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CEDAS Member Spotlight: Paige Bronk, Manager Economic & Community Development, Town of Groton

  1. What does the term economic development meant to you?
    Economic development is about multi-dimensional change and working outside the box. The interplay between community, investing, strategic planning, emerging markets, real estate and the creation of new from old. It is one discipline that has one foot in the public sector and the other in the private investment world. For me, if economic development initiatives are not exciting, taking some chances, or “moving the needle”, then it is not being done correctly. Lastly, I believe it is less about big data and more about the connections and relationships.

  2. What is an average day like for you?
    Communication on multiple projects and initiatives often defines my schedule. Given we are all mobile, this includes texts, phone, email, social media, meeting and more. Am used to being a slave to my Outlook calendar and often first glance at it by 6:00 a.m. to set my pace. Enjoy getting into project mode when in the office focused on strategic planning and targets. Truly enjoy working with our team to advance ideas and concepts. Some of these seem a bit radical when conceived, but most actually find a way to succeed. Must say, my favorite part is working with people who share similar goals and to make a positive difference. I always try to have a bit of fun even in the most serious or ridiculous of moments. Without some laughs and smiles, what is the human purpose?

  3. What is your proudest accomplishment?
    In general, I am pleased to have worked and lived in many states with geographic differences. Without really planning the outcome, that adventure has offered balanced life perspective and experience. Specific to my career, there have been a number of high profile projects that still make me smile. In general, I enjoy making a difference in the broader sense on all projects. However, not to sound too emotional, but my proudest accomplishments are my two children. Watching them both grow and chart their own paths offers the greatest warmth to me.  

  4. What is your next goal?
    This sounds like an interview question worthy of a well-calculated response. In the short-term, I really want to see the major projects in our pipeline come to fruition. Economic development is complex and it is easy for some to believe that the idea is 99% of the effort. The reality is that the idea is merely 1%, but it requires 99% effort to make it happen. This effort happens after the news releases, meetings, and planning. The Mystic Education Center and Groton Heights redevelopment projects will be huge game changers for Groton as will other large projects. Seeing them through will be the immediate goal. Long-term, I will continue advancing my role in moving the needle and helping to “put Groton on the map.”

  5. What do you want to tell us about Groton?
    Groton is the hidden gem of Connecticut. Sure, there are great places in CT known for finances, insurance, pizza, etc.. Groton is known as that community close to Rhode Island bounded on three sides by water, with Mystic, Pfizer, and where General Dynamic/Electric Boat makes those awesome nuclear submarines that end up being stationed where?... yes, in Groton at the US Navy Sub Base! It offers a great quality of life and one of the most affordable waterfront locations in southeastern New England. Groton has tremendous community pride, traditional American spirit, and a dedication to its people. These are not found everywhere these days.  For years, Groton has been slowly keeping pace, but there are significant tailwinds that are advancing the community on all levels. Employment is increasing significantly, younger workers are moving to town feeding strong housing demand, new schools are being built, former schools are being repurposed into new uses, business-friendliness is at an all-time high, and people are truly positive about Groton’s special and unique future path. It is nearly impossible not to be proud of Groton.

  6. Are you Dunks or Starbucks?
    Neither are my favorite, but if I had to pick, it would be small black from Dunkin. That is the only size they serve in paper cups. Never really liked drinking from Styrofoam. 

  7. If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?
    A kayak and fishing gear!!!!!  I could fish forever.
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