Mickey's Mail - January 3, 2018

  Mickey's Mail - 1/3/18 - Happy New Year

Last year at this time, I was a mere two months into my job as your BRBC President and CEO. And even though I had been coming to BRBC board meetings since about 3 B.P. (“Before Paul”), I was certainly a relative novice at managing the BRBC and its many affiliate entities. My commitment when I took the job was to transform our organization, but, truthfully, I wasn’t even sure what that would entail.

So, 2017 was always meant to be a year of change for the BRBC, and in many respects, it has been. We have new brand and marketing materials, we have updated our audio and visual capabilities to serve you better, we have initiated a new CEO Peer Group (starting this week), our human resource function has been improved, as have our accounting systems. Our political advocacy role has been explicitly defined, our women’s leadership council continues to grow and deliver quality educational, persity and bridge-building symposiums throughout the year, and our Quarterly Review (The QR) report remains the premium descriptor of the wealth of economic development activity in our region.

Despite all this (and more, much more actually), I have come to realize that an invigorated focus on our mission, to increase the economic opportunities for the people of the Bridgeport Region by acting to create an environment for business expansion, retention, and recruitment that will result in jobs and tax base growth, is our top priority for 2018. This translates into turning a laser-like focus on economic development.

We began doing that with our very successful Economic Development Briefing in November where three prominent Bridgeport developers presented their progress with exciting new projects that are fully underway.  And, of course, our sold-out Annual Dinner last month featuring MGM Resorts International Chair & CEO Jim Murren was clearly all about an extraordinary economic development opportunity for our region right on the waterfront here in Bridgeport.

At the end of this month, our BRBC Board of Directors will be holding its first Strategic Planning Retreat in a few years. And, while we will fine tune the BRBC's strategic direction with this effort, we are already planning a much greater emphasis in 2018 on economic development. Look for us to do some more briefings like the one we did in November, featuring developers from throughout region. And, you heard it here first, we are working to deliver a major new opportunity for area businesses this coming fall… one that will offer you a very special opportunity to promote and grow your businesses.

By this time next year, my hope is that we will look back and say 2017 was a year that positioned our organization to meet the current business and economic growth climate with a foundation that allowed us to hit our stride in 2018. And that in 2018 the BRBC fiercely grew our advocacy efforts and program of work in support of economic growth for our region, and of course, for each of your businesses.

In the meantime, your dedicated team of business growth advocates here at the BRBC wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!