Alison grew up in Enfield, CT, graduating from Enrico Fermi High School in 1982. She graduated, from Springfield Technical Community College in 1984, with honors, in Physical Therapy Assisting. She has been working in the field for over 30 years.
She married her high school sweetheart Dan Wells in 1986. They have 2 sons, Matthew born in 1989 and Joshua in 1991. They purchased their first house in Springfield, MA in 1988 and were thrilled to return home to Enfield in 2003.
She has been active in volunteering for years. While living in Springfield, she volunteered at; her children’s school, was an active part of the leadership team for Cub Pack and Boy Scouts Troop 192 as well as being part of the Catholic Committee on Scouting. Alison is proud of both Matthew and Joshua for working hard to reach the rank of Eagle!
Matthew, a chef, married his wife Amanda in 2011; they have 2 beautiful daughters, Madelin (2012) and Charlotte (2013). Alison and Dan are having a great time being “Grammy and Granddad “.
Joshua graduated CCSU in 2016 with his Mechanical Engineering degree.
Alison joined Enfield Junior Women’s Club in 2008, being invited to attend a meeting by her friend and neighbor Maryellen Friedrich. Since joining, Alison has been Membership Chair (2009-2011) and President (2011-2013). She was named “Junior of The Year” in 2010 and has been named “Friendliest Junior” 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015. Alison was CJW Co-Assistant Director for the 2014-2016 term.
In addition to Enfield Juniors, Alison is active at St. Patrick’s Church in Enfield. She is a Eucharist Minister, a member of the Parish Council, as well as chairs the Family “Fun” Society, a committee that plans and holds family activities such as Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day dinners, and Halloween parties. She is also part of the Village Dinner committee, a group of 3 churches coming together and, twice a year, holding free dinners with entertainment for the people of Thompsonville.
Since they started dating, Dan and Alison have always loved music and attending concerts. Now that they are empty nesters, they are enjoying more concerts and doing more traveling. They are NE Patriot fans. Other hobbies Alison enjoys are, playing cards (especially poker, with “the girls” and cribbage), and taking pictures, lots and lots of pictures. Her camera is usually nearby, with sharing of pictures and preserving memories being one of her most favorite things!
Maryellen joined Enfield Junior Women’s Club in 2004 and has held many positions over the years, at times partnering with others for the roles of President, VP Ways and Means, Treasurer, Corresponding and Recording Secretary. Maryellen has been a member of the CJW Board since 2014 and recently completed a two year term as Co-Assistant Director.
Maryellen is a lifelong resident of Connecticut, grew up in Windsor, graduated from Windsor High School and then moved to Enfield in 1984. She went directly into the workforce, started a family, and then fit in college classes at night, while doing her best to juggle a busy, demanding lifestyle. In 2013, she graduated summa cum laude after completing an accelerated program to earn BA, Liberal Studies; concentration in Strategic Human Resource Management from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. She also holds certifications as SPHR (Senior Professional Human Resources) and SHRM-SCP (Society for Human Resources Manager, Senior Certified Professional). Maryellen has been in the human resources field over 20 years and is currently a Human Resources Manager at an aerospace and defense manufacturing company.
Maryellen and her husband Lee, have been married since 1999 and live in Enfield. They enjoy spending time with their daughter Jessica and son-in-law Chris who were married in 2015 and fortunately live close. Maryellen has a variety of interests including gardening, traveling to tropical places, casual golf, cake decorating, playing cards and weekend travel adventures with girlfriends, home improvement projects, comedy shows, collecting sea glass and hanging at North Beach in Hampton, NH. She attributes her love of the beach to her childhood years spent at the family cottage at Point O’ Woods Beach in South Lyme, CT.
Maryellen is excited to continue with the CJW Board and getting the opportunity to meet the awesome women across Connecticut that make up this incredible organization. She looks forward to introducing new ideas, navigating through change and sharing the experience with her friend Alison.
