Bridgeport Regional Business CouncilContact:

Gwendolyn Brantley

Director of Leadership Programs, BRBC




The Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s Leadership Greater Bridgeport Program Presents 2017 Jayne Kuchma Alumni Award to Jim Gildea, Director of Manufacturing for R.C. Bigelow Inc. 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Leadership Greater Bridgeport (LGB), a program affiliate of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council awards it’s 2017 Jayne Kuchma Alumni Award to Jim Gildea, Director of Manufacturing, R.C. Bigelow, Inc. 

The award, presented at the Leadership Greater Bridgeport Class 28 Commencement dinner held on June 8, celebrates distinguished alumni of LGB’s leadership development program who are recognized in their profession for outstanding achievements and are actively engaged in community service in the Greater Bridgeport Region. 

Jim graduated from LGB in 2011 with Class 22.  He was selected to be Class 22’s Board Representative and when that term was up in 2012, he joined the Board and has been a valued leader for the program ever since.  He has served as Program Chair, Community Service Project Liaison and Board Co-Chair from 2015-2017. 

Jim has been with Bigelow Tea since 1996. He has served in various capacities during his tenure from Facility Supervisor responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of both the Fairfield Plant and Corporate facility, to his current position, Director of Manufacturing, after numerous promotions.

In the Bridgeport Region, Jim serves as Co-Chair of the Leadership for Greater Bridgeport Board of Directors and is a member of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Jim was nominated as a Bank of America Local Community Hero. Jim was appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy to serve on the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council. And, he was recently re-elected Chairman of that Council by his peers for a second term. 

Jim has dedicated countless hours to many nonprofit organizations within the Bridgeport Region including the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Operation Hope, and Wakeman Burroughs Boys and Girls Club. Under his management the Fairfield plant of R.C. Bigelow Inc. has donated over 250 man hours of community service in each of the last 5 years.

Jim is also actively involved locally in his town where he has served on the Board of Education, the Zoning Commission, School Building Committee and the Water Pollution Control Authority. In addition, Jim coaches Derby Youth Soccer and teaches religious education at Holy Rosary.

The Jayne Kuchma Leadership Greater Bridgeport Alumni Award was established in 2015 to celebrate the life of Jayne Kuchma, who graduated with LGB Class 14 and served for many years on the LGB Board of Directors.


Leadership Greater Bridgeport is an affiliate program of The Bridgeport Regional Business Council (BRBC). Representing 750+ member businesses and organizations in the Greater Bridgeport Region, The Bridgeport Regional Business Council is a voluntary organization that works to promote regional cooperation and economic development via advocacy for the expansion, retention, and recruitment of business, improved transportation/infrastructure, affordable healthcare, and business friendly legislation in pursuit of its goal to increase jobs and tax base growth. The BRBC includes seven affiliates: The Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, the Stratford Chamber of Commerce, the Trumbull Chamber of Commerce, the Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation, Leadership Greater Bridgeport, Thrive, and the Women’s Leadership Council. For more information, visit

Leadership Greater Bridgeport is a community leadership development program that strives to graduate future leaders who will have a positive impact on the region. Classes meet one full day a month from September to June annually. The ten-month program consists of ten daylong workshops, along with an orientation, tour and graduation ceremony. Throughout the course, the participants are trained in leadership skills, including team building, negotiation, coping with conflict, communication, decision-making and listening. Each Leadership Greater Bridgeport class engages in a project to assist one or more of the Region’s non-profit organizations.

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