Supporting the academic and professional pursuits of our community!
MxCC Foundation Board of Directors
In Spring 2020, the MxCC Foundation welcomed new board member Chris Dibble of Middletown. Chris co-founded two start-ups and worked in the financial services industry before building a practice as a Financial Advisor and Portfolio Manager at Morgan Stanley in Connecticut. He believes that goal-focused planning, straightforward advice, and dedicated personal service helps families and institutions, build and preserve wealth, as well as achieve the confidence to enjoy what’s important in life. Originally from Georgia, Chris attended Xavier High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clark University in Worcester, MA. During college, he played four years of NCAA Division III varsity baseball. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Middlesex Land Trust, the Xavier High School Alumni Association, and the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce. Chris also enjoys spending time with family, playing guitar, and reading.
Ken has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry with broad experience in compliance, operations, retail banking, technology implementation, electronic delivery channels, vendor management, customer service and facilities management. Ken is currently associated with the Northeastern Banking Services Group where he serves as a Managing Director, responsible for various consulting engagements at banks headquartered in New England. The engagements include Core Vendor selection and conversion, Process Improvements, Compliance and Regulatory Matters and Information Technology and Security. Prior to that, Ken was associated with several community banks after a long career at People’s United Bank, Bridgeport, CT. In the community banking arena he was a member of the senior management team at Quinnipiac Bank & Trust Company in Hamden, CT where he was a key player in the opening of the bank in 2008 and subsequently was responsible for Operations, Technology, Compliance and Vendor Management.
Ken attended the University of New Haven and is a member of several organizations including the Bank Compliance Association of CT where he served on the Board of Governors for over 7 years. Ken is also a member of the Westbrook Elks, where he volunteers at the annual Beach Jam for Breast Center, a major event where funds are raised for breast cancer patients at Middlesex memorial Hospital and Smilow at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Ken also volunteers at the Guilford Job Network, which provides job search and networking support for those in transition.
Ken lives in Northford with his fiancée Carolyn Sommer and his daughter Holly.
Rick Morin, CPA
Rick Morin is a CPA at Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski, LLC. Morin has over 25 years of experience in public accounting, including over 15 years with the largest regional accounting and business consulting firm in Connecticut. His experience ranges from estate, trust, and succession planning to probate filings and estate settlement services. He has helped to raise awareness of charitable planned giving and legacy planning opportunities in Middlesex County, and has spoken about taxation issues for various professional organizations. Morin received his B.S. Cum Laude from Central Connecticut State University and has been licensed as a CPA since 1988. Currently a member of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Central Connecticut Business and Estate Planning Council, Morin also serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Morin is a member of the Middlesex County United Way Audit Committee. He is Treasurer for the Connecticut Business Planning Council.
Laura Pieper, LCSW, began her professional career as a social worker at Middlesex Hospital’s Family Advocacy Program, where she worked on the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team and the Intensive In-Home Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Service (IICAPS) as well as other programs. Later, she worked with the state Department of Children and Families in Middletown as an enhanced care coordinator, helping to place foster children with complicated medical and psychiatric illnesses. In 2006, she established Clinton Counseling as her private practice located in Clinton, Connecticut. She works with children, adolescents, teens, and their families with a specialization in the treatment of developmental trauma, anxiety, and depression.
Laura’s interest in the MxCC Foundation sprang from her work with teens and young adults who too often feel disenfranchised after high school. She believes a strong community college system can offer life-changing opportunities to those for whom a four-year college is beyond reach.
She and her husband Gary live in Wallingford, Connecticut, with two happy pugs. Their three adult sons live in Boston and Arizona.
Dr. Steve Minkler
Board Member- Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Central Connecticut State University
Prior to his current position, Steve held the position of Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Central Connecticut State University. In this role, he played a pivotal role in shaping the academic direction of the institution, overseeing various programs and initiatives to ensure a high-quality educational experience for students.
