CONNSTEP Announces the Appointment of New Board Members

(Hartford, CT, July 5, 2023) – CONNSTEP, the Connecticut Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center, announced today the appointment of six new members to its board of directors.


Alfredo Fernandez is a partner in the law firm Shipman & Goodwin, serving as the chair of the firm’s Manufacturing Team and as chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. He is also a member of the firm’s national Environmental Practice, advising clients across industry types on environmental, health, and safety issues in all areas of business operations.


Jeffrey Granath is a General Manager at the Sargent Manufacturing division of ASSA ABLOY in New Haven, Connecticut. Sargent Manufacturing is world leading provider of commercial grade hardware.


Paul Kelley is the President of Alinabal Inc., a broadly diversified manufacturer located in Milford, Connecticut. He has held several other positions at Alinabal including Operations Manager, General Manager, and Corporate Vice President before he was appointed president of the company in 2020.


Michael Rocheleau is an Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and member of the Board of Directors for PTA Plastics Corporation in Oxford, Connecticut. His responsibilities at PTA include operations, finance, human resources, risk management, and employee benefits.


Pedro Soto is the owner, president, and Chief Executive Officer of Hygrade Precision Technologies in Plainville, Connecticut. Hygrade is a premier precision grinding, lapping, and CNC machining provider.


Shantelle Varrs-Patrick is the Deputy Commissioner – Finance and Administration, for the Department of Social Services (DSS) of the State of Connecticut. She has over 15 years of experience in finance, debt management, cash management, budget management, and auditing and compliance, with a specialization in change management and financial modeling.


“CONNSTEP is pleased to have such diversified leadership and experience among its newest board members, helping to guide our organization as we support the manufacturing industry in our state,” said Beatriz Gutierrez, President & CEO of CONNSTEP.


About CONNSTEP: A member of the MEP National Network, CONNSTEP is a manufacturing consultancy firm serving small-to-medium sized companies, implementing advanced business and technical solutions, and workforce strategies, that help organizations grow, improve profitability, and create sustainable competitive advantages.