From city Communications Director Av Harris:
Mayor Joe Ganim today announced the appointment of Edward P. Lavernoich as interim director of the Bridgeport Officer of Planning and Economic Development (OPED). Lavernoich takes over the position from David Kooris, who is departing to take a position with the State of Connecticut after four years with the city. Lavernoich is taking a leave from his position as President of the Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation (BEDCO) to take over as interim director of Bridgeport OPED.
“I am very happy that Ed was available to serve in this critical capacity for the growth of the city of Bridgeport on an interim basis,” said Mayor Ganim. “At the same time, I am also grateful for the dedication and vision of David Kooris, who was also able to make some amazing things happen in his relatively short time with us. We are very glad that in his new capacity David will still be working closely with us to help bring the south end of Bridgeport to its full potential. As interim OPED Director, Ed Lavernoich is fantastically suited to step into the role and move forward on several key economic development projects. He is both seasoned and visionary and we have history of working together on some tremendous accomplishments for Bridgeport.”
Lavernoich said, “I am happy to be in a position to help Bridgeport move forward and become a place of innovation, a place of new ideas, and a place that people talk about in a visionary way, which is so important for the future of this great city. I thank the mayor for this opportunity and I am very happy to work again with people with whom I have had such a great relationship over the years. What David Kooris has done here in his short period of time is really nothing short of extraordinary. I am eager to continue this legacy and get started again!”
Outgoing OPED Director David Kooris, who is leaving his position to manage a federal coastal resiliency grant of $54 million for the State of Connecticut, said, “I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to work with and for the city of Bridgeport, a place where I was born and raised. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to give back to this community to a small degree. Bridgeport has a team here that is really dedicated to the city and dedicated to the future of our community. In my new capacity I look forward to working with the city to help develop the south end of Bridgeport and I look forward to working with Mayor Ganim, Ed and his team in that role.”
Edward Lavernoich in years past was a 26 year employee of Bridgeport OPED, promoted five times under four different Mayoral administrations. He served as Interim Director of OPED on two separate occasions during Mayoral administration transitions, including under Mayor Ganim’s previous administration. Lavernoich also served as the Town of Trumbull’s Director of Economic & Community Development for three years prior to coming to BEDCO as President. He has been a BEDCO Board member for more than 20 years. He is a former Board Member of the Steel Point Infrastructure Improvement District, current Treasurer and former Loan Committee Chairman of the Community Capital Fund, and former Executive Director of the Bridgeport Redevelopment Agency. Lavernoich has provided testimony before the Connecticut State Legislature on urban development, property tax, and environmental issues.
Lavernoich received a BA from the University of Connecticut, a Masters of City Planning (M.C.P.) from the University of Rhode Island, and a Masters of Science (M.S.) in Financial Management from the Graduate School of Business at Fairfield University. He received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council in 1988.