2022 Connecticut Economic Development Week


Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) along with the Connecticut Economic Development Association (CEDAS) and AdvanceCT announce Connecticut’s Economic Development Week set for May 9-13, 2022.

Economic Development Week was created by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in 2016 to increase awareness of local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities, and improve the quality of life in communities everywhere.

“We are excited to recognize Economic Development Week this year in Connecticut to highlight the importance of the profession and the significant work of economic developers and economic development organizations statewide,” said Kristen Gorski, CEDAS President and Economic Development Specialist for the Town of West Hartford.

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, May 10th
9:00 to 10:00am
Lessons from Connecticut's Female Founders

Hear from four successful small business owners about their journeys as women entrepreneurs in Connecticut. They’ll provide tips and insights on getting started, share their experiences in accessing funding, discuss the challenges they’ve overcome to successfully grown their businesses, and talk about who and what has enabled them to thrive. The discussion will be moderated by Fran Pastore, who founded the Women’s Business Development Council 25 years ago and has been supporting CT’s women-owned business community ever since.


  • Ginny Brown, Owner and Founder, The Global Child
  • Dr. Natacha Louis-Charles, Owner, Family Eye Care of Orange
  • Renata Papadopoulos, Owner and Cake Designer, Lovely Cakes
  • Shari Raymond, Founder and CEO, Milton and Goose

Moderator: Fran Pastore, CEO, Women’s Business Development Council

Click here to register for this presentation. 

Tuesday, May 10th
Development Deal of the Day


Wednesday, May 11th
10:00 to 11:00am

Marketing our Communities

Marketing is critical to the effectiveness of tourism efforts and for development and workforce attraction. Hear from Economic Developers who have dedicated efforts and resources to raising their community’s brand awareness and promoting assets and available opportunities.


  • Jim Bellano, Director, Economic and Community Development, Windham
  • Felix Reyes, Director of the Office of Development & Planning, New London
  • Rose Ponte, Economic Development Director, Farmington

Moderator: Shirar O’Connor, Vice President, Marketing, AdvanceCT

Click here to register for this presentation. 

Thursday, May 12th
10:00 to 11:00am

At the Intersection of Arts and Main Street

Arts and cultural organizations have been long-standing contributors to the vitality of a community.  Offering current examples, this panel will explore how to integrate your municipality’s cultural assets to create an inclusive and unique destination for residents and visitors.


  • Adriane Jefferson, Director of Cultural Affairs, New Haven
  • Rista Malanca, Director of Economic Development, Torrington
  • Jill St. Clair, Economic Development Director and Mary Calorio, Town Manager, Killingly
  • Kisha M. Michael, Arts & Culture Coordinator, Middletown
  • Glori Norwitt, Economic and Community Development Commission, Ridgefield

Moderator: Elizabeth Shapiro, Director of Arts, Preservation and Museums, CT Office of the Arts, DECD

Click here to register for this presentation.

Friday, May 13th
10:00 to 11:00am

Renewable Energy in the Real World

A practical talk about renewable energy technologies, with real world examples. Our panel will discuss their projects, and examine the economic benefits and challenges to developing renewable energy projects for a town or region.


  • Paul Whitescarver, Executive Director, SeCTer
  • Paul Corey, BNE Energy
  • Rick Mullins, Infinity Hydrogen

Moderator: Joel Rinebold, Director of Energy, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT)

Click here to register for this presentation.

West Haven receives silver certification for economic development from CT nonprofit
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