Connecticut Community Foundation Welcomes Five to Board of Trustees

Reginald Beamon of Waterbury, Kathy Bower of Southbury, Valerie Friedman and Kathryn Kehoe of Washington, and Joyce Petteway of Waterbury have been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Community Foundation, which serves 21 towns in Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills.

Paula Van Ness, President and CEO of the Connecticut Community Foundation, said, “We are elated that such an experienced, energetic, and thoughtful group of local leaders will join our Trustees in guiding the strategic direction of the Foundation for the next several years. They represent many walks of life and no doubt will provide fresh perspectives and insights into creating thriving communities.”

Friedman and Kehoe’s involvement in the Foundation grew after their graduation from the Foundation’s Western Connecticut Leadership program. Begun in 2014 for proven leaders, the program fosters in-depth understanding of current Connecticut issues and community needs.

Reginald “Reggie” Beamon is a retired state representative who served Waterbury’s 72nd District for twenty years. During his tenure, he chaired the Connecticut Legislative Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and co-chaired the Governor’s Task Force on School Reform. Beamon also served on the Executive Committees of the Council of State Government and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

Currently, he is the executive director of Waterbury Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc., a job and life skills training agency. He chairs the Board of Trustees of the International Education Resource Center Foundation, which addresses under-representation of African Americans in study abroad programs.

Kathy Bower is the managing partner at the Southbury branch of Gager, Emerson, Rickart, Bower & Scalzo, LLP. She is also a Special Master in the United States District Court and Attorney Trial Referee Arbitrator and Fact Finder in Connecticut Superior Court. She currently serves on several boards including Region 15’s Perpetual Fund, Audubon Center at the Bent of the River, the Southbury Community Trust Fund, and the Connecticut Community Foundation’s Women’s Fund.

Valerie Friedman enjoyed a 20-year marketing career with a Fortune 500 company before becoming a certified financial planner, where she now incorporates investment and life planning to enable clients to achieve their personal goals.

Friedman chairs the board of Our Companions Animal Rescue and has served in board, committee, and other volunteer roles in many other organizations, including Connecticut Community Foundation’s Western Connecticut Leadership program, Institute of American Indian Studies, Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut, Funeral Consumer Alliance of Connecticut, Hemlock Society (now Compassion & Choices), and the Community Culinary School of Northwestern Connecticut.

She served 12 years on the Washington (Connecticut) Zoning Commission where she collaborated with community leaders on consolidating the three Region 12 elementary schools.

Kathryn Kehoe was an educator before pursuing a management career in advertising and marketing. After relocating to Washington, Connecticut, she developed her own business as an independent college counselor specializing in students with learning disabilities. Her inspiration came from years serving on the Board of Trustees at the Churchill School for Children with Learning Disabilities in New York City.

Kehoe was introduced to the Connecticut Community Foundation through its Western Connecticut Leadership program, where she served on the 2014 Inaugural Planning Team. She has since chaired and co-chaired the 2015 and 2016 programs, respectively.

Joyce Petteway, a retiree from the Office of State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, has served the community in numerous capacities over many years as a volunteer and elected official.

Currently, she serves as Education Chairperson of the Greater Waterbury Branch of the NAACP and on the board of Neighbor Housing Services of Waterbury. She’s also a member of Toastmasters International.

Her past service includes: President Pro Tempore of the Waterbury Board of Alderman; Vice-President of the Waterbury Board of Education; President of the Waterbury Chapter of the National Congress of Black Women; State President of the Sojourner Truth Organization; Member of the Grants Committee of the Connecticut Community Foundation; Delegate–at–Large to the 2012 Democratic National Convention; Founder of Waterbury Women’s Political Institute.

[Photos L to R: Reginald Beamon, Kathy Bower, Valerie Friedman, Kathryn Kehoe, Joyce Petteway]