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Aaron Crosson, Sr

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Commercial & Data Analytics and Engineering Technology, CIGNA
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Emilie de Brigard

Filmmaker &

Arts Supporter

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Diane Cloud, EdD


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Jeff Moyer

Vice President of Human Resources, TRAVELERS

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Martin John, CPA  

Senior Vice President Head

of Financial Planning &



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Maisie Russell

Assistant Vice President of Tax, TRAVELERS

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Francine Austin

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

Francine is an entrepreneur, and philanthropist with a track record spanning more than 25 years. Francine is the Founder and CEO of Francine Entertainment & Marketing (FEM), a multicultural strategic marketing, and communications agency that specializes in multi-media public relations, branding, digital marketing, and production of top-tier events. She has been the proprietor of the first Black owned salon and day spa in Hartford County for over 25 years. She was appointed to the State of Connecticut Board &

Barbering by CT Governor Ned Lamont. Francine is a dedicated mentor and volunteer who believes in inspiring and investing in her community. In 2018, Francine launched A Giver’s Heart, an organization committed to educate, encourage, and celebrate philanthropy; under this umbrella, Francine sponsored and hosted successful fundraising events including "An Evening of Philanthropy,” featuring award winning journalist and television personality, Tamron Hall. She launched CT 1st “Black Doctors” Day. An educational event with over 100 black healthcare providers to encourage youth, their families and the Hartford community to pursue careers in the medical profession. Francine is  a volunteer at the Wilson Gray YMCA and is a member of the Farmington Valley (CT) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

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Kathy Hermes, PhD

Publisher, Connecticut Explored

Kathy has served as publisher of Connecticut Explored since July of 2022, succeeding Elizabeth Normen. She joined the faculty at CCSU in 1997 and retired in 2022. At CCSU, she served as interim department chair and interim coordinator of Polish Studies. Kathy was co-coordinator of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program, and she served as CCSU’s History Department chairperson. Kathy has presented papers by invitation at the Harvard International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World, 

as well as at the Atlantic History Workshop sponsored by the Seminar. She was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the American Maritime History workshop at the Munson Institute, Mystic Seaport, in 2010. In 2012 the Max Planck Institute for Legal History in Frankfurt, Germany, invited her to speak at the LOEWE Research Focus workshop on “Justice without the State.” Kathy is also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In 2013, Dr. Hermes was elected as a Fellow to the International Academy on Workplace Bullying for her work as a volunteer to help enact legislation to protect targets of workplace abuse.

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David Kinahan

Advancement and Development Executive

David has extensive experience as an advancement and development executive and volunteer with substantial experience leading diverse development strategies in healthcare, academia, and research-based organizations. David holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Georgia State University and a BA in Communication from Bethany College. He served as President of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation where he led strategies, programs and activities that identified, 

cultivated, and solicited individual donors, corporations, foundations, and other organizations to support the Center. Prior to his role at Children’s, David served as the vice president of Development at Tulane University School of Medicine where he designed, led, and implemented fundraising programs and operations for the School of Medicine. His experience also includes leadership roles in advancement and development at Joslin Diabetes Center, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Georgetown University. David served as a community member of The Amistad Center’s Development Committee. He is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate supporting children in foster care for CASA of Southern Connecticut and he serves as President, Board of Directors for Winding Trails.

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Roy Wills

Senior VP, SoftServe Inc.

