its 95,000-square-foot facility to provide in-house training to new hires.
The aerospace companies are together working for the U.S. Army’s Joint MultiRole Technology Demonstrator Phase
The company is taking on the $2.3 million expansion to its Berlin facility to accommodate increased produc-
Carlin is making the move to North Haven already to get up and running ahead of the cold weather months. The relocation brings 59 new workers to the state and retains the 116 already present; if those numbers hold, 50 percent of the $1.77 million state loan will be forgivable.
The company worked with state manufacturing agency the Connecticut State Technology Extension Program as well as with the University of New Haven to attract new workers, which are now being trained with the help of a $250,000 job training grant from the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD).
— John Mordecai
tion volume and add 30 new jobs to its 123-person workforce. A $711,533 loan from the state Department of Economic & Community Development’s (DECD) Manufacturing Assistance Act to assist in the building of the new facility and the purchase of new machines. The ten-year, two-percent interest loan is forgivable up to $350,000 if the company meets its job creation and retention goals. TOMZ was founded in 1988 and currently works with regional vocational schools to train and recruit machinists.
Enter Your Events on www.ctcalendar.com
SPECIAL EVENTS Join the Connecticut Power & Energy Society and Connecticut Business & Industry Association for a conference, 21st-Century Energy. Connecticut’s energy landscape is evolving. How can your company take advantage? Session features networking breakfast and full brunch, two keynote speakers, a political forum, and a wrap-up time of 1:30 p.m., so you can be back at the office early. Lineup includes experts in energy technology, infrastructure, politics, and regulatory issues. 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. October 8 at Crowne Plaza Hotel Cromwell, 100 Berlin Rd., Cromwell. $125 CPES, CBIA members; $225 others (students $50). 203-2650823, ctpower.org.
Funds, will be the featured speakers at Conscious Capitalism: Making Your Career Matter and a Vision of How We Can Turn the World Economy into a Common-Good Economy. Dubbed the “shaman of Wall Street” by the Washington Post, Ford has had a distinguished career in finance and investments. He is an internationally recognized spiritual leader dedicated to helping people through transition and crisis. Mollner pioneered the development of socially responsible mutual funds. 5 p.m. October 9 in Rm. 218, Center for Communications & Engineering, Quinnipiac University, 275 Mt. Carmel Rd., Hamden. Free. 203-582-8652, quinnipiac.edu..
The Shoreline Chamber of Commerce (incorporating the former Branford and Guilford chambers) hosts Business After Hours. Networking, door prizes, giveaways. 5:30-7:30 p.m. September 23 at Women & Family Life Center, 96 Fair St., Guilford. Registration. 203-488-5500, branfordct.com. The Shoreline Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Guilford Chowder Challenge for a Cause. Participating restaurants at press time included Ballou’s, Whitfield’s, Guilford Moorings, Guilford Lobster Pound, Color’s Café/Mad Gourmet, Cilantro’s, Centro Pizza, the Stone House, the Brownstone and KC’s Pub. Each chef chooses a local charity to partner with. The winner will earn $500 from the Shoreline Chamber. Noon-3 p.m. September 27 in downtown Guilford. $10. Registration. 203-4885500, shorelinechamberct.com.
WHO’S WHAT, WHERE CHAMBERS OF
The Greater New Haven and Quinnipiac chambers of commerce jointly present the 2014 Regional ATHENA Leadership Awards Luncheon. Event cites an individual for professional excellence, community service and for assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Guest speaker WTNH-TV’s Jocelyn Maminta. Noon-2 p.m. October 9 at Oakdale Theater, 95 S. Turnpike Rd., Wallingford. $45. 203-269-9891, maribel@quinncham. com. Time for the 32nd annual Business Women’s Forum. Speakers include real-estate mogul Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s Shark Tank and Amanda Gore, CEO of the Joy Project. Also state Department of Economic & Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith, exhibits, workshops, networking plus chance to win prizes including a trip to Nonsuch Bay, Antigua. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. October 10 at Aqua Turf Club, 556 Mulberry St., Plantsville. $175. Registration. 203-757-0701, 2014bwf.com.