Lourdes Rojas, Assistant Director
Lourdes was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Alabama. While at Alabama, she was very active in Circle K Club, a local community service organization. She returned to Miami and got her first job as a field technician in the Everglades. Over the years, she did field work in the Kissimmee River, Sanibel Island, and a cattle ranch managed by Archbold Biological Station. She worked with aquatic insects, fish, birds and water quality. In 2002, she drove two long days to start her new job at the Yale Peabody Museum as a museum assistant in the division of invertebrate zoology. In 2007, she married Rich who also works at the Peabody. She has two step children (Jessica and Kym) and two grandchildren (Sean and Layla)
Recording Secretary, Ann Wambolt
Ann is a lifelong Connecticut native, having grown up in Middlefield and Farmington. She graduated from Marietta College in Ohio with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and subsequently earned a Master of Arts degree in Neuroscience from the University of Hartford. Ann’s first career was as a neurodiagnostic technologist at New Britain General Hospital and later at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA. In 1990, Ann accepted a position in the Neuroscience Clinical Research Department at Bristol-Myers Squibb company, and in 2001, she moved to the Regulatory Compliance Auditing group at B-MS. In this role, she conducted domestic and international audits of clinical trials, managed several US Food and Drug Administration inspections, and supervised a team of up to 15 auditors across North and South America.
Ann was able to retire in 2014 to share important time with her husband, Mike, as he battled cancer. After he passed away, Ann began to look for new opportunities and activities. When Debbie Talamini, Ann’s friend from Zumba class, invited her to a meet and greet with Enfield Junior Women’s Club in 2015, she decided to join. Ann volunteered to fill the open position of CJW Recording Secretary since January 2016, and was subsequently installed in this role for the 2016-2018 term. Ann also is Membership Co-chair for Enfield Junior Women’s Club for 2016-2017.
Ann has lived in Enfield since she and Mike bought a home there in 1988. She currently shares her home with one indoor cat and one outdoor cat. She loves to read, both fiction and non-fiction, enjoys baking, exercising, time spent with family and friends, and travel.
Michelle Cook, Corresponding Secretary/ Media/Newsletter
Wendy Gamba, Treasurer
Ms. Gamba is currently employed as Chief Financial Officer of Capital Workforce Partners in Hartford, CT. CWP is a non-profit organization whose primary function is as the North Central regions Workforce Development Board. Prior to her position at Capital Workforce Partners, Ms. Gamba was Controller of New Opportunities, Inc. in Waterbury, CT. NOI is a non-profit Community Action Agency whose mission is to move people out of poverty and assist them to achieve self-sufficiency. Prior to her employment at New Opportunities, Ms. Gamba worked in the for-profit sector in the security industry. She was Vice President – Finance at Evergreen Resources in Clinton, CT before moving to the nonprofit sector.
Ms. Gamba has served in various volunteer positions in the past fifteen years. This year, she has stepped down as Treasurer of the Shoreline Community Women; a role that she has held for the past ten years. She has been affiliated with Shoreline Community Women for the past fifteen years. She joined the Connecticut Junior Women, Inc. board as the Recording Secretary from 2012 – 2014. In 2014 she transitioned to her current role of Treasurer and is now in her second term in this position. Ms. Gamba completed a four year term as Treasurer of Connecticut Association for the Education of Young Children, the state affiliate of the nationally recognized National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Ms. Gamba completed her Bachelor of Science Degree with dual concentrations in Accounting and Management at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Law degree at Champlain College in Burlington, VT.
Wendy currently resides in New Haven, CT with her husband Steven and beloved pets Oliver the dog and Tilly the cat. Her husband as a pet snake too. In her free time, Wendy enjoys traveling as far as possible for as long as possible.
Immediate Past Director, Amy Neves
Amy was born and raised in Cromwell, Connecticut and earned a degree in English and Communications from Western Connecticut State University. At WCSU, she participated in everything from planning committees, clubs, sports, school newspapers, a sorority and worked a paying job for the WCSU Housing Department as a Resident Assistant and Front Desk Manager.
