Carl R. Ficks
Carl R. Ficks, Jr., JD is the founder of No Surrender, LLC, working with leaders to increase their effectiveness and their teams to boost engagement and productivity. A former partner with Halloran & Sage LLP, he practiced law in the Greater Hartford community for over 30 years, and has a long history of non-profit board service. Carl is a member of the Fund's Governance Committee, and is also a contributing author to the recently released book ``THE DIFFERENCE: Essays on Loss, Courage and Personal Transformation.``
Glenn A. Cassis
Glenn A. Cassis was the Executive Director of the State of Connecticut African-American Affairs Commission (AAAC) from August 2006 until June 2016 (retired). Prior to joining the AAAC Mr. Cassis, a Bloomfield resident, was the Executive Director of the Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program, Inc. (CPEP) for twenty years. Prior to CPEP, Mr. Cassis spent ten years as Director of the Campus Center and Student Activities at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Mr. Cassis began his professional career at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Mr. Cassis is active in several professional and non-profit organizations. He is a member of the Bloomfield Education Foundation, the Southern New England Association of Technical Professionals, the Greater New England Alliance of Black School Educators, a board member of United Way of Connecticut and co-chairs the UConn African-American Alumni Council. Glenn has received several awards including the NAACP’s 100 Most Influential African-Americans in Connecticut and Honorary Member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. Glenn is also a member of the finance committee.
Amber D. Tucker, CPA
Amber is a Director at Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina (FML) specializing in providing auditing and consulting services to not-for-profit clients. She began her career at a national firm, performing financial statement audits in not-for profit, manufacturing, distribution and retail industries. Amber is focusing her time in the not-for-profit industry with her technical expertise focusing on areas including but not limited to social services, performing arts and museums. She is also proficient at government single audits for Federal and State compliance. Amber is also actively involved in the community as a board member and volunteers with various organizations. Amber has also spent time giving back to her profession teaching an audit course to juniors and seniors at Eastern Connecticut State University. Amber earned her BS in Accounting from Eastern Connecticut State University and MS in Accounting from University of Hartford. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants (CTCPA). Amber is also a member of the Rocky Hill Board of Education. Amber is chair of the Finance Committee.
Kimberley Russo served as Director of Community Investment for United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut for more than 10 years. Russo previously worked as a program manager for Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis and as a residential services coordinator for Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County in Rhode Island. Kimberley became the Executive Director of The Fund for Greater Hartford in September 2015. Kim is Secretary of the Board.
Diane most recently served as the Vice President of Social Impact at Stanley Black & Decker, where she led the company’s philanthropic and community involvement programs. Diane previously held leadership roles in Sustainability, ESG, Social Responsibility, Communications and Marketing with leading financial services organizations including The Hartford and Cigna. Originally from the UK, Diane has spent the past twenty years of her career in the Hartford area. Diane is a member of the Finance Committee.
Erika Frank is the President of the Farmington Bank Community Foundation, a private foundation that continues the legacy of the former Farmington Bank. The Foundation provides financial support to programs that create economic opportunities and support the health and basic needs for the residents of sixteen communities in Central Connecticut. Erika was formerly a Senior Community Officer at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, with a primary focus on grantmaking and impact investing in housing, small business and neighborhood development. She started her career in Hartford as a classroom teacher and in Hartford Public Schools’ Central Office. Erika is Chair of the Grants Committee.
Jesse J. White III
Jesse White is a Principal in the Bloomfield Public School system. He has been an educator for the past 22 years. During this time, Mr. White has received district teacher of the year honors as well as the National Association of Black Accountants Educator of the Year Award. Mr. White is a founder of Kingdom Culture LLC, a business that helps individuals to improve in the areas of mind, body, and soul. Mr. White is a member of Beta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Mr. White is a member of the Finance Committee.
Jennifer Necci is currently a high school English teacher in South Windsor and has 16 years teaching experience at the middle school level. Previously, Jennifer has taken a leadership role in developing curriculum for grades 6-8 in alignment with state and district standards, mentored new teachers, served as a technology mentor and provided leadership as a department head where she supported colleagues by providing professional development opportunities. Jennifer is a member of the Finance Committee.
Leslie has enjoyed a distinguished career in the commercial banking arena, most notably with Bank of America, Webster Bank, and now with TD Bank (Toronto Dominion). Much of his work is focused on working with US subsidiaries of European multinational firms located in Connecticut, New England, and New York, helping these commercial and industrial clients gain greater access to this marketplace, and to be successful for the long term here in the Americas. Leslie is on the Executive Board of the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, (past President), and has served as Chairman of the Metro Alliance's Global Business Council. Leslie has also served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, including a term as Chairman of Allocations, and has an active interest in community and philanthropic affairs. Leslie is a member of the Finance Committee.
Janel S. Simpson is an executive with extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. As the Chief Administrative Officer at UConn Health, she collaborates closely with the CEO and executive management team to manage a range of administrative functions. Before joining UConn Health in 2019, Janel served as Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Social Services (DSS), where she administered and delivered a wide variety of services to individuals, families, people with disabilities, and elders. She also restructured the decentralized regions into one uniformed operation and managed a team of over 850 field personnel. Janel brings over twenty years of executive experience from the private sector, having held senior-level roles at Phoenix Life Insurance Company, The Hartford Insurance Group, and HSB. She has demonstrated highly effective performance in finance, operations management, and strategic development in multi-billion dollar organizations. Janel earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Clark University and her Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Strategic Initiatives from Columbia University.
Maria is the Director of Grantmaking and Community Investment for the American Savings Foundation in New Britain where for more than 23 years she has overseen the Foundation's grants program and manages its community initiatives. Maria is also a member of the Fund’s Grants Committee.
Sherry is a retired insurance executive who served in CFO, CIO and COO roles and a former audit and consulting partner with Ernst & Young. She consults with nonprofit organizations and serves on the Boards of National Guardian Life Insurance Company, University of St. Joseph, and The Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation and is a trustee of the YMCA of Greater Hartford. Her decades of community service include board and other volunteer positions focused on education and social justice. Sherry is a member of the Finance Committee.
Toral Maher brings over 10 years of experience in foundation leadership and administration, community engagement and volunteer program management to her role as executive director of Liberty Bank’s Foundation. She works closely with leaders across the organization to enhance Liberty’s impact on communities; align the work of the foundation to pursue the bank’s social responsibility objectives; advance diversity, equity and inclusion; and build new programs to bring Liberty Bank’s Be Community Kind brand to life. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy and The Fund for Greater Hartford. She previously served as a Board Member and Campaign Co-Chair for the Middlesex United Way and as an Advisory Board Member for the Middlesex Coalition for Children. Toral earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Quinnipiac University and a master’s degree in education from the University of New Haven. She lives in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
Inez Diaz-Galloza is employed at the Office of the Attorney General as a Deputy Associate Attorney General and Chief of the Consumer Advocacy Section in Hartford, Connecticut. Previously she was an Assistant Attorney General in the Employment Rights Department and Child Protection Department. Prior to working at the Office of the Attorney General, she was an associate at Wiggin & Dana. She also served on numerous non-profit boards and is currently a board member for The Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity. Inez is a member of the Governance Committee.