On Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Harry Rilling announced the formation of a Business Advisory Council for the City of Norwalk.
"We need people from different walks of life, different visions to bring their ideas and their thoughts to the table in order to really make Norwalk the best it can possibly be," said Mayor Harry Rilling.
The council will first help the Mayor find a replacement for Economic Director Tad Diesel who recently retired.
Mayor Rilling said the new Economic Director will be "working very closely with the [Norwalk] Chamber of Commerce, working out of the Redevelopment Agency but reporting to the Mayor. We will be looking for someone who will aggressively market the City of Norwalk by reaching out to potential investors, potential businesses, trying to draw people into Norwalk, showing them our natural resources, showing them what we have to offer and why we're just the best place to do business."
The 11 member council consists of local business owners and companies along with Senator Bob Duff.
Senator Bob Duff said, "We have a great community of businesses in Norwalk. We have many Fortune 500 companies, many small businesses and medium size businesses as well. I think this group here that has been assembled and approved by the Mayor reflects that."
Tony Aitoro, owner of Aitoro Appliance & Electronics said, "I think I have a business aspect. A local family owned business aspect to the City. We're third, fourth generation Norwalk and the family business aspect is very important to me and Tad and I had many conversations about business and the City of Norwalk."
Mayor Rilling said, "We have to wet people's appetite not only to move here but to invest here, to work here, to send their children to our schools and those are the things we'll be looking at. How do we accomplish that? How do we make Norwalk desirable to people and to businesses?"
Mayor Rilling hopes to send out a request for applications by the end of the week and to fill the position of Economic Director as soon as possible.
The Business Advisory Council:
Harry Carey - Director of External Affairs, AT&T
Mike Sutton - Partner, Benefits Planning Services, LLC
Mike DiScala - M.F. DiScala
Tony Aitoro - Owner, Aitoro Appliance & Electronics
LaTanya Langley - Senior General Counsel, Diageo North America
Stacey Lopez-Hascoe - Director, SoNo Corporate Suites
Patricia Toni - Risk Manager, Norwalk Hospital
Irene Dixon - Director of Sales & Marketing, Hilton Garden Inn Norwalk
Olivia Dardy - recently ran for Common Council
State Senator Bob Duff