Catherine Smith is the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the lead state agency responsible for attracting and retaining businesses and jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods and communities, expanding affordable housing opportunities and fostering appropriate development in Connecticut’s towns and cities.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy appointed her to the position in April 2011.
Prior to joining DECD, Commissioner Smith had a distinguished career in the insurance and financial services industry.
She began her career at Aetna in 1983 and held various management positions, including chief financial officer for Aetna Financial Services. Later at ING she served in numerous leadership positions including chief operating officer for ING U.S. Financial Services, president of Health, Education and Government Distribution, and CEO of the U.S. Insurance businesses.
In 2008 Smith was named CEO of ING U.S. Retirement Services, one of the largest defined contribution plan managers in the United States with more than $280 billion in assets under management and administration.
Smith graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and received a Master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut.
Smith has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences and in the media and has been recognized by U.S. Banker magazine’s “Top 25 Most Powerful Nonbank Women in Finance” and the The 401kWire “100 Most Influential People in Defined Contribution.” Smith is the Vice Chair of Outward Bound, USA.
Betsy Crum comes to the Board of Directors with substantial background in affordable housing development and finance serving communities of need.
Since 2015, Ms. Crum has been the Executive Director of the Women’s Institute for Housing & Economic Development, a non-profit housing development corporation focused on creating and preserving affordable and supportive housing for low income families and individuals. From 2011 to 2015 she was Executive Director of the Connecticut Housing Coalition, and from 2005 to 2010 she was Director of Real Estate for the Women’s Institute for Housing & Economic Development. Before stepping into these positions, she served in leadership roles with the Corporation for Supportive Housing; with Co-op Initiatives, Inc.; and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. Ms. Crum had an early career with community development and housing coordinator roles for the Towns of Enfield and Plainville and with the Connecticut Department of Housing.
Ms. Crum is an honors scholar from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Urban Studies, with distinction. Her recent professional affiliations include chairing the Journey Home Hartford Board of Directors; a member of the CT Interagency Council on Affordable Housing; a member of the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations; being Housing Chair for the Partnership for Strong Communities’ “Opening Doors – CT” framework, and being Chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston Advisory Council.
Ms. Crum was appointed to the Board in March 2017 by Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/Southington).
Thomas M. Flynn
Thomas M. Flynn is the Managing Member of Coral Drive Partners LLC, a financial and operations consulting firm serving the Media and Information Services industry.
Mr. Flynn previously served as Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Summit Business Media. Before joining Summit, Mr. Flynn was the SVP and Chief Financial Officer for Primedia Business Magazines and Media. Earlier in his career, Mr. Flynn held executive operations and financial positions at About.com, Hibernia Communications, Infobase Holdings and Price Waterhouse in New York City.
He serves as Chairman of the Board of Finance for the Town of Fairfield, CT and as a member of the Board of Directors of Beardsley Zoo. Mr. Flynn is a graduate of Syracuse University with dual degrees in Accounting from the Whitman School of Business and Broadcast Journalism from the Newhouse School of Communications.
Senator John McKinney appointed Mr. Flynn to the Board in July 2012.
Eric Brown is senior counsel at the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), a position he has held since 1994.
At CBIA, Brown’s primary responsibilities include developing policy positions on energy, environment, land use, and manufacturing issues and advocating those positions before regulatory agencies and the state legislature. He also directs E2: CBIA’s Energy & Environment Council, a group of approximately 200 Connecticut companies that assist in developing and advocating public policy positions on environmental and energy issues. He is also the Chair of the Joint Committee of the Energy Efficiency Board and the Connecticut Green Bank.
Before CBIA, Brown served as a senior environmental analyst with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He also worked as an environmental specialist in private practice and worked at the state legislature as well.
Brown holds a B.S. in geology from the University of Rhode Island, a M.S. in geophysics from Boston College and a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law.
Brown was appointed by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (114th General Assembly District).
John Harrity serves as President of the Connecticut State Council of Machinists – the electoral and legislative advocacy organization for more than 10,000 active and retired Machinists Union (IAM) members in Connecticut. The International Association of Machinists represents hourly workers at some of the state’s largest industrial employers, including Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Sundstrand, Electric Boat and Stanley Works, as well as a number of non-industrial worksites.
John also directs a program called GrowJobsCT – an alliance of labor, business and community interests, along with concerned public officials, who work to find common ground on the retention and expansion of manufacturing jobs in the state. GrowJobsCT has been active for the past seven years, and is recognized for helping find common sense steps to proactively improve the business climate for manufacturers in Connecticut.
John has worked full-time for the International Association of Machinists since first being elected a Business Representative in 1986. Over the past 27 years, John has also served Connecticut members of the IAM as Communications Director, Legislative Coordinator and Organizer, and has participated in more than 19 contract negotiations with United Technologies Corporation.
John is a member of the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission, and serves as co-convener of CETC’s Advanced Manufacturing Work Group. John is also a member of the board of the Workforce Alliance, is participating in the recently-convened Clean Energy Taskforce exploring a renewable energy R&D center at the Norwich Hospital site, and is a co-founder of the Connecticut Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Coalition.
John began working at Pratt & Whitney as a vertical turret lathe operator in 1979. He has a master’s degree in Union Leadership and Administration from the University of Massachusetts (2010) and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Connecticut (1975).
John’s wife, Cindy Harrity, is an organizer with CWA Local 1298. They live in East Hartland, CT. They have three children and two grandchildren.
Rob Klee is the Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Commissioner Klee was appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in January 2014.
