The Center creates innovative business solutions for the mature market. Staffed by gerontologists, the center is uniquely positioned to apply knowledge of aging to develop one-of-a-kind products and services for The Hartford’s customers, and specialized training for The Hartford’s employees. The center has conducted original research in partnership with academic institutions and produced public education and online content to promote safety at home and on the road. The Hartford has had this in-house expertise since 1984, guiding The Hartford to unparalleled success in understanding and serving the mature market.
Every member of The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence is highly skilled and has an advanced degree in an aging-related field. This rich academic background provides them with unique knowledge of the psychological, sociological, and financial aspects of aging.
Debra Kleesattel, Ph.D.
Director and Corporate Gerontologist
Debra Kleesattel is responsible for designing and implementing programs that provide unique offerings for The Hartford’s older customers. Kleesattel has over 25 years of experience leading cross functional teams in the development and implementation of multiple projects, programs, and initiatives in support of older customers. She is committed to positive and meaningful consumer experiences, recognizing the multifaceted needs of 50+ customers. Debra has a Ph.D. in Gerontology from the University of Kentucky.
Christi Vrban, B.A.
Christi Vrban leads The Hartford’s industry-leading mature market education programs. Vrban is responsible for the development, delivery, and measurement of the Center’s core curriculum, utilizing multiple formats and platforms to achieve optimal learning outcomes. Christi brings her 18 years of instructional design experience and is highly skilled in producing media-rich, interactive gerontology learning courses. Christi also founded and leads The Hartford’s internal community for employees who are family caregivers, established out of her experience of caring for her parents; this group supports employees who are providing care at various stages while working. Christi is completing her M.A. in Gerontology at USC’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.
Susanna Smith, M.G.S.
Senior Customer Experience Advisor and Corporate Gerontologist
Susanna Smith delivers the Center’s mature market education coursework and specialized programs and has primary responsibility for promoting a positive customer experience among The Hartford’s Personal Lines customers. With knowledge of the 50+ segment, expertise in The Hartford’s Voice of Customer platform, and analytical skills, Smith is passionate about improving experiences for older adults, especially those from underrepresented communities. Susanna has a Master of Gerontological Studies degree from Miami University of Ohio.