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SCSU Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors

Paula Armbruster

Paula Armbruster, M.A., M.S.W., is a retired associate clinical professor from the Yale School of Medicine. She also served for over 20 years as director, Outpatient Services and as director, Social Work Training, of the Yale Child Study Center.  Nationally recognized, Ms. Armbruster chaired the National Consortium for Children's Mental Health Services.  She is also a founder of several preventive community programs for youth including Leadership, Education, and Athletics in Partnership (L.E.A.P.) of New Haven.  In addition, she is a member of the Yale Women's Council and is co-chair of Yale Women Connecticut.  She also serves on the boards of various local organizations.  Ms. Armbruster received her B.A. in political science and M.S. in social work from the University of Connecticut; and her M.A. in Southeast Asia studies from Yale University.  Ms. Armbruster is a member of the Board's Governance Committee.

Michael Chambrello '79, Treasurer

Michael Chambrello was appointed CEO of IGT’s North America Lottery on March 23, 2015.  IGT is the world’s leading end-to-end gaming company, uniquely positioned to provide the government-sponsored and commercial gaming industry with proven solutions across the entire continuum of gaming products and channels, including retail, web, and mobile.  Its holding company headquarters are in the United Kingdom, with operating headquarters in Rome, Italy, Las Vegas, Nevada and Providence, RI. IGT is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "IGT."  IGT provides customers with best-in-class solutions, and creates maximum value for shareholders, by adhering to the highest levels of service, integrity, responsibility, and innovation.  Mr. Chambrello is also responsible for the global instant ticketing printing business as well. Prior to IGT, Mr. Chambrello was the chief executive officer - Asia-Pacific Region of Scientific Games in New York City.  Scientific Games is a global technology leader and provider of comprehensive, gaming solutions to the lottery and pari-mutuel racing industries.  Previously, Mr. Chambrello was president and CEO of Environmental Systems Products Holdings, Inc. (ESP) and CEO of Transmedia Asia Pacific, Inc. and Transmedia Europe Inc.  Mr. Chambrello has served on the Board of Directors of various public and private high technology companies and not-for-profit organizations.  Mr. Chambrello earned a B.S. in economics from SCSU and attended graduate school at the American University's Kogod College of Business.  He is the treasurer of the SCSU Foundation Board of Directors, chair of the Finance Committee, and also serves on the Executive and Governance Committees.

Linda Discepolo

Linda M. Discepolo is executive vice president and chief financial officer at the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority (RWA).  In this role, her responsibilities include accounting, budget management, strategic planning, risk, and business development, as well as the oversight of the service, information technology, and asset management divisions. She was part of the RWA senior management team that conceived and developed a first-of-its-kind bachelor's degree in utility management at SCSU. Ms. Discepolo gained her utility experience at the Aquarion Water Company, one of the 10 largest investor-owned companies in the United States. She has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Quinnipiac University and an MBA from the University of New Haven. She is serving on the Board's Audit and Investment Committees.

John Emra, '92

John Emra became the state president for AT&T Connecticut in July 2013. In this role he leads AT&T's legislative, regulatory, and community affairs activities in the state. He started with AT&T in 2001 and was previously the regional vice president for external and legislative affairs. Before joining AT&T, Mr. Emra worked as a consultant in Washington, D.C., and New Haven, Conn.  In D.C., he worked on national broadband policy development by the U.S. Congress and Federal Communications Commission. He has over 20 years of political experience, having worked as: staff on a campaign for a member of Congress; staff to the Democratic majority in the Connecticut House of Representative; a lobbyist with a regional business organization; a strategist with a national political consulting firm; and a media spokesperson in Connecticut and Washington, D.C.  He earned his degree at SCSU in political science. He lives in Fairfield with his wife, Susannah, and children, Jack and Caitlin.  Mr. Emra is a member of the Board's Governance and Investment Committees.

