Governor

Ned Lamont

As 89th Governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont brings a strong background and perspective from the private sector to the office as a former telecom executive who took on large and established giants in the industry. One of his primary focuses as Governor is fostering a friendly business environment ripe for growth, job creation, and improved wages. You can track Connecticut’s progress in this endeavor by following Governor Lamont on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

Alejandra Y. Castillo

An experienced public administrator who previously served as National Director of the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency and held senior policy positions at the White House and the International Trade Administration, Castillo is also a first-generation American of Dominican descent. As head of EDA, she will be responsible for fulfilling the agency’s mission of leading the federal economic development agenda, including overseeing the implementation of $3 billion in economic development funding appropriated as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
Deputy Commissioner & Chief Investment Officer of the Department of Economic and Community Development

Alexandra Daum

Alexandra Daum joined the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) in March of 2020. As deputy commissioner and chief investment officer, she helps drive public investment in local economic development projects and initiatives across Connecticut, including greenfield and brownfield commercial real estate transactions, public-private partnerships, urban revitalization efforts, and Opportunity Zones.
Former CEO & Co-Founder of Tru Optik

Andre Swanston

As CEO and co-founder of Tru Optik, the only measurement, segmentation, and attribution company that works across the entire over-the-top TV (OTT) ecosystem. He has led Tru Optik’s business development, product innovation and go to market strategy.Today, Tru Opitk houses more proprietary data on the global digital consumption of long from professionally produced media and entertainment than Apple, Facebook, Google or Amazon.
Founder & CEO of Digital Currency Group

Barry Silbert

A pioneer in digital currency investing, Barry began buying bitcoin in 2012 and quickly established himself as one of the earliest and most active investors in the industry. In 2015, Barry founded Digital Currency Group and today, DCG sits at the epicenter of the blockchain industry. Barry has a longstanding passion for investing in great entrepreneurs with big ideas and has a knack for disruption himself.
Owner & CEO of Parkville Management

Carlos Mouta

Carlos Mouta is the Owner and CEO of Parkville Management, which he established in 1989, after various roles at the Hartford Courant and The Hartford Insurance.
An immigrant from Mozambique, Carlos moved to the United States in 1975.Mouta has a passion for converting industrial properties, like the former Gray Paystation Telephone Company, Columbia Bicycle Factory, Hartford Rubberworks and more, into mixed-use buildings where locals in the community and the Greater Hartford Area can find a home for their businesses, passions, or everyday lives.
President & CEO of Bigelow Tea

Cindi Bigelow

Cindi Bigelow is the 3rd generation President & CEO of family-owned Bigelow Tea. Before assuming this key role in 2005, Cindi spent 25 years in all areas of the company her grandmother founded in 1945. Headquartered in Fairfield, Conn., Bigelow Tea is the national market leader of specialty teas and maker of “Constant Comment”® tea. The company remains a family-owned business and employs 350 people across three manufacturing facilities, producing over 1.7 billion tea bags annually.
Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development

David Lehman

David Lehman serves as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the state agency that oversees a wide range of programs promoting business growth, brownfield redevelopment, the arts, historic preservation and tourism.
David also serves as the Governor’s Senior Economic Advisor.
David’s business development priorities include helping build our urban centers into engines of growth, furthering the state’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems, and strengthening the state’s workforce pipelines.
Co-Founder and CEO of Elidah, Inc.

Gloria Kolb

Gloria Kolb is the Co-Founder and CEO of Elidah, Inc, maker of ELITONE which is the first non-invasive wearable treatment for millions of women with incontinence. Ms. Kolb is a serial entrepreneur and inventor with more than 25 patents, whose designs have led to prestigious awards including Boston’s “40 under 40” and MIT's “World’s Top Innovators under 35”. She has degrees from MIT and Stanford University.
Founder of Owl's Brew, and Brew Lab Tea

Jennie Ripps

Jennie Ripps is the founder of Owl's Brew, and Brew Lab Tea, and is a tea sommelier.

Jennie is the co-author of Wise Cocktails (Rodale Books). She has been featured in The NY Times, Forbes, WSJ and Entrepreneur, among others. Jennie is an alumni of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and a mentor for the University of Pennsylvania's PWA (Professional Women's Alliance) and for Summit Series.

Hartford Mayor

Luke Bronin

Luke Bronin was sworn in as the 67th mayor of the City of Hartford on January 1, 2016, and was reelected to a second term in November of 2019.
After taking office in 2016, Mayor Bronin led the city through the biggest fiscal crisis in the city’s history, working to put Hartford on a path to fiscal stability. In addition to promoting economic development and investment, his administration has focused on building opportunities for Hartford residents through key initiatives like the Youth Service Corps and the Reentry Welcome Center. He has also worked to position Hartford as a center of innovation and establish Hartford a leader in environmental stewardship.
CEO of Express Kitchens

Max Kothari

Hitesh, “Max” Kothari purchased Star Hardware Store in 1989, a business which had operated at the location in Main Street since 1918. In the course of operating the hardware store, he perceived a need and a market for a business that could offer at a reasonable cost, custom made kitchens and which could provide consumers in the north end of Hartford with an alternative to big box stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s in offering such products. In 2002, Roger & his partner opened the business in Hartford. The company has ten retail stores in Connecticut.
NYU Professor, Nobel Laureate & Former Chief Economist at the World Bank

Paul Romer

Paul Romer, economist and policy entrepreneur, is a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences and University Professor in Economics at NYU. He has spent his career at the intersection of economics, innovation, technology, and urbanization, working to speed up human progress.Paul previously served as the Chief Economist at the World Bank where he worked to advance the multilateral institution’s critical research function.
President & CEO of AdvanceCT

Peter Denious

Peter Denious leads the AdvanceCT team as its President and CEO. He came to AdvanceCT in August 2019 as an accomplished private equity and venture capital professional who helped realize commercial and economic opportunity by connecting ideas, people and capital.
He is also a member of Social Venture Partners Connecticut, a not for profit focused on closing the opportunity gap in Connecticut by supporting innovative organizations and initiatives in education and workforce development.
Founder & CEO of RMS Companies

Randy Salvatore

RMS has established itself as one of the fastest growing real estate companies in the region, with a successful track record in redefining the lifestyle landscape for residential communities, reinvigorating commercial construction and raising the bar in hotel design and operation. Since the inception of a one-man real estate firm in 1996, Randy has developed RMS into a vertically integrated building, development and management company with a diverse portfolio of residential, commercial and hospitality properties.
Co-President of Building and Land Technology

Ted Ferrarone

Ted Ferrarone is Co-President of Building and Land Technology (“BLT”) and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Ted is involved in all aspects of BLT’s activities and is directly responsible for its residential management platform and capital markets teams. Ted has been involved in the Harbor Point project since inception and was instrumental in the acquisition, planning, development, financing, and operations of the Harbor Point project. He received a B.A. from Yale University and holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.