BRBC BLOG:BRBC's 145th Annual Meeting Re-cap


June 11, 2019 - Bridgeport

BRBC's 145th Annual Meeting: Re-cap

Nearly 300 business and community leaders gathered on June 11, 2019, 12:00 noon at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn & Conference Center for the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s (BRBC’s) 145th Annual Meeting & Luncheon. The traditional focus of the BRBC’s Annual Meeting is Economic Development.

And, this year’s event delivered a comprehensive overview of the current state of the economy in Connecticut and the region.


The event, sponsored by People’s United Bank and PSEG Power Connecticut LLC, was both a celebration and showcase of regional economic development as well as a hard look at many of the State of Connecticut’s Economic challenges.

“It’s easy to get sucked into the headlines about what isn’t right with our economy; but as I thought about today’s program and my first seven months in my role as President & CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council I can tell you there’s a lot happening here in Bridgeport and our region,” said Dan Onofrio. 

Onofrio took a moment to call out and share two examples with the audience. 

The first example Onofrio pointed to was the cover story of the BRBC’s quarterly business publication, Region Magazine. Entitled, Bridgeport’s Premier Urban Waterfront Neighborhood Opens its Doors, the story is all about Steelpointe Harbor. With Boca Oyster Bar, a 10,000 square foot restaurant as it’s anchor, the 3-story Lighthouse Building at Steelpointe Harbor is now open. 

Readers of this event re-cap who have had the opportunity to visit the stunning new restaurant on the water know why this location and the work being done there is such a positive economic development story for our region. The article in Region Magazine shares the history and future vision for Steelpointe Harbor. The Christoph family, developers of the project, enjoyed a well-deserved round of applause for their vision, commitment, perseverance and belief in the City of Bridgeport.


The second story Onofrio shared was reflective of the work that the Bridgeport Regional Business Council does in collaboration with its regional partners such as the Office of Planning and Economic Development in the City of Bridgeport locally, as well as the Department of Community & Economic Development at the State level. This work includes advocating and assisting large projects such as Steelpointe Harbor as well as smaller but no less important projects. 

Onofrio recounted the story of Rose Sister Chips. Rose Sisters is a specialty Polish tortia-like chip with current operations out of State. They’ve experienced explosive growth and are looking to expand their operation to this region as Jonathan Marcus, one of the principals, lives in the area. The BRBC has been working with Mr. Marcus on his journey and Rose Sister Chips has recently received approval for a DECD program that will help expand the operation to Bridgeport. The plan promises 12 new jobs in year one with growth increasing to over 40 in year three. 

In addition to a welcome given by Mayor Joe Ganim, two powerful speakers, John Traynor, Chief Investment Officer for People’s United Bank and new Commissioner of Economic & Community Development for the State of CT, David Lehman, lent their view to the day’s economic and business development focus. Both gentlemen shared their knowledge, expertise and experiences in what was an informative session on our economy both regionally and across the State.


Presentations were followed by a Q & A lead by Edward Lavernoich, President of the Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation.



John Traynor’s powerful presentation on the State’s economy is available via the link below...


Guests were also treated to a table-top showcase of Bridgeport Attractions and Community Organizations pictured here...



Event Photos by Roger Salls Photography

Start-Top of page (L-R): Dan Onofrio, President & CEO, BRBC; Mayor Joe Ganim; Event Guests; John S. Traynor, Chief Investment Officer, People’s United Bank; David Lehman, Commissioner of Economic & Community Development, State of Connecticut; Q & A Panel with Edward Lavernoich, President, BEDCO; ary Beth Neslen, President, The Right Resource; Robert L. Berchem, Esq.,  Senior Partner; Berchem & Moses P.C; Kathleen Maher, Executive Director, Barnum Museum; Joe Gresko, State Representative; Bill Finch, Executive Director, Discovery Museum; Kathleen Maher, Executive Director, Barnum Museum; Paul Antinozzi, Antinozzi & Associates; Natalie Pryce, Pryceless Consulting; Kelvin Ayala, I LUV BPT; Samuel Haydock, Director of Business Development, BL Companies; Lauren Coakley Vincent, President & CEO, DSSD; Laurence Caso, Executive Director, Klein Memorial Auditorium; Bridgepor tsound Tigers Team members; Nancy Kuhn, AVP, Branch Manager, Newtown Savings Bank; Jeri Ann Cook, Sunstone Bookkeeping LLC; Gregg Dancho, Director, Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo; Carolyn Trabuco, Bridgeport Landing Development; Kelley Meyer, Director of Campus & Civic Engagement, University of Bridgeport; Kate Pipa, Events Coordinator, BRBC; Manette Macias, Hampford Research Inc.