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Leadership Greater Hartford Celebrates With Polaris Awards

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MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

Seems it’s a season of anniversaries around Hartford including one that was silver plated at the Hartford Marriott Downtown Tuesday.

There, Leadership Greater Hartford celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Common Ground leadership program and it was an impressive list of recipients who received the program’s Polaris Awards at the celebratory dinner.

They were former UConn basketball star Jennifer Rizzotti, the evening’s keynote speaker and head coach for the University of Hartford Women’s Basketball Program.  

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MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

Receiving Polaris Awards for their completion of the ‘Common Ground’ program were Glastonbury High School Spanish teacher Joceyln Tamborello-Noble, Hartford attorney, DeVaughn Ward and UConn sophomore David Rifkin.

“I wasn’t the model child but I was involved in a lot of programs growing up in Hartford,” said Ward. “I am proud to receive this award,” he said. “I’ll probably hang it at my mother’s house.”

The three were gracious as they received congratulations as the honored celebs for the night.  So the Java question of the night for the successful trio was “Who will play you in the made-for-tv movie documenting your success?”

The answers came easily.

“I’d like to think Selma Hayek,” said Tamborello-Noble. Ward thought Denzel Washington would certainly capture his essence on screen while Rifkin tapped Daniel Radcliffe as his on-screen double.    


Leadership Greater Hartford Celebrates

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lead2lead3lead4Leadership Greater Hartford got the jump on Valentine’s Day this week, holding its own “love fest” at the Tower Suite on the 22nd floor of the Hartford Wednesday night where there was not only a great view of the city but also a great view of the people who make the city great.

“I am not surprised at its success,” said former board chair and ConnectiCare vice president Dick Rogers, about the organization that provides leadership programs for youths and adults, and help promote the city by promoting arts, education and neighborhoods with a variety of initiatives.

That success is nothing to get too comfortable with, according to new board chair Ann Smith.

“I have been part of Leadership Greater Hartford and graduated from its Quest leadership class of 2007,” said the West Hartford attorney. “My job as board chair is to keep the organization growing and doing even more when it comes to our strategic plan and preparing youths and adults to lead, and making Hartford a good community.”

While dozens celebrated a week that included a blizzard and a love holiday, there were others celebrating for other reasons.

Among them, The Hartford’s Diane Cantello, the unofficial host for the evening who learned earlier in the day that she had been promoted to vice president of social responsibility at the insurance company.

“It was exciting,” said the beaming Cantello about being brought into the boss’s office and told the news. “I am looking forward to the new job.”