Waterbury Symphony Orchestra
2020-2021 Board of Directors
Kim Welch has been Chair of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra since June 2019. In her professional work, she is a Financial Advisor with National Financial Network where she focuses on working with business owner clients and individuals planning for or in retirement. She has been a financial advisor for many years and brings to her current work senior leadership experience in sales and marketing for leading Fortune 500 financial service companies.
Kim served on the Connecticut Chapter of The Nature Conservancy for ten years and chaired the Development Committee. Prior to TNC she was a Trustee for Phillips Exeter Academy for four years and served on the Finance and Development committees.
Kim lives in Litchfield and is an avid equestrian. She enjoys everything the NW Corner has to offer.
Don Fiftal is in his fourth-year as member of the WSO Board of Directors, currently serving as First Vice-Chair of the Board. He comes from an extensive background as an educator, where during his 47-year educational career he worked as a teacher, an assistant principal, a middle school principal, a high school principal, an Assistant Superintendent, and then finished his last 10 years as a superintendent of schools for the communities of Darien, CT and Sherman, CT.
While at Darien, he was honored with a Proclamation from then-Governor Jody Rell for Don Fiftal Day, in honor of the totality of his career as an educator. He has prior experience on Governance Boards for two homeowners’ associations; on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents; and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Brass City Ballet. Don Fiftal’s background in supporting the arts stems from a childhood and youth deeply engaged in theatre and dance, which extended to subsequent involvement, including: as founder and managing director of a summer theatre; as winner of his college’s Best Actor “Oscar;” as a high school drama director; as the Principal of a school gaining State recognition as the Outstanding Middle School in the Arts; and most recently, as producer for two musicals at the Community Theatre at Woodbury.
Don and Lois have two adult sons and five grandchildren. They have lived in Woodbury 39 years, where presently Don, a former Chair of the WSO Education Committee, now serves as a member of the Region #14 Nonnewaug High School Building Committee. Some day in the future he has the goal of retiring from retirement!!
Born and raised in England, Isobel was exposed to music and the performing arts from a very early age. She realizes now how fortunate she was to have had the opportunity to hear professional orchestras in concert, see performances of opera and ballet, and experience theatrical productions. She is committed to the WSO’s mission to bring those same opportunities to the children and adults of the local community. Isobel’s first instrument was the violin which she took up in primary school and continued to play through college. Isobel also sings in her church choir and, as a former member of the Connecticut Choral Society, had the very great pleasure of performing with the WSO when the orchestra joined with CCS to present Verdi’s “Requiem” and more recently, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
She graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BA (Hons) in French and Latin and went on to become a university administrator, first at the University of Warwick where she met her husband, Colin, and then at the University of Manchester. In a career spanning more than 30 years Isobel has continued to provide administrative services to a number of different businesses including a dental insurance company, antiques shops, a church, a photographer and a general contractor. She is currently employed as a Legal Assistant at Anne M. Ragusa, LLC, Attorney-At-Law, in Newtown, Connecticut.
The Moores immigrated to the USA in 1990 and moved to Connecticut in 1994 where their son, Edward, was born. Once Edward left for college, their schedule, previously dominated by soccer and/or tennis matches and Boy Scout camp-outs, opened up and they were able to enjoy a subscription to the WSO. Isobel joined the WSO Board in June 2019 and was elected Second Vice-Chair in 2020.
Finance Committee Chair
Anne C. Dranginis
Anne C. Dranginis, Connecticut Appellate Court Judge (Ret.), is a member of Pullman & Comley LLC with main offices in Bridgeport and Hartford. She focuses on litigation matters involving matrimonial law, corporate compliance and governance, trial strategy, arbitration and mediation.
Judge Dranginis served in all capacities as a trial judge, including serving as Presiding Criminal Judge in Waterbury and Litchfield. From 1990-1994, she was the Administrative Judge in Litchfield where she heard and decided the declaratory judgment action testing the constitutionality of the assault weapon ban, and the challenge to the state's "hunter harassment" statute. She was specially assigned to preside over Connecticut's so-called "Right to Die" case, McConnell v. Beverly Enterprises-Connecticut. In 1994, she was appointed the Chief Administrative Judge for Family Matters for the Connecticut Superior Court. During her tenure on the Appellate Court, she sat by designation on the Connecticut Superior Court, including the death penalty phase of State v. Michael Ross.
