The Connecticut Business and Industry Association has promoted a pair of executives to lead its government affairs and manufacturing efforts.
Eric Gjede, who has served as counsel and assistant counsel at CBIA for the last five years, will lead public policy and legislative efforts as vice president of government affairs for the group.
“From his interactions with our member companies and lawmakers, Eric understands the challenges business owners face here in Connecticut,” said CBIA President and CEO Joe Brennan. “We’re confident that under his leadership, our team at the Capitol will continue to make Connecticut a better place for business.”
In leading the government affairs department of the state’s largest business organization, Gjede will also have responsibility for the association’s grassroots operations. He directs CBIA’s Labor and Employment Law Council and helps administer the organization’s tax council as well.
Furthermore, Gjede serves as an appointed member of the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Employment Security Advisory Board and on the Second Injury Fund Advisory Board. He is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and the Association of Connecticut Lobbyists.
Concurrently, Eric Brown has been appointed vice president of manufacturing policy and outreach with CBIA and will act as a liaison between the organization’s public policy efforts and its new affiliate, CONNSTEP. Having been with CBIA for over 24 years, serving as counsel and senior counsel on a range of issue areas – including manufacturing, energy, environment and transportation – Brown will work with both policymakers and business leaders to promote Connecticut manufacturing.
Before CBIA, he was a senior environmental analyst with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He also worked at the state legislature and as an environmental specialist in private practice.
“Manufacturing is a key sector in our state’s economy, and Eric’s new role puts greater emphasis on our efforts to drive investment and growth in the industry,” Brennan said. “With Eric leading our efforts, we will be able to better service the current needs of manufacturers as well as develop a strategy to bolster the industry and better coordinate all manufacturing efforts within the state.”
Announced last month, the CBIA-CONNSTEP affiliation allows both organizations to work collaboratively with manufacturers and broaden efforts to meet industry needs.
“We’re at a critical point in addressing the needs of Connecticut manufacturing from workforce development initiatives to implementing cost-saving practices that will lead not only to sustainable businesses, but also deliver greater growth to this sector,” said CONNSTEP President and CEO Bonnie Del Conte. “I see Eric as instrumental in helping us lead this concerted effort.”
There are more than 4,000 manufacturers in Connecticut employing over 162,000 people. Manufacturing has been a bright spot in the state’s economy, adding over 5,000 jobs in the last 18 months.