Lindy Gold

Lindy Gold has worked for the State of Connecticut since 1998.  She is currently a senior specialist in the Department of Economic and Community Development, where she is responsible for business retention, recruitment, and expansion. She represents the commissioner on all workforce development and education boards and commissions.  Prior to her position with the State, Ms. Gold was the director of development and community relations at the Connecticut office of Mothers against Drunk Driving.  She has served on the Board of Aldermen in New Haven and in leadership roles on the boards of multiple non-profit organizations.  Ms. Gold attended Hamden Hall Country Day School and then Emerson College in Boston, where she majored in theatre arts. She is very active with the Jewish community of the Greater New Haven area and is the former chair to Gateway Community College Foundation.  She resides in New Haven and has one son, Joshua Kroop, and a grandson, Ari John Kroop.  Ms. Gold serves as the chair of the Development Committee and is a member of the Governance Committee.

Michael Katz, '66, '76

Michael Katz played offensive guard for the NFL's New York Jets from his graduation until 1968.  He was best known internationally as an amateur and professional bodybuilder, winning the "Mr. America" title in 1970, "Mr. Universe" in 1972, "Mr. World" in 1972, and "Mr. Olympia" runner-up in 1975.  He co-starred in the 1977 hit documentary Pumping Iron.  Katz was a highly respected judge for the International Federation of Bodybuilding and was a 1996 inductee of the New Haven Gridiron Club Hall of Fame.  In 1979 he was president of World Gym Fitness in Branford and Hamden.  In 2004, he switched to a Planet Fitness franchise which he runs alongside his son, Michael Jr.  He spent 33 years as a Hamden educator and coach.  He resides in North Branford with his wife, Pam, and has two children.  Mr. Katz serves on the Finance and Development Committees.

David R. McHale, '82, Chair

David R. McHale is the retired executive vice president and chief administrative officer of the EversourceEnergy, where he was responsible for customer care, energy efficiency, information technology, supply chain, environmental affairs, property management, and energy supply.  Mr. McHale received his B.S. degree in economics from SCSU and his MBA with a specialization in finance from the University of New Haven. In addition, he attended both the Executive Financial Management and the Executive Strategy and Organization Programs of Stanford University.  In 2010, Mr. McHale was the recipient of Southern's Distinguished Alumnus Award.  He serves as the chair of the SCSU Foundation Board of Directors as well as chair to the Executive Committee.  He also serves on the Audit, Development, Finance, Governance  and Investment Committees.

John Mezzanotte

John J. Mezzanotte is a CPA and partner-in-charge for Marcum LLP (Greenwich Office) and is a member of its National Alternative Investment and Healthcare Industry groups.  He offers more than 30 years of tax and consulting experience serving closely-held companies in a variety of industries.  Mr. Mezzanotte has an in-depth knowledge working with hospitality business within domestic and international markets.  His global engagements for private international clients and foreign governments span more than 30 countries.  Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Mezzanotte held executive-level positions in finance as chief financial officer, principal of an investment banking firm, co-trustee for a large marital trust, and managing director of a world-renowned hotel and resort. He serves as chair of the SCSU Foundation's Audit Committee and is a member of the Investment Committee.

Martha N. Okafor, Ph.D., M.A., M.P.A.

Martha Okafor serves as the head of the Community Services Administration in New Haven. In this role she oversees the New Haven Health Department, the Department of Elderly Services, and the Youth Services Department, and works with the state Department of Social Services to provide resources through State Administered General Assistance (SAGA). Before accepting this position in 2014, Dr. Okafor was the director of the Division of Behavioral Health and an assistant professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Georgia. She also served as a faculty member at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Massachusetts. She has previously served as a high-level administrator at the Georgia Department of Human Resources in the Public Health Division and the Division of Family and Children Services. Previously, in Connecticut, Dr. Okafor has served as director of the Family Health Division of the State Department of Public Health and director of the Strategic Planning Division at the state Department of Social Services. Dr. Okafor earned a bachelor of arts and bachelor of education from the University of Nigeria. She also has a Master of Public Administration degree from Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria), a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology from Morehouse School of Medicine, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Anthropology/Medical Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. She is an officer of the SCSU Foundation, serving as secretary and a member of both the Development and Governance Committees. 

