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June 11, 2020

CBIA names manufacturing veteran DiPentima CEO

Photo | CBIA Pegasus Manufacturing President Chris DiPentima is CBIA's new president and CEO.

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) on Thursday appointed a Middletown manufacturing executive that previously served as its board chair to lead the statewide trade association.

CBIA, the state’s largest business lobby, said its board of directors voted Thursday morning to elect Chris DiPentima to succeed CEO Joe Brennan, who is retiring in August after leading the organization for the last six years. Brennan first joined CBIA in the late 1980s as a staff attorney and later succeeded John Rathgeber after his retirement.

CBIA Board Chair Jennifer DelMonico, a managing partner for Hartford law firm Murtha Cullina LLP, said Brennan will serve as an advisor over the coming months to support the leadership transition.

DelMonico said that CBIA identified numerous highly qualified candidates during its statewide search for Brennan’s replacement.

“Chris DiPentima stood out for his many private sector successes, his demonstrated leadership skills, his commitment to Connecticut, and his thoughtful, strategic vision for CBIA,” she said in a statement Thursday. “Tough times demand special leaders and Chris is the right person to steer CBIA as the organization helps rebuild the state’s economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.” 

DiPentima lands at CBIA after holding several positions at Middletown’s Pegasus Manufacturing Inc., a division of manufacturer Leggett & Platt Aerospace, since 2002. He was named president at the then family owned company in 2006. 

As president, DiPentima leads Leggett’s Middletown division in addition to other operations in Washington, California and France, according to CBIA. 

Prior to Pegasus, DiPentima, who served a one-year term as CBIA’s board chair in 2019, also previously worked eight years as a trial attorney representing clients in litigation involving labor and employment contracts, workers’ compensation, personal injuries, and mergers and acquisitions.

DiPentima is a current board member of the Connecticut Manufacturing Innovation Fund and is a past board member of the Connecticut Technical High School System and past president of Aerospace Components Manufacturers. He also currently chairs the Connecticut Manufacturers’ Collaborative and represented the state at the National Governors Policy Academy for Best Practices in Manufacturing. 

The Durham resident earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston College and a law degree from the Quinnipiac University School of Law.

In a statement Thursday, DiPentima said he is “grateful” to lead the 205-year-old business lobby with partners CONNSTEP and ReadyCT to “promote the state’s rich legacy of ingenuity and innovation and improve our economic competitiveness.”

“We face unprecedented challenges in the coming months, but they are challenges that we can overcome through greater collaboration between the private and public sectors,” he said. “I’m committed to working collaboratively to shape policies that drive economic growth, create opportunities for all, and continue to make Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family.” 

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