Bristol Board of Finance elects new chair, vice chair

Published on Friday, 8 February 2019 19:01


BRISTOL – The Board of Finance elected a new chair and vice chair at a recent meeting.

John Smith will head the nine member board and Orlando Calfe is the new vice chair. Smith replaces Cheryl Thibeault, who chose not to seek re-election after serving as chair since 2013. Calfe replaces Smith, who had served as vice chair.

A longtime Bristol resident, Smith served for 20 years as the assistant superintendent and chief business administrator of Bristol public schools. He went on to become a senior vice president with Bristol Hospital until his partial retirement in 2006, at which point he went into private business consulting.

He has also held various leadership roles at the United Way, the Bristol Business Education Foundation, the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, and the Main Street Community Foundation, as well as having served on various city committees.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more qualified person to take this leadership role,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. “John Smith may be one of the most civic-minded, community oriented people I now.”

“He is the most qualified person to lead the Board of Finance,” said Calfe. “I really look forward to working under John’s leadership.

A former IBM business executive, Calfe also has a long record of local community service. In addition to his time with the finance board, he has also served on the Board of Library Directors, where he chaired the finance committee, as well as on the Board of Education, the Housing Code Board of Appeals, and the Mayor’s Task Force on Energy Consumption.

He holds an MBA from the University of Connecticut and is currently a services availability manager for public companies in the financial sector, assessing data for risk analysis in terms of business continuity, disaster recovery and resiliency.

“Strategic and financial planning are main objectives for providing sustained growth and stability,” Calfe said. “I think we are moving in the right direction with many of these initiatives and I am happy to serve in a leadership role to move them forward.”

Finance board members are nominated by the mayor and approved by the City Council. They serve four year terms that expire in June. The board oversees city spending, sets its budget and controls bonding. It was established in the 1930s as a way to ensure the city kept its finances in good order.

Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Friday, 8 February 2019 19:01. Updated: Friday, 8 February 2019 19:03.