Esquilin Seeks Change Through Hartford Areas Rally Together Inc.
January 07, 2013
Mayra Esquilin vividly recalls the day, while working from home, she encountered the Hartford nonprofit that would eventually change both their fortunes.
A Hartford Areas Rally Together organizer named Nick rang her doorbell at midday.
"I invited him in and he shared with me about HART's work,'' Esquilin said. "Since I have always been very passionate about community work and as I was an independent consultant at the time, my time was my own so I agreed to get involved.''
She began as a resident leader, then joined HART's board, later becoming board president.
When HART's previous executive director, Marilyn Rossetti, was ready to leave, Esquilin said Rosetti encouraged her to apply for the job. She got it in May 2011.
Today, Esquilin says it's her task to oversee the more than 35-year-old organization's mission to build relationships, act collectively and bring about lasting positive changes to Hartford's neighborhoods.
Resident leaders have led efforts to reduce crime and blight, improve schools, increase city services to neighborhoods, help immigrant populations acculturate and generally improve the quality of life for Hartford residents, she said.
"The one thing I've learned about myself, HART and the Hartford community in taking on the chief executive position is that it takes more than a profound belief in a cause to move things forward. It takes grit and commitment to rolling up your sleeves and getting the work done," Esquilin said. "It is what moves, good to great and great to excellent."
Esquilin has more than 15 years of experience in private, public and nonprofit management. She is experienced in developing and implementing innovative community-based services and programs in consultation with key stakeholders.
Before HART, Esquilin was a prevention services coordinator for The Children's Trust Fund, a division of the state Department of Social Services dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.