Meet Our Team
Please see the following brief descriptions of the responsibilities of Officers and Managers at CEA.
The president is the chief executive officer of the Association and its policy leader. Ms. Cohen represents the Association as spokesperson, as presiding officer of all governance meetings, and as the CEA representative on committees outside of the organization. She works closely with the executive director to address the needs and the goals of the CEA and its membership.
As a registered lobbyist, the president works in collaboration with CEA staff to promote and pass CEA's legislative agenda, serves as a member of the Finance Committee and appoints the chairpersons and members of all committees and commissions.
The vice-president assists the president in representing the Association as spokesperson, and is an integral part of CEA's legislative and political action leadership effort. Mr. Leake is the president of the Connecticut Education Foundation, the CEA charitable foundation that administers the Children's Fund, the Minority and DiGiovanni Scholarship Funds, the Boland Fund, and the Holiday Bear Project.
The treasurer chairs the CEA Finance Committee, formulates budget recommendations, and establishes procedures and guidelines for formulating and adopting the Association's annual budget. The treasurer also works to monitor and control expenditures directly under governance control. The treasurer is also a liaison to the Henry Barnard Fund which is a fund established to assist retired teachers experiencing financial strife.
The secretary oversees the preparation and maintenance of all records of meetings of the CEA Representative Assembly, Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and governance. Pat also serves as chair of the CEA Constitution Revision Committee and its policy subcommittee.
As the Chief Staff Officer, Mark supervises the entire staff of CEA and oversees all program and administrative areas of the association. Mark also advises the CEA Board, develops strategies to accomplish organizational objectives and coordinates CEA's activities among departments.
Director of Professional Practices, Policy and Research
The director is responsible for monitoring emerging trends in public education, human and civil rights issues, and retirement issues. She oversees and conducts research in these areas and provides research support for the legislative program. The division develops and delivers training and professional development in a variety of areas.
Director of Government and Political Relations
As director, Vinnie manages the legislative and political activities of the association at the state and federal levels including screening, developing, researching, and lobbying legislation, and developing testimony for legislation. He develops strategy for legislation, assists CEA-PAC and the Board of Directors in the endorsement of candidates for state and federal political office, and develops strategies for assisting endorsed candidates to get elected.
Director of Finance, Membership and Human Resources
The Director of Finance supervises the finance department and is responsible for accounting and finances, cash management, human resources and benefits management, membership records and dues collection, meeting and events planning, purchasing, printing and media distribution, reception, and executive administration support.
Director of Technology, Administrative and Building Operations
The Director of Administration supervises the administration department and is responsible for investment management including the CEA pension and VEBA plan, CEA headquarters property and facility management, informational technology infrastructure and executive administration support.
Director of Communications and Member Benefits
The director is responsible for increasing awareness of the organization's goals and gaining member and public understanding of CEA priorities. She develops and oversees CEA periodicals and special publications; conducts media relations; produces web and broadcast productions; develops and implements the CEA issue advocacy/advertising program; implements local community relations programs; maintains and develops CEA's web presence; and provides support to Association leaders on all communications matters.
Director of Affiliate Services and Member Training
The director has the following responsibilities: Uniserv representatives, Home/School/Community partnerships, collective bargaining, contract enforcement, field political and legislative organizing, data research and management analysis, membership training, and the assimilation of new teachers into association programs. The division is responsible for the Summer Leadership Conference, CEA/NEA Orientation, the Annual CEA Collective Bargaining Conference, CEA-Retired organization and the New Teacher Conference.
Director of Education Reform Initiatives
The Director of Education Reform Initiatives assists the Director of Affiliate and Member Development in coordinating the programs, activities, and staff supervision in support of CEA's strategic plan.
In addition, supervises, manages, and coordinates CEA activities in implementing education reform initiatives. The Director has direct contact with other managers in similar positions in other state affiliates, NEA, as well as other staff and members at all levels of CEA. The Director of Education Reform Initiatives has contact with other state and national organizations through staff, leaders, and members for the purpose of promoting the organization's goals and the handling of general issues of concern and common interest.
Additional department responsibilities include member engagement, leadership development and championing social justice in education.
Member Legal Services
As Legal Counsel, Attorney Christopher Hankins has represented members and local affiliates before courts and administrative agencies in a variety of matters involving salaries, benefits and working conditions including workers' compensation claims, enforcement of arbitration awards, tenured teacher termination hearings, unemployment compensation claims, unfair labor practice charges, freedom of information complaints, bargaining unit clarification, and numerous other issues concerning working conditions.
As Legal Counsel, Attorney Melanie Kolek has represented members and local affiliates before courts and administrative agencies in a variety of matters involving salaries, benefits and working conditions including workers' compensation claims, enforcement of arbitration awards, tenured teacher termination hearings, unemployment compensation claims, unfair labor practice charges, freedom of information complaints, bargaining unit clarification, and numerous other issues concerning working conditions.
As Legal Counsel, Attorney Adrienne DeLucca has represented members and local affiliates before courts and administrative agencies in a variety of matters involving salaries, benefits and working conditions including workers' compensation claims, enforcement of arbitration awards, tenured teacher termination hearings, unemployment compensation claims, unfair labor practice charges, freedom of information complaints, bargaining unit clarification, and numerous other issues concerning working conditions.