Connecticut Council for Philanthropy Welcomes Three New Board Members, Thanks Three Outgoing Members

Friday, June 7, 2024

HARTFORD, CT— The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy is pleased to announce the appointment of three leaders to its board of directors. The 55-year- old organization is delighted to welcome Mendi Blue-Paca, President and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Katherine Gehrmann, Associate Director of Lone Pine Foundation, Inc., and Kimberley Russo, Executive Director of The Fund for Greater Hartford, to support and guide the organization’s work.

Each new director brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to Connecticut’s philanthropic sector. Mendi Blue-Paca, Katherine Gehrmann, and Kimberly Russo have all demonstrated outstanding dedication and leadership in their respective fields, and their expertise will be invaluable as the Council continues to drive its mission forward. Their passion for philanthropy will undoubtedly enhance the organization's efforts to organize, inspire, and equip the philanthropic community to lead together for sustained impact and social change within Connecticut.

Mendi Blue-Paca, President and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, where she leads the $260 million regional funder, capacity builder, and placemaker in partnering with the community, including nonprofits, the business sector, elected and administrative officials, external constituent groups, and other grantmakers, to ensure that every county resident has an equitable opportunity to thrive. Mendi possesses a strong passion for entrepreneurship, maternal and reproductive health, and mental health awareness.

Katherine Gehrmann, Associate Director of Lone Pine Foundation, Inc., a corporate foundation supporting organizations that fight poverty through education while cultivating a spirit of philanthropy at Lone Pine Capital LLC. Gehrmann works closely to evaluate, enhance, and implement the Foundation’s mission. She shared, “As a lifelong resident of Connecticut and a graduate of our higher education system, I am deeply committed to advancing equity both within Connecticut and beyond, with a specific focus on education. I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to collaborate with exceptional leaders who share the Council’s mission of promoting and supporting effective philanthropy through collaboration and continuous learning.”


Kimberley Russo, Executive Director of The Fund for Greater Hartford, a private, independent foundation, believes in the power of stakeholders working together to ensure children in the region are academically and socially proficient. Kim has served as the Executive Director since 2015. Russo shared, “I am honored to join the board of the CT Council for Philanthropy. After almost twenty years in CT philanthropy, I am delighted to lend my experience to help shape the future of the organization. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues as we continue to evolve and support the field.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Mendi, Katherine, and Kim to the board,” said the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy Board Chair Tiffany Donelson, President and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation. “Philanthropy plays an important role in supporting those pursuing structural and systemic changes to ensure our state is one where everyone can live their healthiest lives. Mendi, Katherine, and Kim bring great knowledge and expertise that will help to move the field forward to benefit all of our communities.”

In addition to welcoming new board members, the Council thanks and acknowledges three of its members who are transitioning from the board after 6 years of service: Elaine Mintz, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation; Lauren Patterson, New Canaan Community Foundation; and Diane Sierpina, Tow Foundation. Karla Fortunato, President of the Council, shared, “I am so grateful to Elaine, Lauren, and Diane for their engagement and guidance as the Council adopted a new strategic plan, rolled out new initiatives, and navigated through the pandemic. Their insight and leadership were crucial to the organization’s success.”


About the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy is a community of funders working to support more just and thriving communities. It organizes, inspires, and equips funders to learn, collaborate, and lead together for greater impact and social change in Connecticut and beyond. CCP's members are foundations, business and corporate giving programs, bank trusts, donor-advised funds, individual philanthropists, and those serving the philanthropic sector. CCP members annually grant more than $1.3 billion from assets of more than $9.5 billion. Learn more at


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