Girl Scouts of Connecticut
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First Niagara

Girl Scouts of Connecticut
2014 Speaker Series

sponsored by First Niagara

Emcee and Panelist Biographies



Chion WolfChion Wolf
Producer/Announcer, WNPR

Chion Wolf is a producer, announcer, and photographer for WNPR and the Colin McEnroe Show.
She co-produces The MOuTH - a live storytelling event at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford. She is also an actor and on the Board of Directors for Night Fall, Inc., a yearly Hartford-based public performance with Anne Cubberly's giant puppets, dancers, and music.

Wolf is a founding member of the Hartford-based marching band, the Hartford Hot Several, where she plays the trash can bass drum. Chion is also a certified judge with the International Chili Society, and is unapologetic about her love for onions.


Maryam ElahiMaryam Elahi
President and CEO, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut

Maryam Elahi is the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. Maryam came to CT in 1997 as the founding director of the Human Rights Program at Trinity College. She made her home in Old Saybrook CT in 2000. She fell in love with the community and has been a volunteer in a number of organizations in our region.

Maryam has spent 27 years practicing as an international human rights attorney. Her previous positions have included being the director of the International Women’s Program at the Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic institute and Advocacy Director for Amnesty International for the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

She is a member and the former chair of the International Human Rights Committee of the American Bar Association and has served on numerous boards including the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, Center for Justice and Accountability and ACLU of CT.   She is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Boston College Law School and Williams College. Ms. Elahi is a member of the DC and MA Bar Associations.

Ruth FreemanRuth E. Freeman
Licensed Clinical Social Worker,

Positive Parenting CT

Over the past 30 years, Ruth Ettenberg Freeman, LCSW  has taught Positive Parenting skills to thousands of Connecticut parents from all walks of life. With honesty, humor, and compassion, Ruth shares her insightful knowledge of parenting as well as her real-life blunders, challenges, and successes as a parent, stepparent, foster parent, and grandparent. Ruth’s Positive Parenting mission is to eliminate aggression visited upon children in their homes. Ruth is a licensed clinical social worker who teaches for schools, agencies, faith communities and corporations across Connecticut. She is co-founder of the CT Parenting Education Network and currently teaches webinars reaching parents across the country. Ruth brings to parenting education a clinical, trauma informed approach that reduces barriers many parents face when applying best practices. She has synthesized key concepts from a wide range of sources and trains parenting educators, as well as parents, in evidence based strategies. 


Olivia PuckettOlivia Puckett
Legislative Clerk, Council on Medical Assistance Program Oversight (MAPOC), Connecticut General Assembly

Olivia Puckett is the Legislative Clerk for the Council on Medical Assistance Program Oversight (MAPOC) for the Connecticut General Assembly. She coordinates the council and nine committees that have oversight of Connecticut’s Medicaid Program. Olivia tracks and monitors state and federal health policy including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid Expansion, the state health insurance exchange, modernization of the state Medicaid system and models of care that promotes quality and value. Olivia earned her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2011, received her graduate certificate in public management in 2014 and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Connecticut.

Prior to her current position, she was the personal student intern for Connecticut State Representative Selim Noujaim of the 74th District of Waterbury, Connecticut, where she planned and implemented the Waterbury Government and Agency Fair. While an Undergraduate at ECSU, Olivia worked two summers for the United States Social Security Administration in Norwich, Connecticut, answering inquires and questions on Social Security and Medicare. During her college career, Olivia earned nomination and election to Phi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society, won election to Senior Class Treasurer, President of the Peace and Human Rights Organization, and Senior Class Commencement address speaker.

Olivia began her government career early, working as an Administrative Assistant for the Town Administrator and Board of Selectmen where she planned the Veterans Day Programming for the Town of Columbia, Connecticut.  An AmeriCorps alumnus, Olivia, successfully created and implemented adult recruitment strategies and marketing plans to increase membership through AmeriCorps Girl Scouts USA in North Windham, Connecticut.

