(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CERC) co-chairs Indra Nooyi and Jim Smith today announced that Jim Loree, president and CEO of Stanley Black & Decker, and Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Sr., associate dean at Yale School of Management, are joining the board of CERC, a nonprofit corporation that seeks to foster business formation, recruitment, and growth in Connecticut.
Shortly after taking office earlier this year, Governor Lamont announced that CERC was teaming up with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the state’s leading economic development agency, to form an innovative, public-private partnership. Through this collaboration, CERC is functioning as the outward-facing business recruitment arm on behalf of the state, and DECD is continuing to support, promote, and advocate for existing businesses while also serving as the central resource to help new businesses navigate state and local government to minimize lag time, enhance services, and expedite relocation.
“We’ve heard over and over again that Connecticut is unfriendly to business and we’re changing that,” Governor Lamont said. “We’re looking at everything with a comprehensive view, including identifying new industries and eliminating any red tape that exists within our own agencies. There is a lot of momentum right now and I’m thrilled that both Jim and Jeff have agreed to join and be a part of our team. I look forward to working together to create the type of environment for business that our state and its residents deserve.”
Nooyi and Smith praised Loree and Sonnenfeld for stepping forward and commended their proactive commitment to boosting business retention and recruitment activities. They noted that “CERC’s new and expanded board will comprise primarily business leaders from across the state and will include a diverse group of committed citizens with expertise in key areas, including in particular workforce development, transportation, business advocacy, and urban policy who will have a meaningful impact on Connecticut’s future economic growth.”
Loree joined Stanley Black & Decker in 1999, first as chief financial officer and then as chief operating officer prior to becoming CEO in 2016 as the company generated significant growth both organically and through acquisitions. The company has a market capitalization of $21 billion.
“I’m honored to have been asked to join the CERC board of directors,” Loree said. “I look forward to working closely with business leaders in the community to support the state’s economic development.”
Sonnenfeld is currently the senior associate dean of leadership programs as well as the Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management for the Yale School of Management. He is also founder and president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute, a nonprofit educational and research institute focused on CEO leadership and corporate governance. He previously served as full tenured professor at Emory’s Goizueta Business School for a decade and a professor at the Harvard Business School for a decade.
“I have been working on statewide economic development initiatives in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Connecticut since 1975,” Sonnenfeld said. “I have never seen such unified energy and excitement as I see in this reconstituted CERC momentum. Businesses large and small, old and young, across the state and across industries are coming together with ideas on attracting and generating new jobs.”
As part of their board service, both Loree and Sonnenfeld will act as ambassadors to drive business development and assist in retention and recruitment.
Over the next few weeks additional members will be announced as CERC’s board of directors broadens to more accurately reflect both the geography and business diversity of the state.