Before joining Central Connecticut State University, Steve served as the Chief Executive Officer for Middlesex Community College. During his tenure, he provided visionary leadership and direction to the institution, overseeing a large staff and serving the needs of thousands of students. Under his guidance, Middlesex Community College flourished with a main campus in Middletown, a satellite location in Meriden, and a significant online presence.
Steve’s dedication to the field of education extends beyond his administrative roles. He has also served as an Adjunct Instructor in Communication, teaching courses such as “Introduction to Mass Communication” and “Studio Television Production.” His passion for teaching and mentoring students is evident through his involvement in advising honors students and guiding them through their Capstone projects.
With over two decades of experience in academic leadership, Steve has consistently demonstrated his ability to manage resources effectively, develop and review programs, and foster an environment of educational excellence. His previous roles as the Chief Academic Officer and Chief Executive Officer for community colleges highlight his commitment to providing quality education to diverse student populations.
Before his administrative roles, Steve worked as a Media Specialist and Operations Engineer, where he honed his skills in instructional media technology and production. He has been recognized for his creative and technically savvy approach in utilizing multimedia and communication tools for effective teaching and learning.
Steve’s extensive background also includes roles at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Capital Community College, University of Hartford, and WFSB-TV, where he made significant contributions to the field of education and media.
As a board member at the Middlesex Community College Foundation, Steve’s expertise and experience in higher education administration make him a valuable asset. His leadership and strategic vision contribute to the foundation’s mission of supporting student success and fostering educational opportunities for the community.
Steve Minkler’s diverse background, encompassing academic leadership, teaching, and multimedia expertise, showcases his exceptional talents and dedication to the field of education. His contributions to the Middlesex Community College Foundation and various educational institutions have positively impacted students, faculty, and the community as a whole.
Geraldine Arielle Pierre
Board Member- Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity at Moët Hennessy
Geraldine Arielle Pierre (she/her) is a dedicated cultural curator with a passion for pushing the envelope and addressing the issue areas that deeply impact organizational health and people power. With years of experience in various fields, Arielle has honed her skills in relationship management, diversity, equity, and cultural competency curriculum development, luxury partnership cultivation, and project management.
Arielle currently serves as an Associate Manager of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Moët Hennessy in the New York City Metropolitan Area. In this role, she supports and promotes IDE processes across the employee lifecycle, manages budget changes, and drives national engagement initiatives with external organizations and partners. She also leads Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to positively impact the business through effective leadership and engagement.
Prior to her current position, Arielle worked as an Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Extern in New York, where she managed IDE research, event details, and specific partnerships. She also gained teaching experience as a Teaching Assistant at Clark University, where she developed and implemented course lectures on equity and facilitated live presentations to stimulate student engagement.
In her previous role at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), Arielle excelled in development, equity, and communications. She curated fundraising events, executed fundraising campaigns, and sustained an international donor base. She also led the multi-year strategic planning process for equity and interdependence goals, facilitated surveys and focus groups, and published responsive communications regarding national events.
Arielle’s diverse background also includes internships at The Prospect Hill Foundation, Church World Service, and Markets Media, where she gained valuable experience in administrative tasks, grant management, and social media management.
Arielle holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from Clark University, where she focused on cultural diversity, social policy, change management, and multifaceted communication. She also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government, graduating cum laude.
Driven by her commitment to continuous learning, Arielle has obtained certifications in strategy, sustainable business, global business, diversity and inclusion, and completed courses at Harvard Business School Online.
As a board member for the Middlesex Community College Foundation, Arielle brings her expertise in inclusion, diversity, and equity to support the college’s mission and foster an inclusive educational environment. Her strategic thinking, project management skills, and passion for cultural engagement make her an invaluable asset to the foundation.
