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5/13/2014 - Step right up and meet this year’s ringmaster for Barnum Festival

His initials are P.T. just like the legendary Phineas Taylor Barnum who created jobs and transformed the landscape of his adopted city Bridgeport. And now Paul Timpanelli, who has served for 26 years as chief executive officer of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, looks forward to serving as the ringmaster of the 2014 Barnum Festival.

When Timpanelli was introduced as ringmaster at Sacred Heart University, he emphasized creating “a regional festival that will provide opportunities to bring new people into our region to be entertained that will result in their spending money here and in their having an economic impact that will help us in our mission … in the mission of P.T. Barnum … to create a better place for our people to live and raise a family.”

Timpanelli graduated from SHU and entered a teaching profession, before his election as Trumbull’s first selectman and then becoming head of the regional business organization in 1988.

Job creation is music to the ears of Timpanelli, a Rock & Roll historian who also sings bass in the doo-wop group Yesteryear, which he started in Trumbull High School in the ’60s.

Timpanelli has spent more than 25 years helping to bring jobs to Bridgeport that includes the revitalization of the city’s downtown with restaurants, shops and trendy housing units, construction of Harbor Yard, Webster Bank Arena as well furthering the Steel Point redevelopment area.

Timpanelli’s goal is to build a foundation for the Barnum Festival to become an economic driver for the city by promoting Barnum’s contributions to world progress as businessman, entrepreneur, innovator and economic development leader.

“None of our city’s or our region’s or our state’s problems and challenges can be successfully addressed without our success in this arena–the creation of jobs,” he said.

About P.T. Barnum

Barnum lured to Bridgeport industrialists such as sewing machine innovator Elias Howe and the landscape genius Frederick Law Olmsted who designed Seaside Park from land donated by Barnum. Barnum was also a leader in the establishment of the city’s banking industry, public library system, Bridgeport Hospital and Aquarion water company. He also developed the east side of Bridgeport that became home to European immigrants attracted by the companies Barnum helped establish.

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