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GSOFCT Board of Directors


Board Members


Patricia Bowen   President
Sheryl Sleeva   1st Vice President
Liz McGovern  
2nd Vice President 
Virginia Giuffré
3rd Vice President 
Susan Brosseau Treasurer 
Aurora Daly
Mary Barneby Chief Executive Officer


Jennifer Ahern Leslie Karen Hammond Adrienne Parkmond, Esq.
Sousan Arafeh, Ph.D. Kathy Kountze-Tatum Olivia Puckett
Susan Bysiewicz Andrea Kovacs Nicole Sandford
Wendy Elberth Lauren Manafort Pamela Scagliarini
Michele Etzel Evelyn Mantilla Melanie Valdes
Erica Evans Gioffre Eloisa Melendez Alexis Volpe
Rhea Grant Margaret Monaco Corinne Wilklow
    Karen Wright



Board Development Committee

Mark Evens  
Marie Kulesza  
Leslie Karen Hammond  
Evelyn Mantilla
Andrea Kovacs
Shalin Peck



 Jennifer Ahern is Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff to the Chairman & CEO for Webster Bank. She is a key advisor on a number of topics, including organizational effectiveness, goal determination and achievement, and strategic planning. She volunteers for several nonprofit organizations, including Literacy Volunteers of Connecticut, Junior Achievement, animal rescue organizations, and now Girl Scouts of Connecticut. She has a bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems from Manhattan College and she completed the UCONN Business Mastery Program.

Sousan ArafehDr. Sousan Arafeh is an Assistant Professor and Director of Doctoral Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Arafeh has worked in the fields of education, policy, and communications as a classroom teacher and a researcher for over 15 years and has published and lectured nationally and internationally, particularly in the area of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Prior to SCSU, Dr. Arafeh served as the Deputy Director of the National Center for Technology Innovation – a National Center to innovate assistive technology for improved outcomes for students with disabilities. She was also a Senior Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research – an education research firm and think tank in Washington, D.C. where she consulted for key education-related agencies and foundations nationwide. She continues to provide independent research, evaluation and strategic-planning services to national organizations, states, private and public educational institutions, and philanthropic foundations through her Connecticut-based firm Research Images.

Trish BowenPatricia (Trish) Bowen has served on the Board of Directors since 2012. Trish is a lawyer with 20 years of experience in the health care industry, including 14 years at UnitedHealthcare where she held a variety of leadership roles in the legal, compliance and regulatory affairs departments. Trish left UnitedHealthcare in 2014 to pursue at Master of Social Work degree at the University of Connecticut as an Urban Health Scholar with a focus on aging issues and end of life care. Trish is also a board member of the Alzheimer’s Resource Center of Connecticut and provides volunteer legal services to area nonprofits for the Pro Bono Partnership.


Susan BrosseauSusan Brosseau has served on the Board of Directors since 2013. She currently serves as the Director of Finance at Adelbrook Community Services, Inc. She has over 30 years experience in financial statement audit and accounting services provided to both not-for-profit and for-profit entities. She has also served on the Boards of Directors of numerous not-for-profit entities. Susan obtained her BS in Accounting from the University of Connecticut and is a member of CTCPA.

Susan BysiewiczSusan Bysiewicz, the former Secretary of State for Connecticut, is now a legal counsel at Pastore & Dailey, LLC. in Glastonbury. During her tenure in state legislature, Susan was a member of the Judiciary Committee, Program Review and Investigations Committee, and the Regulations Review Committee. A Connecticut native and graduate of Yale University, Susan sets a wonderful example of leadership for girls in our state.

Aurora DalyAurora Daly has served on the Board of Directors since 2008. Aurora is Secretary of the Board and a member of the Property Committee. She is co-owner of Travel Daly. Born in Quezon City, Philippines, she became a US Citizen in 2002. She attended the University of the Philippines where she received a BS in Tourism. In 2007 Aurora received the "Behind the Scenes" leader award for the Top 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the USA.

