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November 21, 2023

Nonprofit entrepreneur Richard Sugarman to step down as head of Hartford Promise

Contributed Hartford Promise President Richard Sugarman (shown left) will be stepping down from his leadership role next year.

Richard Sugarman, the well-known nonprofit executive who founded the popular Connecticut Forum, will be stepping down as president of Hartford Promise, an organization that provides college scholarships to Hartford youth.

Sugarman announced Tuesday he will be stepping down as president of Hartford Promise on June 30, 2024. The organization’s board said it has begun a search for Sugarman’s successor, with the goal of having a new leader in place by next spring. 

Sugarman founded and has led Hartford Promise since 2015, when the nonprofit was seeded with $3.8 million from corporate donors and philanthropists, including Travelers, Hartford Hospital, money manager George Weiss, Newman’s Own Foundation and entrepreneur Bob Patricelli.

Since then, there have been more than 1,000 scholars in eight classes who have received $9 million in scholarships, according to the nonprofit. 

There are 500 Promise Scholars currently attending 90 colleges all over the country, the organization said.

“In an extraordinary example of non-profit sector entrepreneurship, Richard has founded and built a vital and lasting institution for Greater Hartford, dedicated to student success,” said Hartford Promise board co-chairs Patricelli and Walt Harrison in a joint statement. “Hartford Promise has never been stronger. Richard’s guidance has assured that the organization is well-prepared to carry on its core mission and commitment to serve Hartford Promise Scholars well into the future.”

Hartford Promise scholarships provide up to $20,000, or $5,000 per year, for four years. To qualify, a scholar must: be a Hartford resident; attend a Hartford Public High School; earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better; have a 93% attendance rate or better.

Sugarman was recently named to Hartford-mayor elect Arunan Arulampalam's transition team, where he will co-chair the youth and education committee. 

He will be fully active at Hartford Promise during the leadership transition, the organization said. Sugarman is not planning to retire and will remain in Hartford.

In fiscal year 2022, Hartford Promise reported $5.3 million in assets, $2.7 million in revenue and a $1.1 million surplus, according to its most recent 990 tax filing. 

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