Olivia now serves as a Board Director for Girl Scouts of Connecticut. A Lifetime member of Girl Scouts, she achieved The Girl Scout Gold Award in 2008 and the Girl Scout Silver Award in 2005. In 2010, Olivia participated in the 54th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, leading Senior Girl Scouts from Girl Scouts of Connecticut. Olivia led the Girl Scout of Connecticut Girl Scout Leadership Institute Group to the 2011 Girl Scout National Convention in Texas and she will be attending the 2014 National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah as a delegate for the Girl Scout of CT.  She recently has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Eastern Connecticut State University Alumni Association, where she will advise implementation of the strategic plan for the University. She enjoys volunteering and mentoring young women and girls on leadership development.


Liz SchmittLiz Schmitt
Director of Enrollment Management, Miss Porter's School

Liz Schmitt is the Director of Admission at Miss Porter's School. She has served in this role for five years and was previously the Director of College Counseling. Prior to joining Porter's, Liz worked in college admission as an intern at Union College, an assistant director at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and as an auxiliary reader at University of Pennsylvania. She earned her undergraduate degree from Union College, holds a Masters in Higher Education Management from University of Pennsylvania, and earned a Certificate in Positive Psychology through Kripalu. Liz is passionate about enrollment management, leadership, and empowerment for girls.


Claire TensaGirl Scout Alumna Claire Tensa
Student, Eastern Connecticut State University

Claire Tensa is a second semester sophomore at Eastern Connecticut State University, majoring in History and Secondary Education. She is a member of the National Honor Society, a 10-year violinist, and a state, regional, and nationally ranked figure skater. For her Gold Award project, she worked with the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior. She researched, developed, and led a historic interpretative tour at Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton and Ridgefield, CT. The tour was called “Picture Perfect Childhood: Growing Up At Weir Farm,” and she gave an account of what it was like for children of many generations to grow up at Weir Farm. She has very fond memories of Girl Scouts such as going to Savannah, Georgia to visit Juliette Gordon Low’s home, Girl Scout Camp, and the Danbury Service Units 100th Anniversary Ceremony.




Teresa C. YoungerTeresa C. Younger
President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women

Teresa Younger has been on the frontlines of some of the most important battles for women's health, safety and economic security. She is a tireless advocate and well-respected feminist leader, with a proven track record in nonprofit management and fundraising.

Younger most recently served as the executive director of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), where she has spearheaded successful campaigns for women’s health, safety and economic empowerment.

During her tenure at PCSW, Younger has been instrumental in campaigns that resulted in state legislation to raise the minimum wage and provide paid sick leave in Connecticut. Younger successfully safeguarded women’s access to reproductive health care during hospital mergers. She also helped strengthen sexual assault legislation to hold college campuses accountable for the prevention and reporting of sexual assaults.

Younger has a deep history of national leadership that empowers women. She is a board member of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, whose mission is to increase the number and influence of women in elected and appointed office in the United States and around the globe. She serves on the National Advisory Board on Religious Restrictions on Care, which works to protect hospital-based health care services, such as birth control, that are threatened by mergers between secular community hospitals and religious-based health systems.

Younger was the first woman and the first African-American to serve as executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut. She subsequently served as director of affiliate organizational development at the American Civil Liberties Union National Office, where she spearheaded affiliate growth nationwide.

Younger has deep experience in nonprofit governance and philanthropy. She has recently concluded her role as two-term president on the board of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut, which serves 46,000 Connecticut girls and 20,000 volunteers. Younger also serves on several other boards — including the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut — and she previously served on the board of the National Association of Commissions for Women. 

A noted speaker, advocate and activist, she has been recognized with numerous awards for her commitment to civil rights and civil liberties, including in 2013: Liberty Bank’s Willard M. McRae Community Diversity Award, the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame Education and Empowerment Honoree, and the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Breakfast Badge Award.

In 2013, she was also named a Henry Toll Fellow by The Council of State Governments, one of the nation's premiere leadership development programs, as well as a fellow in the William Caspar Graustein Courageous Community Fellowship. In 2010, Younger went to Saudi Arabia as part of The Global Women’s Leadership Institute, a networking and economic development project. In 2009, she was chosen to participate in the National Council of State Legislatures Legislative Staff Management Institute.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota.



Andrea Bastiani ArchibaldAndrea Bastiani Archibald, Ph.D.
Chief Girl Expert, Girl Scouts of the USA

Andrea Bastiani Archibald, Ph.D. is the Chief Girl Expert at Girls Scouts of the USA where she directs formative research and content development for National Program offerings. She also serves as a liaison to the Girl Scout Research Institute contributing to both original research and national program evaluation. Most recently, Dr. Archibald lead the creation of BFF (Be a Friend First) a bully-prevention program for middle school girls based on the GSUSA aMAZE! leadership curriculum.

