Executive Team

Our Executive Team includes leaders from Stamford’s businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions, and government entities, as well as parents and community members. Their leadership helps guide the efforts of SC2C.

Nadene Mckenzie Reid: Chair
Head of Technology, Natwest Markets 

Nadene McKenzie-Reid is the Head of Technology at Natwest Markets in Stamford CT. She has worked in investment banking technology for over 20 years having started her career at UBS in FX technology before moving to Rates technology in Greenwich Capital Markets, now Natwest Markets, for the last 16 years.

Nadene has a passion for pursuing equity in education and currently serves as the Vice-Chair of Stamford Cradle to Career board that has a city-wide education initiative addressing racial and economic disparities. She also serves on the boards of A Better Chance (Darien CT) and STEAMPark, organizations focusing on providing educational opportunities to underserved students. Nadene was born and raised in Jamaica and received her undergraduate degree in Physics and Computer Science from the University of the West Indies in Kingston. She then migrated to the US to earn a graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. She currently resides in Stamford CT with her husband Cecil and three children, Tena-Lesly, Carlee and Cecil Jr.

Alice Knapp: Vice-Chair
President, Ferguson Library 

Alice Knapp became the President of The Ferguson Library in September 2014. Prior to joining Ferguson in January 2013 as Director of User Services, Alice was the Executive Director of the New Canaan (CT) Library, from 2008-2013.  Between 2000-2008, she served as Director of Public Services at The Ferguson Library.  In 2003, she was named one of Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers. In 2020, Alice received The American Library Association’s Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators supporting services to children.  Alice is chair of the Southern Connecticut State University’s Information & Library Science Advisory Board.

Alice is past president of the Stamford Rotary Club, and serves on the board of the World Affairs Forum, the Stamford Partnership, and DSSD’s Board of Commissioners.

Over the past several years, Alice has been very involved with Stamford’s Cradle to Career – a collaborative effort led by the United Way to close the achievement gap.

Isabel Almeida
President, United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut

Isabel Almeida is the President of United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut where she has served in positions of increasing responsibility since 2011. Before joining United Way, Isabel held various community affairs and public service roles including at Carrier Corporation, United Way of New York City, United Technologies Corp., and the U.S. House of Representatives. Isabel is an active community volunteer. She is a Board Member of the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation and Vice President of the St. Rose of Lima School Home and School Association in Newtown. Isabel also served on the Portuguese Cultural Center’s Sons of Portugal Scholarship Fund Committee for ten years and the Sandy Hook 5K Race Committee for five years. Isabel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Trinity College in Hartford and studied Nonprofit Management at Baruch College School of Public Affairs in Manhattan.  She lives in Sandy Hook with her husband and two children.

Robert M. Arnold
CEO, Family Centers

Bob Arnold is the CEO of Family Centers, and serves as the Chair of Stamford Cradle to Career’s Executive Team.  During his time at Family Centers, he has led the organization through a time of significant growth to better meet the community’s evolving needs.

Through numerous successful mergers, Bob’s vision and leadership have helped to recast the service delivery network throughout lower Fairfield County. The most notable among the mergers was the 1995 joining of The Family Center and Stamford-based Family & Children’s Services (FCS) to form what is now Family Centers. Subsequent mergers with The Den for Grieving Kids, HealthCare Connections, Literacy Volunteers and Center for HOPE have shaped Family Centers into a multi-faceted organization that assists over 22,000 children and adults each year.

A collaborator by nature, Bob has invested heavily in the practice of collective impact and ensured that Family Centers is a key player in a variety of important partnerships serving our communities.  Family Centers has been an initial partner organization in the Vita Health & Wellness Initiative, Stamford Cradle to Career, Stamford Stands Against Racism and other notable collective impact projects.

Anka Badurina, PhD
Executive Director, Building One Community 

Anka Badurina, PhD, is the newly appointed Executive Director at Building One Community. Anka joined B1C in 2015, leading its research into employment trends, creating its workforce development programming, and engaging key funders and partners to support its expansion. She has played an integral role in shaping the programmatic agenda and priorities for the organization, including providing research, data analysis and counsel on critical issues impacting the civic and economic integration of immigrants in a city where nearly two in five residents are foreign born. Her work carries a special focus on ensuring programs include an equity lens and invariably incorporate the voices of the low-income immigrant-origin population in Stamford, CT. Dr. Badurina has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, a Master’s Degree in Commerce, and an undergraduate degree in modern languages with a major in business. She taught integrated marketing communications, brand promotion, and advertising as an adjunct professor at the Tecnológico de Monterrey Business School. She served as Chief Communications Officer for the Ministry of Security and Safety at the Government of Queretaro, Mexico. Dr. Badurina is multilingual and understands diverse cultures, having lived in Venezuela, Mexico, the U. S., Canada, Japan, Spain, and the U.K.

Barbara Carr
Service Line Director, Women’s and Children’s Services at Stamford Health

Barbara Carr has been involved in the healthcare industry for most of her career. Currently, she is the Service Line Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Stamford Health, where she oversees the operations and strategic planning of the OBGYN and Pediatrics Departments as well as the Breast Center. Barbara enjoys developing health programs and services to meet the needs of the community. Prior professional experience includes being the Director of Health Information Delivery at the March of Dimes’ National Office, and Manager of the Medicare Health Promotion Department at Oxford Health Plans.

Barbara received her BA with honors from Wellesley College, and her MS in Health Science from Long Island University. She grew up in Westchester and lived in Greenwich for 23 years where she was an active volunteer in the school system and at St. Catherine’s Church. Barbara has served on the Board of the YWCA Greenwich and was an active volunteer with Yes She Can! in White Plains. She moved to Stamford in 2013.

