Special To The Herald
HARTFORD - Upward Hartford, formerly known as Innovate Hartford, has appointed a new event coordinator, New Britain native Chris Dudanowicz.
Upward Hartford, at 20 Church St., was created to help new and incoming businesses, creating a space for business owners and entrepreneurs to network.
According to the Upward Hartford website, its mission is to “make innovation accessible to every member of the community, from inner city high school students learning to code to young graduates starting new businesses.”
Dudanowicz’s responsibility is working with businesses that want to hold events or conferences at Upward. He is responsible for organizing each event around Upward’s vision of innovation, creativity and mindfulness.
“It is both extremely exciting and inspiring to be able to meet new business owners and entrepreneurs,” he said. “For one reason: These people are the future of Hartford and the future of our state.”
Dudanowicz comes from a background in event planning. It began in high school, when he worked as a stage crew member, handling everything from audio to lights. Later, he attended UConn-West Hartford and became involved with the student government as a senator. In his sophomore year he was elected president.
“I went from a senator heavily involved on the events committee to the president of (student government) at UConn-West Hartford, with a vision in mind to create a stronger student community on campus,” he said.
He has also served internships with the Lupus Foundation and the Greater New Britain Arts Alliance.
He graduated last year from Central Connecticut State University.
His dedication to community engagement began after a fatal automobile accident that involved three people with whom he had closely worked.
“On the day of their wake I gained an even deeper understanding of how truly devoted they were to these communities,” he said. “That day I made the decision to devote my life to community engagement to continue in their footsteps.”
He describes his time at at Upward Hartfore as “exciting, creative and busy.” He and his team run two or three events per week, he said. Chris encourages all to learn more about the Upward’s events and stay up to date on events by following them on social media, visiting their website, or downloading their app, “Upward Hartford” in either the iOS or Android app store.