SYMPOSIA, CONFERENCES & EXPOSITIONS Lawrence Ford, CEO of Conscious Capital Wealth Management, and Terry Mollner, a founder and board member of the Calvert Social Investment
The Clinton Chamber of Commerce hosts its monthly Business After Hours networking event. 5:30-7:30 p.m. September 17 at Valley Shore YMCA, Spencer Plain Rd., Westbrook. 860-6693889, clintonct.com. Join the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce at its new downtown Wallingford digs for its monthly Business After Hours. Networking, refreshments, bonhomie, etc. 5-7 p.m. September 18 at 50 N. Main St. (2nd Fl.), Wallingford. Members free, $10 non-members. 203-269-9891, maribel@ quinncham.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 September 19 at GNHCC, 900 Chapel St. (10th Fl.), New Haven. Free. 203-7876735, gnhcc.com. The Bridgeport Regional Business Council hosts its 2014 Capitol Breakfast. Keynote speaker Rob Klee, commissioner of the state’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. 8-9:30 a.m. September 23 at Trumbull Marriott, 180 Hawley La., Trumbull. $35 members, $45 non-members. Registration. 203-335-3800, brbc.org.
CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE Human Resources For the fifth session of its six-session Human Resources Roundtable Breakfast Series, the labor and employment group of the law firm of Carmody & Torrance presents Improving Performance Management. Roundtable discussion designed principally for HR professionals and in-house counsel. 8 a.m.-9:15 September 25 at 50 Leavenworth St., Waterbury. $65 ($250 for six sessions). Reservations. 203-578-4247, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legal 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. September 17 at Hagaman Memorial Library, 227 Main St., East Haven. Free. 203-468-3890, hagamanlibrary.info.
Management Fred Pryor presents Microsoft Excel 2007/2010 Basics. Boost your productivity, simplify data management and streamline everyday tasks using the latest version of this powerful software. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. September 23 at Omni New Haven Hotel, 155 Temple St., New Haven. $79. Registration. 800-780-8476, pryor.com.
Small Business The southeastern Connecticut chapter of SCORE continues its year-round series of Small Business Workshops with Managing Your Business Finances 1 (QuickBooks). Led by Elizabeth Santaus, session offers practical, easy-to-use guidance and tips to help ensure that your company’s chart of accounts get you to the right financial information, and that it aligns with your use of QuickBooks. Participants may bring a laptop with QuickBooks loaded so they can follow along with the presenter. 9-10:30 a.m. September 16 at Town Hall, 302 Main St., Old Saybrook. Free. Registration. 860-388-9508, sect.score.org. 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. September 17 at Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, 100 S. Turnpike Rd., Wallingford. Free. Reservations. 203-269-9891, maribel@quinncham. com.
LEADS/NETWORKING GROUPS The Fairfield I chapter of Business Network International meets Tuesdays. 7-8:30 a.m. September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 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. September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 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. September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 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. September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 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. September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 at Milford Chamber of Commerce, 5 Broad St., Milford. Free. 203-878-0681, chamber@ milfordct.com.
We’re Gonna Make Your Day...
Connecticut Business Connections meets first and third Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. September 2, 16 at Tuscany Grill, 120 College St., Middletown. 860343-1579, connecticutbusinessconnection.org.
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The Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s (GVCC) Valley Business Network meets first and third Wednesdays. 8-9:15 a.m. September 3, 17 at GVCC, 10 Progress Dr. (2nd Fl.), Shelton. Free. 203-925-4981, email@example.com.
Add your facility to a searchable list of a 1,000 venues from across Connecticut, you can even link back to Link your event posting to your website. That’s free, too. your website.
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The Trumbull Business Network meets Wednesdays. 7:30-8:30 a.m. September 3, 10, 17, 24 at Helen Plumb Building, 571 Church Hill Rd., Trumbull. Members free (annual dues $50). Reservations. 203-452-8383, trumbullbn.com/contactus.htm. The New Haven chapter of Business Network International meets Wednesdays. 8-9:30 a.m. September 3, 10, 17, 24 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. September 3, 10, 17, 24 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 September 3, 10, 17, 24 at 192 Dixwell Ave., New Haven. Free. tel:203-562-2193”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. September 4, October 2 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. September 4, 11, 18, 25 at Hamden Healthcare Center, 1270 Sherman La., Hamden. Free. tel:860-877-3880”860-877-3880. The Professional Networking Group of Waterbury (PrefNet) meets Thursdays. 7 a.m. September 4, 11, 18, 25 at Waterbury Regional Chamber, 83 Bank St., Waterbury. 203-575-101, ProfNetWaterbury.com.
Thursdays. 8:30 a.m. September 11 at 140 Capt. Thomas Blvd., West Haven. 203-933-1500.
