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Adam Kurzer

A seasoned veteran of the financial industry, Adam brings more than 30 years of high yield/leveraged finance experience to his work with SVP. Adam’s nonprofit involvement includes teaching English as a Second Language classes in Norwalk for Literacy Volunteers of America, and serving on Brown University’s Reunion Gift Committees.


Althea Marshall Brooks

Althea is the Executive Director of the state's first Cradle to Career Initiative - Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership. Using a collective impact approach with an equity lens, Bridge to Success collaborates with over 90 community partners including Waterbury Public Schools, businesses, local public and private organizations that are passionate about creating opportunities for local youth to ensure they succeed in school, career and life.


Andrea Berman

Andrea is a nonprofit leader with expertise in strategic philanthropy and grantmaking. Currently, Andrea manages the Grossman Family Foundation’s work in Connecticut, focused on supporting children along the cradle to career continuum. Andrea has worked at family, private and community foundations and has experience partnering on local, national and international initiatives.


Arthur Mintzer

With nearly 30 years of experience in corporate technology roles, Arthur has a passion for helping organizations by ensuring their technology and business operations are optimized to help them achieve their mission and vision. Arthur is active in various community organizations focused on youth education and development including Builders Beyond Borders, A Better Chance of Westport and Child Advocates. Arthur is also on the board and teaches classes for Junior Achievement of Southwest Connecticut.


Bill Burnham

A consummate entrepreneur, Bill has extensive marketing and finance experience which he has been using to become deeply engaged with the nonprofit sector in our community.


Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo

Catherine is vice president of admissions and marketing for Chapel Haven, a nationally accredited transitional living program with a mission of empowering adults (18+) with developmental and social disabilities to live independent and self-determined lives.


Christina Smith

A Bridgeport, Connecticut native who has lived in London, New York, and San Francisco among other places, Christina returned to Bridgeport with a passion not only for community development, but the desire to be part of making Bridgeport a place that people love to be! Christina says she pursued graduate studies "with the specific aim of returning to Bridgeport to make my hometown better and restore it to its former glory!"


Courtney Murphy

Courtney Murphy has over a decade of experience advising large companies on their corporate social engagement and philanthropic strategies. She is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), a CEO-led coalition that believes that a company’s social strategy determines company success. She co-leads the Race Equity Committee for SVP.


Dan Levinson

Since earning his undergrad degree from Brown and MBA from Stanford, Dan has been in the private equity business, founding Main Street Resources in 1998. This experience has given Dan a firm grounding in launching and executing complex human-scale transactions and opportunities.


Dawn Kreitler

Dawn's philanthropic passion is educating others in nutrition and empowering underserved children. Dawn has been deeply engaged as a volunteer with numerous organizations in our region including several after school and charter school programs in Bridgeport and Stamford.


Eiichiro Kuwana

Eiich has spent his career in the financial industry and has nearly 30 years of experience including stints at Merrill Lynch and Goldman, Sachs & Co. before founding Cook Pine Capital with his wife, Yumi. He serves on the board of The Nature Conservancy, Hawai’i and is a former trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy.


Eric Seidman

Eric Seidman has more than 25 years of food industry experience. Currently, he consults with food manufacturers and distributors on a range of projects including product development, strategy, branding, sales and marketing. He also serves on the board (and is the immediate past president) of A Better Chance of Westport, a local nonprofit which provides superior secondary educational access for low-income teenagers of color.


Gary Goldberg

Gary has an extensive background in public and private debt and equity investing as well as experience in manufacturing management and online travel technology. He also serves as a Trustee of the Trailblazers Academy charter school (an affiliate of Domus, a nonprofit education organization) and on the Investment Committee for the endowment of The Westport Public Library.


Gregory Flynn

Greg is an experienced leader and financial professional. His specialties include corporate finance, strategy, and mergers and acquisitions, having worked on over $20B of transactions for leading companies including NBC Universal, General Electric, and Genpact. In 2016, Greg transitioned to an entrepreneurial pursuit and helped grow Junior Golf Hub into a leading online platform connecting aspiring collegiate golfers with college golf coaches.


James Follett

In 2020, Jim transitioned into the world of social impact and philanthropy with a purpose of guiding young adults to discover and activate their potential. His goal is to work with educational and human development organizations to empower these young adults to shape a future that leads to personal and professional growth.


