Just as it takes a lot of momentum to knock a baseball out of the ballpark, it takes momentum to make a city, active, vibrant, and engaging. MetroHartford Alliance CEO David Griggs assured attendees of the latest Alliance Breakfast, “Hartford has momentum.”
Griggs also underscored the notion that “economic development is a team sport.” He shared the story about how collaboration played an important role in success of the recent Party on Pratt event March 21 – 23 celebrating the Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament in Hartford.
Honoring One of Hartford’s Rising Stars
One significant team player and contributor to the region’s economic success is John Shemo, Vice President of Economic Development at the Alliance, who was honored with a Rising Star Award for his 30+ years of commitment to the region. Shemo highlighted the work the region has done to restore vitality in Hartford, saying “We’ve come a long way—and we have a long way to go.”
Hartford Yard Goats Bring Value and Opportunity to Hartford
Tiffany Young, Director of Community Partnerships, Hartford Yard Goats, delivered an inspiring talk about community engagement. She spoke about how the initial concept of bringing a minor league team to Hartford created questions, doubts, and fears in the community.
“This wasn’t about baseball. Partnering with the community became key on all levels of success,” she emphasized, adding, “The heart of the community begins with the youth.”
The Yard Goats were able to use baseball as a vehicle to drive a needed change. “Whether through employing many residents for the first time or exposing high school and college students to possible career paths in Minor League Baseball, exposure was key to access,” says Young.
Young drew attention to several Yard Goats programs that engage the community, noting, “Community engagement is about asking the right questions. Not asking: Are we engaging the community well? Instead asking: How can we better engage the community?”
She underscored that, “Community engagement is about partnering with other businesses to make a collective difference. [It’s] beyond asking who our community is, it’s knowing our community.”
Young’s closing statements hit the ball out of the park. “Community engagement is going beyond the corporate social responsibility of businesses. It’s bigger than any Fortune 500 company, bigger than any insurance company, and bigger than any group, any gender, or any race. It is simply as humans acknowledging what needs to be done.”
Yard Goats Love Being Part of the Hartford Community
Hartford Yard Goats team players Logan Cozart and Brian Serven and Manager Warren Schaeffer were on hand to talk about how much they enjoy playing in Hartford’s world-class stadium—and becoming a part of the community. “This place is great. I love Hartford,” said Schaeffer.
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