The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

D&B Board members and 2019 meeting dates

2019 D&B Board meetings are held at The Commons in Meriden 

July 16, 2019
October 15, 2019 
*Please contact Secretary of Donations and Bequests if you plan to attend.

D&B Board of Trustees

  • Bishop Ian T. Douglas, President
  • Bishop Laura J. Ahrens, Ex officio
  • Louis Fuertes, Treasurer
  • Theresa Dupont, Secretary
  • Bradford Babbitt, Chancellor
  • Lynn A. Brooks, Ex officio-ECCT Treasurer
  • Trustees
    • Gordon Ross
    • Tom Berardino
    • Paul B. Parvis
    • Ted Hartsoe
    • Cynthia Steer
    • Charles C. Walden
    • The Rev. Salin M. Low
    • Richard Stein
    • Mary Ellen Scott
    • Diane Hayes

Biographical Profiles of Trustees of Donations and Bequests for Church Purposes, Inc.

D & B Board Members. The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop Diocesan and the Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan, also serve on the D&B Board.
 If you are not a member and would like to learn more, please click here.

Gordon Ross served as an officer in the U.S. Navy for six years, including two as the navigator and operations officer for the Sixth Fleet flag ship during the Lebanon conflict. After the Navy, he received a Masters in Finance from Columbia University and joined JP Morgan’s Private Client division. In 1991, he and his family moved to Milan, Italy and in 1995, Gordon joined Merrill Lynch as the Director of Merrill Lynch’s Swiss Bank branch in Lugano. While in Lugano, Gordon served on the vestry of St. Edward the Confessor and as a trustee of the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce. Gordon started a new career in 2003 as a history teacher at Northwestern Regional High School. Since returning to Connecticut, Gordon has been Senior Warden of St. John’s in Pine Meadow and he has served as the Treasurer of New Hartford for the past ten years, leading numerous bond issues and investing the town’s liquidity. He and his wife, Caren, live on a small farm in New Hartford where Caren leads a Montessori middle school.

Brad Babbitt is a partner of Robinson & Cole LLP, and co-chair of the firm's Litigation Section.  A trial attorney, Brad represents businesses in a wide variety of industries, helping them to protect their interests in disputes arising from myriad different commercial relationships. In addition to contract and business tort disputes, he has handled copyright, trademark, and trade secret litigation in both federal and state court.  Brad also regularly handles administrative appeals for companies in the energy sector.  Additionally, Brad represents religious organizations in different types of disputes, including claims of physical abuse, competing claims to property claims, governance issues.  As Chancellor of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, Brad serves as legal counsel to the Bishop of Connecticut.  Brad also serves on the Board of Directors of the two charities that operate the Travelers Championship on the PGA TOUR, and the Seabury Retirement Community in Bloomfield.

Thomas J. Berardino is the retired Managing Partner of Saugatuck Capital and is current the Managing Member of Saugatuck Capital Company LLCs V, VI, and VII. Tom has over two decades of private equity experience and 24 years of extensive operating experience as an executive of the Exxon Corporation and as a senior corporate officer of Olin Corporation. He sits on the Board of Directors of FEMCO Holdings LLC, Exocor Holdings LLC and Tulip Molded Plastics Corporation.  He graduated with an A.B. in Engineering Science from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He received a fellowship and did postgraduate work in economics and banking at the NYU School of Business. He has served three times as a vestry member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and for seven years as its Treasurer. He has run three capital campaigns for St. Mark’s.  He also has been involved in numerous New Canaan sports programs and community activities.

Theresa Dupont is the Secretary of Donations and Bequests.  As Secretary she has overseen the transfer of responsibility for the investment advising and administration of D&B assets to U.S. Trust.   In her capacity as Secretary, she supports parishes with financial transaction requests and acts as the liaison between D&B’s investment advisor, parishes and its Board of Trustees. Theresa graduated from Sacred Heart University with Bachelor of Science in Accounting.  

Louis Fuertes is the Treasurer of Donations and Bequests and the Canon for Mission Finance and Operations at the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. His professional career includes 20 years in wholesale and consumer banking at JP Morgan Chase and Citibank, and nine years in management consulting at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, where he was a Principal in the Financial Services Practice. He holds  Sc, B. and M.S. degrees from Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (both in Engineering Systems Analysis) and an M.B.A. from Harvard University with a focus in Finance and Strategy. As a Product Manager at Citibank, he completed Series 7 securities training. He served as Treasurer at Christ & Holy Trinity Church in Westport for five years and Finance Committee Chair for two years before his current position with the Episcopal Church.