A developmental psychologist, much of Dr. Archibald’s research has focused on the transition from childhood to adolescence for girls, and has examined the role of pubertal and social factors in early-adolescent adjustment and health. Additionally, she has created health promotion programs for adolescent girls and boys in the New York metro area, including “Healthy Choices,” and “Building Bodies and Better Eating.” Her research and program work has been published in numerous academic volumes and peer-reviewed journals in the fields of child and adolescent development, including The Journal of Research on Adolescence and the International Journal of Eating Disorders. She has also authored several national program pieces and training materials for Girl Scouts of the USA. Dr. Archibald has extensive experience speaking on television, radio and in person at the national and regional level. She speaks as an authority on child and adolescent development, parenting and girls’ issues.

Dr. Archibald received her doctoral and postdoctoral training at the National Center for Children and Families, Columbia University where she lead The Girls’ Health and Development Project, a four-year longitudinal study of the transition from childhood to adolescence for girls. During this time, she was also a recipient of Mellon Fellowship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic/University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where she conducted research and developed social-emotional skills programs for girls and women with eating disorders. Prior to joining GSUSA, Dr. Archibald was the Assistant Professor of Psychology at Concordia College. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two sons.


Jennifer CasceilloJennifer Casceillo
Dean of Student Development, Lauralton Hall

In her role as the Dean of Student Development, Jennifer collaborates with the Principal and Academic Dean to foster a safe and caring environment conducive to learning. She manages student activities in all areas except athletics and provides leadership on issues of student formation and behavior. As a member of the Principal’s Administrative Team, Jennifer’s duties include the development and implementation of all school policies.

Prior to joining the administrative team at Lauralton Hall, Jennifer was Assistant Dean of Students at Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fairfield where she managed student discipline and served as Tuition Coordinator. Preceding her career as an administrator, she taught history/social studies at Notre Dame and at Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in History, Master of Arts Degree in Teaching with a concentration in Secondary Education, and Intermediate Administrative Leadership Certification (092), all from Sacred Heart University. She lives in Seymour with her two children where she volunteers for the Recreation Department as a basketball coach, Junior Achievement, and Good Shepherd CCD program.


Suzanne Brown PetersSuzanne Brown Peters
Vice President, The Fund For Women and Girls, Fairfield County's Community Foundation

Suzanne is Vice President of the Fund for Women and Girls at the Fairfield County's Community Foundation based in Norwalk, Connecticut.  FWG with a $16MM endowment is the largest women’s fund in New England and a leading women’s fund in the Northeast. The mission is to support and empower women and girls to enable them to reach their full potential. FWG helps women become effective philanthropists and use the power of collective giving to effect change. Suzanne is responsible for strategic planning, grant making, development, research, key donor relationships, and manages the Foundation’s largest fundraising event of over 800 attendees. She is Advisory Board co-chair of The Family Economic Security Program, a working families’ initiative with Norwalk Community College and the NCC Foundation.

Suzanne was previously the INROADS Vice President for Financial Services where she developed new market strategy, led senior client relationships, placed diverse talent, and directed business development for the accounting firms, banks, investment banks, and insurance companies and an intern base of over 1500 high potential diverse college students.

 Ms. Peters’ corporate experience includes a successful career at Citibank/Citigroup in international businesses including cash management, information products, marketing, consulting, customer alliances, risk management and foreign exchange. Suzanne held various diversity program volunteer positions in the Global Corporate and Investment Bank and served as a mentor for the UNCF/Citi Fellows Program. 

Throughout her career, Suzanne has delivered real benefits to women, families, and young people with her active volunteerism through leadership positions with non-profit organizations. Suzanne was awarded the Black Achievers in Industry Award from the YMCA of New York. She’s the recipient of a community service award from the Organization of Eastern Star in Pennsylvania and a Best of Class Facilitator Award from INROADS. In 2007 Suzanne was recognized as a “Woman of Achievement” by the Girl Scouts of Southwestern Connecticut. Suzanne has been a presenter/panelist for the Women’s Funding Network, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, Connecticut Women’s Alliance, Urban League of SWCT and the State of Connecticut.

