Former ebm-papst president and CEO Robert (Bob) Sobolewski was elected chair of CBIA’s board of directors yesterday.

Sobolewski is the founder and current chair and president of ingenuityNE, a nonprofit organized to support events for the 200 high school-Ievel FIRST Robotics Competition teams in New England and 200 FIRST Lego League teams in Connecticut.

He also chairs the Connecticut Executive Advisory Board of FIRST.

After retiring this year from Farmington-based ebm-papst, Sobolewski founded his own consulting firm, Bob Sobolewski Consulting.

The board yesterday also elected two vice chairs: John Ciulla, president of Waterbury-based Webster Bank and Webster Financial Corporation, and Mary Kay Fenton, executive vice president and chief financial officer with Achillion Pharmaceuticals in New Haven.

Sobolewski succeeds Donna Galluzzo, president of The Corridor Group, who becomes the immediate past chair.

“I’m honored to be working with CBIA, and other members of the board, as we urge policymakers to create an environment that not only encourages business investment but also benefits employees and the community,” said Sobolewski.

“For 200 years, CBIA has been a leader in promoting the importance of economic vitality, and creating legislation that allows business to flourish, in turn creating more opportunities for everyone.

“Connecticut is a great place to live, and raise a family but we need to make our state a place where more businesses want to invest and grow.

“That starts with a strong fiscal policy but it also needs strong education initiatives to ensure the next generation is properly trained for the jobs that await them.”

“Bob Sobolewski is committed to improving Connecticut’s economic future,” said Joe Brennan, president and CEO of CBIA.

“His experience as a business leader and passion for education make him an excellent choice for board chair.

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

“Their leadership will provide guidance and support as CBIA pushes for a more competitive business climate and a stronger economy.”

Robert (Bob) Sobolewski

Bob Sobolewski
Bob Sobolewski

Sobolewski is president and CEO of Bob Sobolewski Consulting, founded following his retirement from ebm-papst Inc., the largest supplier of fans and blowers in North America and a worldwide innovator in air movement and motor systems.

Sobolewski joined ebm-papst Inc. in 1984 and was responsible for operations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Instrumental in the growth and development of the company’s North American operations, he oversaw engineering, production, sales and marketing activities at twenty national and international locations. He championed the company’s GreenTech philosophy and goal: to make every new product better than its predecessor in terms of economy and ecological impact.

Sobolewski’s unwavering support of educational programs — specifically those that bring schools and the workplace closer together, and that encourage young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM careers) — is well known.

He is a long-time supporter of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) program.

Sobolewski is a founder, chair, and president of ingenuityNE, a nonprofit organization that manages NE FIRST, which has over 190 high school Ievel FIRST Robotics Competition teams in New England and 200 FIRST Lego League teams in Connecticut.

In addition, he serves on many board of directors, both educational and corporate, including: executive advisory board of the School of Engineering at Fairfield University; executive advisory board of US FIRST; board of directors for New Britain’s Okay Industries, and has served on the board of the Electronic Components Industry Association Foundation.

Sobolewski is also managing member of Arrowhead Berkshire Combined, a real estate investment firm.

John Ciulla

John Ciulla
John Ciulla

Ciulla is president of Webster Bank.

Prior to being named to his new role in October 2015, Ciulla was executive vice president, responsible for all middle market activities, chair of Webster’s Regional Presidents Council, and 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.

Mary Kay Fenton

Mary Kay Fenton
Mary Kay Fenton

Fenton is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Achillion Pharmaceuticals in New Haven.

At Achillion, Fenton is responsible for financial strategy development and capital formation, financial reporting and compliance, and treasury and tax functions.

She is also responsible for operating functions such as risk management, legal compliance, facilities management, purchasing, and information technology.

Prior to joining Achillion, Fenton was responsible for life sciences clients in Connecticut and western New York with the Technology Industry Group at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she advised fast-growing bioscience and technology companies on initial public offerings and other SEC matters, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic alliances.

Donna Galluzzo

Donna Galluzzo
Donna Galluzzo

Galluzzo is president of The Corridor Group, which partners with post-acute healthcare providers specializing in revenue cycle management, coding, regulatory compliance, strategy and operational expertise. Prior to joining The Corridor Group, she was president and CEO of HMS Healthcare Management Solutions 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 also serves on educational boards and sponsors multiple projects for schools in the U.S. and abroad.

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 Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).