Leadership Team

Jennifer Kelley, Executive Director

Jennifer is a certified teacher in grades K-6 and has a Masters in the Art of Teaching. She is passionately dedicated to making a difference in the community and collaboratively fostering future leaders. After her daughter, Lexi, came up with the idea of creating a platform for kids to make a difference in the community around their passions, she helped Lexi form KHK in June 2009 where she served as the executive director until 2018.

She has worked in both private and public elementary school in the Fairfield County area. She has worked as a pre-school teacher and center manager for 12 years where she planned curriculum, trained assistants and taught three differentiated programs. She lived in Asia for five years where she was an ESL teacher. In her early career, she worked for 12 years at C2Media, an international presentation company, as a general manager.

Jennifer Bentley, Program Director

Jen B. joined KHK with the objective of promoting volunteer development, program growth and administration. She is a huge advocate of service learning and is excited to be fostering this initiative in children. You can find her working with the kids on a project or developing ideas to cultivate leadership skills and expand the reach of Kids Helping Kids.

Founder

Founder

Lexi Kelley, at the age of 12, started Kids Helping Kids in 2009 after recovering from facial reconstructive surgery.  She felt the incredible power of kids coming together to help her after her accident.  As she recovered, she wanted to keep the spirit of giving alive and use it to help other children in need and share the power that kids have to make a difference in the lives of others.  The first project started with Lexi and only a few of her friends, giving other kids her age the opportunity to feel the impact, joy, and reward of helping others and the organization has continued to grow ever since.

In addition to over 800 hours dedicated to starting and growing KHK, in high school Lexi worked to earn her Shodan Black Belt in Kempo Karate, she was a part of an all girls A cappella group and a tour guide at St. Luke’s School and enjoyed dancing at Locus Performing Arts Center. The World Affairs Forum named Lexi Kelley as the winner of the Future Global Leader Award for Fairfield County and the $10,000 Merit Scholarship for college.  She was also the recipient of the St. Lawrence University Book Award through St. Luke’s School and recipient of the United Way Outstanding Youth Organization Award.

Lexi now attends Lafayette College where she is pursuing an International Affairs Major with a Minor in Chinese.  She also works in the College Writing Program as a Writing Associate, is on the Precision Step dance team, and helps at the animal rescue shelter, among other things that keep her very busy.

Board of Directors

Chip Cingari – Board Member Emeritus

Chip is an owner of Grade A ShopRite, a business that began as a small family grocery store. Today, their 12 stores are thriving. The Cingari family prides themselves on their community service, giving back is a family tradition. For over 30 years they have been dedicated to fighting against hunger by supporting the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. He is also very involved with the Yale Eye Center. Chip Cingari has served as a member of the CT Food Assoc since 1983 and has been on the board of the Italian Center since 2004. Chip has three children and two grandchildren and lives in North Stamford with his wife, Nancy.

Irene Eddy

Irene is a global capital markets leader who specializes in asset securities and structured finance. She has over 20 years of experience in structuring and executing private Rule 144A and public asset-backed transactions. Prior to her career in structured finance, Irene was a legal intern at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and an auditor at the public accounting firm Deloitte. She brings a wealth of knowledge to our board. Irene lives in North Stamford with her husband and two children, both KHK ambassadors.

Charles Evangelakos

Charlie is an accomplished wealth manager at Sagemark Consulting with over 24 years of experience helping highly affluent families, corporate executives and business owners manage the unique complexities of their financial health and legacies. Charles has advised Fortune 500 CEO’s, executives, multi-generational families and prominent business owners. He creates a wealth blueprint that is customized for each client and shared with the client’s other advisors to coordinate their financial and personal objectives. In 2016 he was listed as one of New England’s Premier Financial Advisors by the Wall Street Journal. He was also named the 2015 Planner of the Year for Lincoln Financial Network (LFN), which is awarded annually to the leading financial advisor among thousands affiliated nationally with LFN.

Charlie is an active participant in the Broader Boston Community and has served on several boards and advisory committees, including those for Mercantile Bank, Commerce Bank, Brookline Foundation, Worcester Academy and the Boston Estate Planning Council. He is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is an avid squash player and lives in Chestnut Hill, MA. with his wife and three children.

