The Charger Blog

Prominent University of New Haven Alumnus Discusses ‘Conscious Capitalism’ with Students

Larry Bingaman ’96 EMBA, president and CEO of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, which serves 430,000 consumers in Greater New Haven, leads with a purpose that transcends profit.

March 12, 2019

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Larry Bingaman ’96 EMBA discussing his ‘conscious capitalism’ philosophy with students.
Larry Bingaman ’96 EMBA discussed his ‘conscious capitalism’ philosophy with students.

The way Larry Bingaman ’96 EMBA sees it, businesses have the potential to improve society rather than just focus on earning a profit. How? By embracing a philosophy called conscious capitalism, a way of thinking about business in which a company adopts a higher purpose than just maximizing the bottom line.

“Conscious capitalism is not just a feel-good activity, but you also do better as a company,” he told students during a visit to campus.

“I learned that conscious capitalism is a growing force among the nation’s most prominent businesses."Anthony Dicioccio ’19, International Business

An executive with 25 years of experience in the water industry, Bingaman, is the president and CE of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority and chair of the Connecticut chapter of the Conscious Capitalism organization.

He returned to his alma mater to meet with students answer questions about career, and to present “Passion & Purpose: The Case for Conscious Capitalism.” He discussed how practicing conscious capitalism has led to improved financial strength and reduced operating costs at South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority and how it impacted other businesses, including REI and The Container Store.

“I learned that conscious capitalism is a growing force among the nation’s most prominent businesses,” said Anthony Dicioccio ’19, an international business major.

“Being able to meet Mr. Bingaman was a very beneficial experience for me because I learned something that can be applied to my life and have a positive impact on the lives of others,” added political science major.

Image of Larry Bingaman ’96 EMBA and students.
Larry Bingaman told students that businesses don’t just have to focus on earning a profit - they have the potential to improve society.

Some students were surprised by how widespread conscious capitalism has become. Andrea McIntosh ’20, a political science major, was particularly interested in what Bingaman said about law firms embracing this approach.

“I thought conscious capitalism was only a business approach, but this practice can be used in other fields as well,” she said. “I found this to be quite interesting because I am interested in becoming a lawyer, and it is good to know that you can apply conscious capitalism in other arenas.”

“The ability to have a personal conversation with such a successful businessman allowed me to make a contact in the real world that could potentially help me a lot in the future.”Michael Kandolin ’19, Finance and Behavioral Economics

A respected thought leader, Bingaman has experience serving on public, private, and nonprofit boards, including as chair of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce. In 2017, he was inducted into Junior Achievement’s New Haven Business Hall of Fame, and he and his wife, Martie are past recipients of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society award from the United Way.

“I meant a lot to be able to interact with a CEO like him,” said Michael Kandolin ’19, a finance and behavioral economics double major. “The ability to have a personal conversation with such a successful businessman allowed me to make a contact in the real world that could potentially help me a lot in the future.”