Jon Comer, CPA
Board Member- CPA at Comer & Co., LLC,
Jon grew up in East Haddam, Connecticut, and attended Nathan Hale-Ray High School. After graduating in 2014, he attended Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he earned a BA in both Accounting and Finance. Jon continued his education at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, and received a Masters in Accountancy.
Accounting is the language of business that Jon learned to understand, utilize, and communicate with his clients and coworkers. Tutoring accounting classes while in school helped Jon solidify his understanding of accounting concepts and functions. Jon’s time at Hebrew Health Care, Moody & O’Neal CPAs, Voya Financial, Webster Rogers, and Comer & Company, LLC has allowed him to apply his knowledge and further his understanding of the accounting profession and clientele needs.
Looking forward, Jon aspires to utilize his accounting acumen to help achieve financial objectives of his clients, coworkers, and local community.
Dr. Aarlan Aceto
Board Member- Program Coordinator/Associate Professor of Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing at Middlesex Community College
Dr. Aarlan Aceto is a highly accomplished optometrist with a deep-rooted passion for the field of eyecare. He graduated from Middlesex Community College’s Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing (OD&D) program in 1995 and has since dedicated his entire professional career to the optical profession.
In 2003, Dr. Aceto achieved his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Connecticut. During his undergraduate studies, he also pursued a minor in International Studies, further broadening his knowledge and understanding of global perspectives.
Continuing his educational journey, Dr. Aceto earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from the esteemed New England College of Optometry in 2009. This rigorous program provided him with a comprehensive understanding of optometry and equipped him with the necessary skills to excel in the field.
Throughout his career, Dr. Aceto has held several notable positions in academia and clinical practice. He served as an Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Rotations at Midwestern University, an institution renowned for its focus on medical education, research, and clinical practice, located in Downers Grove, Illinois. This role allowed him to contribute significantly to the education and training of aspiring optometrists.
Prior to his tenure at Midwestern University, Dr. Aceto was an Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences School of Optometry in Worcester. Additionally, he also held the esteemed position of Owner/Optometrist at Dr. Aceto & Associates, a private practice located in Dayville and Taftville, CT. This diverse range of experiences provided him with valuable insights into both academia and the practical aspects of optometry.
Dr. Aceto’s expertise extends beyond teaching and clinical practice. He has actively engaged with accreditation organizations, state and national professional organizations, and has played a pivotal role in developing robust externship networks within the healthcare field. His involvement in these areas showcases his commitment to advancing the profession and ensuring the highest standards of education and practice.
In his application materials, Dr. Aceto expressed his deep dedication to the field of eyecare, stating, “For the past 20+ years, I’ve dedicated my entire professional life to the field of eyecare. As an alumnus, I hope to serve not only as a teacher and administrator but also as a mentor to show each student what they can achieve with this program.” This statement exemplifies his passion for guiding and inspiring students, instilling in them a belief in their own potential within the optometry field.
With his wealth of experience, dedication, and commitment to mentoring and educating the next generation of optometrists, Dr. Aarlan Aceto is an invaluable asset to any institution he serves. His profound knowledge and genuine passion for eyecare make him an exceptional teacher, administrator, and mentor, inspiring students to reach new heights in their professional journeys.
Board Member- Account Executive at CommCreative
Josh Lajoie is a highly skilled board member of the Middlesex Community College Foundation, specializing in brand marketing strategy and storytelling. With a deep understanding of the relationship between strategy and execution, he excels in helping individuals and businesses define their identities and craft compelling narratives.
As a firm believer in the power of storytelling, Josh recognizes that the stories we tell shape who we are, both personally and professionally. Whether working with B2B or B2C clients, he understands that all sales ultimately occur between humans, with the foundation of these interactions being a captivating story.
With his expertise as a brand marketing strategist and storyteller, Josh effectively bridges the gap between strategy and execution. He combines his skills in account planning, creative strategy, and storytelling to help clients develop powerful brand narratives that resonate with their target audience.
