Career Day 2016 showcases women from all professions

Lauralton welcomed an impressive panel of over fifty women from several career fields to speak to students at Career Day. Career Day takes place every other year and is designed to showcase strong, professional women to current students to expose them to various career paths. Women who excel in areas such as architecture, engineering, accounting, law, marketing, healthcare, and philanthropy offered insight into the career paths they chose and their personal career stories to students.

Keynote speaker, Samantha Sherwood '04:  Co-Principal, Bronx Arena High School.

"On a daily basis, my career has me managing a $2 million budget, helping to triage medical emergencies, providing counseling to teens, testifying in court and collecting documents for subpoenas, teaching everything from the causes of WWI to geometric proofs and theorems, investigating cases by collecting evidence and serving as the legal representative in hearings, meeting with city officials and state legislators regarding academic policies, designing technology and learning basic computer programming, writing press statements and appearing on PBS news, taste testing cupcakes, analyzing data and spreadsheets with thousands of pieces of information, event and travel planning, mediating disagreements, and hiring staff...and that’s just the stuff before noon. And to think when I was in high school I thought a principal’s job was boring!"

Following the keynote speech, students met with presenters in smaller groups. Students were able to watch several speaker presentations of their choice and ask questions of the career professionals.

Other presenters were:


Name: Maureen Cashman:  Senior Audit Assistant/ Deloitte

Ms. Cashman is an auditor and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) at one of the Big 4 Public Accounting Firms. As an auditor, I work with clients to improve their business and ensure their financial statements seen by shareholders are honest and accurate. She looks for fraud and errors within the company, which gives her a chance to gain a deep understanding of large, public corporations and experience with many different types of accounts.

Name:   Jeanine (Desautels) DeLucia:  Practice Manager, Connecticut Kidney Center

Jeanine DeLucia is the Practice Manager for the Connecticut Kidney Center, in which she supports five physicians in four office locations.  As a healthcare practice manager Jeanine works closely with the partners and physicians to develop business strategies formulate budgets and handle the daily operations of a medical practice.  Additionally, she plans, coordinates and executes work policies and procedures for support staff within the Center.   

Name: Carolyn Truini:  Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven — Administration:  Operations Coordinator

Ms. Truini assists in problem resolution of patient care issues, the formulation of solutions and recommendations to address administrative, technical and operational problems in all patient care areas, develops and conducts quality improvement initiatives across Smilow, assists in departmental Quality Improvement initiatives, evaluates the feasibility of new technologies and equipment and makes recommendations to increase, assures overall service efficiency and increasing the delivery of quality patient care outcomes, and support to staff and physicians serving as resource person answering non-medical questions.

Name:  Sara Longobardi:  Senior Executive VP, Retail Banking, People’s Bank

Sara Longobardi is Senior Executive VP, Retail Banking at People’s United Bank. She is responsible for the bank’s branch network and residential and consumer lending areas as well as for ensuring the overall customer experiences. Longobardi joined People’s United in 1991 as audit supervisor and was promoted to vice president in 1993. In 1999, she joined the bank’s Regional Banking division as vice president and area manager in the Hartford region.  She moved to People’s Securities, Inc., a subsidiary of People’s Bank in 2001, where she worked with the banks investment sales program. Longobardi has also served as Growth Manager responsible for the greater New Haven market. She was named senior vice president for Customer Relationship Development in the Retail and business banking division in 2004. In this role she developed, implemented and managed the strategy to drive the expansion and retention non-profitable customer relationships. Longobardi received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Univ of Illinois.               

Name:  Annette Vivoni – Villalonga:  Managing Director, Head of Global Cash Management Sales for the Americas, BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria) – Largest bank based in Spain

Ms. Vivoni–Villalonga works for BBVA, the largest bank in Spain. She is responsible for a specialized Sales Team for Global Management covering the top 500 US and Latin American companies. This sales team delivers the banks’ International Treasury Management solutions including collections, payments, payroll, tax payments, liquidity management, regional client-bank IT connections. This job is very complex due to the multiple countries involved and the expert knowledge required for payment systems, regulations, taxes involved in Latin America.   The main clients include General Motors, General Electric, Hasbro, Mars, Met Life, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble among others. Annette joined BBVA over 18 years ago where she held various positions in Puerto Rico including the head of the Treasury Management team, Marketing Director for Retail Banking and head of Corporate Communications. She also led various Operations and Treasury Management teams at Chase Manhattan Bank. Ms. Vivoni- Villalonga is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Krannert School of Business at Purdue University. She is fully bilingual: Spanish and English.

