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Author: Christine Schilke

An Interview with Raquel Vazquez, The Empowered Block

An Interview with Raquel Vazquez, The Empowered Block

With Kristen Lopez

In September we’ll be hosting a training workshop called, From Problems to Partners: How to Successfully Engage Merchants, Property Owners, and Municipal Departments. This issue is raised frequently by our members across the state, and it requires time to build and strengthen community engagement skills to get it done right.

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Rachel Vasquez, the CEO & Founder of The Empowered Block to deliver this training. Our Education & Training Director, Kristen Lopez, recently interviewed Raquel to learn more about her background, experience, and what attendees can expect from the day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity


Hi Raquel! We’re so excited to work with you on our upcoming training. Can you give a brief overview of who you are and what The Empowered Block is?

Hi Kristen! I’m Raquel Vasquez, CEO and founder of The Empowered Block. The Empowered Block is a community development consultancy focused on economic development, affordable housing, community engagement, and everything else community development related.

As for myself, I’m a community development professional. I’ve been in this industry for over 13 years from the public/private sector and nonprofit sector perspectives. I’ve worked with a ton of communities on various initiatives.

When we first connected, one of the topics we discussed was how many different and interesting projects you’ve worked on, and the core theme has been community engagement. Can you give an example of how you used community engagement best practices to work in a challenging environment to complete a project?

One project that comes to mind is Age Friendly New York City. I was a part of launching the first aging improvement district in the Bronx a couple years ago. There were a ton of partners that we had to get involved, with me overseeing and spearheading the initiative and pulling it together. And there was a ton of stakeholders that we had to engage on a local level to really understand how we can address customer needs, especially for those aging in place in our communities. How can we make businesses more accessible physically? What are the auditory pedestrian signals that we can put in major intersections where there are heavy concentrations of senior citizens residing in the area?

We thought of a lot of infrastructure upgrades that the City could promote to ensure accessibility, like more signs to alert pedestrians and people driving vehicles where there are people that might be hearing impaired and so forth.

It was extremely rewarding building a coalition and a whole network of partners for this initiative. Seeing the physical landscape change to be more accommodating to those with limited physical and hearing abilities and seeing the upgrades in businesses – for instance ramps – was exciting to see happen.

That’s one initiative I worked on that was really amazing, just working with the small business community on those type of initiatives. And it really helps everybody – it helps business owners, it helps property owners, it fosters goodwill among the residents and the potential customers of businesses in the community.

That’s an amazing project. I can imagine it was also complex and nuanced with varying degrees of business and city support.  And the process you took for this initiative is truly very similar to any other project, like working with merchants with unattractive window displays that’s affecting the whole Main Street. You need to build coalitions, partners, and resources to influence and get people on board.

So, when we say “community engagement” it’s a loaded term. Because “community” is made up of a lot of different people, a lot of different stakeholders, all with different perspectives, opinions, lived experiences, and agendas. When we’re talking about Main Street development, downtown development, or commercial corridor development, what are some of the most common community members and stakeholders and what are some of the kinds of common roadblocks that we face in this type of work?

In the context of economic development and small business development, the main stakeholders are the residents, the customers, the businesses, who owns the businesses, the property owners, the property managers who are managing those properties on behalf of the property owners. Then we have the municipalities and the municipal agencies. So that’s everything from departments of economic development to the mayoral offices. Then there are the elected officials that drive their own agendas with the community and partnership with the community. There are other governance bodies such as community boards or other coalitions that are initiated by or overseen by municipal agencies. That’s just the landscape in terms of economic development and small business context of engagement. But each of these stakeholders have their own perspectives. They have their own priorities and needs. They have their own concerns and challenges.

In the training, we’re going to take a deeper dive into the roles of each of these stakeholder groups and how these roles impact their needs, concerns, and opportunities. There are a ton of different opportunities that each of these stakeholder groups experience. There’s a – hopefully not a lot of barriers, but there are some identified barriers that we’re aware of that they experience. We definitely want to bring awareness to everybody’s perspectives, all stakeholder groups in their perspectives, so that we’re better able to serve our own communities.