Drawing upon his educational background, which includes a Bachelor of Arts degree with double majors in English and Philosophy, along with a minor in Journalism from Wheaton College Massachusetts, Josh possesses a strong foundation in communication, critical thinking, and analytical writing.
As a valued board member, Josh Lajoie contributes his comprehensive knowledge, creativity, and strategic thinking to the Middlesex Community College Foundation. His ability to define identities, shape narratives, and communicate compelling stories makes him an invaluable asset in advancing the foundation’s mission and supporting the initiatives of the community college.
Board Member- Non-Profit Organization Management Professional
Deanne DeBrady has worked for over 20 years with children and adolescents, and families in the social service field. Her experience includes foster care, adoptions, young mothers, juvenile offenders, and in-home crisis services, etc.
She earned an Associate Degree from Manchester Community College and also holds a BS in Criminal Justice/Human Services from Springfield College, MA, as well as, a MS in Counseling, with a concentration in Student Development, from Central Connecticut State University.
She was employed for a portion of her professional career in social work field at the Middlesex Hospital Family Advocacy Program where she worked as a Care Coordinator and Child/Adolescent Clinic Liaison for area private schools, and other programs.
In addition, she worked for Value Options in Rocky Hill’s Clinical Department ensuring that children with complex psychiatric needs receive the appropriate level of care, as well as, wrap around services.
Currently Ms. DeBrady works as a Social Worker with the Department of Children and Families in the New Haven region, overseeing the safety of children.
While, completing her Master’s Degree in Higher Education, she worked with students at Manchester Community College and Gateway Community College in efforts to help promote their academic success. She is convinced that the Community College environment offers a wealth of support opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds.
Deanne believes that the MxCC Foundation is an opportunity for her to support students in having greater success during their academic journey.
She is the proud mother of two adult sons and has one granddaughter and grandson who also reside in Connecticut.
Board Member- Faculty Representative
Professor Stephen Krevisky is an esteemed board member of the Middlesex Community College Foundation, known for his passion for mathematics and innovative teaching methods. With a non-traditional approach to learning, Professor Krevisky brings mathematical concepts to life, making them accessible and engaging for students.
Since 1985, Professor Krevisky has served as a full-time mathematics professor at Middlesex Community College, covering a wide range of mathematical topics, including linear algebra, differential equations, calculus, statistics, algebra, geometry, and developmental math. Prior to joining Middlesex, he held teaching positions at Trinity College, Wesleyan University, Baruch College (CUNY), and the University of Wisconsin.
Professor Krevisky’s dedication to mathematics extends beyond the classroom. He has authored numerous articles on various mathematical topics, including trigonometric identities, inequalities, and baseball statistics. His contributions have been featured in esteemed publications such as the Journal of Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Journal of New York State Math Teachers Association, and the Baseball Research Journal.
Beyond his academic achievements, Professor Krevisky is actively involved in several national and international math associations, holding elected positions and delivering insightful presentations at conferences and events. He has participated in esteemed gatherings such as the International Conference on Teaching Statistics, the International Congress on Math Education, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Additionally, he has served as the president of the CT Smoky Joe Wood chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
Professor Krevisky’s dedication to education extends beyond the college campus. He has been actively involved in MxCC’s Saturday Math Academy for 6th graders and MILE seminars for senior citizens. He has served as a student advisor, worked closely with the MxCC Student Senate, and acted as a mentor in the Minority Fellowship Program.
Professor Krevisky’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the City College of New York, where he graduated cum laude in 1971. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from Syracuse University. Furthermore, he pursued coursework and research towards a Ph.D. in math education from the University of Delaware.
As a valued board member of the Middlesex Community College Foundation, Professor Stephen Krevisky brings his wealth of knowledge, innovative teaching methods, and dedication to mathematical education. His commitment to fostering student success and engaging the community in mathematical endeavors greatly contributes to the foundation’s mission of supporting and empowering the college and its students.