James Robertson

Jim is a partner in the law firm Carmody Torrance Sandak and Hennessey and an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ. He has served on many nonprofit and public service boards and commissions, and he presently serves as Chair of the Hartford Seminary Board and on the Executive Committee of the Connecticut Junior Republic.


Jill Bicks

Jill currently practices family law at the Westport office of Pullman & Comley, a full-service firm with offices throughout Connecticut. Jill brings to her work a deep empathy for families managing the complex legal, financial and emotional transitions that come with divorce.


Joe Smialowski

Joe Smialowski is the founder of The Innovation and Workforce Discontinuity Initiative, which is focused on the impact of technology, globalization, and urbanization on the “future of work.” He has been a member of several National Academy of Science study teams, including a research effort that focused on “Building a Workforce for the Information Economy.”


Karen Jenkins

Karen has over three decades of executive international NGO/nonprofit management experience and academic leadership. Currently she is a consultant supporting domestic and international organizations with unique missions that serve marginalized communities to help their boards expand institutional capacity and strategically create long-term, robust and sustainable resource development efforts.


Larry L. Bingaman

Larry is an executive with 25 years experience in the water industry and is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority. He is also a founding board member for the Connecticut chapter of Conscious Capitalism.


Lisa Gilmore

Lisa is a financial and wealth management professional whose career started in public accounting and transitioned into Private Banking. She is a strategic, collaborative risk manager with experience in trust administration, operations and financial reporting who excels at simplifying challenging complex concepts into manageable pieces for all audiences.


Lizzy Zawy

Lizzy is passionate about connecting human hearts & minds to build better societies, businesses & communities. She is the founder of Lizzy Zawy Public Relations, a Stamford-based public relations and communications firm.


Marianna Kulak McCall

Marianna believes every child deserves the right to reach their full potential and is dedicated to providing high-quality, developmental early education for underserved children. In addition to starting Trust for Learning, Marianna is a Trustee of the McCall Kulak Family Foundation which focuses on education.


Mary Jaensch

Mary Wallace Jaensch is the Founder and Chief Design Officer for Last Big Gig LLC, providing career transition and innovation coaching, and supporting professional women in designing their next career sequel that delivers higher levels of satisfaction, freedom and happiness.


Michael Storz

Michael Storz is President of Chapel Haven Inc., an organization focused on teaching people with autism spectrum disorders and those with mild cognitive disabilities the skills to live independently in the community.


Nicholas Donofrio

Nicholas Donofrio is a 44-year IBM veteran where he held roles of increasing responsibility including the coveted position of Executive Vice President Innovation and Technology. He was also selected as an IBM Fellow, the company’s highest technical honor. Nick is focused sharply on advancing education, employment and career opportunities for under-represented minorities and women.


Patrick Millot

Patrick J.P. Millot is a global industrial executive with multiple international assignments in general management and financial functions, and a strong record of business transformation, profitable growth, and cash generation. Currently, he is Chief Executive Officer of LATICRETE, a 2nd generation family business (CT, USA), global leader in chemical materials for tiles& stones and flooring systems. Patrick began his career in the French Civil Service, with posts in France, Hong Kong and Belgium.


Peter Katz

As a marketing executive and entrepreneur, Peter's experience includes senior roles with private and public companies, developing business and branding strategies and managing revenue growth.

Peter volunteers as a mentor in college prep, undergraduate business studies and with the prison system's Family ReEntry program. He received degrees from Tulane University and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business (Go Blue!). Peter currently resides in Fairfield with his wife, Jackie and their Golden Retriever, Bode.


Robert J. Smith

Robert joined SVP Connecticut as a founding Partner after he concluded a 21-year tenure with Glencore, Ltd., a leading integrated producer and marketer of commodities. Robert was a founding member of SVP's Executive Board and was the chapter's first Investment Committee chairman.


Ron Clarke

During his 30+ year-career in the insurance industry, Ron has continually demonstrated entrepreneurial success within a corporate environment. A resident of Westport since 1997, Ron has been closely involved with youth sports in Westport serving on the Board of Directors for Westport Youth Baseball. He currently leads SVP's engagement with EMERGE Connecticut in New Haven.