245 N. Main St., Wallingford. 203-269-9891,quinncham.com.
8:30 a.m. September 12, October 10 at 140 Capt. Thomas Blvd., West Haven. 203-933-1500.
Middlesex County Toastmasters meets second and fourth Thursdays. 7 p.m. September 11, 25 at Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown. 860-301-9402, middlesex.freetoasthost.com.
The West Haven Chamber of Commerce’s Leads Plus P.M. Group meets fourth Thursdays. Noon September 25 at 140 Captain Thomas Blvd., West Haven. 203-933-1500.
Middlesex County Toastmasters meets second and fourth Thursdays. 7 p.m. September 12, 26 at Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown. 860-526-8187, middlesex.freetoasthost. com.
The Jewish Business League meets third Wednesdays for networking and information-sharing. 7:30-9:15 a.m. September 17 at Temple Beth David, 3 Main St., Cheshire. $8 advance, $10 at door. tinyurl.com/8-alnnuz. The West Haven Chamber’s Women in Business meets the fourth Monday of each month. 11:45 a.m. September 22 at American Steakhouse, 3354 Sawmill Rd., West Haven. 203-933-1500. The Women in Networking Group of the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce meets for an evening of wine and hors d’oeuvres — and of course networking. 5-7 p.m. September 24 at Wallingford Victorian Inn,
The Connecticut Business Hall of Fame hosts a statewide networking event. 7:30-9 a.m. September 26 at Hartford Courant/ WTIC-TV, 285 Broad St., Hartford. $5. 860-5237500, ctbhof.com. 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 West Haven Chamber of Commerce’s Leads Plus A.M. Group meets second Thursdays.
The Connecticut Business Hall of Fame hosts a statewide networking event the third Friday each month. 7:30-9 a.m. September 20 at Connecticut Laborers Council, 475 Ledyard St., Hartford. $5. 860-523-7500, ctbhof.com. The West Haven Chamber’s Women in Business meets the fourth Monday of each month. 11:45 a.m. September 23 at American Steakhouse, 3354 Sawmill Rd., West Haven. 203-933-1500. The West Haven Chamber of Commerce’s Leads Plus P.M. Group meets fourth Thursdays. Noon September 26 at 140 Captain Thomas Blvd., West Haven. 203-933-1500
The Hamden Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Business Network IV meets first and third Thursdays. 8 a.m. September 4, 18 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. September 4, 18 at GVCC, 10 Progress Dr. (2nd Fl.), Shelton. 203-925-4981. The Milford chapter of Business Network International meets Fridays. 7-8:30 a.m. September 5, 12, 19, 26 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. September 5, 12, 19, 26 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 September 5, 12, 19, 26 at Milford Chamber of Commerce, 5 Broad St., Milford. Free. 203-878-0681, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Hamden Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Business Network III (formerly Leads Group III) meets second and fourth Mondays. 5 p.m. September 8, 22 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. September 9, 23 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. September 9, 23 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 September 9, 23 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. September 10, 24 at GVCC, 10 Progress Dr. (2nd Fl.), Shelton. Free. 203-925-4981, email@example.com. The Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce’s QNet Group meets the second and fourth Wednesdays. 8-9 a.m. September 10, 24 at 100 S. Turnpike Rd., Wallingford. Free. 203-234-0332, 203269-9891, quinncham.com. The Greater New Haven chapter of Toastmasters meets second and fourth Wednesdays. 6:30 p.m. September 10, 24 at New Haven City Hall, 165 Church St., New Haven. 203-871-3065. Connecticut Business Connections meets second Thursdays. 7:30 a.m. September 11 at the Greek Olive, 402 Sargent Dr., New Haven. 860343-1579, connecticutbusinessconnection.org. The West Haven Chamber of Commerce’s Leads Plus A.M. Group meets second
Crash Course in Crisis Communications TECHNOLOGY
HAMDEN — Executives behaving badly. Sounds like the title of a sensationalistic reality TV show. But the phrase could apply to a real-life episode in the life of one CEO who recently made headlines when he was seen abusing his dog in a publicly released video.
Companies in such a position are forced to channel their efforts into addressing it. But what exactly should they do? Andrea Obston, who teaches in Quinnipiac University’s public relations program, counsels businesses on how to react when they find themselves in crisis mode.
