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  • The Narrative Project

Connecticut Voices for Children Announces New Board Members


January 11, 2022

CONTACT Ashlee Niedospial 570.778.5916


Connecticut Voices for Children Announces New Board Members: Shanae Draughn, Derrick M. Gordon, Fred McKinney, Enid Mercedes Rey, Kimberley Russo


NEW HAVEN, CT (January 11, 2022) - Connecticut Voices for Children (CT Voices) today announced the appointment of five new board members, Shenae Draughn, Derrick M. Gordon, Fred McKinney, Enid Mercedes Rey, and Kimberley Russo. “Our board is made up of dedicated community leaders and advocates committed to advancing racial equity, economic justice, and other policies that support children and working families,” said Hector Glynn, Connecticut Voices for Children Board Chair. “On behalf of the Connecticut Voices for Children Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to welcome our new directors to the team. We look forward to their experiences, ideas, and perspectives advancing our mission to improve the well-being of Connecticut’s children and families.” “All five of our new board members have devoted their lives to helping children and families thrive,” said Emily Byrne, Connecticut Voices for Children Executive Director. “I look forward to the essential insights and passion the totality of this new board will bring to our organization and its continued growth.” Shenae Draughn is the Executive Vice President of The Glendower Group, an instrumentality of the Housing Authority of the City of New Haven. She joined the Housing Authority in 2009 and was promoted to Executive Vice President of The Glendower Group in October 2021. During ECC President Karen DuBois-Walton’s leave of absence, she held the position of Interim President between May 1, 2021 – August 27, 2021. Ms. Draughn has more than fifteen years of experience in the real estate development industry with an expertise in affordable housing, managing complex projects utilizing tax credits, private debt, state grants, and HUD-mixed-finance and RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration). Ms. Draughn’s background and experience has helped provide for more than $500 million dollars of real estate development in the Greater New Haven area. Derrick M. Gordon, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology Section) at Yale University School of Medicine and Child Study Center. He directs the Program on Male Development in the Division of Prevention and Community Research and is a scientist in the Community Research Core of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA). Dr. Gordon’s research, consultation, and clinical efforts are focused on those factors that either support or undermine men transitioning from prison back to the community; the engagement of low-income, non-custodial fathers; the identification and service of adolescent fathers committed to child protection services; and men mandated to batterer intervention groups in the community. “My promise to Voices stem from my commitment to the value that all members of families, in all their forms, lend to the strengthening of the foundations provided to children and the communities they come in Connecticut,” said Gordon, Connecticut Voices for Children new Board Member. Fred Warren McKinney, Ph.D. is the founder of BJM Economics. He is the Carlton Highsmith Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Director of the People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Quinnipiac University School of Business. Dr. McKinney has served in leadership positions for numerous boards, including Gateway Community College Foundation, Yale New Haven Health Care’s Bridgeport Hospital, The American Automobile Association of Connecticut, Habitat for Humanity, The Community’s Bank, and The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Community Advisory Committee. Dr. McKinney spent two summers at the Rand Corporation on domestic economic policy and one year on the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Enid Mercedes Rey, J.D. is known both locally and nationally for her work in the fields of positive youth development, education, civic leadership, community-building and school integration. Her expertise and experiences span various sectors, including Philanthropy, Education, Youth Development, Juvenile Justice, Workforce Development and Immigration. Rey is the President and CEO of BRAVE Consulting Solutions LLC., a firm working at the local and national levels to transform systems that affect and impact the wellbeing of children, youth and families. Most recently, Rey was invited by the National Administration for Children and Families as part of a specialized team of consultant partners supporting the rapid unification of unaccompanied children and youth crossing into borderlands of the United States. “Connecticut Voices for Children has a legacy of centering our community on the right issues for our times and Economic Justice is a powerful focus of its work today. I am thrilled to join Connecticut Voices for Children at this time because as an organization, it does not just talk about change and equity. Voices ensures that research and action are deployed as strategic tools to make sure that a well-supported ecosystem exists in our state so that children and families can thrive and prosper,” said Rey, Connecticut Voices for Children new Board Member. Kimberley Russo has been the executive director of The Fund for Greater Hartford since 2015. Previously she served as the director of community investment for United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut for more than 10 years. Prior to joining the philanthropic field, Kimberley served as the program manager for Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis and worked as a residential services coordinator for the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County in Rhode Island. In recent years, Kimberley has served as chair of the board of directors of the CT After School Network, chaired the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth as well as co-chaired the CT Early Childhood Funders Collaborative. “I am looking forward to working with such a talented group of individuals in service to the children and families in CT,” said Russo, Connecticut Voices for Children new Board Member. Complete bios on Shanae Draughn, Derrick M. Gordon, Fred McKinney, Enid Mercedes Rey, Kimberley Russo, and the full board can be found at the CT Voices website: Connecticut Voices for Children 2022 Board of Directors: Chairman: Hector Glynn, The Village for Families and Children, Inc. Vice-Chair: David Nee, Retired Philanthropy Leader Treasurer: Kimberley Russo, The Fund for Greater Hartford Secretary: Laine Taylor, The Village for Families and Children, Inc. Jean Adnopoz, Past Chair, Yale University Child Study Center Shenae Draughn, The Glendower Group Derrick M. Gordon, Yale University School of Medicine and Child Study Center Leonard Jahad, Connecticut Violence Intervention Program (CT-VIP) Fred McKinney, BJM Economics Marcella Nunez-Smith, Yale School of Medicine Ann Baker Pepe, Retired Nonprofit Leader Enid Mercedes Rey, BRAVE Consulting Solutions, LLC Nancy Roberts, Retired Philanthropy Leader

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About Connecticut Voices for Children Connecticut Voices for Children is a “think and do” tank working to ensure that Connecticut is a thriving and equitable state, and where all children achieve their full potential. In furtherance of its vision, Connecticut Voices for Children produces high-quality research and analysis, promotes citizen education, advocates for policy change at the state and local level and works to develop the next generation of leaders.

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