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Tuesday, March 26 News

Community Buzz: Waveny elects new board members; LiveGirl hosts Kindness Summit

Waveny elects new board members

Five new members have been elected to Waveny LifeCare Network’s board of directors: Barb Achenbaum, Richard Croarkin, Peter Hasapis, Leo Karl III, and Jill Sautkulis, according to a news release.

Tom Ferguson will continue in his role as board chairman with Kathleen Corbet elected vice chairman, Rich Bierman as secretary, and Rich Townsend as treasurer for the five-star nonprofit eldercare organization with their headquarters in New Canaan.

Achenbaum is the executive director for Staying Put in New Canaan, a volunteer-supported nonprofit organization dedicated to helping seniors live safely in their homes as they age. She also serves on the town’s Telehealth 2.0 Commission, the board of New Canaan Community Foundation, and is chair of the Transportation Task Force.

Croarkin recently served as CFO of Alcon, Inc., an international ophthalmic product company. Croarkin also serves as Audit Committee chairman and member for Clearside Biomedical and Aerie Pharmaceuticals respectfully, and as a board director for WaveLight AG.

Hasapis, of New Canaan Medical Practice, was raised in New Canaan and received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. He completed his internship and residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital, during which time he also rotated through Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The Hospital for Special Surgery. He has been board certified since 2001 as a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and has been named to Castle Connelly’s Top Doctors list since 2013.

Also raised in New Canaan, Karl is president of The Karl Chevrolet Company, a third generation family business in New Canaan. With vast board experience, he is currently a board member and past board chair for the New Canaan Community Foundation, and a member and past president of the Rotary Club of New Canaan. He has also served as a member, executive officer, and past president of the New York Chevrolet Dealer Association.

Sautkulis is the director of operations for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church where she oversees staff, finances and facilities management. She has been a parishioner at St. Mark’s since 1996, and served in a variety of volunteer and leadership roles before joining the church’s staff in 2017. She previously had a 12-year career in recruiting and staffing for the pharmaceutical industry.

“We are extraordinarily blessed to have such distinguished and accomplished individuals to serve on the board of directors for Waveny. I believe that it directly reflects the commitment that our organization has to excellence,” said Russ Barksdale, Waveny’s president and CEO.

LiveGirl hosts Kindness Summit

On Dec. 7, girls from across Fairfield County gathered at the Toquet Teen Center to spread kindness, according to a news release.

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New Canaan-based LiveGirl hosted a “Live Kind” middle school leadership summit featuring Ashley Gaudiano, a small business owner (Mission To Do Good), licensed attorney, and Trumbull Town Council representative.

“We can’t give kindness to the world, without first giving kindness to ourselves — to our hearts, minds and bodies,” Gaudiano said. She also discussed how people can come together to make positive change in the local communities. Afterward, the girls completed service projects for Kids Helping Kids and the ASPCA.

Sheri West, founder and CEO of LiveGirl said, “Kindness is one of our leadership pillars. We need next generation leaders who are inclusive and focused on spreading kindness to make the world a better place.”

LiveGirl is a nonprofit organization that provides year-round leadership development and mentoring for girls in grades 5-12. To learn more, visit www.goLiveGirl.org or emailinfo@goLiveGirl.org.

Real estate agents help benefit Family Equality Council

Two agents from William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty’s New Canaan brokerage recently sponsored a production of A.R. Gurney’s play “Love Letters,” which benefited the Family Equality Council’s Ric Swezey Memorial Library.

Rita Kirby and Bonnie Sztam served on the planning committee for the sold out production, which was performed at Feinstein's/54 Below in New York City on Dec. 9.

Will Roland of Broadway’s “Be More Chill” headed a cast of four for the production, which was directed by Tony Award-winner Pearl Berman.

Stan Ponte, of Sotheby’s International Realty’s Manhattan brokerage, also served on the committee and was an actor in the play, which tells the tale of missed opportunities and a special bond between friends. The show’s timeline takes place through five decades and multiple locations, and features actors reading aloud love letters to one another.

The Family Equality Council works to support LGBTQ families through their education programs and legal incentives. Money raised from ticket sales went to Ric Swezey Memorial Fund Library, which was established in 2017 by the Family Equality Council to tell the stories of LGBTQ families and their struggle for equality.

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