The landscape is so big and complex. And I think that as a professional doing this type of work, we immediately think of the business owners themselves, we think about the property owners, the kind of maybe more easy to reach, easy to contact stakeholders, but there’s just so much more nuance there.

Let’s talk more about the upcoming From Problems to Partners training. This topic of, how do we engage business owners, how do we engage property owners who might be absent and completely out of touch, and how do we deal with municipal departments that are overworked, overwhelmed, or maybe just apathetic to what you’re trying to accomplish? These are concerns and challenges that we hear from our members all across Connecticut. So that’s why we’ve partnered with you to glean your wisdom from all your experience. Can you share a little bit about what attendees can expect from this training?

Absolutely. Attendees can definitely expect an interactive dynamic conversation and training on stakeholder engagement. There’s going be lots of opportunities to share your individual experiences, share a little bit about barriers and challenges you’ve encountered or experienced, as well as share best practices that you have implemented, or what you want to implement in your local Main Street corridor. We’ll discuss how we can work collaboratively to build a successful stakeholder engagement landscape and build strong partnerships with organizations in our local communities.

You can also expect and a ton of strategies and resources to be shared during and after the workshop.

What are some of the specific topics that will be covered?

We’ll first start with a general overview on stakeholder engagement just to understand the principles.

Then we’re going to discuss some engagement strategies that organizations can leverage to engage with the different stakeholders that they’re interacting with.  We’ll talk about the various stakeholder perspectives, as I mentioned briefly earlier, and their needs, barriers, and challenges for inclusive engagement.

We’ll cover building collaborative teams, driving forth public-private partnerships, and building fruitful partnerships with stakeholders.  We’ll also talk about the context of Connecticut and history of exclusion and how we can engage all communities.

We’re going leave with best practices and a lot of strategies.

It’s going to be a very packed session! Good thing we will be feeding you breakfast before we dive into the content, so you will be fed and caffeinated!   

I love how we’ll be discussing each stakeholder group and their perspective and learn different strategies to engage them because not every approach will work for every group the same way.

As we wrap up, can you share what you’re most excited about for this training?

I’m excited to connect with the participants and talk about how we can improve the small business and economic development landscape across the state by leveraging stakeholder engagement as a strategy, as a set of tools. I’m excited to hear about everyone’s experiences, their perspectives. I want to facilitate very meaningful conversations about building partnerships and relationships with local stakeholders. As important as takeaways and strategies are, there’s so much that we can learn from one another. So, I’m excited about all that, the opportunity to share, and to really reflect and learn from everyone in the room.

There’s always magic that happens when people can get together and share their personal experience, what worked, what didn’t work. And that’s part of the reason why we wanted to have this in person training versus on Zoom.

I’m personally also really excited about all the scenarios and case studies we’ll be reviewing. I think the attendees will really like that practical application and have robust conversation on how to handle these situations.

Thank you so much, Raquel, for taking your time to share a little bit more about your experience and expertise.  We are all very excited for this program coming up September 29th, 2022 – From Problems to Partners: How to Successfully Engage Merchants, Property Owners, and Municipal Departments.

Thank you so much, Kristen, and looking forward to it as well.

To learn more about and to register for From Problems to Partners: How to Successfully Engage Merchants, Property Owners, and Municipal Departments please visit our website: Deadline to register is September 15, 2022. Don’t delay signing up for this fantastic training as space is limited.



About Kristen Lopez

Kristen M. Lopez is Connecticut Main Street Center’s Education & Training Director. With over 11 years of experience in economic development from various roles and industries across the United States, she has always worked with adults to achieve their goals through education. Kristen is an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer alum, a StartingBloc Fellow, and Next City Vanguard Fellow. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Messiah University.

About Raquel Vazquez

Raquel is Founder & CEO of the Empowered Block LLC. For over 12 years, Raquel has spent her career in community development work, ranging from constituent services, community outreach, policy analysis, and affordable housing development in New York City and Washington, DC.

She has dedicated her career to advance equity, foster investment, and strengthen public-private partnerships in underserved communities.

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Raquel is proud to be a Black & Latina community development professional. Raquel has a Master’s in Public Administration, Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Finance, and a double Bachelor’s in Sociology and Latin American & Caribbean Studies.

To learn more about Raquel, check out her website or LinkedIn.

