ebm-papst's Robert Sobolewski, Webster Bank's John Ciulla Named Vice Chairs

HMS Healthcare president and chief executive officer Donna R. Galluzzo has been elected chair of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association's board of directors.

The board also elected Joe Brennan as president and chief executive officer, replacing John Rathgeber, who is retiring February 1 after 37 years with CBIA.

Robert S. Sobolewski, president and chief executive officer of Farmington-based ebm-papst, Inc. and John Ciulla, executive vice president with Webster Bank in Stamford, were elected as vice chairs of CBIA's board.

Galluzzo succeeds James P. Torgerson, president and chief executive officer of UIL Holdings Corporation, who becomes the immediate past chair of the state's largest business organization.

"I'm honored to serve as chair of the CBIA in its bicentennial year," said Galluzzo, referring to CBIA's 200th anniversary, which will be marked in 2015.

"CBIA has forged its reputation based on trust, integrity, and working collaboratively toward thoughtful policy and business solutions to some of the state's most pressing challenges.

"It is my intent to build on this strong history and to help the association benefit from a smooth transition of executive leadership while elevating Connecticut to one of the top 20 states in the country for business by 2017.

"Working with government, business and community leaders through the CT20x17 campaign, CBIA has the opportunity to help build fiscal responsibility in state government and to create a business climate that encourages private investment and job creation in order to sustain our great quality of life.

"I look forward to engaging with all those who share this goal of transforming Connecticut into a more economically competitive state for the benefit of all residents."

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 has served on numerous legislative task forces and commissions on economic and tax policies. He also serves on several boards and councils.

"Donna Galluzzo has a tremendous understanding of the issues facing Connecticut businesses and their employees," said Brennan.

"She's the ideal choice to lead the business community as we work to improve Connecticut's economic competitiveness and make our state a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

"We're honored to have such an accomplished group of Connecticut business leaders heading up our board."

"Donna, Bob, John, and Jim will play invaluable roles as we promote the sound economic and fiscal policies Connecticut needs to become more competitive for private sector investments and job creation."

Donna Galluzzo

Galluzzo is president and chief executive officer of HMS Healthcare Management Solutions Inc. in Wallingford. HMS was founded in 1996 and provides a full range of services for physician practices, homecare, hospice, long-term care, and other healthcare providers.

Prior to starting HMS, she was president and chief operating officer of Connecticut VNA Inc., which owned and operated the largest network of home health agencies in New England.

She also was a principal at AccessOne Health Systems LLC, a Connecticut state-licensed utilization and case management organization. In addition, she was a principal at Professional Home Care Services Inc. and OMNI Home Health Services Inc.

Galluzzo has received numerous honors and awards. Most recently, she was named a Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame Women in Healthcare Honoree.

She earned her Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry from the University of Connecticut and remains committed to lifelong learning. Much of her energies are spent serving on educational boards and sponsoring multiple projects for schools in the U.S. and abroad.

Robert Sobolewski

Sobolewski is president and CEO of Farmington-based ebm-papst Inc., the largest supplier of fans and blowers in North America and a worldwide innovator in air movement and motor systems.

He joined ebm-papst in 1984 and is responsible for operations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Instrumental in the growth of the company's North American operations, he oversees engineering, production, sales, and marketing at 20 national and international locations.

He is a champion of the firm's GreenTech philosophy and goal: to make every new product better than its predecessor in terms of economy and ecology.

John Ciulla

Ciulla is an executive vice president with Webster Bank in Stamford, responsible for all middle market activities, chairs Webster's Regional Presidents Council, and is regional president for Fairfield County.

He joined Webster in 2004 and has served in a variety of management positions at the company, including chief credit risk officer and senior vice president, commercial banking, where he was responsible for several business units.

James Torgerson

Torgerson became president and CEO of UIL Holdings Corp. in 2006. (UIL is the parent company of several energy firms: The United Illuminating Company, Southern Connecticut Gas Company, and Connecticut Natural Gas.)

Actively involved in the community, Torgerson serves as board member of Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Edison Electric Institute, the American Gas Association, and the Business Council of Fairfield County.

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CBIA is Connecticut's largest business organization, with 10,000 member companies. For more information, please contact Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957; meaghan.macdonald@cbia.com) or visit the CBIA Newsroom.