Amy and her husband Paul have 2 VERY active teenagers - Talia (17) and Tyler (13). After living in Waterbury for a short stint, she returned to Cromwell to raise her children as 4th generation Cromwell residents and since coming back, has been involved with many volunteer organizations. In addition to the Junior Women, Amy has been a soccer coach for her daughter’s travel team and TOPSoccer Director (a program for children with disabilities) as well as President of the Cromwell High School Girls Soccer Boosters. She's also been active with Girl Scouts, PTO and MS Society events.
In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, gardening, photography, day trips, learning Portuguese and entertaining her extended family (who mostly live in Cromwell).
Amy has worked for Aetna for 24 years and been a member of the CCCWC Club since 2004. She has held many positions within her club as well as on the CJW Board.
Elizabeth joined the Middlefield Women’s Club in 2001, was Vice President in 2007, and was president the next two years. This is her sixth term on the CJW Board. She has been the District 6 rep and has chaired the Conservation, Current Affairs, Education, and Arts Depts.
Elizabeth was employed by the State of Connecticut. She taught English.
Elizabeth is a life-long Connecticut resident. She has been married since 1975 and lives in Middlefield with her husband, John, who is a commercial real estate broker with Prudential CT Realty in North Haven. They make an annual visit to their condo in Scottsdale, Arizona.ish and reading at Vinal Technical High School in Middletown. Then she worked part-time and taught remedial reading at Urbin Y. Kelly Elementary School, William H. Hatton Elementary School, and North Center Elementary School in Southington. She also did some private tutoring and worked for the Capitol Region Education Council as part of the TANF Workforce Literacy Pilot Project in 2005. She graduated from Annhurst College in South Woodstock, CT, with a BA in English; she received an MS in Reading from Central Connecticut State University.
Elizabeth is active in other organizations. She is the Treasurer of the SVFT Retiree Chapter and a member of AFT-CT. She belongs to the Middlesex County Retired Teachers Association and the Association of Retired Teachers
of CT. She was Treasurer of the CT Reading Association and Business Manager of the CRA Conference from 2004-2006 and continues as Business Manager of the CT Reading Conference. She is also interim Treasurer of CRA this year. She is a member of the International Reading Association as well as Past President and current member of the CT Association for Reading Research.
Elizabeth completed two two-year terms as Chairperson of Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education at Middlesex Community College. She is serving her second two-year term as Vice Chairperson this year. An avid reader, Elizabeth is a member of the Board of Directors of the Levi E. Coe Library Association in Middlefield. She enjoys being a member of the White Oaks Doll Club in Old Wethersfield. Her interests include, but are not limited to the following: reading, antiques, travel, astrology, psychic phenomena, card games, Trivial Pursuit, classical music, good food, and gardening.
Donna is married with four grown children (two men and two ladies). She is a nurse and lactation consultant at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
She has been an active member of Enfield Junior Women's Club for 11 yrs, holding offices of Recording Secretary, Ways and Means Chair, Corresponding Secretary, Social Director, and she also chaired the club's Blood drive for three years.
Patty joined Enfield Junior Women’s Club in 2004 and has held many positions over the years; Membership, President and currently Newsletter creator and editor. Patty was a member of the CJW board at one time as District Rep for the Charter Oak district. Currently she is serving as the CJW Health chair.
Patty is a lifelong resident of Connecticut, graduated from Enrico Fermi High School in 1983 and then from Quinnipiac College in 1987, with a B.S. in Medical Technology and a minor in Microbiology. She started her career in the health profession shortly after graduation and will be celebrating her 30th year at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. Currently, she is the Blood Bank Supervisor at Collaborative Laboratory Services, LLC. at St. Francis Hospital ( Level 2 Trauma Center) and also manages the Blood Bank at Johnson Memorial Hospital.
