Vince Benevento, Director and Founder of Causeway Collaborative. 

Vince is a licensed professional counselor, he holds a BA in Psychology from Wesleyan University and an MA in School Counseling from Fairfield University.

Vince began his career as an in-home therapist for adolescents and families at the Wheeler Clinic in Plainville, Connecticut, a regional behavioral health services provider. From there, he entered the corporate world, where he worked as a professional recruiter and honed his career-counseling skills. With this valuable experience under his belt, Vince transitioned back to individual and community-based counseling as an employment specialist for the Kennedy Center, one of Connecticut’s largest and most highly regarded community organizations. At the Kennedy Center, Vince worked to find meaningful jobs for unemployed adults with psychiatric diagnoses and criminal histories. He joined Freudigman & Billings in 2010 as an educational therapist and completed a year-long internship in the Weston High School guidance department, where he initiated and co-led weekly support groups for at-risk-students. In 2012, Vince brought his skills and experiences together to start Causeway Collaborative.
Vince’s work experience, whether in the corporate world or in counseling, is united by a single purpose: to help students, young professionals, and those who are struggling to plan for the future and to realize their potential.

John Hamilton,Chief Executive Officer, Recovery Network of Programs 

John has worked in the field of addiction prevention and treatment since 1981, and holds licenses in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. Currently, John serves on the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Steering Committee of the Clinical Trials Network, and Chair of the Community Treatment Provider (CTP) Policy Committee. John also serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board and is on the Executive Board for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), Vice President of the Board of Directors for Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) and the Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership (RYASAP), Chair for the CTP of Fairfield County, and is actively involved in community prevention councils in Fairfield County. Previously John served as Chair of the Dissemination Committee for the NIDA Clinical Trials Network, Past President of the Southwest Connecticut Mental Health Systems Board, Chair of the Ethics Committee for the Connecticut Certification Board (SWCMHS), and President of the New England Association of Drug Court Professionals. John presents locally and internationally on a variety of topics and is considered an expert in the field of addiction treatment and prevention.

James Palmieri, Darien School Resource Officer (SRO)

​In 2013, the Darien Police Department selected Officer Palmieri as Darien's first School Resource Officer. He is assigned to Darien High School on a full-time basis, and he works closely with the DHS faculty, staff, and students to make the high school a safer, more enriching environment. The SRO's days are spent meeting with students, administration, support staff, and parents in regards to various issues or concerns. The SRO also visits classrooms to give guest lessons on alcohol and drugs, search and seizure, and other constitutional/law related topics. The SRO often attends extra-curricular events, in an effort to further immerse himself into the community and increase familiarity.

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2016-2017 Speakers

Duane J. Lovello, Chief of Police for the Town of Darien
Chief Lovello is a native of Stamford, Connecticut. He began his career with the Darien Police Department in December of 1981, serving as a patrol officer until being assigned to the Detective Division in October of 1986, where he served until his promotion to sergeant in July of 1993. After a short return to the Patrol Division, he was reassigned to the Detective Division where he remained until his promotion to lieutenant in September of 2000. In December of 2000, he was promoted to captain and assumed command of the former Line Division, a command that held responsibility for the Patrol Division, Marine Division, and fleet and facility maintenance. On March 1, 2005, he was appointed by the Darien Police Commission as Darien’s ninth Chief of Police, succeeding Chief Hugh McManus.

Chief Lovello holds a B.S. degree from the University of New Haven and a Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1998. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, graduating with the 215th Session in 2003.

He is past president and a veteran member of the Glenbrook Fire Department in Stamford, past president of the Darien Police Association, and past president of the Fairfield County Detectives Conference. He maintains active memberships in the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the New England Association of Chiefs of Police, and Fairfield County Chiefs of Police Association, currently serving as president.

