Ridgefield’s Briggs Tobin Named Board Chair; Seven New Board Members Add Diverse Experience
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF) today announced a new class of members has been elected to the nonprofit organization’s Board of Directors as well as new Board Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary effective the start of its new fiscal year on July 1, 2020.
Ridgefield resident Briggs Tobin, who originally joined the FCCF Board in 2015, has been elected the new Board Chair for the Community Foundation and will also Chair the Executive Committee. He has 25 years of global M&A legal practice experience, including nearly 10 years as Chief Transactions Counsel for General Electric Company. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Ridgefield Academy. Tobin served as a FCCF Board Vice Chair for the past two years, and has also served on the Community Foundation’s Executive, Audit, CNE, Governance, and Community Impact committees. He succeeds Martha Olson, whose term as Board Chair ended on June 30.
Johnna Torsone, from Stamford, will serve as Vice Chair of the FCCF Board. A member of the Board since 2017, she has also served on FCCF’s Community Impact Committee and Development Committee. She is the Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Pitney Bowes Inc. Bob Eydt, a Norwalk resident and FCCF Board Member since 2014, will be Board Secretary while continuing to serve as Chair of the Audit Committee. He advises Fortune 500 and private companies upon retiring from PwC after a 30-year career. They join Clayton Fowler, founding partner of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners in Norwalk, chair of the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, and FCCF Board Member since 2015, who will continue as Vice Chair, and remain a member of the Executive and Finance Committees ; and Edwin Ford, Stamford resident, retired senior financial services executive and FCCF Board Member since 2016, who will continue as Treasurer, to round out FCCF’s Board Officers.
Tobin will lead a FCCF Board comprised of 24 members as of July 1, including seven new members, among the largest Board classes in recent memory. New FCCF Board Members include:
- Terrence Cheng, Director of UConn’s Stamford campus since January 2016 and a Professor of English;
- Steve Edwards, from Stamford, Senior Investment Strategist for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management since 2017;
- Jon Fraade, of Westport, Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase and is the Chief Operating Officer of its Retirement Plan Investment Group;
- Carolyn Gonzalez, from Bridgeport, Community Development Officer at Capital for Change, the largest full-service Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in Connecticut, and founding member and Board member of the Greater Bridgeport Latino Network since 2003;
- Mindy Houck, a Rowayton resident, Vice Chair of FCCF’s Fund for Women and Girls Steering Committee, and frequently volunteers her time and resources to organizations in Norwalk including Family Children’s Agency, The Carver Center, Person to Person and the Domestic Violence Crisis Center;
- Joette Katz, of Fairfield, Partner in Shipman & Goodwin’s Business Litigation Practice Group, former Associate Justice on the Connecticut Supreme Court, and former Commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Children and Families; and
- Max Medina, Jr., a Bridgeport resident, Managing Partner of Zeldes, Needle & Cooper, P.C., the Bridgeport law firm where he has practiced since 1984, and a board member for the Connecticut Citizens Action Group (CCAG), the Connecticut Advisory Board of Connecticut Teach For America and Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders (BCYL).
“During a critical moment in history for our community, state and nation, the Community Foundation is incredibly fortunate to be guided by a diverse group of talented, caring and generous individuals who are committed to advancing our mission to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County,” stated Juanita James, President & CEO, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. “We are honored to welcome a large class of seven community-spirited leaders to our Board of Directors in Terrence, Steve, Jon, Carolyn, Mindy, Joette, and Max.”
She concluded, “Under Briggs’ steady leadership, and with the support of each of our Board Officers and Members, our entire team at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has a strong group of allies as we deepen our work and heighten our efforts to champion racial equity and social justice in Fairfield County.”
About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards and has awarded over $316 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond since 1992. As a trusted nonprofit partner and thought leader, the organization brings together community organizers, business experts, and philanthropists to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County with a focus on eliminating disparities in education, employment, housing, and health. Our goal is to create a vital and inclusive community, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. Learn more at FCCFoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN. Listen to the Fairfield County Thrives podcast at https://fccfoundation.org/podcasts/.