Get Inspired! July 18th Leadership Cultural Summit

Rising Tide Series- Cultural Summit
a one-evening, 3-part board development event
Monday, July 18th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Groton Public Library 
52 Newtown Road, Groton

Are you a young leader interested in learning more about the professional benefits of serving on a nonprofit board?  Do you currently serve on a board and want to ensure that your arts, culture, or heritage organization continues to thrive and meet the needs of the next generation?  

Connect, Collaborate, Communicate with young leaders in this sector, meet representatives from local organizations to find out about board opportunities, and hear from experienced leaders about best practices to ensure that the region’s diverse voices are represented. Be inspired!  RSVP Here
Come for all (or part) of this three part program including:
1. Panel I – 5:00-5:45 pm – Young Leaders Panel
Speakers will be: (see bios below)
Chris Soto, Higher Edge
Kia Baird, Kia B Music
Keith Turner, McCue Mortgage Company

2. Match-up – 5:45-6:15 pm – Meet and Greet “speed-dating” with Coalition Partner Organizations and Young Leaders.  Tables available for nonprofit organizations (sign up in advance to host a table).
Talk with organizations including:  Connecticut Storytelling Center, Reliance House, Inc., Interdistrict School for Arts & Communications (ISAAC), Mystic & Noank Library

3. Panel II – 6:15-7:00 pm – Organization Best Practices Panel
Speakers will be: (see bios below):
Lisa McGinley, Co-Chair, Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition
Robert Mills, President, Norwich Community Development Corporation
Gary Lakowsky, Chairman, Smith-Harris House Commission
Capt. Andrea Marcille (Ret.), President, Coast Guard Alumni Association



Panel I

Kia Baird is the founder of Kia B Music, an artist development company that provides artists the tools to succeed, thrive and become self-sufficient.  She hails from Southeastern CT, graduated from Winston Salem State University, and has an extensive performance resume including jazz, classical, and sacred music. Baird was a Board Member of Norwich Arts Center, and currently serves as Vice President of OutCT, President Elect National Council of Negro Women, and on the Board of Trustees of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT.  She has recently joined the board of the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition.

Chris Soto received a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, then following five years of service, left to pursue opportunities in the Educational field, returning to the Academy as the Assistant Director of Diversity.  Upon completion of a Master’s degree at Brown University, Soto again returned to New London to launch Higher Edge in 2011.  Interning at College Visions in Providence provided the valuable experience to start this community-based organization that helps low-income and first generation students graduate from college.  Soto served on the Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association and was Vice-Chair.  He  currently serves on the State’s Latino & Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, Three Rivers College Foundation Board, and is a board member of the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition.

Keith Turner is a Mortgage Banker with McCue Mortgage who enjoys living and working in New London.  He is currently a board member of the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition and New London Main Street.  Turner grew up in Niantic, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Civil/Structural Engineering, then received a Masters in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech.  After practicing as an engineer for several years, he moved back to the region to join the family business, which he has expanded since taking the helm after his father passing in 2011.  

Panel II

Gary Lakowsky has been an active member of East Lyme boards for many years, including two terms as President Niantic Lions Club, twice as Grand Knight for the local Knights of Columbus, and Town Chair for the International Special Olympics Committee.  He served on the East Lyme Board of Selectmen from 1995-1997. Lakowsky is currently the Chairman of the Smith-Harris Commission, charged with safeguarding the heritage of the Smith-Harris House of the Town of East Lyme by preserving and restoring this historical site as a local history museum.

Captain Andrea Marcille, USCG (retired), graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy and retired in 2014 after serving 25 years. She is currently the President of the Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association, a not for profit organization whose mission is to support the alumni and the margin of excellence needs of the Academy. She was on the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2009-2012, and is the Board Secretary on the James A. Greenleaf Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc. which provides scholarships to students attending St. Bernard High School as well as graduating seniors from local high schools.

Lisa McGinley has been on, around and working for boards of directors since starting her career as a consultant on policy making and boardsmanship for the National School Boards Association.  As administrative director for the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, she staffed the board of directors, and in a 21-year journalism career she guided reporters on how to cover boards in a way that genuinely informed the public.   She recently retired as deputy managing editor at The Day newspaper and and now substitutes on the editorial page.

Bob Mills has served on boards and commissions in Connecticut since 1985, including the Clinton School Building Committee, Association of Energy Engineers, Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC), The Enterprise Center- Yale, Governor’s Industry Cluster Initiative, New London Main Street, and many more.  He currently serves on several boards, commissions and committees for economic development, tourism, and commercial real estate.  Mills was co-chairman of the transition committee that led up to the founding of the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition, where he has been treasurer since 2014.

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