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One of the benefits of being immersed in our community is the opportunity to shine a spotlight on new leaders in the Hartford Region.

Several times a year, the MetroHartford Alliance (MHA) honors movers and shakers stepping into new leadership roles within our community with a Welcome Reception. Each event is hosted at a different organization, also highlighting what they offer to the community.

Our most recent event took place May 11 at the Connecticut Science Center on the outdoor Nassau Science Plaza. Honorees included:

Community Innovators

Innovation was an ongoing theme of the event, with nods to the arts, manufacturing, and innovative ways of approaching community engagement.

In his introductory comments, Connecticut Science Center President & CEO Matt Fleury noted that we are a “community built on invention and innovation.”

MHA President & CEO David Griggs also focused on community and recognized the importance of economic development not just in downtown, but in all the neighborhoods in Hartford.

David shared about the impact of Hart Lift, an initiative of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce that aims to create new opportunities for small business owners throughout Hartford. He also mentioned a significant opportunity to engage with and support the community at Hartford Taste, which takes place June 10 and 11 on Constitution Plaza.

A Serendipitous Occasion

“Today is a moment of serendipity,” said honoree Rev. Dr. Shelley Best. “There’s a plan for us to blow up this region and make it phenomenal.”

Shelley talked about how she has always loved Hartford. “I believe in Hartford,” she said.

She also noted that the Greater Hartford Arts Council is devoted to developing a creative economy, emphasizing how the arts enter into invention and innovation.

Community Impact

In his comments, Shane Eddy spoke about Pratt & Whitney’s regional economic impact and commitment in our community. “We’re committed to communities where we live and work,” he said.

He noted P&W’s focus on sustainability and provided insight about the company’s investments in facilities, job creation, and contributions through partnerships.

Future Vision

Eric Harrison shared about his recent move to Connecticut from California, noting “Hartford has a lot that’s very, very attractive.” He added, “I love the vision of what we can be or aspire to be.”

Eric also emphasized the importance of partnerships, like those with P&W, and corporate giving, noting the opportunities to leverage funding to meet the community’s needs. He also encouraged corporations to engage with and participate with the United Way.

Interested in attending an upcoming Welcome Reception? Contact MHA Chief Investor Relations Officer Kate Baumann.