Founders, Board & Team

ReadyCT Board of Directors members Jeff Auker (chair, sixth from left), Marinka Natale (secretary/treasurer, sixth from right), and Ron Utterbeck (fifth from right) are pictured with ReadyCT team members at the 2024 Business & Community Partner Breakfast, Hartford, CT. 

Meet the ReadyCT Team Here

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 the state’s low-income students were performing in the bottom third of the nation.

That task force was led by Steven J. Simmons, who submitted the task force report to Gov. Rell in 2011; his commitment to advancing the policy recommendations in the task force report led him to establish the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), now known as ReadyCT. As CCER, the organization successfully advocated for nearly 100 legislative outcomes to improve Connecticut public education.    

Today, ReadyCT maintains a policy presence while growing career-connected programming efforts for Connecticut’s public school students. 

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.


  • 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

Board of Directors

  • Jeff Auker – Chair
    Associate Vice President – Head of Innovation and Delivery, Infosys (Hartford Hub)
  • Rick Sharma – Vice Chair
    Chief Legal Advisor, Bridgewater Associates 
  • Marinka Natale – Secretary & Treasurer
    CEO & Founder, HealthLynxIQ 
  • Andrew Bond
    Vice President, Human Resources, General Dynamics Electric Boat
  • William T. Brown
    Associate Vice President for Strategic Economic & Workforce Partnership Development, Connecticut State Community College
  • Tracy Church
    Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer, Hartford HealthCare
  • 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, AVNA
  • Gordon Hui
    Senior Vice President, IoT Product Management and Marketing, Munich Re / HSB Meshify
  • Gladis Kersaint
    Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Connecticut
  • Jeffrey A. Klaus
    Regional President, Berkshire Bank
  • Matt McSpedon
    Market Executive, Connecticut & Western MA Middle Market Banking and Specialized Industries, JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking
  • Fran Rabinowitz
    President, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS)
  • Alan Schnitzer
    Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Travelers
  • Dave Smith
    Vice President, Global EHS Governance, Stanley Black & Decker
  • Melissa Turner
    Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer, Yale New Haven Health
  • Ron Utterbeck
    Chief Information Officer, Eversource
  • Michael Van Leesten
    Director, Organization Development & Stakeholder Engagement, Social Venture Partners – Connecticut


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!

Contact Us