The business community is watching with great interest as Gov. Dannel Malloy finalizes his choices for individuals to lead his administrative agencies. The Governor has expressed strong interest in improving the state’s business climate; having effective state agency heads who share that commitment will be critical to his success in meeting this important goal.

Thus far, the Governor has focused his selections on individuals with extensive state experience and strong reputations for intellect, character and the ability to work well with others. Among the agencies that most directly interact with businesses:

The Department of Revenue Services will be headed by former lieutenant governor and Senate president, Kevin Sullivan

Current Commissioner of the Department of Banking, Howard Pitkin, has been nominated by the Governor to continue in that position. 

Former state legislator and current Mayor of East Hartford, Melody Curry has been nominated to lead the Department of Motor Vehicles

Nominees for the commissioners of the Departments of Transportation, Education, Environmental Protection and Social Services have yet to be named and are the subject of national searches being conducted by the administration.

Other agency heads who have thus far been nominated by the Governor, include:
Ben Barnes, former Director of Administration, Director of Operations and Director of Public Safety, Health and Welfare for the City of Stamford, to head the Office of Policy and Management ;

Former State Senator Donald J. DeFronzo (D-New Britain), who was mayor of New Britain from 1989 to 1993, will head the Department of Administrative Services. In the Senate, DeFronzo was co-chair of the Transportation Committee;

Dr. Jewel Mullen, director of Prevention and Wellness at the Massachusetts Bureau of Community Health and Prevention, will lead the Connecticut Department of Public Health;

Michael P. Meotti of West Hartford was renominated to continue as commissioner of Higher Education.

Former State Police Major Reuben Bradford will lead the Department of Public Safety. 

Steven Reviczky who most recently served as the executive director of the Connecticut Farm Bureau has been nominated as the new Commissioner of Agriculture;

Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Joette Katz will lead the state Department of Children and Families. She was appointed to the Superior Court bench by Gov. William A. O’Neill in 1989 and to the state Supreme Court by Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. in 1992

Commissioner Patricia Rehmer has been renominated to lead the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services.

Linda Spoonster Schwartz as also been renominated to continue as commissioner of Veterans Affairs

In addition, Governor Malloy has nominated former state representative Deborah Heinrich to head a new, cabinet level Community Nonprofit Advocate position.

And the Governor has announced interim reappointments of Commissioner Peter O’Meara of the Department of Developmental Services; Commissioner Jeffrey Parker of the Department of Transportation; and Commissioner Michael Starkowski of the Department of Social Services, who will remain in their current positions until the governor names a replacement.

Speaking at the 2011 Economic Summit & Outlook last week, Gov. Malloy said he wanted to begin a “new relationship” with the business community. These leaders in his new administration are likely to play significant roles in that relationship.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Bonnie Stewart at 860-244-1925 or