Serving you as community partners
Our dedicated staff has an extensive knowledge of philanthropy, deep roots in Fairfield County’s nonprofit community and a strong commitment to working collaboratively to create a county where everyone has an equitable opportunity to thrive.
Mendi Blue Paca
President & Chief Executive Officer
Mendi Blue Paca is President & CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. She joined the Foundation in 2018 and previously served as the Foundation’s Chief Community Impact Officer and VP of Community Impact. In her previous roles, she led grant making, programs, policy advocacy, and major community leadership initiatives to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County. Mendi oversaw the Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Fund for Women & Girls, Immigrant Success Fund and Thrive by 25 initiatives. She also served as the key liaison for cross-sector collaborations with nonprofits, funder partners, external constituent groups and local elected officials.
Mendi began her career as a registered broker and compliance officer at Goldman Sachs & Co. Mendi was a strategy manager at the Center for Effective Philanthropy; growth and innovation advisor to the president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; and a summer associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which has been repeatedly rated the country’s top law firm.
She has served as a strategic consultant to dozens of the largest U.S.-based philanthropic organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates, Ford, William and Flora Hewlett, W.K. Kellogg, Robert Wood Johnson, David and Lucile Packard and Walton Family foundations. In 2013, after living in Boston, New York City, Washington D.C. and Madrid, Spain for thirteen years, Mendi returned to her home state, CT, where she held public sector leadership roles and managed political campaigns. In these capacities, she secured millions of dollars in competitive state, federal, foundation, individual and corporate resources.
Mendi holds a bachelor’s degree in economics cum laude from Harvard College, a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. She is Board Chair of Partners for Educational Leadership and a board member of Harvard Business School Community Partners of CT. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, maternal and reproductive health, and mental health awareness. Mendi lives with her husband, Marcus, daughter and doodle in Trumbull, where in her spare time she loves entertaining and trying new recipes.Close
Vice President, People & Culture
Tara Berlingo joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2017. As VP, People & Culture, Tara is responsible for leading the Community Foundation’s Human Resources programs, practices and policies to support the achievement of the organization’s strategic goals.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Tara served as Human Resources Business Partner at Westcon Group North America, Inc. where she was responsible for working with the leadership team to define and implement training, full life cycle recruiting, compensation, annual performance management, employee engagement, compliance, and benefits. In addition, Tara has held human resources management roles for Charter Communications and Penna Construction. Tara is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management.
Tara holds her bachelor's degree in human resources from WGU. Tara resides in New York with her husband and three children. In her spare time, she enjoys watching anything on Bravo.Close
Tiana Randretsanilo joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2013. As Assistant, Operations, Tiana provides administrative support to both the Operations and Finance departments. Tiana also manages the front desk and assists the Human Resources function.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Tiana served as the office coordinator at Levco Energy in Stamford.
Tiana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Ecole D’Ingénieur de Genève, Switzerland. She lives in Norwalk with her husband Samy and their son, Jonathan. She is passionate about exploring different cultures when traveling, and spending time with her family.Close
Heather joined the Community Foundation in 2018 as an Administrative Assistant to Community Impact. In 2022, Heather was promoted to Executive Associate supporting our President and CEO.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Heather spent twenty years as an undergraduate educator in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Heather holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston College. Her hometown is Hamden, where she currently resides.Close
Finance & Administration
Bill Andrews, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Bill Andrews joined the Community Foundation in 2018. As Chief Financial Officer, he supports the organization’s strategic plan by ensuring accurate and efficient financial operations to provide timely and transparent information to foundation stakeholders.
Bill is a seasoned finance executive with over 30 years’ experience in a wide range of industries and roles. He has extensive finance and accounting experience especially in financial reporting for companies of varied sizes. Most recently, his accounting and finance experience has been supplemented by roles in operations such as manufacturing, customer relationships, product management and sales.
Bill earned a BBA in accounting from Iona College, an MBA in Finance from the Stern School of Business of New York University and is a CPA. Bill lives in Easton with his wife and youngest son.Close
Financial Operations Manager
Steve joined the Community Foundation in 2014 and currently works with the Community Foundation’s donors and charitable fundholders to manage the grant disbursement process for donor advised, agency, and designated funds. He also manages and administers the Community Foundation’s Scholarships Program.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Steve worked in the for-profit sector for many years; he made the switch to non-profit when he became the house manager at Hartford Stage, and later a grant administrator at a private foundation in Manchester.
Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Rhode Island College. An avid tennis player and enthusiast, Steve is also passionate about animal welfare and volunteers with the Danbury Animal Welfare Society. He also enjoys traveling and the arts. Most weekends are now spent renovating and restoring an antique farmhouse in Bethel’s historic downtown, where he lives with his partner and two cats.Close
Carolina Bonaparte joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2022. As Controller, Carolina is responsible for the management of the financial operations of the Community Foundation, including financial accounting, reporting, data analysis, audit, and tax.
Before joining the Community Foundation, Carolina worked at PNT Data Corp., where she was the Financial Specialist. Carolina’s career began as a Director of Client Services for almost ten years, focusing on Financial Management. She then moved into a Staff Accountant position with RJ Testo and Associates, where she spent her time focused on establishing and maintaining the financial foundation of various small businesses around the State of Connecticut.
Carolina received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting from SUNY Plattsburgh. She currently resides in Fairfield County and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and salsa dancing with her son in her spare time.Close
Database & Reporting Associate
Maria Casey joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2019 as an Office Assistant. In 2022 Maria was promoted to Database & Reporting Associate.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Maria spent several years at Save the Children in Fairfield, CT where she wore many hats including Data Services, Philanthropy Coordinator and Gift and Acknowledgement Associate. Maria also spent over 12 years at The Nielson Company where she managed client data, was a liaison between Account Managers and clients and performed high priority customer service projects and process improvement plans.
Maria holds an Executive Assistant Certification from Gibbs College, an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Housatonic Community College and lives in Fairfield with her family.Close
Jenny W. Holaday
Jenny W. Holaday joined Fairfield County’s Community Foundation in 2017. Jenny's scope of responsibility increased with her promotion to Finance Manager which includes tracking and recording the Community Foundation's investment transactions, non-cash donations, monthly financial reporting, payroll, payroll-related transactions, and oversight of all banking transactions and reconciliations. As a power user of the Foundation's enterprise resource system, Jenny advises staff, increases efficiencies, and troubleshoots system problems. Jenny also has fund administration and certain donor relationship responsibilities.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Jenny spent four years providing accounting services for low-income housing sectors. This included services for both the largest multifamily investment firm in the industry, Alden Torch Financial, and the affordable housing properties themselves.
Jenny holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Western State Colorado University, with an Environmental Studies minor. She enjoys using her free time to work as Ambassador for On Location, executing VIP programs. She currently resides in Fairfield County.Close
Sharon Jones joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2008 as Program Administrative Assistant. In March 2018, she was named Community Impact Associate. Sharon manages Foundant, the foundation’s online grants management system for competitive grants. She also provides support to the Community Impact Program Managers.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Sharon served as Nursing Scheduler for Family Care Visiting Nurse and as Office Manager for Bindi Desserts, Inc.
Sharon lives in Norwalk with her son Cameron and enjoys visits with her daughter Jade and grandsons, Amare and Kyree. Sharon enjoys reading and writing and spending time with family.Close
Senior Associate for Donor Advised Fund & Scholarships Grants
Khalilah joined the Community Foundation in 2017. As Gift Acknowledgment Associate, Khalilah provides administrative support to the Philanthropy and Donor Engagement department with a special focus on our Fund for Women and Girls. She also manages the gift processing and acknowledgment function for all gifts.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Khalilah worked at Save the Children in Fairfield.
Khalilah holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Bridgeport. She enjoys music and spending time with her family.Close
Director, Data, Administration & Reporting
Alex Quesada joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2013 as Administrative Assistant, FWG and then moved to Associate, FWG managing the Fund’s competitive grant portfolio. In 2019 Alex was named Project Manager and most recently in 2022 has been promoted to Data, Administration & Reporting Director. In this role, she will oversee process improvements and operational efficiencies for Foundation wide activities, projects and processes. This includes process mapping, documentation of current processes, process improvements, and new process implementation.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Alex served as an Associate for the American Cancer Society, Inc.
