CURRICULUM VITAE:     J. Thomas Failla 

Home: 21 Samuelson Road, Weston, CT 06883

Work: 203-857-7303; Home 203-544-1048

E-mail: or


University of New Haven, M.B.A.   1989

Central Connecticut State University,  B.A., Political Science 1973

Summary of Qualifications

Educator, entrepreneur, corporate executive and journalist with broad experience in organizational and professional development, human resources, management, training, strategic planning, marketing, public affairs and environmental policy issues. Experience spans assignments in industry, education and state and local government.

Accomplished teacher, speaker, writer and editor with a strong interest in teaching and administrative positions in public and higher education where background can lead to valuable contributions. Well-informed on Connecticut business, education and environmental matters.

Professional Advancement

 NCC Distance Learning Skills Workshops for Instructors                             2001

(HTML, Frontpage, Power Point)

American Society of Training and Development, Chapter Officer       2000-2002

ACT (Trained WorkKeys Job Profiler)                                                               1999

Certified Facilitator (Community Technical College System)                            1999

Corporate Image and Reputation (Conference Board)                                     1996

Quality Improvement Process in Public Education (Juran Institute)                1993

Diversity Awareness (Roosevelt Thomas)                                                         1992

Performance Based Management (Union Carbide Prof. Development)           1991

Total Quality Management (Union Carbide Prof. Development)                     1987

 Workshops Offered

 Developed a 3-credit Technical Writing Course for NCC                              2000

Community Relations (Sacred Heart University)                                               1998

Strategic Planning,  Event Planning (U.S. Geological Survey)                         1997 

Employee Communications (Society of Professional Journalists)                     1995

Strategic Planning (International Association of Business Communicators)      1994

Lecturer on communications topics (CCSU, Fairfield, WCSU, UConn)      1983-97

Published Works

 Article for Bayer executive on Investing in U.S. Healthcare Research           1995

New American Communities: The Towery Report on Fairfield County        1994

Prepared Union Carbide’s chapter on Bhopal in Crisis Response                      1992

National articles about energy and the environment for The Associated Press   1973-76

 Professional and Civic

American Society of Training and Development, 1998-present

Society of Human Resources Management, 1998-present

SACIA, The Business Council, 1996-2000

Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce, 1994-2000

Fairfield County Public Relations Association, 1978-present, President 1983, 1994

International Association of Business Communicators, 1978-1982, 1996-1999

Conservation Commission, Weston, Conn., 1992-present, Chair 1998-present

Norwalk River Watershed Initiative, Weston’s representative, 1997-present

 Weston Zoning Board of Appeals, 1990-92

Kiwanis International, Director, 1992-1998

United Way of Northern Fairfield County, Director 1993-95, Trustee, 1995-1999 Area Nine Cable Council, 1993-96, Chair, 1994-96

Norwalk Community-Technical College Foundation, Director, 1982-93

 Weston, Conn. Public Schools,  Science Curriculum Committee, 1990-92,

Quality Process Committee, 1992-93

Cub Scout Pack 75, Director, 1991-94

Weston Little League, Coach 1991-95

Norwalk Committee in Support of Public Education, 1981-85


Iona College                                                    2002-present

Adjunct professor Mass Communications (graduate and undergraduate)     

Courses include Theories of Human Communications, Propaganda and Persuasion, Public Opinion Dynamics, Community and Government Relations

Norwalk Community College                         2000-present

Adjunct professor in Business and Political Science          

Norwalk Community College                        1998-Present

Director, Business and Industry Services and The Workforce Education Institute

Leads the college’s educational outreach to employers in lower Fairfield County and directs The Workforce Institute, a unit that provides organizational and professional development and customized training services to such companies as Pitney Bowes, Pepperidge Farm, Reed Exhibition, Reuters and Virgin Atlantic.

 ·       Generate more than $300,000 annually in revenues for the college by providing 15-to-20 area employers with approximately 100 customized job training programs. Introduced a 21st century training model that involves diagnostics, development and delivery of training services, using ACT’s WorkKeys job profiling and skills assessment system and educational resources of the college and the state higher education system.

 ·       Developed new programs and capabilities in computer systems and networking, precision manufacturing  and electronic controls and troubleshooting training.

 ·       Developed new programs in customer service training for products and services representatives.

 ·       Obtained a first-of-its-kind state Education Department grant for a dual English language and customer training program for hotel employees.

 ·       Developed a performance management program for supervisors and group leaders.

Communications Strategies & Services, Inc., Weston, Conn.                 1994-2000


Management consultant, writer and entrepreneur providing communications and relationship building strategies and services that improve effectiveness of organizations in influencing such key audiences as business leaders, communities, employees, recruits, media, customers and shareholders. Among organizations served are: Bayer Pharmaceutical, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Connecticut United for Research Excellence, The Perrier Group of America, Texaco, Union Carbide, University of New Haven Center for Family Business and United Way of Northern Fairfield County.

 ·       Counseled Connecticut United for Research Excellence on positioning its messages about the benefits of biomedical research and biotechnology for the state before policymakers, business leaders and the public.

·       Advised Bristol-Myers Squibb executives on community relations issues affecting the company’s major Connecticut research and development center.