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State Announces $150m Program to Assist Small Businesses

State Announces New $150m Program to Help Small Businesses

Public-Private Partnership Will Support Organizations in Historically Underserved Communities

Governor Ned Lamont announced the launch of the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund, a public-private partnership that provides low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut. Businesses can now apply for loans ranging from $5,000 to $500,000.

The program is aimed at helping small businesses and nonprofits, particularly those in low-income and historically underserved communities, with access to flexible working capital. The loans have a fixed, 4.5% interest rate and are available to eligible small businesses and nonprofits with operations in Connecticut that have 100 or fewer full-time employees and annual revenues of less than $8 million.

The state is making a foundational investment of $75 million into this public-private partnership,  with the other $75 million coming from private banks, including CMSC Corporate Investor M&T Bank.  The goal is for the fund to become self-sustaining as more private funds are invested. 

Small businesses and nonprofits can apply online at CTSmallBusinessBoostFund.org, and if they qualify, they will be matched with a lender. Once matched, the participating lender will assist the business owner throughout the application process. This lending model has previously found success in programs based in California, New York, and Washington state.

The fund works with and through local community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and lenders that have decades of experience serving historically under-resourced and underbanked communities. The following CDFIs are participating in the program, including CMSC Corporate Investor Capital for Change:

  • Ascendus
  • Capital for Change
  • HEDCO
  • NDC Community Impact Loan Fund
  • Pursuit
  • Southeastern CT Enterprise Region (SeCTer)

It is administered by the National Development Council (NDC) with funding arranged by Calvert Impact Capital. In addition to funding from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), initial funding has been provided by Citizens Bank, M&T Bank, and First Republic Bank.

“We consider this program to be a one-stop shop for small-business owners,” DECD Commissioner David Lehman said. “What separates the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund from other loan programs is that it offers support and guidance services, in addition to the financial assistance, that helps put recipients on the path to success.”

“At M&T we recognize that small businesses are the backbone of our local economies, especially in underserved and diverse communities,” Michael Weinstock, M&T Bank regional president for Hartford, said. “That’s why we’re proud to be joining the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund to support small businesses and nonprofits that too often lack access to affordable, flexible credit. Our focus as a community bank has always been on providing resources that financially empower our customers. This partnership is another important action we are taking to further that mission.”

For more information and to apply, visit CTSmallBusinessBoostFund.org.

About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Partners, Eversource Energy and the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). CMSC is also supported by its Growth Partners, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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CMSC’s Carl Rosa Receives State Citation for Years of Service

CMSC’s Carl Rosa Receives State Citation for Years of Service

CMSC’s Field Services Director, Carl Rosa, recently received a State of Connecticut citation recognizing his years of service with Main Street Waterbury (a CMSC member community), where he served as CEO for 17 years.

Known as “Mr. Main Street” in the Waterbury community, the citation recognizes Carl for bringing the Brass City Brew and Que Fest to the downtown and improving the business environment for downtown merchants. The award also notes his, “Waterbury spirit was very evident in his work. His wisdom and experience from Main Street Waterbury will surely be a huge benefit to Connecticut Main Street Center.” 

Carl was presented the award by Rep. Ronald A. Napoli, Jr., 73rd district, Sen. Joan Hartley, 15th district, and Rep. Geraldo C. Reyes, Jr., 75th district during a recent event at Signature’s Restaurant in downtown Waterbury on May 25th.


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Making the Most Out of Your Street Lights

Making the Most out of Your Street Lights

by Penn Globe

Downtown streetlights have historically had a singular purpose; light our streets and make residents feel safe.

But what if lights could deliver more than lighting? Today’s forward thinking planners and managers believe they can and should. Streetlight poles can provide both a signature aesthetic and a growing list of functional deliverables.

When considering poles and street lights for a downtown project, the design and decision making team should dive deep into the potential needs and wants of their community. Aesthetics is typically always at the top of the concern list and establishing a municipal signature standard is paramount. Perhaps a town is considered a historic location and wants retain an old world feel. Other towns may be creating an ultra-contemporary center and want lighting that reflects that vision.

