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©.
Jennifer B. Ezring, Corporate Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
Ms. Ezring’s practice focuses primarily on advising investment banks and other lending institutions in leveraged finance and asset-based lending transactions, including acquisition financings, leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, and other secured lending matters. Ms. Ezring practices across a variety of industries, including communications, gaming, retail, energy, manufacturing, media, publishing and internet technology. She is a member of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP's Executive Committee and serves on Cahill's Women’s Initiatives Committee. Previously she served as a member of Cahill’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and Associate Development Committee. Ms. Ezring has been recommended as a leading finance lawyer by Chambers USA, IFLR1000 and The Legal 500. She was honored as one of the 2019 Notable Women In Law by Crain’s New York Business, and in 2017, she was honored as one of The Secured Lender’s 50 Women in Commercial Finance. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences including for the Practising Law Institute, the Association for Corporate Growth, and the Commercial Finance Association. Ms. Ezring has served on the Leadership Advisory Committee for the National Women's Law Center, which champions policies and laws that help protect women and girls. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Jefferson Awards Foundation, a national organization dedicated to empowering and supporting public service efforts, and serves as a Trustee of the Princeton Triangle Club—a 125-year-old student-run musical theater group at Princeton University. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the New York University School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review.
Ms. Melika Forbes, General Counsel, Achievement First Public Charter Schools
Ms. Forbes represents public school districts and independent schools in all areas of school law. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Forbes worked as a public school teacher in the New York City Department of Education for six years. In particular, she 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. Ms. Forbes’ 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, Ms. Forbes 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, she interned at the Truancy Bureau of the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Forbes earned her B.A. from Syracuse University and her J.D. from the Washington University-St. Louis School of Law.
Ms. Kiran Jagtiani, Student Advocate, Rutgers University
Ms. Jagtiani is a sophomore at Rutgers University where she is studying Finance, Statistics, and Business Analytics. During summer 2019, she interned with LiveGirl and developed a Confidence Club activity book. Ms. Jagtiani graduated from Stamford High School where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of Stamford High School’s newspaper, The Round Table, the President of her high school’s buildOn community service chapter, and served on the Executive Committee for the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council in Stamford. Ms. Jagtiani was honored as a Stamford “Citizen of the Year” and featured in Stamford Magazine’s “Top Ten Teens to Watch” in 2017.
Ms. Mindy P. Jones, Senior Private Banker, Wells Fargo
Ms. Jones 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. Dawn Kurth, Parent Advocate, Founder & CEO, Health & Wellness Expert
Ms. Kurth is the Founder & CEO of No Kidding Nutrition, a private wellness practice providing nutritional counseling and support services to clients in Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y. As a Certified Health Coach, she has comprehensive experience in wellness and nutrition program design and development. She leads workshops and classroom lectures for adults, teens and adolescents in order to raise health awareness. She actively promotes wellness and nutrition in her community through engaging presentations, social media, published articles and media interviews.
Prior to founding her wellness practice, Ms. Kurth served both on the board and staff of Shakespeare on the Sound, a non-profit outdoor theater group in Rowayton, CT. She chaired numerous fundraising events, bringing her leadership expertise, organizational skills and financial background to deliver record results. Ms. Kurth was involved with all stages of the grant research and application process and initiated the expansion of development efforts by leading a fundraising drive to target and cultivate new relationships with private foundations and service clubs.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Kurth worked at AIG Financial Products Corp. where she co-headed the firm’s credit derivative business. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont and received her MBA from New York University. Ms. Kurth resides in New Canaan, CT, where she and her husband raised their two children, ages 17 and 19.
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, 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, Refinitiv
Mr. West is a global business executive with expertise in finance and operations in the healthcare, media and entertainment industries. He currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of Refinitiv, with responsibility for financial strategy and capital structure, resource investment & optimization and ensuring transparency to shareholders and investors. He leads commercial strategy and policy, sourcing and real estate management, and oversees the ongoing process improvements across the business. Before his current role in Refinitiv, Brian was Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Operations at Oscar Health and prior to that was Chief Financial Officer and then Chief Operating Officer of Nielsen. Previously, Brian spent 16 years at General Electric in senior finance roles at Aircraft Engines, Plastics, and NBCUniversal. Mr. West is currently on the advisory board and former director and treasurer of Future 5, a Stamford, CT based not for profit supporting low income high school students.
Ms. Sheri West, Founder, CEO & Chairperson, LiveGirl
Ms. West is a girls leadership expert with over 25 years of corporate and leadership development experience. She is the Founder, CEO & Chairperson of LiveGirl, a nonprofit organization that builds confident leaders. Prior to LiveGirl, Ms. West spent 16 years as a finance executive at General Electric Co., a multinational company, where she was instrumental in its Women’s Network and taught leadership development courses at the GE Management Development Institute. Five years ago, she founded LiveGirl to “pay it forward” and prepare the next generation of female leaders. Sheri regularly speaks on the importance of building confident girls and has been a speaker at national conferences, including the University of Connecticut’s xCite Conference and the National Charity League. Her honors include being named a Community Champion by the CT Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs and a “Woman Of Inspiration” by the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund. Her education includes a BA Finance and Masters of Human Resources and Leadership Development from Michigan State University. She is married with three children (ages 18, 15, and 12) and lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, where she serves on the New Canaan Public Schools Board of Education.