Bart Kollen, DECD Deputy Commissioner
Bart Kollen joined the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) as Deputy Commissioner in February 2016. He is responsible for managing the business development, financial review and compliance departments focused on attracting and retaining businesses to and in the state of Connecticut.
Prior to joining DECD, Bart worked at Voya Financial (formerly ING US) and ING Insurance where he served in several different capacities since 1997. Bart’s most recent assignment at Voya was working with Fortune 500 companies as well as small and mid-sized organizations to design and roll out education, savings and advice programs to engage employees and help them save adequately for retirement. While at ING, Bart also worked in customer service operations, sales and served as chief of staff to one of ING’s global business leaders.
Prior to joining ING, Bart worked for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in Washington D.C. on grassroots and public policy concerns.
Bart is a graduate of Leiden University in The Netherlands (having earned a Master of Public Administration there) and completed work at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Bart lives in West Hartford with his wife and three boys.
David Kooris, Deputy Commissioner
David Kooris joined the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) in March of 2018. He is responsible for orchestrating the placed-based components of the state's economic development strategy including transit-oriented development, brownfields, capital projects, waterfront, and tourism. His focus is to coordinate public sector infrastructure investment to best prepare communities for private sector growth while enhancing environmental sustainability and quality of life for all.
Prior to joining DECD, Mr. Kooris was Director of Resilience for Connecticut's Department of Housing. There, he managed two federal grants totaling nearly $65 million for coastal resilience planning across Fairfield and New Haven Counties and the design and construction of several pilot projects for green infrastructure, raised mobility corridors, distributed energy generation, and 21st century flood protection in the City of Bridgeport.
Before state service, Mr. Kooris was the Director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development and Executive Director of the Redevelopment Agency for the City of Bridgeport. There, he oversaw ten departments in the creation of the city's revitalization strategy and its execution in tangible public and private investments. Mr. Kooris began his career at the Regional Plan Association where he held several positions, most notably Vice President and Connecticut Director. His work there focused on helping individuals, communities, and agencies better understand the link between social, economic, and environmental factors and better position the tri-state region and its neighborhoods for a sustainable future through coordinated land use and transportation planning.
As an independent consultant, Mr. Kooris has worked on high-speed rail-oriented development, sustainability, and urban revitalization projects throughout the Northeast corridor as well as in Canada, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey.
He received an Hours Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Geography from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning and a Master Certificate in Urban Design from PennDesign at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
He lives in Stamford with his wife and two daughters.