CBIA this week announced two key staff promotions designed to bolster the organization's advocacy efforts and promote Connecticut's manufacturing sector.

Eric Gjede will now lead CBIA's public policy and legislative efforts as vice president for government affairs, while Eric Brown was appointed vice president for manufacturing policy and outreach.

Eric Brown and Eric Gjede
Key CBIA promotions: Eric Brown and Eric Gjede.

Gjede, who served as counsel and assistant counsel at CBIA for the last five years, will also have responsibility for the organization's grassroots and member outreach activities.

"We're pleased to have Eric bring his experience and expertise to this new role," CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan said.

"From his interactions with our member companies and lawmakers, Eric understands the challenges business owners face, and we're confident that under his leadership, our team at the Capitol will continue to make Connecticut a better place for business."

Coordinating Manufacturing Efforts

Brown, who has served as counsel and senior counsel with CBIA for more than 24 years, will also act as a liaison between the organization's public policy activities and its new affiliate, CONNSTEP.

Brennan said Brown's public policy expertise will help him lead the combined efforts of both organizations, including working with policymakers and business leaders to promote Connecticut manufacturing

"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," he said.

CONNSTEP president and CEO Bonnie Del Conte said Brown will play an instrumental role coordinating manufacturing efforts across the state.

"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," she said.

Policy Councils

Gjede has represented the business community on a range of policy issues, including state taxes, labor and employment, and transportation.

He also directs CBIA's Labor and Employment Law Council and supports the organization's member-driven Taxation and Finance Committee.

Gjede is an appointed member of the Connecticut Department of Labor's Employment Security Advisory Board and serves on the Second Injury Fund Advisory Board.

Brown's policy experience covers a range of issues areas, including manufacturing, energy, environment, and transportation.

He also directs CBIA's E2: Energy and Environment Council, a group of business leaders who work collaboratively to drive public policy in those areas.