Black History Month Spotlight: Sanford Cloud, Jr.
Hartford native Sanford (Sandy) Cloud, Jr. is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Cloud Company, LLC, a real estate and business development firm with headquarters in downtown Hartford.
Sandy told MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price about his involvement with Hartford over the years and ways in which The Cloud Company creates economic development in the region.
NAN PRICE: Tell us about your involvement in the Hartford community and the impact you’re making here.
SANDY CLOUD: Throughout my entire career, I have strived to break barriers. As a young lawyer in private practice at Robinson & Cole, I became the first African American associate in 1970 and then partner in 1975. I served two terms in the Connecticut State Senate from 1977 to 1980 and was the lead sponsor of legislation creating the first State Department of Housing.
Later, at the Aetna, I was appointed Vice President of Corporate Public Involvement and Executive Director of the Aetna Foundation. While at Aetna, I played a major role in reinvesting in Hartford neighborhoods and its art and cultural institutions. At this time, I was one of the founders of the Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
From 1994 through 2004, I served as the eighth president and the first African American president and Chief Executive Office of the National Conference for Community Justice (NCCJ). Over the past decades, I have served on community and corporate boards including Chair of UConn Health Center and former Chair of the Connecticut Health Foundation, Lead Trustee of Eversource Energy and board member of the MetroHartford Alliance.
NAN: Why Hartford?
SANDY: I was born and raised in Hartford. It is the city that educated, nurtured, and embraced me. My wife, Diane, is a retired public school teacher and administrator and we raised our three children, Adam, Christopher, and Robin here.
I have attempted to live a life of service giving back to the city I love. The city of Hartford provided me with so many opportunities to make a difference by improving the lives of our fellow citizens across all the divides of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
NAN: In what ways is The Cloud contributing to economic development in the Hartford region?
SANDY: The Cloud Company is presently working as a co-developer with Pennrose Properties, JDA Development Co., and the Housing Authority of Hartford to redevelop time-worn Westbrook Village into a new gateway community with more than 400 rental housing units and homeownership opportunities and approximately 100,000 ft2 of retail/commercial space. The site is being demolished and the first 75 units are now being constructed.
This redevelopment project aligns well with Metro Hartford Alliance’s economic development mission, as it provides construction jobs and permanent new jobs in the businesses and other organizations that will be located in the new community. It also provides much needed new high-quality mixed-income housing for individuals and families looking to live in Hartford and contributes new tax revenue to the city.
NAN: How do we tell Hartford’s story?
SANDY: Using every venue we have at our disposal, especially all forms of social media and by encouraging our citizens to be ambassadors for Hartford—sharing the good news about our city to everyone we meet. We must celebrate Hartford’s diversity in business, industry, and in our communities. Hartford is a vibrant community that is moving forward toward reaching its fullest potential.
NAN: Where do you see the future of Hartford?
SANDY: Hartford has outstanding public, private sector, and community leaders who are working together with a collective focus on education, healthcare, and economic opportunity for all our citizens. I am confident that Hartford will reach its fullest potential, not just for Hartford but for our entire region.
Learn more about The Cloud Company, LLC
Photo: Sanford Cloud, Jr. is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Cloud Company, LLC. (Photo credit: UConn Today)