The Business Report is pleased to announce The Top 50 Business Leaders of Connecticut for 2022. In terms of per capita income, Connecticut is the richest state in the country. Finance, insurance, and real estate are among the largest industries in Connecticut followed by the community business and personal service industries including private health care, engineering and law firms, computer and data processing services, and tourism. This year’s awardees are excelling in their areas of expertise, providing opportunities and growth for others along the way.
Among this year’s awardees are Karl Murphy, Principal and Chief Commercial Officer of HEI Hotels & Resorts, who is responsible for the strategy and execution of sales, revenue management, and marketing for the company; Steven Culmone, Chief Executive Officer and President of Ashcroft, whose industry knowledge, expertise, and personal commitment to standards of care and excellence have positioned the company to continuously exceed expectations; and Jay Stolfi, President of Rose Mill Co, who has spent over 20 years dedicated to providing the world with custom processed borates, chemicals, mineral-based products, and sub-contracting/toll manufacturing services.
This year’s awardees span across all industries but remain equally dedicated to the individuals and markets they serve. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Business Leaders of Connecticut for 2022.
1. Shep and Ian Murray
Co-Founders, Vineyard Vines
Shep and Ian Murray are the Co-Founders of Vineyard Vines. With more than 2,800 employees, Vineyard Vines makes clothing that's classic but relaxed, preppy but not fussy. The company avoids edgy trends, celebrity models and fashion weeks. For the past 20 years, the brothers have built a business that impresses individuals across the country. Founded in 1998, the company now has nearly 100 stores and is valued at nearly $1 billion. Even more impressive, the Murrays have managed to scale while maintaining 100% ownership of the company. Shep earned an undergraduate degree from Skidmore College and Ian graduated from Lafayette College with an undergraduate degree in English.
2. Shawn Nelson
Founder & CEO, Lovesac
Shawn Nelson founded Lovesac in 1998 and is currently serving as Chief Executive Officer of the company and as a member of the Board of Directors. Nelson is the lead designer of the company's patented products and leads sourcing, creative, design, public relations, investor relations, and culture. Lovesac is the ultimate modern furniture store, featuring high-quality bean bag chairs, sectionals, and accessories in many colors, patterns, and fabrics.
In 2005, Nelson won Richard Branson's "The Rebel Billionaire" on Fox and continues to participate in ongoing TV appearances. He earned a master’s degree in strategic design and management and is a graduate-level instructor at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City.
3. Karl Murphy
Principal & Chief Commercial Officer, HEI Hotels & Resorts
Karl Murphy is a Principal and Chief Commercial Officer for HEI Hotels & Resorts. He first joined the company in 2010 as a corporate VP of sales, marketing, revenue, and operational development. Founded in 1985, HEI Hotels & Resorts is one of the nation’s leading privately held hotel investment and third-party management companies. Their operating platform is built exclusively for institutional hotel assets in key urban, super-suburban, and resort locations. Murphy has been instrumental in various parts of the organization previously serving as chief sales officer and chief revenue officer.
Prior to joining HEI Hotels & Resorts, Murphy was the director of sales and marketing for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. He first got his start at The Body Shop in London where he served in retail brand marketing and communications.
4. Jennifer Tombaugh
Jennifer Tombaugh is the President of Tauck, the U.S. based tour operator serving all seven continents with more than 150 guided travel experiences and events for culturally curious travelers on land, small ship, and river cruises. As a family-owned travel company for over 97 years, its values and vision remain to do the right thing and deliver more than what's expected. With journeys across 7 continents, in over 100 destinations and to 70+ countries, they keep moving forward to find new ways to enhance travel experiences that will be memorable for a lifetime.
Previously, Tombaugh was a group account director at Leo Burnett and before that an associate brand manager of Fresca and Diet Sprite at The Coca-Cola Company. Tombaugh graduated from Harvard University with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in English and American literature.
5. Steven Culmone
CEO & President, Ashcroft
Steven Culmone is the CEO and President of Ashcroft. He was appointed to these roles in 2011 following a 20-year track record of leadership within the company. Since 1852, Ashcroft has been the pioneer of pressure and temperature instrumentation and continues to provide innovative solutions. Since 1990, Culmone has served in various management positions, becoming an executive board member in 2000 as SVP of global operations. His industry knowledge, expertise, and personal commitment to standards of care and excellence have positioned the company to continuously exceed customer expectations.
