Hartford, Connecticut, May 17, 2016 – Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of OpenTheBooks.com, gave a talk discussing his organization’s mission during an event hosted by Trinity College, UConn School of Business, and Bradley, Foster & Sargent at The Hartford Club on April 20. A nonprofit organization, OpenTheBooks.com is the world’s largest private repository of government spending information made freely available online, including through a mobile app. In 2009, Andrzejewski launched a bid for governor of Illinois in the Republican primary, running on a platform of government transparency. To fulfill a campaign promise, he founded OpenTheBooks.com with the mission of documenting government spending by posting "every dime online."
Andrzejewski’s work has been featured in numerous publications including USA Today, Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, and more. He is also a contributor to Forbes.com.
The annual lecture, now in its seventh year, was sponsored by Bradley, Foster & Sargent, a Hartford-based investment advisory firm that offers internships to students from the UConn School of Business and Trinity College. Rob Bradley, the CEO and chairman of the firm, said, "Out of 127 total interns, 80 have come from Trinity College. I’d like to thank President [Joanne] Berger-Sweeney for enthusiastically supporting this program. We are so grateful for the continuous stream of youthful talent that comes our way and enriches the operations of our firm."
The internship program is a form of independent study which offers students the opportunity to augment classroom learning by working in a business organization. Berger-Sweeney said, "Skillsets are important, but the kind of analytical skills we teach are going to serve our students regardless of the profession they go into. Colleges that invest and support this kind of applied learning with leading industry organizations foster the ability to thrive. I appreciate companies like Bradley, Foster & Sargent that foster that here in Hartford."
Keith Larose, a principal of Bradley, Foster & Sargent, introduced Andrzejewski as "a family man above all. His effort is an effort to affect our families and the future generations." He also said of Andrzejewski, "He is making a huge difference changing something for the better, for a very different outcome down the road."
In this current election cycle, Andrzejewski said topics such as federal spending and the size of the government have been at the forefront of the primary debates. His organization strives to pursue government transparency for all stakeholders. Andrzejewski said, "Knowledge is power, and thankfully our founders also knew this. We think that transparency is driving the national debate. The people have figured out that government is at all levels purely and simply a transfer mechanism to take their tax dollar into special interests. At OpenTheBooks.org we can prove whether your tax dollar is funding the public interests or the special interests."
After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Andrzejewski and his brother built an independent publishing business, HomePages, now the nation’s largest publisher of community phone directories. Andrzejewski sold his share of the company in 2007 and began to focus on a life of entrepreneurial public service.
In her opening remarks, Berger-Sweeney celebrated Andrzejewski’s entrepreneurial mindset that she identified as inherent in Trinity’s academic curriculum. "During the semester, students can utilize Hartford and pursue incredible internship programs like the one here at BFS," she said. "When I talk about and share what we’re doing at Trinity College, this is what I reference."
Written by Josh LeBlanc ’16