Celebration of Family Champions

June 2, 2016

2016 Family Champion Awards

Since 2006, the Celebration of Family Champions has become an opportunity for The Council to recognize two individuals from each member agency who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to strengthen and support families in Connecticut.  

To celebrate these family champions we first recognize that it is a person’s individual talent, skill and dedication that changes lives forever. Each of the councils 2016 champions achieved this honor in their own personal way, by demonstrating the best of what their agency has to offer, consistently giving more, reaching further, and taking bold steps to strengthen and improve the lives of families throughout our state. 

“Good works is giving to the poor and the helpless, but divine works is showing them their worth to the One who matters.” 

― Criss Jami, Killosophy

Meet the individuals who are the “best of the best” in the field of family services in Connecticut for 2016:



Catholic Charities of Fairfield County 

Paul Harinstein, Board Member 

John Gutman, Staff Member 


Catholic Charities & Family Services, Diocese of Norwich

Angela Arnold, Board Member 

Carole A. Gilbert, Staff Member 


Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Hartford

Suzanne Gueble, Board Member 

Ikea Sands, Staff Member 


Family and Children’s Agency, Inc. 

Rita Marber, Board Member 

Jan Glorie, Staff Member 


Family Centers, Inc.

Susan Yonce, Board Member 

Lauren Tierney, Staff Member 


InterCommunity, Inc.

Kenneth Reed, Board Member

Rick Amaral, Staff Member


Jewish Family Service - Stamford

Meryl Japha, Board Member

Rebekah Kanefsky, Staff Member 


Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford

Bernie Selig, Board Member

Marie Vick, Staff Member 


Jewish Family Services of Greater New Haven

Betsy Fiske, Board Member

Princess Senu, Staff Member 


Klingberg Family Centers

Robert L. Brown, Board Member

Mikayla Green & Elizabeth Boilard, Staff Member


LifeBridge Community Services

Bob Matthews, Board Member 

Santiago Aguirre, Staff Member 


Newtown Youth & Family Services

Sheilah Krasnickas, Board Member 

Meredith Macmillan, Staff Member 


Oak Hill

James F. Link, Staff Member 

Luiz Fernandez-Lara, Staff Member 


United Services, Inc.

Jim Clark, Board Member 

Katie Roger, Staff Member 


Village for Families and Children

Beth Bombara, Board Member

Iris Donate, Staff Member


Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies

Lisa Lee Pedemonti


Life Time Achievement Award

Patrick Johnson