By MICHELLE FIRESTONE
Chronicle Staff Writer
COVENTRY — Connecticut should be advertised as a premier place to live, work and raise a family, according to independent gubernatorial candidate Richard “Oz” Griebel.
If elected, he said it will be a top priority of his to advertise the state’s assets.
“The governor has to be the chief marketing officer for the state,” Griebel told members of the Windham Region Chamber of Commerce during the chamber’s annual meeting Feb. 15 at Coventry Lakeview Restaurant & Bar in Coventry.
Griebel, who lives in Hartford, is running for governor with attorney Monte Frank, a Newtown resident, who is running for lieutenant governor! .
Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy announced he is not running for re-election.
Griebel said he needs 7,500 signatures to get on the ballot and was collecting signatures at the chamber event.
Before joining the MetroHartford Alliance, Griebel, who has a law degree, was chief executive officer of Bank of Boston Connecticut.
The Hartford Courant named him “Business Person of the Year” in 1995 and the Hartford Business Journal gave him that honor in 2001.
Griebel said it is important for the state to make sure its cities are “attractive” and said it is important to support businesses in the state.
“Oz has faced! an awful lot of challenges in Hartford,” said Roger Adams, f! ormer president of the Windham Chamber, who has known Griebel for many years.
Griebel is a former chief executive officer of MetroHartford Alliance, the Hartford region’s largest organization of business leaders, a position he held for many years.
“I think we’ve under-leveraged the chamber community in this state,” he said.
Several major corporations have left Connecticut in recent years.
” I think some businesses have left because they don’t feel loved,” Griebel said. “They don’t feel valued.”
Griebel said there has to be “a lot more discussion” so that the state understands “what our assets are.”
“The biggest asset this state has is the people that! live here,” he said.
Other issues that Griebel said he feels need to be address include transportation, the state’s tax policy and education investments.
In terms of education, he said the state needs to look at how it can provide more funding to schools.
During the meeting, chamber members also elected the following officers to its board of directors: Anthony Raggi, who works at State Farm Insurance in Mansfield, as chairman; Ken Caputo, owner of Questers’ Way in Mansfield, as vice chairman; Ben Van Rheen, owner of Logistics Consulting in Willimantic as treasurer; and Chris Novack, owner of Chris the Gutter Guy in Mansfield, as secretary.