Name:  Ashley Casarella:  Marketing Consultant, Casarella Consulting

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is” – Scott Cook, Intuit Founder…In today’s fast moving marketing world, it is essential for companies to establish a strong brand and know how to leverage it. Ms. Casarella specializes in brand strategy and social media for companies.  Whether it be a manufacturing firm, a local retailer, or even a school – she helps companies establish their brand and voice across social media. 

Name:  Joanna Lee:  Vice President, Brand Marketing / J.CREW Group

As Vice President of Brand Marketing, Ms. Lee works on advertising campaigns, social media, digital marketing, public relations, retail marketing and special events for J.Crew and J.Crew Factory brands – collaborating closely with design, merchandising, and retail store teams.  Prior to joining J.Crew, I held other fashion industry positions in marketing and merchandising with Lilly Pulitzer, and in bridal design with Vera Wang.  After Lauralton, I attended Georgetown University and then Parsons School of Design for graduate school.  In addition to fashion industry insights, I’m happy to talk about career selection, internships and interviewing, and how your college experience relates to your career path.  

Name:  Megan Judge:  Director of Marketing and Events for ESPN

Megan guides brand marketing, partnership marketing, and sponsored-promotion development for the country’s leading sports radio network.   Judge conceived and launched ESPN Radio’s national fan engagement campaigns, including “Say HI to the Mikes,” “Mike & Mike’s Starting Five at The Finals,” “Who’s IN?  Mike and Mike at the College Football Playoff” and the “The Mike & Mike Experience at The ESPYS,” driving over 10 million listener entries across the campaign executions.  Judge also launched ESPN Radio on iTunes Radio, TuneIn, and Slacker platforms, generating over $2 million in promotional value for partners. - Judge joined ESPN in 2005 as the Promotions Manager for the ESPN Mobile MVNO, which launched at the Super Bowl in Detroit.  Following the MVNO’s transition in 2006, Judge joined the Disney and ESPN Media Networks team as Senior Manager – Affiliate Marketing, working on partnership efforts with Verizon, Cox Communications, Mediacom and the NCTC accounts.  She was promoted to Director of Affiliate Marketing and took on responsibility for the strategic development of affiliate partnership efforts in support of the launch of the new live-event online network and ESPN’s On-Demand product suite as well as trade/B2B communication and hospitality events. - Judge is a 1993 graduate of Tufts University (Medford, MA) and began her career at The United Way of Massachusetts Bay as a Campaign Associate and Public Relations Manager.  She was responsible for the development of donor cultivation and fundraising events, as well as the non-profit’s annual Community Care Day corporate volunteer effort. -In 1997, Judge joined Nike, Inc. as Marketing and Events Manager in Boston, launching the NikeTown flagship retail store on Newbury Street.   After developing and launching the NikeTown Running Club in Boston – a concept still being run by Nike Running in more than 30 US and international markets - Judge was promoted to Regional Marketing Manager for the NikeTown stores in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Denver and Miami responsible for consumer retail promotions, public relations and community relations.  In 1999, Judge produced the US Women’s National Soccer Team’s World Cup championship celebration at NikeTown NYC, as well as the 1999 and 2000 Tour de France championship events for Lance Armstrong and managed the company’s retail promotional efforts at the 1998-2002 New York, Chicago and Boston Marathons. - From 2002 through 2005, Judge was the Vice President of Account Management for Synergy Events, a sports marketing and event management agency in Ocean, NJ.  Responsible for the business development, account management, and event operations teams, Judge directed retail, mobile marketing and consumer promotion efforts for Adidas, American Express, British Airways, Nike,  Reebok, T-Mobile, Tennis Magazine and the annual “Got Milk?” mobile tour. - Judge lives in Stratford, CT, and is a fan of the Red Sox and Patriots – as well as any teams beating the Yankees or Jets.

