Bridgeport-brbcdinnerDecember 30, 2014 – More than 400 business and community leaders gathered at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn and Conference Center for the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s annual dinner on Dec. 11.

Sponsored by TD Bank, People’s United Bank and Bank of America, the event was a celebration and showcase of both regional economic development and individuals who have had a positive impact on the greater Bridgeport region.

Nine individuals were recognized this year for their service to the Bridgeport region via the Susan L. Davis Leadership Awards and the BRBC’s Regional IMPACT Awards.

The Susan L. Davis Leadership Award honors were bestowed on two individuals who have demonstrated both a commitment to building the region’s economy as well as boundless service to the community. Honorees were Sean Carroll, president of Merit Insurance, and Mary Jane Foster, vice president of university relations, University of Bridgeport.

Another seven individuals were honored for their service and commitment in five areas of public policy that have been designated as BRBC priorities, including economic development, education, health care, small business and sustainability. IMPACT award winners in the five designated categories include Paul Antinozzi, president, Antinozzi Associates Architecture & Interior Design;  Kenneth Oppedisano, president, Main Enterprises; Dr. Evan Pitkoff, executive director, Cooperative Educational Services; William Jennings, president and chief executive officer, Bridgeport Hospital and Dr. Stuart Marcus, president and CEO, St. Vincent’s Health Services; Dr. Fred McKinney, President and CEO, Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council; and Mayor Bill Finch.

St. Vincent’s Healthcare and HealthyCT, sponsors of the Annual BRBC Fitness Challenge, recognized 2014’s winning teams: Bridgeport Hospital’s Superfeet Divas, first place; Aquarion Water Co.’s Step it Up, second place; and Ashcroft’s The Shield Walkers, third place.

The evening finished with a presentation by guest speaker Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops.

“Morris is the real deal,” said Kathy Saint, president of Schwerdtle Stamp Co. “Everything he shared about building his family business from the ground up is every small business owner’s story. He was genuine, sincere, real, and, I have no doubt his intention for the new Bass Pro Shops here in Bridgeport is grounded in the values we witnessed here tonight.”

“We continue to be honored to have the opportunity to service our regional business community and to play a part in building the environment in our region for their businesses to grow,” said Paul Timpanelli, BRBC president and CEO. “Our annual dinner provides us with an opportunity to recognize some of those in the business community that give of their time and talent to assist us in the fulfillment of our mission. This year’s event was truly special in that it happened on the same day that the first walls were being erected on Steelpointe for Bass Pro.”

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