(and high-paying) clients that include National Football League, Major League Baseball and National Hockey League teams — open to global scrutiny and public backlash. The company’s board of directors responded by placing Hague on probation and fining him $100,000 (to establish an animal-cruelty prevention foundation). Hague subsequently resigned and an acting president and CEO was immediately appointed to replace him.
“He’s a highly placed individual within the company,” Obston says.
The Hague situation is similar to that of Donald Sterling, former owner of the Andrea Obston Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team. Sterling made derogatory remarks during a private conversation and the exchange was recorded, unknown to him. It eventually was made public.
MARKETING&MEDIA “About 40 percent of my public relations practice is crisis management,” says Obston, who advises clients to “monitor and respond immediately when faced with negative publicity.”
While to date Obston has not dealt directly with Centerplate regarding the Hague incident, she has worked with other companies in similar circumstances.
The first thing she tells them, she says, is to quickly address the issue publicly.
HEALTHCARE In addition to her position as an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac, Obston is owner of Andrea Obston Marketing Communications in Bloomfield.
Last month Desmond Hague, then CEO of Stamford-based catering company Centerplate, made international headlines when a video showing him kicking his dog was made public. The development left Hague and his company — which services high-profile
Honeywell Works May Get State Aid NORTHFORD — The state’s Department of Labor wants to make sure former employees of Honeywell Analytics-Northford are aware of their eligibility to apply for federal Trade Adjustment Assistance. Among possible benefits are income support in the form of Trade Readjustment Allowance, job search and relocation allowances; and training. In addition, workers who are age 50 or older who secure a job at a lower-paying rate than the pay rate held at Honeywell could be eligible for a wage subsidy. For more information, those affected should contact their nearest Job Center and/or visit ct.gov/dol.
Biden Touts State Manufacturing EAST HARTFORD — In a visit to Goodwin College last month, Vice President Joseph Biden emphasized the importance of community colleges for job training, and the need for educational institutions to take into account business and industry needs when designing curricula. “[H]ere’s the deal. Your children all heard the phrase ‘outsourcing.’ Your 44
“Silence is not an option,” Obston says. “Damage to a reputation sometimes cannot be repaired. You need to do it [respond]. People are judging our corporation and how you handle the situation.” Companies also should not waste time trying to debate issues of privacy, says Obston. Even though Hague’s damaging act did not occur at the workplace, the company still must respond.
grandchildren are going to hear the phrase ‘insourcing.’ Manufacturing is coming back to the United States of America,” Biden is quoted as saying in a White House release. However, Biden continued, available jobs will be different from the ones with which most workers have been familiar. “What’s coming back requires different skills than before,” he said. In preparation for current and future demand, Goodwin College added a manufacturing track to a curriculum that had been focused largely on career training in the medical fields. This year students can pursue an associate degree in supply chain and logistics management and in quality management systems. They can also earn a certificate in machining and in manufacturing and production. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who headed the Connecticut contingent accompanying Biden, said Connecticut’s manufacturing sector will expand to the point where it will need to hire 2,200 workers annually for some time in the near future.
From Sleeping Giant to Left Coast HAMDEN — The Los Angeles offices of Coldwell Banker, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon and other well-known cor-
“The interesting thing is, you need to understand their [executive’s] private business becomes the company’s business,” Obston says. “The reality is that there needs to be more transparency now.” Regrding Hague’s animal abuse, “People want to know why he wasn’t in control. If you don’t address it, they’ll wonder what else you’ve got to hide. Take control of the message early on.” Also, be aware of reaction so you address it, says Obston.
porations were workplaces this summer for 14 Quinnipiac University students who participated in the school’s new “Quinnipiac in Los Angeles” program. The program gives undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to combine coursework with an internship while living in Los Angeles. Students participating this summer were from the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Engineering, and School of Communications, and represented a range of fields and interests. Program creator F. Miguel Valenti envisions program expansion that will include guest speakers and special events. “I believe we have created a distinctive and distinguished program — unique and exciting,” Valenti said in a release, “that will broaden student horizons, further their career goals, advance their studies and give them perhaps their most memorable college semester.”
CT Marine White House-Bound KENT — Over the next several months, local native Lindsay Rodman will take the training, skills and discipline she acquired as a Marine and as an attorney to the hallowed halls of the White House.
“It [the company] needs to monitor the conversation,” she says. “It cannot rely on in-house sources to know what people are saying. If you’re not monitoring the conversation, you’re doing yourself a disservice.”
