Dr. Meg Domino, Executive Director, New Canaan CARES
Dr. Domino is a Certified Health Education Specialist with a PhD in Public Health and has extensive experience with youth, parent, and community health planning and programming. She speaks on a myriad of health topics locally and nationally, providing training workshops to parents, faculty and community leaders. Ms. Domino leads a rural health care delivery unit in sub-Saharan East Africa, targeting maternal and child health, water sanitation, HIV/STD prevention, and leadership training. She was Community Health Director for UNITE the World with Africa, a Humanitarian outreach organization based in the USA.
Previous to joining CARES, Ms. Domino was founder and president of Health Wave Publishing Company. She co-authored the nationally accredited interactive preK-12 curriculum, still widely used today in schools throughout the country. Ms. Domino’s research on youth development has been published in the Journal of School Health, nationally and internationally. Her award-winning health promotion programs include the Leadership Challenge©, Take the LEAD©, Mentoring Through Drama©, KidPower©, Community Service Ambassadors©, and Elder Buddies©.
Ms. Melika Forbes, JD, School Law Practice, Shipman & Goodwin L
Melika represents public school districts and independent schools in all areas of school law. Prior to practicing law, Melika worked as a public school teacher in the New York City Department of Education for six years. In particular, Melika served as a Teach for America corps member at an under-resourced school in the South Bronx, where she taught 6th and 7th grade Math, before serving as the Director of College Placement at the Bronx Lab School. Malika’s experience also includes working with education-related national organizations such as Let’s Get Ready, an organization that provides free SAT preparation to low income students and serving as a member of the Screening and Selection Committee for Math for America. While in law school, Melika served as a student attorney with the Child and Family Advocacy Clinic and completed an internship at the Vera Institute of Justice, where her research spawned the formation of Be More, a non-profit organization devoted to reducing implicit bias. Additionally, Melika interned at the Truancy Bureau of the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office. Melika earned her B.A. from Syracuse University and her J.D. from the Washington University-St. Louis School of Law.
Ms. Laura Magnotta, Associate Director of Development, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club
Ms. Magnotta has experience within the youth development field for the last seventeen years. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in Women Studies. Post-degree she has worked for a variety of organizations in the non-profit sector within the greater Bridgeport area. Most recently her work experience includes Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, serving as Program Director of the Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse followed by her appointment as Associate Director of Development. Within Fairfield County, she has been a part of many leadership programs including Leadership Greater Bridgeport and Leadership Development Roundtable. She also sits on the founding Board of Directors for the young professionals initiative, Thrive Bridgeport, is the Advisory Board Chair of Kappa Alpha Theta's Eta Xi Chapter at Quinnipiac University, and Curriculum Group Chair for USAU Girls' Ultimate Movement national program. In 2016, she was awarded the University of Phoenix - Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Emerging Leader Scholarship and is pursuing her Master of Management degree.
Dr. Jeanne Peloso, Graduate Childhood Education Program Coordinator and Asst. Professor, Lehman College
Dr. Peloso has a Ph.D. in developmental and educational psychology and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in child development and family, school and community. She joined Lehman in 2005 because of her desire to improve urban schools. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. As a developmental psychologist, Dr. Peloso’s scholarship concentrates on nurturing the development of human beings cognitively, affectively, socially and spiritually. Her work focuses on how the education system can foster the full development of each human being. Specifically, she works to establish pedagogical methods that enhance cognitive development by nurturing emotional and social development. She earned a B.A. in psychology from Georgetown University and a M.Ed.in curriculum and instruction, a M.A. in pastoral ministry, and a Ph.D. in developmental and educational psychology from Boston College. She has also written and published several children’s books.
Mr. Brian West, President and Chief Financial Officer, Oscar
Mr. West is a global business executive with expertise in finance and operations in the healthcare, media and entertainment industries. He currently serves as President and Chief Financial Officer of Oscar, a health insurance provider that is revolutionizing the industry through technology, data and design. Prior to his current role, Mr. West served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Nielsen, an $18 billion global media data & analytics public company (NYSE: NLSN) where he was responsible for 30,000 employees in over 100 countries. Before joining Nielsen in 2007, Mr. West spent 16 years as a finance executive at General Electric Co. Mr. West is currently on the advisory board and former director and treasurer of Future 5, a nonprofit organization supporting underprivileged high school students in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
Ms. Sheri West, Founder, President & Executive Director, LiveGirl
Ms. West has sixteen years of executive finance and mentoring experience. Her education includes a BA Finance and Masters of Human Resources and Labor Relations from Michigan State University. Ms. West spent fifteen years as a finance executive at General Electric Co., a $117 billion global company (NYSE: GE) where she was actively involved in the GE Women’s Network as an executive mentor. Three years ago, she founded LiveGirl to “pay it forward” and mentor the next generation of female leaders. LiveGirl now provides year-round leadership development and mentoring to over 200 girls in Fairfield County, Ct. Ms. West also serves as the Vice Chairman for the New Canaan Public Schools Board of Education. She is happily married with three children (ages 16, 13, and 9) and lives in New Canaan, Ct.