Samantha Elliot

Samantha is the Managing Director of a branding firm in Stamford where she oversees operations and manages large scale branding projects for clients in a variety of sectors. Some of her most purposeful projects have included strategic planning and design for nonprofits focused on youth-centered urban farming and childhood literacy. She has also served on the board of Groundwork Bridgeport since August 2019.


Stacey Goodwin

As a daughter and granddaughter of teachers, Stacey believes in the transformational impact of education and related programs for children. In 2016, Stacey transitioned to the nonprofit sector in Fairfield County after more than 25 years in financial services. She previously served as Director of Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance at The Child and Family Guidance Center in Bridgeport, CT.


Steven Goldstein

Steve is the CEO of audio innovation firm Amplifi media and is recognized as a thought leader in audio programming, marketing and management. He has created and developed successful radio brands around the country, and nurtured and advanced local and national broadcast talent.


Ted Yang

Ted is an active entrepreneur and advisor with more than 15 years experience in the capital markets industry. He recently stepped down as CEO of 4-CT, a nonprofit dedicated to Covid-19 relief funds in CT.


Adam Leapley

Adam has nearly 25 years’ experience in financial services and is a Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager Director with Morgan Stanley. From their experience raising an adult son on the Autism spectrum, Adam and his wife, Dedra, became passionate about using physical fitness to empower children with Autism and co-founded ASD Fitness Center a sensory-friendly facility that provides a safe fitness environment for individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.


Alycia Angus

An entrepreneur, Alycia is the co-founder and CEO of Kids U, a chain of recreational facilities for children in Connecticut and New York. Alycia has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. She is currently a co-lead with SVP's Horizons Bridgeport Engagement.


Andy Greenawalt

Andy is a highly successful tech entrepreneur and advocate of progress. A catalyst for change, Andy is an active supporter of entrepreneurship in Connecticut. As an advocate of technology and education, Andy is a member of the board for the ESUMS STEM Magnet School in New Haven, and serves as a mentor and judge with the Capstone program in Monroe.


Barry Schwimmer

Drawing upon his successful career in private equity, Barry's most recent work has centered upon supporting start-up businesses with a goal of increasing job growth an economic development in Connecticut. He also serves on the board (and is the immediate past president) of A Better Chance of Westport, a local nonprofit which provides superior secondary educational access for low-income teenagers of color.


Bruce and Linda Koe

Illinois natives and proud University of Illinois (U of I) alums, Bruce and Linda Koe view retirement as a time to give back. Linda and Bruce are active with Trinity Church in Greenwich, and founded the Loaves & Fishes mission shaped community in order to involve the congregation in serving the food insecure.
The Koes live in Stamford and are proud parents of two children and even prouder grandparents of four grandchildren.


Ceci Maher

Ceci is a highly experienced nonprofit consultant with a long career in the nonprofit space. Most recently she was the CEO of Person-to-Person, a social service agency serving 25,000 people annually in Fairfield County, from 2005-2019.


Chuck and Elaine Harris

After spending over 20 years in investment management as an equity portfolio manager and analyst, Elaine has focused her attention on charitable causes, both local and global. Most recently, she spent 7 years as Board President for a Fairfield County nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support and services to children in the custody of the state.

Chuck works in the asset management field, currently as the Director of Research at Clearbridge Investments.


Craig Barney

Craig seeks to apply his financial management experience and skills to SVP's efforts toward closing the Opportunity gap. Craig is currently a senior vice president at M.D. Sass Investors, a mid-sized asset manager in New York City where he has spent the last 20+ years. He is a member of a small team researching various companies and managing equity portfolios for institutional investors.


David Allon

David Allon is a journalist, lawyer, and entrepreneur currently working at Braddock Financial LLC, a mutual fund manager and former hedge fund company that has specialized in asset backed securities for more than 25 years.


Dick Ferguson

Dick has been working as a volunteer, Board member and supporter of private, public and charter schools in Connecticut for over three decades. His involvement in the education sector is extensive and he brings a deep understanding of the issues related to the achievement gap to SVP Connecticut.


Eileen Lavigne Flug

Eileen is an attorney practicing in Westport and serves as the appointed assistant town attorney for the Town of Westport. Deeply engaged in civic matters, Eileen served as an elected representative in the Westport town government for almost 12 years.


