2022 ELS Case Competition

Digital Program
December 6, 2022

Welcome to the 4th Annual ELS Case Competition
Culmination and Recognition Event!

Since September, United Way Emerging Leaders Society (ELS) has gathered teams of young professionals, mentors, judges, sponsors and volunteers with the sole purpose of addressing barriers that contribute to local hunger and access to food.

At today’s virtual event, you will hear stories full of inspiration. You will get insight into the eight-week competition experience, learn more about the issue of hunger and access to food in our community, and learn which team will be awarded the chance to implement their winning idea.

Below is an abbreviated version of the 2022 Case Challenge.
You are a consulting team tasked with creating a United Way summer public awareness campaign to raise visibility around the benefits, culture and characteristics of Hartford Farmers’ Markets and their impact on health outcomes and food insecurity. The goal is to reach your target audience with a campaign designed to increase utilization of the seven markets using culturally relevant messaging that is aligned with United Way’s brand and tone.  


6:00 – 7:30 P.M.

Welcome, Words of Congratulations, Introductions


Mentor and Team Recognition


ELS Case Competition Mini-Documentary, produced by Marques Creative


Announcing the Winning Team


What’s Next?



About the ELS Case Competition

On September 20, the 2022 ELS Case Competition kicked off with six teams and six mentors. The ELS Case Competition offered a unique eight-week opportunity to young leaders, across the United States, and local executives to work together to solve a real community issue related to food insecurity. Teams were immersed in learning about the challenge and positioned to identify creative solutions, develop personally and professionally, sharpen their virtual presence, and form an instant network of individuals with diverse backgrounds and leadership styles.

ELS created this “Shark Tank” style competition to allow for innovative thinking, problem-solving and professional development, all while offering up ideas that may have a long-term impact on our community.

All teams pitched to a panel of judges in rounds one and two. Three teams proceeded to the final round.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Media Implementation Sponsor:

Silver Sponsors:


Bronze Sponsors:

HYPE Logo Full Color White Background

Meet the 2022 ELS Case Competition Committee

Media Implementation Sponsor

Comcast is the ELS Case Competition Media Implementation Sponsor. Comcast educates, entertains and empowers communities. The telecommunications company focuses their efforts on volunteering, leadership development, giving access to technology, teaching digital skills, leveraging platforms to educate audiences and starting conversations about critical issues.

Meet the 2022 ELS Case Competition Teams

Silver Sponsors

Meet the 2022 ELS Case Competition Mentors

Bronze Sponsors

Meet the 2022 ELS Case Competition Judges

Participating Teams

Aetna, a CVS Health Company | Cigna | Comcast | Hartford HealthCare
HSB | UConn School of Business

Meet the 2022 ELS Case Competition Community Partners

Messages of Congratulations

About United Way

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut’s mission is to engage and bring together people and resources committed to the well-being of children and families in our community. Our vision is a community where opportunities are available for every child to succeed in school and for every family to achieve financial security.  

United Way brings people and resources together to address immediate needs and find long-term solutions to challenging problems, such as hunger. We do this by investing in programs and services, leading community change initiatives and mobilizing resources and volunteers. With your support, we and our network of community partners will make change for people in our region. 

About Emerging Leaders Society (ELS)

ELS is a convener of local, young professionals. ELS members represent a new generation of leaders committed to making a difference in our community by leveraging the power of United Way to connect, serve and grow – both personally and professionally.  

Stay connected! Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter @uwelsct #ELSDoSomethingBIG

Why Your Support Matters

Between June and October, Hartford has an established Farmers’ Market presence with seven key markets. However, the unique design and strengths of each market, as well as their impact on health outcomes and food insecurity, may not be fully understood by individuals and families who could benefit from their offerings.  

Many households experiencing food insecurity are ALICE, a United Way-coined acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These are adults and families with incomes above the Federal Poverty Level but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. Simply put – despite working hard, they struggle to make ends meet. Click here to learn more about ALICE.  

2021 ELS Case Competition Implementation Progress

United Way Staff Committee

  • Rebekah Castagno,
    Team Lead
  • Maura Cook,
    Executive Sponsor
  • Kate Blackburn 
  • Phil Blonski
  • Anyeline Céspedes López
  • Amanda Cohen
  • Joanne Cohen
  • Diana Desnoyers
  • Kayla Hernandez 
  • Karen Moran
  • Lauren Pereira
  • Shirvani Piersa