Deb is the founder of Annie C. Annie was Deb’s grandmother and hero. One of Deb’s projects is managing a regional community coalition of foster care agencies which she has done for over 9 years. Prior to that, she was a case manager for families involved with the Department of Children and Families preparing to reunite with their children. IN years past, she worked as an advocate for foster, adoptive and kinship families; taught pre-licensing classes to prospective foster and adoptive parents for 10 years; worked as a case manager in a reunification program and is, herself, an adoptive mother of 3 young men adopted through the CT foster care system. Deb’s passion is helping older youth find and maintain permanent connections. Currently, Deb serves on the board for QUEST, the Queer Unity Empowerment Support Team, a grassroots organization in Waterbury serving the queer community. She is also a voting member of the Statewide Advisory Council for DCF and co-chairs the Regional Advisory Council for “Region 5” in northwestern CT. In the past, Deb has served as a board member for other CT community organizations and commissions and enjoys giving back to her local community.
Tom MooreRecruiter for Greater Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford and northwestern CT
Tom spent over 45 years producing and directing films/videos and large corporate events throughout the world. He is an Emmy award winning producer and has coordinated events for over thousands in New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Bruxelles, London and Copenhagen. Along with being involved with all creative aspects, he is also keen on budgets, logistics, social media and marketing.
Recently, Tom decided to leave his passion for “live” performances to travel on another path that he is passionate about. This passion is to work with children and youth that need a supportive family to let them aspire to their potential. He enjoys networking with others and hopes to find many families who will be supportive of, and participate in, foster care, adoption and the Annie C mission.
Tom is married, has a son that is 24, another son 45, raised through kinship care as well as a college-age daughter who is adopted from Guatemala. In his spare time, he loves organic gardening, photography, raising Great Danes and appreciating the beauty of the planet.
B. Selina Daniels Board Chairperson
After 20+ years working in corporate, Selina decided to follow her true passion to work with children that are at risk, improving their lives and strengthening their families. Over the last 10 years, her mission has been to advocate, engage the community, create collaborations, partnerships, developing new initiatives and programs that will educate, strengthen families and focus on the needs of our youth. She has coordinated support groups, organized community service projects and hosted community events that educate and support families. Selina is a long-term licensed therapeutic foster mom, currently for Boys and Girls Village.
Selina is most passionate about advocating for and beside older youth. She also volunteers for her church community as the youth advisor.
Roger AmesTreasurer of the Board
Roger is the Vice President and Branch Manager for M&T Bank’s Watertown branch. He has nearly forty years experience in financial services, providing business clients with banking and borrowing solutions to better operate and grow their businesses, as well as finding the right banking, borrowing, and insurance solutions for consumers.
Roger is an active board member for the Mattatuck Museum. He is passionate in his interest in drum and bugle corps. Many weekends you can find Roger and his wife sitting in the bleachers cheering on the musicians.
Roger loves to teach and offers financial literacy classes to youth through M&T Bank. His passion for social justice drives him to work for a better world for young people.
Trayvonn DiazBoard Vice Chairperson
Trayvonn joined Annie C in 2021. He wants to give back in ways he wished he could have received support during his 9 years in the CT foster care system. His experience during that time shaped his passion for serving and uplifting communities through connection.
Trayvonn studied Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, graduating in 2015. His passion for politics led him to the world of public service where he now works in a U.S. Senate Office and serves as a Commissioner for the City Planning Commission of Waterbury. Trayvonn was also a part of UConn’s premiere First Star Academy program for mentoring and supporting a group of 25 youth in the foster care system achieving Mentor of the Year for impact on the lives of the students. Today, he hopes to reach foster youth feeling uncertainty in their journey for identity and one day elevate from a former foster youth to a Foster parent. What you might not guess at first glance: Trayvonn is a local property manager, is an uncle to 8, and can solve a Rubik’s cube in 90 seconds.
Philip CowitBoard Secretary
As a single foster parent for over seven years, the adoptive parent of his own son, an individual who over the years has taken several homeless families into my own home, and a teacher working with students with many different special needs for over 17 years, Philip is very understanding of needs of the children placed into the system, the foster parents, as well as other professionals involved in the care of these children. He remains very deeply committed to searching for every opportunity to help children who have experienced foster care to succeed in their journey through life.
In his words: “I believe that as a foster parent, that I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to care for the children who were placed in my care, and that as foster parents we inspire their dreams, provide them with a sense of security, safety, and self-confidence; we encourage within them a love for life, and help them to find within themselves and others the strength necessary to reach their aspirations.
Being a foster parent isn’t easy, and it’s often accompanied by many unexpected challenges. As a result of entering the system, there are often many social, emotional, academic, physical, and behavioral differences that children have developed to adapt to their lives both before and after entering the system. When children have been placed into the system, it’s essential that a strong network of supports be put in place both for the children and their families, and that all professionals work cooperatively together in order to assure that placement is successful. This can be a difficult undertaking, but one that offers much joy if done correctly, and which remains much less costly than losing a child into the criminal justice system along with the opportunities lost to help a child better their lives.”