Culmone began his career at C.Cowles in 1983 where he served for nearly seven years as a quality manager and VP of operations. He earned his MBA from Quinnipiac University, an undergraduate degree in business management from Fairfield University, and has a Six Sigma Black Belt.
6. Milt Stretton
President & COO, Sonalysts
Milt Stretton is the President and COO of Sonalysts. His first twenty years at Sonalysts have been spent at the forefront of combat and training systems research, design, and development. He has worked extensively with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Office of Naval Research, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He has become widely published in training systems and methodologies, as well as, human systems integration and systems engineering. Stretton became a Vice President of the corporation in 1996, establishing and running successful operations in Dahlgren and Arlington, VA. In 2009, Stretton returned to Waterford, CT as the president and chief operating officer
Stretton graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981, entering the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer and Nuclear Power Engineer. Upon graduation and completion of nuclear and surface warfare training, Stretton served in USS NIMITZ (CVN-68), USS SCOTT (DDG-995), and USS MILLER (FF-1091) in nuclear engineering, combat systems and operations. He also served as a nuclear power instructor, teaching electronics and reactor plant operations prior to joining Sonalysts in 1989 as a senior analyst.
7. John Eucalitto
CEO, Wayback Burgers
John Eucalitto is the Chief Executive Officer of Wayback Burgers. Currently operating in 34 states, Wayback Burgers’ potential has been demonstrated by its loyal following. Wayback, a Connecticut-based fast-casual brand known for cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes, recently reached over 500+ contracted locations with 155+ currently operating and new restaurants available worldwide. In the past years, Eucalitto has worked hard to implement innovative strategies that include a new in-store design and a mobile food cart, all while continuing to support franchisees with an experienced leadership team and a proven model. Eucalitto graduated from Fordham University's School of Business in 1985.
8. Paul Daversa
Founder & CEO, Daversa
Paul Daversa is the Founder & CEO of Daversa Partners, a technology’s go-to specialty firm that builds the executive teams for growth stage and venture-backed companies. Their global footprint gives high-performance teams visibility into the entirety of the market. They are dedicated to developing meaningful relationships with entrepreneurs, executives, and investors across consumer and enterprise businesses. They believed that the most successful companies achieve major breakthroughs by acquiring extraordinary talent. Daversa has 31 years of experience. He began his career in 1991. Daversa graduated from Adelphi University.
9. David Gelles
David Gelles began his professional career 41 years ago. Today, he is the President of NEFCO, a family-owned and operated construction supply company providing a broad range of products and services to a large variety of professional contractors. With 15 locations along the East Coast, NEFCO provides localized, contractor-centric services including extensive industry expertise, large local inventories, fast dependable jobsite delivery, turnkey engineering services, and specialty fabrication and assembly of construction materials. They are the manufacturer’s voice, employees are their family, and they are the contractor’s most trusted partner. When it comes to its suppliers, employees, or customers, they are always there when they need them. Gelles is a graduate of Syracuse University.
10. Matt Atwater
Founder & CEO, Tsunami Tsolutions
Matt Atwater is the Founder & CEO of Tsunami Tsolutions. He founded the company in 2003. Tsunami Tsolutions is a multifaceted business solutions company. Their team of industry and information technology specialists have the experience and skills necessary to deliver maintenance programs and engineering support, IT solutions, complex process outsourcing and production support for business systems in aerospace and defense. They focus on organization’s business requirements, goals, and objectives to ensure that the strategies they develop together enable future business needs. They engage with business leaders and provide value added recommendations to address business process and systems specifications. They enable the change management process to achieve high user adoption rates through strategies supported by a broad team of solution architects, engineers, trainers, and technical experts.
11. Doug Rose
President, Aero Gear
Doug Rose is the President of Aero Gear. Aero Gear was founded in 1982 as a company that would provide solutions-focused expertise in the design, engineering and manufacturing of gears and gearbox assemblies for the global aerospace industry. Their goal is to utilize knowledge-based expertise to practical benefit, so as masters of their trade they are able to offer superior product development and support service, whether for gearbox assemblies or individual gears. The overall majority of its lean flow processing is conducted within its modern climate controlled 69,000 sq ft facility, including unique gear processing capabilities such as carburized and hardened heat treatment, superfinishing, balancing, and non-destructive testing. Rose has 45 years of experience. He began his career in 1977.
Before joining Aero Gear, Rose worked in sales at Windsor Manufacturing and before that he was a production controller at Windsor Airmotive. Earlier in his career he worked with Hayward Tyler Pump as a manufacturing engineer. Rose graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in mechanical engineering.
