Celebrating 27 years of professional development and regional community engagement, Leadership Greater Bridgeport (LGB) will host its inaugural alumni party and scholarship fundraiser on Thursday, January 21, 2016. The event will celebrate the "Leaders Behind Leadership" — LGB Executive Directors since the program's inception in 1990 — Carole Adzima, Janice Martin, and Lisa Labella. Proceeds will benefit the Janice Martin Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid to individuals enrolled in Leadership Greater Bridgeport.

"With over 550 graduates, our alumni have established themselves as leaders who are shaping the course of not only greater Bridgeport, but of southern Connecticut and beyond," explained Rebekah Harriman-Stites, co-chair, Leadership Greater Bridgeport and principal, HK Consulting Group. "Each year the best and brightest from the corporate and nonprofit communities are selected by their employers to participate and join this prestigious group of up and coming leaders."

LGB Alumni are a Who's Who of Southern Connecticut

Many of the most well respected individuals in the region are graduates of Leadership Greater Bridgeport. Included among the program's Who's Who of alumni are:

  • Cindi Bigelow, president and CEO, Bigelow Tea

  • James "Tim" Shearin, chairman, Pullman and Comley, LLC

  • Terry O'Connor, executive director, Cardinal Sheehan Center and McGivney Center

  • Dianne Auger, senior vice president and chief strategy officer, St. Vincent's Health Services

  • State Representative Steve Stafstrom, attorney, Pullman & Comley, LLC

  • Alice Ferreira, national vice president, communications - United Healthcare

  • Douglas Holcomb, CEO, Greater Bridgeport Transit

  • Bill Hass, president and CEO, LifeBridge Community Services

  • Robert Francis, executive director, RYASAP

  • Joseph Gaudett, chief of police, City of Bridgeport

  • Steve Tyliszczak, development administrator, Bridgeport Landing Development

"LGB is for people who have the desire to assume roles of responsibility in political, civic, andprofessional organizations," offered Jim Gildea, LGB co-chair and Fairfield plant manager, Bigelow Tea. "Our goal is to inspire a commitment to serve and to develop the participants' skills so that they will be better prepared to have a positive impact on the future of Greater Bridgeport.

About Leadership Greater Bridgeport, an affiliate of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council

Founded in 1990, Leadership Greater Bridgeport was envisioned to be a professional development program designed to help the next generation of leaders understand the complex issues that are driving the economic and social challenges facing Connecticut's largest city and its surrounding neighbors. During the 10-month curriculum, participants hear from the leaders who are driving change in the region and are taken behind the scenes to experience first hand many venues that are off-limits to the general public.

In addition to the intensive classroom program, participants partner with local nonprofits to complete community projects. Recent projects have included the adoption of a corporate suite at the Bridgeport Bluefish stadium, the development of the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" fundraiser for the Center for Family Justice, and the redesign and renovation of the lobby and reception area at Hall Neighborhood House.

Sponsors of this inaugural event include: Aquarion Company; Pullman & Comley, LLC; Fuss & O'Neill, Inc.; BL Companies; Santa Energy Corporation; Brody Wilkinson PC; University of Bridgeport; People's United Bank; Whiting-Turner, and United Illuminating/Southern Connecticut Gas.

This event is open to LGB alumni and anyone interested in learning more about LGB. 5 p.m. - VIP alumni reception; 6 p.m. - general admission. $50 Bridgeport Regional Business Council members and LGB alumni; $65 general admission. The event will be held at the University of Bridgeport, Arnold Bernhard Arts & Humanities Center, Tower Room, 84 Iranistan Avenue, Bridgeport. Reservations are required. To register, visit www.BRBC.org.