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Updated: August 5, 2019 / 2019 40 Under Forty Awards Honorees

Julianna Cruz

Photo | J. Fiereck Photography Julianna Cruz


Senior Public Relations Specialist, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Age: 26

No. of years with current company: 3

Town where I live: Stratford

Town where I work: Hartford

College: University of Hartford

Highest degree: MBA

Who is your favorite superhero: Storm

Julianna Cruz works for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Connecticut’s only not-for-profit health insurance plan. She began in a senior marketing role and transitioned into PR and partnership management. She is tasked with growing company awareness by relationship-building across communities and partnering to support local initiatives.

With a deep love of business and a passion for uplifting others, particularly in the realms of health and educational equity, Cruz is living her dream career.

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

I was at Camp Courant for a nutrition event that I developed for Hartford children. A small boy pointed at a tomato and asked me 'Miss what is this? I’ve never seen one before.' It broke my heart and gave me hope in the work we do all at the same time. I adore my job.

How are you involved in the community?

Equity in education is so important to me because I wouldn’t be here without the opportunities I’ve been awarded. Thus, I sit on the board of Camp Courant; I volunteer at Stratford Performing Arts Academy where I trained in music; and I sit on the alumni and Hartt School boards at the University of Hartford.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to travel. Exploring new places in the perspective of those who live there builds so much gratitude and understanding. If everyone carved out some time to explore I think we would be a much more tolerant society. My favorite trips have been to Međugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Havana, Cuba.

Four reasons why you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty:

I struggle with this question. I don’t think any list of accolades I could provide would make me feel 'deserving' of anything. Truly this recognition is a testament to the relationships I’ve built by doing what I love every single day.

Winning an award of this stature at 26 I hope can be an example to all my fellow ‘20-somethings’ seeking direction. Do what you love as thoroughly as you can, and you’ll never feel like you’re going to work.

Fun Fact

My first degree is in music. When I was 17 I won amateur night at the Apollo singing Tom Jones.

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