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2023 C-SUITE Honoree Hector Rivera

President and CEO Our Piece of the Pie Inc. Size of organization: $10.6 million; 70 employees Education: Bachelor’s degree in human service, Springfield College; MBA, Albertus Magnus College; MSM, Albertus Magnus College Click here to return to the honoree page
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Winner Category | CEO, Small Nonprofit, Less Than 75 Employees

Hector M. Rivera is the president and CEO of Our Piece of the Pie (OPP). Rivera heads the organization’s leadership team with a focus on the growth of resources and capacity to deliver quality services and positive results for Connecticut’s youth.

Throughout his tenure, he has led OPP to recognition as one of the nation’s leading nonprofits in the areas of youth and workforce development and post-secondary academic solutions for teens and young adults.

What have been your biggest professional accomplishments over the past year?

I led the organization with the fundraising, research, development and implementation of clinical services at Our Piece of the Pie. Our young people now have on-site access to critical mental health services.

I led the organization in increasing its budget by almost 20% from $8.58 million in FY 2023 to $10.63 million in FY 2024.

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In what ways are you involved in the community?

Most of my professional life has been dedicated to human services, particularly Hartford youth. I strive to give my time, mentorship, and knowledge to others and to learn from my peers across the country and locally.

I have sat on numerous nonprofit boards, including the National Youth Employment Coalition and Camp Courant.

On the job

Guiding business principle: ‘Those who build great organizations make sure they have the right people on the bus and the right people in the key seats before they figure out where to drive the bus.’ It’s a principle created by author Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great,’ and taught and ingrained in me by former OPP CEO Bob Rath.

Best way to keep your competitive edge: Always plan and strategize 12 to 18 months ahead. Allows you the ability to capitalize on business opportunities and prepare for the unexpected.

Best business decision: Partnering and developing what is now known as the Hartford Youth Service Corps (HYSC) with Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. More than 2,100-plus young people served, 2,100-plus community service projects initiated and more than $7.2 million in wages distributed to HYSC youth.

Worst business decision: Agreeing to allow others the opportunity to implement pieces of our service model on your behalf without any control levers. Won’t happen again!

Biggest missed opportunity: Attending and experiencing college directly after high school, and never fulfilling my grandfather’s (who was a lifelong educator) dream to see me as a college graduate. Fortunately, I finally took that route as an adult-learner with the support of many.

Goal yet to be achieved: Strategic, timely and successful growth of Our Piece of the Pie’s services into additional regions within the state.

Personal touch in your office: Memorable pictures with other leaders: Bob Rath, Paula Gilberto, Alex Johnson, Joette Katz, Geoffrey Canada, Claire Burns and John Little, all who have played a role in the development of my leadership acumen.

Personal side:

City of residence: Bloomfield

Favorite way to relax: Traveling and creating new memories with friends and family

Hobbies: Collecting rare bourbon and whiskeys and investing

Last vacation: Puerto Rico

Favorite movie: “Tie,” “Goodfellas” and “Bronx Tale”

The car you drive: 2023 Volvo S90

Currently reading: “The Five Graces of Life and Leadership,” by Gary D. Burnison

Favorite causes: People for Urban and Rural Education (PURE), RAICES (Refugee & Immigrant Center for Education & Legal Services), Feeding America

Second choice career: Real estate developer

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