12. Jay Stolfi
President, Rose Mill Co
Jay Stolfi began his professional career 36 years ago. Today, he is the President of Rose Mill, a certified manufacturer operating a 20,000 sq ft facility in Connecticut. They process boric acid, borax, specialty borates, molybdenum disulfide, minerals, and mineral-based/inorganic chemicals. Many of their products are more environmentally friendly than alternative products. Rose Mill offers custom toll processing, including pulverizing/particle reduction, mixing, bagging, screening, and packaging.
Stolfi first got his start in 1986 as a sales engineer at Metals & Fabrication. He graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Connecticut.
13. Paul Farmer
President, CSC Sugar
Paul Farmer began his professional career 37 years ago. Today, he is the President of CSC Sugar. CSC Sugar is committed to bringing positive changes to the sugar industry, producing the highest quality liquid sugar and invert syrup products available. Their innovations are meeting the changing demands of today's new products and processes. CSC Sugar offers their customers reduced environmental impact, more customized products, healthier alternatives, all at a competitive price. CSC Sugar origins date back to 1993 when the Commodity Specialists Company was formed. Since its inception, CSC Sugar has been a significant supplier to the country’s raw sugar refineries as well as one of the largest importers and exporters of refined sugar to and from North America.
Farmer first got his start in 1985 as a trader at Phibro. From there, he went on to The Pillsbury Company, before eventually rising to become a manager of sugar trading at CSC Sugar.
14. Andrzej Dulnik
Co-Founder, Polamer Precision
Andrzej Dulnik is the Co-Founder of Polamer Precision, a world-class contract aerospace manufacturing firm that produces high quality engine and airframe components for delivery to their customers on an on-time basis. They strive to maintain continual improvement in the work they do in order to achieve excellence in internal and external customer satisfaction. Dulnik has 25 years of experience. He began his career in 1997. Dulnik graduated from Central Connecticut State University with an undergraduate degree in management information systems.
15. Jim Hennessey
President, The Music People!
Jim Hennessey is the President of The Music People! In 1979 he created The Music People! Inc. in Connecticut as a supplier of quality accessories to the music industry. Today, the company has grown to include audio equipment, stands, cases, tech equipment, Bluetooth technology, and many other music accessories. Hennessey is proud to work with his two children, Sharon and John, at the company. TMP currently employs 68 people and sells over 600 different products in 54 countries worldwide.
Prior to founding The Music People!, Hennessey worked for Kaman Aerospace as a draftsman in the engineering department. He later worked for Ovation where hs was the director of advertising, producing catalogs, consumer advertising, and trade ads to build Ovation's new image. Hennessey graduated from the University of Hartford.
16. Keith Lemnios
CEO, Sun Coffee Roasters
Keith Lemnios began his professional career 37 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Sun Coffee Roasters. Sun Coffee Roasters is focused on bringing premium sustainable fair-trade coffee to colleges and universities around the country while fostering a higher quality of life for coffee farmers and their families. They provide students with a chance to take part in the sustainable fair trade coffee movement either by signing a petition or by becoming a student ambassador and leading a university chapter. Students can help their school’s effort to be environmentally and socially responsible by working with administration to get Sun Coffee Roasters coffee available on campus.
In 1985, Lemnios served as a VP at EF Hutton. From there, he went on to Paine Webber, before eventually rising to become the president of Omar Coffee Company, his most recent position prior to joining Sun Coffee Roasters. Lemnios graduated from the University of Connecticut with an undergraduate degree in finance.
17. David Cremin
President, Straton Industries
David Cremin is the President of Straton Industries, is a certified contract manufacturer of molds, tools, dies and stampings. The company serves industries including aerospace, automotive, consumer, electronic, energy, medical, military, and robotics. Straton provides on-site installation and repair for the energy industry, gas and steam turbines and heat shields. They specialize in aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, high nickel/high chrome alloys. Cremin has 40 years in the machinery manufacturing industry. He began his career in 1982.
Cremin is a business development professional with an undergraduate degree focused in business and managerial economics from University of Bridgeport.
