Nick PernaConverstation with Nick Perna and Keith Phaneuf of CTmirror.

Nicholas S. Perna has been one of the most influential economists in Connecticut for more than three decades.

Retiring in January after 15 years as economic advisor to Webster Bank, Perna has been a consultant to numerous other leading financial institutions, including Fleet Financial Group and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

pogoIn 1971 on the second “Earth Day” a cartoon character and his creator looked out across a morass of garbage and pollution in his own back yard and uttered the words that have informed the environmental movement for the next forty- five years.

Walt Kelly’s Pogo and his band of cartoon characters lived in the Okefenokee Swamp and on the pages of hundreds of newspapers and the daily life of millions.  Kelly was among the first to teach America about diversity and the swamp was an apt metaphor to do it.