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July 25, 2016 40 Under Forty 2016

Derrick Gibbs Jr.

Derrick Gibbs Jr. Derrick Gibbs Jr.
Derrick Gibbs Jr. visited the Great Wall of China in 2007 as part of a college exchange trip with Eastern Connecticut State University. Also posing are friends Eric Lusa and Kasia Mohn.
Derrick Gibbs Jr., a Boy Scout mentor, presents a new uniform to a Putnam teen whose family's house had burned down.

Age: 30

Company: Change Incorporated

Title: Executive Director/CEO

Town where I live: Stamford

Town where I work: Middletown

College: Eastern CT State University

Q&A:

What do you do and what are your goals in your current job? I'm the executive director/CEO of Change Inc. I manage 35 employees, focusing on growth, financials and daily operations. My goal is to raise money to accomplish our first acquisition. I'm looking at organizations that offer similar services to us.

What are your goals for your community involvement? My goal is to join additional nonprofit boards because my business knowledge and ability to contribute to those organizations give me fulfillment. I hope to return to volunteer firefighting and I'm interested in politics.

What's your biggest passion? I enjoy helping people. Since a young age I've always wanted to be in a caregiving or lifesaving role, from lifeguard to medical technician to firefighter. This field has also been something I'm very passionate about. My original plans were to go to college and study nursing.

What are your future aspirations? My biggest aspiration is to be the founder of an organization that provides healthcare and health education services to low-income neighborhoods. I wasn't able to graduate with a nursing degree, but at this point I can hire doctors, nurses and dentists.

What needs to happen for Hartford to become a more vibrant city where people work, live and play? Hartford needs to get the entire community working together. City redevelopment shouldn't only be focused on downtown, where it only benefits a particular demographic community, but also on surrounding areas that have huge need. Long standing residents in the north, south and west ends should not be forgotten. More police presence in high-crime areas, not just driving by, but officers on foot. The city must do more collaboration with community organizations to improve some of our neighborhoods.

List four reasons why you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty:

  1. I founded a company that employees over 300 people.
  2. I'm currently or have been involved in: volunteer Broad Brook Fire Department, Middletown/Willimantic Rotary Club, Boy Scouts of America, board member of the Middlesex YMCA, and board member of the Stamford Public Education Fund.
  3. My company has saved state taxpayers over a million dollars in long-term care expenses through the state Department of Social Services.
  4. When I was in sixth grade I was told that I had a reading disability, but I never let that stop me. I managed to never stay back, go to college and graduate on time, and now own a business that provides home care to elders and individuals with mental-health disabilities.

Time Tested:

What personal possession in your life has withstood the test of time? My first lawn mower

What hobby did you develop at a young age that you still enjoy today? Boating and fishing

Twenty years ago, what did you envision as your future profession? A doctor

Who do you consider your mentor? There are too many to list.

See the complete list of Forty Under 40 Winners for 2016! 

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