Eric Stone

Eric's love for business led him to a long and illustrious career at Enterprise Holdings, a global leader in the transportation service industry. Eric has served with the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. He was elected Vice Chairman of the Board, was Campaign Chair and is presently an Executive in Residence assisting with a number of strategic initiatives with a focus on changing the outcomes for children, cradle to career. Eric is currently a co-lead with Achieve Hartford.


Gayle Weinstein

Gayle Weinstein has made a career out of giving back to her community. She served three terms as Weston’s First Selectman from 2009-2015, and one term as a Selectman from 2007-2009.


JP Hernandez

JP learned about SVP by harnessing the power of the internet when a Google search about philanthropy and social entrepreneurship in Connecticut led him to our website.


James K. Page

James is a transformational leader who has a keen passion for the enhancement of student learning and development. He has been a professor at the Ernest C. Trefz School of Business University of Bridgeport since 2015 and was appointed Undergraduate Program Director and Lead Academic Advisor in February 2018.


James Weitzman

James Weitzman is the Founder & CEO of 1sm. Prior to 1sm, he was the Director of Business Development and Sales at Cockroach Labs, the SQL database for global cloud services that has raised over $108MM in funding. James has worked with nonprofits like Full Court Peace, The Special Olympics and The Friendship Circle and is a Spokesperson for Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).


Jill Greenberg

Jill is a long-time school psychologist now in private practice who shares her expertise through pro bono work as well as consultations with families and schools. ill is actively involved with A Better Chance of Westport, a national program that refers academically talented inner-city students to some of the nation’s finest independent and public schools and prepares them to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in their careers, communities and families.


John Bergen

John is a senior technologist who enjoys solving business challenges through the effective use of technology. With over 30 years of experience, John has seen massive change in both technology and its use. For the past 8+ years, John has been working at Bridgewater Associates, helping them transform their Back Office Technologies. He is currently a co-lead for SVP on our engagement with All Our Kin.


Kerri Vilaverde

Having long been a “check writer”, Kerri has always been looking for the right place to make a positive impact. Kerri’s been an advocate for public education and a driver for change through her position on the executive board of an elementary school PTO, and serving on a political campaign to advocate for social justice.


Laura Davis

Laura is a Managing Director at JPMorgan with over twenty years of experience advising individuals, families and foundations. She leads a team guiding clients on all aspects of wealth management including strategies for impactful philanthropy.


Lisa Haas

Lisa began working at The Community Fund of Darien in 2013 as the Director of Development and subsequently moved into the role of Grants Director in 2016. Prior to working at The Community Fund, she served on The Community Fund’s Board of Directors and participated in the grant review process for six years. Lisa is currently a co-lead on SVP's engagement with Child First, and for the SVP Investment Committee.


Lorna Smith

Lorna is the CEO of Horizons National, an academic and enrichment program serving low-income, public school students that was one of SVP's earliest nonprofit engagements (2015-18).


Mark Gudis

Over the last 30 years, Mark has been a partner, senior investment professional and senior executive at several of the world’s leading investment firms including SAC Capital Advisors, The Blackstone Group and General Electric Capital. A member of Norwalk Hospital Board of Trustees since 2012, Mark was named Chairman of the Board in February 2018. His wife, MaryGrace, serves on the Norwalk Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.


Mary Lou Boutwell

Mary Lou spent over 30 years as an institutional investor, portfolio manager and consultant in the commercial real estate industry in Boston. Earlier in her career she was a commercial lender and a grant/loan program manager at two nonprofits. After retiring in 2019, Mary Lou focused her attention on nonprofit Board positions and work at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. A former Partner and Board Member of SVP Boston, Mary Lou joined SVP Connecticut after relocating to the New Haven region.


Michelle Reichenbach

Michelle is a Corporate Social Responsibility professional at Marriott International, where she serves as President of the TakeCare Relief Fund, Inc., a charitable organization that makes need-based grants available to Marriott employees who are impacted by a natural disaster or personal hardship.


Pamela Workman-Hilton

Pam Workman-Hilton is an established communications leader who has worked with media companies and not-for-profit organizations including Grey Advertising, Salvation Army, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, Lippincott, MIT Media Lab, Vibe Media Group, Northside Media Group and most recently as EVP Head of Brand for Man Made Music.


