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HARTFORD, CONN (November 16, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin announced that he is nominating Walter Veselka to serve as Director of the Department of Public Works.  Veselka will start on November 19, 2018, and his nomination is subject to confirmation by the City Council.  

“Walt Veselka has been a highly regarded public works director in Connecticut for more than two decades, and we are excited that he will be joining our team and serving our city in such an important position,” said Mayor Bronin.  “Walt’s extensive experience managing the full range Public Works responsibilities will be invaluable to our city and to our Department.  I also want to thank Chief Freeman for his tremendous leadership over the last two years simultaneously managing two of our most important departments.  We are incredibly fortunate that Chief Freeman was willing to serve as interim director, and I am grateful for his dedication, professionalism, and leadership in multiple roles for much longer than anticipated.”

“Public Works is an essential city function that has such a significant impact on the quality of life of our residents and I am glad we were able to recruit someone with such extensive experience to the City of Hartford,” said City Council President Glendowlyn L.H. Thames.

“I’ve dedicated my professional life to public works and I am excited to get to work serving the people of Hartford,” said Walter Veselka.  “Public works plays a critical role in creating a livable, sustainable, and thriving community and it will be an honor to work in our state’s Capital City.  I am looking forward to getting to know city leaders and residents in the weeks ahead.”

Since 2003, Veselka has served as Public Works Director for the City of Bristol, where he managed all facets of public works service delivery and oversaw a staff of more than 120.  He was recognized as a Top Ten Public Works Leader of the Year in 2016 by the American Public Works Association.  Between 1995 and 2003 he served as Public Works Director for the Town of Coventry.  Between 1975 and 1995, Veselka served as a commissioned officer and civil engineer in the United States Coast Guard.  He attended the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, graduating in 1975 and earned masters’ degrees from the University of Illinois and the University of Hartford.






HARTFORD, CONN (November 14, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin and the Hartford InsurTech Hub announced that Hartford has joined the City Innovation Ecosystem Program hosted by the National League of Cities (NLC) and Schmidt Futures.  The program aims to support fifty cities that have made commitments to local entrepreneurship, STEM education, or innovation. NLC announced the cities it will partner with at its annual City Summit in Los Angeles, which had more than 3,500 attendees representing more than 1,500 cities.  In its announcement, the NLC recognized Hartford as, “the country’s premier destination for insurance technology startups.”

“In a very short time since its launch last year, the Hartford InsurTech Hub has established itself as a major center of insurtech innovation, and we’re excited to partner with the National League of Cities as we work to accelerate its growth,” said Mayor Bronin.  “The constellation of industry leaders here makes Hartford a perfect place for insurtech entrepreneurs and growing insurtech companies to locate and work hand in hand with major global insurance carriers.  I want to thank CT Next, our local Innovation Places team, and all of the companies who are working together to position Hartford to build on its history and become the insurtech capital of the world.”

To join the program, the City of Hartford and Hartford’s insurance industry, led by Cigna, The Hartford, LIMRA, and Travelers, committed to growing the InsurTech ecosystem by attracting new companies and talent to the city.  That work has been ongoing for the last year in partnership Startupbootcamp, the global network of accelerators and innovation programs, which runs the Hartford InsurTech Hub. Specifically, throughout 2019, Hartford will track increases in: the number of InsurTech startups; the amount of corporate engagement and support; the number of InsurTech events; and the amount of talent, including professionals and students, involved in startup growth or innovation initiatives within the insurance industry.

“The growing energy created by the alliance of established companies, emerging ventures, and students is making Hartford an insurtech destination,” said Sabine VanderLinden, Chief Executive Officer for the InsurTech business at Startupbootcamp.  “This recognition by the National League of Cities will help facilitate connections to innovation leaders in a variety of US locations and further enrich Hartford and its wider ecosystem to deliver insurance success.”

“When accepting cities, we look for two things,” said Scott Andes, Program Director for the Innovation Ecosystem Program at the NLC.  “First, leadership that is tenacious and willing to forge cross-sector partnerships and commitments to action that will take full advantage of a city’s unique strengths.”

Through this commitment, Hartford will join the NLC and other nationally recognized innovation leaders to share best practices, connect with national firms and foundations and gain technical support, and national recognition through NLC forums and publications.

About Hartford InsurTech Hub

The Hartford InsurTech Hub, powered by Startupbootcamp, is an initiative established in 2017 by Hartford insurance companies, the City of Hartford, and CTNext. Focused on addressing the need for attracting new technologies and talent in insurance and technology into the City of Hartford and the local ecosystem, the program partners include Cigna, The Hartford, Travelers, CTNext, USAA, White Mountains and Clyde & Co. As we prepare for the second year of the program starting in 2019, please visit: for up-to-date information.

About the National League of Cities 

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. Learn more at

About Schmidt Futures

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that seeks to improve societal outcomes through the thoughtful development of emerging science and technologies that can benefit humanity. As a venture facility for public benefit, they invest risk capital in the most promising ideas and most exceptional people across disciplines. Learn more at





HARTFORD, CONN (October 30, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin announced that Sustainable CT has given Hartford its highest rating for sustainability: Silver Certification.  The City accepted this award at the Annual Convention of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.  Hartford joins just four other Connecticut communities – Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, and Stamford – in attaining this certification.

“We’re working on many fronts to build a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable city, and this recognition from Sustainable CT is an important affirmation of the work we’ve done thus far,” said Mayor Bronin.  “The Certification recognizes the hard work of our Climate Stewardship Council, our Office of Sustainability, City departments like Public Works and Development Services, City boards and commissions, non-profits, and grassroots advocates.  As the federal government abandons its environmental responsibilities, we’re determined to do everything we can to be a leader in local sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

In recent years, the City of Hartford has prioritized environmental sustainability.  In 2016, a community-led Climate Stewardship Initiative drafted a Climate Action Plan, which was adopted by the City Council earlier this year. In 2017, the Mayor’s Office launched a grant-funded Sustainability Office, which works with community stakeholders to integrate sustainability into all City decision-making.  Sustainable CT, a statewide initiative that supports and recognizes sustainability action by Connecticut communities, was launched last year.

In its application for the Sustainable CT Certification, the City demonstrated significant achievements in nine areas, including clean transportation, resilient planning, diverse housing, and vibrant and creative cultural ecosystems. Among other initiatives, the City’s has implemented Complete Streets, encouraged healthy food networks, promoted environmentally-friendly development through its zoning code, and prioritized equitable outcomes though extensive community outreach.

“Congratulations to our 2018 certified Sustainable CT communities,” said Lynn Stoddard, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, which administers the program. “We are inspired by your leadership and eager to share your accomplishments in building efficient, thriving, and resilient communities.”

About Sustainable CT: With input from municipal leaders across the state, including several from Hartford, Sustainable CT was developed under the auspices of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University. The program is independently funded, with significant support from three Connecticut philanthropic foundations. The founding funders include the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Hampshire Foundation, and the Common Sense Fund.

For more information, visit or, or follow @hartfordclimate on Twitter.





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