Name:  Jill Ransome:  VP of Marketing and Communications/Novitex Enterprise Solutions

Ms. Ransome has been in marketing her entire career and surprisingly even has a BS in global marketing.  She didn't fully understood what marketing was when she chose it or know where she would land. Surprisingly her journey led her to become a senior stakeholder driving both marketing strategy and inside sales efforts.  ON a daily basis, her team of 15 is responsible for driving new interest in their services. Through the creation of multi-touch, cross-media campaigns they are able to target specific buyer types by industry, functional role within a company, geography and more.  Using data and analysis to drive these decisions, they touch those targets through a variety of media from press and media coverage, to online webcasts, video creation, website, social media, creative strategies and so much more. "The cool thing about leading a team of marketers is the creativity that it enables each and every day from writing to conceptualizing the next big idea or campaign, to videos and events. In my opinion, marketing is both a challenge and a reward: Challenging to find those prospective buyers for the sales team to go after – but very rewarding when we close new business or drive positive feedback.  The world of marketing is vast and every day we are challenged to find new ways of communicating with customers and prospects and new ways of breaking through all the clutter." 

Name:  Jocelyn Murray:  Owner/Marketing Professional / Marketing & Event Resources LLC    

Ms. Murray is a marketing professional and owner of a business that provides marketing services such as marketing planning and strategy development, copywriting, advertising, public relations, social media, email and event promotion. She works with business owners or nonprofit institutions who may need assistance in generating leads/increasing sales, promoting an event or improving communications with their prospects, clients, donors or the public.

Name:  Siobhan Walsh:  Director of Marketing Strategy

Ms. Walsh works in marketing and advises her clients on best practices to maximize the money they spend.   She looks at what they’re trying to accomplish and plans how best to get them there.  She has had held roles in marketing and communications strategy, managed strategic alliances, and supervised executive communications, and public relations.  She even had a stint in finance and accounting to realize that wasn’t for her.   Before that, she began her career living in London and was lucky enough to travel throughout Europe as part of her job.  In her time together, she is looking forward to talking about what she have learned (and is still learning) and how her Lauralton and college experience has been instrumental in shaping her along the way.  

NAME:  Deirdre Walsh:  Director of Legislative Affairs

Ms. Deirdre Walsh was selected as Director of Legislative Affairs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in March 2014.  In this position, she manages ODNI’s interaction with Congress, supports Congressional oversight requirements, and advises ODNI senior leaders on priority Congressional interests.  Ms. Walsh was appointed to the Senior National Intelligence Service in June 2013.  Prior to her current position, Ms. Walsh served as Deputy Director of Congressional and Public Affairs at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).  At NRO, Ms. Walsh led a dynamic team in communicating the NRO mission throughout the Executive Branch, Capitol Hill, and with the general public.  Her work has supported all parts of the NRO’s mission, including research and development, acquisition, launch, and operation of NRO systems. Preceding her assignment to NRO, she supported the Assistant Director of National Intelligence/Chief Financial Officer in the Performance and Budget Justification Group at ODNI.  From 2008 to 2009, Ms. Walsh provided strategic counsel and support for efforts to revise Executive Order 12333, entitled “United States Intelligence Activities.”  In these positions, she led efforts to coordinate and communicate foundational policy changes across the IC.  From 2006 to 2008, Ms. Walsh worked as a Legislative Liaison Officer in the ODNI Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA), with primary responsibility for the defense of the intelligence community’s budget request. Before joining the ODNI staff, Ms. Walsh served as the House Liaison for the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, with responsibility for all Commission interaction with the U.S. House of Representatives.  She also served on the legislative staffs of Rep. Sherwood Boehlert and Rep. Felix J. Grucci, Jr.  Ms. Walsh holds a Masters of Arts in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Science in International Studies from The University of Scranton, PA. 


