Past Alumni Events

Alumni Programs and Events

Alumni rave about Western Connecticut Leadership’s (WCL) social and cultural events and educational programs. Click here for more information about the alumni program. Some recent highlights:

Social and Cultural 

      • New Alumni Brunch at Watertown Golf Club
      • Potluck Dinners hosted at homes of alumni.
      • Step Back in Time into the 18th Century, Woodbury
        Docent led tours of The Hurd House, The Glebe House Museum and Gertrude Jekyll garden. Tours were followed by a reception in the historic Hurd House Barn and surrounding grounds.
      • An Evening in Kent
        Tour of Barron Gallery and Ober Gallery with owners followed by dinner at Fife ‘n Drum and jazz performance by
        Wanda Houston and her band.
      • Pine Meadow Gardens
        Tour with landscape designer and educator, Wesley Rouse, followed by gathering at Good News Café.
      • Vintage Torrington
        Dinner at Ritz Crystal Room followed by Piano Concert and dessert at Studio 59.
      • An Evening in New Milford
        Tour of Ameico followed by dinner at La Piccolina and TheatreWorks production of The Lyons
      • Evening of Cheer at Litchfield Distillery
        Tour and Product Tastings with owner/alumnus Jack Baker.
      • Hollister House Gardens and Picnic
        Tour of gardens followed by Picnic Lunch at home of WCL alumnus.
      • Exploring Torrington
        Tour of Warner Theater and Five Points Gallery with Executive Directors followed by lunch at Backstage.

Educational and Topical 

      • Great Nonprofit Boards ARE Possible—Aren’t They?
        Workshop on optimizing the functioning of nonprofit boards led by NYC-based consultant Michael Davidson.
      • Staying in our Communities as We Age
        Presentation and discussion of aging in place issues at Roxbury Town Hall led by Loryn Ray of Woodbury Senior
        Center and Judy Slason of Southbury Senior Center.
      • An Afternoon at the Institute of American Indian Studies
        Tour and “around the campfire” exploration of local history and Native American values and their relevance to our modern world with Executive Director.
      • Marketing Your Nonprofit: Where to Start?
        Interactive workshop at New Milford’s historic cornerstone bank building led by alumnus Tony Vengrove, Founder of Miles Finch Innovation, emphasizing the fundamentals of effective marketing for nonprofit organizations.
      • Food Insecurity in Our Backyard—Two Innovative Solutions
        Presentation and moderated discussion at Waterbury’s historic Town Hall with Kevin Mullins, Executive Director of Community Plates, and Sue Pronovost, Executive Director of Brass City Harvest, followed by tour of Town Hall.
      • Innovations in Mental Health
        Presentation and discussion with alumna Valerie English Cooper on Mental Health First Aid and Richard and Phyllis Beauvais, co-founders of Wellspring, on therapeutic approach to emotional, psychiatric and behavioral challenges, followed by guided tour of Wellspring campus.
      • Gateways to Community Engagement
        Interactive discussion about Connecticut Community Foundation”s Nonprofit Advisory Institute (NAI), that matches the skills and experience of volunteers with the needs of local nonprofits. Presentation by NAI co-chairs Anne Green and John Monteleone and the Foundation’s Organizational Development Coordinator, Patrick McKenna, followed by a tour of the Landmark Community Theatre in Thomaston. 
      • Responding to the Immigration Crisis: Connecticut and You
        Presentation and discussion with experts from American Civil Liberties Union of CT, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), and New Start Ministry CT on the current state of immigration in the state and ways to get involved.
      • The Opioid Epidemic: Local Challenges and Responses
        Interactive presentation and discussion with local addiction specialists, John Simoncelli of Greenwoods Counseling Center and Maria Skinner of the McCall Center for Behavioral Health, who provided up-to-date insight into the Opioid Epidemic and fielded questions from alumni. The program was moderated by WCL alum Larry Rifkin, former host of “Talk of the Town” on WATR.
      • WCL: A Closer Look
        Site visits and in-depth conversations with Executive Directors of exceptional area nonprofits to get an inside closer look at accomplishments and challenges.
      • Transportation in Western CT: Where do we go from here?
        Presentation and discussion including: A close look at I-84 Waterbury projects with John Dunham, district engineer, CT Department of Transportation. A dive into Sustainable CT and transportation inviatives for municipalities with Alyssa Norwood, energy technical specialist for Sustainable CT. And, challenges and opportunities with regional transportation with Rick Dunne, executive director of Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments. The program was moderated by WCl alum Larry Rifkin, former host of “Talk of the Town” on WATR.