Leadership Greater Hartford is excited to announce the 20th Annual Polaris Awards are back at Infinity Music Hall Hartford on Wednesday June 7, 2023! The Polaris Awards honor incredible individuals who exemplify the three pillars of LGH: Community, Leadership, and Connections.

The evening includes:

* Time to mingle and connect with LGH’s network. See old friends and meet new ones
* Pre-awards dinner reception and hosted bar
* Live entertainment
* Polaris Awards Presentation
* Auction and other giving opportunities to help support LGH’s mission
* Dessert and champagne toast reception
* and more!

Watch for an inside look:

Meet the winners!

We are so excited to share our inspiring group of 2023 award winners who will be honored at this year’s Polaris Awards. These leaders and organizations embody our values of building community, developing leaders and making connections. We are so proud of these shining examples in our region!


Community Award
Hartford Public Library

First established in 1774 and formerly recognized as a public library in 1893, Hartford Public Library (HPL) is a vital civic anchor in the City of Hartford, providing free resources that inspire reading, guide learning and encourage individual exploration. HPL’s eight neighborhood library locations, including its Library on Wheels, are anchors for economic development and community revitalization, and help to strengthen social bonds and community identity.

HPL’s role is focused on being an active catalyst for connectivity, creativity, and literacy for all ages.  HPL uses its virtual space to connect, to educate and to provide sorely needed technological guidance for residents new to the digital sphere. Through its work, the Library helps the Hartford community go more deeply into the worlds they know and the worlds they want to know. In so doing, HPL champions a new vision of what an urban library can be and serves as an agent for change in the lives of its customers. Hartford Public Library centers community priorities and voices in its work and serves as a national model for 21st century urban libraries.

Bridget E. Quinn, Present and Chief Executive Officer

HPL is led by Bridget E. Quinn, President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining HPL in 2016, she served as the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer and Interim President/CEO of the Queens Library in New York City. She was also the Director of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system and has held leadership positions in libraries in New York, Iowa and Connecticut.

Bridget earned her BA from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She earned her MLS and MBA from St. John’s University. She currently serves on the Connecticut State Library’s Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development. She is a member of the American Library Association, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Public Library Association, Connecticut Library Association and New York Library Association. She is a Corporator for Hartford Hospital and a member of the Board of the Mark Twain House and Museum.  Bridget is a 2019 graduate of LGH’s Summit program.

We are proud to recognize the work of Bridget and the entire HPL team for its role in delivering literacy and educational services through innovative programs and community outreach. HPL is a critical institution in the City of Hartford and the city’s diverse neighborhoods. For these efforts and commitment to creating access, the HPL team is more than deserving of the 2023 Polaris Community Award.

Leadership Award
Doris Rivera
Volunteer at The House of Bread’s Jubilee House Program

Doris Rivera is a retired Hartford Public Schools Paraprofessional, having worked in the classroom for over 25 years. In addition to her professional career, she was a successful independent businesswoman, selling Mary Kay products for over 10 years.

Doris is a dedicated and passionate volunteer who has devoted much of her life to helping others. She has always been a very active member of her church, among many roles, she volunteered her time as a certified adult education religious teacher and sang in the choir. After retirement, Doris filled the void by volunteering at Mary Hooker School as a classroom helper.  She also enrolled in Class 2 of LGH’s Third Age Initiative. Doris and her LGH classmates led a project that assisted with strengthening families through parent education.  Her bilingual skills and experience in the schools made her an invaluable asset to the team.

Today, Doris continues to volunteer at Jubilee House as an English as a Second Language volunteer. She has been volunteering there for over twenty years, and her commitment to helping others is truly inspiring. In her spare time, Doris enjoys walks outside and spending time with her daughters and her husband Pedro. They have been happily married for 62 years.

Doris is receiving the 2023 Polaris Leadership Award for her lifelong commitment to being a servant leader. Her humility and steady involvement in so many organizations have made a difference in countless lives and in the broader community.

Connections Award
Christopher W. Clarke
Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch, Chair of West Hartford
Chamber’s Minority Business Network

Christopher W. Clarke is a Financial Advisor with the KFD Team of Merrill Lynch.  In his role, he is responsible for connecting high net worth individuals and institutions to strategies that can help reach their financial goals. His approach combines the client experience of a boutique-like investment firm with access to extensive resources, including traditional, specialty asset, alternative, and capital market investment strategies, as well as customized credit and banking offerings.