Name:  Elizabeth Lynch:  Assistant Editor, HarperCollins Children’s Books

Junior editors in teen publishing are responsible for reading manuscripts from authors and determining whether they will appeal to a YA audience. They guide manuscripts through several rounds of revisions by reading and providing editorial notes, working closely with authors, writing descriptions for book covers, and coordinating all of the moving parts that go into publishing a finished book. As first readers, they must have both an extensive knowledge of the children’s book market and the attention to detail required to help the author craft the best possible version of their work. 

Name:  Caroline O’Connor:  Media Relations/Special Events Coordinator HBO

Coordinate the design and production of premiere/screening evites, post-award show party invitations, tickets, party passes and other printed materials. Attend and assist at all NYC premieres and other special events.  Write and edit press releases for HBO original programming, including series and films, in addition to interviewing on-air talent.

Name:  Melissa Sheketoff '08 & Ali Warshavsky:  News Reporter / Traffic Reporter

Melissa is a field reporter. “I cover general assignment news stories across Southwestern Connecticut: Anything from crime to politics, human interest to weather coverage, and much more in between. By researching stories and topics then conducting the proper interviews to tell the story in an accurate, captivating manner, we produce daily news stories and go live for our broadcasts.” Ali talked more about her experience in the studio as a traffic reporter and fill-in anchor.



Name:  Marybeth Reardon Miklos:  FBI AGENTS/Paralegal Specialist FBI

Marybeth Reardon Miklos is a native of New Haven, Connecticut and attended Southern Connecticut State University.  Mrs. Miklos entered on duty with the FBI in July of 1988 in the New Haven Division as a clerk.  In 1992, she was promoted as a Paralegal Specialist processing Freedom of Information cases for both the New Haven Division and FBI Headquarters.  While working as a Paralegal Specialist, Ms. Miklos held a collateral duty as a Victim Specialist and was promoted to the Victim Specialist position in September, 2002.  In March of 2006, Ms. Miklos returned to the legal side of the house as the Paralegal Specialist for the Chief Division Counsel.  In her current role as a Paralegal Specialist, she handles administrative claims for the FBI.


Name:  Mella Kernan:  Mella Kernan Architects  Owner/Architect

Ms. Kernan is a registered Architect in CT, NY, MA, VA, and WY. She has an office in Westport. She works on high-end residential projects primarily in Fairfield County and New York City. She developed the program for the Owner, translated the program into a design, prepared the set of drawings for construction, filed the project with the Building Department and worked with the builders during the construction of the project. To see her work, you can look at her website

Name:  Elizabeth Ryan:  Interior Designer, Ryan Interiors

Ryan Interiors is a Fairfield Based Design Company founded by Elizabeth Ryan. They are a residential firm that helps clients create beautiful, classic home interiors that last a lifetime.


Name:  Callie Tein:  Fashion Designer, Modern Trousseau 

Ms. Tein is a wedding gown designer for Modern Trousseau. She makes patterns, chooses and designs fabrics, looks at market trends and work with a sales team. She oversee photo shoots, works with models, makeup artists and photographers.



Name:  Colleen Clark:  Chemical/Biochemical Engineer

Ms. Clark studied Chemical Engineering (BS) and Biochemical Engineering (MS) at Villanova. She has worked as a scientist in a lab for a pharmaceutical company. She works in upstream process development which is directly involved in R&D as well as manufacturing. She works with cells to produce biologic drugs (mainly oncology). 

Name:  Ashley Currivan:  Mechanical Engineer

Ashley Currivan, a graduate of Lauralton’s class of 2010, is now a Mechanical Engineer. She works in the Hydraulic and Mechanical Control Systems group at Sikorsky Aircraft and is currently pursuing a dual Master’s of Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Hartford. She is working on the Autonomy Team to convert a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter into an optionally piloted aircraft. She works on detail design, procurement of parts, and integration of the design. Ashley will discuss her job at Sikorsky, why she became and engineer and challenges she has faced in her career.

