Rina Patel, vice president of operations multi-site with RSCC Wire & Cable, is the new chair of the board of directors of CBIA, Connecticut's largest business organization. Patel succeeds Jeff Hubbard, senior vice president and regional manager with Liberty Bank in New Haven.
The board also elected two vice chairs at its Dec. 9 meeting: Kevin Grigg, the president of Manchester-based Fuss & O'Neill; and Matthew McSpedon, executive director, Connecticut and Mid Hudson Middle Market Banking and Specialized Industries at JP Morgan Chase Bank in Shelton.
“My higher purpose has been to contribute to the manufacturing industry's growth to raise our living standards, locally inspire the economy to be independent, and become relevant to today’s needs,” said Patel. “CBIA is at the forefront of raising the awareness of and educating businesses throughout the state of Connecticut.”
“CBIA provides me with a platform to share my passion and business acumen when working through the issues and concerns of the business community. The chair position allows our members’ voices to be heard through my involvement at a leadership level where I can help initiate action and evaluate results,” Patel added.
“Rina adds valuable knowledge and insight to our board,” said CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima. “I look forward to discussions with her and the board on developing and implementing policies that improve the state’s competitiveness, drive economic growth, and create opportunities for all.”
Hubbard will remain on the board as the immediate past chair. For the past year, Patel served as one of two vice chairs on the CBIA board.
In November, at CBIA's annual meeting in Hartford, new directors were added to the CBIA board and began serving their four-year terms Dec. 1.
“These additions to the CBIA board will bring more innovation and ideas to better rebuild Connecticut," CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said. "These business leaders have a wealth of experience that will help drive CBIA’s core mission of making Connecticut a premier location for jobs, economic growth, and opportunities for all.”
The new directors are:
- James Barger, Market President and Commercial Banking Leader, KeyBank
- Leander Dolphin, Co-Managing Partner, Shipman & Goodwin
- David Fiereck, President, Loureiro Engineering
- Abul Islam, Founder and President/CEO, AI Engineers
- Joe Maisto, CFO, Whitcraft
- Jill Mayer, CEO, Bead Industries
- Frank Reynolds, President and CEO, UIL Holdings
- Ben Towne, Partner, PwC
- Ian Walsh, Chairman, President, and CEO, KAMAN Corp.
Patel is apparently the first person of color to lead the CBIA Board, according to association officials, and is only the ninth woman to serve in the role during the past 50 years. Women business leaders have increasingly led the CBIA Board during the past decade, including Jennifer DelMonico (Murtha Cullina), Mary Kay Fenton (Achillion Pharmaceuticals), Donna Galluzzo (HMS Healthcare), and Ramona Carlow (AT&T).
She is among many individuals in the manufacturing sector to chair the CBIA Board, including DiPentima, who served as Board Chair prior to being named CEO. CBIA's origins go back to 1815 with the creation of the Society for the Encouragement of Connecticut Manufactories. That group later became the Manufacturers Association of Connecticut, which merged with the Connecticut Chamber of Commerce in 1971, becoming CBIA.
RSCC Wire & Cable, based in East Granby, is part of the Marmon Group Electrical Sector, made up of companies that produce electrical and electronic wire and cable for energy, transit, aerospace, defense, communication, and other markets, as well as electrical building wire for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
The CBIA mission statement: “CBIA is the leading voice for business in the state, representing thousands of member companies, small and large, across a diverse range of industries. We fight to make Connecticut a top state for business, jobs, and economic growth: driving change, shaping legislative and regulatory policy, and promoting collaboration between the private and public sectors.”