Regional business council hosts annual dinner Dec. 11 in Bridgeport - Monday, 08 December 2008 18:19

More than 300 business and community leaders are expected to attend the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s (BRBC) annual dinner on Thursday, Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn, 1070 Main St.

George B. Irish, president of Hearst Newspapers, the corporate owner of the Connecticut Post daily newspaper, will present the keynote address.

The BRBC will present Impact Awards in its four public policy priority areas: economic development, education, health-care and tax reform. The winners were selected from nominations made by BRBC members. The winners are:

Economic Development: The United Illuminating Co. — The company is a founding member and ongoing supporter of the Bridgeport Economic Resource Center, which works to promote economic development in Bridgeport. The company funds and supports workforce development and has been a supporter of efforts to increase worker housing in Bridgeport. Many UI employees are active with local organizations that focus on economic development.

Education: Barbara Bellinger — Bellinger, vice president of employee development programs at People’s United Bank, has been a champion for education in the Bridgeport region for more than 20 years. She serves as vice president of the elected Bridgeport Board of Education. She is a board member and former chairman of the Bridgeport Public Education Fund, and a mentor for both the Charter Oak mentoring program and the Wi-Mentor initiative of the local United Way.

Health-care: Mickey Herbert — Herbert, president of ConnectiCare, is a well-known figure in national HMO affairs with nearly 40 years of health-care experience. He is a director of America’s Health Insurance Plans. Herbert founded Physicians Health Services, co-chaired the Connecticut Health Insurance Policy Council, served on the HealthFirst Connecticut Authority, and was primary owner for many years of the Bridgeport Bluefish baseball team.

Tax Reform: Mayor Bill Finch — As a state senator and as Bridgeport mayor, Finch has been one of the leading voices in Connecticut on tax reform. Finch recently joined with other big-city mayors to urge the state to fully fund its Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes program, which would add $5 million annually to the Bridgeport city budget. Finch is a strong proponent of statewide property tax reform.

In addition to the Impact Awards, the BRBC will honor companies that are committed to improving education through employee volunteer time and financial support. Being recognized are: Barnum Financial Group, an office of MetLife; Chase Bank; Derecktor Shipyards; General Electric; People’s United Bank; Southern Connecticut Gas Co.; TD Banknorth; United Technology/Sikorsky Aircraft; United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, and Wheelabrator Bridgeport.

The annual dinner is sponsored by ConnectiCare, the Ganim Group and Chamber Insurance Trust. Tickets are $125 per person. Make reservations by calling the BRBC at 335-3800.

The BRBC has 1,000 corporate members and focuses on business expansion, retention and recruitment to create jobs and expand the region’s tax base.


Friday, December 05, 2008

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