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 External Affairs Officer, CT Paid Leave Authority

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Andréa Comer

Andréa serves as the Chief External Affairs Officer for the CT Paid Leave Authority, leading communications efforts and strategies for the quasi-public state agency. Previously, she served as the Executive Director for Educators for Excellence, and has worked in various communications, strategic planning and development efforts.

A former reporter and copy editor, Andréa served as an elected member of the Hartford Board of Education, and an appointed State Board of Education member, where she pushed for transparency in school suspension and expulsion rates statewide.

Andréa has a BA in journalism from SUNY Buffalo State, is an Aspen Executive Leadership alumnus, and is a Master of Public Administration Executive Fellow at the University of Connecticut. She serves as Chair of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s Greater Together Advisory Committee, as Vice Chair of Five Frogs, and on the boards of the Hartford Public Library and St. Joseph’s University.

Andréa was an inaugural award recipient of the 100 New England Women of Color, and has been recognized by the CT Commission on Children, YMCA, Urban League of Greater Hartford and the CT NAACP, which named her among the 100 Most Influential leaders in the state.

She is the proud wife of a law enforcement officer and mother of a kindergarten teacher.


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).


Kate Manahan

Kate Manahan

Director

Senior Management Associate, Bridgewater Associates

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Kate Manahan

Kate Manahan is a Senior Management Associate at Bridgewater Associates. She leads Bridgewater’s Total Reward Program, overseeing benefits, compensation and performance management. Kate has led large scale changes in these areas aimed at ensuring Bridgewater offers best in class rewards designed to support a diverse population with different needs.

Kate is also co-lead of Bridgewater’s Women’s Network (WIN). Prior to that she held a key role in driving Bridgewater’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy (in conjunction with the co-CEOs). She joined Bridgewater in 2007 and throughout her tenure has held various management roles across the firm. Kate is a graduate of Boston College where she earned a B.A. in Economics and Communications, and minored in Women’s Studies. She also previously worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a Senior Researcher for the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses. Having called Connecticut home for most of her life, she is thrilled to be joining the Five Frogs Board to advance the mission of cultivating impactful, diverse leadership to help drive a more equitable future.


Meghan Lowney

Meghan Lowney

President

Principal, Ripple Effect Consulting

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Meghan Lowney

Meghan Lowney is a philanthropic and social sector entrepreneur with track record of organizing diverse people to effect change in complex systems at every level. She is a fierce advocate for equity and trusted thought partner, collaborator and coach employing growth mindset, humor and the power of connection. She has extensive experience building agile start-ups and leading organizational change.

Meghan is an enthusiastic volunteer and Board President of Five Frogs, an organization she founded in 2016 and that is committed to creating a diverse, representative movement of leaders working to realize an equitable Connecticut. In 2008, she founded Leadership Development Roundtable (LDR), now the organization’s flagship program, creating an opportunity for almost 300 nonprofit leaders to strengthen their leadership and networks.

From 2011 – 2020, she was Executive Director of The ZOOM Foundation, a Connecticut family foundation focused on innovative change efforts that have the high potential for sustainable impact, particularly in the areas of education and the environment.  In 2006, she founded Ripple Effect Consulting, supporting leaders to increase their impact, with emphasis on diverse, representative stakeholder engagement and strategic implementation. Prior to opening her consultation business, Meghan was Executive Director of Operation Hope of Fairfield, a nonprofit providing innovative solutions to homelessness.  In recognition of her work, Fairfield University bestowed upon her an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2007.

Meghan has served on numerous boards and committees. Ms. Lowney earned her BA from Boston College and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Connecticut.  She is a native nutmegger and lives in Fairfield, 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