Suzanne holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, a BS from Boston University and completed Cornell University’s Diversity Professional’s Program. She is a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; lifetime member of the NBMBA Association; member of the Links Incorporated; and a member of The Association of Fundraising Professionals. Suzanne serves as the Staff-Parish Relations Chair for the First United Methodist Church of Stamford. Ms. Peters has traveled extensively to Asia and Europe. She resides in Stamford, Connecticut.

Eloisa MelendezGirl Scout Alumna Eloisa Melendez
Councilwoman, City of Norwalk

Girl Scout Alumna Eloisa Melendez is a Councilwoman for the City of Norwalk representing District A. Elected in November 2013 at the age of 19, she is the youngest person to serve on the Norwalk City Council in over 40 years. She is also the Secretary for the Fairfield County Young Democrats. She is a lifelong Norwalk resident and will be continuing as a student at Norwalk Community College this fall.


New Haven

Anne WorcesterAnne Worcester
Tournament Director, New Haven Open at Yale
Chief Marketing Officer, Market New Haven

Anne Worcester is entering her seventeenth year as Tournament Director of the New Haven Open at Yale, and tenth year as Chief Marketing Officer of Market New Haven, Inc.

Under Worcester’s direction, the New Haven Open annually generates $26 million in economic impact for the Greater New Haven region, attracts an average of 55,000 spectators to the tournament, and puts the State of Connecticut and New Haven in the media spotlight with eight hours of domestic television coverage, 108 hours of international television coverage in 111 countries and over 745,000,000 media impressions.   

In addition, for more than a decade, the tournament has leveraged the power and excitement of professional tennis to build interest and participation at the community level. As a result, more than 5,000 New Haven youth have participated in affordable year-round tennis programs as well as life skills, homework help and mentorship programs.

Previously, Worcester served four years as CEO of the WTA, the governing body of women’s tennis and the world’s preeminent sporting circuit for women. Named to the CEO position when she was 34, Worcester was both the youngest person and the first female to lead a professional sports organization. Prior to that she worked in various roles in the sport of tennis – from Sales and Marketing at US tennis events for IMG (1983-1987) to Director of Worldwide Operations for Virginia Slims Tennis (1988-1991) to Managing Director of the Women’s Tennis Council (1991-1994).

In addition to her role at the New Haven Open, Worcester also serves as chief marketing officer of Market New Haven, working with New Haven partners to raise the profile of New Haven by positioning the city as a unique and attractive destination and promoting the City’s award-winning dining, world-class culture, eclectic shopping and walkability to new audiences. 

Under her leadership, Market New Haven and the New Haven Open introduced the immensely successful New Haven Restaurant Week and New Haven Food & Wine Festival, two events that are highly anticipated each year and highlight New Haven’s dining assets.

In 2012, Worcester was honored in New Haven Living as one of the “50 Most Influential” people in New Haven. In 2011, she was named a Sports Business Journal “Game Changer,” a distinction reserved for “women in the sports business — women with broad, deep, and varied responsibilities and oversight who contribute to the success of the industry in multiple ways.” As a testament to all her efforts in the New Haven community, in 2008 Worcester was awarded the “Good Scout” award by the Greater New Haven Boy Scouts.  Also in 2008, she was honored for community service by Junta for Progressive Action, the oldest Latino organization in New Haven, as well as receiving the Business New Haven Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award for her accomplishments as Tournament Director of Pilot Pen Tennis and Chief Marketing Officer of Market New Haven.  In 2007, she was awarded the Special Olympics Connecticut Lilly Award, a tribute to extraordinary Connecticut women and for her success in business.  In 2006, Worcester was awarded the Yale University Seton Elm-Ivy Award, which is given to individuals who help foster a deeper collaboration between the City of New Haven and Yale University. Worcester was also inducted into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame in 2006, recognizing her as a business and community leader who has made notable contributions to the prosperity and strength of the region and community. Lastly, under her leadership, Market New Haven was recognized by the Greater New Haven Convention & Visitors Bureau in receiving the 2006 Compass award and the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce in receiving the 2006 Arts, Entertainment and Tourism award. 

Worcester serves on the Board of New Haven Tennis and Education as well as the Center for Hearing and Communication in New York City, and chairs the Center’s marketing and development committee.