Throughout her career, Judge Dranginis has lectured and provided training sessions to professional associations and community organizations on a host of topics including domestic violence, complex issues in law and medicine, legal services for Connecticut's poor, forensic science, and family law and the rights of children and youth. She is recognized as a leader in the legal community, and has earned numerous professional awards for her accomplishments, most recently receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the Connecticut Bar Foundation's James W. Cooper Fellows.
Dr. James F. Flint
Immediate Past Chair
Development & Marketing Committee Chair
Dr. James F. Flint, a retired cardiologist, is a graduate of Harvard College, where he studied history, and of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed five years of post doctoral study at the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. For two years during the Vietnam conflict, Dr. Flint served in the United States Air Force Medical Corps as a major. He practiced cardiology in Waterbury from 1973 until his retirement in 2008 and during that time served on the clinical faculty of the Yale School of Medicine for 35 years. In addition to the board of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, he has served on the board of Girl's Inc. of Waterbury and the Gaylord Hospital.
Dr. Flint has had a lifelong love of music. He firmly believes that music profoundly enhances the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual lives of all of us and of our community.
Kenneth L. Blazier, MD
Dr. Ken Blazier is an attending anesthesiologist with the Anesthesia Associates of Torrington. A native of Larchmont, NY, he is currently a practicing anesthesiologist at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. He previously practiced in Waterbury, CT and Portland, ME. At the Mercy Hospital in Portland, Ken was the Director of the Comprehensive Pain Center as well as Chief of Anesthesia and President of the Medical Staff.
Prior to attending college, he spent a few years as a professional trombonist. Upon graduation from Amherst College with a music degree, Ken went on to medical school at New York Medical College. He trained at Hartford and Massachusetts General Hospitals and is very proud to serve on the Waterbury Symphony Board.
James (Jay) Chittum
Education Committee Chair
Jay Chittum is a retired Superintendent of Brookfield and Colebrook Public Schools. Music has always been an important part of the life of Jay Chittum. Growing up listening with his mother and to the Saturday Texaco broadcasts of opera on radio, as well as listening to recorded showtunes and carrying the baritone horn in the high school marching band, Jay’s love of music was developed at an early age and has continued throughout his life and career.
Having spent 47 years in public education, the last 15 years as a school superintendent, Jay has been an enthusiastic supporter of music education for young people. This interest has lead him to become the chairman of the Education Committee of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra. The symphony’s education programs for children and adults have gained widespread support under his leadership.
Always interested in community service and education, Jay has held the chairmanship of the Education and Topical Committee of the Western Connecticut Leadership initiative and serves as the President of the Woodbury Hill Condominium Association.
Jay views his membership on the Board of Directors of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra as a valuable opportunity to promote high quality musical performance and enhance the quality of life in the greater Waterbury community.
Thomas C. Clark
Governance Committee Chair
Thomas C. Clark is a Private Investor and former Private Banking Executive. Following his education and military service, Mr. Clark had a 3 decade career in Private Banking in New York. Since then, he has continued a life long interest in volunteer activities, mostly at the board level. Mr. Clark is a graduate of Duke University (AB) and Harvard University (MBA).
As a Vietnam Era veteran, he holds the rank of Commander, USNR (ret). His banking career was Manhattan based, primarily at US Trust, where he was Managing Director, Division President, and Chief Credit Officer of the US Trust Corporation, and was a Director of 6 affiliated banks. For the American banking industry, he was Chair of the Private Banking Division of the American Bankers Association as well as Founding Chair of Private Lending Division of the Risk Management Association.
His volunteer activities have centered around higher education, performing arts, and human rights. Mr. Clark holds 2 Honorary Doctorates for support of higher education in Appalachia. He was a Trustee of Duke University and President of the Duke Alumni Association, and received the Charles A. Dukes Award for his service to Duke. He is Chairman Emeritus of Union College (KY). Additionally, he was a trustee of Marymount Manhattan College and a member of the board’s Executive Committee. - He is Chairman Emeritus of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. He is also Chairman Emeritus of the Concert Artists Guild and continues as its longest serving board member - he received the Guild’s Virtuoso Award for his support of the Arts in America. He has been a member of the boards of 2 theater companies, 3 symphony orchestras, and the Metropolitan Opera Club. He is a Charter Member of the Shelby Society of Kentucky. - He was Treasurer and the longest serving board member of the SLDN (Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the organization that provided legal aid to military personnel harmed by DADT, and ultimately led successful fight for its repeal) - cited by President Obama for his leadership in this effort. Mr. Clark was the Founding Chair of the Duke LGBTQ Network and Co-Founder of the NYC Gay Basketball League. He was a board member of the public television show “In The Life”.
