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OUR 2024 Stories & News

New Member

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June 2024

Rose Velez-Smith is the CHRO of DoubleVerify’s.  She is responsible for all aspects of human resources strategy and people function globally, including talent management, leadership development, total rewards, diversity, inclusion & belonging.


Prior to joining DoubleVerify, Rose managed global HR efforts for Pitney Bowes, spending more than two decades with the organization.  She served as Vice President of Total Rewards and HR Shared Services, and led the organization’s COVID Management team throughout the pandemic.  During her tenure at Pitney Bowes, Rose was responsible for developing and directing Human Resources Talent strategies globally.  In addition, she has developed strategic workforce solutions in the areas of employee relations, engagement and development, recruiting, talent acquisition, mergers and acquisitions, and legal and regulatory compliance.


Prior to Pitney Bowes, Rose was Regional Human Resources Director at Navigant International. In this role, Rose was responsible for the overall development and coordination of human resources activities in the Northeast Region, including leading approximately nine acquisitions in a three-year period. She also spent nine years at Champion International in various HR roles.


Rose is actively engaged with her community as a volunteer and is a member of various professional organizations. She served on the board of the ATD (Association for Talent Development) from 2018-2020 and served as their chair in 2020.  Previously she was on the Board of Directors for the Child Care Learning Center in Stamford, CT, served and chaired the Fairchester Board of the Networking for Teaching Entrepreneurship (“NFTE”) and served on the Corporate Advisory Board of Prospanica. Currently she services on the Corporate Advisory Board for the Center on Executive Compensation. Rose has been honored by the Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility “HACR” as a Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever and she received the Greenwich YWCA’s BRAVA award, which recognizes outstanding women achievers who have excelled in their professional careers and who also volunteer their time and talent to help others.


Rose has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and master’s degree in Human Resources Development and Counseling from the University of Bridgeport, CT.   She also completed several Executive Leadership Programs at the RBL Group, Cornell University ILR School and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. 

Additional information about Rose can be found at the following link

New Member

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June 2024

Kelli-Marie Vallieres, PhD is Vice Chair of the Governor’s Workforce Council and the Chief Workforce Officer of the newly established Office of Workforce Strategy.

She is an owner of two manufacturing companies, Sound Manufacturing, Inc. and Monster Power Equipment, where she served as President and CEO for 14 years before stepping down to take on her new role with the State of Connecticut.

Kelli-Marie serves on the CT Department of Labor Apprenticeship Council, Department of Economic and Community Development Manufacturing Innovation Fund Advisory Committee and is an emeritus board member of Connecticut Business and Industry Association. She served as a member of the Statewide Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Committee for the State College and University System and worked with Three Rivers Community College to develop their Precision Sheet Metal program and the Early College Opportunity Programs.

Kelli-Marie is able to combine her roles in industry and education to develop learning curricula and establish educational pathway programs from secondary through post-secondary educational systems. This includes industry training and development that supports educators in the development and implementation of pedagogy to improve problem solving, critical thinking, and essential employability skills, to benefit students and the workforce pipeline.

Kelli-Marie earned her degree in Educational Leadership and Adult Learning from the University of Connecticut in 2007.  She is also the President Emeritus for the Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance and continues to serve on the Board of Directors for Eastern Workforce Investment Board.

More information about Kelli-Marie can be found at the following link


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June 2024

IWFCT is pleased to announce that member Judy Casperson, Consultant and Coach at Casperson Consulting, LLC., was recently announced as the recipient of the 2024 West Hartford Chamber Elizabeth Gustin Basil Women’s Leadership Award. 


Judy's commitment to community, leadership, education, human services, and advocacy are some of the few reasons that contributed to her being the recipient of this award. 


More information can be viewed at the following link

Join us in congratulating Judy on this award and recognition.


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June 2024

IWFCT is pleased to announce that member Carol Quinn Toomey, Managing Director at Accenture, was recently recognized for her achievements and great leadership by being promoted to the next Managing Director level at Accenture with more advanced executive focus across larger practices.. 


More information about Carol can be viewed at the following link

Join us in congratulating Carol on promotion.

