New Canaan Community Foundation Names New Board Chair, Members

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


NEW CANAAN, CT -- The New Canaan Community Foundation (NCCF) announces changes to their Board of Directors, which took effect July 1, the start of the Foundation's fiscal year.

The Foundation has named Laura Dobbin as the Foundation's new Board Chair. Laura has served on the Foundation's Board since 2018. A graduate of Dartmouth College, she worked in New York City for 12 years as a Manager at Anderson Consulting (Accenture) and Vice President at Lehman Brothers in Derivative Products. Laura and her husband, Eric, moved to New Canaan in 1995, shortly after the birth of their first child. They now have 3 children, aged 24, 21, and 19. Laura has served for four years on the Foundation's grant review committees, for three years on the Sapienza Scholarship Committee, and has been active on both the Luncheon and Annual Appeal Committees.

Dobbin follows Sharon Stevenson, who served as the Foundation's Board Chair since 2017. She completes her two-year term in this role, as well as an extension that helped her lead the Foundation through strategic planning. Sharon has served on the Foundation's Board since 2011 and leaves behind a strong legacy of leadership and generosity.

"It has been a pleasure to serve on the Board of the New Canaan Community Foundation. Working to help nonprofits and the broader community has brought me much joy and happiness. I will always remember the dedication of the Foundation Board and the desire to improve and help members of our community and beyond. I am leaving the Foundation in great hands with the incoming Board Chair, Laura Dobbin, who served as Vice Chair in 2019," remarked Stevenson.

In addition to naming Laura Dobbin as Board Chair, the Foundation also announced the transition of several Board members. Board members completing their years of service to the Foundation's Board are Barb Achenbaum, Tom Cronin, Janet Lanaway, and Sharon Stevenson. New Board members welcomed to the Board as of July 1 are Aaron Cooper, Karen Mactas, Jeffrey Williams, and Kristina Woods.

Aaron Cooper resides in New Canaan with his wife and two daughters and has been Head of School at New Canaan Country School since 2018. He came to New Canaan after stints at The Elisabeth Morrow School and Peck School in New Jersey, as well as Germantown Friends School and the A Better Chance organization in Pennsylvania. He served on the board of The Community Chest of Englewood while in New Jersey, an organization with a similar mission to NCCF. Aaron and his wife, Kara, are passionate about community, education, and diversity and equity work.

Karen Mactas moved with her family to New Canaan in 1997 and became an active volunteer in the school system and the community. She served on the board of the New Canaan Beautification League for many years and was a board member of the Newcomers Club and Encore. Karen co-chaired the 2019-20 Annual Appeal for NCCF and is currently a member of the Development Committee. She has participated in the grant review committee and Sapienza Scholarship Committees for three years each.

Jeff enjoyed a 34-year career as an investment banker, but then retired to a second career as a volunteer advocate for the resolution of the important issue of climate change. Until 2018, when Jeff and his family became full-time residents in New Canaan, Jeff volunteered on the board of the New Canaan Library for ten years and was instrumental in negotiating a renewed relationship between the Silver Hill Hospital and the New Canaan community. He served with NCCF as a volunteer in its most recent grant review committee.

Kristina Woods and her husband, Peter, moved to New Canaan in 2004. As a HBS Community Partners volunteer, she had the opportunity to work on projects for many local organizations including Arts for Healing, the New Canaan Nature Center, Person-to-Person and The Maritime Aquarium. She has also volunteered at the First Presbyterian Church and in the New Canaan Public Schools. Kristina has served as a NCCF grant review volunteer and a member of the Community Investments Committee for several years.

"We believe that all four of the newest members of the Board embody the spirit of our community as well as the mission of the Foundation, and will bring energy and expertise to the table," commented President & CEO, Lauren Patterson.

The New Canaan Community Foundation, founded in 1977, serves as New Canaan's local partner for advice, leadership, and facilitation of charitable giving. Their vision strives for a New Canaan that comes together to address both individual and local challenges, enriching the lives of all community members. To-date, the New Canaan Community Foundation has invested more than $16 million in nonprofit organizations, working with individuals and businesses to achieve their philanthropic goals through donor-advised funds and other partnerships.



Lauren Patterson
President and CEO
New Canaan Community Foundation


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