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Board of Directors

MICHELLE PUZZO, PRESIDENT
Michelle graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1998 with a B.S. in Physical Therapy. She has worked as a Physical Therapist in outpatient clinics and for the last eight years in homecare. Michelle has developed a passion for writing and is inspired by her two boys, Oliver and Finnigan, who are featured in her two recently released children’s books. She has combined her passions and created UR Community Cares, Inc. to help others and make communities better. She feels driven to bring people together to enrich their lives.
SAMEERA HAQUE, SECRETARY
Sameera graduated from Arizona State University with her B.S. in Sociology, and received a Master Certificate in Human Resources from Cornell University. She is currently enrolled in an MBA program at Fitchburg State University. She has worked as an HR professional throughout her career, specifically within the non-profit industry. Sameera currently works at Community Health Resources as an HR Business Partner. She is passionate about helping people from all walks of life and bringing more awareness to issues of diversity and inclusion.
HOPE UTTERBECK, TREASURER
Hope graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a B.S. Degree in Management Information Systems and received her MBA from The University of Hartford, Barney School of Business. She started her professional career as a Business Analyst for a fortune 100 global manufacturing company and held subsequent positions of increasing responsibility, with the most recent as an SVP of Information Technology at a Financial Services Company. Hope is an accomplished Information Technology leader who has combined her keen business acumen and technology expertise to drive business transformation in several industries. She enjoys and has been recognized for her coaching and mentoring of future leaders and is excited about expanding her impact to improve the lives of people in her community.
M.D. BIRMINGHAM
M.D. graduated from the University of Connecticut with his B.S. in Sociology and received his M.S. from the University of New Haven, School of Education. He is an entrepreneur and inventor, with an intellectual property portfolio of U.S. and international patents. He is an independently published writer, founder Eternal Optimism App, and other ventures applicable to the global community. He was born in Trinidad and Tobago.
Donna Powell
Matthew Tierinni
Matt received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University in 1992 and began working in public accounting. He received his CPA license in 1997 and started his career at the firm. He took opportunities to gain experience at other accounting firms for a few years before rejoining MMNT in 2000, becoming a partner in 2003. Matt is the Managing Partner at MMNT in Manchester, CT providing the overall leadership and direction of the firm.

Advisory Board

Donna Powell
Donna Powell
Donna Powell advises us on engagement strategy and implementation. She is founder and president of YCommunic8, LLC, a strategic communications practice supporting Connecticut-based businesses, sustainable tech start-ups and organizations with missions of inclusion and healthy aging. She holds a B.A. in Consumer Behavior from the University of Connecticut and volunteers with Masonicare Hospice, Nutmeg Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Manchester Community Services Council.
Eileen Faust
Eileen received her B.S. in Sociology and her M.A. in Human Development/Gerontology. She currently works as the Director of the Senior Center in Manchester, CT. She is a staff liaison for Town of Manchester w/ Elderly Services Committee and was on the Friends of the East Hartford Senior Center BOD from 2004-2007.
GREGORY DUPUIS
Greg received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Virginia, and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon. He retired from Pratt & Whitney where he worked as an engineer and data analyst for 23 years. He values including people with disabilities in the community and understands the UCC mission because he has relied on help from PCAs, family, friends, and volunteers for decades.
Neil Connors
Neil attended the University of Vermont, BA in Political Science graduated in 2008 and Western New England School of Law and graduated 2013. He is an independent attorney with expertise in small business formation and administration, commercial litigation, insurance matters, mergers and acquisitions, compliance matters, campaign finance and election law, and non-profit organization. He has a history of commitment to his local community and civic engagement. He is the co-founder of Batterson Park Conservancy, a 501c3 land conservancy.
Kazimir McDougald
Kazimir is the owner of Paradox Vision Productions LLC, an audio and video production company specializing in content creation. He attended the Baldrige School of Business majoring in marketing and a recent author of 2020 Vision: The Journey of the Small Business. His focus is about creating connections between companies and the masses via content creation has become an area of focus for many of their clients that use social media as a tool for outreach.
Kris Durante
Kris worked from 2012-2017 at Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership, Facilitator/Coordinator for community workgroups serving youth 0-21. During the years 1978-2011 she worked at Pratt & Whitney/Otis Elevator, Human Resources and Marketing. She has a long history of serving on Boards, Harwinton Democratic Town Committee presently and Litchfield County Women’s Network, Board member, Newsletter & Publicity 2012-2016. She graduated in 2009 with her M.S in Human Services at Post University and in 2006 with a B.S. in Community & Human Services, at SUNY.

Hometown Heros

• Colchester - Kathleen Simoneau • Harwinton - Kris Durante • Manchaster - Iris Carde
• Portland - Mary Flood • Wallingford - Steve Drumheller • West Hartford - Katy O'Leary

Contact Us

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