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Retired Talcott CEO Pete Sannizzaro to chair statewide nonprofit

Wallingford, Conn. October 9, 2023 – Connecticut Foodshare held its Annual Meeting at its’ Wallingford headquarters on October 5 and hosted hundreds of supporters and partners for ‘Taste of Gratitude’ – the  annual donor reception. The Board elected Pete Sannizzaro as Board Chair and welcomed two additional Connecticut leaders to its Board of Directors.

Sannizzaro is the retired President and CEO of Talcott Resolution, a CT based, privately held life insurer where he still serves on the board of directors. Pete has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, including 27 years at The Hartford where he served as Chief Financial Officer for Hartford Life Insurance Company and Hartford Investment Management Company. Pete has served on the Board of Connecticut Foodshare and its predecessor organization since 2016 where he has served on multiple committees including the Executive, Finance & Audit, and Retirement Committees. In 2020, he was a member of the committee that oversaw the merger between the former Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare. He is a Watertown native and currently resides in Simsbury.

“It is such a tremendous honor to be elected Board Chair of an organization that does so much good in literally every corner of our state. I’m beyond excited to be working with Jason Jakubowski and his team, as well as a phenomenal group of fellow Board members. Even in a wealthy state like Connecticut, hunger is a major problem – and thankfully we have organizations like Connecticut Foodshare to help,” said Sannizzaro.

“Pete’s leadership will be instrumental as we continue to implement bold and innovative initiatives in line with our Community Impact Plan. We are excited for the impact Connecticut Foodshare will continue to have on our neighbors throughout Connecticut – now and into the future,” said Jason Jakubowski, President and CEO of Connecticut Foodshare.

Sannizzaro succeeds Beth Henry, who has served as Board Chair since 2019 and will remain on the Board. Pastor Alfred Watts was re-elected Vice Chair, Heather Smith-Jaser was elected Treasurer, and Arlene Putterman was re-elected Secretary.

“We thank Beth Henry for being our rock these past few years, and leading the merger between the two food banks, which has already had a tremendous, positive impact on the charitable food system in Connecticut. In October 2019 Beth was elected chair, and no one could have foreseen the challenges (and opportunities) that lay ahead. Her calm, steadfast leadership was crucial to the success of the organization,” Jakubowski said.

Connecticut Foodshare also welcomes Peter Kihara and Vanessa Maczko to the Board of Directors. Peter joins the board with a 25-year career providing financial and entrepreneurial leadership to numerous companies seeking growth through acquisitions, raising capital, and improving operations. Peter is passionate about technology, entrepreneurship and working with teams to achieve extraordinary results. Peter most recently served on the Connecticut Foodshare Finance and Audit Committee. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Vanessa is a Partner in Wiggin and Dana’s Private Client Services Department in Greenwich, CT. Vanessa advises moderate to high net-worth individuals and families on multi-generational transfers of assets. Her practice focuses on estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning. Vanessa advises clients on charitable giving. Vanessa received her LL.M. from New York University, her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She lives with her husband and two children in Greenwich.

Taste of Gratitude was sponsored by Talcott Financial Group, a long-time supporter of Connecticut Foodshare both at their leadership and employee levels of engagement. Renee DiNino from The River 105.9 emceed the event, which was centered on the heroes who are making a difference in our communities and for our neighbors experiencing food insecurity.

The Nancy Carrington Philanthropy Award
The Neag Foundation

The Gloria McAdam Volunteerism Award
Andrew “Drew” Smith
Carmen Boudier
Diane Ward
Greg Gallo

The President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership
Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt – Connecticut Department of Agriculture

The Connecticut Foodshare Media Partner Award
Vanessa Wojtusiak – Vice President, Marketing – Connecticut iHeartMedia – Hartford & New Haven

Adam Rivers – Program Director, WKCI-FM | WKSS-FM | WKCI-HD2 Middays on KC101 | Afternoons on

KISS 95.7 iHeartMedia – Connecticut


Connecticut Foodshare is the food bank serving the people of Connecticut and a member of the national Feeding America network of food banks. Last year, Connecticut Foodshare distributed enough food to  provide 40 million meals through a network of more than 650 food pantries, community kitchens, and mobile food pantry sites, while also working on long-term solutions to food insecurity. Thousands of volunteers help power the work of Connecticut Foodshare, and last year, they gave nearly 47,000 hours of service. To learn more visit

Media Contact: Monica Obrebski
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer