David Glidden and Brian Evanko Elected Vice Chairs
Hartford, CT (January 11, 2024) The Connecticut Science Center is delighted to announce the appointment of six new Trustees to its distinguished Board of Trustees and the election of five exceptional officers to serve in pivotal leadership roles within the board. This signifies the Science Center’s continued commitment to leveraging diverse expertise and knowledge toward driving its mission to inspire lifelong learning.
The new Trustees, carefully selected based on their passion for science education and significant contributions in their respective fields, bring with them diverse backgrounds spanning business, academia, science and public service. They join an already strong board in strengthening the Science Center’s strategic objectives. Joining the board is Jim Bedard, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at RVI Group; Felice Gray-Kemp, Senior Vice President & General Counsel at CaaStle; Jennifer Hellberg, DVP, Business Unit Manager at Zygo and Navitar Ametek; Lakia Scott, Assistant Provost for Faculty
Development & Diversity at Yale University; Melinda Thompson, Head of Personal Lines at The Hartford; and Sarah Wojiski, Director of Education at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine.
Concurrently, five esteemed officers have been elected – Len Wolman, Chairman & CEO at Waterford Group as Board Chair, David Glidden, President & CEO at Liberty Bank and Brian Evanko, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at The Cigna Group as Vice Chairs, Andrew Mandell, Co-founder & President at Data-Mail as the re-elected Treasurer, and Cynthia Vodopivec, Vice President Environmental Health & Safety at Vistra as Secretary.
“The appointment of our new Trustees and the election of the new board officers serve to ensure that the Connecticut Science Center continues its journey towards becoming a leading science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) institution in the nation.” said Matt Fleury, President & CEO of the Connecticut Science Center. “Each of these outstanding individuals brings a wealth of knowledge, leadership and experience in areas vital to our organization. We are grateful for their willingness to serve and look forward to their guidance as we navigate the path forward.”
About Jim Bedard
Jim has spent his career in the Connecticut insurance industry and is currently the Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer for Stamford-based RVI Group, a financial services company focusing on specialty property-casualty and reinsurance. He is currently active on various boards including Western New England University Business Advisory Board, Achieve Hartford Executive Board, Hear Here Hartford Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America and the American School for the Deaf Board of Directors. Jim received a BS in Business Administration and an MBA from Western New England
University in Springfield, MA.
About Felice Gray-Kemp
Felice is a seasoned executive skilled in U.S. and international law with experience serving public, Fortune 500, and iconic consumer product companies. She became a member of the CaaStle senior leadership team in 2021. She boasts an educational background from Yale University and University of Connecticut School of Law, while also acquiring a master’s in taxation from Boston University School of Law. Felice has frequently been acknowledged for her exceptional legal and business abilities and dedication to leadership, especially in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Often, she has been a trailblazer in her roles, being the first person of color, African-American, or woman in every position she held. Felice’s hope is to witness a time when such defining characteristics will seldom apply to an individual.
About Jennifer Hellberg
Jennifer is a 25+ year business leader with experience across multiple markets. She has a track record of developing strong customer relationships and has created customer enabling strategies. She leads with integrity and encourages confidence and inspiration. Jennifer has held leadership positions in general management, supply chain/logistics, manufacturing operations, continuous improvement, project management, and finance with Thermo Fisher Scientific and Procter & Gamble prior to joining Ametek. She holds an MBA from University of Wisconsin – Madison and B.S. in engineering from Michigan Technological University. She is passionate about leveraging her leadership experience to support youth in underserved communities through volunteering with organizations aligned to this mission.
About Lakia M. Scott
Lakia started as the Assistant Provost for Faculty Development & Diversity in July 2023. Her professional background centers on urban and multicultural education where she has nearly two decades of experience in teaching K-12 and postsecondary populations. In her role, she is responsible for managing reviews and providing training and consultation on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives specific to academic and administrative units. Her research has focused on providing educational access, equity, and opportunity to underrepresented groups. Dr. Scott received her BA in Communications from Texas Southern University. She holds a MSED in Reading from Prairie View A&M University. She completed her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
About Melinda Thompson
Melinda has been named Head of Personal Lines at The Hartford, reporting to CEO Chris Swift, beginning March 1. She joined The Hartford in 1998 as a commercial lines underwriter and held positions of increasing responsibility in the field before taking on leadership accountability for Enterprise Sales & Distribution. In her current role, she has overseen the country-wide rollout of the company’s new Prevail personal auto and homeowner’s products, which feature market-leading digital capabilities and a cloud-based policy administration system. Melinda holds a bachelor’s degree in managerial economics from the University of California, Davis.
About Sarah Wojiski
Sarah is the Director of Education and External Programs at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, CT, where she oversees life sciences education and training programs for populations ranging from high school students through postdoctoral fellows. As both a scientist and an educator, she understands how to make contemporary complex scientific concepts more accessible and engaging for broad audiences. Sarah received her Bachelor of Science degree in Cytogenetics from the University of Connecticut and has her Master of Education in Secondary Science Education from Boston College. She received her Doctorate in Genetics from Harvard University.
For a complete list of current Trustees, please visit CTScienceCenter.org/about/board-of-trustees.
About the Connecticut Science Center
The LEED- Gold certified Connecticut Science Center, located in downtown Hartford, sparks creative imagination and an appreciation for science by immersing visitors in fun and educational hands-on, minds-on interactive experiences while maintaining an environmentally conscious presence. Serving more than 3.5 million people since opening in 2009, the Science Center features more than 165 exhibits in ten galleries, covering a range of topics including space and earth sciences, physical sciences, biology, the Connecticut River watershed, alternative energy sources, Connecticut inventors and innovations, a children’s gallery, and much more. Other features include the state’s only year-round butterfly habitat, five educational labs, a 200-seat 3D digital theater, function room, gift store, and ongoing events for all ages. The Science Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing science education throughout the state of Connecticut and New England, providing learning opportunities for students and adults of all ages, and engaging the community in scientific exploration. The Connecticut Science Center is the home to the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Academy for Teachers, offering powerful professional development for educators. More information: CTScienceCenter.org or (860) SCIENCE