There are two kinds of employee badbehavior crises, notes Obston. One relates directly to the business, such as embezzlement. The other may not be directly work-related and is more character related. The initial company response for both is generally the same, she says.
First, “State you know about it,” says Obston. Then, “Demonstrate concern and compassion. Third, state that what [the employee] did is the antithesis of what you believe are your corporate values.”
If Obston were working with the employee, “I’d counsel him to come out as a human being and apologize,” she says. “A successful crisis response is always governed by mission,” Obston says, adding that the response should last “as long as it’s out there.” However, she cautions, “you have to be careful you don’t feed it.” — Felicia Hunter
Rodman was among 15 individuals nationwide selected as White House fellows for 2014-15. The selection committee for the highly competitive appointments emphasizes that it looks for people who not only are accomplished in their careers, but also display a commitment to public service. The White House Fellows Program marks its 50th anniversary this year. It was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson “to give promising American leaders ‘first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs,’” according to a White House release. Rodman, a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, is also a judge advocate and a foreign area officer. Her most recent position was deputy legal counsel in the Office of the Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There, she focused attention on issues that included military justice, space law and human rights law. A 2003 graduate of Duke University, where she majored in mathematics, Rodman earned her law degree at Harvard Law School and also holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) has appointed Bruce W. Carlson as its president and CEO. Over the last six months Carlson served as acting president, replacing Matthew Nemerson, who became economic development administrator for the city of New Haven. Most recently president of the IP Factory, Carlson before that was chief of staff at the University of Connecticut Health Center, where he founded UConn’s technology transfer program.
keting, has been named president of the company and will assume leadership position from the third generation of Lyons family management. Before joining Bilco, Crowley was president of IDS Inc., an underground utility placement company in Bradenton, Fla. He also spent 19 years at Hilti Inc., where he worked in various sales and marketing roles.
WHO’S WHAT, WHERE
Sentementes First Niagara Financial Group has named Nicholas Sentementes of Monroe vice president of middle market equipment finance, responsible for equipment leasing sale originations and product management for the Northeast. He previously was a senior commercial loan officer and relationship manager with People’s United Bank. Sentementes earned a BS in finance and an MBA in finance and international business from the University of Connecticut. The Bilco Co., a manufacturer of specialty access
Crowley. and security products, has announced a management succession plan. Robert J. Lyons Jr. will remain active in the organization in his new role as chairman and CEO, while Roger Joyce will become vice chairman and executive vice president. Tom Crowley, formerly vice president of sales and marSEPTEMBER 2014
Hoffman Architects has promoted Caitlin M. Twohill of Hamden to the position of marketing coordinator. The Southern Connecticut State University graduate was previously a finance and marketing assistant with the firm’s Hamden office. Weichert Realtors Regional Properties’ New Haven office has hired Sarah Warkowski of East Haven as a residential specialist. A graduate of Central Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in business man-
construction-to-permanent mortgage on a to-beconstructed apartment building in Milford, CT Keimig. Local Inistiatives Support Collaborative. He holds a bachelor’s and MBA from the University of Connecticut. The Lighting Quotient, a New Haven manufacturer of energy-efficient lighting fixtures, has hired Robert (Bob) Keimig as vice president of global sales. Keimig spent the last six years at ECRO Lighting. Before that he worked at Juno Lighting Group. He earned a BA in business administration from Boston College and an MBA from Loyola University.
