Bakalar named director of economic, community development

First Selectman Tim Herbst announced Monday that Rina Bakalar would be appointed Trumbull’s Economic and Community Development Director.  

Bakalar comes to Trumbull after a distinguished 25 year career in economic and community development, workforce development, government administration, grants and public policy.  

The first selectman said that for these reasons, Bakalar was suited to take the helm of the department.  

In addition to serving as the town’s chief economic development officer, Bakalar will oversee all permitting departments that include the Fire Marshal’s office as well as the planning and zoning, building and health departments.  

“Rina has a long track record of positive results,” Herbst said. “She has an expertise in accessing grants and funding to support projects in communities.

“She has a tremendous work ethic and exudes positive energy, coupled with a clear vision,” the first selectman added. “She knows how to make things happen and gets things done. This can do attitude, coupled with Rina’s diverse background and proven track record make her the ideal choice to lead us forward.”  

In her introductory message to the town, Bakalar acknowledged that Trumbull is “a well-run town with tremendous potential.”

“I look forward to working with developers, businesses, residents and elected officials to model how communities can balance quality of life with smart development in order to be vibrant, relevant and attractive for the future,” she added. “I look forward to working with First Selectman Herbst and his administration in continuing to grow Trumbull’s economic base and Grand List.  “The growth that Trumbull has experienced these last six years has been nothing short of incredible and it is critical that we keep growing Trumbull’s economy and creating jobs,” Bakalar added. “This improves Trumbull’s quality of life and continues to maintain its status as a community of choice here in Connecticut.”

In the mid 1990’s, Bakalar founded Career Resources, Inc., a premier workforce development organization in the region.  

Thereafter, she was the Director of Central Grants for the City of Bridgeport, where she also served as the Park City’s federal liaison.  

Bakalar also worked statewide for the Community Economic Development Fund supporting small business growth and has held several high profile positions, having previously served as executive director of Connecticut’s Office of Workforce Competitiveness.  

Previously, Bakalar was District Director for United States Congressman Christopher Shays.  Bakalar recently served as the economic development transition team co-chair for Mayor Joseph P. Ganim in Bridgeport.

Bakalar resides in Shelton and has one daughter Johnna, who is attending the University of Miami.