Board Member- Assistant Director Construction Services at Capital Region Education Council (CREC)
Lenell Kittlitz is a highly accomplished professional with extensive expertise in the field of construction services. As the Assistant Director of Construction Services at the Capital Region Education Council (CREC), Lenell has demonstrated exceptional leadership and a wealth of experience over the past eight years.
With a strong background in project management, Lenell previously served as a Project Executive at Standard Builders, where she successfully oversaw and executed various construction projects. Prior to that, she operated her own business as a Principal at LKittlitz, showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to delivering high-quality results.
Lenell’s passion for planning and facility management led her to serve as the Director of Planning & Facilities for the Board of Regents Connecticut State Colleges-Universities Community College System. During her impressive tenure of over a decade in this role, she played a pivotal part in shaping the infrastructure and facilities of the community college system in Hartford, Connecticut.
Education has always been a priority for Lenell, and she holds a Master of Science degree in Organizational Management from Central Connecticut State University, where she graduated cum laude. Throughout her academic journey, she was actively involved in the Delta Mu Delta organization, demonstrating her dedication to academic excellence and leadership.
Lenell also earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Public Administration from the University of Hartford. This educational foundation equipped her with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities of the construction industry and successfully manage construction projects.
In her current role at CREC, Lenell’s responsibilities encompass overseeing construction projects, managing budgets, coordinating with stakeholders, and ensuring the timely completion of projects while upholding the highest standards of quality and safety. Her strategic approach, attention to detail, and commitment to excellence have earned her a stellar reputation in the field.
Beyond her professional achievements, Lenell is an active member of the construction community, participating in industry events and staying abreast of the latest advancements and best practices in the field. She is known for her collaborative leadership style, effective communication skills, and ability to forge strong relationships with contractors, architects, and other professionals in the construction industry.
As an Assistant Director of Construction Services, Lenell Kittlitz brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Middlesex Community College Foundation. Her experience in managing complex construction projects and her commitment to excellence will greatly contribute to the foundation’s mission of supporting the college and its commitment to providing an exceptional learning environment for its students.
Board Member- Alumni
Cindy Rooth brings a wealth of experience and a strong educational background to her role as a board member of the Middlesex Community College Foundation. With a diverse range of skills and a commitment to community development, Cindy’s contributions have made a lasting impact.
Cindy’s educational journey began at Middlesex Community College, where she earned an Associate of Science degree in Biology. She continued her academic pursuits at Long Island University, Southampton Campus, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Biology. Her passion for learning led her to pursue further education, earning a Master of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science from Southern Connecticut State University.
With her extensive educational background, Cindy embarked on a professional career that spanned multiple fields. She worked as a computer programmer for the State of Connecticut at the Department of Environmental Protection and the State Comptroller’s Office, utilizing her technical expertise to contribute to important government initiatives.
Cindy’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to her community led her to join her husband, Dr. Jeffrey Palmer, O.D., in establishing and managing Palmer Eyecare Center, LLC. As the Business Manager, Cindy played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the practice, utilizing her business acumen and organizational skills to ensure smooth operations.
Beyond her professional endeavors, Cindy has made significant contributions to community development. She served on the East Hampton Economic Development Commission, where she actively participated in promoting economic growth and enhancing the local business landscape. Additionally, Cindy has been involved with the Girls Scouts of America on statewide, national, and international levels, dedicating her time and talent to support the growth and development of young girls.
Cindy’s extensive experience in various fields, coupled with her commitment to education and community involvement, makes her a valuable asset to the Middlesex Community College Foundation. As a board member, Cindy brings a unique perspective and a strong drive to support the college’s mission of providing exceptional educational opportunities to the community. Her dedication to fostering growth and her passion for making a positive impact are evident in her contributions to the foundation and the wider community.
Board Member- Digital Marketing
Tristan Sayah is a dynamic marketing and communications professional with a diverse range of experiences and a passion for digital marketing. Currently serving as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Wellmore Behavioral Health, Tristan plays a crucial role in developing and implementing marketing strategies to promote mental health services and support the organization’s mission.
With a background in marketing, Tristan has made significant contributions to various organizations. As a Marketing Specialist at the Midstate Chamber of Commerce, Tristan demonstrated expertise in creating and executing marketing campaigns and driving brand awareness for chamber members. Prior to that, as a Digital Marketing Intern, Tristan gained valuable hands-on experience in digital marketing techniques and worked on various projects involving ad campaigns, content creation, and asset tracking.
Tristan’s professional journey also includes working as an Inventory Clerk at Medtronic, where attention to detail and organizational skills were paramount in maintaining inventory accuracy. This experience provided valuable insights into logistics and operations, contributing to Tristan’s well-rounded skill set.
Tristan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut, with a focus on Theatre Studies from the School of Fine Arts. This artistic background nurtured Tristan’s creativity and ability to think outside the box in marketing and communication strategies. Additionally, Tristan pursued a Certificate in Digital Marketing from Middlesex Community College, further enhancing expertise in this rapidly evolving field.
With a strong proficiency in Google Analytics, videography, graphic design, and Adobe and Microsoft programs, Tristan is well-equipped to handle various digital marketing initiatives. Tristan’s ability to leverage these tools and skills has been demonstrated through the creation of compelling ad campaigns, the development of original content using Photoshop, Premiere, and Dreamweaver, and the utilization of data-driven insights to optimize marketing efforts.
Beyond professional pursuits, Tristan is deeply passionate about music and art. This passion, coupled with an unwavering commitment to personal and professional growth, fuels Tristan’s drive to excel in the field of digital marketing.
As a dedicated board member of the Middlesex Community College Foundation, Tristan brings a fresh perspective and valuable expertise in marketing and communications. With a focus on leveraging digital strategies, Tristan aims to contribute to the foundation’s mission of supporting the college and fostering an environment of educational excellence.
Board Member- Assistant Director of Admissions at MxCC
Info Coming Soon
Katherine Tocto Quituisaca
Board Member- Student Representative, Business Administration Student
Katherine Tocto Quituisaca is a dedicated individual with a diverse range of experiences and a passion for personal growth and community engagement. Currently working as a Tailor Assistant at Sandy’s Tailoring, Katherine brings attention to detail and a strong work ethic to ensure exceptional customer service. Prior to this, she gained valuable experience as a Crew Member at McDonald’s and as a Food Server at Tacos Mi Nacho.
Katherine’s educational journey has been focused on business administration and management. She is currently pursuing an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration and Management, as well as an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies, both at Middlesex Community College. Her academic excellence is evident through her involvement in the Honors Program and her consistent presence on the Dean’s List.
Beyond her academic pursuits, Katherine has been actively involved in various student organizations and leadership roles at Middlesex Community College. She has served as the Vice-President of the Betta Gamma Xi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society, where she received the Second Place award for Most Distinguished Chapter Officer in the New England Region. Katherine has also been a member of the Mu Alpha Theta National Honor Society and served as the President of the Latino Student Association, Vice-President of the Mathematics Club, and Secretary of the Student Government Association. In addition, she has represented the student body as a Student Representative on the Middlesex Foundation Board and the Middlesex Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Katherine’s commitment to personal development is further demonstrated by her participation in professional development programs. She has completed the QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Program through the QPR Institute and the CQ® Your Bias: Use Cultural Intelligence to Manage Bias Workshop offered by the Cultural Intelligence Center.
With her proficiency in Spanish, Katherine brings cultural diversity and inclusivity to her endeavors. She is known for her strong interpersonal and communication skills, allowing her to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Katherine Tocto Quituisaca’s enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment to personal and professional growth make her a valuable asset to the Middlesex Community College Foundation. Her passion for education and community involvement will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the foundation’s initiatives.