18. Reece McDonnell
CEO & Owner, WorldCare Pet Transport
Reece McDonnell began his professional career 23 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer and Owner of WorldCare Pet Transport. WorldCare Pet Transport (WCPT) provides the finest worldwide pet relocation services for individuals moving nationwide or internationally. They have been ranked in the 97% quartile for superior service by their partners and are very passionate about the care and welfare of any pet they move. WCPT goes to great lengths to keep their customers informed every step of the way and provides complete door-to-door service for pets at competitive prices. Safety, compassion, and kindness are their mission. McDonnell graduated from Boston University with an MBA and an undergraduate degree.
19. Jeffrey Siegel
Jeffrey Siegel is the President of Mica. Mica was founded to bring sustainability to the converting industry. Their products are water-based, made with sustainably sourced raw materials whenever possible, and can be used in applications that are reusable, recyclable, repulpable, and compostable. They continuously work to reduce their impact on the environment and give back to the communities they serve. They envision a future where Mica is carbon neutral, and that wherever their activities have an environmental impact, their footprint is minimal. They choose to take a proactive approach to sustainability and stand ready to work with their customers and partners to make a difference. Siegel has 43 years of experience. He began his career in 1979.
Before joining Mica, Siegel was a branch manager at United States Trust Company and before that, a manager and instructor at Longshore Sailing School. Siegel graduated with a degree in communications management from Ithaca College.
20. David Lionetti
Owner & President, Shoreline Pools
David Lionetti is the Owner and President of Shoreline Pools. He first joined the company in 1977 as a construction worker. Shoreline Pools is a full-service, family-owned swimming pool company based in Stamford. For 50 years, Shoreline has delivered custom in-ground swimming pools with exceptional attention to service and craftsmanship. The experienced team at Shoreline masterfully combines innovative design with the latest advancements in swimming pool technology and safety. Whether building a new swimming pool, servicing a current pool or restoring an older one, Shoreline Pools is dedicated to ensuring expectations are met with meticulous care and precision. Lionetti earned a degree in marketing from the University of Dayton.
21. Allie Schieffelin
CEO & President, The Lighting Quotient
Allie Schieffelin began her professional career 36 years ago. Today, she is the CEO & President of The Lighting Quotient. The Lighting Quotient designs, engineers, and manufactures advanced luminaires for architects, lighting designers, interiors experts, and the entire professional lighting community. From simple utilitarian structures to grand architectural masterpieces, they combine serious engineering performance with elegant artistic design. Founded by architectural lighting pioneer, Sylvan R. Shemitz, the lighting quotient today is an exciting new vision of a venerable heritage. Their rich history of innovation continues to drive inventive design and uncompromising quality, but their minds are focused fully on today’s challenges and tomorrow’s science, adapting existing technologies and inventing new ones for the ever-changing needs of today’s lighting professionals.
In 1986 Schieffelin served as a principal at Morgan Stanley. Schieffelin graduated from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management with a master’s degree in marketing and finance and from Boston College with an undergraduate degree in communications.
22. Luciano Morra
Founder & Owner, PeriShip
Luciano Morra began his professional career 34 years ago. Today, he is the Founder and Owner of PeriShip. PeriShip helps shippers deliver a personalized customer service experience, and proactively anticipate and handle potential transit issues. The company’s value-add to its customers is to provide end-to-end proactive management of a shipment, actively monitoring each shipment within the transit system, to include flight status, weather updates, local traffic information, and more.
Morra first got his start in 1988 as a manager at FedEx. From there, he went on to Freshnex as a manager. Morra graduated from the University of Naples in Italy.
23. Aldin Beslagic
General Manager & Founder, Bestlogic Staffing
Aldin Beslagic began his professional career 15 years ago. Today, he is the General Manager and Founder of Bestlogic Staffing. Bestlogic Staffing is one of the top full-service staffing and recruiting firms in the Northeast and specializes in contract, direct hire, and executive search. With a valuable blend of functional, industry, and recruiting experience, their award-winning team has a proven track record of delivering exceptional talent acquisition solutions.
Beslagic first got his start in 2007 as a recruiter at Aerotek. From there, he went on to QuEST Global, before eventually founding ResumeForYou.com, his most recent venture prior to founding Bestlogic Staffing. Beslagic graduated from Quinnipiac University with an MS in accounting, an MBA, and an undergraduate degree in finance and international business.