·       Represented and advised the Town of Fairfield, Conn. Board of Education during a highly-charged investigation into tampering on standardized tests.

·       Planned and executed launch communications and follow up promotions for the University of New Haven’s Center for Family Business.

·       Advised and supported Bayer Pharmaceutical’s corporate communications group on  employee communications and recruiting, media relations and community affairs, including development and implementation of an “employer of choice” strategy and establishment of the West Haven Economic Development Corporation.

·       Developed and implemented an internal strategic communications plan for The Perrier Group of America aimed at unifying a workforce that had grown from 700 to 4,500 employees through major acquisitions.

·       Established the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services web site enabling the collection of more than $17 million in delinquent taxes.

·       Co-authored a 270-page anthology on life and business in Fairfield County.

 Union Carbide Corporation, Danbury, Conn.                                               1983-93

Assistant Director, Corporate Communications, 1987-93                                  

Directed professional staff of five and annual project budgets of $2 million in the development and execution of internal and external corporate communications programs. Expertise in use of polls and surveys, all forms of traditional and new communications strategic planning, tracking and measurement, quality management processes, community affairs and business, industry and government relations.

 ·       Integrated employee communications across division and staff lines to improve key message delivery, saved $500,000 and paved way for new systems, including intranet.

 ·       Provided communications counsel and recruiting support for 10 years to the Corporate Fellows Organization, the company’s top 30 research and development scientists.

·       Developed recognition programs for deserving R&D scientists and other employees.

·       Directed a marketing communications campaign for managed care introduction that helped employees adapt to the change.

 ·       Launched communications that built awareness and improved sensitivity to diversity, harassment prevention, upward mobility and work-family issues.

 ·       Led program to rebuild company credibility that reached 20 million viewers at less than two cents per viewer through television talk shows.

·       Set a new industry standard for effective communications with a "benefits of chemicals"  video - 20,000 copies circulated nationally 1989-91. Program paved the way for major campaigns to improve industry image and influence public attitudes favorably toward chemicals and plastics. 

·       Directed communications and built public sector alliances for the Chairman's public education reform agenda. 

·       Prepared Union Carbide’s chapter on Bhopal for the book, Crisis Response, and led the international video production, “Unraveling the Tragedy at Bhopal”.

 ·       Served on the Board of Directors for United Way of Northern Fairfield County, chaired the marketing committee and helped lead a five-year strategic planning process.

Manager, Internal Communications, 1985-87

Initiated with the human resources department a team approach to employee communications. Managed a three-member professional communications staff and a budget approaching $750,000 in the planning, development and implementation of communications about the business, productivity, compensation and benefits. Also, on special assignment, prepared communications on Bhopal, GAF takeover attempt, and health, safety and environmental issues.

·       Redirected company magazine and video program to emphasize business issues and company mission and values in compelling, credible style.

 ·       Improved spot news delivery through introduction of rapid electronic systems like E-Mail and automated faxes.

 ·       Developed a two-way network to bring field and staff communicators closer together and improve information relevancy and usefulness.

 Assistant Manager, Media Relations, 1983-1985

Developed with business and staff groups stories for national, local and trade media about the company, its products, services and people. Specialized in crises related to safety and environment, outreach programs to business journalists, students and local communities.

 ·       Media advisor to Chairman, lawyers, division and plant management during Bhopal.


·       Company representative to University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School program for business journalists and Washington Workshop and Science Horizons for high school students.

 AMAX Inc., Greenwich, Conn.                                                                         1978-83

 Manager, Communications Services, 1979-83

·       Initiated working relationship with human resources department using communications to encourage employee awareness and commitment on such issues as business objectives, productivity, compensation and benefits. Assisted college recruitment efforts.

 Public Relations Officer, 1978-79

·       Represented the company before community, including City of Greenwich, Greenwich Chamber of Commerce and SACIA.

Hurdman and Cranstoun, CPAs, New York, N.Y.                               1977-78

Assistant Director, Communications

·       Directed, edited and wrote company internal and marketing publications.

 ·       Directed efforts to reach out to the media to explain the accounting profession and position the firm as an industry leader.

American Airlines, New York, N.Y.                                                         1976-77

Manager, Editorial Services

·       Wrote and edited daily news reports for employees and executives.

 ·       Managed marketing communications for $200 million air freight business.

 Associated Press, Hartford, Conn.                                                                  1973-76

 Reporter and Editor

·       Reported on state and local affairs including the governor and the General Assembly.

 ·       Developed major national reports on environmental and energy issues.

 Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Conn.                  1972-73

 Public Affairs Associate

·       Wrote press releases, edited college publications and conducted campus VIP tours.

 Bridgeport Post, Bridgeport, Conn.                                                                  1968-72

Reporter and Features Writer

·       Reported on environmental issues including the formation of Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection and passage of clean air and water legislation and wetlands protection measures.

Hartford Times, Hartford, Conn.                                                                  1968-69

Reporter and Editor

·       Covered city and suburban police beat. Worked as copy editor and headline writer.



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Copyright © 2003 J. Thomas Failla
21 Samuelson Road, Weston, CT 06883
Last modified: June 01, 2003