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Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII), the state’s quasi-public technology investment arm, has announced that Mark Zhu has joined the venture team as an investment associate. Previously Zhu was an investment manager at DTE Energy Ventures in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he was
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agement, Warkowski has worked in sales since 2007 and worked at an IT corporation since 2011. John Zinno, BlumShapiro Shelton Office managing partner, has been elected president of the board of directors of the Greater Waterbury YMCA. Zinno’s term runs from July 2014 through July 2016 and continues his more than 15-year commitment to the organization. Webster Bank has promoted Sean Mulready to senior vice president, commercial real estate. Mulready joined the Waterbury-headquartered bank in 2002 as vice president, relationship manager. He serves on the board of Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance and on the local advisory committee of
Scheer. involved in deal origination, deal screening, due diligence and contract review. The board of directors of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra has elected Tracey Scheer president for the 2014-15 season. A partner with Scheer & Co. Inc in New Haven, Scheer previously was an investment banker in corporate finance with Lehman Bros. She holds an undergraduate degree from Brown, a master’s from the University of Texas/Austin and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
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The Wheat of the Matter Giving up gluten proves good business for a Branford entrepreneur BRANFORD — About five years ago, Robyn Inglese suddenly and inexplicably fell ill. Doctors were confounded to come up with a diagnosis. Was it lupus? Was it rheumatoid arthritis? Was it fibromyalgia? Conjectures abounded, but no one seemed to know for sure. Around that time, a friend asked Inglese if she felt well enough to do some work at her place of business for a few hours a week. Inglese agreed to wash dishes at the eatery, Healthy Harvest in Meriden, a gluten-free kitchen. “When [her friend] Shirley called me, it was right when I was about to give up,” Inglese recalls. Little did Inglese know that taking on the job would be the beginning of the end of her chronic discomfort. She first noticed the difference after working at the kitchen about seven days. “I didn’t eat wheat for one week,” Inglese recounts. “An enormous amount of my pain went away.” While it took Inglese a year or so “to get myself back in order,” she had discovered a recipe for health that worked for her: a gluten-free diet. “I think everybody should be gluten-free now,” Inglese asserts. That’s not just empty talk. Inglese literally has put her money behind her conviction. In July she and husband Jim opened her own gluten-free business, Robyn’s Gluten-Free Country Store, located at 540 East Main Street.
ucts — which include cookies, cakes and cupcakes — look and taste too good to be gluten free. A self-described “people person,” Inglese was a day-care provider for 11 years. She and her husband also own a marketing and advertising business focusing on specialty automobiles. “I guess I’ve always kind of been an entrepreneur,” says Inglese. Even with her experience, however, embarking on this latest business posed significant challenges. Electrical and other locally mandated renovations were required before Inglese and her husband could open the store. That meant they had to come up with an extra $10,000 for renovation costs that they hadn’t bargained for. And their son-in-law, who was helping prepare the store, was in a serious accident shortly before opening. “I almost gave up,” says Inglese. But she turned to her faith to help get her through the tough times. “God is good,” says Inglese, a youth minister who enjoys the company of teenagers in the store. “Everybody loves to be here,” she says. “All things are possible with God.” Inglese is planning new products for the store, which she believes will grow and expand in the years to come.
In addition to providing all gluten-free products, the store’s décor stresses the simplicity of product offerings. It’s patterned like a general store a customer would walk into during the mid-19th century. “I wanted it to be a place of purity, [a reminder of a time] when our food source was clean. Nothing tastes as good,” says Inglese, who offers freshly baked bread on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition to foodstuffs, other products carried include sundry supplements. “I want to have the best of the best and I don’t have anything here that I haven’t tried myself, as far as supplements,” she says. Inglese also maintains close contact with her vendors, so when a question arises about ingredients — either from herself or from customers — she can get a quick response. “I can get in touch with and talk to every manufacturer, and I can prove their stuff is gluten-free,” she says. It might be a good idea to keep their phone numbers handy, since some customers might think Inglese’s prepared prod46
Inglese’s own experiences with an allergy to Gluten motivated her to provide tasty gluten free food options and a host of vetted suplements and healthy foods..
“I am just evolving,” says the chronic-illness survivor who is now pain-free, “and I’m not going to stop.”
– Felicia Hunter
We've moved across the street...literally! Our New Haven office has relocated to One Century Tower, 265 Church Street, New Haven, CT OLD ADDRESS: Whitney Grove Square Two Whitney Avenue New Haven, CT 06510
To learn more about the store, visit http:// www.robynsglutenfree.com/robynsglutenfree.com.
NEW ADDRESS: One Century Tower 265 Church Street New Haven, CT 06510
Telephone and facsimile numbers will remain the same T: 203.772.7700 F: 203.772.7723
Our mailing address will remain as P.O. Box 704, New Haven, CT 06503-0704
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BOSTON 99 High Street Boston, MA 02110 T: 617.457.4000 F: 617.482.3868 HARTFORD CityPlace I 185 Asylum Street Hartford, CT 06103 T: 860.240.6000 F: 860.240.6150 NEW HAVEN One Century Tower 265 Church Street New Haven, CT 06510 T: 203.772.7700 F: 203.772.7723 STAMFORD 177 Broad Street Stamford, CT 06901 T: 203.653.5400 F: 203.653.5444 WOBURN 600 Unicorn Park Drive Woburn, MA 01801 T: 617.933.5505 F: 617.933.1530
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