Dr. Meg Domino, Founder, The Domino Effect
Dr. Domino is a Certified Health Education Specialist with a PhD in Public Health and has extensive experience with youth, parent, and community health planning and programming. She speaks on a myriad of health topics locally and nationally, providing training workshops to parents, faculty and community leaders. Ms. Domino leads a rural health care delivery unit in sub-Saharan East Africa, targeting maternal and child health, water sanitation, HIV/STD prevention, and leadership training. She was Community Health Director for UNITE the World with Africa, a Humanitarian outreach organization based in the USA. Ms. Domino was founder and president of Health Wave Publishing Company. She served as the Executive Director for New Canaan CARES For 15 years. She co-authored the nationally accredited interactive pre K-12 curriculum, still widely used today in schools throughout the country. Ms. Domino’s research on youth development has been published in the Journal of School Health, nationally and internationally. Her award-winning health promotion programs include the Leadership Challenge©, Take the LEAD©, Mentoring Through Drama©, KidPower©, Community Service Ambassadors©, and Elder Buddies©.
Ms. Melika Forbes, JD, School Law Practice, Shipman & Goodwin
Melika represents public school districts and independent schools in all areas of school law. Prior to practicing law, Melika worked as a public school teacher in the New York City Department of Education for six years. In particular, Melika served as a Teach for America corps member at an under-resourced school in the South Bronx, where she taught 6th and 7th grade Math, before serving as the Director of College Placement at the Bronx Lab School. Malika’s experience also includes working with education-related national organizations such as Let’s Get Ready, an organization that provides free SAT preparation to low income students and serving as a member of the Screening and Selection Committee for Math for America. While in law school, Melika served as a student attorney with the Child and Family Advocacy Clinic and completed an internship at the Vera Institute of Justice, where her research spawned the formation of Be More, a non-profit organization devoted to reducing implicit bias. Additionally, Melika interned at the Truancy Bureau of the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office. Melika earned her B.A. from Syracuse University and her J.D. from the Washington University-St. Louis School of Law.
Ms. Mindy P. Jones, Senior Private Banker, Wells Fargo
Mindy is a Senior Private Banker located in the Greenwich, CT Wells Fargo Private Bank office. Ms. Jones works as part of a team to meet high-networth clients’ comprehensive wealth management needs. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Ms. Jones worked at Wilmington Trust and Neuberger Berman. She has been in the financial services industry for more than 10 years. Ms. Jones earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Hamilton College and a Masters of Business Administration from Duke University. Mindy and her husband, Frick, live in New Canaan with their two young daughters. Ms. Jones also serves as an Alumnae Board member of Miss Porter’s School, a college preparatory school for girls grades 9-12.
Ms. Laura Magnotta, Unit Director, Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club
Ms. Magnotta has experience within the youth development field for the last eighteen years. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in Women Studies. Post-degree she has worked for a variety of organizations in the non-profit sector within the greater Bridgeport area. Most recently her work experience includes Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, serving as Program Director of the Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse followed by her appointment as Associate Director of Development. Within Fairfield County, she has been a part of many leadership programs including Leadership Greater Bridgeport and Leadership Development Roundtable. She also sits on the founding Board of Directors for the young professionals initiative, Thrive Bridgeport, is the Advisory Board Chair of Kappa Alpha Theta's Eta Xi Chapter at Quinnipiac University, and Curriculum Group Chair for USAU Girls' Ultimate Movement national program. In 2016, she was awarded the University of Phoenix - Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Emerging Leader Scholarship and is pursuing her Master of Management degree.
Dr. Jeanne Peloso, Acting Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Yale University
Dr. Peloso has a Ph.D. in developmental and educational psychology and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in child development and family, school and community. She joined Yale University in 2017. Previously, she was Assistant Professor and Chair of Childhood Development at Lehman College in the Bronx and Assistant Professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. As a developmental psychologist, Dr. Peloso’s scholarship concentrates on nurturing the development of human beings cognitively, affectively, socially and spiritually. Her work focuses on how the education system can foster the full development of each human being. Specifically, she works to establish pedagogical methods that enhance cognitive development by nurturing emotional and social development. She earned a B.A. in psychology from Georgetown University and a M.Ed.in curriculum and instruction, a M.A. in pastoral ministry, and a Ph.D. in developmental and educational psychology from Boston College. She has also written and published several children’s books.
Dr. Vida Samuel, Assistant Professor in Residence at University of Connecticut - Stamford
Dr. Samuel is a scholar in women’s studies and intercultural communication and teaches undergraduate courses in sexuality, relationships across the lifespan and gender and communication at The University of Connecticut at Stamford. She is a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Applied Research in Human Development (CARHD). Her secondary area of interest and service is in post-secondary education access for first generation students and removed students. She is also a contributor to CUNY’s College Now Program curricula – a program that allows qualified New York City public high school students to enroll in courses that earn college credit and provides academic enrichment programs as a foundation for academic success. Her teaching philosophy emphasizes students’ unique experiences as a significant contribution to the classroom environment. She wrote about the “War on Women” for Higher Heights for America, which reported on how voting laws and healthcare legislation impacted girls and women of color. She was the copy editor for the 2015 Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s exhibit program Unveiling Visions and co-editor of the companion book, Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent. Prior to joining LiveGirl, Dr. Samuel served on the board of Thrust Fencing Academy, served on the scholarship evaluation committee for the Mandela-Washington Fellows program, as an academic mentor for the annual Jackie Robinson Foundation Mentoring and Leadership Conference and the National Black MBA Association of Westchester-Greater Connecticut Leaders of Tomorrow Program. She earned a BSW from Wheelock College at Boston University, a Masters of Arts in interpersonal communication from New York University and a PhD with a focus in intercultural communication and women’s studies at Howard University.
Mr. Brian West, President and Chief Financial Officer, Oscar
Mr. West is a global business executive with expertise in finance and operations in the healthcare, media and entertainment industries. He currently serves as President and Chief Financial Officer of Oscar, a health insurance provider that is revolutionizing the industry through technology, data and design. Prior to his current role, Mr. West served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Nielsen, an $18 billion global media data & analytics public company (NYSE: NLSN) where he was responsible for 30,000 employees in over 100 countries. Before joining Nielsen in 2007, Mr. West spent 16 years as a finance executive at General Electric Co. Mr. West is currently on the advisory board and former director and treasurer of Future 5, a nonprofit organization supporting underprivileged high school students in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
Ms. Sheri West, Founder, CEO & Chairperson, LiveGirl
Ms. West has over 20 years of executive finance and leadership development experience. Her education includes a BA Finance and Masters of Human Resources and Leadership Development from Michigan State University. Ms. West spent 16 years as a finance executive at General Electric Co., a $117 billion global company (NYSE: GE) where she was actively involved in the GE Women’s Network as a mentor. She has taught leadership development courses at the GE Management Development Institute and the University of Miami-Ohio. Four years ago, she founded LiveGirl to “pay it forward” and prepare the next generation of female leaders. She was named a Community Champion by the Boys and Girls Club of Stamford in 2017 and by one of “Connecticut’s Most Philanthropic Women” by Serendipity Magazine in 2018. She is married with three children (ages 17, 15, and 11) and lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, where she serves as an elected official on the New Canaan Public Schools Board of Education.