DANNEL P. MALLOY
Dannel Patrick Malloy is serving his second term as Governor of the State of Connecticut, where his top agenda items have included creating new jobs, improving public education, stabilizing the state's finances, making long-overdue investments in transportation infrastructure, and reducing crime.
During his first four-year term in office, Connecticut experienced growth in the private sector of more than 70,000 jobs, the best period of private sector job growth since the 1990s. At a time when many other states were cutting funding for public education, Governor Malloy actually increased funding to local schools and funded thousands of new pre-K slots so that all children, regardless of where they live or their family's income, have access to early childhood education.
Under his leadership, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to pass a minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour and the first to pass legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for workers. After years of trying to pass an Earned Income Tax Credit, Governor Malloy signed a bill that provides a tax break for working families.
His administration has helped Connecticut become a national leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act, which has driven Connecticut's uninsured rate down to 3.8 percent—the lowest point in state history. Connecticut's health care exchange is now assisting other states that are interested in duplicating its model.
Governor Malloy's "Second Chance Society" criminal justice initiative is having a major impact reducing recidivism and lowering crime in the state, which is at a 50-year low. Collaborating with local, state, and federal agencies, in addition to community-based nonprofits and other community advocates, the initiative focuses on breaking the cycle of crime and poverty by giving people the tools needed to become successful members of society. In 2013, he was proud to sign what some have called the most comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation in the country.
Governor Malloy is the youngest of eight children. He was born and raised in Stamford, where he became the city's longest-serving mayor from 1995 to 2009. As a child, he struggled to overcome learning and physical disabilities, eventually gaining the skills he needed to go on to graduate magna cum laude from Boston College and continue on to Boston College Law School. After graduation, he became a prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York, serving for four years as an Assistant District Attorney and winning 22 convictions in 23 felony cases.
In 1982, he married his wife, Cathy, whom he met while they were students at Boston College. They have three sons: Dannel, Ben, and Sam.
Growing up, his mother—a nurse—told him that he has an obligation to leave this world a better place for having lived in it. Throughout his career, he has routinely returned to his mother's words as inspiration to help others overcome obstacles and take on challenges the way his parents and schoolteachers helped him overcome his disabilities and reach his goals.
Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, a former x-ray technician, was elected in 2014 to serve her second term as Connecticut's 108th Lieutenant Governor. She began a career in public service more than 30 years ago when she successfully sought a seat on the Tolland Board of Education.
After serving eight years on the Tolland BOE, Wyman was elected to four terms in the State House of Representatives where she was the chair of the Education Committee and held a leadership position on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education.
In 1994, she was the first woman ever elected State Comptroller. For 16 years, she advocated on behalf of taxpayers for fiscal responsibility and accountability.
Beginning in 2010 and throughout their first term in office, Lieutenant Governor Wyman has been a true partner to Governor Dannel P. Malloy in the work to bolster statewide economic recovery and build a strong foundation for growth, long-term stability, and prosperity.
She is the Chair of the Board of Access Health CT, Connecticut's official health insurance marketplace. Created in 2011 to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act, Access Health CT is recognized nationally as one of the best health exchanges in the country, with other states implementing Connecticut's technology. It is credited with driving down Connecticut's uninsured rate to among the lowest in the country.
One of Lt. Governor Wyman's highest priorities is the welfare of Connecticut's military and veterans. In 2007, she spearheaded the effort to establish Connecticut's Wall of Honor, a tribute at the State Capitol that honors the military men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. She chairs the Rocky Hill Veterans Home advisory group and works closely with the Connecticut National Guard to support service members and their families.
The Lieutenant Governor also chairs the Interagency Council to End the Achievement Gap and the Governor's Youth and Urban Violence Commission.
Lt. Governor Wyman is a longtime supporter of the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, and in 2013 was named to the school's Board of Directors. She is prominent in efforts to raise funds for breast cancer research, has been closely involved with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Kidney Foundation, and the American Heart Association.
Lt. Governor Wyman and her husband Michael live in Tolland, along with their two daughters and their husbands, Stacey and Steve Papa and Meryl and Bill Baldwin, and grandchildren Kyle, Taylor, Lindsey, Max, and Sydney.
DENISE W. MERRILL
SECRETARY OF THE STATE
Denise W. Merrill was elected to her second term as Connecticut's 73rd Secretary of the State on November 4, 2014. As Connecticut's chief elections official and business registrar, Merrill has focused on modernizing Connecticut's elections and improving business services and access to public records.
