profile mcchordSTAMFORD: Austin McChord, founder and CEO of Datto, one of Connecticut’s fastest growing tech companies has donated $50 million to the Rochester Institute of Technology his alma mater.

Dattco is a data protection company with engineering and support offices in downtown Rochester and is headquartered in Stamford.

McChord, is a 2009 alumnus and according ot RIT his gift is the largest donation ever made to the university and one of the largest ever in the region.

“A gift of this magnitude will help propel RIT from excellence to preeminence,” said RIT President David Munson. “We are so proud of our alumnus Austin McChord. He was passionate about his idea and he turned it into a big success. This embodies the creative element that we want to further highlight at RIT. Every student can be involved in creating things that never before existed, and then putting the result into play. His investment in RIT will help our students and faculty make their mark on the world.”

ach03 marykay1NEW HAVEN: Mary Kay Fenton, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Achillion Pharmaceuticals inc [Nasdaq: ACHN], has been elected chair of CBIA’s board of directors.

Fenton succeeds John Ciulla, president of Webster Financial Corporation and Webster Bank, who becomes the immediate past chair.

The board also elected two vice chairs: Chris DiPentima, president of Middletown-based Pegasus Manufacturing, and Jennifer DelMonico, managing partner of Murtha Cullina LLP in New Haven.

“I am honored to lead the many talented CBIA directors across the state, all of whom are dedicated to creating, fostering, and sustaining a positive business climate,” Fenton said.

“Mary Kay is not only a distinguished leader in the biotech and healthcare sector, but maintains a longstanding commitment to making Connecticut a better place to live and work,” said CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan.

Fenton is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Achillion leading Achillion’s financial and administrative function since company inception, Fenton is responsible for financial strategy and capital formation, financial reporting and compliance, and treasury and tax functions, as well as operating functions such as investor relations, risk management, facilities management, purchasing, and information technology.

coteBRANFORD: After 13 years with the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, Sheri Cote as vice president has been selected as the new President of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce, which has more than 550 members primarily in Guilford, Branford, Madison and North Branford.

As VP of CCEC Cote was responsible for managing a $1.2 million annual budget and directing communications and services for its 1,600 members. She also oversaw more than 150 events annually – including “ribbon cuttings, networking events, leadership training, award dinners, large community events, including the Eastern Connecticut Premier Home Show and the Total Life Expo. “

Cote was also responsible for securing and managing small- and large-scale grants for the organization., she will begin serving in early January, 2018.

Ed Lazaru, had been president of the Shoreline chamber for ten years and he stepped down in October.

Cote was born in New Hampshire and raised in Colorado, and has lived in Connecticut 25 years. Cote has a BS from Charter Oak State College and an Associates Degree in Accounting from Three Rivers Community College.

Prior to CCEC she spent two years at the pre-merger Southeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce and then two years at McLaughlin Research Corp as finance manager.

reissWALLINGFORD: Edible Arrangements has named a new Chief Marketing Officer, Kaitlin Reiss for the franchisor.

Tariq Farid, Edible Arrangements founder and CEO said, “Reiss had most recently served as the vice president of marketing and E-Commerce and is taking on additional responsibilities with this new position.”

The Wallingford-based company makes fresh-cut fruit arrangements and snacks. It has franchised the concept and has  more than 1280 stores in the US and internationally.

Reiss has been with the company for more than 12 years, according, joining the a Marketing Coordinator in 2005 when the brand had only 50 locations

Farid said, “there are not many people that know Edible better than Kaitlin,” adding “she has lived it every day for over a decade and her deep understanding of the brand, as well as her ability to anticipate and respond to emerging industry trends, make her the perfect person for this critical position as we prepare to enter a new phase of growth.”

The company says e-commerce grew to more than 65 percent of the company’s overall business during that time.

Reiss, who holds a dual degree in consumer behavior and communications from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from the University of New Haven, says her goal is to “continue merging the power of Edible Arrangements' physical presence worldwide with its dynamic digital presence.”

"Separating the digital engagement from more 'traditional' engagement leads to a disjointed consumer message," she said. "While we're focused on growing our storefronts through new treats offered in every local Edible store, we also know that consumers use digital tactics to find stores and order the product. So, digital innovation as part of an in-store experience is something we will continue to deliver on."

cercHARTFORD: The Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CERC) honored what it is said were the state’s “ top economic development projects, programs and leaders” at their annual CELEBRATE CT! event on November 30, at The Bushnell in Hartford.

 

dicenzo2 concreteWETHERSFIELD: Dominic Di Cenzo was appointed Executive Director of the Connecticut Concrete Promotion Council (CCPC), a supporting committee of the Connecticut Ready Mixed Concrete Association (CRMCA).  According to the organization “Di Cenzo comes to the CCPC with extensive experience in the construction and building materials market.  His responsibilities will be promoting the Connecticut Ready Mixed Concrete Association, managing educational programs for both members and those allied to the field, and managing communications to the media and digital outlets.

CRMCA President, Kevin Miller of Tilcon Connecticut remarked that, “The mission of CRMCA is to promote the use of ready mixed concrete and innovative construction products and technologies. The CRMCA provides both social and educational opportunities for members to discuss and learn about the latest trends and technologies in the ready mixed concrete industry. CRMCA also offers a concrete inspection certification program to ensure quality control for concrete products and applications. “