24. William Witecki
Chief Operating Officer, ProFlow
William Witecki is the Chief Operating Officer of ProFlow. He first joined the company in 1990 as engineer. ProFlow began in 1922 as a supplier of equipment to local companies. After over eighty years in business, it has grown from a small regional pump/equipment supplier to a global supplier of skid mounted process equipment to the pulp & paper, chemical, pharmaceutical and power industries. ProFlow has earned a reputation for high quality work, attention to detail, and excellent after sales support. Their staff includes mechanical and electrical engineers, programmers, welders, panel builders and field service technicians. Today ProFlow can supply a wide range of process solutions, from simple pump and filter skids to completely automated process systems for a wide range of applications.
Previously, Witecki was a product manager at Honeywell Life Safety. Witecki earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of New Haven.
25. LJ Blaiotta
CEO, Columbia Elevator Products
LJ Blaiotta is the Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Elevator Products. Family owned and operated since 1965, Columbia Elevator is a one-stop-shop for elevator cabs, entrances, and door systems serving the commercial, LULA and residential segments of the North American elevator industry. The company manufactures both in-stock and custom solutions all made in the USA, accommodating small- and high-volume orders. In response to COVID-19, Columbia recently introduced Sani-Cab, a patent-pending air cleaning solution to flood each passenger’s breathing zone with clean air in elevator cabs.
Blaiotta graduated from Pace University - Lubin School of Business with an MBA in strategic planning and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering.
26. Steve Frost
President, Stamford Tent & Event Services
Steve Frost is the President of Stamford Tent & Event Services. He first joined the company in 1967 and has spent the past 55 years committed to the company. Stamford Tent & Event Services is the oldest and largest tent rental and event services company in the tri-state area. They are a full-service rental company that provides products and services to the special events market, as well as private clientele and homeowners. They offer a wide range of equipment and services to their customers including tents, canopies, dance floors, staging, platforms, lighting and décor, heating and air conditioning, carpeting, power generation, and more. Frost earned an undergraduate degree in business management from Norwalk Community College.
27. Paul Barbara
CEO, Waste Tech Family Refuse
Paul Barbara is the Chief Executive Officer of Waste Tech Family Refuse. He first joined the company in 1995. Waste Tech Family Refuse is a locally owned, family operated refuse and recycling company. Waste Tech Family Refuse is a leading provider of dumpster rentals throughout the State of Connecticut. Their mission is quite simple, to provide great service at a competitive price. Barbara earned an undergraduate degree in business administration, management, and operations from Southern Connecticut State University.
28. Randy Salvatore
Founder & CEO, RMS Companies
Randy Salvatore is the Founder and CEO of RMS Companies. RMS has established itself as one of the fastest growing real estate companies in the region, with a successful track record in redefining the lifestyle landscape for residential communities, reinvigorating commercial construction and raising the bar in hotel design and operation. Since the inception of a one-man real estate firm in 1996, Salvatore has developed RMS into a vertically integrated building, development, and management company with a diverse portfolio of residential, commercial and hospitality properties. As a lifelong entrepreneur, Salvatore built his company and legacy as an astute hands-on developer of premier properties on a solid foundation of integrity and expertise. Under his leadership, RMS has been recognized with numerous industry and community awards.
Previously, Salvatore was an associate at Grubb & Ellis and before that an associate at William Pitt Commercial Real Estate. Earlier in his career he worked with Coopers & Lybrand as an associate. Salvatore graduated with a degree in economics from The Wharton School.
29. David Parmelee
President, WEPCO PLASTICS
David Parmelee is the President of WEPCO PLASTICS. He first joined the company nearly 20 years ago as a VP of mold making. WEPCO’s goal is to be New England’s premier prototype injection molder. They accomplish this by offering extensive knowledge and experience in developing new product specifications; manufacturing high quality precision molds and molding prototypes; and short-run production. WEPCO PLASTICS was established in 1985 and has grown steadily to over forty employees. They now own a modern 10,000 sq ft facility. They attribute this growth and planned future growth to their attention to detail and quality, as well as customer satisfaction by diligently following specifications, meeting delivery dates, and offering competitive prices.
Before joining Wepco Plastics, Parmelee was a design engineer at SBC DataComm. He earned an undergraduate degree in information system science from Salve Regina University.
30. Jeff Aiosa
Owner & President, Carriage House Mercedes-Benz of New London
Jeff Aiosa is the Owner and President of Carriage House Mercedes-Benz of New London. Carriage House Mercedes-Benz of New London is a family-owned dealership that has proudly served the community since 1989 and continues to bring the newest selection of Mercedes-Benz vehicles to the region. The dealership has over 200 Mercedes-Benz models for every budget and style, including the C-Class, E-Class, A-Class, CLS, G-Class, Sprinter vans and many more. In addition to their beautiful new inventory, they also have a variety of quality pre-owned vehicles. Over the years they have built a reputation for their quality products and service.
