board of directors

We are taking bold action for equity, especially racial equity.

Five Frogs, Inc. is led by a diverse founding Board with wide-ranging expertise and life experience. We share a passion for ending racism and building a more equitable future in Connecticut.
Andréa Comer

Andréa Comer

Vice President

Chief of Staff, CT Paid Leave Authority

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Andréa Comer

Born and raised in New York, Andréa was deeply influenced by her family’s commitment to equity and community empowerment: Her mother’s role in founding the National Black Nurses Association, and her father’s role in establishing Gateway National Bank, a community lending institution incorporated by Black leaders.

Andréa’s passion for education was a mix of DNA and personal experience. Many of her relatives were educators, and as a single parent she realized firsthand the ways in which socioeconomic status could impact the quality of education her daughter received. Determined to fight for all children and parents in her community, Andréa ran for and won a seat on the Hartford Board of Education. Following her role on the board of education, Andréa served on the Connecticut State Board of Education.

Andréa has worked in various education settings where she was responsible for community outreach, advocacy, and development. Her recent experience in workforce development reinforced the importance of ensuring students in underserved communities have access to quality education.

Andréa joined the E4E team as Connecticut’s executive director because she believes the voices of educators must be at the policymaking table if Connecticut is to successfully close its unconscionable achievement gap.

Bob Arnold

Bob Arnold

Director

President and CEO, Family Centers

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Bob Arnold

Bob is the President and CEO of Family Centers. Along with a team of dedicated professionals, volunteers and board of directors, Bob works with numerous community groups, businesses, foundations and individuals whose philanthropic goals are met through the work of Family Centers. Over the past 30 years, he has facilitated Family Centers’ continual growth and orchestrated numerous mergers which strengthened the organization.

Bob is a past chairman of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies, a past president of the Greenwich Kiwanis Club and has served on a variety of advisory boards and task forces. Additionally, he was instrumental in numerous successful mergers resulting in a broad-based organization that assists over 17,000 children and adults each year. Bob holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University and is a licensed social worker and marriage and family therapist.

Ellie Webb

Ellie Webb

Secretary

Field Services Advisor, AARP Foundation - Experience Corps

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Ellie Webb

Ellen (Ellie) Webb is passionate about empowering communities to find and leverage assets that are already present, yet underutilized, in addressing their most pressing challenges.  As Field Services Advisor for Experience Corps, she is able to do just this by supporting affiliate programs who are engaging highly trained adults 50+ to help children attain literacy proficiency by the end of 3rd grade.

Ellie’s commitment to educational equity began as a Teach For America Corps Member where she taught elementary school in Hartford, Connecticut.  From there, she went on to coach teachers in the Teach For America Connecticut region and eventually led the ongoing support program as Managing Director of Teacher Leadership Development.  During this time, she served as a coach for emerging nonprofit leaders across Connecticut as part of the Leadership Development Roundtable program.  Upon moving back to her home state of California, Ellie worked as a Program Manager at California Education Partners where she led the launch of a fellowship program for school system leaders, as well as a collaborative that convened teams from 22 of California’s school districts focused on continuous improvement.

With a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine and an Executive and Organizational Coaching Certification from Teachers College at Columbia University, Ellie holds the belief that all people carry tremendous worth with which they can use to improve their own lives as well as the lives of others in their community.  She is honored to be able to live this value alongside others in the AARP Foundation community.

Jamal Jimerson

Jamal Jimerson

Director

Founder & Executive Director, Minority Inclusion Project Incorporated

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Jamal Jimerson

Jamal Jimerson is the Founder / Executive Director of Minority Inclusion Project and Managing Partner for Thought Partner Solutions where he is a leader in regional efforts to close the nonprofit racial leadership gap as a trainer, race-equity coach, facilitator, and consultant. Jamal has almost 20 years of public service experience and has given several invited presentations and keynotes on race-equity, diversity, and inclusive leadership for regional and national conferences, colleges, and universities.

Known for being “real” in his facilitation, presentation, and interpersonal communication style, Jamal leverages his personal background, professional experiences, and academic credentials as a resource in race-equity and inclusion based strategic planning, program development, and philanthropy. He holds a B.A. in Communications (University of Bridgeport), an M.A. in Business Communications (Trident University), and an M.S. in Human Services (Capella University). His recent awards include 100 Men of Color (2017) and Hartford Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty (2017).

