Retiring Board Members Reflect on Service
Kindelan, Salina, Triano Step Aside, Invite Others to Join the Foundation Mission
New Britain, Conn. (January 13, 2015) – With the coming of the New Year, three respected members of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain’s Board of Directors have stepped aside in accordance with the Foundation’s term limit by-law, and the occasion has inspired each to reflect on the changing role of the Community Foundation and the nature of community service.
New Britain’s Paul Salina, Berlin’s Phyllis Kindelan and Pastor Victoria Triano of Southington were each recently honored by their fellow Foundation board members for nine years of dedicated service to the Foundation – including two years each for Kindelan and Salina as board chair. For Salina, Chief Operating Officer for the Consolidated School District of New Britain, the chance to serve the Foundation was a rewarding and eye-opening experience.
“I had spent all of my years in education, so getting the opportunity to work on a board with business leaders like Donna Rutola, Gerry Amodio, Charles Bauer and others was eye-opening,” said Salina, who was Foundation board chair in 2010 and 2011. “I learned a lot about so many aspects of what makes New Britain and our surrounding towns such great communities.”
Salina saw big changes – for the better – in the public’s perception of the Community Foundation over the course of his term.
“When I came on, the running joke was that the Foundation was that ‘castle up on the hill’ that would open up its doors once a year, allowing some money to come out,” he laughed. “Through the board’s hard work and the work of (Foundation President) Jim Williamson and staff, a great job has been done getting the word out into the community about who we are and what we do.
“I’ve served on several boards, and the Foundation board is something special. There has always been great chemistry among diverse people dedicated to important causes.”
Triano, a member of the Southington Town Council and Director of Pastoral Care at Southington Care Center, echoed Salina’s thoughts about the unique nature of the Foundation board and the organization’s work.
“The Community Foundation board is just different,” she said. “It is different in its mission and different in the dedication of its members. Each member takes it as a personal responsibility to promote change for the better in our communities.
“I truly believe that the Foundation sets the standard for area nonprofits not only in grantmaking, but in terms of changing community culture. I encourage those interested in community service to look closely at the Community Foundation.”
Triano added that it was rewarding working with dedicated colleagues who listened to her Southington perspective.
“The board knew of my knowledge of and involvement in the Southington community, and really listened,” she said. “They encouraged clarification from me on issues that impacted Southington, and I felt like they appreciated my perspective. As a result, we were able to make many valuable grants for the Southington community.”
Kindelan’s view was similar to that of Salina and Triano.
“Personally, I learned a lot,” said Kindelan, who served as board chair in 2012 and 2013 and who, along with her husband Edmund, was a founding member of the Foundation’s Catalyst Fund. “I enjoyed working with such a wonderful group of dedicated people who, frankly, I probably would not have gotten to meet were it not for my involvement with the Foundation.”
Kindelan has seen a major change in how the Foundation serves its communities in the nine years during which she was on the board.
“Today’s Foundation is much more focused in its grantmaking,” she said. “Our First Years First early childhood development initiative is a great example of that. The Foundation stepped up and recognized an important issue facing the community, and took a leadership role in identifying partners so we could make a real impact.
“We’ve really improved our ability in recent years to not just give money, but to spur action around important issues and inspire others to get on board.”
All three retiring board members will remain involved with the Foundation at the committee level. Both Kindelan and Salina will remain members of the Foundation’s Community Initiatives Committee, while Triano will continue to serve on the Grants Committee.
Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain connects donors who care with causes that matter in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. It does this by raising resources and developing partnerships that make a measurable improvement in the quality of life in each of these communities. For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org.