In 2012, Chief Lovello was appointed by Governor Malloy to the Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POSTC) and currently serves as Vice Chairman. POSTC maintains regulatory authority over municipal police training and police officer certification. He currently chairs the POSTC Accreditation and Curriculum Committees. He had also served as a member of the Governor’s Crime Lab Working Group, charged with seeking solutions to issues confronting the Connecticut Forensic Laboratory. Since 2011, Chief Lovello has served on the Legislature’s Eyewitness Identification Task Force, charged with seeking out and implementing best practices in eyewitness identification for Connecticut law enforcement.  

Christopher M. Bogart, PhD, Executive Director of the Southfield Center for Development.

Chris is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked in both the private and public sectors for the past twenty years. Dr. Bogart works with children, adolescents and parents, conducting comprehensive psychoeducational and AD/HD evaluations as well as therapy services. He also provides program consultations to local schools, as well as supervision to doctoral students in psychology. In addition, Dr. Bogart serves as the School Psychologist at the New Canaan Country School.

Prior to founding The Southfield Center, Dr. Bogart held various clinical positions including staff psychologist at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and Director of Psychology at the Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, New York. While serving as director, Dr. Bogart organized and administered an American Psychological Association approved externship training program for clinical psychology and social work graduate students. He supervised staff psychologists on children’s and adolescent inpatient units and he devised a hospital-wide behavior modification program for the children. Dr. Bogart has provided numerous classes, lectures and training programs on various topics such as parent education, executive functions assessment and coaching, psychological testing, and stress management. He has also conducted research studies in various areas including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Social Skills Training, and depression in children. Dr. Bogart received his undergraduate training at Georgetown University and received his doctoral degree from The American University in 1986.

Dan Brenner, Ph.D.,Clinical Psychologist and Superintendent of Darien Public Schools, Darien, CT  

Dr. Brenner was appointed this year as the Superintendent of the Darien Public Schools in Darien, CT. Prior to Darien, Dr. Brenner worked for ten years in the Roslyn Public Schools, first as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction and then as the Superintendent. During his tenure in Roslyn he is most proud of leading an iPad initiative that created the first one-to-one program in the state; creating a foreign exchange program with a sister school in Beijing, China; and most importantly, always making decisions with the best interest of the students in mind. 

Prior to his work in Roslyn, Dr. Brenner spent five years as the principal of Yorktown High School in Westchester County, and 17 years as a school psychologist and principal of the Village School in Great Neck, NY. Additionally, Dr. Brenner has a private psychology practice in Great Neck, NY, where he has been practicing for the past 29 years. He has two children, Ben, age 25, and Rebecca, age 21, and currently lives in Somers, New York, with his wife Beth of 28 years.

Ingrid Gillespie, BPE MScCED, Executive Director, Communities 4 Action
Ingrid has worked for over 30 years in the human services field in both urban and rural communities. In 2004, she was hired to rebuild a regional coalition now known as Communities 4 Action.  The coalition is a catalyst for regional collaborations to strengthen local efforts to reduce substance abuse and promote mental health across the lifespan. The coalition has spearheaded interest and capacity to use evidence based approaches such as SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and if needed, referral to treatment). 

Early in her career, Ingrid was trained in Asset Based Community Development and Asset Based Youth Development.  These two trainings have been instrumental in her approaches to assisting communities and organizations address social and public health issues such as substance use and other risky behaviors. 
Ingrid has a Bachelor of Physical Education Degree and a Masters of Science in Community Economic Development. 

Fathers'      Forum

Presented By The Office of The First Selectman and in Collaboration With:

Ginger Furey, Prevention Educator, The Center in Stamford, CT
Ginger facilitates conversations on sexual assault and abuse throughout lower Fairfield Country and coordinates partnerships with local organizations and groups to raise awareness. Ginger graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Prior to joining The Center, Ginger worked in the West Hartford Public School System, Special Education Department. She specialized in behavioral and social skills of students with Autism. Ginger is passionate about using the Arts to creative positive change in our communities, and has participated in several community theater groups.

Dads Make A Difference