Previously, Aiosa was a manager at Mercedes Benz of N.A. Aiosa earned a degree in automotive engineering technology from Denver Automotive & Diesel College.
31. Michael Taylor
President & CEO, Vita Nuova
Michael Taylor is the President and CEO of Vita Nuova. His career has focused on the redevelopment of complex sites and revitalization of distressed communities for almost 20 years. Vita Nuova, now working nationally and when invited internationally, is active in many communities across the country. Their specialty is helping make things happen where others fear to tread. Taylor has a broad background in environmental science, planning, real estate, stakeholder engagement, and sustainability. He seeks to build teams and create partnerships where they provide exactly what the client is looking for. They seek to find creative solutions to tough problems and build long-lasting relationships with clients and work to help them achieve their objectives.
32. Salvatore Carrabba
Founder & President, Salamander Designs
Salvatore Carrabba began his professional career 30 years ago. Today, he is the Founder and President of Salamander Designs. Headquartered in Hartford, Salamander has a 25+ year history providing flexible, customizable furniture that offers a wide variety of choice in materials, finishes, colors, fabrics, and performance options. They integrate customization throughout their production line, allowing anyone to take an active part in designing furniture that fits their needs. Carrabba graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in business and sculpture.
33. Carmine Esposito
CEO, National Waste Associates
Carmine Esposito began her professional career 36 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Executive Officer of National Waste Associates. National Waste Associates is a privately-owned, fourth generation managed services company. They specialize in helping organizations with 50 to 5,000 locations nationwide save time, money, and hassles through consolidated waste and recycling management.
Esposito first got his start in 1986 as a commercial and industrial loan analyst at Bank of America, formerly Connecticut National Bank. Esposito graduated with a degree in finance from Providence College.
34. James Lawrence
Founder, Marine Money
James Lawrence began his professional career 34 years ago. Today, he is the Founder of Marine Money. Marine Money is the premier provider of maritime finance transactional information and maritime company analysis. Relied upon by shipowners, financiers, investors, ship managers, brokers, lawyers, and accountants for over 35 years, Marine Money has bridged the gap between shipowners and the international capital markets. Their publications, forums, books, and advisory services are driven by a set of common goals: to make and save their clients money and to provide them with access to investment opportunities and capital. Lawrence graduated from Middlebury College and from Milton Academy.
35. John Augustyn
President, Pyramid Time
John Augustyn began his professional career 43 years ago. Today, he is the President of Pyramid Time. Pyramid Time Systems empowers organizations worldwide with easy-to-use and intuitive timekeeping products designed to optimize productivity and efficiency. All of their products help manage workforces, streamline processes, and minimize operating costs in any environment or industry.
Augustyn first got his start in 1979 as a project engineer at Hamilton Standard. From there, he went on to Stanadyne, before eventually rising to become a VP of operations at TI Automotive, his most recent position prior to joining Pyramid Time. Augustyn graduated from the University of Hartford with an MBA in business and from the University of Connecticut with an undergraduate degree in engineering.
36. Ed Gilchrest
President & Owner, Gyre9
Ed Gilchrest is the President and Owner of Gyre9. Gyre9 is a full-service product development firm and contract manufacturer. Their team of industrial designers, engineers, and production staff welcome the toughest of challenges.
Before joining GYRE9, Gilchrest was the founder and chief engineering officer at FORGE Design & Engineering and before that a owner at Nexus Design LLC. Earlier in his career he worked with Hamilton Sundstrand as a project manager. Gilchrest graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an MBA in management and an undergraduate degree in electrical and electronics engineering.
37. John Yaylagul
Owner & Partner, Velocity Urgent Care
John Yaylagul began his professional career 16 years ago. Today, he is the Owner and Partner of Velocity Urgent Care. Velocity Urgent Care provides compassionate and affordable healthcare to patients in need of urgent care services. They are a diverse company with many unique services that most others do not. Their goal is to enhance a patient's current health care program by offering easy access and prompt service.
Yaylagul first got his start in 2006 as an attending physician at the University of Connecticut. He graduated from the University of New England with a DO in osteopathic medicine and osteopathy and from Fairfield University with an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry.