Ted Hartsoe has taught economics at Choate Rosemary Hall for 32 years. He has served as Treasurer of St. Paul’s Wallingford since 2014. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Trinity College and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Paul B. Parvis has had a career in administration and finance and has had a life-long interest in endowment stewardship. When employed at the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut as the Assistant Director of Administration and Finance, he was a staff participant in D&B Board meetings and was directly involved in selection and oversight of investment management service providers and in supporting parishes. For the past ten years, he has served in director-level positions,  first with the New York Botanical Garden and now the Taft School. Both of these positions focus on endowments, trust management, and estate-planning strategies and law.  He has held board and treasurer positions in several not-for-profit settings particularly the Attingham Summer School based in New York City. He is a former warden and chair of a finance committee at Trinity Newtown. His education includes a B.A. in history, University of Delaware, M.A. in Museum Studies from Cooperstown Graduate Program/SUNY Oneonta and related certificate from the J. Paul Getty Trust Museum Management Institute.

The Rev. Salin M. Low

Diane Hayes grew up in the Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania. She has been a member of St. John's, Pine Meadow since 1994 where she has served as Treasurer, Vestry member, Building Committee chairman, Fundraising Committee chairman, Stewardship chairman, choir member, Eucharist visitor and Altar Guild member.  Outside of church, Diane is Executive Director of The Valley Thrift Shop in Winsted CT; an all volunteer non-profit that supports charities and families in need in Litchfield County.  Under Diane's leadership, the organization's governance and leadership roles were restructured to increase decision making transparency and distribute key responsibilities to more of the organization's membership.  Diane also volunteered as Producer for the Northwestern Region 7 School Theatre Program for twelve years.  She partnered with the Directors to make strategic capital purchases that reduced production expenses enabling the program to become self-funding while providing the school with upgraded facilities.  Before Diane retired as a Senior Program Director for the Travelers Insurance Company, she spent over 20 years managing large cross divisional IT projects.  Her last assignments were in enterprise data management, developing a strategy to jump start data management programs for smaller divisions and implementing a Big Data platform and governance process.

Mary Ellen Scott is the Controller and Head of Learning for Aero Gear, an aerospace component manufacturer in Windsor.  Prior to joining Aero Gear, she was the Director of Learning and Development for a small management consulting firm.  Before that, she held various Finance positions with experience in health, property casualty and life insurance. She has a Masters of Business Administration concentrating in Finance and Marketing from the University of Connecticut.  She graduated with honors from Babson College earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration majoring in Finance. She was also the recipient of the Hartford Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty award in 2007. Mary Ellen is a member of the Vestry at  Old Saint Andrews Church in Bloomfield,  where she, her husband and their two children worship.

Cynthia Fryer Steer is currently a Partner at Birch Mountain Advisors, a company which she founded in 2015 to advise select, institutional clients on issues such as asset allocation, emerging markets, and women and investing.  She retired as Executive Vice President, Head of Manager Research, Performance Analytics, and Investment Solutions at BNY Mellon Investment Management at year end 2014. At BNY Mellon, she was responsible for performance oversight, due diligence, and analysis of investment performance across BNY Mellon Investment Management with $1.6 trillion in AUM.  In addition, she served as senior investment advisor to the executive management of BNY Mellon Investment Management, was a member of the BNY Mellon Benefit Investment Committee, and headed up the firm's outsourced CIO efforts.   Cynthia has more than 20 years of investment experience with senior roles at Russell Investments and Rogerscasey as well as having served as chief investment officer for United Technologies, the City of Hartford, and SBLI, a New York-based insurance company.  Cynthia received her Bachelor’s Degree from Smith College, an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. from The Bank Street School.  Currently, she serves on the Investment Committees of the Hartford and New Haven Community Foundations as well as the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut. She is also a Director of the Hancock Natural Resources Group and Chairman of the Advisory Board, BTA Investment Advisors.

Rich Stein has been a private investor since 2002 following a 20+ year corporate career in M&A , Logistics, and Product Management.  He and his wife reside in Sandy Hood and are parishioners at St. Stephen's in Ridgefield, where he is the Investment Chair.  He also serves as Vice President and Board Member for the not-for-profit Interfaith Partnership for Refugee Resettlement.  Rich graduated from The University of Chicago with a A.B. in Economics and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University with a focus on Marketing and Strategy.

Charles Walden has over 40 years’ experience in investment management. Charlie retired in 2007 as Chief Investment Officer of the Knights of Columbus after a thirty five year career. He continues to serve on two mutual fund boards and in addition to being a Trustee of The Fund for Donations and Bequests he is a member of the investment committee for the Yale Health System. He and his wife Maggie lived in Madison for thirty five years and were members of St. Andrew's where they were both actively involved, serving on the vestry, building and endowment committees. After recently moving to Westbrook, they became members of St. John's in Essex where they are both involved in parish activities. Maggie is actively involved with the Westbrook Food Pantry and both she and Charlie are members of Westbrook's Emergency Management Unit. Charlie graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University, BA Economics and from NYU Stern School, MBA Finance. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.