Over 750 people participated in a LOOK Zoom in partnership with the Greenwich International Film Festival for the Impact Award Ceremony. Hosts for evening were Wendy Stapleton, President of the Board, Greenwich International Film Festival, along with her co-founder and Program Director, Colleen De Veer, and COO, Ginger Stickel. Amy Freeze, Meteorologist, ABC-TV was the panel moderator and Gov. Ned Lamont gave the key note address, “We need arts, we need music, we need celebration, more than ever before.” The panelists included representatives from the 6 winner organizations of the Impact Awards. The big surprise of the evening was the winner of the Audience Award, The Special Education Legal Fund – Co-Founder, Christine Lai received the award. Saks Fifth Avenue sponsored the event and announced the opening of their new Men’s and Women’s Contemporary store, Barneys at Saks on Greenwich Avenue.
Amy Montimurro, President/CEO- Abilis
As President/Chief Executive Officer of Abilis, Amy is responsible for the planning and direction of the organization’s operations and programs. She is committed to ensuring the health, safety and quality of life for the hundreds of individuals and families supported by Abilis. Amy holds a Masters of Social Work from Fordham University and has been with Abilis for over 24 years. She has extensive experience in managing teams and has grown our residential housing program from 12 to 48 homes. Amy has expanded the businesses that employ individuals with disabilities and created new businesses for the organization that provide training and opportunities for growth and personal progress. Amy is committed to the expansion in geography and population to fill the unmet needs in our community. Amy ensures best in class services and opportunities in a supportive environment where each person can reach their full potential. Amy resides in Greenwich with her husband Ian, her children and her dogs.
Anka Badurina, PhD, Executive Director at Building One Community (B1C) – The Center for Immigrant Opportunity
Anka joined B1C in 2015, leading its research into employment trends, creating its workforce development programming, and engaging key funders and partners to support its expansion. She has played an integral role in shaping the programmatic agenda and priorities for the organization, including providing research, data analysis and counsel on critical issues impacting the civic and economic integration of immigrants in a city where nearly two in five residents are foreign born. Her work carries a special focus on ensuring programs include an equity lens and invariably incorporate the voices of the low-income immigrant population in Stamford, CT.
Anka is part of the Leadership Team at Welcoming America’s Inclusive Emergency Management Community of Practice (nation-wide initiative); Stamford Cradle to Career (SC2C) Executive Team. Anka has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, a Master’s Degree in Commerce, and an undergraduate degree in modern languages with a major in business. She was adjunct professor at the Tecnológico de Monterrey Business School, and served as Chief Communications Officer for the Ministry of Security and Safety at the Government of Queretaro, Mexico. Anka is multilingual and understands diverse cultures, having lived in Venezuela, Mexico, the U. S., Canada, Japan, Spain, and the U.K.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont
Amy Freeze, WABC-TV
Emily Segal, LCSW, Senior Social Worker and Clinical Supervisor – Family Centers School Based Health Centers
She has been providing individual, family and group counseling at Stamford High School since 2001. Emily is clinical supervisor to the SBHC social workers at the elementary, middle and high schools in Stamford. As part of her work with the high school LGBTQ community, Emily is a member of the Stamford Public Schools Policy committee to develop and implement policy regarding LGBTQ students in the public schools. In addition to her work with Stamford High’s Gay-Straight Alliance, she has run other groups in the high school including The Writers Group and The Winter Blues group, both developed to address teen depression; a Healthy Relationships group for teens who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence; and most recently, a group entitled Resilience which is based on the ACEs/Restorative Practices initiative that she has been working to integrate within the school. In 2018, she was named Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers’ Provider of the Year.
Shawnee Knight – Co-Founder/Co-President – Filling In the Blanks
Shawnee Knight is a passionate chef, community activist, board member, wife, and mother. Classically trained at the French Culinary Institute of NYC, co-founding Filling in the Blanks has allowed her to marry her love of food, community, and charity. What began with the Connecticut chapter of Blessings in a Backpack has grown into an organization based on Knight’s strong sense of social responsibility to nurture the community’s needy children and inspire others to do the same. Shawnee is a member of the Stamford Food Collaborative, a United Way program, whose mission is to improve access to food, quality of food and sustainability of food for all members of Stamford. She is also a member of the Stamford Public Schools Strategic Planning Advisory Committee, which focuses on ways to improve the educational well being of the district’s students. When she’s not serving on committees and boards in the area of New Canaan, CT, Knight enjoys spending time with her husband of 19 years and her two boys.
Carol Shattuck, Chief Executive Officer – Food Rescue US
While Carol’s career includes work in the for-profit, nonprofit and public sectors, her passion is helping mission driven organizations do more and do it better. For thirteen years beginning in 2001, she worked at AmeriCares, the global health and emergency response organization where she held senior leadership positions. In 2015 she joined Military Adaptive Sports Inc., the nonprofit set up to plan and execute the Orlando 2016 Invictus Game, an international competition for wounded active and retired service men and women. Founded by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Games raise awareness for the power of sports in recovery. Carol joined Food Rescue US as a Director in 2015. She became CEO in April 2018. She is committed to working alongside all our stakeholders to reduce widespread hunger and food waste in the U.S. She believes fervently in the Food Rescue US “simple and smart solution” to these two serious crises.
Mary Forman Flynn, Executive Director – The Rowan Center
Mary has served as the Executive Director of the Rowan Center (the Sexual Assault Resource Agency) in Stamford, CT since 2018. A graduate of Bucknell University, she has over thirty years of experience in both for profit and nonprofit management. In addition to her professional experience, Mary has also served for many years in Darien town government, as a former member of the RTM, the Board of Education, and more recently as Chairman of the Parks & Recreation Commission.