Laura Conway, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC is an APRN Hospitalist and Assistant Professor of Nursing at the Hospital of Central CT, Quinnipiac University. She resides in the town of Prospect, with her husband PJ and two sons, Patrick and Adam. Laura received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Salve Regina University and enjoyed working at Waterbury Hospital in the emergency department before obtaining her Master of Science degree in Nursing Education at University of Hartford and moved into the Clinical Nurse Specialist role. Laura went on to achieve her second Master of Science degree in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at St. Joseph’s College and enjoys her position as a Hospitalist APRN at The Hospital of Central Connecticut for over 20 years. Laura also achieved her Doctor of Nursing Practice and enjoys the additional role of Assistant Professor of Nursing at Quinnipiac University. She is a volunteer for Chesprocott Department of Public Health Emergency Services and supports activities for the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department. She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau National and Kappa Delta Pi Honor Societies, The CT APRN Society and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She shares the love of music, is an avid golfer and looks forward to future retirement and fulltime work toward a scratch handicap.
Patrick (PJ) Conway Jr.
PJ Conway has been serving the state of Connecticut as a Trooper with the Connecticut State Police for 18 years. His current assignment is in the emergency services unit (ESU). He handles an explosive detection Canine “G” and prior to that handled Canine “Jackie.”
Prior to his employment with the CSP, he worked as a registered nurse in the critical care unit and Emergency Department at Yale New Haven Hospital before he moved on to Hospital of St. Raphael as the Emergency Department nurse manager and EMS Coordinator. PJ is also a paramedic who served on Campion Ambulance for 10 years.
He has been a member of the Volunteer Fire department at Prospect for the last 25 years serving in all ranks, up to Captain. PJ lives in Prospect with his wife of 26 years, Laura.
Dr. Emily Littman Eisen
Dr. Emily Littman Eisen is a clinical neuropsychologist in private practice in Waterbury. She graduated from Connecticut College and received her doctorate from New York University. She did a postgraduate fellowship at Yale in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry and served as Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Medicine for almost 30 years where she trained pre and postdoctoral students in brain behavior relationships. She remains a practicum supervisor at the University of Hartford teaching neuropsychological assessment to predoctoral psychology graduate students. She has been involved in the greater Waterbury and greater Litchfield communities for many years. She has been a trustee of the Connecticut Community Foundation, St. Margaret-McTernan (later Chase Collegiate) School, Gaylord Hospital, Greenwoods Counseling & Referrals and the Bethlehem Land Trust among other organizations She is a music fan with particular fondness for orchestral music having attended New York Philharmonic concerts from early childhood. She and her late husband Steven Eisen have been season subscribers to the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra for 40+ years. She is delighted to be a member of the WSO Board of Trustees.
Dr. Michael Feinberg
Dr. Feinberg retired in 2017 after nearly 40 years serving patients in Waterbury as a Board Certified Specialist in Internal Medicine with a sub-specialty in Addiction Medicine. Since his retirement from full time practice, he continues to serve as Medical Director at Connecticut Counseling Center, Inc. in Waterbury, providing care and consultation for those with addictions. He is a former Board Member at St Mary’s Hospital as well as a former Clinical Instructor in Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, mentoring Yale medical students in his practice over the years.
Dr. Feinberg participates in activities in support of many other nonprofits in the community and is a Board Member at Audubon Bent of the River in Southbury. Retirement has made it possible for him to spend even more time enjoying all types of music and art, his love of bicycling, cooking and travel. He and his wife, Ann, live in Middlebury.
