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Public Forum

September CREWsDay
Wednesday, September 7, 2016


CREW CT – The Real Estate Exchange presents:
Constructing a Future for Connecticut
from the State and Local Perspective

Join us to kick-off the Fall program season with two leaders committed to the vitality of economic development in the State of Connecticut and City of Hartford. Our esteemed panelists include Catherine Smith, Commissioner of Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and attorney and architect Sara Bronin, Chair of the City of Hartford’s Planning & Zoning Commission. We have asked each panelist to summarize recent and upcoming developments and to reflect on how members of the commercial real estate community can assist their efforts. Topics to be discussed will include:

  • What was behind the recent changes in City of Hartford zoning regulations and what impact has the change had so far?
  • What are the remaining barriers to development in Hartford?
  • What do you want the State of Connecticut to be known for?
  • What are the short-term and long-term impacts on development of state budget limitations?
  • What do you believe will be the legacy that the Malloy/Smith administration leaves as it pertains to development?

Catherine Smith is Commissioner of the State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), having been appointed by Governor Malloy in spring 2011. DECD is the lead state agency responsible for attracting and retaining businesses and jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods and communities, expanding affordable housing opportunities, promoting tourist attractions, the arts and historic preservation. Under Commissioner Smith’s leadership, the Small Business Express program and the Manufacturing Innovation Fund were created and funding for Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund was secured. She also coordinated the agreements that brought Jackson Laboratory to the state and re-committed UTC to Connecticut. Over 1,000 businesses have received funding to spur growth during the Commissioner’s tenure.

Prior to her state service, Commissioner Smith had a distinguished career in the insurance industry, having begun her career at Aetna in 1983, holding various management positions, including chief financial officer for Aetna Financial Services. At ING U.S. Retirement Services, now Voya, Smith was named CEO leading one of the largest defined contribution plan managers in the U.S. with more than $280 billion in assets under management.

Sara Bronin is a licensed architect and licensed attorney and professor at UCONN Law School. She has become one of the foremost scholars in two rapidly evolving areas of law: historic preservation and renewable energy. Sara additionally has a private consulting firm, Voladizo, LLC, providing services to cities, state agencies, and private firms interested in creating or facilitating places of value.

Sara balances academia, a legal/architectural practice, and public service in furtherance of her goal of facilitating economically and environmentally sustainable American cities. She is a board member of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the State of Connecticut School Building Projects Advisory Council, the Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative, and the Bushnell Park Foundation. She is a past president of the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association.


Jennifer Marks is a licensed land surveyor and a principal at BL Companies, an employee-owned firm delivering high-quality, integrated architecture, engineering, environmental and land surveying services to public and private clients for land development, building design and infrastructure projects. She has over 33 years of land surveying experience and is a licensed surveyor in multiple states throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. She is responsible for business development at BL Companies with a particular focus on commercial real estate as well as the energy sector. Jennifer currently serves as the president of CREW CT and is a member of Professional Women in Construction and the Connecticut Association of Land Surveyors.

Sign up now - space is limited!

REGISTER ONLINE by 4:00pm on Friday, September 2nd to receive the early registration rate!

August 18- Third Thirsty Thursday - Happy Hour Networking -
Lucky Lou's - 222 Main St, Wethersfield @ 5:30PM
September 21- Annual Fall Networking Dinner | Members Only!
October 4 - Professional Development- Anatomy of a Deal II - Town and County Club @ 11:30AM
October 19-22 - CREW Network Convention & Marketplace -
New York, NY, Registration open

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September 7, 2016

5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

5:30: Networking and
6:00: Presentation

Members - $55
Non-Members - $75
Students - $10

*$15 late fee after 4pm, 9/2/16

The Hartford Club
69 Prospect Street
Hartford, CT

Contact Chris Blair at 785.832.1808 or
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