She lives with her husband, Tom, and their two children, Tommy, 18, and Victoria, 16, in New Canaan, Connecticut.



Sharon CappettaSharon Cappetta
Director of Development, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

Sharon Cappetta serves as the Director of Development at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. As part of her work, she leads The Foundation’s Community Fund for Women & Girls, a 19-year-old women’s endowment fund focusing on leveling the playing field for women and girls in Greater New Haven. The Fund actively promotes women’s philanthropy and leadership, as well as providing funding for nonprofits serving and advocating for women and girls in Greater New Haven and beyond. 

Sharon is a career fund development professional.  In addition to ten years at The Community Foundation, she has worked with national health agencies, the Hospital of Saint Raphael Foundation and The University of Connecticut Foundation.  A resident of Milford, Sharon is the proud mother of two teens.


Kia LeveyKia Levey, MSW
Project Director,
The New Haven Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership

Kia Levey, MSW, is the Project Director for The New Haven Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership.  The New Haven MOMS Partnership is a community-academic partnership that includes the Yale University School of Medicine, the City of New Haven, the State of Connecticut, and a number of community-based service agencies that utilizes input from families and providers to develop public health approaches to ensure that pregnant and parenting women living in New Haven achieve the highest possible standards of mental health and well-being throughout their lives.  As the project director for the MOMS Partnership, Kia strives to build the capacity of individuals, communities, and organizations to better respond to the challenges, needs and opportunities that exist for mothers and children that who are over-burdened and under resourced

Kia is a native of New Haven, CT who has worked over 10 years in New Haven’s nonprofit and service sector in a number of professional and volunteer roles.  Much of her work has been focused on increasing the capacity and effectiveness of service organizations to more effectively provide for the communities they are mission-bound to serve.  As well as building community partnerships and collaborations that strive to improve polices and systems that most significantly impact vulnerable populations.

Kia earned a BA in Communication from Central Connecticut State University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Connecticut. 


Hadar LubinHadar Lubin, MD
Co-Director, Post Traumatic Stress Center

Hadar Lubin, MD (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1988) is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a licensed physician in Connecticut. Dr. Lubin is the co-director of the Post Traumatic Stress Center.
She is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. She developed the Women's Trauma Program and has written extensively on treatment of PTSD.
Lubin, is a reviewer for the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy and has written extensively about post traumatic stress disorder in numerous publications.

Girl Scout Alumna Tori Sheldon

East Hartford

 Kara Sundlun
News Anchor and Co-Host of Better Connecticut, WFSB-Channel 3

Kara Sundlun is a two-time Emmy-award winning journalist. You can catch her live every weekday as the co-host of Better Connecticut with Scot Haney at 3 p.m. on Channel 3. She also anchors Eyewitness News at Noon.

Every afternoon Kara brings viewers information that informs, entertains and inspires to make life Better!  In her series Kara's Cures she explores ways to heal the body, mind and spirit.  From past life regression, to bodies after babies Kara enjoys exploring the wisdom of the ancients to the cutting edge treatments of today.

Kara joined Channel 3 in 2000 and has covered several of Connecticut's biggest news events. Kara reported live from Ground Zero after the 9/11 terror attacks. She also traveled with local national guard troops to Bosnia and Germany to cover the War on Terror.  She was the only Connecticut reporter to travel to Washington, D.C., to report with exclusive interviews with local lawmakers as the Iraq war began.

"I think I have the greatest job in the world. I am a modern day town cryer. I can be an Eyewitness to history and help people make their lives better by giving them the information they need."

In 2005, Kara received an Emmy award for outstanding achievement in reporting. She has also won an Emmy award for the story "Swimming with Sharks," an in-depth look at sharks swimming in New England waters. Kara has also been named "Best Local TV News Reporter" by Hartford Magazine, and in 2006, Kara was included in the Hartford Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40.

Kara grew up in suburban Detroit, but has many ties to New England with family in Rhode Island. She graduated with honors from the University of Michigan, where she earned a dual degree in political science and communications. Kara started her television journalism career as a youth reporter for WPRI-TV in Providence, R.I. She has also worked in Grand Rapids, Michigan and  interned at the White House and CNN's Washington Bureau.

Kara lives in Hartford where you'll often see her at charity events trying raise money for local causes. She is married to Eyewitness News anchor Dennis House. They are proud parents of Helena and Julian.