Alex holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and an Associate’s degree from Norwalk Community College. She lives in Norwalk with her family.Close
Grants & Programs
Director, CT Urban Opportunity Collaborative
Cesar Aleman joined the Community Foundation in 2021, as Director of the CT Urban Opportunity Collaborative. In his role, Cesar facilitates and coordinates the team of community foundation chief executives and senior level staff from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and Fairfield County’s Community Foundation to develop collective strategies to dismantle structural racism and advance social and economic mobility. He aligns the strategic and programmatic efforts of the three foundations to create an actionable plan that builds on each organization’s individual strengths.
Cesar has previously organized for the Center for Leadership and Justice, where he developed racially-conscious leaders who act collectively on issues that intersect with race and poverty. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, he held several positions in non-profits at the local and national level working on civil rights issues including housing justice, health equity, and educational equity. He centers an approach to his work that is community-led and that builds power to achieve racial and social justice.
Cesar holds a BA in Communications Studies from Edgewood College. He lives in Elmwood, West Hartford with his partner and their blue-nose pit, Miles.Close
Manager, Center for Nonprofit Excellence
Rebecca Cordero joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in November 2019 as Sr. Associate, Field of Interest funds. In 2022, Rebecca was promoted to CNE Manager. In this role, Rebecca is responsible for creating and executing the programs of the Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence and for developing the annual goals and plans.
Before joining the Community Foundation, Rebecca served as an Account Manager at Total Administrative Service Corp (TASC). At TASC Rebecca managed corporate giving programs for both regional and national clients. She was also a certified change leader working to define and foster a transitional process for various projects and stakeholders. Rebecca has a strong sense of integrity, wanting her work to reflect community-minded values and beliefs.
Rebecca holds her Master of Museum Studies, Nonprofit Management from John Hopkins University and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of Connecticut.Close
Alexandra (Alli) Ganim joined Fairfield County’s Community Foundation in 2022 as a Program Associate. In this role, Alli is responsible for providing programmatic and administrative support to the Education, Workforce, Housing, Income, and Asset-Building teams.
Prior to working at the Foundation, Alli worked for Bridgeport Hospital - Yale New Haven Health where she was a Clinical Social Worker in the Primary Care Clinic. She fostered key collaboration, communication, and outreach as a member of the medical team to provide patient-centered, trauma-informed, high-quality, comprehensive care. Alli assisted in co-authoring a grant renewal that secured $10,000 in funding for FY 2022-2023. These dollars were utilized to purchase and provide necessary baby items and supplies to low-income clinic patients and families.
Alli’s community work experience began at County Council for Young Children in New Jersey as an intern, where she partnered with municipalities, anchor institutions, and NGOs to begin and sustain grassroots initiatives. Her next roles included internships at other local New Jersey non-profits such as the Housing & Community Development Network of NJ and the Affordable Housing Alliance. At AHA, she took on a new endeavor as a grant writer, where she solidified over $30,000 in funding as well as established an inter-agency resource database that encompassed 9 counties in total. Locally, Alli served as a Case Manager in Permanent Supportive Housing at Alpha Community Services YMCA in Bridgeport. She provided crucial services to clients with chronic experiences of homelessness paired with co-occurring diagnoses of substance use and mental health disorders. She still maintains her network of connections and volunteers at the Annual Walk to End Homelessness.
Alli received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work with a concentration in Global Community Practice from Monmouth University.Close
Director, Education & Workforce Development
Elizabeth (Liz) Hoagland joined the Foundation as Director, Education & Workforce Development on July 5th, 2022. Liz comes to us from Bronx Youth Center at The Door, where she was Managing Director. In that role, she oversaw all programming and operations at The Door’s satellite location in the South Bronx with young adults ages 16-24. She also served as part of the senior management team at The Door. Liz previously served as a Director at The Door where she oversaw all of career and education work in the South Bronx with young adults who were out of school and out of work.
Liz began her career as Assistant Director of College and Academic Services at The Door/University Settlement Society of New York and as Senior Manager of Education and Workforce Development at the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, where she oversaw the agency’s work with young adults.
Liz received her Master of Public Administration from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Bates College, and is a graduate of Columbia University's Developing Leaders Program. Liz has also served as an Adjunct Associate Professor at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and has served on the board of College Access Consortium of New York (CACNY). Liz resides in Bronx, NY with her family.Close
Sarah Omotunde joined Fairfield County’s Community Foundation in 2022 as a Program Associate. In this role, Sarah is responsible for providing programmatic and administrative support to the Fund for Women and Girls team.
