United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut Announces Election of New Board Member and Slate of Officers to Drive Community Impact

DANBURY, CT (June 14, 2024)—United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut announced the election of a new board member and its slate of officers for the coming year.  The Board of Directors is comprised of local community leaders who work together to govern and strategically guide the organization, while providing expertise and perspective on a regional level to drive solutions to meet community needs. 

Newly elected at the June 12, 2024, Board of Directors meeting, Vikram Nafde, Chief Information Officer at Webster Bank will assume his three-year term through 2027. 

“We are excited for Vikram to join the United Way Board of Directors,” said Isabel Almeida, CEO and President of United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut. “He brings a wealth of experience and passion for equity and community that will be an asset to the organization.” 

Vikram is a senior technology executive with more than 25 years of experience in large scale digital transformation, technology operations, delivery excellence, strategic planning, leadership, and talent development. As Chief Information Officer (CIO) and a member of Webster Bank's Executive Management Committee (EMC), Vikram is responsible for the strategy and execution of all Webster Technology - including Business Applications, Software Engineering, Platforms, Data, Architecture, Agility, Tech Innovation, Infrastructure, and Cybersecurity. Vikram has an Electrical Engineering degree and MBA in Finance and IT. In his many leadership roles throughout his career, Vikram actively drove support for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging initiatives, promoting a more dynamic talent pool. Vikram also served as a United Way Campaign Leader during his time at GE Asset Management, where he helped raise more than $250,000 annually. His dedication to United Way continues in his current role at Webster Bank. 

In addition, United Way announced its new slate of officers for the coming year: 

  • Chair Cheryl Bakewell of Bakewell & Mulhare, LLC  

  • Co-Chair Lyn Kobsa of Kobsa Strategic, LLC 

  • Treasurer Paul Reszutek of Deloitte LLP (retired) 

  • Secretary Ken Weinstein of Newtown Savings Bank 

The officers will join other current board members, including Noel Anderson (Pitney Bowes Inc.), Christina Bodine Aysseh (Atlantic Community Bankers Bank), Doreen Bentson (Genworth), Paul Bruce (Union Savings Bank), Luis Diez (Northern Trust Asset Management),  Carmen Hughes (City of Stamford), Thomas McCarthy (Town of Trumbull), Aaron Meyer (Self-Employed, Wilton), Mark Ouellette (Independent Consultant, New Fairfield), Giles Payne (of Counsel, Brody Wilkinson PC), Gerald Rosenberg (Commercial Consultant and Executive Coach), Michael Stern (Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist), Sam Tingley (M&T Bank Corporation), Robert Trefry (PathQuest Coaching and Consulting, LLC), and Katherine Webster-O'Keefe (Attorney, Law Office of Katherine Webster-O'Keefe, LLC). 

Almeida noted: “I am honored to work alongside these business leaders and community champions. I look forward to their leadership to fulfill our mission of meeting critical needs and advancing equitable pathways to well-being and financial security for everyone.” 

While ushering in a new chapter, United Way also recognized and extended deep gratitude to outgoing directors Eric Duenwald (Synchrony), and Anne McCrory (Diocese of Bridgeport). Both have served the agency for years—Duenwald since 2017, McCrory since 2008. Although they are stepping down from the board, Duenwald will continue to serve on the Finance Committee, and McCrory will serve on the Core Leadership Team of Bridgeport Prospers. CEO Isabel Almeida commented, “These board members served with commitment and distinction during times of dynamic change and growth. Their leadership helped us lay a path to a promising future. We’re honored that they will continue to help us advance our mission.” 

For more information on the governing Board of Directors and Community Councils, click here