Our Team

Wendy Vincent – Executive Director   Announcement

Wendy Vincent currently serves as the Executive Director of the Cultural Coalition and has a diverse background in entrepreneurship, business development, communications, marketing, fundraising, and non-profit leadership. She previously served as the eastern Connecticut Program Manager/Director for the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) where she managed and delivered WBDC’s programs and services throughout eastern Connecticut to entrepreneurs at all stages of business development. She is a past Marketing and Development Director for the Lighthouse Voc-Ed Center, a past President of the board of directors of the Friends of Gillette Castle State Park, a former board member of the East Haddam Historical Society and Museum, and a former journalist and social media marketing manager.

Prior to her early career in marketing and project management in the corporate sector, Wendy worked her way up from usher to Director of Audience Services at Lincoln Theater, operated by the Hartt School of Music. She is the author of three published books, founding editor of the East Haddam News, a writer/editor, and the owner of a publishing company as well as a New London based bookstore.

In addition to a B.A. in Communications from the University of Hartford where she minored in International Languages and Cultures, Wendy also has an M.A. in Liberal Studies from Albertus Magnus, where her final thesis was on the Trobairitz-12th and 13th century female troubadours from Occitania, France. She is completing an MPhil degree in the Humanities and Writing at Wesleyan University where her final thesis is in the form of a magazine of travel essays that focus on how travel experiences (food, art, music) shape and broaden cultural understanding.

Wendy’s passions include developing and supporting creative-based businesses, advocating for the arts, and connecting people to resources. She is an avid reader, gardener, an herbalist, and an art collector. Wendy enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, and listening to hard rock while driving her Jeep Wrangler.


Deb Mathiasen – Assistant Director

Since joining the Cultural Coalition as Assistant Director in 2016, Deb has managed general operations and administration of the Coalition’s programs, events, and activities. She participates as a member of the management team to formulate, implement, and track outcomes of programs and services in support of the organization’s mission and the Board’s strategic plan. As partner liaison and stakeholder contact, Deb has strengthened the Cultural Coalition’s role in the arts, culture and creative community and across the region.

Following an International Relations B.A. degree from Mount Holyoke College, Deb began her career at a Connecticut marketing research firm overseeing survey design and data collection. She moved into management and leadership positions with the growing company before leaving to become a project management and marketing consultant working with small nonprofit organizations and municipal departments.

Deb has been an economic development, tourism, and small business advocate for more than twenty-five years, serving on the Board of the Central Regional Tourism District and the East Haddam Economic Development Commission. Born and raised in northwestern Connecticut, she has lived in the southeastern region of the state since 1995.


Kia A. Baird – Outreach & Community Impact Coordinator  

Kia Baird is a Norwich, CT native with a life mission of connecting people with opportunities.

Ms. Baird is Past President of the New London County Section of the National Council of Negro Women, an organization founded in 1935 by Mary Mcleod Bethune to work collectively for women’s rights and the rights of young people.  Kia is a former Ambassador for the Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals and served the Chamber as a member of its Board of Trustees.   In 2013 Kia Baird received the Young Professionals Community Service Award.  In 2015, she was honored with her peers as one the region’s 40 Under Forty and in the following years Kia was privileged to become one the SECT Professional Women of the Year and 100 Women of Color (CT, MA, RI).

Kia is on the board of directors and past president of OutCT, a 501c3 organization that works to build a community through educational and social programming that promotes acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community.  Kia is also the Co-Chair of the Southeastern CT Re-entry Council, serving individuals that are returning to the community after incarceration. She is also on the Diversity Board for the Norwich Bulletin and has been featured several times as a guest columnist.

Kia Baird is a classically trained soprano.  She studied the business of music at the Historically Black College- Winston Salem State University (UNC) located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Kia studied both sacred and classical music and concentrated in jazz under the tutelage of D’Walla Simmons Burke, Richard Heard and Dr. David Legette.  Among other memorable performances, Kia was the soprano in the Opera Barefoot, narrated by the Late Dr. Maya Angelou and is currently the featured Soloist for RPM Voices of Rhode Island.  Kia is a former Board of Directors member of the Norwich Arts Center, where she created Miss Lottie’s Café, A jazz- theater series, named for art and community activist, Lottie B Scott in historic Norwich, CT and is the Founder of Girls in Jazz.

Kia’s dream to connect people with passion and creativity to opportunities that develop exceptional business acumen, drive economic development allows her to help strengthen the community as a whole.


Jessica Morozowich – Funding Booster Program Manager 

Message regarding program transition – June 4, 2024

After working in arts and culture in Connecticut’s Northwest corner for almost a decade, Jessica Morozowich and her family relocated to Colchester, CT where she began a business as a contract grant writer and consultant for arts-based organizations and artists alike. In 2019, in partnership with the Cultural Coalition, the Funding Booster Program was born to help “teach people to fish” rather than “fishing for them.” Over the next five years, the program grew and has helped organizations and artists at all levels increase their funding, knowledge, and ability to contribute to the creative fabric of the region and the state.  Due to a relocation outside of Connecticut, in June 2024 it was announced that the Cultural Coalition’s signature program will continue, just with a transition to a new team member, Dia Baxter.


Dia Baxter – Funding Booster Program Coordinator (beginning June 2024)

Dia has extensive experience in both the education and nonprofit sectors, and she is committed to helping others achieve their goals, both personally and professionally. Her own professional journey includes writing grants both in her capacity as a college administrator and as a contracted grant writer, in addition to spearheading initiatives for her own nonprofit organizations.

Dia has had the privilege of working with students from over 100 countries, and she has taught college-level courses in Asia, Europe, and South America. She has also taught Communications and English Composition across the U.S., including at Old Dominion University, Seattle Central College, Brescia University, and Susquehanna University. Dia has also overseen two of her own nonprofits, a school for students with special needs as well as an art program that has given high students opportunities to work on murals and beautification projects in their area during the pandemic and after.

She currently serves on the board of CT Lyric Opera, PFLAG-Hartford, and OutCT, and she is involved with Out Film CT’s yearly film festival, further cementing her dedication to fostering inclusivity, cultural enrichment, and diverse representation within the arts. She is also involved with the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association in Hartford.

Dia, alongside her son Pen, who is a student at Trinity College and shares her passion for the arts, proudly calls Connecticut their home. Her Master’s degree is in Adult Education and Training as well as TESOL, and she has completed one year of a doctoral program at Penn State University.


Sarbani Hazra worked as the Norwich Arts & Culture Coordinator from Dec. 2021 to May 2024.
For Norwich ARPA or other questions, please contact Wendy Vincent, w.vincent@culturesect.org.

Northeast Region Coordinator – Job posting expected in 2024
Expanding upon the work of Charlene Haukom, the first Northeast Region (NER) Coordinator who started with us in October 2021, the Cultural Coalition will be hiring a new Coordinator to help us connect with artists, arts & cultural businesses, and community organizations in twenty-one northeastern CT towns. The Northeast Region Coordinator will serve as the liaison to the region and help extend the Cultural Coalition’s programs and services to the creative community.