Name:  Michele Dalena:  Biomedical Engineer

Ms. Dalena graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2015 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a focus in Biomechanics. She has just accepted a permanent position as Engineer at Smiths Medical. Smiths Medical is a leading manufacturer of specialty medical devices that provide innovative and lifesaving solutions for the world’s healthcare market. The Southington, CT site designs and manufactures a range of convention and safety Peripheral Intravenous Catheters (PIVC). She began her career here as a Validation Engineer in the R&D department where she has worked to qualify new products that are in development. Once a product has an approved design, the team moves on to develop processes to manufacture the product. These processes must be validated before moving on to commercialization clearance. She works to qualify: the installation of the machinery that molds or assembles the product, the processes parameters used to control the molding/assembly of the product, and the final molded/assembled product itself. She develops sampling plans, test methods, and execute protocols to prove that the processes used meet industry capability and that the final product made meets customer requirements, and is compliant to the company, FDA, and international standards. She coordinates the testing of the samples and write reports to summarize the statistics and process capability on collected data from product functional testing. She has had the chance to work on projects that require collaborating with cross-functional and external groups including: Marketing, Manufacturing, Regulatory, Clinical Services, Operations, Design Assurance, and Quality Assurance. Within my new full-time position, she will be expanding to help develop, model, and prototype concepts for new products, as well as help in re-designing non-conformances within existing product collected from customer complaints.  

Name:  Emily Ruggeri:  Civil Engineer

Name:  Kellie (Haselkamp) Putman:  New Products Engineer/Corning Inc.

Have you ever looked at something and thought “I wonder how that was made?” Every product we interact with, from something as simple as a paper clip to as complicated as your cell phone, has a team of engineers behind it, balancing customer wants with the challenges of manufacturing. Ms. Putman works as a new products engineer for Corning Inc, trying to figure out how they are going to make something more challenging than what they’ve made before. Day to day they solve problems, run experiments, and work with operators to meet customer demands and create solutions to keep us ahead of their competitors. 

Name:  Abigail Stein:   Construction Project Engineer

As a construction project engineer, Ms. Stein assists both project managers in the office and superintendents in the field to execute a wide range of construction projects. We build small to large buildings in a variety of industries, including education, retail, industrial/commercial, and residential. In the office, She assists with document control for drawings and specifications, estimating, cost tracking and contract change management, and payment applications. In the field, She assists with scheduling, logistics, quality control and assurance, testing and inspections, and commissioning. She utilizes knowledge in a wide range of engineering disciplines to execute successful construction projects. The position is very hands-on and each day brings its own challenges and differences from the next.


Name:  Mrs. Lisa Cooper-Merriman:  Special Education Teacher/Nellie Thornton High School

Ms. Cooper-Merriman is a Special Education Teacher. She has been teaching for 29 years, and for the last 12 years has been teaching high school students.  As a Special Educator, She is responsible for the academic needs of children with a wide range of disabilities. These students require a variety of services, modifications and accommodations in their educational experiences. Also, as a Special Educator, she specializes in English Literature for 11th and 12th graders. She has a self-contained (small class) of juniors/seniors and has several classes with a general education teacher. She is faced with a variety of responsibilities: Curriculum planning and development; parent conferences; pre-post testing (standardized tests, common core); involvement in implementing student IEP (Individual Educational Plan). Inclusion – work with general education teacher to develop and modify curriculum. Support special education students to make sure the learning styles of the students are being met. This is a career that requires patience, a sense of caring and a will to make a profound difference in young people’s lives.

Name:  Amanda Dempsey:  1st Grade Teacher / Long Hill School, Shelton

"The best part of teaching is that it matters. The hardest part about teaching is that every moment matters, every day" (Todd Whitaker). Ms. Dempsey has been an elementary school teacher since 2012, and it has been, by far, the most rewarding experience of her life. There are ups and there are downs, but every moment she spends with her students is a moment she cherishes. Her first graders inspire her every day. 


Name: Ellen Kulaga, MD:  Attending Physician, Clinician Educator—Department of Internal Medicine, Norwalk Hospital

Teach medical students and residents, as well as see patients at the Norwalk Community Health Center. 

