Incoming trustees (L to R): Mary Broderick, Harry Ferguson and Lynn Malerba.

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut held its annual meeting on Wednesday, November 29, to mark the season of gratitude and inspire its supporters to transform their care and generosity into positive community action. Keynote speaker and education policy advocate, Dr. Janice M. Gruendel set the tone by bringing attention to the opportunity gap faced by many children and families and to the successful ways to create more access and equity (view presentation here).

“A community only thrives when there is kindness, justice, equity and inclusion. That understanding guides how the Foundation invests in the region and delivers on our donors’ desire to do good,” explained Maryam Elahi, President and CEO. “As we look to 2018, the Foundation aims to demonstrate the depth of its commitment to bringing the community together to put philanthropy into action. We want to lead thoughtfully and boldly to serve in partnership to empower our youth, promote basic needs and rights, preserve the environment and advance animal welfare. Our Trustees have incredible knowledge and commitment that will help us move these ambitions forward in meaningful and connected ways.”

At the conclusion of the annual meeting, three new Trustees were officially introduced: Mary Broderick, Harry Ferguson, and Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba.

Mary Broderick of East Lyme is an education advocate committed to equity and social justice. A nationally published author on quality and diversity in education, she has served on numerous boards and in leadership roles at the local, state, and national level, including as President of the National School Board Association and President of the Connecticut Boards of Education.

Mystic resident Harry Ferguson practiced law in Connecticut and Massachusetts and has a rich history of board service and volunteerism on behalf of youth and families. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Child & Family Agency of SECT.

Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba of Niantic has served as the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe since 2010, and is the first female Chief in the tribe’s modern history. Prior to her work for the Mohegan Tribe, Lynn had a lengthy career as a registered nurse, culminating as the Director of Cardiology and Pulmonary Services at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. She is expert and advocate on Native American health issues at the national level and serves on the board of directors of the Ms. Foundation for Women.

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees also instated new officers. Steve Larcen of Niantic will serve as Chair, David Schulz of Mystic as Vice Chair, Cathy Bokoff of Norwich as Secretary, and Ed Higgins of Woodstock as Treasurer.

Attendees of Annual Meeting (L to R): Dr. Stephen Tracy, Interim Superintendent of New London Public Schools; Key note speaker Janice Gruendel, Senior Fellow, Institute for Child Success; Lisa Tepper Bates, CCEH; Maryam Elahi, CFECT President & CEO; and Ruth Crocker, past CFECT Trustee.

L to R: Trustees Govind Menon and John Pritchard.

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