"Hartford's legacy as a busy center of commerce and entertainment is history worth repeating, and CRDA will be at the forefront of that effort," said Governor Malloy. "With Mike at the helm, we have the leadership in place to revitalize our Capitol region. His extensive background in economic development will be a strong asset to the organization."
Freimuth, 57, is the Commissioner of the Department of Development in New Rochelle, New York, where he directs a multi-division economic development organization that oversees housing, planning and zoning, and transportation. As Commissioner, he manages large-scale urban waterfront redevelopment projects and transit-oriented development. Prior to becoming Commissioner, Freimuth headed the Office of Economic Development in Stamford, where he negotiated major commercial and residential projects and was responsible for business retention and recruitment. He also directed the Office of Planning and Economic Development in Bridgeport, where he created the Bridgeport Port Authority, managed the development of a $100 million sports and entertainment complex, and undertook other major development initiatives.
"Mike brings a wealth of experience to CRDA and we welcome his expertise and talent," said Suzanne Hopgood, Board Chair of CRDA. "We are aggressively working to re-establish the Capital City and surrounding locales as great places to live and work - to that end CRDA is pursuing housing initiatives, venue development, tourism, and other projects that will highlight all that the area has to offer. Mike's past economic development work and his ties to the Hartford business community will be critical to reaching our goals."
"I am honored to join the Board and staff of CRDA," said Freimuth. "Under the leadership of Governor Malloy and Commissioner Catherine Smith, Connecticut has really re-engaged in their economic development efforts. Re-imagining the potential of the Hartford, East Hartford, and surrounding communities is the first step to building beautiful, lively spaces that attract businesses and their workers. I look forward to working with CRDA, state and local officials, and business leaders to make this vision a reality."
Established by the legislature last June, CRDA is engaged in a multi-pronged effort to attract business and bolster economic growth in the Capital area. CRDA is moving the management of major regional assets - Rentschler Field, the Convention Center, and Adriaen's Landing - under one umbrella, and through coordinating marketing and venue development, will attract new investment, housing, and business to the region. The organization launched a nationwide search for the executive director in July 2012.
Freimuth has a Masters in Public Administration and Public Finance from George Washington University and lives with his wife and children in Fairfield, Connecticut. He is expected to begin October 1.