"Stridently Pro-Business" - 10/18/17 

On January 17, 1925, Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States, addressing the Society of American Newspaper Editors said “… the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world. I am strongly of the opinion that the great majority of people will always find these the moving impulses of life.”

At that time, BRBC’s predecessor organization, the Bridgeport Board of Trade, had already celebrated its 50th anniversary, and was presumably fully in sync with “Silent Cal’s” sentiments. More about that in a moment.

This week, I am celebrating my 1st anniversary since the BRBC hired me to replace Paul Timpanelli (after his 28-year reign). I have written how I have served on the BRBC board of directors since the 1980’s. So, when I became the BRBC CEO, I assumed, somewhat foolishly in retrospect, that I could step right into his job, with little orientation, and literally no overlap with Paul. My promise to the board a year ago was that I would work to transform the BRBC, even as I viewed with admiration the job Paul had done for almost three decades.

A year later, I am older and wiser, and we have made some important changes in our quest to serve you, our member-investors, better. We have updated our marketing materials, and now have modern audio-visual equipment in our two conference rooms.We have strengthened our leadership training programs, heightened our political advocacy, and have strived to increase visibility for you and your companies.

Amazon and MGM Bridgeport: 10/11/17 

As I sit at my pc on a much-needed rainy Sunday morning, I want to share my personal thoughts about the possibility of our region gaining a second Amazon headquarters (HQ2) or a major MGM casino development (MGM Bridgeport). I do this in part because many of you have asked me about HQ2 and MGM Bridgeport, and I have thought a lot about them.

Most of you know that even though I have only been the BRBC CEO about one year now, I have sat on the BRBC board since the late 80’s in different capacities (three health plans, the Bluefish, and my own tiny consulting firm). I remember vividly the impassioned debate our board had over 20 years ago about casinos coming to Bridgeport, and I am acutely aware of many grandiose projects our board discussed over the DECADES that never came to fruition.

New State Laws and a Final Act of Kindness from the Bridgeport Bluefish: 10/04/17 

Our State Government

I could write this week about the enormous frustration we all feel about not having a state budget in place for over 90 days now and counting (the last state in the country not to have passed a state budget for this year), but I want to focus on some new state laws which went into effect this past Sunday, and involve the business community.

For instance, there is now a law (Public 17-141) in effect which streamlines and improves the workers’ comp process by ensuring that worker claims get into the hands of the person in charge of investigating and processing those claims. Under the new law, the 28-day countdown period to act on a claim does not begin until the worker’s notice is filed with the person who investigates it. This may seem like a small change, but employers tell me it will help prevent meritless claims from defaulting to employer-pay status without the employer having time to contest the claim.

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