For some projects, something as simple as the aesthetic addition of an unusual color or adding small decorative components may be all a streetscape needs to give that unique element. One must also consider the appearance, the signature, and the statement that a downtown center wishes to make. By following the old adage of “keep things simple”, cities and towns may have a way to use their street lighting as the town’s statement piece and signature style – and one that does not come with a significant increase in cost.

The University of Connecticut is a perfect example that showcases the impact of both a custom finial and dual banner arms to add both identification and character to the campus landscape. It is often over-looked how transformative and impactful something a small as changing a finial can be. Municipal street lighting invites thinking beyond one-size-fits-all options.

Given that style and function matter in equal measure, municipal designers would do well to challenge themselves by avoiding standard selections out of a product catalog. Street lighting is something that invites creativity, including but not limited to, overall style, color, or decor and functional accessories.

Hanging flower pot brackets, way-finding signage, flag banner brackets are a few functional and simple options that bring character and add an element of attractiveness to any streetscape. Banner brackets create a sense of community and are a lively colorful visual addition. Electrical outlets located discreetly at the top of posts make holiday displays a simple installation and provide a clean appearance.

Function jumps to an entirely new level when municipalities begin the journey to create unique placemaking locations for city residents. Placemaking is about community, a warm feeling and designing a destination. Unusual, yet functional, streetlight options are a natural fit in this space. A designer can add discreet speakers for broadcasting music by local musicians. An electrical outlet can also be installed at the bottom of the post so street vendors have easy access to power. A sense of community can also be an important part of building a successful downtown space. Many towns struggle with fundraising for their downtown improvement or revitalization project. One common fundraising tactic is selling dedication bricks that become a statement and a reminder of the community members that come together in the name of beautification and community. The exact same fundraising method can be done with street lights, except instead of bricks, the poles can be donned with dedication plaques. 

In recent years, the conversations have been building around developing lighting installations to include SMART technologies. By utilizing the existing real estate of light fixtures and poles, these types of technologies have aided cities both large and small in regard to infrastructure, transportation, safety, and even economic development. Today, it is common to see cameras incorporated into local street lights. Depending on the class and style, these cameras are able to monitor and collect a wide array of information including, but not limited to, facial recognition information, car and pedestrian counters, and even dangerous object detection. WiFi is more often than not required for lighting projects that include video surveillance, but that brings us to another technology that is embedded within streetlights and poles these days. WiFi access is becoming increasingly popular in public spaces, so why wouldn’t we expect to see it coming to more downtown areas?

This is a valuable and requested resource by many residents of cities, regardless of size, and is also a benefit to local businesses who can utilize that access for advertising and increasing foot traffic at brick-and-mortar stores. Yes, many of these SMART technologies may be considered “too much” for a small town but there are other technologies and solutions that do not break the bank and still provide a range of possibilities.

It may not be an initial thought most would have, but the incorporation of speakers to a street light allows for both communication and community. Take the city of Waterbury, Connecticut for instance and their inclusion of speakers to their new light fixtures and poles. The city now has an alternative way that local businesses are able advertise in between ambient music being streamed daily along a downtown street. It also serves as an alert system for the area. Speakers are multi-purpose but above all assist in creating the type of environment that people really want to be in. While these advancements open up a world of possibilities and invaluable information to city officials, not all of these types of add-ons are always initially financially feasible. Municipalities would be advised to request “future-proofing” so that if, and when, funds are available, the streetlight can become SMART without costly fixture removal and reinstallation.

The possibilities are all there and can almost be considered endless when it comes to designing the street lighting element of a placemaking project. The key to it is having a creative and malleable team of engineers, designers, and decision makers who value the importance of creating the type of downtown spaces where residents and visitors alike truly want to be and want to keep coming back.


About the Author

Since 1877, Penn Globe has been America’s premier outdoor lighting company. Today, we enjoy working with the best customers, our cities, towns, colleges and universities each of whom entrust Penn Globe with their vision. Penn Globe is dedicated to honoring our history while focusing on future lighting innovations. Our talented and progressive team is passionate about authentic outdoor lighting individually designed for each customer, all with energy saving and sustainable features, manufactured to exacting customer specifications.