Paul Holzer

Paul Diego Holzer serves as Executive Director of Achieve Hartford!, an action-oriented, cross-sector collaborator focused on engaging the private sector to expand opportunity, improve effectiveness, and increase student success in Connecticut's capital city.


Randi Infusino

Randi’s professional career has focused on educating and mentoring children and has largely focused on those with learning disabilities. Randi has served on various education committees and is currently a member of the advisory board of Fairfield University’s Graduate School of Education which is focused on training future teachers and achieving social justice through education.


Robert Wechsler

Rob has had multiple careers that spanned the legal, publishing, nonprofit and campaign finance sectors.
Rob’s current nonprofit work includes participation in the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
grant evaluation process, as well as membership on the board of the Clifford Beers Clinic.


Roni Goldberg

Roni is a Corporate Social Responsibility professional at Tauck, where she leads the Impact department’s efforts around corporate philanthropy, disaster response, sustainability and volunteerism. Roni is a passionate and visionary CSR leader, who believes corporate organizations have the power to be a force for social good.


Scot Melland

Scot is an Internet and digital media CEO and board member with over 20 years of experience in consumer and B2B services, online advertising, M&A and strategy. Now looking to expand his philanthropic impact, Scot's experience with a nonprofit work development organization is being leveraged by SVP-CT's developing focus on youth unemployment.


Stephen Cowherd

Stephen Cowherd is a corporate attorney and member of the Connecticut law firm of Pullman & Comley, LLC who focuses his practice in the areas of health care and administrative law. He has more than 25 years of experience representing clients in mergers and acquisitions and other transactions, as well as before regulatory agencies.


Susan Adamsen

Susan recently retired from JP Morgan, where she held a variety of roles in investment banking and wealth management for over three decades. Susan assumed the role of Lead Partner for Building One Community, a Stamford-based nonprofit focused on immigrant integration.


Alex Karnal

Alex Karnal is a Partner and Managing Director at Deerfield Management Company, a healthcare focused investment firm dedicated to advancing healthcare through information, investment and philanthropy—all toward the end goal of cures for disease, improved quality of life and reduced cost of care.


Amy Chan Downer and Tony Downer

This dynamic duo were two of SVP-CT's founding Partners which isn’t surprising considering their active support and leading roles in many community organizations. Tony has been a Venture Partner at Oak Investment Partners since he joined the growth equity firm in 2003. His industry focus is technology. Amy’s current not-for-profit involvements include serving as a member of the Executive Committee on the board of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation and Horizons National, where she was formerly board chairperson.


Annie and Jon Burleigh

Annie and Jon Burleigh have been active in Connecticut-based charities for many years.


Bernie Park

Bernadette 'Bernie' Park is currently a DNP student at Yale School of Nursing. She has a BS in Nursing from the College of Mt. St. Vincent and an MSN in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and an Advanced Certificate as an Adult Nurse Practitioner with a focus in Primary care and Oncology from Columbia University. Bernie’s philanthropic focus is community health and wellness and the role of social determinants on heath and health inequities.


Catalina Samper-Horak

Catalina has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly 20 years and brings a wealth of multicultural experience to SVP. Most recently Catalina served as the founding Executive Director of Building One Community (B1C), an immigrant services nonprofit and center for immigrant opportunity serving the greater Stamford community.


Christie Stewart

Christie brings over 15 years of leadership experience in both the media and nonprofit sectors to her current role as policy director at the Fairfield County Center for Housing Opportunity where she leads a multi-sector, regional initiative to advance housing opportunity throughout Fairfield County.


Courtney Fero

Courtney has been a Partner with Social Ventures Partners since 2018, often focusing on data initiatives. As an Associate Director, Vice President at FactSet Research Systems, she has built content and technology products for over 17 years. Courtney earned an MBA from University of Connecticut, with an emphasis on operations management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Westminster College.


Cynthia Lyon

Cynthia Lyon is a Management Consultant with expertise in workforce development, talent development and retention. She has a 25+ year proven track record of designing, implementing and managing programs and streamlining processes to achieve tangible objectives. Currently she runs the Leadership Fairfield County professional development program. Prior experience includes tenures as the Vice President of Higher Education and Human Capital Services at The Business Council of Fairfield County and Executive Director of Operations for Vestron.


