CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Marc E. Jaffe
Marc Jaffe came to the nonprofit sector after serving for more than twenty-five years as a senior publishing, licensing and technology executive where he honed strong management, strategic-planning and cross-platform business development skills. He was the President of several divisions of Simon & Schuster as well as Rodale. At Rodale, Marc published the international bestseller The South Beach Diet, Pete Rose’s Prison Without Bars and The Big O, The Autobiography of Oscar Robertson.
Since 1991, when he was its first Board President, Mr. Jaffe has been involved with the highly acclaimed Harlem RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities), serving on its Board of Directors, and as Chairman of its Advisory Board, the Homerun Leadership Council. He has been a member of the UJA Executive Publishing committee for 16 years and invited to speak on numerous digital and publishing industry panels.
He has led businesses in public and private companies, large and small, turnarounds and startups, domestic and international. Marc used his business acumen in leading the 116 year old CLC to re-brand and adopt its new name and logo. Marc holds a JD from Columbia Law School. To learn more about Marc, visit his LinkedIn page.
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM SERVICES: Penny Lehman
Penny’s career with Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County (CLC) began in 2006 as the agency’s first Teacher Development Coordinator. Penny came to CLC with 14 years prior experience in various early childhood roles such as Preschool Program Director, Teacher for preschool and kindergarten, as well as a CDA (Child Development Associate) Instructor and Advisor. For the past nine years, Penny has served as CLC’s Director of Program Services where she manages the agency’s health, nutrition, and family service departments. With more than 25 years of experience in the field of early childhood and early education, Penny’s contributions include serving on CLC’s Program, Government Affairs and Advocacy Committees, VITA’s Parents as Co-Educators Program’s Measurement Team, and Norwalk Community College’s Early Childhood Education Advisory Board. Penny holds a degree in Education from Pace University.
DIRECTOR, SCHOOL READINESS PROGRAM: Anna Witkowski
Anna joined CLC in 1994 as Head Teacher in the Child Development Program and was promoted to Education Coordinator, Education Manager and Assistant Director before becoming Director in 2010. Anna served as Director of Child Development through 2017 and was named Director of the School Readiness program in January 2018. With more than 20 years of experience in the field of early childhood education, Anna's contributions include serving on State Funded Directors Forum, VITA's Parents as Co-Educators Program and early childhood education advocacy committees. She was also involved with the Preschool RULER Program when it was first being piloted for the preschool classrooms at CLC by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Anna holds a degree in Psychology from the University of Connecticut.
DIRECTOR, CHILD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: Mary Basso
Prior to joining CLC in 2014 as the Education Manager, Mary started her career in education as a Reading Tutor for the Port Chester Public Schools at Park Avenue Elementary School. For over 5 years she served as a Preschool Teacher (3 and 4 year olds) at the Home School in White Plains, NY and lastly, Preschool Director for over 20 years in Greenwich CT. She first served as Director of Stanwich Nursery School where she was instrumental in moving the preschool to a newer, more open space at Banksville Community House, and changed the name to Banksville Nursery School. Mary holds a BS in Elementary Education (Nursery- 6th Grade) from Pace University. Her Graduate work in ECE is from Manhattanville College.
DIRECTOR, HEAD START AND EARLY HEAD START PROGRAMS: Marsha Guthrie
Marsha brings over 16 years of Head Start experience, more than 10 of which were in leadership roles overseeing both Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Prior to joining CLC, Marsha served as the Senior Administrative Director/Head Start Director for Cardinal McCloskey Community Services in the Bronx, NY. As such, Marsha was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations for two federal contracts through the Office of Head Start which served 1,142 Head Start and 240 Early Head Start children and families in one of the poorest demographics in New York City. Marsha is a graduate of the Hunter College School of Social Work and is a Licensed Master’s Level Social Worker. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2003.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT: Corey Paris
Corey is responsible for leading efforts to obtain philanthropic gifts to advance the mission and programs of CLC. In previous positions, he has secured large six and seven figure gifts towards scholarships benefiting students of color, women and other key affinity groups, health equity access for Latino communities, and various social justice causes. Corey has a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Western Connecticut State University. He is currently a candidate for a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in city management.
DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS: Jennifer Hallissey
As Director of Strategic Partnerships, Jennifer oversees marketing, volunteerism and alumni outreach. She also supports development activities and agency-wide program enrichments such as CLC Reading Heroes, gardening, and music. Prior to joining CLC, Jennifer was Vice President of Education at United Way of Western Connecticut where she led education related initiatives, partnerships and grant-making activities. In previous roles, Jennifer was responsible for marketing and development activities at St. Luke’s LifeWorks (now Inspirica) and had responsibilities including fundraising, marketing, grant-making, volunteer management and program design and management at United Way in the Kansas City metro area. Jennifer holds a BBA in Management from Washburn University.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER: Darrell T. Ingram
Darrell has been with CLC for almost ten years. He spent the first 25 years of his non-profit career with Outward Bound Inc. at their National Headquarters in Greenwich, CT (now Garrison, NY) where his duties included: All budgeting and financials for the National office (approx. $3M budget); Oversaw $1.5M annual scholarship fund disbursements for entire system; Consolidated statements for all 10 schools (approx. $75M combined budget); Placed all insurances health, liability, property, umbrella, D&O and Workers Comp policies (approx. $5.8M of the budget in 2006); Oversaw and handled all accounting for a $7M endowment fund.
DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES: Marc Teichman
Marc joined CLC in 2001 as Director of Human Resources. He is responsible for the direction, coordination and overall management of human resources functions for CLC, including staffing and recruiting, labor relations, employee relations, compensation, benefits, and organization development. In addition, Marc oversees CLC's Facilities, Security, and Administrative Services. Marc has more than 30 years of extensive and varied Human Resources and Labor Relations experience. Prior to joining CLC, Marc was Vice President of Human Resources and Administration for V band Corporation, a Communications Technology company with offices throughout the US and Great Britain. A graduate of New York University, Marc has been a Stamford resident for more than 35 years and currently serves as Chairman of the Personnel Commission for the City of Stamford.