The Day – Ret. Captain (N) Paul Whitescarver appointed Sector Director
The Southeast Connecticut Corporate Region Board of Directors announced Friday that it has unanimously selected retired Navy Captain Paul Whitescarver to serve as the industry’s executive director, effective Monday. Whitescarver is the former commander of the Groton Submarine Base.
Nancy Cowser had served as the Sector’s Executive Director from late 2016 until June 30 of that year, when she left for a position at Mitchell College.
SeCTer is the region’s designated non-profit economic development organization, and its services include providing loans to small businesses, assisting businesses interested in selling goods or services to government entities, and setting up in relation to developers with potential sites.
“What really appealed to me was the ability to work with all the municipalities, sort of creating a regional strategy,” said Whitescarver.
He said Mark Oefinger, chairman of the industry board, approached him and asked if he would be interested in the job and then went through the hiring process.
Oefinger was Groton’s city manager when Whitescarver took command of the subbase in 2015, and the two together served on the board of directors of Thames River Heritage Park, of which Whitescarver is chairman.
Oefinger said he didn’t initially think of Whitescarver at the start of the research, but then thought back to the time he teased when he teased Whitescarver what he wanted to be when he grew up. , which came back to the civil service.
He said Whitescarver “was exceptional to work with” as a commander and would ask what the subbase could do for surrounding communities rather than the other way around.
Whitescarver retired from the Navy in 2019 and was relieved of his duties as commanding officer by Captain Todd Moore, who last week passed command of the subbase to Captain Kenneth Curtin.
Whitescarver, 59, after retiring from the Navy, served as a consultant for the Connecticut Port Authority for five months, then worked as director of operations for King Industries, a Norwalk-based chemical additive manufacturer.
In his new role, Whitescarver said he looks forward to working with clients and partners to address the economic impacts of the pandemic and diversify the region’s economy. Over the coming year, he will focus on helping Southeast Connecticut to secure stimulus funding from the state and federal government and on completing the updated strategy for comprehensive economic development, a five-year plan.
Oefinger said Whitescarver and his team “will be very, very busy,” and the industry will need to sign millions of dollars in funding. Oefinger said he had been involved with seCTer and its predecessor agencies since the mid-1980s and had “never seen this amount of funding made available to do economic development type things.”
Oefinger said Whitescarver’s salary will be $ 152,000 and the industry has a total of nine full-time employees, one part-time employee and two vacant positions. Whitescarver lives in Gales Ferry with his wife, Katie, and also sits on the board of trustees of the Submarine Force Museum and the USS Groton Sail Foundation.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Oefinger said. “I think he’s going to do great things in seCTer. He knows the region, he knows the players, he has worked in the federal government.”