Rachael Levine CarpanetoBoard Member
Rachael is a former foster youth with a passion for finding a way to give back. Adopted at 17, she spent the majority of her teenage years in the system.
After graduating from Danbury high school she attended college at Western Connecticut State University and went on to obtain her J.D. from Roger Williams School of Law. Rachael spent the last five years of her career as an Assistant Attorney General for the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General as one of several attorneys representing the Department of Children and Families.
Making her son and daughter her priority, she left state employment and has begun her own practice focused on child protection matters and various other areas of law. Rachael and her husband Jeff have two beautiful children. Her son, Hunter, is three and her daughter, Hudson, is a year old. They are her world and she shares the struggle of fitting everything else in with them in her blog, Carpaneto Chaos.
Rachael brings her love for networking and socializing to the Annie C. Courtney board as the point person for fundraising.
Ken CabralBoard Member
Ken Cabral returned to the provider community after a 25-year career in state government including Connecticut and Washington, DC. His career has focused on person centered and family center service in the field of Autism, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Child Welfare. He has a passion and commitment to supporting people and their families.
Since returning to Connecticut, Ken has served as the Regional Administrator for both Region 5 and Region 1 at the Department of Children and Families and the Director of Family Services Strategy at the Department of Developmental Services.
Ken is currently the Executive Director at Benhaven, Inc whose mission is: Enabling people with autism and pervasive developmental disorders to participate in community life, exercise productive control over their own lives, have meaningful relationships and associations, be gainfully employed, and experience happiness and personal satisfaction.
Ken and his husband are avid animal lovers and spend most of their leisure time with their two Standard Poodles, Benjamin and Lena.
Kimberly AliotteBoard Member
Kimberly joined the Annie C Board during the Fall of 2021. Kimberly is an attorney and business consultant, working as the Senior Advisor for KIPP Massachusetts Charter Schools. As a mother, community leader and advocate of family connection and childhood development, she believes that organizations that strive to assist in the growth of children and support their families are both important and impactful.
Over the years, she has had the pleasure of serving as Board Member/Advisor/Volunteer for organizations seeking to help develop and support youth. During her service, she has served as a Board Member for a community hospital seeking to offer free health services and access to care for low income and displaced families; she has worked and volunteered for organizations to build funding and promote programs for youth advocacy and community engagement, and has used her professional skills serving as Advisory Board Member for the Tennessee Youth Court – to increase advocacy and representation for youth within juvenile detention facilities throughout the state.
Kimberly’s dedication to community service has been both rewarding and enlightening, as she is constantly reminded of the social, developmental, and economic hardships experienced by these families and others. She is excited to work alongside members of the Annie C. Courtney Board, to help raise awareness about the specialized resources we continue to provide members of the foster care community.
Kimberly is a devoted mother to her 8-year-old daughter, Anaiah. When she is not engaged in community activities, you can find her and her daughter taking in the local Nashville cuisine, attending local sports games, or tackling DIY projects.
Julie SanchezBoard Member
Julie is a dedicated mental health therapist with a profound passion and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. Her journey as a therapist began with a deep desire to provide support and healing to those facing mental health challenges.
Beyond her clinical work, Julie’s heart belongs to the cause of vulnerable children in foster care. She believes that every child deserves a loving and stable home environment, and she tirelessly advocates for their rights and well-being. Julie actively engages with organizations and initiatives aimed at improving the lives of foster youth, working to raise awareness and create positive change.
Julie’s passion for mental health and her advocacy for foster youth reflect her unwavering dedication to building a more compassionate and supportive society.
Charneil BushBoard Chair Emeritus
Charneil entered state care at age 10 and remained a ward of the state of Connecticut until his aunt became his legal guardian at age 16. Charneil went on to Central Connecticut State University where he graduated with a major in criminology and a minor in psychology. He’s an active volunteer with several youth organizations as well as a mentor for True Colors, Inc. Aside from his legal and corporate background, Charneil has begun to pursue his passion of social justice and human services, even beginning a peer support group for young adults dealing with intersectionality issues. Charneil also hosts a popular podcast called “What About Your Friends.” Although Charneil is no longer a member of the board, he remains a vital advisor to Annie C and plans to return to the board in the future.
Pat was Annie’s oldest daughter and an identical twin. Pat represented the family’s interests on the Board of Directors. Deb Kelleher is Pat’s oldest daughter. Pat worked a variety of jobs during her life, finding her calling to teach piano after her children were grown. Pat passed away from lung cancer on April 3, 2022. Memorial contributions can be made in her name and will be dedicated to our “New Beginnings” project which Pat was so proud to be a part of.
Photo Pat and her twin sister. Annie C’s oldest girls.