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Bernicestine McLeod Bailey

Bernicestine McLeod Bailey (Westport, TEAM Westport Secretary) is President and Founder of McLeod Associates, Inc., an information technology consulting firm. Prior to McLeod, she was a Systems Engineer with IBM. She is also Vice President for Operations of Aisha & Co. LLC, a family gift company whose signature product is Ishababies®, a line of multicultural plush dolls. In the volunteer arena, she is the Chair of the Board of The Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community in Bridgeport, CT.  She has served as a Director of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, as Director of the Westport Library, as Secretary of the REACH Prep Board, and Treasurer of the Mid-Fairfield County Dress for Success Board. She is the Immediate Past President of the Fairfield County (CT) Chapter of The Links Inc. and past president of the Fairfield/Westchester Chapter of the Independent Computer Consultants Association. Bernicestine is an alumna (Economics) and trustee emerita of Brown University.


Harold Bailey, Jr. (Westport, TEAM Westport Chair) is President of Aisha & Co. LLC, a family gift company. He was formerly CEO, Americas for Show Business Software, Ltd. Prior to his retirement as IBM's Vice President of Lotus Marketing Integration, he worked at IBM for 30 years in marketing, sales and services. He is a trustee emeritus of Brown University, his alma mater, from which he also received an honorary Ph.D. He is also a board member of the Westport Country Playhouse, and a founding member of the Stamford chapter of 100 Black Men. Bailey received the Anti-Defamation League's Distinguished Community Leadership award in 2005. He is also a trustee of the Tilton School (NH) from which he received  the George L. Plimpton Award for outstanding contribution to society. 

 Elaine Daignault

Elaine Daignault (Ex-officio, Director of Human Services) is the Director of Westport’s Department of Human Services.  She attended Westport Schools, graduated from Staples High School and received her B.S. at Colorado State University; M.A. in Counseling at Fairfield University and has a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Wisconsin. Elaine has worked in clinical non-profit agencies in Westport and Bridgeport specializing in substance abuse prevention, working with adolescents, people with disabilities, and domestic violence populations. A Westport resident since 1980, she is married with two children who attend Westport Public Schools.  Elaine is passionate about celebrating diversity and advocating for multicultural awareness through education, collaboration and community-building initiatives.


Stephen E. Daniels (Westport), a Westport resident since 1982, is co-owner of ERA Select Homes. He is a former executive with Trans World Airlines and Oxford Health Plans. An active community volunteer, he is a board member and past president of A Better Chance of Westport, past president of United Way of Westport/Weston and a member of Westport’s Human Services Commission. As co-chair of the commission’s Workforce/Seniors Housing Committee, he brought focus to the need for affordable housing in Westport. He is a participant in the Westport mentoring program and is an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh.


 Susan Ellis

Susan S. Ellis, Ed.D (Westport)  is a private consultant to non-profit organizations on a range of issues, including strategic planning and board development. During her career, she has served as Program Coordinator of Staff Development and Planning for Greenwich Public Schools (1979-1999) and worked with school systems, universities, and educational organizations throughout the United States and Canada.

Her recent Volunteer work includes: United Way of Greenwich; Greenwich Coalition on Diversity, YWCA Diversity Outreach and Education Committee, Town of Greenwich Affirmative Action Committee, Greenwich Board of Education, Chair of the Selectmen’s Nominations Advisory Committee, Greenwich Arts Council.

She is an alumna of Wellesley who received an Ed. D from Columbia University and an M.A. in Teaching from Harvard.


 Ramin Ganeshram

Ramin Ganeshram (Westport) is the Principal of TrendFuturist, which works with large and small companies  to provide demographically based, polycultural-focused strategic insights that inform content marketing as well as innovation. She has been a writer for many magazines, journals and newspapers as well. 

She has an M.S., Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; B.A., SUNY Stony Brook, Multi-disciplinary Studies: Political Science & English; and a Culinary Arts Diploma, Institute of Culinary Education, New York.



Judith A. Hamer, Ph.D., (Redding), a retired educator, lived in Westport for 37 years and raised three daughters there with her husband, Martin.  She has taught writing at the City College of New York and at Columbia University and management courses at New York University.  She has directed education and training programs at PaineWebber (now UBS) and at The Rockefeller Foundation.  Judith earned a BA from Cornell University, an MAT from Smith College, and a Ph.D in education from Columbia University. In 1993 Martin and Judith collaborated on an anthology, Centers of the Self: Short Stories by Black American Women from the Nineteenth Century to the Present, Hill and Wang, NY.



Stephane J. Kirven (Weston) is a faculty member at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the criminal justice program. She was formerly a faculty member at Norwalk Community College, where she chaired the Committee on Diversity for several years. Prior to academia, Stephane was an attorney in New York with experience in both criminal and civil litigation. She is a graduate of Tufts University (B.A.) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.). Stephane lives in Weston with her husband, daughter and twin boys.