Wendy ElberthWendy Elberth is Vice President of Administration at Hartford Hospital. Under her leadership, Hartford Hospital has earned national recognition including the Blue Distinction and Joint Commission Disease Specific Certification or spine and joint-replacement surgery, the American Heart Association Gold Plus recognition for stroke guidelines and Center of Excellence accreditation for the Surgical Weight Loss Center. She has a Bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy from Syracuse University and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is also a member of the Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Center Board of Directors.

Michele EtzelMichele Etzel is Board Member, CFO and Senior Vice President of National Graphics, Inc., a nationally acclaimed direct mail and print company. She is skilled in the areas of finance, accounting, business development, operations, mergers/acquisitions, procurement and manufacturing streamlining and cost containment. She has consistently turned a profit for the private company for twenty plus consecutive years. She specializes in finance and accounting and is also an advisor and consultant to many high growth businesses and nonprofits in operations and turn arounds. Known for her real world financial and organizational experience, she has been a guest lecturer at events to share her observations and expertise on fiscal responsibility and fiscal literacy for young adults. Michele received her Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Villanova University and later went on to earn a degree in Executive Management at Cornell University. She is passionate about her family and has dedicated herself intensely to their educational, athletic and personal pursuits. Michele is active with the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, as an advisor and investor. Along with Yale, she is currently involved with International Women's Forum- Connecticut, and the Villanova Women's Professional Network.


Erica Evans GioffreErica Evans Gioffre is an accomplished business leader with a proven track record of building high performing teams which deliver results through strategic planning, disciplined execution, coaching and development of individuals. Currently she serves as the Executive Vice President, Head of Institutional Business for Hartford Investment Management Company (HIMCO), with a history of working for such illustrious companies as ING and General Electric. A graduate of Fairfield University, Erica’s other accomplishments include membership in the International Women’s Forum, a black belt in Six Sigma, and the co-creator of the Investment Club for Grace Academy. 

Mark EvensMark Evens has an extensive background in Human Capital Development, Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Alliances, and new business development. Mr. Evens has launched, developed and sold several mid-size companies. He is the Senior Vice President, Executive Search, for the National Executive Service Corps a nonprofit, management-consulting firm that provides professional, affordable consulting services to other nonprofit organizations. Mr. Evens is a graduate of the University of Illinois and holds advanced management certification from both the University of Virginia and Harvard Business Schools. He has served on the boards of the American Red Cross, Regent’s Park and Trump Parc condominium associations and was the founder of the Southern Nevada Inner City Golf Youth Foundation.

Virginia GiuffréVirginia M. Giuffré is Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor, and Resident Director at Merrill Lynch. Virginia began her financial career in 1971 and joined Merrill Lynch in 1996 after 22 years with a global bank. She has been awarded the Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®). She has also earned the Certified Financial Manager (CFM) designation, which is an internal Merrill Lynch self-study curriculum based on a variety of wealth management topics and a course exam.


Rhea GrantRhea Grant is from Milford, Connecticut, and has many Girl Scout accomplishments including a Bronze and Silver Award, and a Presidential Award for Community Service. Her extracurricular activities include soccer, track, Science Club, Key Club and Art Club. She looks forward to bringing a positive attitude to the Board of Directors this year. 

Leslie Karen HammondLeslie Karen Hammond is a passionate advocate for women and girls across CT. She has been in private practice helping women and heart-centered men transform self-doubt into confidence for over 16 years. She is fiercely dedicated to influencing the way people show up in the world, speak their truth and tell their story. Three-time author, speaker and transformation expert, Leslie developed a revolutionary book-publishing program that helps people with powerful stories convey their wisdom in a way that can be easily digested. She conducts monthly women’s circles and book writing workshops. Her Native American heritage, spiritual practices, and extensive training in understanding the pain of the human condition have helped thousands. In 2012, she was recognized by the Connecticut LT Governor as a Woman of Fire and speaks nationally. Leslie resides in CT with her husband, Mark and her son. When on the east coast she enjoys organic gardening, cooking, hiking and the company of strong women. While in the southwest she is an avid hiker and enjoys horseback riding in the mountains.

Andrea KovacsAndrea Kovacs has served on the Board of Directors since 2012. Andrea is the Vice President for Marketing at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, where she is charged with developing and implementing a cohesive brand strategy and long-range organizational strategic marketing plan to enhance public image, identify new markets, and support enrollment growth. She has a Master of Arts in Leadership from Albertus Magnus College and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY).