Dr. Bridget CooperDr. Bridget Cooper
President, Pieces In Place Consulting


Dr. Cooper and her consulting and coaching business, Pieces In Place, changes lives and transforms relationships by providing insightful and dynamic motivational techniques designed to guide people to reach their true desires and have their needs abundantly met.


She is an experienced and dynamic educator, facilitator, executive coach, and management and leadership consultant, and author of “Feed The Need” (2013). This groundbreaking book changes the way people think about problems, and strengthens and empowers people to solve them by discovering how to identify, understand, and feed our core emotional needs to live more harmoniously with ourselves and others.


She leads powerful seminars for women and teen girls on relationship, conflict, and communication skills. She has conducted seminars and retreats and delivered keynotes for numerous associations and organizations including: Allied World Assurance Company, Connecticut Society of Association Executives, Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce, Connecticut Boards of Education, Vietnam Veterans of America, Gateway Financial Partners, The Phoenix, Junior League of Washington, Connecticut Apartments Association, Department of Defense, American Massage Therapists Association, CT Apartments Association, Metacon, Connecticut Associated Builders & Contractors, Hartford Dental Society, Bethany College, Draeger, The George Washington University, USA Weekend, and American Case Management Association.



Janet Bailey Faude
 Aurora Foundation
Janet Bailey Faude
Board Chair, Aurora Women and Girls Foundation


Janet graduated with a B.A in Psychology, cum laude, from Dartmouth College. She was a member of the first freshman class to admit women.  She holds a Masters of Education in planning and social policy from Harvard University.


Janet’s professional career has spanned both the public and private sectors and has included management positions in government, financial services and in higher education. 

Committed to community service with a particular interest in supporting the advancement of women and girls, she has served on the board of directors of the Urban League of Greater Hartford, and has been a member of the Connecticut Women’s Council. She was a member of the board of the Connecticut Valley Girl Scout Council, chaired the finance committee and then served as president of the board from 2000-2004.  During her years of service as a volunteer in Girl Scouts, the Council planned for and moved to what is now the headquarters of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. She was recognized by Girl Scouts of Connecticut in 2012 as one of its noted alumni.

Janet is a management and fundraising consultant working with area non profits. She is the chair of the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation, serving on the governance, finance, development and executive committees. She is a corporator of Hartford Hospital and an outside director and member of the strategic planning and audit committees and the acquisition task force of Jensen’s, Inc. 

Janet lives in West Hartford with her husband Wilson. They have two children: a daughter Sarah who is studying for her PhD in Sociology at Northeastern University and a son Paul who is a senior at Dickinson College in PA.


 Nina Livingston, MD
 Connecticut Children's Medical Center
Dr. Nina Livingston, MD
Medical Director, Hartford Regional Child Abuse Services


Dr. Nina Livingston is a child abuse pediatrician and the medical director of Hartford Regional Child Abuse Services, which includes the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect program at CT Children’s Medical Center and the Greater Hartford Children’s Advocacy Center at St Francis Hospital. She is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
Dr. Livingston received her B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore College and attended Medical School at Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle. She practiced general pediatrics for 7 years in New York City and New Britain, Connecticut, and during that time developed an interest in the care of foster children. In 2005 she began to do child abuse consultation full time at Connecticut Children’s and St Francis Hospital, and became medical director of the Hartford child abuse programs in 2008.



The Montanez
Grace Academy

Thea Montanez
Founder and Managing Director, Montanez Consulting, LLC

Thea Montanez is the founder and managing director of Montanez Consulting, LLC., a culturally savvy philanthropy design and management firm specializing in advising public and private sector clients on driving innovative, impactful and inclusive social change within underserved communities.

Prior to her role as a consultant, Thea served in several professional leadership roles including as the manager of philanthropy and community relations at The Hartford Financial Services Group. She has a proven track record for successfully leading the planning and implementation of large-scale community based initiatives on behalf of the private sector, including The Hartford Financial Services Group’s $7M Asylum Hill Community Investment Strategy.

As a community advocate and civic leader with over 10 years of experience working on behalf of underserved communities, Thea is a frequent speaker on engaging Gen Y/Millennials in their communities as well as the important role women and girls play in urban revitalization.

