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  • The Narrative Project

ConnCORP Taps New Executive Director for Soon-to-be Launched Business Incubator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 28, 2021


CONTACT Mercy A. Quaye mercy@narrative-project.com 203.913.5008


New Haven, CT - The ConnCORP Board of Directors today announced Aya Beckles Swanson as the Executive Director to head its new business incubator, The ConnCORP Lab. Swanson’s appointment became effective June 14, 2021. ConnCORP recently purchased the Hamden Business Incubator, located at 496 Newhall St., to seed and support minority and Black-owned businesses. Swanson has worked and lived in Connecticut for nearly two decades, honing her expertise in economic and business development, community outreach, and SBA lending. She previously worked under former New Haven Mayor John DeStefano and for the town of East Hartford in economic development, as well as with the City of Meriden on brownfields and the downtown transit-oriented development, a compact, mixed-use development near transit facilities and high-quality walking environments. Swanson also spent time working at Essex Savings Bank, after five years as a commercial loan officer with Community Investment Corporation. “For me, the ConnCORP vision is rooted in years of work paved by the leaders at ConnCORP to support the Newhallville community with entrepreneurial and educational opportunities,” Beckles Swanson said. “I’m eager to build and expound on that vision and use my experience in business and economic development to support minority and Black-owned businesses here in New Haven.” The ConnCORP Lab will focus on businesses throughout the Greater New Haven area and serve as a hub for the entrepreneurs that are driving the community into the future. “Aya has a vast array of talents and abilities that are ideal for this exciting, new element of ConnCORP,” said Erik Clemons, CEO and President of ConnCORP. “She is committed to creating a nexus towards discovering and cultivating the many Black businesses from around our community. We are confident in her leadership and her commitment to the entrepreneurs that make the Greater New Haven community thrive.” “There is such a long road ahead of us in recovering from the impact that COVID-19 had on Black owned businesses and ensuring these businesses have the ecosystem and resilience to withstand hardship,” Beckles Swanson said. “Half the battle to building a successful business is having a community that can provide advice, mentorship, accountability, business leads, and access to capital where needed.” The ConnCORP Lab is currently planning several building projects in its location in Hamden, including a redesign of the existing entryway, build-out of the third floor, and reimagined focus on technology and green energy. Swanson is heading these projects and expects them to be complete by 2022.




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ConnCAT’s mission is to inspire, motivate, and prepare youth and adults for educational and career advancement, through after-school arts, and job training programming. ConnCORP seeks to drive economic development in the Dixwell and Newhallville sections of New Haven by investing in local commercial and residential real estate. The objective is to deliver well-planned multi-use real estate investment, which can help stabilize the local economy, provide affordable goods and services, and create local jobs. ConnCORP seeks to drive economic development in the Dixwell and Newhallville sections of New Haven by investing in local commercial and residential real estate. The objective is to deliver well-planned multi-use real estate investment, which can help stabilize the local economy, provide affordable goods and services, and create local jobs.


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