David Berkowitz

David is a private investor with over 20 years of grantmaking experience and currently serves on the board of the Helen and William Mazer Foundation. A consultant to small businesses, he is a reviewer for the New Market Tax Credit Program and was the founding director the Center for the Development of Social Finance.


Dorothy Adams

When Connecticut nonprofits and social enterprises face executive transitions or financial challenges, Dorothy is there to help. In addition to board facilitation and executive coaching, she fills senior management roles. for area nonprofits. Dorothy is keenly interested in social impact investing and improving the funding and capital structure of social-purpose organizations, especially those serving our at-risk populations.


Emily Aber

Emily has been a licensed clinical social worker for almost 40 years and currently has a private practice, working primarily with adults. Emily is a board member and Secretary of the Connecticut Women’s Consortium, and is on the Editorial Board of its publication “Trauma Matters,” for which she conducts interviews for a regular column/podcast. She is also a volunteer with the New Haven Trauma Recovery Network.


Everett Schenk

After beginning his banking career at Chemical Bank, Everett concluded a long and successful 23-year tenure with BNP Paribas when he retired in 2012 as the CEO of Corporate and Investment Banking for North America Region of BNP Paribas SA. Everett’s active areas of philanthropic interest include land preservation, youth education, and job training activities.


Gene Celentano

Gene is a highly experienced oil and energy professional who had a 38-year tenure with Texaco International overseeing operations in more than 40 countries throughout the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, West Africa and Canada. Gene is former member of the Dean’s International Council for the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago, and the Board of Directors for The Council of the Americas.


James C. Smith

Jim Smith is the Chairman of the Board and formerly CEO of Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS) and Webster Bank. Since stepping down from his leadership role at the bank, Jim has invested considerable time to developing proposals to stabilize Connecticut’s state budget and stimulate economic growth the State.


James Kemp

James is a financial markets executive with experience running global teams across multiple traded products. Most recently he worked for CIBC as Head of Global Markets in the US. He was previously CIBC’s Global Head of FX and has also held senior roles in Foreign Exchange at Citibank, as well co-founding a systematic FX trading business and working for a hedge fund.

James and his wife Susan have over time directed their philanthropic efforts to try to narrow the opportunity gap and, having recently retired from the financial services industry, James is now looking for ways to contribute his time to add to those efforts. While both originally from the UK, James and Susan are long time residents of New Canaan.


Jeff Marinstein

Jeff Marinstein is the Founding Principal of Marinstein & Company, a management advisory focused on strategy at the intersection of business and technology. Jeff provides interim CIO and CISO services for small and medium business and is an advisor to senior executives in large enterprise, mid-market companies, and startups. He is also an Instructor-in-Residence at the UConn School of Business teaching executive education classes in blockchain. Prior to founding his own firm, Jeff spent 18 years at IBM as the global head of business strategy and M&A in IBM Global Services. Jeff is a frequent speaker on blockchain and author of the forthcoming blog “Blockchain for Grownups – Practical Uses of Blockchain.”


Jill and Tom Robey

Jill and Tom's professional experiences span the financial, education, technology, media, and telecom industries. Both have been very active in their community and share a mutual interest in education issues and organizations. Tom is currently a co-lead on SVP's engagement with Child First.


John S. King

John recently completed a 39-year career with Citigroup/Citibank where he worked in a variety of senior credit approver and risk management roles across several of the bank's corporate and high net worth individual lending businesses in the U.S. and overseas.


Lana Gifas

Lana joined Women’s Mentoring Network as Executive Director in January 2015. Prior to this appointment, she served on the Board of Directors as Board President for the organization. The Women’s Mentoring Network’s programs and services include workshops in workforce development, life skills and financial literacy, educational support, mentoring, and a food pantry.


Lindy Lee Gold

Lindy serves as a Senior Specialist with the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development. Additionally, she serves on the state board of the Anti-Defamation League; and on the boards of the United Way of Greater New Haven, The Community Action Agency, New Haven Arts Council, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, Housatonic Community College Foundation, Southern CT State University Foundation, JobLinks Fairfield County, CT Technical High Schools, New Haven Manufacturers Association and the Women’s Business Development Center.