Thea serves as President of the Hartford Public Library, which was named a 2014 Institute of Museum and Library Services finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community. She serves on the board of directors of Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network and Grace Academy, an independent, tuition-free middle school for girls from underserved families in the City of Hartford. In addition, she is the Co-Chair of the Boys and Girls Club Advisory Council and a Gubernatorial Appointee to the Metropolitan District Commission.

She is the recipient of several awards and recognitions for her leadership, including being named CT Magazine's "40 under 40" in 2014, CT Women’s Alliance’s “Woman of Distinction” in 2012 and Hartford Business Journal “40 Under 40” in 2006.

She also writes for The Huffington Post and curates


Hannah PaqeutteGirl Scout Hannah Paquette 

Hannah Paquette is a senior in high school, studying Creative Writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. She has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and has been in her current troop since 7th grade. Her troop enjoys camping, especially Snowflake, a winter camping competition; West Point, a military based camporee; and their yearly camping trip in the summer at Hammonasset Beach State Park. Last summer, she had the opportunity to take a two-week trip to Seattle, Washington with her troop and this summer they are spending three weeks in Sweden.





Kristen JacobyKristen Jacoby
President/Chief Professional Officer, United Way of Greater Waterbury

Kristen Jacoby has served as President and Chief Professional Officer of United Way of Greater Waterbury since 2000, where she has overseen the organization’s transformation from a traditional fundraising/allocation business model into a true community impact organization. The transformation has allowed United Way to have a greater impact on the 10-town Greater Waterbury community by focusing financial, volunteer and community resources on the challenges surrounding education, financial stability and basic needs in order to improve lives over the long-term.

Prior to coming to United Way, Kristen was Director of Business Development and Government Relations for American Medical Response. For ten years, Kristen worked in various capacities at the American Cancer Society where she received numerous accolades and awards for her fund raising and marketing strategies.

Kristen has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications from University of Connecticut and a Master of Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University. She studied abroad at The City University, London, England. Kristen graduated from the Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Executives at Colombia University. Kristen is married to Dr. Peter Jacoby and resides in Woodbury.



Paula Van NessPaula Van Ness
President and CEO of Connecticut Community Foundation

Previous positions include: COO, Peter G. Peterson Foundation; President & CEO, Starlight Children’s Foundation; President & CEO, Make-A-Wish America; CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness and founding president of the National AIDS Fund (now AIDS United). 

She has served on the governing boards and as an officer of Independent Sector and KaBOOM! Currently she serves as Vice President of the board of Gift of Adoption Fund. 
Her undergraduate work was at the University of Arizona, earning a BS in Child Development; she earned an MS in Organization Development at the University of San Francisco.

She was a Girl Scout through 8th grade and a Girl Scout leader when her daughter was young.


Doug BarileDoug Barile
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Doug Barile is a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in Ridgefield. Barile also leads parent education classes aimed at building resilience in children and teens and decreasing the risk of suicide, substance abuse, and other risky behaviors.

His education includes a BA from Colgate University, an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in Marriage & Family Therapy from Fairfield University. Prior to becoming a therapist, Barile was a Navy pilot, a senior corporate human resources executive, and a principal in a global management consulting firm.


Anne Marie CullinanAnne Marie Cullinan
Chief Academic Officer, Waterbury Public Schools

Mrs. Cullinan is a Waterbury native educated in local schools and a Sacred Heart High School graduate. She has had a rich career in the Waterbury Public School System over the last 36 years. She started out earning her BA at Mount Saint Mary College in NY, and her MS at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. She earned her 6th year degree in administration and supervision and a superintendancy certificate, and is currently completing her PhD through the University of Hull with a dissertation on Inclusive Education. Anne Marie taught at Wallace and West Side Middle Schools, supervised Special Education, and worked as Principal of Ralph Carrington Elementary School. She held the position of Vice President of School Administrators of Waterbury, and Assistant Superintendant of Special Education and Pupil Services for 12 years. She is currently the Chief Academic Officer. During her tenure as an administrator she has developed several  programs, such as the Saturday Accelerated Reading Academy and the Soar to Success Summer Program. These programs were designed to help struggling students meet academic success. In 2002 she presented at the American Association of School Administrators National Conference in San Francisco on these programs. In 2007 she presented at an international Special Education Conference in the Netherlands. Mrs. Cullinan has also presented at state conferences on various topics. She is a member of Who’s Who in American Education and has received several awards during her career including CT Association of Schools’ Elementary School Principal of the Year/National Distinguished Principal award, Waterbury Neighborhood City Council Service Award, and the National Exchange Club Educator of the Year award.

