Paula Van Ness
Paula Van Ness has served as President and CEO of Connecticut Community Foundation since February 2012, bringing four decades of nonprofit leadership experience. She has held CEO positions at Starlight Children’s Foundation, Make-A-Wish America and National Alliance to End Homelessness. Paula was the founding president of the National AIDS Fund (now AIDS United).
She has served on the governing boards and as an officer of Independent Sector and KaBOOM! She is the past national president of Gift of Adoption Fund.
Paula earned a bachelor’s degree in child development at the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in organizational development from the University of San Francisco. She lives in Middlebury.
Favorite Experience in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills
I love live musical performances—whether it’s music performed by Connecticut Choral Society, the Waterbury Chorale or the Waterbury Symphony or one of the wonderful outdoor concerts in our area during the summer—I jump at the opportunity to be in the audience. Classics, contemporary jazz, or new music—so many great artists perform in our area and nearby; music makes life magical and joyful.
Ask Paula about
Her favorite sax players including a rising star from Prospect, Connecticut (Vincent Ingala), what it’s like to be in the best book group ever, the amazing Stone Soup Group she belongs to, and why community foundations are the sweetest spot in all of philanthropy.