Secretary Merrill is focused on both civic engagement and fostering business enterprise. Since taking office, she has supported and expanded democratic participation, ensuring that every citizen's rights and privileges are protected, and that every vote is counted accurately. Secretary Merrill has worked to expand voter participation through Election Day and online voter registration. She has also improved Connecticut's democratic accountability and integrity with a series of rapid response processes to Election Day problems. She was the president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, serving for the 2016-17 term.
As Connecticut's business registrar, Secretary Merrill has made it easier for businesses to interact with the office by increasing online functionality, improving response times, and connecting businesses with government resources. She has partnered with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce Export Assistance Center, the General Services Administration, and the Small Business Development Administration to distribute information about business assistance and educational events being offered by these agencies. Secretary Merrill also launched an award-winning online business startup tool to help entrepreneurs navigate through various state and federal agencies. She led the development of Connecticut's e-Regulations system, an online platform that provides access to all agency regulation-making records with real-time updates.
Prior to her election as Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill served as State Representative from the 54th General Assembly District for 17 years, representing the towns of Mansfield and Chaplin. First elected to the General Assembly in 1994, Merrill rose to the rank of House Majority Leader from 2009-2011. She also served as the House Chair of the budget-writing Appropriations Committee from 2005-2009, as vice-chair of the Education Committee from 1994-1999, and as a member of the Government Administration and Elections Committee from 1995-1997. In a 2009 poll done by Connecticut magazine, Majority Leader Merrill was named by her colleagues in the legislature as "Most Respected by the Other Side of the Aisle" and "Most Effective Legislator."
Secretary Merrill is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, is licensed to practice law in the state of California, and is a classically trained pianist. She lives in Hartford. Her family includes husband Dr. Stephen Leach and his two sons, her three grown children, and five grandchildren.
Denise Lynn Nappier is the first African-American woman elected to serve as a state treasurer in the United States and the first African-American woman elected to a statewide office in Connecticut. Elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014, Treasurer Nappier is also the only woman to be elected State Treasurer in Connecticut history.
As Connecticut's chief elected financial officer, Treasurer Nappier oversees approximately $65 billion in state funds, including the $34 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds (CRPTF). The Treasury's Short-Term Investment Fund, with assets of $5.8 billion as of December 2017, has been rated one of the nation's best local government investment pools, and during the Nappier administration, its superior performance has earned government investors approximately $212 million through December 2016 in additional interest income.
A strong advocate for expanding economic opportunity, Treasurer Nappier invested $502.8 million under the Connecticut Community Bank and Credit Union Initiative that her administration created in 2006 to promote the economic and social health of the communities it serves.
Treasurer Nappier also established the $1.3 billion Connecticut Horizon Fund investment program, aimed at enhancing portfolio returns through innovative investment strategies while providing opportunities for Connecticut-based and emerging investment firms—as well as women and minority owned firms—to earn business under the Fund.
In 2015, Treasurer Nappier initiated a $145 million Connecticut-focused investment program within the CRPTF, designed to generate solid returns while stimulating the state's economy. This new initiative will make private investments in Connecticut companies at various stages of development, from mature to newly created businesses.
During the Nappier administration, the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), Connecticut's 529 college savings program, has grown from $18 million in assets and just over 4,000 accounts to more than $3.4 billion in assets and more than 140,000 accounts in two trust plans—CHET Direct (marketed directly to individuals) and CHET Advisor (available through financial advisors). Almost $1.6 billion in qualified withdrawals have been made to fund the college expenses of roughly 47,000 students attending nearly every public and private college in Connecticut and several out-of-state schools.
The Nappier administration has shattered numerous all-time records in returning more than $653 million in unclaimed assets to rightful owners while collecting over $1.8 billion of unclaimed property. The state's Second Injury Fund, which administers injured workers' claims, has either reduced or maintained assessment rates on Connecticut businesses for 19 consecutive years, saving Connecticut businesses $1.3 billion, including $103 million in projected savings in Fiscal Year 2018. Treasurer Nappier's careful management of the state's debt portfolio has saved taxpayers more than $1.2 billion through debt refunding and defeasances of higher-cost debt. In addition, under an asset recovery and loss prevention initiative, the Nappier administration has recovered and/or saved more than $1 billion, including recovery of approximately $51.2 million since 2000 in securities class action matters.
Widely respected by her peers, Treasurer Nappier served five terms as Treasurer of the National Association of State Treasurers and is a board member of the National Association of Corporate Directors Connecticut Chapter and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. She previously served as Hartford City Treasurer for nearly ten years and as executive director of Hartford's Riverfront Recapture. She holds a B.A. from Virginia State University and a master's degree from the University of Cincinnati.
Kevin Lembo is currently serving his second term as Connecticut State Comptroller. Having never previously run for any elected office, Lembo had an unconventional path to public service. He spent decades working as a public health advocate before his first successful election for state comptroller in 2010. Lembo is the first openly gay statewide elected official in Connecticut.
