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May 2019 Newsletter

Springing Forward

Spring has been a quickly evolving period of growth for Connecticut CASA Association.  On April 1, we welcomed Gary Brochu as the new Executive Director of CASA of Northern Connecticut.  Gary has established a CASA office in Berlin, CT.  He is preparing to serve courts in the Greater Hartford area.  Josiah Brown came aboard as Executive Director of CASA of Southern Connecticut on May 1.  Josiah has since established a CASA office in New Haven, CT.  He is preparing to serve Courts in New Haven and Middlesex counties.

We also appointed 5 new leaders to the Connecticut CASA Association Board of Directors.  We are honored and excited to welcome Jamie Bellenoit of West Hartford, Executive Director of the Community Child Guidance Clinic of Manchester; David Bayne of Darien, a Partner with Akerman LLP in New York City; Sheryl Culotta of Guilford, Associate Provost at Wesleyan University; Erin Cornell of Canton, Associate Director of the Help Me Grow National Center; and Emily Rodrigues of Watertown, Public Relations Manager at United Technologies Corporation, to the Connecticut CASA Association leadership team. 

We’ve been working in partnership with our dedicated colleagues at the National CASA Association to on-board all of our new leaders and finalize the infrastructure for new programs.  We’re continuing to recruit leaders for both the State Association Board of Directors, and the new program Boards of Directors.  Please let us know if you have an interest in Board service as we continue to build CASA’s network in Connecticut.
Introducing Gary Brochu: Executive Director, CASA of Northern Connecticut

Gary Brochu was most recently a partner at the law firm of Shipman & Goodwin, LLP, for twelve, specializing in School Law representing boards of education and school districts throughout the state. Additionally, Gary served as a member of the Berlin Board of Education for 19 years, serving as its President for 17 of those years. Gary is a member of the Board of Directors of Coram Deo Recovery, a New Britain based nonprofit that provides sober housing and services for women recovering from addiction and abuse.
In addition to his board service Gary has lectured and written on governance issues and regularly delivers presentations and workshops on this topic locally and nationally. Gary has two daughters, Mallory, an elementary school teacher, and Lindsey, a college student and soccer player. Gary has a B.A., M.B.A. and J.D., all from the University of Connecticut, and “bleeds blue".
Senator Blumenthal recognizes the achievements of CASA of SW Connecticut and its 2019 Honorees.
Volunteer Updates
We are grateful for the continuous inquiries we receive from prospective CASA volunteers.  Inquiries have picked up this Spring, which is an exciting indicator for our growing programs!  We are working diligently to prepare programs to begin recruiting and training new volunteers this Summer, with the goal of hosting a CASA volunteer training course this Fall.  If you have reached out to the State Association with an interest in volunteering, you will be contacted by the appropriate program for your region later this Summer to complete an official application and begin the screening process.

CASA volunteers must complete our 30 hour pre-service training program, along with 12 hours of continuing education annually after starting service.  The monthly time commitment for volunteers ranges from 5-10 hours a month once you’re assigned to a case.  Please review the FAQs on our website for more details on the role of a CASA volunteer.  If you are interested in volunteering, please email
Congratulations to CASA of SW Connecticut and its 2019 Honorees

CASA of SW Connecticut held its Sixth Annual Love Luncheon on May 7, 2019 at Woodway Country Club in Darien.  With over 330 supporters in attendance, the Luncheon raised over $245,000 to help provide Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers for abused or neglected children in SW Connecticut. 

Guest Speaker was James Comey, author of “A Higher Loyalty” and a former Connecticut foster parent. Patricia Russo served as Master of Ceremonies.  This years Honorees were: Nancy Rebold, Distinguished Founders Award; Anne and Jon Liebergall, Outstanding Service Award; and Jody Truwit, Outstanding Volunteer Award.  Senator Richard Blumenthal contributed a thoughtful video tribute in recognition of the program and it's honorees to conclude the presentations.

Congratulations to all of this year's honorees; and to our colleagues at CASA of SW Connecticut on the success of their inspiring fundraiser for CASA programming in Fairfield County.
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