MERIDEN, CT – July 7, 2015 – The Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF) Board of Directors is pleased to announce it has named James S. Bzdyra, President and CEO of the organization. Mr. Bzdyra succeeds Donna Wertenbach who has held the position since 1998.
Jim Bzdyra joins CEDF from First Niagara Bank and its predecessor banks (NewAlliance and New Haven Savings), where he served for 18 years, most recently as Senior Vice President, Market Executive, managing commercial and industrial (C&I) lending in Connecticut.
“I’ve been involved with CEDF for many years and I am thrilled to assume the leadership role as President and CEO. I look forward to carrying on the organization’s important mission while continuing to grow the organization,” said Jim. Throughout his career, he has spent much time lending to and developing relationships with small businesses throughout the state. He has a thorough understanding of the needs of Connecticut’s low to moderate income small business owners and looks forward to meeting those needs. “I am excited by the forthcoming opportunitites to help make a real difference for small businesses in Connecticut, stated Mr. Bzdyra.”
Alta Lash, CEDF Foundation Board Chairman stated, “We are delighted that Jim has accepted the leadership position at CEDF and we look forward to working with him in his new role.” “In order to assure a smooth transition, Donna Wertenbach has agreed to assist in the transition until February 2016.”
Jim has served on numerous boards throughout his career. Most recently having served 14 years on the Board of Directors for the CEDF Corporation and as Corporate Board President for eight years. He also served on the boards of the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts; The Tennis Foundation of Connecticut; The Insurance and Financial Services Cluster, MetroHartford Alliance; and The United Way of Greater New Haven.
Former President, Donna Wertenbach said, “Jim brings not only a wealth of banking experience to CEDF but a deep commitment to the organization’s mission which he has shown by his years of dedicated service on our board.”
A Connecticut native, Jim graduated from The University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and then earned his Master of Business Administration at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
He resides in Glastonbury with his wife, Heidi. Together they have two grown children, a daughter residing in Boston and a son in college.
CEDF is a non-profit business development organization serving low-to-moderate income small business owners in Connecticut. Its holistic service approach provides startups and existing small business owners who cannot obtain traditional bank financing, with access to capital, education, business advice and resources all in one place for them to realize their dreams and achieve their success.