For the first time since establishing the Polaris Awards in 2003, Leadership Greater Hartford chose to recognize an organization with the Community Award for 2019. In the past, that particular honor was given only to individuals, but, as LGH president Ted Carroll stated in his notification letter to the College, “We want to recognize the work [Goodwin has] done to build a strong, inclusive, and vibrant community, both for those within your organization and for neighbors and partners throughout the region.”
Goodwin and LGH share a commitment to improving the quality of life in the region by encouraging individuals to recognize their true potential. Many Goodwin faculty and staff have graduated from LGH initiatives including the Quest, Leading Off Campus, Executive Orientation, and Summit programs. Leah Peters of Goodwin’s Human Resources team is a 2019 graduate of Quest.
“Quest allowed me to grow both personally and professionally,” she says. “I now am a more confident leader because of that ten-month experience.”
On October 17, representatives from all areas of the Goodwin community attended the Polaris Awards ceremony at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford. Accepting the Community Award for Goodwin were board of trustees member Judy Resnick, a 1985 alumna of Leadership Greater Hartford, and provost emerita Ann Clark, who completed LGH’s Summit program in 2014.
“Through education, Goodwin puts people on paths to more meaningful and rewarding lives. The careers they choose strengthen them, their families, their communities, and ultimately the region in general,” remarked Resnick.
Having retired more than five years ago, Resnick said she is particular in how she chooses to commit her time as a volunteer and why she was drawn to the College: “I only do things that have meaning to me. Goodwin cares deeply about student success and community. It is an honor to serve such a remarkable institution.”
Clark commented that, when she hears stories of Goodwin students’ success, she often thinks, “If not our community, who would have supported them in such an effective way?”
“At Goodwin, we identify ourselves as a ‘community-based organization,’ so this particular award is very meaningful for us,” she added.
Another Goodwin community member in the spotlight was Stephen Campbell, CNC lab technician in the Business, Management, and Advanced Manufacturing department at Goodwin, a 2018/2019 alumnus of the Leading Off Campus initiative. Campbell urged the audience to financially support Leadership Greater Hartford’s programming. “I believe that leadership starts with each person making the decision to lead,” he said. “It can happen in an instant. All it takes is a decision to do what needs to be done, not because we have to, but because we feel compelled to act. No matter who we are, no matter our past or current limitations, we all have something vital to give.”
Also honored with Polaris Awards were Theresa Goode, founder of GOODworks, who received the Leadership Award, and the Hunger Task Force of the Third Age Initiative, honored with the Connections Award. To learn more about Leadership Greater Hartford, please visit www.leadershipgh.org.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.