United Way of Western Connecticut has officially announced the addition of four new members to our Board of Directors. Doreen Bentson, Luis Diez, Dr. Michael Stern, and Katherine Webster-O’Keefe will assume their roles on the board through 2025. They are the latest addition to the group of local community leaders who work together to support the organization while providing expertise and perspective on a regional level.
Isabel Almeida, President of United Way of Western Connecticut, congratulated the four saying “The announcement of our new Board Members comes with great excitement as they join us in our mission to support ALICE households, provide quality services throughout our footprint, and lift up the Western Connecticut community,” She continued stating “Each of the four members brings a different area of expertise to the table that will greatly benefit our organization and the communities we serve.”
Doreen Bentson is the Managing Director of the Investments Technology team at Genworth, located in Stamford, Connecticut, where she manages the Investments Technology team. Bentson has a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Pace University. Her history with United Way of Western Connecticut spans over 20 years as a volunteer, having served as a corporate chairperson for the United Way Corporate Giving Campaign and the Northern Fairfield County Community Council. In addition to serving on the United Way of Western Connecticut Board of Directors, Bentson also serves as an Innovation and Technology Advisor for Prosperity Digital Marketplace.
Luis Diez is currently the Director of Fixed Income at Northern Trust, located in Stamford, Connecticut, where he is responsible for manager identification, research and due diligence, and investment monitoring for fixed income strategies. He is also the team leader for WMBE (Women, Minority Business Enterprise) manager research. He received his Master of Business Administration from Fordham's Graduate School of Business along with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance with a minor in Accounting from Western Connecticut State University. Diez has served on United Way of Western Connecticut’s Stamford Community Council for many years and has assumed the role of Chair of the Council.
Michael L. Stern, PhD. is a clinical psychologist in greater Danbury specializing in individual and couples therapy with over 30 years’ experience as a therapist, researcher, and program administrator. Dr. Stern currently serves as a private practitioner working with clients committed to enhancing their lives. He received his undergraduate education at Cal State University, Long Beach and his PhD in psychology from the University of Washington. He was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Stern will also assume the role of Chair of United Way of Western Connecticut’s Northern Fairfield County Community Council, which he has served on for more than a decade.
Katherine Webster-O’Keefe is an attorney currently practicing in the areas of real estate and divorce mediation and has practiced law in New Milford since 1983. She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and received a Master's in social work and a Juris Doctor from West Virginia University. She is an advanced practitioner with the Association of Conflict Resolution and the Association of Professional Family Mediators. O’Keefe has served on United Way of Western Connecticut’s Southern Litchfield Community Council for several years and will now become Chair of the Council along with joining the Board of Directors.
In addition, the current Board of Directors includes Cheryl Bakewell (Chair), Ken Weinstein (Vice-Chair), Mark Ouellette (Secretary), Eric Duenwald (Treasurer), Tracey Alston, Paul H. Bruce, George Garrett, Carmen Hughes, Aaron Meyer, Chloé Tashjian Soares, Antonio Santiago, Kevin Walston, and Lisa Zana.
For more information on the Board of Directors and Community Councils, click here.