Carl R. Ficks


Carl R. Ficks, Jr. is the founder of No Surrender, LLC, a business which helps busy professionals get back in the wellness game. A former partner with Halloran & Sage LLP, he practiced law in the Greater Hartford community for 30 years, in addition to serving as Vice-President of Corporate & Donor Relations for a regional specialty hospital for three years. Carl has a long history of non-profit board service. Carl is also a member of the Governance Committee.

Glenn A. Cassis

Vice President

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 chair of the Finance Committee.

Kim Russo

Secretary, Executive Director

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 Cantello


Diane is the Vice President of Social Impact at Stanley Black & Decker, where she leads 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. 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


Erika Frank is a Community Investments Officer at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving where she is part of the team responsible for managing the Foundation’s broad-based, responsive grant making as well as its Career Pathways Initiative and summer program investments. Prior to joining the Foundation she held positions as classroom teacher and assistant to strategic partnership development at Hartford Public Schools. 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 21 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


Jennifer L. Necci is a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher at Windsor Locks Middle School, where she has spent the past 15 years teaching both 7th and 8th graders to love reading and writing. Her recent activities include leading a team of 7th grade colleagues in team meetings where she creates a collaborative and productive environment to serve students individualized needs. She serves as a technology mentor for colleagues as an expert in the Google platform. Jennifer has taken a leadership role in developing curriculum for grades 6-8 in alignment with state and district standards. Additionally, she enjoys mentoring new teachers, finding their strengths as professionals and supporting them with innovative techniques. Jennifer has also taken on the role of department head where she provided professional development for colleagues. Jennifer is a member of the Finance Committee.

Leslie Robertson

Leslie Robertson


Leslie has enjoyed a distinguished career in the commercial banking arena, most notably with Bank of America, Webster Bank, and 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 Simpson


Janel Simpson is the Chief Administrative Officer at UCONN Health. Prior to this position she was the Deputy Commissioner at the Connecticut Department of Social Services. She lives in Unionville. Janel is Chair of the Governance Committee.

Maria Sanchez


Maria is the Director of Grantmaking and Community Investment for the American Savings Foundation in New Britain where for more than 15 years she has been in charge of shaping the Foundation's rapidly growing grants program and manages the Foundation’s initiatives. She has more than 25 years’ experience in nonprofit management, program development and evaluation, and grant-making. Maria is also a member of the Grants Committee.

Sherry Manetta


Sherry is a former insurance, finance and technology executive who currently consults with nonprofit organizations and serves on the Boards of National Guardian Life Insurance Company, the University of St. Joseph, and The Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation. 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


Toral joined the Liberty Bank Foundation in 2010 as a grants coordinator. Today, her areas of focus include grantmaking, community initiatives, special bank programs and employee community engagement. She is responsible for soliciting grant proposals, developing partnerships and exploring opportunities for impact in education. She serves as the initial point of contact for new grantees and community groups and regularly engages with these constituencies to learn and share information. Her geographic areas of focus are New Britain, Middletown and Waterbury. Previously, Toral worked with Old Saybrook and Branford Public Schools, where she supported students in the classroom as a long-term substitute teacher and in small groups as a para-educator. Toral earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Quinnipiac University and a master’s degree in education from the University of New Haven. Toral is a member of the Grants Committee.

Inez Diaz-Galloza


Inez Diaz-Galloza is an Assistant Attorney General in the Employment Rights Department in Hartford, Connecticut. She previously served in the Child Protection Department and 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.