38. Yelena Shafeyeva
President, Begell House
Yelena Shafeyeva is the President of Begell House, a distinguished STEM publisher of full-text peer-reviewed journals, databases, references, eBooks, conference proceedings, and multimedia products. These titles provide the latest research data across a broad spectrum of engineering and biomedical sciences and applied works, with a strong focus on thermal and fluids sciences. Many Begell House journals are indexed by Thomson Reuters with high impact factors. All titles and products are hosted on their multimedia platform, the Begell Digital Portal, covering 35 years of scientific data for academic and research institutions, and industries. Begell House offices are located in New York, NY and Danbury, CT. Shafeyeva has 27 years of experience. She began her career in 1995.
39. Michael Nesta
President & CEO, Energy Beam Sciences Inc. & LabPulse® Medical
Michael Nesta began his professional career 22 years ago. Today, he is the President and CEO of Energy Beam Sciences. At Energy Beam Sciences and LabPulse® Medical, their mission is not simply to make money. It is to prosper by providing truly important products that have a profound effect on people’s lives. Products like micro-manufactured components for electron microscopes that are used in groundbreaking scientific research, electron beam welding sources that join jet engine rotor parts to turn safely at 15,000 RPM, and laboratory equipment that speeds up cancer diagnostics, so patients can know if they're sick and begin treatment in days instead of weeks. With everything they do, they work toward their vision of making the world a little better place.
Previously, Nesta served as the general manager of the company. He graduated from Central Connecticut State University with an undergraduate degree in business and marketing and from New England Technical Institute with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering.
40. Michael Norman
Michael Norman began his professional career 30 years ago. Today, he is the President of Servotech. Servotech is an America's premier servo motor repair service company. Founded in 2004, they have earned a reputation for quality service, customer satisfaction and rapid response. They typically repair and deliver servo motors within five days of receipt, and also offer rush repairs with 48-hour turnarounds. Servotech also provides calibration, repair, and reconfiguration services for array of feedback devices including encoders, resolvers, tachometers and sensors. Their web site includes an online store where customers can purchase direct replacement encoders. Since its founding, they have continued to grow and expand its staff, facility, and capabilities.
Norman previously owned Accuwind. He graduated from Greater New Haven with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering.
41. John Gotch
President, Scan Tool & Mold
John Gotch is the President of Scan Tool & Mold. He first joined the company in 1993 as a design engineer. Scan Tool & Mold, Inc. has been serving the plastics industry for more than 30 years. Since its inception in 1971, the company has been founded on the principles of integrity, quality, workmanship, and customer value. Today, their customers from the medical, dental, automotive, electronic, and cosmetic industries enjoy their single source solutions for their injection molding and plastic mold fabrication requirements, from concept to completion. Scan Tool is proud to have become an industry leader with over 32,000 sq ft of modern machine tool equipment and state-of-the-art manufacturing technology.
Previously, Gotch was a lab technician at American Cyanamid Metal Coated Fibers. Gotch earned an undergraduate degree in industrial technology plastics from Central Connecticut State University.
42. Guy Mannino
Guy Mannino is the Chief Executive Officer of Verdek. He first joined the company in 2008. Verdek is focused on green technologies. They promote Galileo CNG fueling stations and LNG Mini Plants and have an extensive range of EV charging stations including Chargepoint, Aerovironment, Schneider, Efacec, EvoCharge. Their BioGas treatment separates methane and CO2 from the gas generated by bio-digesters. Verdek always offers the most sophisticated technology, and their engineers have the best solution for any requirements.
Previously, Mannino was a president and CEO for North America at Pirelli Tyres and before that, a sales manager at Pirelli Diversified Product Division. Mannino earned an MBA in e-business from the University of Phoenix and an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Sapienza Università di Roma.
43. Maryann Donovan
President & Owner, Impact Staffing Solutions
A staffing industry leader, Maryann Donovan understands talent management. She founded Impact Personnel, Inc. when she recognized the need for a staffing agency that offered companies integrity, continuity and an owner who knew every aspect of the business. Impact Personnel places permanent, temporary, and contract-to-hire staff across the country and specializes in marketing, HR, sales, and office administration.
Donovan is known for her strong commitment to service and ethics and volunteers her time with many organizations. She has been on the board of directors for Dress for Success Mid-Fairfield County and currently serves on the board of Operation Hope in Fairfield, CT. She is Director of Membership for Southern CT SHRM and recently finished serving as the chair of the career committee for the Gettysburg College Parents Board. She was a finalist for the 2013 Enterprising Women of the Year Award and won a 2015 Brava Award from SmartCEO for being one of NY's top women business leaders.
