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By Nan Price, Content Manager, MetroHartford Alliance

Vice President of the MetroHartford Alliance and Executive Director of Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services Susan Winkler enjoys Hartford’s unique insurance ecosystem.

Why Hartford?

SUSAN WINKLER: There was an opportunity to represent Connecticut’s insurance and financial services industry. I thought that was a challenging new vocation for me to ensure the industry gets recognized for its strengths and to help sustain its economic growth. I’ve been in economic development and real estate for most of my career and the ability to grow jobs and revenue for one of Connecticut’s most important industries was the reason I took the position with the MHA.

The concentration of insurance and financial services—specifically insurance—is in Hartford. It’s always been known as The Insurance Capital of The World and now I had the opportunity to tell the world the story. That’s what drew me to Hartford.

How have you become a part of Hartford and how has Hartford become a part of who you are?

SUSAN: Connecting the dots between the insurance capital and Hartford and making that tie stronger is where my work centers. I’ve recognized that this mission—making the Hartford Region synonymous with being the world’s insurance capital—is a collective work shared by many. It’s been a great collaborative journey and that’s been my work.

What makes Hartford unique?

SUSAN: Hartford is a beautiful representation of what a metro city should be. It’s small in comparable size but maintains all the amenities of a large city. It has terrific stores and restaurants, arts and culture, education, and institutions. It’s diverse and innovative.

From the professional side, what makes Hartford unique is the high concentration of insurers here. When you walk around the city, you feel like you are part of the insurance capital. Almost everyone has a tie to a local insurance company, sometimes twice over, which also make this a unique ecosystem. The opportunity to change careers but stay in one industry is a true attribute of Hartford.

How do you tell the story of Hartford?

SUSAN: I like to call upon great ambassadors to share their voices. I’ve made it a personal goal to make sure I’m cultivating and creating as many ambassadors for the insurance capital as possible. So, every time I speak in public, I ask the question: Is Hartford still the insurance capital? And then, by the time I’m done with whatever I’m discussing, promoting, or marketing, I do another pulse check and ask: So, is Hartford still the insurance capital? And my goal is to get 100% affirmation. That’s how I tell the story.