Over the past few years, Sarah has worked as a Graduate Research Assistant and intern in Lowell, MA for the Center for Community Research and Engagement and The Lowell Community Health Center. Sarah led and facilitated Teen Block’s Violence Prevention Coalition, which included several youth-serving organizations in the Greater Lowell Community to improve youth services during the pandemic. She also conducted a Youth Needs Assessment Survey to evaluate youth needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in 100+ respondents. On the research side, she collaborated to create a webpage illustrating the benefits of focused deterrence in decreasing youth gang violence and created infographics and research briefs on various topics related to youth. She also analyzed pre-existing data from all youth-serving organizations under the Shannon Community Safety Initiative grant to evaluate changes and COVID-19 impact.
From 2015 – 2017, Sarah was an Ambassador for FCCF’s Thrive by 25 campaign where she assisted in the planning and creation of our large summit which engaged over 217 youth from Fairfield County. She supported the coordination of workshops that helped youth in applying for universities and job search readiness and she served on the Thrive Advisory Council. Sarah is passionate about mental health, education equity, youth wellbeing, and development as well as community improvement.
Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sacred Heart University and her master’s degree in community social psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.Close
Mary Grace Pagaduan
Director, The Fund for Women and Girls
Mary Grace Pagaduan joined the Foundation in 2023 as FWG Director. In this role, Mary Grace will execute FCCF's long-term strategic plan for the Fund for Women and Girls.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Mary Grace worked for Afya Foundation in Yonkers, NY where she spent the last 5 years as Director of Volunteer Programs. During her time there, she managed the organizations volunteer program; coordinating over 3,000 volunteers to sort, pack, and ship medical supplies to medically underserved areas in over 79 countries. Prior to her role at Afya, she spent over ten years working within the Community Health area focusing on Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention as well as Prenatal Care. This included several years at Planned Parenthood, March of Dimes, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Mary Grace received her bachelor’s degree in political science & French from SUNY Oswego and her MPH degree in international health from New York Medical College. She currently resides in Goldens Bridge, NY.Close
Director, Economic Opportunity
Julian Pierce joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2017. In 2022, he was named Director, Economic Opportunity. In this role, Julian focuses on ensuring that all Fairfield County households are economically secure. He leads the Foundation’s grant making and programmatic initiatives in affordable housing, income, and asset-building.
Julian’s previous work includes program evaluation and data analysis for nonprofits in the Greater Bridgeport and New Haven County areas. He also served as a Foreclosure Prevention and First-Time Home Buyer Counselor for Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust prior to joining the Community Foundation.
Julian holds a Master’s degree in Program Development from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Miami. He was born and raised in Stratford, where he currently resides.Close
Vice President, Grants & Programs
Lutonya Russell-Humes joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2021. In 2022, she was named VP, Grants & Programs. In this role, Lutonya is responsible for major community initiatives that impact critical needs in Fairfield County and ensures that these initiatives are aligned with the strategic goals, organizational objectives, and values of the Foundation.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Lutonya worked for The Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle where she served most recently as Executive Director. During her time there Lutonya provided quality programs that allowed young people and their families to access services that might not otherwise be available to them. Lutonya began her career at the Children's Village, a residential treatment facility for adolescent boys in Westchester County. She spent the next ten years working in the foster care systems of New York City and Bexar County, Texas. Hoping to impact families and children before they entered the system, she began her community-based work with the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (WestCOP) at the Ossining Community Action Program overseeing a nationally recognized pregnancy prevention program.
Lutonya received her undergraduate degree in sociology from Mississippi Valley State University, and holds a Masters of Public Administration from Pace University. She is currently an adjunct professor at Mercy College.Close
Philanthropy & Donor Engagement
Vice President, Philanthropy
Joseph Collin joined Fairfield County’s Community Foundation in September 2019 as Director, Development & Philanthropic Services. In 2022, Joe was promoted to VP, Philanthropy. In this role, Joe works with many of the Foundation’s fundholders and donors and leads the strategy of the Philanthropy Department.