Roy Wills is a Senior Vice President for SoftServe Inc., a global IT & Engineering services firm.  He received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and MBA from the University of Houston. Roy currently serves as the global sales and operations leader for Healthcare & Life Science, where he leads enterprise technology transformation strategy for several Fortune 15 organizations. As an active voice for diversity in technology, he leads

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The Honorable Vanessa L. Bryant

 Federal Judge, District Court,

District of Connecticut

Judge Bryant was nominated by President George W. Bush and sworn in by Governor Jodi Rell as a United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut on April 3, 2007. Judge Bryant is the first African American female Article III judge appointed to the federal bench in New England. She received 

her B.A. cum laude from Howard University in 1975 and her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1978. Judge Bryant is a member of the Connecticut Bar and the Connecticut District Court Bar. Prior to her appointment as a Federal District Judge, Judge Bryant served as a Connecticut Superior Court Judge from 1998 until 2007. Before joining the judiciary, Judge Bryant served as a partner and lead counsel for several law firms, state agencies, and large corporations in Connecticut. Judge Bryant has been associated with numerous professional, philanthropic and community organizations, including several prominent legal associations, United Way of the Capital Area, the NAACP State Conference, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Capitol Region Council of Governments Regional Planning Commission, and the Hartford Commission on Human Relations. She is the recipient of many awards, including the NAACP Greater Hartford Branch Freedom Award and the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Jeffrey Hines, MD

Chief Diversity Officer, 

University of Connecticut Health System

Jeff is the Inaugural Chief Diversity Officer for the University of Connecticut Health System. He is a proven leader with expertise in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion. Jeff completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and in September 1990, Jeff deployed with the First Cavalry Division as a Combat Battalion Surgeon

during Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm, and he is a highly decorated military veteran with numerous citations and medals. Jeff completed a three-year fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center in June 1995, and he is board certified in Gynecologic Oncology. Additionally, Jeff is extensively published in the field of health equity, disparities, and racism in medicine, and he served on the Governor’s Task Force for the elimination of Cervical cancer for the State of Georgia. He past president and chair of the Board of Trustees for Fulton County’s Hammonds House Museum of African American Art and vice chair emeritus for The Lovett School in Atlanta. Jeff also served as a member of the Corporation Board of Fellows at Brown University.

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Brad Meachum

Corporate Attorney, Raytheon Company &

Director, Bristol Hospital

Brad is a corporate attorney with 15 years of broad legal experience, including in mergers & acquisitions, venture capital, commercial contracting, government contracting, and University and College of William & Mary School of Law.egulatory practice. He is a 

 graduate of Harvard University and College of William & Mary School of Law. Brad currently serves as General Counsel to Raytheon Company’s Cybersecurity, Intelligence & Services Business Unit, which specializes in offensive and defensive cyber products and services, and he has supported multiple business lines at Pratt & Whitney and Raytheon as lead counsel. In his role, he holds an active top secret government security clearance. Brad is an active member of the community and serves as a Director of Bristol Hospital. He was also a member of the Connecticut Commission on Economic Competitiveness, and he served as a Director of George W. Crawford Black Bar Association.

several initiatives to drive early adoption of technology careers while partnering with other leaders to create mentoring programs. Roy is also a member of several charity and non-profit organizations where he donates his time and resources to support his community.

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Sasha Douglas

Assistant Superintendent Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) Schools

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Ellis Echeverria

Art Director, Artist

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Susan Johnson

Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion OfficerTHE HARTFORD

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Lauren Jones

College and Career Advisor, CREC Open Choice 

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Antoinette Lazarus

Managing Director & Head of Compliance, Secondary Solutions Group at Ares Management, LLC.

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Sarah Lewis

Chief Equity Officer,


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Kimberley Scott

Business Owner

Paula Silas Guy

Media Consultant


Fiona Vernal, PhD

Director of Engaged, Public, Oral, and Community Histories & Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTCUT

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Judy Young

McDonald’s Franchisee,


President & CEO

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Claire Pryor

JoAnn Price

Co-Founder, Managing Partner



Dr. R. Eileen Baccus
Eleanor Blake
Sanford Cloud Jr., Esq.

Gregory E. Deavens
David Driskell (In Memoriam)

Ed Johnetta Miller

Ellen Nurse
Beverly Morgan-Welch
John H. Motley

Wes Thompson
Teri Trotter

Cynthia Williams
Joyce Willis (In Memoriam)
Shawn Wooden


Jeff Brown

Matthew Hargraves

Gerry Lupacchino

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