Kennedy Center elects directors, board members

The Kennedy Center, headquartered in Trumbull, recently announced the election of its new board of directors.

Peter J. Foley of Fairfield, head of origination, and senior managing director of GE Capital Media, Communications and Entertainment in Norwalk, is chairman.

Stephen A. Smith of Shelton, president of Smith & Company, marketing consultants in Shelton, is vice chairman.

Michael Lynch of Stratford, a senior financial planner with Barnum Financial Group, an office of MetLife in Shelton, is treasurer.

Mary G. Brown of Bridgeport, a retired Bridgeport Central High School mathematics teacher, is secretary.

Elected to new three-year terms were Ruben D. Felipe of Bridgeport, deputy chief of staff to Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch; Peter J. Gavey, CFA of Fairfield, a general partner of Goodnow Investment Group LLC in Darien; Daniel Long of Cheshire, senior vice president, strategic planning and marketing director of Newtown Savings Bank; William Paul of Trumbull, retired executive vice president of United Technologies and chairman of United Technologies International Operations; and Diane Thompson of Sandy Hook, co-owner of Wolfman Productions Inc.

Felipe, deputy chief of staff to Finch since 2007, manages capital campaigns and supervises other projects and employees. He coordinates stakeholders and serves as the Bridgeport’s lead strategist for the East Side Development Corridor. He assists in the development and strategic planning for all public and internal goals and initiatives. Prior to 2007, he was the mayoral aide in Bridgeport for three years, responsible for all constituent services of the Mayor’s Office. Previously, Felipe was the community outreach program manager at Housatonic Community College and community organizer with ACORN in Bridgeport. He attended Housatonic Community College.

Gavey, a general partner of Goodnow Investment Group in Darien, been employed by the firm since 2002 and oversees all business activities. From 1998 to 2002, he was a vice president, eventually becoming managing director, for European Investors Inc., a specialty REIT investment manager. Gavey was a member of the Investment Committee for the firm’s REIT activities and served as president of the E.I.I. Realty Securities Fund, a registered investment company. From 1993 to 1998, he was employed by Rogers Casey & Associates Inc., a full service investment consulting firm. Prior to 1993 he worked for Gabelli & Co., where he performed analytical and operational functions for the Gabelli Associates Fund, an event-driven hedge fund. Gavey is a graduate of Fairfield University, where he received his bachelor of science degree in management from the School of Business.

As senior vice president, strategic planning and marketing director, for the Newtown Savings Bank, Long oversees two marketing vice presidents and leads the bank’s marketing efforts including the website, mobile banking, Internet advertising and the marketing of traditional bank services. He led the development of the Bank’s NSBgivesBack and Suite Deal programs for volunteers. He also chairs the bank’s Marketing Committee and is a member of the management team, Asset and Liability Committee and EDP Steering. Prior to working at Newtown Savings Bank, Long was an independent consultant working on marketing information systems, vendor selection, and in the late 1990s the development of a bank’s first online loan application. His community interests include current co-chairman and former president of Trumbull Business to Education Initiative, which is dedicated to helping Trumbull students make a connection with career choices. He also led Newtown Savings Bank’s efforts the past two years with the St. Baldrick Association, which raised funds to find a cure for cancer.

Prior to serving as executive vice president of United Technologies and chairman of United Technologies International Operations, Paul was responsible for the Washington corporate office and UTC’s Defense and Space businesses. He was born in Bridgeport and joined Sikorsky in the factory after graduating from high school. He received his education part time while working at Sikorsky, attending nights at the University of Bridgeport for a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, part-time days at Yale for a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, and nights at NYU for a completion of all doctoral course work in aeronautical engineering. Paul became chief engineer responsible for the design and development of a number of helicopters, including the Blackhawk. In 1980, he was promoted to chief operating officer and ultimately to president and CEO of Sikorsky. He was appointed by former President Clinton to the United States Access Board, which oversees the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has been a longtime board member of St. Vincent’s Medical Center and has been awarded two honorary doctoral degrees from local institutions.

Thompson earned a bachelor of general studies degree from the University of Michigan with a concentration in economics and computer sciences. She is the co-owner of Wolfman Productions, which specializes in placing lecturers, debates and performing arts to college campuses and corporations. Her aunt and uncle, the late Fred and Fran Ahlbin of Fairfield, were supporters of The Kennedy Center. When her uncle died, Thompson decided to stay involved with the organization so the Ahlbin legacy could be passed on. She also has been a LaLeche League Leader and board member, as well as a board member of the Volunteer Center serving Western Connecticut.

The Kennedy Center is a nationally accredited non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that serves 2,000 individuals annually, offering service options to persons with disabilities and special needs, from birth to senior years. The Kennedy Center operates 24 community experience programs, 16 group homes, an industries program composed of six businesses, supported and competitive employment and job placement services, a family support and respite service, travel training, and children’s programs.

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