New Member

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May 2024

Melissa is a Partner of Solutions Engineering in Lippincott’s Experience, Innovation, and Engineering practice based in New York.

An ardent advocate for technology’s potential to improve the world, Melissa’s pragmatic approach to innovation has positively impacted clients, such as LendingTree, Humana, Danaher, Delta Air Lines, Cornell University, Aetna and 3,000 Miles to a Cure. In 2020, the Webby Awards recognized Melissa and her team, alongside SCAN Health Plan, for creating an impactful empathy training course using virtual reality.

Melissa is an accomplished speaker and innovation coach who inspires, ideates, and executes on customer experiences, while leading research, development, and education. She was recently named a finalist for Connecticut’s Women in Innovation Awards, honoring women leading the future of STEM in in the state.

Prior to joining Lippincott, Melissa was a Senior Vice President of Technology at Primacy in Farmington, CT, where she delivered websites, apps, and digital experiences across notable clients including 

UChicago Medicine, Gonzaga, Rice University, MIT, Yale New Haven Health, Yale Law School, TIAA and Cannondale.

Before joining Primacy, she served as VP/Director of Technology Enablement at Digitas, where she oversaw a wide variety of tech-driven projects for GE, GM, Philips, Heineken, Mead Johnson Enfamil, Post Consumer Brands, EMS, Marriott, Kraft, Mars and others.

Melissa holds a B.A. in History from the University of Connecticut. Personal hobbies and interests include traveling with her family, ziplining with her daughter, painting, baking, cooking, and music.

More information about Melissa can be found at the following link.


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May 2024

IWFCT is pleased to announce that member Michele Scott, Tribal Councilor for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, has been appointed to the following positions:

  1. Member of the Health and Human Services Department's Advisory Committee on Minority Health (ACMH).  Michele was sworn to the position by RDML Felicia Collins, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director.  The Advisory Committee on Minority Health (ACMH) is a committee of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that advises the Deputy Assistant Secretary on Minority Health (DASMH) on developing goals and programs to improve the health of racial and ethnic minorities. The ACMH's responsibilities include: 

    • Improving the quality of health care for minorities. 

    • Eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities

  2. Tribal Advisory Committee Delegate of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH).   The National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) Delegate is a representative of an elected tribal official or their designated representative who meets with NIH officials to exchange information and views. The TAC provides a forum for advice and guidance on intergovernmental responsibilities related to the NIH's administration and implementation.

  3. Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) National At-Large Alternate Delegate of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).   The ACF TAC’s primary purpose is to seek consensus, exchange views, share information, provide advice and/or recommendations; or facilitate any other interaction related to intergovernmental responsibilities or administration of ACF programs, including those that arise explicitly or implicitly under statute, regulation, or Executive Order. 

Join us in congratulating Michele on these impressive appointments and wishing her success in her new role.  

More information about Michele can be found at the following link

New Member

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May 2024

Shannon Marimón is Executive Director at ReadyCT.  She leads the organization to become a vital conduit for collaborative innovation among education, business, and civic communities, and shaping policies and practices that equitably serve all children in Connecticut.  Shannon has worked in PK-12 and higher education for just over two decades.

As a graduate of Connecticut’s public school system, Shannon is committed to narrowing the state’s achievement gap and raising academic outcomes for all students through policy advocacy, public awareness, and capacity building.  She also aims to better align our educational system with our workforce needs in order to best prepare students for the world of work.

Before stepping into her role at ReadyCT, Shannon was Director of Talent and Operations for the CT RISE Network, responsible for establishing, advancing, and monitoring organizational goals related to student on-track achievement and college and career readiness.

Prior to RISE, Shannon was Division Director for the Bureau of Educator Effectiveness at the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE).  During her five years with the CSDE, Shannon provided leadership and support to districts and schools to expand talent management systems and strategic planning efforts.  Her team was responsible for recruitment and retention of educators to the teaching profession, program approval for educator preparation programs, implementation of the state’s teacher induction program (TEAM) and educator evaluation and professional learning system, as well as various leadership development initiatives.