In addition to her volunteer work with CJW and the Enfield Junior Women's Club, Patty also gives back to her community by being involved with the Enfield Fourth of July Town Celebration Committee. She was the director of the Craft and Art Fair for many years, but has been the Hospitality Director and Director of their Scholarship committee for the last 8 years.
She recently became a Health and Wellness coach specializing in weight loss/weight management and a Nutrametrix Consultant ; working with medical practices to institute weightloss and wellness programs. This is her way of paying it forward after having huge success with her own weight loss journey: losing over 120 lbs with the TLS weightloss system. Her change to a healthier lifestyle has become her passion for others.
Patty is excited to be the health chairperson with the CJW Board and hopes to share a lot of information on "Becoming a Better You!"
Currently, she resides in Enfield. She enjoys long walks or runs with her cocker spaniel Cooper, golfing, and playing poker with her friends. She never shys away from a workout or a challenge. Recently completed a 22 day push up challenge, the Rugged maniac Obstacle course and several 5K races. In her spare time you can find her attending fitness classes of all sorts; Zumba, Boot Camp, weight lifting, kick-boxing to name a few. But to her surprise it is Power Yoga that recently caught her attention and interest. "It is a total body and mind work out , challenging at times, but very rewarding for the soul and producing a gateway to happiness!"
Diane lives in Clinton, CT with her husband, John, and their 8-yr old rescue pup, Rocky. She has been a member of Shoreline Community Women for 10 years having served as Recording Secretary for two years, Arts Chair for 3 years and president for 3 years. In her younger days, she was a member of Manchester Jr. Women’s Club, a time she still remembers fondly for the friendships and activities. Diane still refers to the cookbook they made as a fundraiser.
Diane was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from the High School of Music & Art in Manhattan and Lesley (College) University in Cambridge, MA with a BS in Elementary Education. She moved to Connecticut in 1971 and spent 15 years in Manchester and Vernon where she earned an AS degree in Accounting from Manchester Community College before meeting her husband and moving to Clinton in 1987. Her husband was the volunteer in the family for many years with Diane’s assistance as the “woman behind the man” in his positions as Secretary of the volunteer Fire Department and EMS Chief, Chairman of the Housing Authority and Commander of the American Legion Post. In 1997 she joined the Clinton Youth & Family Advisory Board. Four years later she was asked to fill in for the Bureau’s bookkeeper who was on medical leave. She has been working for the Bureau ever since, using her experience as a cost accountant as well as her organizational skills. She has been involved with the Business-to-School mentoring program for nine years and the best part of her week is the hour she spends with her mentee.
When not working, Diane enjoys reading, travel, crafts of all kinds, browsing the internet and participating in swaps with other internet crafters. She is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and Partners in Community, a local coalition working on preventing substance abuse and increasing the assets of the youth of Clinton.
Donna Bielecki, LTA Co-Chair
(see Conservation & Current Affairs position for bio)
Lynn Soucy, LTA Co-Chair
Betty-Lou Griffin, Chart Oak District Advisor
I joined Juniors a lifetime ago, and have been an active member of Tolland Community Women for 26 years. My first son was 5 months old, and I just couldn’t wait to hear full sentences. Even as a child I sold flowers made out of tissues to raise money for the Fresh Air Fund, and was a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma (Girls’ Service Sorority) at UCONN...so Juniors was a perfect fit.
In TCW I have served as President, VP/Ways & Means, chaired CIP, State Project(s), and Leadership. I currently am Mentor President and Treasurer. I served on the CJW LTA Selection Committee that resulted in FS:FH, and this is my first CJW Board Position. Feel free to pick my brain, as I have experienced many of the problems your club may be facing!
I am a retired speech-language pathologist and my husband is a retired education administrator. We have two sons who are both computer software engineers in the Boston area. We are the proud grandparents of 3-1/2 year old adorable, inquisitive, energetic Jonah and also enjoyingour newly acquired status as SNOWBIRDS!