Name:  Susan Healey, MD:  Anesthesiologist, St. Vincent’s Medical Center

Ms. Healy is an anesthesiologist. She is based primarily at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, but also work at Griffin Hospital, a gastroenterology center, and an outpatient surgical center. She also provides sedation at two infertility clinics. She cares for patients undergoing routine surgeries, as well as major ones, such as open heart or trauma. She also cares for obstetric patients who need epidurals or cesarean sections. 

Name:  Teresa Money McLaughlin:  Senior Oncology Clinical Coordinator, Genentech

Provide education, consultation & clinical expertise in the areas of oncology, specialty in Lung, GI and Gyn Cancers. Genentech is now a 40-year-old Bio-Tech company – a leader in oncology therapies. 

Name:  Susan Khalil:  Director of Nursing Services,   Infection Control Officer

Oversight of the clinical departments to ensure delivery of high-quality health care and the smooth and efficient processing of patients through staff orientation and training, monitoring staffing patterns and competencies, and compliance with agency, state, federal, Joint Commission, NCQA and HMO standards. Responsible for the implementation and oversight of Southwest’s comprehensive infection control program, including annual policy review, staff orientation and education, proper cleaning protocols, compliance with and enforcing safe work practices.

Name:  Amie Fracker:  Registered  Nurse,  Norwalk Hospital 

As a registered nurse on a busy Medical-Surgical unit at Norwalk Hospital, life is never boring! Each shift brings new patients, challenges, and learning experiences. Ms. Fracker works alongside doctors, physician assistants, physical and speech therapists to ensure patients receive the best care. Although her journey to nursing was not traditional, She is happy to have chosen such a rewarding career. 

Name:  Christina Chao:  Physician Assistant

Physician assistants (PAs) in dermatology evaluate, diagnose and treat a broad variety of skin, hair, and nail conditions that are treated both medically and surgically. They also perform screening exams, preventive care and education for dermatologic patients and families. Building on their primary-care training and experience, PAs are trained in dermatology in a variety of ways. Most PAs work autonomously within a dermatology office much like a staff dermatologist seeing a wide range of medical, surgical and cosmetic patients but always with the support of a board certified or board eligible dermatologist. 

Name:  Gina Christakos & Mrs. Lynn Markow:  Pharmacists

Mrs. Christakos: I help patients with improving their health. I fill and explain their prescriptions. I give advice on over the counter medications and advice based on their health history. I oversee the pharmacy which includes inventory management, technician scheduling and the bulk of scripts filled and money earned. I also vaccinate patients over 18. I can give many vaccinations including flu shots, shingles and pneumonia vaccines and more.

Mrs. Markow: I work for an independent retail pharmacy. My job includes taking verbal orders from physicians, process RX’s, counseling patients and maintaining drug inventory. 

Name:  Sasha Golovyan:  Veterinarian   Small animal medicine and surgery


Name: Catherine Dugan O’Connor:  Counsel        

Cathy O’Connor is a lawyer who works with clients to help protect their intellectual property (“IP”) rights, including trademarks and copyrights.  After graduating from St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, NY, Cathy clerked for a federal judge, Judge Denny Chin, in the Southern District of New York.  This experience exposed her to all areas of the law, including criminal trials and many types of civil cases, such as employment, patent and trademark cases.  A notable case that sparked her interest in IP law was a copyright infringement suit over the movie Groundhog Day. When her clerkship ended, Cathy joined the Stamford office of a large Connecticut law firm (Day Berry & Howard, now Day Pitney), where she continues to work today.  For several years, Cathy worked on commercial litigation matters, which included lawsuits of all types.  Examples include breach of contract, accounting malpractice, and medical malpractice. This work involved legal research, writing, interviewing witnesses, depositions, and appearing in court. Cathy’s interest in IP law persisted, however.  She began working on large patent lawsuits, finding that although they might seem dry and technical on the surface, they also involved many interesting side issues and personalities, such as the inventors. After having her first child (Margaret, now a freshman at LH), Cathy returned to the firm working part-time.  She focused exclusively on IP litigation, working on other patent infringement cases, as well as copyright and trade secret cases.  Gradually, Cathy expanded her practice to include non-litigation work.  An important turning point came when she was asked to work at a client, toy company LEGO Systems, to cover the maternity leave of its in-house IP attorney.  This gave Cathy the opportunity to work on licensing agreements and advertising issues and provide day-to-day legal advice to marketing and other business people at the company.  Today, Cathy’s work also includes handling trademarks for companies such as a cosmetics manufacturer and a global construction company.  This involves searching to see if a trademark is available, helping clients to register the mark, and enforcing trademarks against infringers.  When clients want to expand to other countries, Cathy liaises with lawyers around the globe to register the client’s trademarks.  Having majored in marketing in her undergraduate studies at UConn, Cathy particularly enjoys working with clients on legal compliance for advertising, contests and sweepstakes.  