Meghan Lowney

Meghan Lowney

President

Principal, Ripple Effect Consulting

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Meghan Lowney

Meghan is Executive Director of The ZOOM Foundation, a Connecticut family foundation that focuses its philanthropic investments on innovative change efforts that have the high potential for sustainable impact, particularly in the areas of education and the environment. Among other initiatives, Meghan designed and launched the Prize for Parent Organizing in 2015 to support community organizing initiatives that unlock parent power and to create a sustainable movement for educational equity in Connecticut.

Previously, Meghan founded Ripple Effect Consulting, a leadership and organizational development company specializing in services to individuals, nonprofits and philanthropists. In 2008, she founded the Leadership Development Roundtable (LDR), a professional development program cultivating a powerful movement of Connecticut social change leaders. In 2016, she founded Five Frogs, Inc. as a new home for LDR and to achieve an even broader vision: Connecticut will be stronger and more equitable as a result of effective, diverse social impact leaders working together across boundaries of difference to solve complex social problems and strengthen communities.

Prior to opening her consultation business, Meghan served as the Executive Director of Operation Hope of Fairfield, a nonprofit providing innovative solutions to homelessness in greater Bridgeport. In recognition of her work, Fairfield University bestowed upon her an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2007. She earned her BA from Boston College and a Master of Social Work degree in Organizing from the University of Connecticut.

Mirellise Vazquez

Mirellise Vazquez

Director

Executive Director, Tauck Family Foundation

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Mirellise Vazquez

Mirellise is committed to making the world a better and more just place for children. She has over fifteen years of experience in the public and non-profit sectors, focusing on human rights, children’s rights, and education, including grant-making, advocacy, and philanthropy.

Mirellise is honored to serve as Executive Director of the Tauck Family Foundation, whose mission is to invest in organizations and initiatives that equip the children of Bridgeport, Connecticut with the necessary social and emotional skills to thrive academically and in life. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2010, Mirellise worked in both New York City and Washington, DC. At the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR), she served as Coordinator of International Advocacy, where she developed and implemented IPPF/WHR’s international advocacy strategy and served as their main representative to the United Nations. Prior to joining IPPF/WHR, Mirellise worked at ChildFund International, where she held several posts, including serving as the organization’s first Foundations Officer and conducting advocacy on Capitol Hill and the United Nations. Prior to joining ChildFund, Mirellise worked at the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, where she focused on child labor and education technical assistance programs, research, and policy.

Mirellise is a Board member of Building One Community and Five Frogs, as well as a member of Impact Fairfield. She is also an alumnus of the 2011 Fairfield County cohort of the Leadership Development Roundtable Program (LDR) and Hispanics in Philanthropy’s 2016 Next Generation Latino Philanthropy Leadership Program. She has a Master of Public Policy and International Affairs Degree and a Certificate in Latin American Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Franklin & Marshall College.

Tamara Smith

Tamara Smith

Director

Executive Director, Teach for America-Delaware

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Tamara Smith

Tamara is honored to serve as the Executive Director of Teach For America-Delaware. She has dedicated her career to ensuring educational equity for all students and has pursued this mission in various capacities. After graduating from Spelman College, Tamara joined Teach For America as a 2003 Philadelphia corps member. Following her tenure as an educator, Tamara joined the legislative team of former Congressman Robert Andrews, with a focus on economic development initiatives and education and immigration policy.

Previously Tamara was on staff at Teach For America as a Managing Director for both the Connecticut region and National team, with a focus on alumni work. Before returning to staff to lead the Delaware region, she served as the Executive Director of Operations and Co-School Leader of Great Oaks Charter School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

A New Jersey native, Tamara is passionate about community-focused advocacy. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College and is a member of the board of Five Frogs, Inc.

Five Frogs challenges leaders to stretch their understanding of complex issues, evaluate their approach, and take steps to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization. Together, we are driving a more connected and productive nonprofit workforce in Connecticut.

Darlene Yule, Five Frogs Leader
Managing Director, Hartford Food System