Liz Lazarus

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Lazarus is deeply engaged in philanthropy and the social sector. She has been involved with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls since 2013 and currently serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee and is also a member of the community foundation’s board of directors.


M. Catherine Smith

Cathy Smith is highly respected throughout greater Waterbury and Connecticut for her lifelong community service and her leadership in philanthropic projects that have significantly improved the region’s quality of life and facilitated economic growth.


Mark McCall

Mark McCall is a Managing Director of Lime Rock New Energy, a private equity investment firm focused on investing in companies that provide products and services for the renewable energy industry, energy efficiency, and the decarbonization of transportation. Recently he returned from a leave of absence from the firm to accept a Presidential appointment, serving as the Executive Director of the Loan Programs Office at the U.S. Department of Energy during the Obama administration.


Michael Sandifer

Michael Sandifer has focused much of his professional and personal efforts in advocacy and working to improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable. He served on the board of the Interfaith Council of southwest CT for several years. Currently he is a trustee of the Round Hill Community Church of Greenwich. He has also focused efforts in Bridgeport and Waterbury to initiate a shared work-space community for social good.


Nancy Diamond

A not-for-profit arts producer, Nancy Diamond has presented theatre, film and dance in the tri-state area for more than 30 years. She is co-founder of JIB Productions, Inc, producer of the Westport/Greenwich/Fairfield lunch-time theatre series Play With Your Food; and producer of the short film series Short Cuts. Nancy is also the co-chair of the Westport Arts Advisory Committee.


Patrick Gentile

Through is work with several organizations, Pat has been instrumental in providing best in class co-educational STEM programs to more than 10,000 inner city youth in Bridgeport, South Norwalk and Stamford. Drawing upon his experience as a retired CFO and CPA, Pat also volunteers during tax season for the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program to provide free tax preparation to over 3,000 residents in our community.


Peter Denious

After a long career as a private equity and venture capital advisor and investor, in 2019 Peter became the President and CEO of Advance CT, Connecticut’s economic development organization focused on business recruitment and retention. Prior to leading AdvanceCT, Peter was Co-Head of Venture Capital at Aberdeen Standard Investments.


Rob Fried

Rob Fried is a musician, philanthropist, businessman, visionary, and co-architect/founder of Band Together CT, a musical enterprise that has helped raise over $3 million for local charities. Dedicated to raising money for worthy local charities in the greater Connecticut area, Band Together CT is an effective, accomplished and award-winning musical enterprise, reflecting the essence of Rob’s personal mission – MUSIC WITH PURPOSE.


Robin Hogen

Robin has more than 40 years of experience in corporate communications, foundation leadership, academic public affairs, brand management, and crisis communications. He has a record of developing powerful and cohesive strategies for leading brands, including Merck, United Technologies, Yale University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Roy Berger

Roy is an experienced entrepreneur and senior level executive with over 30 years of experience in marketing, business development, and operations in the telecommunications and technology sectors. In 2015 he began serving as the Center’s CEO on a volunteer basis, until mid-2018 when he engineered its affiliation with Clifford Beers – a large New Haven nonprofit which provides a wide range of clinical mental health services to children and families. He is the lead partner for SVP's engagement with Clifford Beers.


Shaun Gagnon

Shaun is a Partner and Managing Director at Cambridge Insurance Advisors focusing on employee benefits, executive benefits, high net worth planning and due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, Connecticut Venture Group, Society of Human Resources Management, and Connecticut Business and Industry Associations Small Business Advisory board.


Stephen Ristau

For over 40 years, Stephen Ristau has been a nonprofit executive, social innovator, organizational consultant and professional coach/mentor. He is also an SVP veteran having served on the staff of SVP Portland for several years running their Encore program, providing a transitional pathway for seasoned professionals wishing to contribute to the greater good by matching them with nonprofits in need of professional expertise.


Tanya Rhodes Smith

Tanya Rhodes Smith is the Director of the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work and visiting lecturer at the UConn School of Social Work. She teaches Program Planning and Evaluation, Political Advocacy and Political Social Work. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition and is Co-chair of their Public Policy Task Force. Tanya has been a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2008.