William H. Pratt, Esq., '76

William Pratt is a partner for the law firm Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner of Washington, D.C.  His practice encompasses all aspects of intellectual property transactions and licensing, government contracts, and the arbitration of intellectual property disputes.  He advises corporations both in the United States and abroad on a wide range of licensing issues across a broad spectrum of technologies.  Mr. Pratt received his B.S. degree from SCSU, his MPA from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and his J.D. from Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, D.C.  He serves on the SCSU Foundation Audit and Finance Committees.

J. Philip Smith

J. Philip Smith is professor emeritus of mathematics at SCSU. He earned a degree in mathematics from Dartmouth in 1962 and master's degree in mathematics from Stanford University. He completed a Ph.D. at Columbia University.  In 1965 he began a 38-year career at SCSU, starting as an assistant professor in mathematics. Dr. Smith moved up the ranks and became a full professor and eventually the chair of the Mathematics Department. In 1982, he was appointed as the first director of SCSU's Honors College. During his tenure as professor, he helped promote education across the world in endeavors such as teaching at Gambia University in Gambia, Africa, and twice furthering the education of Chilean professors in an effort to increase the number of the country's math faculty with master's degrees. Dr. Smith served as interim president at Southern from June 2003 to May 2004.  He is a member of the Board's Development Committee.

John Soto

In 1970, John Soto founded Space-Craft Manufacturing, Inc. in Milford, Conn. (now located in New Haven).  The company manufactures complex precision-machined components from super alloy materials for the aerospace industry.  In April 2004, Mr. Soto received the Association of Fundraising Professionals Award for Outstanding Philanthropists. He was nominated for the award by Gateway Community College in New Haven, where he has been actively involved.  In August 2003, Mr. and Mrs. Soto established an endowed scholarship for full-time undergraduate students of Hispanic descent.  Mr. Soto previously served on the SCSU Foundation Board from 2001-2011.  He serves on the Development Committee.

Anthony Verlezza, '74, Vice Chair

Anthony F. Verlezza is the former vice president of supply chain for Unilever's North American Ice Cream group, the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of ice cream products including Breyers, Ben & Jerry's, Klondike, Popsicle, and Good Humor. Mr. Verlezza also held positions during his career with The Borden Co. and Kraft, Inc.  He currently serves in an industry supply chain business advisory role to food manufacturing companies and private equity groups.  In 2005, Mr. Verlezza was the recipient of Southern's Distinguished Alumnus Award. A native of West Haven, Conn., Mr. Verlezza graduated from Southern with a B.S. degree in biology and later earned his MBA in management from LaSalle University. He serves as the chair on the SCSU Foundation's Governance Committee and also serves on the Investment Committee and the Executive Committee.

Pieter van Vredenburch

Pieter van Vredenburch is the head of linear USD rates at HSBC Bank USA.  He was previously the global head of U.S. Rates and Trading for the Royal Bank of Canada.  Mr. van Vredenburch began his career in finance with the Swiss Bank Corporation and served as the director of rates and trading where he was a trader of derivatives and U.S. government bonds.  Following Swiss Bank Corporation's merger with UBS in 1997, Mr. van Vredenburch held the position of senior swap trader.  Mr. van Vredenburch graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a B.A. in economics and has Certifications of Series 7, 63, and 24.  Mr. van Vredenburch currently serves as a board member for the SCSU School of Business as well as both the SCSU Foundation Audit and Investment Committees.

Carter Winstanley

Carter Winstanley has over 20 years of real estate development and has been a principal of Winstanley Enterprises since 1992. He has developed a wide range of commercial real estate product types, with a particular expertise in the lab/biotech/technology space. Since the late 1990s, he has acquired and redeveloped over 1.6 million square feet of commercial real estate in New Haven, Conn., alone. He started in New Haven with 300 George Street, which is filled with research labs, mainly connected to Yale University. He and his company played an instrumental role in the redevelopment of Science Park -- working in partnership with Yale's Office of Cooperative Research to renovate and provide space so that the emerging bioscience companies would keep their growing businesses in New Haven.  Winstanley Enterprises is also the developer of 100 College Street, the Alexion Headquarters.  Prior to joining Winstanley Enterprises, Mr. Winstanley was a commercial mortgage broker for Fowler, Goedecke, Ellis, & O'Connor in Boston. He holds a B.A. from Colgate University.