Posted by Craig Buhrendorf

Peter Vignati has fond memories of growing up in East Hartford. He says he is “the classic middle child” amongst five siblings. Peter attended the East Hartford public schools and went on to Bates College, where he majored in chemistry and biology. At Bates he really enjoyed playing golf and was the Maine intercollegiate champion one year.

After graduation, Peter went to work for Enthone, a West Haven, Connecticut manufacturer of specialty chemicals for the plating, electronics and aerospace industries. He started in sales, first in Wisconsin and then returned to Connecticut. Later he became an International Marketing Manager, traveling worldwide establishing relationships with overseas companies to license Enthone’s technology to them and also to license some of their technology. Being single, it was an exciting time for him to see and experience different people and their cultures. He went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut, taking classes at night.

In the meantime, Peter was introduced to Susanne “the love of my life” on a blind date and now his wife of almost thirty years. “Best thing I ever did”, he says. They lived in a beach condo in East Haven after they were married and then relocated to Farmington to raise their family. Peter and Susanne lived for two years on the Miss Porter’s campus rent-free as “house directors”. It was a fun time for them and they met many great young girls attending the school, including Oprah’s niece who lived in their house. Oprah later delivered a commencement speech at graduation.

Peter then spent seven years in Marlboro and Freehold, New Jersey working for a chemical company with a colleague that he had known over the years. That company was bought out by a Cleveland firm, but he didn’t want to relocate again for work. They now had three little boys and had enjoyed their proximity to New York City and New Jersey’s great beaches. So it was time for a career change and a move back to Connecticut where he started a business for Edward Jones, which he continues to run today. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think he would become a financial planner, but he does enjoy helping families achieve their goals and get on a path to a secure retirement.

Peter and Susanne have always been active in their church, whether it be the Church of Saint Ann in Avon or their current church, Sacred Heart Church in Bloomfield, where they relocated three years ago. He says “I’d like to think that we are generous with our time and talents to help those in need and my children are also engaged in similar activities.” None of their boys are married yet, but he is thankful that all are in school or gainfully employed. Peter and Susanne enjoy hiking with their two Jack Russell Terriers, Bailey and Finn. They also enjoy biking, skiing and travelling. They look forward to trips to the Canary Islands and Iceland this year.

Peter is in his seventeenth year with Rotary and is a Past President and Paul Harris Recipient.