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Press Release – CT Main Street Center Welcomes Michelle McCabe as New Executive Director

CT Main Street Center Welcomes Michelle McCabe as New Executive Director

Press Release – July 5, 2022

Media Contact: 
Christine Schilke
Communications & Strategy Director
860-280-2356
christine@ctmainstreet.org 

(Hartford, CT)Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) is excited to introduce Michelle McCabe as its new Executive Director, effective July 5th.  Ms. McCabe takes over from Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker, who has served as CMSC’s Interim CEO for the last year after Patrick McMahon’s departure in late July 2021.

Ms. McCabe brings several years of non-profit management experience to CMSC, coming from HomeBridge Ventures, a non-profit focused on holistic workforce development and re-entry programming for formerly incarcerated individuals, where she has served as Interim Executive Director since last October. Prior to that, Ms. McCabe spent seven years as Director of the FEED Center with The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. In the course of this work, she built multiple programs from the ground up, leading strategic planning and fundraising efforts, and guiding boards and staff through organizational change. Her experience also extends to successful public/private collaborations, community engagement, and policy advocacy.

Ms. McCabe is expected to lead CMSC through a time of growth, helming a recently doubled staff of six. Her experience in program development and strategic planning will be especially useful as CMSC continues to expand its educational and technical assistance programming, member assistance offerings, and looks to take a larger role in championing statewide policies that benefit Connecticut’s downtowns and Main Streets.

As a resident of Fairfield (a CMSC Main Street community), Ms. McCabe has an appreciation for the many benefits a vibrant downtown offers, as well as CMSC’s role in building local capacity for successfully managing a downtown. “I love how a great downtown invites you in with a charming main street, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. I can’t wait to begin working with CMSC’s staff and Board to replicate and grow this kind of magic, and to help people better understand the powerful economic and social impacts that happen as a result of well-managed downtowns, both for the community individually and the state collectively,” said Ms. McCabe.

CMSC’s Board and staff are equally enthusiastic for her to begin. Ms. McCabe was selected after an extensive search led by CMSC’s Board of Directors. “We’re very much looking forward to welcoming Michelle into the fold and working with her to bring our long-term goals to fruition,” said Ryan Bingham, CMSC’s incoming Chair and Senior Director of Government Affairs/Lobbyist at Sullivan & LeShane, Inc. “Our board and staff were committed to finding the right person to lead CMSC and we’re confident we’ve done just that.”

“The staff and Board have spent the last year putting together an excellent team of professionals to help our downtowns,” said Ms. Parsons-Whitaker, CMSC’s Interim CEO. “Finding Michelle was the last piece of the puzzle, and we’re enthusiastic about seeing all that we can accomplish with a full team and a clear direction.”

CMSC will be holding a series of regional events in the summer and early fall to introduce Ms. McCabe and the rest of the CMSC staff, including the three staff who recently joined in December and February.  

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About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.CMSC is supported by its Founding Sponsors, the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) and Eversource Energy. CMSC is also supported by its Growth Sponsors, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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CMSC Honors Outgoing Board Members, Welcomes New

CMSC Honors Outgoing Board Members, Welcomes New

Susan Decina & Matt Kaufman Join CMSC Board; Ryan Bingham Takes Over as Chair

CMSC recognized four Board members for their years of service during our Annual Meeting in June.  Incoming Chair Ryan Bingham also recognized outgoing Chair Mike Andreana for his years at the helm, leading the organization through a time of transition and growth.

The Board members recognized for their service are:

Shelly Saczynski 
  • Shelly (pictured above) was first elected to the CMSC board in 2007 and served three terms. She took a year off, then came back! She served as Chair of the Board from 2009 to 2013 and Chair of the Governance Committee from 2019 to 2021. Shelly’s many contributions to CMSC can be summed up in comments from two long-time leaders of the organization:
    • CMSC’s founding CEO, John Simone, said: “I believe Shelly stands out as having provided us with the most Wisdom, Wealth and Work. She always wanted to know what our most important priorities were and how she and the board could best help in addressing them.  She was committed equally to the well-being of her fellow board members and our staff.”
    • In the words of former CMSC Board member Kim Healey, “Shelly is thorough, inquisitive, rational, disciplined, dedicated, and ALWAYS shows up. She is the “go-to” person for non-profits when they need confidential, clear eyed advice.”
    • We agree, CT Main Street Center is a better organization because of Shelly!
Randal Davis
  • Randal served on the Board for five years, from 2017 to 2022.
  • He was elected to the CMSC Board when he was Special Advisor to former CT DOT Commissioner James Redeker. In this capacity, Randal was an important liaison between a changing DOT and our Main Street Communities – especially as Complete Streets and Transit Oriented Development became priority areas on Main Street.
  • Randal continues to serve the people of Connecticut, and is currently the Deputy Director of Development Services for the City of Hartford.
  • He also serves as the Vice Chair of the Board for Partnership for Strong Communities
  • Over the years, he has consistently been a voice of calm reason, asking the important questions, and providing CMSC with wise guidance.
Diana Deng 
  • Diana served on the Board from 2016 to 2022, and as our Board Secretary from 2017 to 2022.
  • She was recently promoted to Assistant Director of Real Estate Development at CIL, whose vision is “that all people will have access to quality housing that enhances independence in neighborhoods of their choice”
  • She also formerly served as Policy & Communications Analyst for Partnership for Strong Communities.
  • In addition to her Board roles, Diana supported CMSC by championing the necessity of quality housing choices in vibrant communities, an important priority area for CMSC.
Toni Berlandy
  • Toni served on the Board from 2016 to 2022.
  • As a Community Relations Specialist for Eversource Energy, Toni served as an effective liaison between CMSC and Eversource and the Eversource Foundation.
  • She is responsible for developing and maintaining a relationship with thirteen municipalities in Northern Central Connecticut
  • Toni has been an effective champion of CMSC’s mission and work, conveying our impact to Eversource leadership. This was critical in securing our historic funding support from the corporation.
Michael Andreana
  • Mike served as Chair of the CMSC Board of Directors from 2018 to 2022.
  • He has been invaluable to our organization, having led us through what was perhaps the most challenging – and rewarding – time in our history as we faced the Covid pandemic and its ripple effects.
  • Mike is always kind, thoughtful, and analytic. He’s a great listener, and always acts in the best interest of the organization.
  • In his capacity as an attorney, Mike was the principal drafter of Connecticut’s 2015 new Tax Increment Financing statute and has assisted in the creation of more than a half dozen TIF districts in Connecticut.

Two New Members Join CMSC Board

In addition to recognizing our outgoing Board members, we also welcomed two new members: Susan Decina from the CT Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Matthew Kaufman from Hartford Healthcare

Susan Decina
Economic & Community Development Specialist, State of CT DECD

Susan has extensive project management experience with DECD programs including the Small Business Express Program, Urban Act, and the Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP). She also has significant experience working with partners in the area of Small Programs, including the CT Small Business Development Center, Connecticut Main Street Center, Middlesex County Revitalization Commission, and Business Industry Foundation of Middlesex County, Inc. Formerly, she worked with the Office of Brownfield Remediation & Development and was the Director of Planning for the Town of Portland. She also served as Assistant Planning Director for the City of Danbury.

Matthew Kaufman
Regional VP of Operations, Hartford HealthCare – Eastern Region

Matt is responsible for hospital operations at Backus Hospital, Windham Hospital and the Plainfield Emergency Department.  He was the Regional Incident Commander during the Covid-19 Pandemic, responsible for developing regional testing and vaccination centers including the mega vaccination site at Foxwoods Casino. He also facilitated the annual regional capital planning process. He was formerly the Director of Service Line Development and Director of Clinical Integration at Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta GA. 


About Connecticut Main Street Center

CMSC is the expert resource for developing and sustaining vibrant downtowns that fuel our state’s prosperity. Our mission is to assess, educate, convene, and advocate to develop and grow our traditional downtowns, village centers, and urban mixed-use neighborhoods. We provide education and training, resources and technical assistance, and function as the statewide champion for downtowns and Main Streets of all sizes.

CMSC is supported by its Founding Partners, Eversource Energy and the Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). CMSC is also supported by its Growth Partners, UIL Holdings and the State Historic Preservation Office. More information is available at www.ctmainstreet.org

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P.O. Box 270, Hartford, CT 06141 | 860.280.2337