Before joining the Community Foundation, Joe served as Director, Institutional Giving for Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Joe has a decade of fundraising experience with a background in grant writing, research, and relationship building. Earlier in his career, Joe served in various fundraising roles with the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York Academy of Medicine and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Joe holds his Masters of Music from University of Hartford and his Bachelor of Music from Catholic University of America. He also earned the designation of Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) from the American College of Financial Services and is a member of the Charitable Gift Planners of CT, and The International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy (AiP). Joe lives in Ridgefield with his family.Close
Senior Director, Major Gifts
Phillip Daniels joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2023. As Sr. Director, Major Gifts, Phillip is responsible for formulating and implementing the overarching fundraising strategy for the Foundation. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Phillip was with All Star Code where he was the Sr. Development Director overseeing a $3.0 million fundraising campaign through various strategies such as grant-writing, special events, and direct mail. Prior to this he held key positions at organizations like Brick Education Network, UNCF, United Way of Greater Union County, Black Health Matters, and Pioneer Electronics, contributing to their growth and success.
Phillip received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Brockport State University. Phillip resides in New Jersey and is a passionate traveler who enjoys exploring new destinations and diverse cultures.Close
Director, Community Philanthropy
Ryan Deal joined the Foundation in 2022 as Director of Community Philanthropy. In this role, Ryan will strategize and execute the overall plan to diversify the Foundation’s donor base.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, he worked for the City of Greensboro, NC where he spent the last four years as the Chief Creative Economy Officer. During his time there, he established a new municipal office for arts and culture focused on implementation of the Creative Greensboro Cultural Arts Plan and initiatives to drive equitable outcomes for communities historically marginalized by arts philanthropy. Prior to his role at the City of Greensboro, he spent ten years working in nonprofit leadership with cultural organizations in Charlotte, NC. This included several years as Vice President at the Arts & Science Council where he was responsible for a $7M annual grant-making and capacity building portfolio, along with time as the Director of Advancement at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.
Ryan received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music studies from University of North Carolina at Greensboro.Close
Director, Philanthropic Advisor
Sara DeRose joined the Community Foundation in 2022. As Director, Philanthropic Advisor, Sara works with our donors and fundholders to strengthen our community and expand our impact.
Before joining the Community Foundation, Sara began her career in the arts and culture sector of NYC, where she served as the Marketing and Communications Director for the Brooklyn Arts Council and as the Communications Manager for the Public Art Fund. Sara also worked as a consultant for several years during which time she had the opportunity to work with numerous nonprofit organizations including the National Council of Jewish Women, Choices in Childbirth, and Repair the World on projects ranging from strategic planning, communications planning, and fund development.
Most recently, Sara was the Development Officer at Person to Person focused on partnerships and donor engagement. Before that, she was the External Affairs Director for TMI Project where she headed up the fundraising and communications departments and oversaw the development of the organization’s new strategic plan, subsequent rebranding, website redesign, and new donor database and CRM implementation.
Sara holds a master’s degree in Public Policy & Non-Profit Management from The New School University and a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University. She is also a recent graduate of The Norwalk Leadership Institute, a professional development program administered by the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce. Sara resides in Fairfield with her family.Close
Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations
Rebecca Mandell joined the Community Foundation in 2018 as Manager of Development before taking on the role of Donor Engagement Officer, Partnerships & Learning. In 2023 she was promoted to Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Rebecca worked for Bridgeport-based Wholesome Wave, the national nonprofit working to make locally grown fruits and vegetables more affordable for the people who need it most. In her four-year tenure, Rebecca managed the Development Department’s institutional funder relationships, led individual giving activities and supervised development-related event functions.
Rebecca holds a BS from Indiana University in Public Affairs and her MPA from IU’s School of Public & Environmental Affairs. She has earned Certificates of Achievement in Annual Sustainability, Major Gift Development and Fund Development for Nonprofits from The Fundraising School at IU’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy as well as a Certified Nonprofit Professional credential from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.Close
Strategy, Learning & External Relations
Event & Marketing Manager
Carolina Arriaga joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2023. As Events & Marketing Manager, Carolina is responsible for managing and marketing Foundation events, developing and implementing the Foundation’s social media strategy. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Carolina worked for OME Concerts & Events, a start-up promotion company, where she led the launching of dynamic marketing campaigns, reaching an impressive audience of over 200,000 customers. Carolina joined the start-up in 2021 and helped grow their marketing and public relations from the ground up and played a pivotal role in the company’s rebranding plan. Carolina was also a Senior Account Executive at Martin Retail Group, where she managed the advertising across various media channels for their regional and local clients under the Cadillac account for General Motors.
