Connecticut Wind Collaborative Announces Hiring Of Executive Director, Expansion Of Board


Kristin Urbach brings deep knowledge of offshore wind energy industry; Board members represent business, industry, government, and academia experts across region.

The Connecticut Wind Collaborative today announced the hiring of its first Executive Director, Kristin Urbach, whose passion and vision for a new American industry in offshore wind energy led her to establish one of the nation’s first offshore wind career training programs.

The Wind Collaborative, a non-profit entity that includes offshore wind energy stakeholders in business, industry, government, and academia, is designed to harness and promote the skilled maritime and high-tech workforce and manufacturing base across the region to create an industry cluster beneficial to all.

“This industry cluster will not only consolidate expertise and resources but also serve as a beacon of innovation, attracting investment and talent while fostering sustainable development across Connecticut and throughout New England,” said Urbach. “I am honored to serve as the first Executive Director of the Connecticut Wind Collaborative and I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to harness the power of collaboration, innovation, and sustainable energy solutions to propel Connecticut and the region toward a brighter, greener future. I am eager to work alongside our dedicated team and partners, leveraging our collective expertise to drive meaningful progress and establish Connecticut as a cornerstone of the offshore wind industry.”

The creation of the Wind Collaborative was first announced by Governor Ned Lamont last October as part of Connecticut’s Offshore Wind Strategic Roadmap, which calls for the new nonprofit to work collaboratively  across state agencies and alongside stakeholders in neighboring states to advance the regional supply chain and workforce necessary to meet the growing demand for this green, sustainable, domestic energy supply.

This initiative builds upon the existing workforce and supply chain collaboration between Connecticut and Rhode Island. The two states share a long history of building U.S. Navy submarines at General Dynamics Electric Boat facilities in both states.

Public investment, complemented by private capital contributed by the offshore wind development joint venture of Ørsted and Eversource, has improved port facilities and paved the way for Connecticut and Rhode Island to uniquely support three joint venture projects: South Fork Wind, Revolution Wind, and Sunrise Wind.

Skilled trades workers and businesses in both states supported development of South Fork Wind, the nation’s first completed utility-scale offshore wind farm, now delivering power to the State of New York. Revolution Wind, which will deliver power to Connecticut and Rhode Island, is now starting construction, and will be followed by Sunrise Wind, which will provide power to New York.

Wind turbines are assembled and shipped from the Port of New London’s State Pier Terminal and advanced foundation components are built and shipped from the Port of Providence.

Urbach has served as Executive Director of the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce since 2015, putting her at the center of offshore wind in a state at the forefront of the industry and home to Block Island Wind, the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

North Kingstown is home to Revolution Wind’s commissioning logistics hub at Quonset Business Park and Quonset Point, the landfall connection point for cables carrying energy from Revolution Wind to the New England electric grid.

Urbach’s deep understanding of this new American industry led her to establish WindWinRI, an offshore wind energy career pathway training system for youth and adults in collaboration with educational and industry partners.

Prior to her tenure at the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce, Urbach served as the Director of Product Marketing and New Business Development for Tunstall Americas, an International Telehealthcare Company in Pawtucket, RI and Long Island City, NY. Urbach was the Director of Service Excellence at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., where she oversaw several non-medical programs and managed community relations and partnerships. She is also the former President of the Junior League of Washington, D.C., a non-profit 2,300-member organization whose focus area is literacy.

Urbach will report to the Connecticut Wind Collaborative Board of Directors, which recently expanded to 15 members from the initial five incorporating members. Paul Lavoie, Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer, is Chairman of the Board.

“Kristin Urbach’s wealth of knowledge in offshore wind energy allows her to immediately begin coalescing the region’s skilled workforce and advanced tech manufacturers into a unified cluster in support of this new American industry,” Lavoie said. “Kristin also brings significant stakeholder relationships to the Connecticut Wind Collaborative, which will provide a strong start as we build this unique, multi-state approach to capturing opportunities for workers across the region. We are extremely fortunate to have Kristin aboard.”

Joining Lavoie in Board leadership are Kate Aufhauser, Co-Vice Chair and Gov. Lamont’s Strategic Advisor for Economic Development; Andrew Lavigne, Co-Vice Chair and Manager of the Clean Economy Program at the Department of Economic and Community Development; Paul Whitescarver, Secretary and Executive Director of the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (seCTer) and former Commander of Submarine Base New London. Rounding out the initial five members is William Cox, Vice President of Business Development and Investment at Rhode Island Commerce.

Other Board members recently appointed are:

  • Emmanouil ‘Manos’ Anagnostou, a University of Connecticut Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Applied Research Director with the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation, Eversource Energy Endowed Chair in Environmental Engineering, and Director of the UConn Eversource Energy Center
  • Tony Appleton, Offshore Wind Director at Burns McDonnell
  • Liz Burdock, President/CEO, Oceantic Network (formerly the Business Network for Offshore Wind)
  • Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director, Connecticut Roundtable on Climate & Jobs
  • Joseph DeNicola, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Ryan Dings, Chief Executive Officer of ClimateHaven
  • Maria Hanna, President/CEO, Survival Systems USA
  • Richard Hine, President of Offshore Energy and Co-Founder of ThayerMahan Inc.
  • Lesley Mara, Associate Vice President for Systemwide Initiatives and Sponsored Programs, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
  • Gordon Videll, CEO, Sea Services North America

About the Connecticut Wind Collaborative

Propelling Connecticut and New England to a cleaner, sustainable future, the non-profit 501(c)3 Connecticut Wind Collaborative was established as part of Connecticut’s Offshore wind Strategic Roadmap, which calls for the new nonprofit to work collaboratively with leaders in business, industry, and academia, and across state agencies and alongside stakeholders in neighboring states. The Connecticut Wind Collaborative will work to advance the regional supply chain and workforce necessary to meet the growing demand of a green, sustainable domestic energy supply. An inclusive regional offshore wind industry cluster is critical to economic development because it fosters collaboration and boosts competitiveness in our geographic area. Our wind industry cluster will offer a centralized critical mass of expertise and shared resources to support growth, attract investment and talent, and foster innovation throughout New England. While the Connecticut Wind Collaborative is in its formative stages, it has executed a Shared Services agreement with the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (seCTer) for administrative support and office space. seCTer, located in Groton, is the federally designated economic development agency for the region.


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