Connecticut business leader Chris DiPentima will be the next president and CEO of CBIA, the state's largest business organization focused on making Connecticut a top state for business, jobs, and economic growth.
DiPentima, who is currently division president of Leggett & Platt Aerospace, which includes Pegasus Manufacturing in Middletown, was elected to lead CBIA by the organization’s board of directors on June 11.
He succeeds Joe Brennan, who retires August 1 after 32 years with CBIA, leading the organization for the past six, including overseeing the successful affiliations with leading business consulting firm CONNSTEP and the nonprofit education policy and program group ReadyCT.
CBIA board chair Jennifer DelMonico, managing partner with law firm Murtha Cullina LLP, said Brennan will serve as an adviser over the next several months to assist with the leadership transition.
"The CBIA board of directors conducted an extensive, statewide search for our organization’s next leader, with the search process showcasing an impressive number of highly qualified candidates," DelMonico said today.
"Chris DiPentima stood out for his many private sector successes, his demonstrated leadership skills, his commitment to Connecticut, and his thoughtful, strategic vision for CBIA.
"Tough times demand special leaders and Chris is the right person to steer CBIA as the organization helps rebuild the state's economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic."
In addition to the Middletown facility, DiPentima currently leads operations for locations in Washington, California, and France that support customers worldwide as part of Leggett & Platt Aerospace, a unit of Leggett & Platt, an S&P 500 company with 15 business units, 23,000 employee-partners, and 145 facilities in 18 countries.
He joined Pegasus Manufacturing in 2002, and was named president of the then family-owned company in 2006.
Leveraging the critical support services provided as a client of both CBIA and CONNSTEP, DiPentima developed strategies and executed operational efficiencies—including integrating acquired businesses—to lead the company through a period of rapid growth before its 2016 acquisition by Missouri-based Leggett & Platt.
"I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to join this 205-year-old prestigious organization and work with the incredibly talented team at CBIA, CONNSTEP, and ReadyCT to promote the state's rich legacy of ingenuity and innovation and improve our economic competitiveness," DiPentima said.
"We face unprecedented challenges in the coming months, but they are challenges that we can overcome through greater collaboration between the private and public sectors.
"I'm committed to working collaboratively to shape policies that drive economic growth, create opportunities for all, and continue to make Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family."
Prior to joining Pegasus, DiPentima spent eight years as an attorney representing corporations and individuals on a broad range of issues, including labor and employment, contracts, workers' compensation, and mergers and acquisitions.
Pegasus is a member of CBIA and a client for more than 15 years of CONNSTEP, Connecticut's premier business consulting firm providing strategic leadership and operational methodologies to make companies more competitive in today's challenging economic climate.
DiPentima is a former member of CBIA's board of directors, serving as chair in 2018-2019.
He serves on the board of the Connecticut Manufacturing Innovation Fund and is a past board member of the Connecticut Technical High School System and past president of Aerospace Components Manufacturers
He also chairs the Connecticut Manufacturers' Collaborative and represented the state at the National Governors Policy Academy for Best Practices in Manufacturing.
The Connecticut native and Durham resident has a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law.
The CBIA board praised Joe Brennan's leadership.
"Words cannot express the full extent of Joe Brennan's contributions to Connecticut and the state’s business community," DelMonico said.
"Joe faced several major challenges while leading CBIA, none more significant than the coronavirus pandemic, where he has expertly guided and coordinated the business community's crisis response.
"Connecticut is a better place for Joe's leadership, as is the organization. We are grateful for his many meaningful and lasting contributions over the years, and are pleased he has agreed to remain involved during the transition."
Brennan joined CBIA in 1988 as staff attorney, assuming responsibility in 2006 for the organization's overall public policy operations including its legislative, regulatory, communications, research, and public affairs activities.
He was appointed president and CEO in 2014, succeeding John Rathgeber.
"It's been a tremendous privilege to work with our board of directors, our members, and staff over the last three decades representing Connecticut's business community," Brennan said.
"As excited as I am to slow down a little, I'm even more excited that I'll be turning the reins over to Chris DiPentima. I have no doubt Chris will raise the organization to another level and lead the effort to rebuild Connecticut so we can reach our enormous economic potential."
CBIA is Connecticut's largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please email or call Joe Budd (860.244.1951).