Leadership Eastern CT Gathers to Celebrate Class of 2021 Graduation
For over 30 years, Leadership Eastern CT has prepared future community leaders to assume positions of responsibility and take on challenges in the region. With the world upended in March 2020, the adaptable, determined, and creative rising professionals in the Class of 2021 demonstrated their ability carry on and support others.
The class celebrated graduation on August 18 at The Spa at Norwich Inn, featuring keynote speaker Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank and the Chamber’s 2020 Citizen of the Year.
In his remarks, Rauh encapsulated the leadership lessons of 2020: coming out of challenges stronger, supporting your team, and using influence to make positive change. Calling it the toughest 17 months of his professional life, Rauh came away knowing, “You have a responsibility when you have a position of leadership to do everything that you can to make the lives of those around you better.”
The Class of 2021 reimagined Leadership sessions for the incoming class, arranging interesting and surprisingly intimate conversations with Eastern CT executives and officials who were leading the community through unprecedented times.
Navigating COVID in the midst of their community service project for Habitat for Humanity, the class of 31 from around the region persevered. In shifts of just a few people at a time to limit exposure, the team sawed, hammered, and painted a new handicapped accessible ramp for Habitat’s New London offices. Fundraising efforts exceeded project costs, resulting in a $5,000 donation to the charity.
Leadership graduates forge a lasting network in the program and show a strong commitment to service, often volunteering on nonprofit boards. “The lessons of 2020 emphasized our reliance on community and the value of developing leaders to face the region’s and nation’s challenges. The Chamber congratulates the Class of 2021 and anticipates great contributions from this class to our community,” said Chamber President and CEO Tony Sheridan.
- Jeremy Barstrom, General Dynamics Electric Boat
- Emma Bayer, Mystic Seaport Museum
- Karen Butterworth, L&M
- Joshua Charles, Foxwoods Resort Casino
- David Cochran, Mystic Aquarium
- Mark Collinge, Pfizer
- Tricia Cunningham, Always Home
- Nate Fague, Mystic Aquarium
- Ivania Garcia, General Dynamic Electric Boat
- Diana Goode, CT Council on Problem Gambling
- Kayla Godin, Charter Oak Federal Credit Union
- Stacy Herr, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT
- Daniel Jahne, Fuss & O’Neill, Inc.
- Yashica Kearse, Foxwoods Resort Casino
- Teresa Jackman, Eversource Energy
- Alexis Kahn, Chelsea Groton Bank
- Lauren La Chance, ConnectiCare
- YukShan Li, Town of Windham
- Margaret Milnes, Mystic Seaport Museum
- Brad Oatley, Goldblatt Bokoff, LLC
- Elizabeth Pasqualini, Thames River Innovation Place
- Shanna Reels, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
- Ann-Marie Michonski-Booth, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital
- Rebecca Moore, UCFS Healthcare
- Elizabeth Owen, Chelsea Groton Bank
- Heather-Renae Paul, Reliance Health Inc.
- Dave Rodes, Dominion Energy
- Dean Rowe, Dominion Energy
- Grace Vandal, Pfizer, Inc.
- Mary-Jane Zocco, UCFS Healthcare
- Denise Tift, The Arc Eastern CT
- Lisa Wilson, Dominion Energy
View photos from the Class of 2021 Graduation on Facebook.