Carolina received a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Western Connecticut State University. She currently resides in Danbury, CT and enjoys traveling and has a very active lifestyle between going on walks with her two dogs and training at the gym.Close
Krista Carnes joined Fairfield County’s Community Foundation in 2022 as Communications Director. In this role, Krista is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive integrated strategy for carrying out FCCF’s communications efforts, ensuring alignment with our strategic mission.
Over the past 20 years, Krista’s career has been spent largely in marketing, communications, and content strategy roles for various agencies and across verticals including influencer marketing, experiential and educational marketing. Most recently, she headed up growth and development for SophieConnect, an online course program based at Sacred Heart Greenwich, which serves the network of Sacred Heart schools across North America.
Her earliest passion was the publishing industry, starting her career in author publicity primarily focused on securing and managing speaking engagements for experts and thought leaders in the fields of business, parenting, and psychology.
Krista received her bachelor’s degree in English with a written communications concentration from Roanoke College and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of South Florida.Close
Dr. Tanya A. Hills
Director, Learning & Evaluation
Dr. Tanya A. Hills joined Fairfield County's Community Foundation in 2022. As Director, Learning & Evaluation, Dr. Hills is responsible for managing the learning and evaluation practices of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Dr. Hills began her career at Lawyers Without Borders, where she developed, implemented, monitored, and evaluated research, measurement, and evaluation plans for international rule of law programs and provided data-driven strategic direction to the efficacy and fidelity of programs, curricula and trainings.
She is an applied Research & Evaluation professional with fifteen years of expertise in leveraging research and evaluation methods to improve learning, strategic planning, and strategic decision-making. Dr. Hills is a published author; her research is focused on evaluation capacity building. In practice, Dr. Hills leverages research and evaluation to help mission-based organizations achieve measurable social change.
Dr. Hills received a Doctorate in Health Education from A.T. Still University, master’s degree in Public Policy & Law from Trinity College and bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Bard College.Close
Elaine V. Mintz
Vice President, Strategy & External Relations
Elaine joined the Community Foundation in 2011 to lead its Center for Nonprofit Excellence and has led FCCF’s operations since 2016. As VP of Strategy and External relations Elaine is responsible for the Foundation’s external relations, engagement, advocacy, and strategic learning and evaluation.
Before joining the Community Foundation, Elaine served as Director of the Greater Danbury Nonprofit Resource Center, leading the organization from its inception in 2005 to its merger with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence in 2011. At the state level, Elaine served as a research consultant with the Justice Planning Division of the Office of Policy & Management and as a staff member for the Connecticut General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee. She also taught political science courses at Norwalk Community College as an adjunct faculty member.
Elaine currently serves on the board of The CT Council of Philanthropy, was the Board Chair from 2020-2022, and is a member of their Policy Committee. In addition, she is co-chair of the Fairfield County’s Funders Network and served on the advisory board of the MPA program at Sacred Heart University and the Redding Board of Ethics.
Elaine holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut. She lives in Norwalk with her husband, Doug. She enjoys hiking, movies, travel, and cooking.Close
Chinedum (Chin) Nnodum
Director, Community Strategies
Chinedum (Chin) Nnodum joined the Foundation in 2023 as Director, Community Strategies. In this role, Chin will support the development of and implement FCCF’s community engagement strategies to build commitment and support for FCCF’s efforts to advance race equity in income, education, health, and housing across the foundation’s diverse stakeholders.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Chin worked for FaithActs for Education where he spent the last few years as their Community Organizer. During his time there he was responsible for leading organizing campaigns, developing members into leaders, and maintaining relationships with partner community organizations.
An alumnus of Cornell University, Ithaca College, Sacred Heart University and the University of Bridgeport, Chin’s experiences informed his perspective regarding systematic change and education equity. He is dedicated to improving the conditions for students throughout Connecticut and has worked in education in both the public and non-profit sector for the Bridgeport Board of Education, buildOn, and Students for Educational Justice. Outside of work, you can find Chin volunteering for local political campaigns and at community food pantries. He is also involved as an alumnus of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, a member of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP, and sits on the boards for PT Partners and Bridgeport Generation Now Votes. Chin resides in Bridgeport with his partner Shannon and their rescue miniature pinscher Yara, where you can often find him at a park or trail. He is a fan of live music, RPG video games, comedies, and Japanese anime/manga.Close