DEEP is the state agency charged with conserving, improving and protecting the state’s natural resources and environment, providing first-rate outdoor recreation opportunities, and bringing cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy to Connecticut’s residents and businesses. DEEP is focused on integrating energy and environmental policies and helping Connecticut to build a sustainable and prosperous 21st-century economy.
Commissioner Klee joined DEEP in April 2011 as Chief of Staff. In that role he oversaw the work of the agency, supported the efforts of the Commissioner, and advised the Commissioner and senior staff on a wide range of environmental and energy policy issues.
Prior to joining state service, Commissioner Klee was an attorney with Wiggin and Dana LLP, in New Haven, where he specialized in appellate work and energy and environmental law.
From 2004 to 2005 Commissioner Klee worked as a Law Clerk for the U.S. District Court in Connecticut and from 2005 to 2006 as a Law Clerk for the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He served as a Research Affiliate in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies from 2006 to 2008.
Commissioner Klee holds a Ph.D. from Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in industrial ecology, a law degree from Yale, and an undergraduate degree from Princeton in geology and environmental science.
Commissioner Klee and his wife Anne have two sons.
A career public servant in both Democratic and Republican administrations, Gina McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common sense strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than thirty years. As the head of EPA under President Obama, she led historic progress to achieve the administration’s public health and environmental protection goals and Climate Action Plan. In 2015, McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan, which set the first-ever national standards for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants, underscoring the country’s commitment to domestic climate action and spurring international efforts that helped secure the Paris Climate Agreement. During her tenure, EPA initiatives cut air pollution, protected water resources, reduced greenhouse gases and strengthened chemical safety to better protect more Americans, especially the most vulnerable, from negative health impacts. Internationally, McCarthy worked with the UN and WHO on a variety of efforts and represented the U.S. on global initiatives to reduce high risk sources of pollution. Known for her pragmatic approaches and disarming, plain-speaking style, McCarthy has earned the respect of the environmental, public health and business communities with her thorough understanding of all sides of climate, air quality, chemical safety, environmental justice and health equity, and water, land and natural resource protection and restoration discussions.
Before joining EPA, she served five Massachusetts Democratic and Republican administrations and was Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. She joined EPA in 2009 as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. In 2013, she was chosen by President Obama to spearhead his climate efforts at the federal level as EPA Administrator.
McCarthy was appointed to the Board in April 2017 by Governor Dannel P. Malloy.
Denise Lynn Nappier, the 82nd Treasurer of the State of Connecticut, is the first African-American woman elected to serve as a State Treasurer in the United States and the first African-American woman elected to statewide office in Connecticut. Elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2002 and 2006, Treasurer Nappier is also the only woman to be elected Treasurer in Connecticut history.
As Connecticut’s chief elected financial officer, Nappier oversees $50 billion in state funds, including the $22 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds. Treasurer Nappier is the architect of wide-ranging reforms to Connecticut’s system of pension fund governance. Her high standards and financial expertise brought integrity back to the Treasurer’s office and professionalism to the management of state resources, and Treasurer Nappier’s innovative and effective leadership has saved taxpayers and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars.
Treasurer Nappier was the architect of the coalition of housing, business, community and municipal leaders who worked with legislators in 2005 to establish a $100 million Housing Trust Fund for Growth and Opportunity, aimed at increasing affordable housing for working families in Connecticut.
She is one of the nation’s leading institutional investors working for corporate reform on issues including executive compensation, independence and diversity of board members, financial reporting and auditing, and disclosure of financial risks of climate change.
Treasurer Nappier previously served as Hartford City Treasurer for nearly a decade. She holds a B.A. from Virginia State University and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.
Matthew Ranelli is a partner in the Environment, Energy and Land Use Group at Shipman & Goodwin LLP. Mr. Ranelli represents municipalities, developers, schools, and other end-users regarding on-site renewable energy projects, green building standards, energy conservation and efficiency projects, and managing energy options. Mr. Ranelli is a LEED Accredited Professional. He is past chairman of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section Environmental Law Section, past chairman of the of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Planning and Zoning Section and past chairman of the New Haven County Bar Association Environment and Land Use Committee. In addition, he has served on a number of state and local boards and commissions including the New Haven Green Fund which supports projects to improve water and air quality in the Greater New Haven region.
Prior to joining Shipman & Goodwin, Mr. Ranelli was an attorney for the Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research where he served the environment and public health committees. Mr. Ranelli received Juris Doctor and Master of Studies in Law degrees from Vermont Law School.
Mr. Ranelli was previously appointed to the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund board in 2009.
Kevin Walsh leads GE Energy Financial Services’ Power and Renewable Energy group, which invests in thermal and renewable energy projects. Renewable energy has been a strategic growth initiative at the GE unit, which today holds a portfolio of equity and debt commitments for more than 200 projects with the capacity to generate more than 12 gigawatts of power, primarily from the wind and sun.
Mr. Walsh’s group also makes equity investments in thermal electricity-generating, transmission and distribution assets. The GE business unit holds investments in power projects with a capacity to produce nearly 30 gigawatts, equivalent to the installed generating capacity of Norway.
Mr. Walsh is a member of the Policy Committee of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), has served on the Board of Directors of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), is a member of the Leadership Council of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and is a frequent speaker at energy conferences on energy project investing.
Previously, Mr. Walsh was responsible for the management of GE Energy Financial Services’ global portfolio of energy investments, as well as related portfolio sales and reinvestment. Since joining the predecessor of GE Energy Financial Services, GE Structured Finance, in 1990, Mr. Walsh has held GE leadership positions in Energy, Capital Markets and Industrial.
Mr. Walsh graduated cum laude from Fairfield University, where he received a B.S. in Business Management and where he currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Dolan School of Business. He is a graduate of General Electric’s Financial Management Program (FMP).