Shannon was a Partner and Director of Site Launch with The New Teacher Project (TNTP) and spent seven years working in higher education in such roles as Student Services and Outreach Manager for study abroad programming at Stanford University, Associate Director of Admissions at Stanford Law School, and Associate Director of Development for the Yale Schools of Art and Architecture.  Shannon holds an MBA with a focus on nonprofit and public sector management from the Yale School of Management, an M.A. in art history from Stanford University, and a B.A. in art history and Spanish literature from Dartmouth College. 

More information about Shannon can be found at the following link

New Member

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May 2024

Karen Goyette is the Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer at Hartford HealthCare.


Karen serves as Hartford HealthCare’s leader for strategy development, system alignment and partnership integration. Her responsibilities include strategic, business and facility planning, ambulatory facility and institute development, as well as the assessment and activation of strategic partnerships for the system. She oversees several other system-wide functions, including Planning, Marketing and Communication, Content Strategy, Government Affairs, Regulatory, Enterprise Transformation, Account Management.


As a member of HHC’s CEO cabinet, she leads the system’s strategic and master facility planning process for institutes, networks and regions; identifies and develops new service locations; and oversees the facility planning and regulatory approval process. Additionally, she leads business development activities for Hartford HealthCare and assists in evaluating the performance of current programs and partnerships.  Karen developed and implemented Hartford HealthCare’s first system-wide strategic plan and completed the first system-wide balanced scorecard delineating annual system goals and priorities. Today, Hartford HealthCare’s strategy deployment process is differentiated in the field by its transparency, ability to cascade throughout the organization, and the multi-disciplinary system-wide input used in its development.


Karen also oversees Hartford HealthCare’s significant partnership network, which includes more than 20 ambulatory surgery and endoscopy centers, more than 40 imaging locations and a robust statewide network of urgent care offerings. The system’s partnership strategy ensures HHC’s commitment to providing timely and equitable access to high-quality, affordable care that support communities and healthcare consumers.


Karen most recently was the senior vice president of Strategy and System Integration for Hartford HealthCare. Previously, she has served as vice president of Strategy and Marketing at Hartford Hospital, and vice president of Administration and Business Development at MidState Medical Center, where she also served in various leadership capacities beginning in 2000.


In addition to a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut, she holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Karen was named New England’s “Strategist of the Year” in 2021 by the New England Society of Healthcare Strategy, and is a recipient of the Hartford Business Journal’s “C-Suite Awards” for 2022.

More information about Karen can be found on the following link

New Member

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May 2024

Stacey Goodwin is the Vice President of Operations for RYASAP in Bridgeport where she leads data and outcome measurement and process improvement.  In 2016, after a 25+ year career in financial services, Stacey brought her organizational governance and operational leadership skills to her passion for increasing opportunities for youth and families from under-resourced communities in Connecticut.  Stacey worked directly for organizations and also with them and as part of systems change efforts through her volunteer partnership with Social Impact Partners of CT. 

From September 2019 through March 2021, Stacey served as the first Executive Director for Horizons Bridgeport, focused on solidifying the expansion of Horizons academic enrichment programming for Bridgeport, CT students. Prior to joining Horizons Bridgeport, she led The Child and Family Guidance Center’s (Bridgeport) efforts in outcome measurement and continuous quality improvement for three years.

Since early 2018, as a volunteer partner with Social Impact Partners of CT, Stacey has contributed her skills on projects with SIP partner organizations and initiatives in K-12 education, early childhood education, and high school career pathways/workforce development.

After beginning her career in investment banking, Stacey then joined GE Capital and held positions of increasing responsibility over more than 23 years. A Risk Management Executive, she led operating lease underwriting, asset strategy, and portfolio management teams/departments. For eight years, she was the Chief Risk Officer of GE Capital’s Rail Services business, which had the largest asset base amongst North American freight railcar lessors.

Stacey also currently serves as the Chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Nonprofits at Sacred Heart University. Previously, she led the boards of two organizations focused on youth and education. Serving from 2005-2012, she led the Board of Court Appointed Special Advocates for children (CASA) of
Cook County (Illinois) from 2009-2011. She served her all girls’ high school, Chatham Hall (Virginia), on its Board of Trustees from 2008-2018 and was the Chair from 2013-2017.