Janeene Freeman
Special Assistant to the Mayor and Director of Partnerships and Community Engagement

Janeene Freeman currently serves as Special Assistant to the Mayor for Community Partnerships and Engagement in the Simmons administration.  In this role she is a liaison between the Mayor’s office and local community, nonprofit and civic organizations in the city. Janeene oversees activities of the Citizens’ Services Department, particularly Fix It Stamford. She is also responsible for managing policy committees and councils related to the Mayor’s priorities, with particular focus on education and affordable housing.

Before joining the Simmons administration, Janeene served as the Director of Education & Youth Development at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, where she was responsible for leading the Community Foundation’s education grantmaking. Janeene distributed $1.5M in grants to nonprofit partners annually to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County.  Janeene also contributed her expertise to various funder’s collaboratives and policy groups that were focused on equity and improving access to opportunities.

Janeene holds a BA in Government from Wesleyan University and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University. She lives in Stamford with her husband and two children.

Jackie Heftman
President, Stamford Board of Education

Jackie is a 38-year resident of Stamford and has been a community volunteer for most of those years. She started her volunteer work at her children’s public school where she served as PTO and PT Council presidents. Jackie then went on to serve as a member and president of both the Stamford Zoning Board and the Urban Redevelopment Commission.  Her passion has always been public education. She was elected to the Board of Education in 2008 and currently serves as its president.  Jackie has been involved with Stamford Cradle to Career since its inception. She further serves her community on the Stamford Democratic City Committee where she is treasurer and represents the 20th District in North Stamford.

Laura Indellicati
Associate, Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky

Laura joined the firm in 2021 and focuses her practice in civil litigation. She received her undergraduate degree, with honors, from Boston University in 2010 and her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, magna cum laude, in 2014. During law school, Laura was a Notes Editor for the Cardozo Journal of Law and Gender. Upon graduation, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable John C. Kennedy for the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Laura is admitted to practice in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was recognized as a Rising Star in 2023 by Connecticut Super Lawyers (a distinction awarded to no more than 2.5% of lawyers in Connecticut). Laura is a member of the Raymond E. Baldwin chapter of the American Inns of Court and also serves as a member of the Board of Ethics for the City of Stamford.

Kimberly A. Kispert
Board Member, Family Centers Inc. 

Kim spent more than 30 years in the tech industry, where she held leadership roles across three functions – systems engineering, finance and marketing. In her final position at IBM Corporation, she was the Vice President, Operations, IBM Marketing and Communications. In this role, she led the expansion of IBM’s shared services model, establishing marketing teams in new geographic areas in the U.S., Eastern Europe, China and India.

At the end of 2016, she left corporate life to spend 2017 as a Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow where she focused on strategies to address achievement gaps in K-12 education. At the conclusion of her fellowship year she embarked upon projects with youth in underserved communities to build agency and skills in STEM disciplines. In her current work, she has embraced a collaborative, cross-organizational approach to bring enrichment opportunities to youth in urban communities.

Kim serves on the board of Family Centers, Inc. and she is a member the Executive Team of Stamford Cradle to Career. She is also a member of The Fairfield County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

Vincent J. Tufo
Chief Executive Officer, Charter Oak Communities


Vincent Tufo is chief executive officer of Charter Oak Communities (COC), formerly the Stamford Housing Authority, a progressive community development organization serving Stamford, Connecticut.  Mr. Tufo is also founder and president of Rippowam Corporation, COC’s real estate development subsidiary. COC is entering the final phases of its plan to replace or recapitalize its original publicly-assisted housing properties and to create mixed-use and community facilities in Stamford’s underserved neighborhoods.

Charter Oak Communities’ commitment to the value of forming strategic partnerships is illustrated in its co-founding – with Stamford Hospital – of the Vita Health and Wellness initiative. www.vitastamford.com  Most recently, COC has created an entity – Dovetail: Social Innovation Platform – to support and strengthen multi-sector solutions to complex socio-economic challenges.  Dovetail operates at the local, regional and national levels.

Tufo has a BA degree with honors from Binghamton University (SUNY) and a MA degree with honors from the University of Michigan.  He is an active national advisory board member of the Association for Community Health Improvement (an affiliate of the American Hospital Association).  Tufo has presented extensively on the issues of public housing transformation, community and economic development, real estate structured finance, strategic partnership formation and social innovation.

Candy Yeager
Chair of Stamford Community Council, United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut

Candy Yeager has been an active, involved member of the Stamford community for more than 15 years. She has volunteered extensively for the Stamford Public Schools, acting as President and Vice President for the Parent Teacher Council, as well as a member of the Search Committee for the Deputy Superintendent of Schools. She regularly attended Board of Education meetings, where she became a parent advocate. Candy has served since 2016 on the United Way of Western Connecticut’s Stamford Community Council, and is currently its Chairperson. Since 2017, she has served on United Way of Western Connecticut’s Board of Directors. She and her husband Bob have lived in Stamford since 1994. They feel it is a wonderful place to live and raise a family and their community involvement has only strengthened their affection for this city.

Action Plans

To effectively measure and identify effective practices while aligning resources, we have designed and developed a detailed Action Plan process. The process and the related template were created in close partnership with Stamford Public Schools and the Superintendent’s team. This process is consistently followed by all CANs. Each CAN is at a different stage of action plan completion, depending on the complexity of its objectives and the available data.

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