Dr. Paul Kelly
Al Macchioni is a retired financial services executive who now lives full time in Litchfield, CT. For nearly 45 years he worked in New York City, briefly as an attorney, and later as an investment banker for prominent Wall Street firms and boutiques. He especially enjoyed advising family companies on acquisitions and raising capital. He always found time for regular visits to the theater, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera and to other cultural meccas in the U.S. and abroad. His involvement with non profits included board memberships with a predecessor of the Orchestra of St. Luke's and The Nature Conservancy Advisory Council. In retirement, Al serves as Treasurer and Board member of the Litchfield Community Center and is President of the Yale Club of Northwest CT. He has a BA from Yale College and a JD from Yale Law School and was a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics.
Marcy Mejia is the President of A.M. Communications Solutions, Inc, a company she founded in 1999 dedicated to providing the highest quality healthcare televisions and entertainment systems across the United States. Additionally, Marcy owns and manages Pie Hill Farm in Goshen, CT. She purchased the horse boarding facility in 2007 as the culmination of a lifetime of loving, caring for, and riding horses.
Previously, Marcy has served on the Board of Education for Regional School District No. 6. She is a longtime supporter of the performing arts, discovering a passion and talent for scenic and sound design for the theatre alongside her children’s growing interest in the field. Ever since, she has been an avid theatregoer and supporter of the arts, including Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Stage Company, and Night Fall. Marcy loves to spend time with her two dogs, her three children, and travel with her husband, Luis.
Richard Sadlon, recently retired as the Supervisor of Music (K-12) for the Darien CT Public Schools, a position in which he served for 20 years, and is currently serving as the Executive Director of the CT Arts Administrators Association.
Rick served two terms as president of the Connecticut Arts Administrators Association, has held several positions with the CT Music Educators Association, served on the Music Committee for the National Federation of High Schools, and was a member of the CSDE Steering Committee for introducing our new CT Arts Standards. He continues to work with districts throughout CT on music curriculum development.
Rick is an actively performing professional musician on saxophone, clarinet and flute, performing with Musical Theater Zurich, Goodspeed Opera House, the S/S Norway Orchestra, and for acts such as Rita Moreno, Jack Jones, Lionel Hampton, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mathis, and Ray Charles. He now regularly performs with New Duke as well as his jazz duo, Gomez & Sadlon.
Phillip Sterling is a Music Teacher at Waterbury Arts Magnet School, Waterbury Public Schools. He teaches guitar, percussion, general music, marching, jazz and foremost concert band at the Waterbury Arts Magnet School, affectionately known as WAMS. He has served the WSO in varying capacities as board member, education committee chair, education subcommittee member, interim Bravo coordinator and patron of the WSO’s excellent symphonic music and events. Mr. Sterling hails from Southern Maryland, where he began his teaching career, actually in his home town. Mr. Sterling moved to Bridgeport, CT where he taught music in seven schools. In 1995 he accepted a music position at Fairfield College Preparatory School on the campus of Fairfield University where he became the first African American Male lay person hired then, in its one hundred ten year existence. With thirty seven years of teaching experience and as a renewed board member, he enjoys the musical experiences provided by the WSO and affiliates. He is consummately advocating for orchestral performances and that of community involvement by continuing the work of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, inspiring a beautiful existence through music.
Mr. Sterling holds an MA in Curriculum & Instruction-Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT and a
BA in Music Ed, University of MD Eastern Shore Campus, Princess Anne, MD. Additional graduate credits: Salisbury University, MD, Certified State of Connecticut Music Teacher Pre K-12.
Kevin T. Taylor
Born, raised, and residing in Waterbury, Connecticut, Kevin T. Taylor, a graduate of Hampton University, is the Executive Director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury, Inc. (NHSW) where he serves as public spokesperson for the organization, directs all aspects of the organization, accountable for strategic planning, human resources, finance management, fundraising, management leadership, and policy-making (in joint effort with Board of Directors), and turning “neighborhood of circumstances” into “neighborhood of choices”.
As the former Senior Project Manager at the Waterbury Development Corporation (WDC) he supervised and managed various projects, including the $36 million dollar restoration of the historic Waterbury City Hall. In two years, Kevin built and led one of the regions leading brownfield cleanup programs, garnering national attention and millions in state and federal grants for Waterbury.
Mr. Taylor founded m.e.s.h., an architectural design practice focused on modern design and urban planning with a focus on sustainability.
Msgr. Robert Tucker