Lt. Governor Wyman: WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2014: Nancy Wyman

WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2014: Nancy Wyman


APRIL 4, 2014 | LAST UPDATED APRIL 4, 2014 3:18 PM




{Description: Photo | Matt Volpini}


Lieutenant Governor, State of CT

Wyman's passion for issues, people drive her public service


Tracing Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman's career path, it would seem she made a beeline for politics and never looked back. The real story, however, is one of a mother trying to help her children by being a vocal and involved advocate, setting in motion a chain of events that would ultimately lead her to one of the top jobs in state government.


"You have to speak up when you don't agree with what's going on," Wyman said. "That's how I first got started in the school system."


It was 1979 when Wyman ran for a seat on her local school board in Tolland because she wanted a say in the education of her two young daughters. She was successful, and held that seat for eight years, pushing for reform that would benefit all students. In 1986, Wyman was elected to the state House of Representatives, where she served four consecutive terms. She spent the following 16 years as state comptroller, serving as the state's fiscal guardian. She was the first woman ever elected to that position.


When the opportunity arose to be Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's running mate in 2010, she jumped at the chance.


"Nancy could have easily stayed as comptroller instead of taking on the risk of an election, but she truly believed that Dan Malloy was the person to turn the state around," said Mark Ojakian, the governor's chief of staff. "She put her career to the side to do what she thought was the best thing for the state."


Wyman's alignment with Malloy has allowed her to continue her efforts to improve healthcare access throughout the state, emergency responder support in communities, and recognition of veterans' service and sacrifice, among other initiatives.


"To work with a person with the same point of view, in a real partnership, has been extremely helpful," said Wyman.


Ojakian said it's Wyman's genuine approach to issues that serves her well in office and benefits her constituents.


"She is a very concerned individual, which is good for politics, but that's really who she is," he said. "She pays attention to detail and trusts her gut instincts; 99.9 percent of the time it turns out to be the right call."


When asked about her key initiatives, it is difficult for Wyman to narrow them down. But education, she said, is the reason she first got into politics; today she is a known advocate for educational opportunity for all. Police and fire departments are a focus and they need all the support the state can give them, she adds. Health care also resonates with Wyman, given her pre-political background.


"I am a former X-ray technician," she said. "Making sure we have available health care for everyone in the state is important to me."


Veteran's issues are another passion for Wyman, who solicited private donations to create a Wall of Honor in 2007 as a tribute to Connecticut men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The wall is located in the Veterans Alcove along with other military monuments in the concourse between the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building.


"I leave for work early in the morning and I get home late at night, and that's okay by me because I'm accomplishing things," Wyman said. "It's about being at everything you need to be at; doing everything you have to do. There are 24 hours in a day. Use them."


"Nancy has an innate ability to achieve the goals she sets, but also to continue to be a regular person," Ojakian said. "She is successful because of hard work, determination, attention to detail, and her ability to connect with people on both an individual level and collectively."


Ojakian goes on to say that Wyman's relationships have connected her to a number of people in and out of the state house who know her for the real person she is.


"She treats people on an individual basis. If she runs into you, she's going to know what is going on in your life," he said.


For Wyman, it is simply a matter of being honest with people, keeping values in the forefront and doing what's right. That, and a lot of time management.


"There's an expression — Want to get something done? Find a busy woman. She'll get it done," she said.  




Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman decided to leave her state comptroller job to be Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s top lieutenant.


How do you balance your work life with your personal life?


I have two kids, who married two great guys; so I have four kids, and five grandchildren. I also have a husband who stands by me and has for 47 years. When I get up early every day to do what I need to do, working in partnership with the governor on issues to turn the state around, I know it's because I want my kids and grandchildren to live here, to grow up here.


What's your advice for other professionals on how to best balance work life with personal life?


Love what you're doing. Care about what you are doing. Be devoted to it and work as hard as you can. I love serving the people of this state.


What are some of the things you enjoy outside of work?


Time with family — seeing my grandchildren play soccer, basketball, or just talking to them. You can't do anything well without the love of family.

Content Last Modified on 4/4/2014 4:55:30 PM