44. Connie Obarowski
Vice President, The Biondo Group
Connie Obarowski is the Vice President of The Biondo Group. She first joined the company in 1976 as client contact. The Biondo Group are experienced packaging designers with an outstanding record of creating the world’s freshest, most memorable, iconic brand identities and product packages for consumer brands that must clearly differentiate in a crowded, global, retail environment. For more than 50 years The Biondo Group has worked in food, beverage, health & beauty, and OTC categories. Previously, Obarowski was a production assistant at Richard Solay.
45. Efraim Eckhaus
Founder, Whitehaus Collection
Efraim Eckhaus is the Founder of Whitehaus Collection. He founded the company in 1972. Whitehaus Collection has been raising the bar in the decorative arena for over a decade by providing high-end decorative plumbing fixtures that range in design from modern to eastern influenced to traditional. Their products are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are also finely crafted to withstand the test of time, children, guests, and other forces. Whitehaus Collection is the source for original designs and imports of quality decorative plumbing fixtures to be found in the kitchen and bath. From traditional to contemporary design, they bring a broad selection of styles and finishes for sinks, faucets, and accessories.
In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Eckhaus has designed many plumbing products and is the owner of multiple patents. He has published two books on the Holocaust, Nina's Story Through Her Eyes and Revealing the Untold Truth: The Second Generation.
46. Kevin Vecchiarelli
CEO, Yankee Casting
Kevin Vecchiarelli is the Chief Executive Officer of Yankee Casting. He first joined the company in 2002 as vice president of engineering. Yankee Casting began as a 2-person shop founded on a passion for the foundry industry. Through continuous improvement and innovation Yankee Casting has evolved into a premier metal casting production facility proudly serving some of the nation’s most demanding industries including aerospace, automotive, maritime, general manufacturing, and more. While Yankee Casting has grown substantially since its inception, one thing that has remained constant is its dedication to customer satisfaction. Although there are great similarities from one metal casting to the next, how they engineer the casting experience for each customer’s unique part is the difference that defines Yankee Casting. Vecchiarelli earned a graduate degree in mechanical engineering from Western New England University.
47. Gary Peck
President & CEO, North American Theatrix
Gary Peck is the President and CEO of North American Theatrix. He founded NAT in 1994. He has over thirty years’ experience in sound reinforcement and installations including sound design for Broadway productions and engineering for national acts.
Prior to NAT, Peck formed Audio Technologies, a company dedicated to sound reinforcement and custom speaker design. Also owned and operated by Peck are Tek Electrix, a union electrical company, and S.Q. Miles General Contracting, a commercial construction business. Peck graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with an undergraduate degree in aquatic biology, limnology, and environmental science.
48. Sam Tuttle
Vice President, DrinkCaffeine
Sam Tuttle is the Vice President of DrinkCaffeine. He first joined the company in 2010. DrinkCaffeine is a full-service interactive Agency located in New Haven, Connecticut, offering a wide range of services including website design, custom application development, interactive marketing (SEO, SEM, Email & Social) and analytics. Founded in 1999, the company is proud of its significant experience with Fortune 500 clients. Previously, Tuttle was a director of client service at Mascola Advertising. He graduated from Quinnipiac University - School of Business.
49. Michael Lodato
President & Owner, Good Directions
Michael Lodato is the President and Owner of Good Directions. Founded in 1982, Good Directions provides beautiful products to homeowners who want to raise the experience of outdoor living to an art form. Good Directions designs and manufactures home and garden accents for enhancing the experience of outdoor living, including weathervanes, cupolas, bird feeders, fire pits, and rain chains. They work closely with their manufacturers and with local artisans to ensure a high-quality product and an excellent consumer experience. They strive to provide innovative new products and to help their retailers grow as the outdoor industry is booming. Lodato has 30 years of experience. He began his career in 1992.
50. Mary Fitzgerald
President & CEO, Acme Wire Products
Mary Fitzgerald is the President & CEO of Acme Wire Products. She first joined the company in 1985. Acme Wire Products is a custom fabricator of steel and stainless-steel wire and metal components. Their capabilities include cutting, forming, bending, welding, assembly, and finishing. Acme Wire Products capabilities focus on 3D assemblies of superior weld integrity with close tolerance dimensional repeatability. Fitzgerald earned an MBA in marketing from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an undergraduate degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross.