John Ciulla, president of Webster Financial Corporation and Webster Bank, was elected chair of CBIA’s board of directors yesterday.
He succeeds former ebm-papst president and CEO Bob Sobolewski, who becomes the immediate past chair.
The board yesterday also elected two vice chairs: Mary Kay Fenton, executive vice president and chief financial officer with Achillion Pharmaceuticals in New Haven and Chris DiPentima, president of Pegasus Manufacturing, based in Middletown.
“I’m honored to work with CBIA and lead this group of directors in creating a better business climate here in Connecticut,” said Ciulla. “Given CBIA’s prominent place in Connecticut’s economic and political arenas, it’s important that the board plays a major role in setting direction for the association. I’m looking forward to leading that effort.”
“It is exciting to have a leader of John’s caliber to guide our association forward,” said Joe Brennan, president and CEO of CBIA.
“Particularly at this time of great challenges but also great opportunities, his leadership along with Mary Kay and Chris, will play a key role in shaping Connecticut’s economic future.”
“We’re privileged to have such an accomplished group of Connecticut business leaders heading up our board.”
John Ciulla is president of Webster Financial Corporation and Webster Bank. 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. He was promoted from executive vice president and head of middle market banking to lead commercial banking in January 2014 and president in October 2015.
Prior to joining Webster, Ciulla was managing director of The Bank of New York from 1997 to 2004. He practiced law in New York as an associate with McDermott Will & Emery from 1996 to 1997 and with Hughes Hubbard & Reed from 1994 to 1996.
He also serves on the board of the Business Council of Fairfield County.
Ciulla earned a bachelor's degree in political science and history from Williams College, an MBA from the Columbia Business School, and a law degree from Fordham University School of Law.
Mary Kay Fenton
Mary Kay 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.
Chris DiPentima is president of Pegasus Manufacturing, based in Middletown.
He joined Pegasus in 2002, and introduced the company’s foundation disciplined change management, continuous improvement/lean, and strategic policy deployment.
These implementations resulted in a doubling of revenues and employment from 2009–2012 and propelled Pegasus to a leading supplier in its offerings of tube assemblies to Rolls-Royce and General Electric, customers who were not doing business with Pegasus prior to 2009.
DiPentima was appointed by Governor Malloy to the board of the Connecticut Manufacturing Innovation Fund. He is also a board member to the Connecticut Technical High School System and board president of Aerospace Components Manufacturers.
DiPentima is also a member of the Connecticut contingency of the National Governor’s Policy Academy for Best Practices in Manufacturing.
Prior to working at Pegasus, DiPentima spent eight years as a trial attorney representing corporations and individuals in litigation involving a broad range of areas, including labor and employment, contracts, workers’ compensation, and personal injuries as well as mergers and acquisitions transactions.
Bob 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’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.
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).