Two United Way of Western Connecticut Employees Recognized as Fairfield County 40 under 40 Awardees

Ashley Gaudiano and Elizabeth Quiñonez receive recognition for their accomplishments by Fairfield County Business Journal 

United Way of Western Connecticut is thrilled to announce that two members of our team, Ashley Gaudiano and Elizabeth Quiñonez, have been selected as honorees for Fairfield County’s 40 under 40 by Fairfield County Business Journal. Ashley Gaudiano, Vice President of Resource Development and Marketing, and Elizabeth Quiñonez, Early Child Care Initiative Director, will be recognized for their accomplishments at an event on June 16, 2022 in Stamford alongside fellow changemakers from our region. 

“The fact that two of our colleagues have been chosen as recipients of this award is a testament to their hard work and ongoing commitment to the communities we serve,” said Isabel Almeida, President of United Way of Western Connecticut. “On behalf of our organization, we are all so proud of Ashley and Elizabeth for this accomplishment and are fortunate to work alongside them every day.”  

Fairfield County 40 under 40 is an annual Westfair Communications program meant to honor local leaders from different industries. This year’s recipients come from an array of different professional backgrounds including the non-profit sector, banking, public health, higher education, finance, local government, and more.  

Ashley Gaudiano leads the organization’s Resource Development and Marketing team and is a member of the senior management team responsible for organizational strategy. Ashley is also a dedicated community volunteer in her hometown of Trumbull.  

“It’s very humbling to receive this recognition,” said Ashley. “The work I do is driven by my commitment to our community and my passion for telling the story of people who are often overlooked and underrepresented. Strong female leaders, role models, and mentors have helped shape my career. I look forward to paying that forward over the course of my career.” 

When asked what more she could do to positively affect our community, Ashley said, “There is so much work to be done. Through cross-sector collaborations, we must fight for the causes that are often shied away from; tackle systemic racism head on; and make space at the table for stakeholders that are truly representative of all segments of our community.” 

Elizabeth Quiñonez leads the Cora’s Kids initiative which focuses on providing ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed) families with affordable childcare through the licensing and training of at-home daycare providers in Danbury and New Milford. During her time as the Early Child Care Initiative Director, her team has helped license more than 32 providers, hosted over 24 essential trainings, and created more than 258 new infant and toddler childcare spots.  

“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition from Westchester and Fairfield County Business Journals.” Elizabeth expressed when she was notified of her award. “This makes me feel proud of what I have done as a professional and empowers me to excel and confront future challenges.”   

When asked how she would describe her personal success, she stated that she wants “To have a positive impact through the things that I do every day. I consider [it as] my personal success when the members of my team reach their goals [and] when the women that I work with take great pride in owning their own business and work hard to advance professionally.”  

Ashley and Elizabeth will be featured in a special edition of the Business Journal Publication which will be distributed digitally on June 13, 2022. To learn more about Fairfield County’s 40 under 40 and find a list of recipients, click here.  

Media: Please contact Karissa Muñiz, Marketing and Donor Engagement Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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