Name:  Nicole Seawright:  Staff Attorney, Connecticut Legal Rights Project Inc.

Connecticut Legal Rights Project is a statewide non-profit agency which provides legal services to low-income individuals with psychiatric disabilities, who reside in hospitals or the community, on matters related to their treatment, recover, and civil rights.


Name:  Theresa Rose DeGray:  Attorney

Fighting for consumers and their rights!  Bankruptcy – Chapter 7 & 13 * Adversarial Proceedings & Contested Matters * Alternatives to Bankruptcy * Consumer Advocacy & Protection * Foreclosure Defense * Civil Litigation Defense * Defense Against Credit Card Companies * Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Law Suits (FDCPA) * Family Matters * Estate Planning & Probate * Conservatorships * Guardianships * Living Wills * Last Wills & Testaments * Trusts

Name:  Marybeth Darcy:  Paralegal

Independent Paralegal, specializing in litigation support: Concentration in the area of Family Law.


Name: Sister Dale Jarvis, RSM and Sister Mandy Carrier, RSM:  Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Sister Dale and Sr. Mandy are both Sisters of Mercy. As a Sister of Mercy, you follow in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley and respond to the Gospel of Jesus to serve God’s people. This can be done in many ways. Sister Dale has been a Sister of Mercy for many years and has ministered in the area of social justice both in the US, as well as around the world. She has represented the Sisters of Mercy at the UN and worked with Indigenous peoples in many countries. She currently does Vocation Ministry. Sister Mandy has just recently made her first vows as a Sister, and in response to the first Work of Mercy, feeds the hungry by working in a soup kitchen. Sister Mandy will share some of her story about responding to God’s call in today’s world as a young woman.  Sister Mandy has a degree in both Religious Studies and culinary arts.


Name: Victoria Perrone Genovese:  Speech-Language Pathologist / The Keswell School

Ms. Genovese is  a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in a private school for children with autism spectrum disorders. She is currently in her 6th school year of working as an SLP. Prior to her job at the private school, She was an SLP at a public school for individuals with special needs (i.e., varying impairments: cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, developmental delays, Down Syndrome). Her career as an SLP involves working with students who have delays in the areas of using and understanding language, producing speech, play skills, and/or socially interacting with others. She is responsible for teaching and supporting the student as they learn ways to communicate with others. As an SLP in the schools, She is a member of a team that includes teachers, other therapists, and most importantly the student’s parents/caregivers. This team must work together to facilitate the student’s progress; therefore, as the SLP, she is responsible for educating and collaborating with the members of this team to ensure the student’s success. The field of speech-language pathology offers many career options and the opportunity to work with individuals from birth to 100+. She chose to work with children with special needs and loves what she does. There are endless opportunities out there for SLPs (e.g., nursing homes, hospitals, home-based therapy, private clinics).

Name:  Lisa Glynn:  Pediatric Speech Pathologist – Oral-Moral/Feeding Specialist

Ms. Glynn is a pediatric Speech Pathologist specializing in Oral-Motor/Feeding issues in infants and toddlers. She works with babies who were born prematurely and requires help in developing the muscles in the mouth. In addition, She works with toddlers who may have feeding tubes or general weakness in the muscles of the mouth.

