Beatriz Gutierrez will bring her decades of economic and business development experience in the public and private sectors to CONNSTEP, the state’s premier business consulting firm serving the manufacturing industry.

Gutierrez, who now serves as executive director of the Office of Business Development in the Connecticut Department of Economic Development, succeeds Bonnie Del Conte, who is retiring as president and CEO of the CBIA affiliate.

Beatriz Gutierrez
Beatriz Gutierrez (pictured speaking at a trade show in Germany) will succeed Bonnie Del Conte as CONNSTEP president.

CONNSTEP’s board of directors chose Gutierrez Sept. 17 and she will join the organization next month.

Del Conte will stay on through the end of the year as she and CONNSTEP board chair John Strahley, chief financial officer of IsoPlex Corporation in Branford, advise Gutierrez during the leadership transition.

“Beatriz’s diverse experience leading teams, building relationships and achieving goals, combined with her familiarity and technical expertise working with manufacturing companies in Connecticut, ensures CONNSTEP will continue to execute its mission and provide value to its clients and stakeholders alike,” Strahley said.


Gutierrez is known as a strategist with a specialty in product marketing and growth development of domestic and international markets, guiding businesses large and small.

At DECD, she negotiated deals to keep large manufacturing operations in Connecticut, leading to the creation and retention of thousands of jobs. 

“I am truly honored by the opportunity to join the incredibly talented team at CONNSTEP,” Gutierrez said.

"I am looking forward to collaborating with CBIA and ReadyCT to strengthen the state’s manufacturing and innovation capabilities."

Beatriz Gutierrez

“During my time at DECD, I have always been very impressed by their knowledge, professionalism, and strong commitment to deploy their capabilities on behalf of Connecticut’s manufacturing community.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with CBIA and ReadyCT to continue to leverage our combined resources to further promote and strengthen the state’s manufacturing and innovation capabilities.”


Del Conte retires after 17 years with CONNSTEP, leading the organization over the last 14 years to become one of the top-ranked centers in the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership National Network.

Under Del Conte, CONNSTEP began its successful affiliation with CBIA.

She also played an instrumental role, along with CBIA, in establishing the Connecticut Manufacturers’ Collaborative, a consortium of seven state manufacturing industry associations.

Under Del Conte, CONNSTEP became one of the top-ranked centers in NIST's national manufacturing network.

“I’m proud of the CONNSTEP team and their accomplishments,” Del Conte said.

“I’ve enjoyed working with so many small and mid-size businesses, industry partners, and leaders within the state of Connecticut, as well as supporting the mission of the MEPNN, one of the strongest manufacturing networks in the U.S. that can help our manufacturers with competitive and sustainable advantages in the marketplace."