2006 President's Report


By Doreen DeSarro

As my term of office comes to an end, I’d like to thank the membership for your continued support of the CEDAS organization.

I’d especially like to thank my Board of Directors for all their hard work this past year, which made my job as President an easy one.

It has been an honor to serve as CEDAS President this past year.

And I am happy to report that the organization has made great strides to further our commitment to the economic development profession within our state, especially in the areas of communication, education and training, developing new partnerships to advance our goals and establishing credibility as a voice in policy matters.

To illustrate this, I would like to share with you, a list of the CEDAS Board of Directors Accomplishments for 2005.


Peggy Brennan, Sandra Johnson, Ted Montgomery and Natalie Rosenbaum

Thanks to the members of the Membership Subcommittee, CEDAS membership is at its highest level ever with 194 members.


Lisa Kolodziej, Bob Gregory, Trent Wright and MaryAnn Simkewicz

A record 24 enewsletters were sent to CEDAS members this past year to keep you informed of upcoming events and important issues affecting economic development within our state.

Program/Professional Development

Bob Santy, Holly Dennehey, Dale Kroop, Jerry Morrison and Bob Gregory

Over 70 people attended the two quarterly meetings planned this year by the Program/Professional Development Subcommittee to highlight some of the successful projects around our state: 

  • Members toured the PeterPaul Division of Hershey Foods in Naugatuck (Dave Prendergast)
  • Members also toured a number of new commercial and residential projects in New Haven (Bob Santy)

145 people attended the three Community Builders Institute workshops underwritten by Northeast Utilities and coordinated by John O’Toole and Mark Waterhouse. Some of the top EDI educators in the country were brought to Connecticut to educate those of us in the field of economic development. The cost to CEDAS members to attend these sessions was $30 per session.


Mark Waterhouse, Barbara Strother and Bob Santy

Five CEDAS members were awarded scholarships totaling $3,485 to attend in- and out-of-state education and training.

Policy Development

John O’Toole, Larry Lusardi, Peggy Brennan, Mark McGovern, Fred Wajcs, Jeanne Webb Chavez, Scott Kosswig, Phil Michalowski, Mike Freimuth and Charlie Duffy

The Policy Development Subcommittee worked overtime this past year and:

  • Prepared the 2005 CEDAS Legislative Agenda
  • Monitored all bills affecting economic development in the 2005 Legislative Session
  • Assembled a task force to craft legislation, known as the CEDAS Bill, to help address the issue of eminent domain in Connecticut for those communities that depend on this vital tool
  • Coordinated CEDAS’ involvement in and prepared testimony for four public hearings held at the Legislative Office Building
  • Established an “Eminent Domain” section on the CEDAS web site to keep the membership informed of proposed legislative changes in Connecticut and new legislative initiatives in other states

Annual Meeting/Events

Marty Hunt, Dave Prendergast, Kristi Sullivan, MaryAnn Simkewicz, Audrey Barker and Natalie Rosenbaum

  • Planned/hosted the 43rd CEDAS Annual Meeting
  • Planned/hosted the 11th Annual Team CT Rally and EDDY Awards
  • Planned the CEDAS/CT NEDA Holiday party to be held at ZaBarra’s Restaurant in New Britain on December 15th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. This event is free to CEDAS and CT NEDA members

In addition to the committee work I just sited, CEDAS:

  • Partnered with IEDC and executed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will allow all CEDAS members to attend IEDC conferences, workshops and training at reduced rates.
  • Partnered with the Economic Development Council of Maine and Thomas College to hold the 3-day, New England Basic Economic Development Course, in Connecticut for the first time ever, which saved attendees from Connecticut travel and lodging expenses.
  • Partnered with NEDA to sponsor its bi-annual “Wage and Benefit Survey” prepared by the Institute for Regional Development at Bridgewater State College in MA. This partnership allowed all CEDAS members to access the survey results for the first time. Survey results were distributed to the membership in a CEDAS enewsletter and are now posted on the CEDAS web site.
  • Partnered with the NEDA and the Southern Economic Development Council with a $1,000 donation to the Hurricane Katrina/Rita Relief Fund to assist economic development professionals in Louisiana and Mississippi affected by the hurricanes get on their feet so they could assist their own local businesses.
  • CEDAS was a sponsor of the IEDC 2005 Annual Conference in Washington DC in March and the IEDC Economic Summit in Chicago in September.
  • CEDAS was a sponsor of the CERC SiteFinder Showcase in June.
  • CEDAS was a sponsor of the International Council of Shopping Centers, CT Alliance Program “Retail Development Through Public/Private Partnerships” in November.
  • CEDAS was a sponsor of the 2005 Connecticut Business Incubator Network’s Annual Conference in November.
  • This past year, the CEDAS Board toured the Connecticut Convention Center and attended a briefing by Convention Center staff on the anticipated economic impact of the Convention Center to the state/region/city.
  • The CEDAS Board also attended the EDA Telebroadcast on “Communities in Transition” regarding base closure issues to better prepare ourselves should the Groton Subbase close.
  • Sent a letter of support to the EPA on behalf of DECD’s application for funding for the Nutmeg State Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund.
  • And, in its spare time, the CEDAS Board raised $33,000 in sponsorships for the 2005 Team Connecticut Rally and EDDY awards.

I want to thank the 2005 CEDAS Board of Directors for their hard work, this wonderful experience and this wonderful year.

There are a number of CEDAS members who volunteered their time to work with our committees this year. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Freimuth, Phil Michalowski, Charlie Duffy, Helen Rosenberg, Ed Lavernovitch, Tim Sheehan and Fred Wajces.

2005 EDDY Award Winners Announced
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