Ganim Leverages Lavernoich To Fill Development Office

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.



  1. Welcome back, Ed. Today is a bright day for the City of Bridgeport. My hope for Bridgeport has been renewed by your presence. I can’t wait to see you!

  2. *** Now that’s an economic director and then some! True professional and great teamworker who has no problem actually explaining things in layman’s terms to any public official who’s looking for answers. A great fit for the dept. and the city of Bpt again! *** WELCOME BACK! ***

  3. As I said before, Ed is a nice guy. A true professional. And if you are happy with the efforts of the development office for the past 15 years then you should be happy with Ed.
    I am not. Ed is a product of everything that has gone on in Economic Development or more specifically not gone on during that time.
    We need new. We need forward-thinking. We need a change, not more of the same.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    1. Bob Walsh, again with your predictably negative mantra. Nothing positive to say about anyone, ever. Even though you started out by saying he’s professional and nice, you had to end it with criticism.

      1. Well Godiva, if you are pleased with the city’s development efforts over the past 15 years then by all means you should be excited by this announcement.
        But I just don’t see it. I just don’t feel it.
        Maybe you have worked with Ed and you can provide further insight into his abilities. Please fill me in.

  4. Furthermore this speaks to Joe Ganim’s thoughts and priorities of development.
    He had none.
    He was happy to keep Kooris on the job.
    He is happy to bring Ed back.
    If he is serious about a national search, he should have outlined the process at the same time he made this announcement. He should have announced the selection of a professional search company and the creation of a Bridgeport member search committee.
    No BRBC. No Timpanelli. Bridgeport business leaders. Bridgeport political leaders. Bridgeport community leaders. Bridgeport labor leaders.

  5. He’ll make an excellent technical/”implementer” counterpart to the real “visionary” located during the national search. (There is nothing “visionary” or in any way “saving” or “resurrecting” collectively, or individually, within any of the development plans on Bridgeport’s drawing board. We need someone who can recreate our glory in modern terms, not redefine us in terms of a faded powerhouse on oxygen and receiving dialysis because of a long-term diet of bad development.)

  6. And when we find the right individual, let’s pay him for his experience even if that makes him the highest paid employee in the city.
    And give him a contract that guarantees he will be free from political interference.
    Let’s stop playing politics and do what’s right for the city.

  7. Bridgeport’s historical (post P.T. Barnum) and current, ad hoc approach to development (which really consists of waiting to see what the region wants dumped in Bridgeport to serve the Gold Coast/region) should be very disheartening to Bridgeporters looking for a better quality of life and lower tax rate in the future. By allowing ourselves to be manipulated by the state/region and not taking any initiative or proactive steps by way of conceiving, defining, and designing–planning–the Bridgeport of the future (in prosperous, livable terms), we are surrendering ourselves to the pernicious whims of the region.

    We need an economic development director who can envision a strong, prosperous Bridgeport, and who can, through the solicitation of ideas from the public, create and implement a plan to get us there in a timely way.

    I concur with Bob Walsh in regard to how we should handle the contracting and supervision of the “right” economic development director, once we have found that person by way of a national search.

  8. Day by day it becomes more clear Ganim has one gear: reverse. You guys all having fun watching Bridgeport go further and further backwards? Soon we’ll be in a full-on Groundhog Day (the movie) spin-cycle. I think it’s high time I finally throw in the towel and give up on this place. So sad.


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