As a young adult, Comptroller Lembo served as program director for an AIDS education, prevention and primary care program and helped develop an innovative long-term home care program for all in New York that successfully prevented premature and permanent admissions to nursing facilities. After moving to Connecticut nearly 20 years ago, Lembo served as assistant comptroller and then as the state's first healthcare advocate.
As state comptroller, and administrator of the state health plan, Lembo has worked to develop innovative preventive care and wellness programs that reduce costs and improve care quality. As the state's chief fiscal guardian, he is an independent voice in reporting on the state's financial outlook and has implemented fiscal policy initiatives to tame Connecticut's revenue volatility and achieve financial predictability.
Those initiatives include a law to build the state's budget reserve fund, while ensuring that Connecticut only spends what it can reasonably afford. Relying on data and actuarial best practices, Comptroller Lembo also developed a pension funding reform plan to help make pension payments more predictable and manageable over time.
Lembo's open government initiatives include "Open Connecticut," an online hub of state financial data, and he successfully advocated for greater openness surrounding hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development initiatives.
As a member of the state bond commission, Comptroller Lembo has advocated for an economic development strategy that emphasizes infrastructure investment - devoting state resources to roads, bridges, ports, public transportation, high-speed broadband, and workforce training - because those priorities benefit all businesses, and particularly middle-class job growth.
Comptroller Lembo is helping to implement a voluntary retirement savings program that will serve up to 600,000 Connecticut workers in the private sector who currently have no workplace retirement savings option.
Comptroller Lembo continues to advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ communities, adoptive and foster families, and parents and individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. In 2004, Lembo was commissioned a "Kentucky Colonel," the highest honor awarded by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, in recognition of his advocacy on behalf of children in foster care.
Comptroller Lembo holds a Master of Public Administration from California State University and is a member of the Pi Alpha Honor Society. He has been recognized as a "champion of transparency" and received awards from organizations including AARP, GLAD and Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information for his work in public policy, health care, retirement security, and open government - and was named a Toll Fellow of the Council of State Governments.
Comptroller Lembo lives in Guilford with his spouse of more than 30 years, Charles Frey. They have three sons.
George Jepsen is Connecticut's 24th Attorney General, completing his second, four-year term in 2018. The Attorney General is a constitutional officer and the chief civil legal officer of the state.
The Attorney General advocates on behalf of the state and its citizens to protect the public interest; ensures state government acts within the letter and spirit of the law; protects public resources; works to preserve and enhance quality of life in Connecticut and to safeguard the rights of the most vulnerable citizens. On a $30.1 million operating budget, the Office generated $636.3 million in revenue to the state for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017.
Jepsen has vigorously pursued antitrust, environmental, health care, and consumer protection issues. He consolidated staff into an Antitrust and Government Program Fraud department, and focused on reducing healthcare costs through greater transparency and competition and deterring healthcare fraud. He created a Privacy & Data Security Department to help safeguard state citizens when data breaches occur. He advocated for Clean Air enforcement and for stronger consumer protections in Connecticut's utility markets.
Jepsen is immediate past president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). During his one-year term as president, he directed a national summit on challenges in the health care marketplace. He serves on NAAG's executive committee.
Jepsen encourages bipartisan efforts by state attorneys generals to address issues of national concern, and currently serves in a leadership capacity on several national bipartisan investigations including: price-fixing in the generic drug industry; opioid abuse; the Equifax data breach and abusive consumer account practices by Wells Fargo. In 2012, he helped to negotiate a $25 billion federal-state settlement, the largest in history—with the nation's five largest banks over mortgage foreclosure abuses. Connecticut played a prominent role in the e-book pricing investigation that produced settlements with five publishing companies, $166 million in consumer refunds and a $450 million judgment against Apple, Inc. Connecticut also led an intensive, 20-state investigation into two financial rating agencies for allegedly misrepresenting their analyses of structured securities, resulting in a $1.375 billion federal-state settlement with Standard & Poor's in 2015 and a $863 million settlement with Moody's in 2016.
Born in Hattiesburg, MS, and raised in Greenwich, the Attorney General is a summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Dartmouth College, earning a degree in government with high distinction. He is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he earned a master's degree in public policy.
Jepsen practiced law as general counsel to Carpenters Local 210 and later with several prominent Connecticut law firms. He served 16 years in the Connecticut General Assembly as state representative for Stamford's 148th District and as state senator for the 27th District, representing Stamford and Darien. He served as Judiciary Committee co-chairman and for six years as state Senate Majority Leader.
Jepsen and his wife, Diana, have two sons, Christian and William.