President and Chief Executive Officer
Lena Rodriguez has devoted her professional life to assisting people who are trying to forge better lives for themselves. With a genuine passion for CRT’s mission of “Preparing Our Community to Meet Life’s Challenges,” Lena leads the agency to address unmet needs in the community.
Lena is consistently focused on maximizing services that will benefit the people of Central Connecticut. In her role at CRT, she has taken the lead on several large, innovative projects dedicated to helping people in need, including: CRT Generations, a housing development in Hartford for grandparents with legal custody of their grandchildren; Veterans Crossing, a transitional residence for homeless vets located in East Hartford; and The Retreat, a unique affordable assisted living facility in the heart of Hartford for 100 low-income seniors. In addition, she worked tirelessly to preserve vital mental health and addiction services in Hartford, creating a licensed and accredited Behavioral Health Services unit accessible to people from all income levels, regardless of whether they have medical insurance.
In 2019, Ms. Rodriguez realized the fruition of a life-long dream of hers with the official opening of CRT’s Women’s Empowerment Center located on Market Street in Hartford. For over the past 10 years, more than 50 percent of the people served by CRT are female. Today, with a broad range of both hands-on services and personal mentoring for its members, the Women’s Empowerment Center is helping women to thrive and reach their true potential.
Prior to joining CRT, Lena spent a decade at the New York City Board of Education, as their Director of Finance for the Division of Special Education, serving a population of more than 20,000 students and managing a $450 million annual budget.
At CRT, Lena works closely with funders, elected officials and key stakeholders to foster long-lasting relationships that help to increase the resources and services available to individuals and families throughout Central Connecticut.
As a result of Lena’s true commitment to quality, CRT has received numerous awards for excellence from various local, state and national entities. She sets high standards for herself and her team, and she has successfully led the organization through accreditation by third-party national organizations including the Joint Commission and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Lena received her MS from Rensselaer Institute – Hartford and an undergraduate degree in International Business from Bernard Baruch College. Outside of CRT, she serves on a number of Boards for area nonprofit organizations, and she is an avid golfer helping to establish the CT Latinas Golf Team.