Former Aetna VP Urges MOVE Students to “Be Brilliant”

On March 31, Jerry Gooden, former senior vice president and head of Aetna’s four regional businesses, visited Goodwin College’s Men of Vision in Education (MOVE) program. During Gooden’s career at Aetna, he held positions in sales, marketing, underwriting, claims, and customer service, and ran businesses with revenues in excess of $10 billion and staffs as large as 7,000. Now retired, Jerry currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors for the Greater Hartford YMCA.

 Men of Vision in Education (MOVE)In the spirit of MOVE’s Motivation and Skill spring theme, Mr. Gooden shared his insights for developing a successful life and career. He highlighted the obstacles he faced growing up in San Diego and the many roles he held during his 31-year career at Aetna.

Jerry shared one of his favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

Throughout the afternoon, he urged students to maintain a sense of urgency, continue to collaborate with peers, and actively search out motivational mentors. He emphasized his belief that students should broaden their horizons, take calculated risks, and adapt to change as paths to remaining professional successful.