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February 20, 2023 / 2023 Power 50

2023 Power 50: 6. Chris DiPentima

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER Chris DiPentima is the president and CEO of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, the state’s largest trade organization.

If there is an issue at the state Capitol that will impact businesses — positively or negatively — you could expect Chris DiPentima to opine about it. 

As CEO of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, he’s the most high-profile leader and lobbyist representing the interests of businesses in Hartford. 

The longtime aerospace executive became CEO of the CBIA several months into the pandemic. He has settled into the role over the last few years, but things haven’t always been easy.

Last year, despite the legislature passing a historic $600-million tax cut amid a surging budget surplus, DiPentima called the session “disappointing” because he said lawmakers didn’t do enough to provide relief to small businesses. 

It appears that message may have resonated. Gov. Ned Lamont’s first legislative proposal for the 2023 session was a small business tax cut. 

DiPentima is partaking in his third legislative session, where CBIA has shifted its agenda a bit. 

For the first time, CBIA is working with other interest groups to promote affordable housing legislation. Lack of affordable housing — and Connecticut’s overall high costs of living — has contributed to the state’s prolonged workforce shortage, DiPentima said. 

DiPentima said a main focus for the business group in 2023 will be advocating for policies that retain and attract people and businesses to Connecticut. 

CBIA’s policy proposals include creating incentives for employers to provide workers with loan or tuition reimbursement in an effort to keep more young talent in the state, and making it easier for licensed professionals in other states to relocate to Connecticut in a timely manner.

Before joining CBIA, DiPentima was division president of Leggett & Platt Aerospace, which includes Pegasus Manufacturing in Middletown. The Connecticut native and Durham resident has a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law.

Find out who else is in the 2023 Power 50.

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