Mrs. Cullinan serves on several committees including Waterbury School District Executive Management Team, School Climate and Safety Committee, Bridge to Success Management Team, Blue Ribbon Task Force on Truancy, CT State Department of Education Special Education Advisory Committee, and is co-chair of the School Readiness Council. She is also a member of the Interdepartmental Health Committee for which she developed a student/parent physical activity calendar to encourage parents to participate in physical activities with their children on a daily basis. She brought several beneficial programs to the Waterbury School System including a developmental guidance school counselor program, increased the role of the Pupil Personnel Staff throughout the district, forged a partnership with the CT Parent Advocacy Center, held a series of School-family-Community Partnership Meetings and gathered feedback from parents on various school related topics and introduced Positive Behavioral Support Programs to every Waterbury Public School on the elementary, middle school and high school level.

Mrs. Cullinan also serves on the Margaret M. Generali Foundation Board, Bunker Hill Neighborhood Council Executive Board and the Community Life Foundation Board of Directors.  She is a past member of the National Exchange Club, the Olympian Club and the Holy Cross High School Mother’s Club.

Mrs. Cullinan is presently an Adjunct Professor at the University of St. Joseph and has taught at the University of Bridgeport, University of New Haven and at Naugatuck Valley Community College.
She is married to Edmund (Ned) Cullinan and they have two children, Christopher and Courtney and 3 grandchildren, Sara, Jack and Bradan.



Calida N. JonesCalida N. Jones
Program Director, Bravo Waterbury!


Calida Nicole Jones is the Program Director of Bravo Waterbury! an El Sistema inspired music education program of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Jones is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she received her BFA in Music Performance, Violin Emphasis. She received her MM in Performance with a Suzuki Pedagogy Emphasis at the Hartt School in West Hartford, CT under the tutelage of Anthea Kreston and Teri Einfeldt. Ms. Jones’ studies afforded her to travel domestically and in Europe and Canada where she performed with various ensembles. Prior to Ms. Jones joining the Hartt School of Music’s Community Division on a full-time basis, she was the violin teacher at the Richard J. Kinsella School of Performing Arts in Hartford, CT. Ms. Jones was the Director of the Blue Hills Suzuki Program, an inner-city Suzuki Violin program in Hartford CT. In April 2014, Ms. Jones and Bravo Waterbury! were the recipients of the Father H. Dwyer Humanitarian Award from Children’s Community School. Ms. Jones strongly believes all children should have equal access to a quality music education. Her personal mission is to ensure that children who have limited resources also have access to quality musical experiences and social development activities.


Christine BarryGirl Scout Alumna Christine Barry
Project Engineer, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

Christine, or Tina as she is known by many, is a Waterbury native who graduated last year from the University of Hartford last May with a degree in Civil Engineering. She is currently working as a Project Engineer with Whiting-Turner at UCONN Health Center overseeing the building construction of Jackson Labs of Genomic Medicine. Previously she has had internships with Lane Construction in Chesapeake, VA overseeing construction of a Simulated Carrier Deck for the Navy. While she was in college she was the President of her American Society of Civil Engineering Chapter where she coordinated professionals and students in networking events, field trips, as well as the AISC Steel Bridge Competition.

Tina is a Lifetime Girl Scout and both a Silver and Gold Award Recipient. She has been involved from Daisies through Ambassadors. She has been given tremendous opportunities in girl scouting including local, national, and international events. Some of her more adventurous activities include participating in destinations, previously called Wider Opportunities, in the Grand Tetons, Sailing on Lake Michigan, an Outward Bound Trip in the Everglades, Space Camp in Alabama, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.

In addition to Girl Scouting Tina was an active member of Sea Scouts where she participated in various water sports. In addition to these scouting groups she is active in volunteering in veteran groups and a high school robotics team.

Her experiences have helped to shape the woman she is today and what she likes to do in her spare time. Her favorite pastimes include volunteering, swimming, sailing, and traveling. 

*Please note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Rachel DiVenere will be unable to attend the panel discussion

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