 Karen Kleine

Karen Kleine (Ex-officio, Board of Education) has been a volunteer with different organizations in Westport to help groups share information and work together toward common goals. Her goal has been to bring things learned from one group to another to improve operations and reach more people.  She has been an elected Member of the Westport Board of Education beginning in 2013. She was previously employed in the commercial insurance sector. Karen has a BA in Psychology from Dickinson College and is married with 3 children. She has been a Westport resident since 1999.


 Catherine Lewis

Catherine Dunbar Lewis (Westport) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Ackerman Institute for the Family, in NYC.  There, she is Co-Director of the Foster Care and Adoption Project.  She is also a Therapist in Westport and New York, where she provides services to individuals, couples and families.  She was educated at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, the New York University School of Social Work and Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; California State University and Smith College. 



 Jim Marpe

Jim Marpe (Ex-officio, First Selectman) Westport First Selectman since November, 2013, has lived in Westport since 1989. He is currently an active member of the Westport Rotary Club, Greens Farms Congregational Church and Stamford Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors. Prior to his election, Jim was a member of the Westport Board of Education and the Boards of the Westport/Weston Family Y and Directors of Homes With Hope. Jim received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1968 and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1970.


 Maggie Mudd

Margaret F. (Maggie) Mudd, is married and the mother of two sons who were raised in Westport, where her family has lived since 1994.  She has been an active community volunteer. In addition to TEAM Westport she is a Trustee of the Westport Library. Her business career began in the Bureau of East-West Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce and includes 18 years and senior positions in international banking at Manufacturers Hanover Trust and Chemical Bank in New York. She served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund. and as Managing Director of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps. She is a graduate of Manhattanville College and of the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.



Catherine Onyemelukwe, CFRE, (Westport) graduated from Mount Holyoke College and began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria where she met her husband, married, and raised three children. She left teaching in 1977 to run her own company. She returned to the U.S. in 1986 to earn her MBA at Yale University. She and her husband moved to Westport in 1993.
She has worked for several national and local nonprofits as a professional fundraiser. She was president of the board of the Westport Library and the Unitarian-Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO). She was co-founder of Nigerwives, a thriving organization for foreign wives of Nigerians, and Friends of Nigeria, a country-of-service group affiliated with the National Peace Corps Association.
Her memoir Nigeria Revisited My Life and Loves Abroad was published in 2014.


 Maria D. Paoli

Maria D. Paoli (Westport). Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York City, Ms. Paoli has lived in Westport with her husband and son since 1993. She is the founder and former President of Vermont Pure Holding, Ltd., a bottled water company. Previously, Ms. Paoli practiced real estate law and developed major commercial real estate projects. Active in facilitating interfaith dialogue in Fairfield County, she is a member of Social Venture Network, promoting socially conscious enterprises, coaches the Westport Lego Robotics team and mentors students in the Westport public schools. Ms. Paoli got her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from New York Law School, and a M.S. in Real Estate Development from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning.


 Allison Patton

Rev. Alison J. Buttrick Patton (Westport) has been pastor of Saugatuck Congregational Church, United Church of Christ (UCC) since May of 2012. She grew up in New Hampshire and Connecticut, received her BA from Bates College and her Master of Divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary (one of the most diverse seminaries in the country). Upon graduation, she served as CTS' Director of Admissions and Recruitment, and later as Dean of Community Life, for 8 years, before returning to New England and local church ministry. Raised by parents who actively pursued social justice, Alison deepened her understanding of institutional racism and white privilege as a student and staff member at CTS. She took her first anti-racism training while living in Chicago. She now serves on the Racial Justice Ministries Board of the Connecticut Conference, UCC. She has been glad to exercise her facilitation skills in a number of community conversations here in Westport, where she also serves as the co-chair of the Interfaith Council and a member of the annual Dr. King Celebration planning team. Alison lives in Westport with her husband and two sons.


 Althea Seaborn

Althea E. Seaborn (Westport) has been Professor and Criminal Justice Program Coordinator at Norwalk Community College since 1998.  Prior to that she served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the United State's Attorney's Office, in Bridgeport CT. She has had experience as a Mediator as well.  Althea is a graduate of the University of California, School of Law; Cornell University, Graduate School of City and Regional Planning, and the University of Southern California.  


 Picture of Zone Tarrant

Zoe Tarrant (Westport) grew up in New Jersey and came to Westport by way of San Francisco in 1997. She and her husband, Tom, have two sons in the Westport Public Schools. Zoe received her A.B. in Economics and Communication from Stanford University, and her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University. Zoe maintains a therapy practice in Westport where she enjoys working with individuals, couples and families. In her off-work time, when she is not sitting sideline at a soccer field or a swim meet, she can be found working passionately toward her goal of increasing diversity in children's books and raising awareness about the benefits of talking about race with kids. Zoe’s commitment to community service has included: facilitating infertility and adoption support groups for Resolve, being a Licensed Foster Parent for the Connecticut Department of Children & Families, and serving on the Diversity Committee and Board of Trustees at The Montessori School in Wilton, CT.