Alan Steckler, President, Alan founded Creative Connections in 1992. During his 24-year tenure, he created programs that grew from serving 300 students in its first year to over 10,000 students annually. He serves as the International Young Performers’ Tour Program Director. Alan has been a full-time volunteer staff member, donating his services and expertise. Prior to founding CC, he was an elementary and secondary school teacher in both the U.S. and England. Alan has a B.A. from Principia College in St. Louis, MO, an M.A. in Educational Theater from New York University and has done coursework at the Bank Street College of Education. He teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and, along with his wife Debbie, mentors newly arrived refugees IICONN (International Institute of Connecticut.)
Miguel Barreto, Rainforest ArtLink Program Director. Miguel has 15 years of experience managing environmental and multicultural programs in the US and Latin America. He has a B.A. in Industrial Design from Pontific University in Colombia, an M.S. in Internet Business Systems from Mercy College in NY and a certificate in Social and Environmental Conflict Management from the University of Peace (UN) in Costa Rica.
Polly C. Loughran, ArtLink Program Director, joined Creative Connections in 2009. Polly manages the program in the United States and in over 20 countries around the world supporting every teacher and every classroom. She also manages the organization’s social media outreach. Polly’s broad experience includes project management, event planning and volunteer coordination. Polly previously worked for Save the Children and has a B.F.A. from New York University.
Annette L. Thompson Office Assistant, joined the Creative Connections team in September 2016. Annette brings her artistic training and background from over 20 years experience in Marketing, Promotions & Design. She has a B.A. in Fashion Buying & Merchandising and Marketing from The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and an EMBA from UCONN. Annette has always had a passion for children, volunteering with the Norwalk Mentor Program for over 10 years and sits on the board for the Norwalk Mentor Scholarship Fund, as President, for the past five years. Ms. Thompson is active at her church, Parkway Assembly of God, where she volunteers with the Vacation Bible School each year, which caters to children within the church as well as in the community.
David Pritchard, Board Chair, David is the Co-founder/Principal of Aequitas Advisors, providing consulting services for corporations seeking capital raising, securities exchange or restructuring initiatives. Former journalist and project director at AmeriCares Foundation. Affiliations: Recent Board member at Montessori Middle School, Norwalk.
Wouter Goedkoop, Treasurer, Wouter is a retired international businessexecutive with over 40 years of experience working in the US, Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific. Affiliations: Former board chair of the Center for Contemporary Printmaking and current chair of Selleck’s Woods (Darien, CT).
Diane Fried, Secretary, Diane has been a dancer, choreographer and teacher for the past 30 years. She has been a member of local dance and theatre companies and has studied with Charles Kelley and Frank Hatchett at the Broadway Dance Center in New York. She also served as an Executive Administrator at IBM for ten years.
Kimberly Beck, Kim is the Assistant Superintendent of the Ridgefield Public Schools. Formerly she served as principal of Cos Cob Elementary School in Greenwich and assistant principal at Silvermine School in Norwalk. As a teacher for the first decade of her career, Kim taught 4th – 8th grade, as well as graduate students at the University of Bridgeport. Kim holds a BS in Elementary Education, an MS in Reading and Language Arts and an advanced certificate in Educational Leadership.
Dr. Cheryl Iozzo, Cheryl has been an art educator for the Greenwich Connecticut Public Schools since 1994. She strives to teach from a transdisciplinary approach where student learning is accelerated through the visual arts within interdisciplinary lessons. In February of 2017, Cheryl was invited to Guatemala to meet ArtLink partner teachers. She co-led multiple workshops based on her experiences to over 40 educators in the rainforest region of Guatemala. Dr. Iozzo was the 2014 Greenwich Teacher of the Year and a 2015 CT Teacher of the Year Semifinalist. She holds a BFA from UMass Lowell, a MAT from the Rhode Island School of Design, an Ed.M from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.D from TC, Columbia University.
Alan Steckler, Creative Connections founder and President since 1992. Alan’s background is in elementary and secondary education, with an expertise in educational theatre. Affiliations: Current Board Chair of his local church. Past Board member of CORO, and youth leadership program in NYC.
Cynthia Chang Scanlan