Founders, Board & Team

Dudley Williams, Jr., 1955 - 2021

ReadyCT Founding Board Member (2011 - 2021)

The world has lost a true champion of underserved children everywhere. On May 21, 2021, ReadyCT founding board member Dudley Williams, Jr. passed, surrounded by the love of family, friends, and colleagues.

Dudley was instrumental in the 2011 founding of ReadyCT (f/k/a CCER, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform) and the groundwork that resulted in an organization driven to close the Connecticut achievement gap. When ReadyCT decided to strategically prioritize career-connected learning alongside academic excellence, Dudley lent his skills and talents to refining that objective.

Former ReadyCT board chair Steve Simmons, who worked with Dudley for more than a decade to advance the work, said this of Dudley:

“Dudley Williams was a driving force in working to narrow the achievement gap in Connecticut for many years. He was a key member of the 2010 gubernatorial commission I chaired on educational reform, and many of the recommendations of that commission were enacted into law — in no small part because of Dudley’s efforts. Dudley went on to be a very important Board member of ReadyCT and remained so for over a decade. Dudley’s wisdom, judgement, insights, and passion were appreciated by all of his colleagues, and his contributions critically informed deliberations. He was truly a giant in helping improve the education of all public school students throughout the state.

“On a personal note, he was a great friend, and his warmth, wonderful sense of humor, true concern for others, and big smile will be sorely missed.”

ReadyCT joins with Steve and all ReadyCT Board of Directors members, past and present, to extend deepest sympathies to his wife, Juanita, his son Dudley III, and his entire family.

Meet The ReadyCT Team

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Roots are important. It is from our roots that we can grow.

That’s why we remain incredibly grateful to the committed men and women who brought our organization to life.

A brief history

In 2010, Gov. M. Jodi Rell commissioned a task force to examine the achievement gap — the difference in academic performance between Connecticut’s low-income and non low-income students. At the time, Connecticut had one of the worst achievement gaps in the country, largely because our low-income students were performing in the bottom third of the nation.

That task force was led by Steven J. Simmons, who went on to chair the ReadyCT Board of Directors which today includes four other original task force members. When the task force submitted its 2011 report, the members deemed their findings so valuable that they formed a nonprofit — the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, now known as ReadyCT — to pursue the policies it recommended.

Download the 2011 Task Force Report

Founders & Board Members

Since the beginning, our founders and board members have steered us toward success. ReadyCT has been involved in nearly 80 separate legislative efforts to improve education in Connecticut, with over half of them reaching implementation! This happened because of the dedicated individuals who have worked tirelessly to ensure opportunity reaches all Connecticut public school students.



2020 Board of Directors

Joe Voelker – Chairman

Senior Vice President/Chief Human Resources Officer (ret.), Stanley Black & Decker 

Jeff Auker – Vice Chairman

Associate Vice President – Head of Innovation and Delivery, Infosys (Hartford Hub)

Mark Scheinberg – Secretary & Treasurer

President, Goodwin College

Ramani Ayer*

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (ret.), The Hartford

Andrew Bond

Vice President, Human Resources, General Dynamics Electric Boat

William T. Brown

Chief Executive Officer, Gateway Community College

Tracy Church

Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer, Hartford HealthCare 

Roxanne Coady*

Owner, R.J. Julia Booksellers

Chris DiPentima

President/Chief Executive Officer, Connecticut Business and Industry Association

Donna Galluzzo

President (ret.), The Corridor Group

William W. Ginsberg*

President/Chief Executive Officer, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

Jason Howey

President/Chief Executive Officer, Okay Industries, Inc.

Jeffrey A. Klaus

Regional President (Connecticut), Webster Bank

Marinka Natale

CEO & Founder, HealthLynxIQ 

Chris O’Connor

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Yale New Haven Health 

Fran Rabinowitz

President, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS)

Beth Regan

Mohegan Council of Elders at Mohegan Tribe

Alan Schnitzer

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Travelers

Rick Sharma

Chief Legal Counsel, Bridgewater Associates



Steven J. Simmons

Ramani Ayer*

David E. A. Carson

Roxanne Coady*

William W. Ginsberg*

Carla Klein

Yvette Melendez

Peyton Patterson

Steve Preston

John R. Rathgeber

Dudley N. Williams, Jr.

*current Board of Directors member

  • The Team

    Today, our team possesses a range of talent developed and honed across various sectors. Click on the links, right, to learn more about our team members, their experience, and what drives them to advance academic excellence and career-connected learning for Connecticut public school students!

  • Shannon Marimón

    Executive Director

  • Sheryl S. McNamee

    Director of Public Affairs

  • Betsy Caraballo

    Internship Coordinator

  • Gloria Ortiz-Rivera

    NAF Program Manager, Hartford Public High School

  • Susan Auchincloss

    Director of STEM Initiatives

  • Kevin F. Flynn

    NAF Program Manager, Pathways Academy

  • Alessandro Rey Bermudez

    NAF Program Manager, Weaver High School

  • Deb Presbie

    Project Coordinator, Manufacturing Skills for CT

  • Tami Christopher

    Program Manager, Student 5.0

Creating a ready Connecticut is our passion, and maybe it is yours, too.

Please know we welcome your input!
Reach out to speak with us about the work!