He is a native of Brooklyn, NY, and began his financial services career in 1998. Chris relocated to the Greater Hartford area in 2002 and joined Bank of America in 2015.  He is also a single dad who resides in West Hartford with his 3 daughters. In his free time, he loves to cook.

He currently serves as Chairman of the Connecticut Chapter of Bank of America’s Black Professionals Group and as 1st Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce. He also chairs the Chamber’s Minority Business Network. In this work, he makes important connections between individuals and businesses, and challenges all to be a part of the solution for better representation and equity in our local business community. Chris is a former LGH board member and a proud LGH graduate of both Quest 2007 and The Verge 2021.

Chris graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and the University of Connecticut with a Master of Business Administration concentrating in finance and management.

Chris is receiving our 2023 Polaris Connections Award. He leads in the region with passion and connecting minds to bring about change.

Visionary Award
Dr. Paul H. Dworkin
EVP for Community Child Health at Connecticut Children’s,
Project Director of the North Hartford Ascend Pipeline

Paul H. Dworkin, MD, is Executive Vice President for Community Child Health at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. For 15 years, he previously served as physician-in-chief at Connecticut Children’s and chair of pediatrics at UCONN.

Dr. Dworkin’s interests are at the interface among child development, child health services, and child health policy. Dr. Dworkin’s honors include teaching awards from both universities he has served, visiting professorships, and named lectureships. He was the editor of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from 1997-2002 and was a member of the first entering class of the Academy of Distinguished Educators at the UCONN School of Medicine. In 2003, Dr. Dworkin received the prestigious C. Anderson Aldrich Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in recognition of achievement in the field of child development. His vision led to the creation of Help Me Grow, a Connecticut statewide initiative to promote the early detection of children at risk for developmental and behavioral problems and their linkage to programs and services that is currently being replicated in more than 30 states.   He currently serves as the project director for the North Hartford Ascend Pipeline, a US Department of Education Promise Neighborhoods grantee.

Dr. Dworkin received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency and fellowship training at Boston Children’s Hospital. He earned a certificate in policy analysis from the University of North Dakota. Dr. Dworkin has served on the boards of numerous community-based organizations, recently completed his tenure as chair of the board of the Urban League of Greater Hartford, and currently serves on the board of the Institute for Child Success in Greenville, SC. He was a participant in LGH’s inaugural Summit program in 2012.

Dr. Dworkin is receiving the 2023 Polaris Visionary Award for his exceptional medical career and contributions to building access to quality healthcare for underserved populations. We commend his vision to deliver services in new ways and with care and respect for the communities served.


Individual tickets are $125.

Have 5 friends or fellow LGH alumni to join you? Groups of 6 will receive 20% off the individual price.
Click Purchase Tickets button to select discount.



We are thrilled to have Cynthia Gentry and Renee DiNino as the emcees for our 20th Annual Polaris Awards celebration. They are both long-time supporters of Leadership Greater Hartford and are dedicated community and business leaders in our region.

Together, these two ladies are going to be an incredible duo! Prepare yourself for all the laughs, mini-concerts, and energy that will positively impact your mood for days!

We are excited to welcome Cynthia Gentry for her 1st year as a Polaris emcee! Cynthia is the Grants and Contracts Specialist at The Village for Families & Children. She is also an LGH Board Member and a proud #quest2020 grad. Cynthia is a mom of 5 beautiful children and is simply a powerhouse! Renee DiNino is an On Air Radio/TV Personality at iHeartMedia who is returning to the Polaris stage for her 6th year, and her 2nd year as emcee!  You won’t want to miss the fun and excitement she brings to this event.


Become a 2023 Polaris Awards sponsor and have your company seen by the entire LGH network!

Click HERE for full sponsorship package details.

Let us know your company is interested in sponsoring the 2023 Polaris Awards HERE and we will contact you directly.

 Thank you sponsors!

For those unable to attend this year, you can still support the event and Leadership Greater Hartford’s mission by making a donation. Your gifts are appreciated!

Donate Here: bit.ly/DonatetoLGH

Take a look back at the 2022 Polaris Awards

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