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Adrienne W. Cochrane, Top 25 Women in Business 2022 Honoree

Adrienne W. Cochrane Employer: YWCA Hartford Region Title: CEO Check out all of the WIB honorees here!
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Adrienne W. Cochrane has devoted her nonprofit career to underserved and disenfranchised individuals and communities.

Her work is centered in achieving racial and gender equity and social justice. As CEO of the $9-million YWCA Hartford Region, Cochrane and her leadership team are expanding programs and services in Hartford; launching a social enterprise; and transforming their headquarters into a Center for Racial Justice and Gender Equity to create sustainable impact for women, girls and families, particularly women and girls of color.

Q: What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far?

My total body of work as opposed to a single accomplishment. My nonprofit work is consistently mission-centered and solutions focused on serving those most vulnerable. Social justice requires that we disrupt and dismantle unjust practices to achieve social transformation. Being part of a team doing this work is a collective accomplishment.

Q: What’s the next big goal you want to accomplish professionally?

YWCA Hartford Region is leveraging stakeholders and relationships to expand our programs and services, launch our social enterprise, Persimmon Petals, and transform our building into a Center for Racial Justice and Gender Equity to provide a safe place where women, girls and families will thrive.

Q: What’s one of the biggest professional challenges you’ve overcome?

Successfully steering a complex, multilayered organization and team through a pandemic is a different kind of opportunity. My board leaned in, the team stepped up, and we used the time to redefine our vision, complete our strategic plan and re-imagine how we optimize our building to fulfill our mission.

Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic forced you to adapt as a leader?

The pandemic transformed the way we live and work and define the two. The diverse experiences of our early learning staff — who could not work remotely — and staff who could, was a delicate balance. Consistent, open communication and acknowledgement of differences forged a deeper bond.

Q: What legacy do you want to leave after your career is over?

I hope that my career legacy will be as a compassionate servant leader who fostered positive and impactful change in the lives of those who needed it most.

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