Gov. Elect-Ned Lamont has reached into New Haven’s government and business circles to help guide his plans for taking office.
Accompanied by eight white appointees, Lamont and Lt. Gov.-Elect Susan Bysiewicz announced the formation of a 20-member transition steering committee of “the best and the brightest,” at a press conference Thursday morning at Gateway Community College.
One of them is former New Haven Board of Alders President Jorge Perez, who currently serves as state banking commissioner. Perez said he couldn’t make the press conference but looks “forward to assisting in any way I can to facilitate a successful transition.”
The transition committee also includes David Salinas, who runs the Digital Surgeons marketing company and co-founded DISTRICT, the successful new tech incubator on James Street.
Another New Haven link is Tom McCarthy, New Haven’s new labor relations director.
The team includes business as well as labor representatives, Democrats as well as Republicans (including New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart , a one-time gubernatorial hopeful), and nonprofit sector leaders.
Lamont previously announced that New Haven State Rep. Toni Walker is co-chairing the transition team.
Lamont said at Thursday’s press conference on Gateway’s light-filled fourth-floor atrium that he has a “SWAT team” “taking a fresh look” at the state’s budget numbers to seek to find efficiencies. He has met with outgoing Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his budget team. “We’re digging in” to tackle the state’s long-term fiscal challenges, Lamont said.
He ruled out using the state’s rainy day fund to close the projected $3.8 billion two-year state budget deficit. “It’s a bit of a stretch to rely on the rainy day fund,” he said. “This is not a rainy day.”
“We’re in a Goldilocks economy. I don’t know if we’re in the seventh, eighth or ninth inning” Lamont said. “I want a real fix.”
Asked when he anticipates naming a chief of staff, Lamont replied, “Give us a week or two.”
Following is a list of the 19 steering committee members named Thursday, along with the Lamont transition team’s descriptions of each one:
Dr. Saud Anwar specializes in Lung Diseases and Critical Care Medicine. He currently serves as a member of the Town Council of South Windsor and Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine of Manchester Memorial and Rockville General Hospitals. Dr. Anwar formerly served as Mayor of South Windsor from 2013-2015.
Lisa Tepper Bates is a consultant with Fio Partners, specializing in strategic planning for nonprofits. Lisa served from 2013-2018 as the Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, where she led efforts to redesign the homelessness response system, resulting in a 34% decrease in statewide homelessness. Prior to her nonprofit work, Lisa served as a U.S. Diplomat, in tours of duty overseas and as a Director at the White House National Security Council.
Keith R. Brothers serves as the Business Manager of the CT Laborers’ District Council, Secretary Treasurer of the CT State Building Trades Council and President of the Norwich/New London Building Trades Council. Mr. Brothers has been a well respected labor leader in Connecticut for over 15 years representing thousands of union construction, health care and municipal workers across the state.
Greg Butler is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Eversource Energy. He is responsible for Legal, Corporate Governance, Federal Governmental Affairs, Internal Audit and Security, and Energy Supply.
Larry Fox has worked in and around the labor movement for decades as a union leader, Deputy Commissioner of Labor and organizational development consultant working with unions, government, health care industry and various non-profits on leadership and change issues.
Rabbi Doniel Ginsberg has been involved in education his entire career and is passionate about promoting educational excellence. Presently serving as the President of the Association of Institutions of Jewish Studies, a nationally recognized accrediting agency, Rabbi Ginsberg serves as Associate Dean of the Yeshiva Ateres Shmuel of Waterbury.
Jan Hochadel serves as President of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Connecticut. Prior to her election, Hochadel taught physics and science in the state’s technical high schools and was recognized as a Teacher of the Year in 2006. She is as a vice president with the Connecticut AFL-CIO and serves on the national AFT’s executive board.
Karen Jarmoc is the Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, where she has led efforts to improve policy and practice for domestic violence survivors since 2011. Ms. Jarmoc has also sat on the policy committee for the National Network to End Domestic Violence to advance the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. She served in the CT House of Representatives from 2007-11.
Beth Kerrigan is Deputy Mayor of West Hartford. She was the lead plaintiff in the case Kerrigan v. Department of Public Health (DPH) that successfully won Marriage Equality in Connecticut. She co-founded and built an insurance agency that was purchased by The Travelers Insurance. She specializes in Medicare and Long Term Care, and was co-organizer of the Women’s March Connecticut.
Bob Martino is a Partner of Updike, Kelly, and Spellacy. He is Treasurer of the Firm and Chairman of the Firm’s Commercial Lending & Banking and Real Estate Finance Practice Groups. He has served in many civic and community roles, including the Wethersfield Town Council.
Tom McCarthy is Director of Labor Relations at the City of New Haven. McCarthy served 17 years on the Bridgeport City Council with 10 of those years leading the Council as the Council President. Tom is a labor and employment lawyer who is currently the Director of Labor Relations for the City of New Haven.
Jorge Perez has a 30-year record of experience providing fiscal, strategic, compliance, and leadership experience in diverse and uniquely challenging positions in both private and public sectors. 30 years banking experience and 28 years as an alderman in the City of New Haven (including 10 as President). Current Banking Commissioner for the State of Connecticut.
Chase Rogers was Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, whose career in the judiciary spanned over two decades. She is currently chair of Day Pitney’s Appellate Practice group. As Chief Justice, she is credited with restructuring the civil justice system to reduce costs and embedding a culture of openness and transparency in the judicial branch. She continues to serve on the State Justice Institute (SJI) Board of Directors, which she was appointed to by President Barack Obama in December 2010.
Chris Rosario has served in the State House since 2014, serving as Chief Majority Whip and Chair of the Black and Latino Caucus. He is Chairman of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Education, and has been a strong advocate for policies that promote job-creating industries, bolster public transportation, strengthen the school-to-work-pipeline, promote equal pay for equal work, and reform the criminal justice system.
David Salinas is founder of District, a modern day technology and innovation ecosystem, as well as the co-founder and former CEO of Digital Surgeons, a full-service digital agency servicing Fortune 500 clients. David serves on the Connecticut Innovation Council for US Senator Chris Murphy and was recently included on the 40 Under 40 list of Connecticut Magazine and awarded 2018 Outstanding Entrepreneur Award in the University of New Haven’s inaugural Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hall of Fame.
Erin Stewart is serving in her third term as Mayor of New Britain, beginning her public service career at a young age. She has invested resources to helping New Britain’s homeless population through creation of the Building Hope Together Task Force. She grew up in New Britain, and is a graduate of New Britain High School and Central Connecticut State University.
Glendowlyn Thames is the Executive Director of CTNext, where she manages an array of strategic economic development programs assisting hundreds of entrepreneurs and early stage companies while leveraging innovation and entrepreneurship policy to transform Connecticut. Currently, she serves as President of the Hartford City Council.
Stan Twardy is a leading corporate litigator. His practice is focused on helping clients with criminal, civil and regulatory investigations conducted by federal and state agencies. Twardy has argued many civil and criminal cases in both federal and state appellate courts. In addition, he has been counsel of record in several cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. Before entering private practice, Twardy was a United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut and Chief of Staff to Connecticut Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.
Elease Wright built a career at Aetna Inc., where she served as the Chief Human Resources Officer for fifteen years. She was instrumental in attracting and retaining key leaders where her focus on both business success and attention to values and employee engagement yielded a highly effective senior team.
Lt. J. Paul Vance has been a Connecticut State Trooper for more than 40 years. In July 2006 he was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant and in October 2006 was promoted to his current rank of Lieutenant. He most recently served as Commanding Officer of the State Police Traffic Services Unit and special operations, and retired from state Police in 2017.