Kathy Kountze-TatumKathy Kountze-Tatum, a 2015 honoree at the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Breakfast Badge, is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Eversource Energy. Kathy provides the organization with the vision and leadership to assure the timely, innovative, and cost-effective use of technology to achieve corporate objectives and improve productivity and effectiveness in serving customers in a constantly changing, regulated utility marketplace. Prior to her current position at Eversource Energy, Kathy worked for eight years at United Illuminating, a regulated electric public utility based in New Haven, CT in various technology leadership roles, serving over two years as CIO. Kathy is a member of the Edison Electric Institute  CIO Executive Advisory Committee, the IT Committee at the annual Knowledge Utility Executive Summit, and is a governing board member of the Boston CIO Executive Summit. Kathy also volunteers and mentors at Year Up, an organization that works to provide urban young adults with professional career skills and a higher education.

Marie Kulesza is an Associate Professor of Account in the Department of Business Administration at the University of Saint Joseph. Her teaching areas are in financial accounting, financial reporting theory, and auditing. She holds a BS in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University and a MS in Public Accounting from University of Hartford. She is a member of the CTCPA Advisory Board and Student Outreach and Career Awareness Committee, American Institute of CPAs, Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance and Institute of Management Accountants.

Evelyn MantillaEvelyn Mantilla is the owner of Mantilla Leadership Solutions, an independent consulting firm providing strategic communication services, as well as training and public speaking and political consulting services. She is a respected leader who served in the Connecticut General Assembly as a State Representative for 10 years (1997 – 2007). She was the first openly bisexual woman in the Connecticut General Assembly and was also the first Hispanic woman to serve as Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. As an activist and legislator, Ms. Mantilla has spent her professional career working on civil rights and equality issues – particularly focusing on her work with disenfranchised communities.

Liz McGovernLiz McGovern is a seasoned insurance professional, having served the last 16 years with the voluntary benefits provider, Aflac. She has a diversified background in investments and insurance, education & teaching, coaching and sales. She is a member of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, having co-chaired the Women’s Leadership Council and served on the Board of Directors. Additionally, she is a graduate and board member of Leadership Greater Bridgeport. She has served as a member of other boards and advisory groups, with an emphasis on helping women and children. Her coaching and mentoring experience extends to years as an assistant coach and referee for women’s college basketball. Liz participated in Girl Scouts all the way through her senior year in high school. She credits her parents and Girl Scouts as the greatest influences in her life, both for the values they taught her and the friendships it fostered. Her love of the outdoors can be traced back to her early years camping with the Girl Scouts—she says every night is a good night for a campfire! Liz earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fordham University, with a Masters, ex-thesis, from Penn State University in Athletic Administration.

Eloisa MelendezEloisa Melendez is a twenty-two year old councilwoman for the City of Norwalk. She is the youngest person to serve on the Norwalk City Council in over 40 years, having first been elected in 2013 when she was nineteen. She is currently serving her second term. Eloisa is also the chair of the Ordinance Committee, and a first generation inhabitant of Norwalk. Her mother was born in Medellin, Colombia and her father was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents. Eloisa was a Girl Scout for six years. She is a student at Norwalk Community College, and a member of the Connecticut Hispanic Democratic Caucus.


Adrienne ParkmondAdrienne Parkmond, Esq. is the Chief Operating Officer of The Workplace in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a $25 million non-profit agency responsible for job training, business development and human services for youths and adults, including services for veterans, older workers, and at-risk populations. Adrienne earned her J.D. at Quinnipiac University of Law and brings her change management and grant writing skills to Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

Shalin Peck is an experienced finance manager, currently the Vice President of Deposit Operations and eBanking at Dime Bank. She has also been an active troop leader since 2011, including serving as a Delegate for Great Oak Service Unit. Her commitment to Governance has now grown to serving the Board Development Committee.

Olivia PucketteOlivia Puckett is the Legislative Clerk for the Council on Medical Assistance Program Oversight in the Connecticut General Assembly. A Lifetime member of Girl Scouts, she achieved The Girl Scout Gold Award in 2008 and The Girl Scout Silver Award in 2005. Olivia earned her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2011.

