Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

December 6, 2023

DECD deputy commissioner, former Lamont opponent, takes new role as senior adviser

HBJ PHOTO | GREG BORDONARO Rob Hotaling in a 2022 interview during his gubernatorial campaign.

A deputy commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, who ran against Gov. Ned Lamont in 2022 as an Independent before landing a job in Lamont’s administration, has been given a new role within the agency.

Robert Hotaling, who also served as DECD’s chief investment officer, has taken the position of senior adviser, in which he will focus on federal grant funding full-time.

As deputy commissioner, Hotaling oversaw the offices of community development, brownfields, financial review and administration, with a part-time focus on the department’s efforts to secure federal funding, according to agency spokesman Jim Watson.

Watson said Hotaling “has been instrumental in securing new federal grants and other sources of federal funding for employers, universities and municipalities that have created jobs, enhanced workforce development and helped grow the economy.”

The agency has seen an increase in opportunities to obtain federal grants, so it has expanded the job from a part-time to a full-time role, Watson said.

“Rob will devote all of his time and energy to this effort supporting our employers, educators and municipalities,” Watson said. 
DECD has not determined when the vacant deputy commissioner position will be filled.

Hotaling, of Cheshire, won 12,400 votes in his campaign against Lamont in 2022. Lamont handily won a second term.

But administration officials were so impressed with his performance in a debate that they decided to offer him a job.

Hotaling came to the DECD this February from Webster Bank, where he was the senior managing director of enterprise engineering and head of digital delivery.

He was also the founder and CEO of Verbi, a mobile-first automated gunshot and explosion detection system. The company couldn’t find enough investors to gain traction, Hotaling told the Hartford Business Journal in 2022.

Hotaling has been vice president of cloud and mobile at Kitchen Brains, director of mobile solutions at Walker Digital, IT solution and mobile application architect and managing consultant at IBM GBS and chief technology officer at Supply Insight. 

Hotaling's salary, which is $174,724, will stay the same in his new position with DECD.

Reached for comment, Hotaling responded with the following statement:

"(DECD Commissioner) Alexandra (Daum) and I have been keenly aware that BIL/IIJA, the CHIPS & Science Act and IRA have introduced $2 trillion in new federal spending and tax breaks that represent the largest long-term investment by President Biden and Congress in repairing and modernizing infrastructure, advancing clean energy and improving US economic competitiveness, innovation and industrial productivity in our nation’s history.
Considering the magnitude of these new funds and the limited window of opportunity to secure as much for Connecticut as we can, we determined it was best to devote all of my time and energy to this effort supporting our employers, educators and municipalities to maximize success. For these reasons, I was happy to take on this new role seeing I may have an even greater statewide impact on our businesses, jobs and economy."

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF