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2022 40 Under Forty: Maura Cook

Click here to return to HBJ’s 2022 40 Under Forty Award Honorees Maura Cook Age: 36 Company: United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut Title: Vice President Marketing and Development Number of years with current company: 9 Town where I live: Middlebury Town where I work: Hartford College: Assumption College, Sacred Heart University Highest degree: Master’s in communication
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Maura Cook is the vice president of marketing and development at United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. Cook focuses on increasing organizational revenue and impact through fundraising, marketing and engagement experiences. She has spent her entire career in the nonprofit sector and with United Way for nine years, beginning as senior manager of community engagement.

Cook also is an adjunct professor in communications and public administration at Sacred Heart University.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career?

Two accomplishments include developing the Making Choices interactive exercise with United Way colleagues to help people understand the challenges facing families in our region. The exercise has been done thousands of times and been made into a virtual experience, adopted by United Ways nationwide.

Another is working with real estate and building industry leaders to make the ‘Building Foundations’ breakfast a reality. The virtual event raised $300,000 and the first in-person event raised $420,000 to prevent and address homelessness.

How are you involved in the community?

I’ve volunteered since age eight. I have learned that while there is no cure for advanced cancer, there are major advancements in treatments allowing patients to live longer and more fully. My family and I organize an annual fitness challenge with friends to raise awareness and funds to help ensure all patients have access to the best lifesaving care.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I am happiest when I am spending time with my family, my partner and our French bulldog. I love to be outside and I’m an avid runner and Peloton enthusiast. I’m excited to run the Eversource Hartford Half Marathon to benefit United Way!

Why do you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty?

• Helped United Way adapt and evolve to find new, meaningful ways of engaging people.

• Am youngest member on our senior leadership team.

• Learned from people in Greater Hartford including colleagues, partner agencies, volunteers, Emerging Leaders Society members and Women United Affinity Groups what is possible when you show up for others and for your community. I work hard to do that daily — both personally and professionally.

• Challenge myself to grow whether designing a course, participating in United Way Worldwide leadership programs or developing new strategies to engage community members.

Fun Fact

I once came in second place in a free-throw shooting contest for the south suburbs of Chicago.

Theme Song

“Stronger” — Kelly Clarkson

Bucket List

What are two things that you would like to achieve before you turn 40?

I’d like to increase revenue generation and diversification for United Way. Personally, I’d like to do a destination half marathon — Big Sur is on the list.

Click here to return to HBJ’s 2022 40 Under Forty Award Honorees

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