Name:  Diane Wald:  Acute Care Physical Therapist

Ms. Wald has been a PT for 30+ years. She has worked in a variety of settings including orthopedic outpatient, rehab, home care and acute care. 

NAME: Tara J. Glennon:  Professor of Occupational Therapy Quinnipiac University 


Name:  Kara Krysynski Justo:  Medical Social Worker

On a daily basis, Ms. Krysynski sees patients and families, who need assistance with social issues. She is available for patients who need one on one counseling after dealing with a tragedy, coping with illness or receiving news of a new diagnosis.  She works in the Emergency Department, where a typical day can consist of car accidents, psychiatric problems and homeless individuals who need resources such as shelters and food. She also works with newborns on the Labor and Delivery floor where patients may need referrals to the Department of Children and Families and in special circumstances a mother may want to give a baby up for adoption. The medical and stroke floors consist of patients and families learning to cope with a new diagnosis and need assistance with resources for going home or to a nursing home. Families and patients are reliant on Social Workers for information as well as someone to talk to about their feelings about the changes in their life brought on by hospitalizations for illness. A career as a Social Worker is a busy, exciting and rewarding job. It is never the same day twice. If you are looking for a profession to truly help people this may be a career to look into.   

Name: Jennifer Kolakowski:  Chief Clinical Officer, Recovery Network of Programs, Inc.

Ms. Kolakowski is a licensed clinical social worker.  She has been working in the field of social work for over twenty years.  She is currently the Chief Clinical Officer for Recovery Network of Programs (RNP).  RNP is a behavioral healthcare organization serving individuals who are homeless, living with HIV.AIDS, individuals with both substance use and mental health disorders.  Ms. Kolakowski oversees a team of 40 clinical/medical supervisors and a division consisting of 200 employees.  She has spoken at numerous events throughout the country on best practices in the field.  Ms. Kolakowski taught at Fordham University, Graduate School of Social Service for four years.  She is currently involved in developing various leadership programs for social work students and professionals.

Name:  Margaret (Weeks) Horton, LCSW:  Therapist, The Dialectical and Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center

Even as a student at Lauralton, Ms. Horton always knew that she wanted some kind of a career where she could help others. Since that time, she has worked in a variety of non-profit and healthcare settings, doing everything from making grants to running a group for female inmates. This long and winding road ultimately led her to the decision to become a therapist. She now works in a small private practice where she helps both adolescents and adults deal with challenges and build more meaningful and satisfying lives.


Name: Carrie Wilcox:  Owner/Designer – Carrie Wilcox Floral Design

Presenting with Amy Champagne, Brooke Allison, Beth Chapman; Along with three other wedding professionals, we will be introducing the Lauralton students to all the opportunities in the wedding profession as well as being an entrepreneur in today’s world.  I will discuss all aspects of the floral and specialty floral industry. Joining me will be Amy Champagne, Wedding Planner & Brooke Allison, and Wedding/Personal Photographer, both of The Wedding Loft based in Milford.  Also, in attendance will be Beth Chapman of Beth Chapman Styling and Owner of The White Dress by the Shore (who last summer styled Martha Stewarts niece.)

Name:  Natalie Duplessy:  Chef/Pastry Chef

Creator and producer of savorous meals and delectable desserts for all palates: Direct the preparation, seasoning and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts or other foods. Plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts. Supervise and participate in cooking and baking and the preparation of foods. Write weekly schedules according to business and projected goals for labor dollars of percentages. Uses labor dollars and menu costing programs to price labor and food cost percentages: Must participate in checking of all purchased supplies for quality and account for each delivered item.


Name:  Sarahbeth Grossman:  Producer, Sobelle Productions, LLC

Theatrical Producer:  Broadway: An American in Paris, Dames at Sea, Ann, Stick Fly.  Off-Broadway:  The Report, The Irish Curse, Bend in the Road, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Ten Chimneys, From Broadway With Love: A Benefit for Sandy Hook.   Film: Midsummer in Newtown, Bopha!, Out to Sea.  President of Sobelle Productions and a consultant/producer across the entertainment, marketing, and non-profit spectrums: Member of Producers Guild of America.



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