In pursuing her transition to the nonprofit sector in 2016, Stacey completed the four-month Encore!Connecticut program for experienced for-profit leaders moving to the non-profit sector. She graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Industrial Engineering and earned an MBA at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.

More information about Stacey can be found at the following link

New Member

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May 2024

Susan Johnson is the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at The Hartford, responsible for leading enterprise-wide DEI initiatives and aligning them with business strategies.  She partners with leaders across the organization to ensure that The Hartford's workforce reflects their customer base, that they drive successful acquisition, development and retention of talent, and that they focus on the right internal and external business and operational activities related to diversity.


Prior to her role at The Hartford, Susan led global talent, diversity and HR functions at Pitney Bowes Inc., Pepsi-Cola, and Campbell Soup Companies. Additionally, Johnson has participated in local, state and national political campaigns and has worked on domestic policy and management issues in the public sector.

Susan’s community involvement includes being a Board member for The Amistad Center for Art & Culture and for the National African American Insurance Association. She is active with The Links Incorporated and with her church community. She speaks nationally on topics covering diversity, leadership, career development and talent management. 


Susan’s recognitions include being named the Diversity & Inclusion Champion of the Year by Reactions publications, a Featured Risk Leader by Risk Matters magazine, listed in Savoy Magazine’s Top Influential Women in Corporate America, a Top Executive in Diversity by Black Enterprise Magazine, and an Industry Icon by Insurance Business of America. Under her leadership, The Hartford earned the 2023 Catalyst Award, the premier recognition of organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives driving representation and inclusion for women.


Susan received her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.

More Information about Susan can be found at the following Link 


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April 2024

Congratulations to IWF Connecticut Member Carol Quinn Toomey , Managing Director at Accenture for being selected by the Hartford Business as one of the top 25 women Business Leaders. The selected women are the region's most talented women in leadership roles throughout central Connecticut. 

More Information can be found at the following link.


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February 2024

Congratulations to Jennifer TombaughIWF Connecticut for her promotion to the position of CEO, Tauck, effective October 2024. Jennifer Tombaugh has been with Tauck for 23 years and serving as the President for 13 years.

More information can be found at the following link.


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January 2024

Congratulations to Lucie Claire Vincent Ortiz for being appointed as Independent Board Director of Toluna, the leading global insights technology and panel provider. Her announcement and a few words about Lucie Claire is captured below.


More information can be found at the following link.


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January 2024

Congratulations to Shari Aser for being selected by YWCA Greenwich as the 2024 Women Who Inspire Honorees and for the impact she has made through professional and philanthropic achievements.


More information can be found at the following link.

New Member

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January 2024

IWFCT is pleased to welcome Kathryn Metcalfe as a new member. 

Kathryn is a visiting professor at New York University.  She recently left her chief communications officer role at CVS Health®  for academia to shape the next generation of marketing and communications leaders.


Kathryn has diverse experience across communications, reputation management, crisis and issues management, as well as government affairs, marketing and M&A.  Kathryn spent a total of six years at CVS Health, helping the Fortune 4 company transform to a health-driven powerhouse.  She returned to the company after a stint at Bristol Myers SquibbTM where she led corporate affairs.


Previously, Kathryn served as the Aetna chief communications officer during its historic deal with CVS Health.  She served as chief communications officer of Deloitte® and held senior communications roles at Pfizer and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Kathryn started her career working for communications consultancies in the biotechnology and health care industries.


Kathryn is passionate unleashing the power of her function and best known for helping companies accelerate change during transformation.  She has received many awards for her work. Most recently, Kathryn was elected to the PRWEEK Hall of Femme and was recognized with a SABRE for her lifetime achievements last year.  Kathryn believes the best is yet to come.


Kathryn holds a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.  She served on the board of the Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS) and built a park in her hometown of Boise, Idaho. Kathryn has three children.


More information about Kathryn can be found at the following  link.

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