True Colors Board of Directors

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Carter Johnson (President Emerita) joined the True Colors Board of Directors in 2014. She serves as the Vice President of Communications for GSG’s busy New England office where she designs strategic communications and advocacy campaigns for clients in heavily regulated industries. An expert in government affairs and communications advocacy, Carter brings her knowledge of government acquired from over 20 years of service in the public and private sectors to clients who face substantial challenges. Whether it’s siting the first commercial wind energy project in a state, or rallying grassroots support for vital safety net services, Carter is adept at creating effective messages and campaigns that get results. Prior to her role at GSG, Carter worked as the Operations Manager/Digital Strategist at a leading lobbying firm, a committee clerk in the Connecticut legislature and as a Frauds Investigator with the Department of Consumer Protection. She also ran her own ethics compliance practice for several years. She was elected Board President in June, 2016.

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Tyrone Walker (Treasurer) joined the board of Directors in 2012. Tyrone is a Quality Assurance Manager at Pratt and Whitney. He served as a True Colors mentor for several years prior to joining the Board of Directors. Tyrone also serves on the Board of the Christian Activities Council, a community stabilization and re-development organization in the Upper Albany Area of Hartford, where he is on the Long-range Planning and Finance Committees. Tyrone recently was elected to the 6th District Town Committee for the Hartford Democratic Party, which represents the South End of Hartford. Tyrone has graduated from Howard University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and has an MBA from the University of Michigan.

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Elena M. Gervino is Vice President, Claim Services at Travelers where she leads the National Subrogation organization and is the Manager of Operations for Claim Legal setting overall recovery strategy and operations for Commercial and Personal Lines of Business. Elena is a certified Travelers Diversity Training Officer. Outside of her responsibilities at Travelers, Elena serves on the Board of Directors for Arbitration Forums as well as the Executive Board of Directors for the National Association of Subrogation Professionals. Elena began her career with Travelers in 1996 after working as a trial lawyer at Day Berry & Howard and Bingham McCutchen in Hartford, CT. Elena graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1982. In 1985, she graduated cum laude from Western New England College School of Law where she was a Notes Editor on the Law Review and was named Outstanding Woman Law Student. She lives in Storrs with her partner and their two daughters.

Evelyn Mantilla (President)  is a highly experienced political consultant, with decades of proven experience across many levels of government and communities. With ten years experience as a Representative in the Connecticut General Assembly, Evelyn brings a unique perspective to every issue. Known as a strong communicator, an effective coalition builder, and a highly respected leader among social, political, and business circles, she provides a breadth of knowledge guaranteed to provide strong results. As an activist and legislator, she has spent her professional career working on civil rights and equality issues – particularly focusing on her work with disenfranchised communities. She was the first Hispanic woman to serve as Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives as well as the first openly gay woman in the Connecticut General Assembly. During her tenure as a legislator, she represented an urban district with an overwhelming majority of Latinos / Puerto Ricans – a district with one of the highest populations living in poverty in the state. She has held leadership positions with the National Council for Community and Justice and the Hartford Sexual Assault Crisis Service, and has received awards from the Connecticut Institute for Community Development and the National Association of Social Workers, among others. In addition to her legislative work, Evelyn has worked as an advocate for women’s rights and as a small business owner consulting to nonprofits, businesses and electoral campaigns for over 22 years. She has served on numerous boards, commissions, and public committees, and uses her unique combination of talents, multiculturalism, and activist experience to be an advocate for social justice issues.

Recently retired from active practice, Art Webster is a lawyer and law professor. As an attorney, he spent 35 years  in courtrooms arguing for the protection of children and youth from abuse, neglect and delinquency. He is a noted authority on complex medical-legal issues, including diagnostic and treatment decision-making, HIV/AIDS, religious exemption laws and end-of-life issues. As a teacher and an author, he has instructed hundreds of students, attorneys, judges, other professionals and citizens on the impact of law on children, parents and the government. Art is a graduate of Bradley University, B.A., summa cum laude,  and Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.

 

Evelyn Laureano (Secretary)  is a native of Puerto Rico and has lived in the Hartford area since 1983. Evelyn has a background in retail management and is currently working on her BA in Strategic Communications. Evelyn’s life experiences confirmed to her the importance of the work that True Colors undertakes and inspired her to become a True Colors volunteer. She quickly developed a passion for helping LGBTQ+ youth and was motivated join the True Colors Board of Directors on September 2019.

Donald Pedagast (Vice President) is a generalist who brings an entrepreneurial mindset with experience in consulting, development, higher education, and non-profit management as well as six-years experience on two boards related to his alma mater. One key way he hopes to have an impact is in enhancing how True Colors tells its story, capturing the many narratives of the lives this organization embraces. In addition, he hopes to be another conduit to the business community. Donald notes that, “ Being a “marketing guy” is one way to see me — I do look to be an active member of the marketing committee — but as a second-year MBA student at UConn I bring a big-picture, strategic perspective. I am interested in a variety of board-related responsibilities like the budgeting process, ensuring that values, goals, and objectives are properly reflected in how resources are allocated. In meetings, I will be a strong voice, prepared to listen and contribute to the conversations at hand. In the community, I will be an enthusiastic advocate for True Colors.

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Shane Scott is a licensed clinical social worker and a Connecticut native. Shane received his Master’s Degree from University of Connecticut School of Social Work in 2012. He believes that compassion, understanding, and fostering a holistic approach are an integral part of the healing process. As a dynamic and skilled social worker, Shane brings a vast array of experience beginning in 2005, where he began his career with working in with youth and families across the life span and in a variety of settings, including schools and communities. In addition, Shane has experience working with individuals that are experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance abuse conditions. Shane also has a strong passion and skill in working with individuals experiencing gender and sexual identity issues. Shane also has a talent with facilitating trainings, workshops, and coaching other professionals. Shane currently has a private practice in West Hartford, Connecticut. Shane also facilitates personal and professional development trainings for the LGBTQIA+ community.

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