Nicole SandfordNicole Sandford is a partner and the national practice leader for Deloitte & Touche LLP's Enterprise Compliance Services. Her practice is focused on providing advisory services to boards and executive teams as they seek to improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of programs that identify and address ethics and compliance risks across the organization. Nicole’s clients are large, global companies in a variety of industries, with particular focus on the consumer and industrial products and financial services industries. Nicole is a member of the advisory board of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, and is a member of the board and audit committee of the Global Partnership for Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in Deloitte's audit practice, focusing primarily on publicly traded SEC registrants. She has served as the lead audit partner for public companies in the manufacturing and technology industries.


Pamela ScagliariniPamela Scagliarini, Chief Operating Officer of Bridgeport Hospital and Senior Vice President of Operations for Yale New Haven Health System, brings her extensive experience in process improvement to GSOFCT. In addition to her twenty-plus year career in supply chain management, she also serves as a Women & Leadership course facilitator at Yale New Haven Institute for Excellence. Pamela graduated with her M.B.A. in Health Care Management from the University of New Haven and was named Graduate Fellow. 

Sheryl SleevaSheryl Sleeva Sheryl Sleeva is an accomplished executive leader, intrapreneur and business strategist. As an avid product developer and fintech pioneer in the area of global payments, she has remained at the center of innovation throughout her career. Currently Sheryl is consulting as Chief Marketing Officer and Head of New Ventures for a Connecticut based engineering and technology services client specializing in industrial automation. She is also the co-inventor of two US patents. In addition to being a member of the GSOFCT Board of Directors, the STEM Advisory Council, and the Camp CEO leadership team, Sheryl is also on the Board of Directors for Twomentor LLC, a high impact consultancy focused on helping organizations create talent strategies for a diverse workforce and build mentoring cultures that elevate women in STEM careers. She is a member of the Women’s Forum of New York as well as the International Women’s Forum of CT where she currently spearheads STEM programming for middle school girls as part of the IWFCT development and outreach efforts. Sheryl earned her MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Marketing and Strategic Management and her BA in Computer Science from New York University.

Melanie ValdesMelanie Valdes, a high school senior in Two Rivers Magnet High School, sees herself as a leader and looks forward to the opportunity to make the most of her time on the Board of Directors. Her long list of extracurricular activities includes Future Business Leaders of America, multiple volunteer operations, show choir, and the Connecticut Youth Forum. Melanie is a Silver Awardee, Gold Awardee,a member of the Girl Task Force, a 2014 National Delegate, and a 2016 Aurora Women Philanthropist recipient.

 Alexis Volpe is a junior at Middletown High School where she is a member of Future Business Leaders of America and was named Miss Stamford’s Outstanding Teen. She loves to play ice hockey and is a member of Middletown High School’s Varsity Tennis team. She has also earned her orange belt in Karate. Alexis is an 11-year veteran of Girl Scouts of Connecticut currently working on her Gold Award. She earned her Silver Award by designing and installing a memorial for the Daisy Girl Scouts that were lost at Sandy Hook.

CorinneWilklowCorinne Wilklow a junior at Hopkins School, and sees her time on the Board as a way to bring the voice of the 21st century girl to the table. Also a 2014 National Delegate, Corinne was intrigued by the “behind-the-scenes” work that makes the organization run. Her list of interests includes the Model U.N., robotics club, Science Olympiad team, varsity fencing and competitive sailing. Corinne has spoken at many Girl Scouts events, including the 2015 Woman of Merit evening.


Karen WrightKaren Wright currently serves as the Director of Development at New York University. In this capacity, she is the chief advancement officer responsible for providing leadership and a comprehensive donor-focused strategy to secure major gift support to the Silver School of Social Work, The McSilver Institute for Poverty, Policy and Research, The Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health, The Center on Violence and Recovery, and The Institute for Social Development, a partnership with East China Normal University School of Social Development in Shanghai. Karen is a graduate of Fisk University with a degree in Psychology. She is an MSW candidate at NYU and has completed extensive training in Leadership, Fundraising, Management, Executive Sales, and Entrepreneurship. She actively volunteers in areas that support the empowerment of women, families and children. 

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