Ned Lamont is a businessman with a proven commitment to public service. He is running for governor of Connecticut at this critical time because he believes that while our state needs better management, we also need bold leadership with a comprehensive plan to create jobs and make government work for our families -- and the courage to make that vision a reality.
It's no surprise that Ned has chosen to take on this challenge at this moment. It's what he has done his entire life.
As a businessman who successfully took on established companies, he led by setting a clear strategic vision, listening to customers, and adapting to changing conditions. As a public servant elected four times to office in his hometown, he worked with politicians of opposing views to get results. As a father and a volunteer teacher, he learned the critical importance of education to expanding opportunity and building the workforce of the future here in Connecticut. And as a candidate for United States Senate in 2006, he stood up to challenge the political establishment and conventional wisdom when no one else would.
In these difficult economic times, Ned has the courage, the experience, and the vision to get our state back on track.
An executive approach to government
Ned started Lamont Digital Systems in 1984, joining a high-tech industry that was dominated by large and established companies. As with any start-up, success was by no means guaranteed. But with his bold vision and strategic plan, Ned was able to compete with larger companies by developing a better product, making a commitment to be responsive to his customers, and reacting to problems with innovative solutions.
The company now serves over 250 of America's largest college campuses and over 1 million college students across the nation with foreign language, distance learning, and cable television services. As CEO, Ned sets and meets budgets with a shared responsibility to employees, customers, and investors alike.
Ned is committed to bringing this experience in business to the hard work of reforming state government -- evaluating programs based on whether they actually work for our families; ensuring government is able and ready to adapt to changing environments; and, above all, leading with a comprehensive strategic plan that will bring jobs back to our state and ensure Connecticut's ability to compete in the years and decades to come.
A lifetime of public service
Shortly after graduating from college, Ned helped start up a weekly newspaper in a small town that had recently lost its major employer. He covered town meetings and the Board of Selectmen as the town worked together to recover from job losses and reinvent itself. He then went on to earn a graduate degree from the Yale School of Management.
Ned has been elected four times to public office in his hometown. As a member of the Greenwich Board of Selectmen, he worked with a Republican First Selectman to get results for his constituents. As a member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, he helped oversee a multimillion-dollar town budget. For four years, Ned also served as Chairman of the State Investment Advisory Council, overseeing a multibillion-dollar state pension fund.
In 2006, Ned took on the political establishment by defeating Joe Lieberman for the Democratic nomination for United States Senate. Ned campaigned on the message that our nation's fiscally reckless foreign policy was distracting us from pressing issues that demanded our attention at home -- including the economy, education, healthcare, and energy independence. In their endorsement of Ned for the general election, the New York Times wrote that Ned's "willingness to take on Mr. Lieberman when no one else dared to do it showed real courage and conviction."
In the years following his historic race for Senate, Ned has served as a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics, and as co-chairman of the Obama campaign in Connecticut. Ned has also stayed involved in many of the issues he campaigned on in 2006 by serving on the boards of Mercy Corps, which provides job training skills for disadvantaged youth in the Middle East; Conservation Services Group, the fastest growing energy efficiency company in the country; and Teach for America CT, which recruits and trains college graduates to teach in underserved school systems. In a 2007 editorial, the Stamford Advocate praised Ned for "continuing to stand up publicly for the causes he supported during his election campaign."
A commitment to family and education
Ned and his wife Annie have raised three children in Connecticut: Emily, now 22; Lindsay, 18; and Teddy, 16.
Starting his business close to home was important for Ned because it allowed him to be near his family while his children were young. He coached their soccer teams and sought to instill in his children the same belief in the importance of education and public service with which he was raised -- whether that meant helping them with homework or leading sometimes unruly dinner-table debates about current events.
It was in this same spirit that Ned later became a volunteer teacher at Harding High School in Bridgeport. There, he co-taught a class of students about how small businesses actually function, bringing in local businesspeople to share their own experiences and helping to place students as interns at local businesses.
Ned is currently a professor at Central Connecticut State University, where he has focused on promoting public policy and entrepreneurship in Connecticut and helped start a popular competition where students create start-up business plans and compete for prizes. In early 2009, he helped lead an initiative to bring together business, nonprofit, and labor leaders to focus on a jobs strategy for Connecticut.
As governor, Ned Lamont will call on these varied experiences in both the public and private sectors to challenge the conventional wisdom in Hartford and lead with a comprehensive vision to get our state back on track.