June 28, 2017

MetroHartford Alliance's Griebel stepping down as CEO

Oz Griebel

Oz Griebel, a stalwart in Hartford's business community for decades, announced Wednesday that he will be stepping down as president and CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance at the end of the year.

Griebel has led the Alliance since its 2001 inception and is stepping down to pursue "other leadership opportunities," the regional chamber announced.

In a brief phone interview with HBJ Today later Wednesday, Griebel said his departure was unforced and comes after lengthy deliberation on his part.

"I've been thinking about doing this for some time,'' he said. "This is my decision.''

Griebel said he is still weighing his options for his life's next chapter, but insists that path doesn't include politics. Griebel ran unsuccessfully for governor on the GOP ticket in 2010.

"Everything is an option,'' said the former teacher and banker. "I love working with people and working with people on challenging'' matters.

In a written statement, the MetroHartford Alliance said it would engage a consultant to help sharpen its areas of focus and "thereby strengthen the region's and state's ability to drive growth in private sector employment and capital investment."

Besides his work at the MetroHartford Alliance, Griebel made an unsuccessful run for governor in 2010. He failed to win the Republican primary, bested by former Ambassador Tom Foley. Griebel was also the former CEO of BankBoston Connecticut. He was also formerly named a Business Person of the Year by the Hartford Business Journal.

In March, the MetroHartford Alliance reported 548 members, down from 600 members a year earlier. The Alliance is the eighth largest chamber in Greater Hartford, according to HBJ's Book of Lists.

In a written statement, Griebel said he will be working with the Alliance and its board to ensure a smooth transition into 2018.

"It has been a genuine privilege to have worked with so many talented and dedicated individuals at the Alliance and those at our investors and other organizations throughout the state and at all levels of government," he said. "Our successful efforts to ensure that the region competes aggressively and successfully for jobs, capital, and talent have been based on a sustained combination of inspiration and perspiration and on a commitment to working together for the greater good."

Joe Savage, executive vice chair of Webster Bank and chair of the Alliance board said: "We have been fortunate to have had Oz at the helm for more than 16 years leading the Alliance's economic development efforts in the Region. As a result of Oz's leadership, we have established numerous initiatives that have strengthened the private sector, especially during challenging economic times. The work of the Connecticut Insurance and Financial Services Cluster, the Connecticut Health Council, and the Global Business Council illustrate the type of success that we can achieve by working together for the betterment of the State's economy."

News Editor Gregory Seay contributed to this report.

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