Brian Kluberdanz

Brian is a civil litigation attorney at Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky LLP in Stamford, who focuses his practice primarily on plaintiffs’-side personal injury, employment, and commercial litigation.  He received his B.A. from Boston University, cum laude, in 2005 and his J.D., with honors, from the University Of Connecticut School of Law in 2014.  In the years between 2005 and 2014, Brian received his Master’s Degree in Education from Sacred Heart University, taught middle school history/social studies, and coached the Westerly High School tennis teams in Rhode Island.

Brian is a member of Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, the Fairfield County Bar Association, and the Connecticut Bar Association, where he served on the Executive Committee of the Young Lawyers Section.  Brian also stays active in his community.  In addition to his work with Kids Helping Kids, he has served as a volunteer and fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Jimmy Fund.  He lives in downtown Stamford with his fiancé.

Judy Marzen

Judy Marzen has a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Criminal Justice from SUNY Binghamton and has her J.D. from St. John Law School. She specialized in securities fraud and class action litigation and handled some antitrust and employment discrimination litigation, as well as pro bono criminal and family law matters. She no longer practices law since moving to Stamford, CT with her husband, Leo, and her three children. Judy has been engaged in a number of volunteer activities, both at her children’s schools and in the community. She has served on the Boards of the Roxbury Nursery School, the Roxbury Elementary School Organization of Parents and Educators, and the Greenwich Catholic School Home School Association. She presently co-chairs the Person to Person annual toy store in Darien and serves as the parent facilitator for the Kids Helping Kids’ quarterly birthday bashes at Inspirica. All three children are KHK ambassadors and one was a KHK intern and we are delighted to have her expertise in fundraising and fun-raising!

Brian O’Connor

Brian is a thought leader who has a proven track record of developing successful growth and transformation strategies, including market entry, M&A, portfolio rationalization and building customer-centric strategies that maximize revenue and profits.  Brian has diverse industry experience in Ecommerce, Software and Business Services.

With over 20 years of strategy and operations experience, he knows how to make strategic insight actionable and drive change by fostering cross-functional teams to implement the strategy and align executive teams around what needs to be done.  Brian has built a reputation for charting the winning course, influencing executive teams to reprioritize resources, and tackling the organizational barriers that inhibit cooperation. He builds strong teams that are innovative and implement strategy from a customer-centric approach, which maximizes revenue and profit.  Having worked in a number of industries, Brian believes in balancing near-term results with reinvestments for growth that create lasting advantages. He lives in Greenwich with his wife, Nicole, and 2 children.

 

Marie Rocha

Marie is a software developer and technology guru and has her own company. She has helped springboard KHK to the next level over the last year. She started by looking at how we managed all of our contacts and realized we needed a client relationship software. She spent time researching what would work best for KHK and suggested Salesforce. She has devoted over 100 hours in second half of 2013 to setting KHK up and training our volunteers. This new technology has allowed us to manage our incredible growth. We are grateful for her incredibly selfless donation of time, wisdom and energy.

She continues to work with us to print reports and fine tune our database so we can maximize our growth. Marie is also on the PTA board at Northeast School and very involved in Greenwich Academy. She lives in Stamford with her husband and two children.

Kelly Foley Sapio

Kelly currently serves on the Executive Committee of New Canaan Mounted Troop, a non-profit organization serving youth in our area. She has also spent considerable time in the community working with The Junior League of Summitt, Ox Ridge School PTO, Convent of the Sacred Heart Parent Organization and Darien YWCA Parent Awareness Committee, mostly taking on marketing and communications positions. Prior to staying home with her children and focusing on volunteerism, she spent 12 years working in New York for an Investment Firm and managed the marketing and client servicing efforts for the organization. She has a good amount of experience with both print and social media and desire to expand upon her volunteer commitments in the area. Her strength and desire is to lead the Development and Major Contributions at KHK as well as be on the strategic planning team. Kelly lives in Darien with her husband and three daughters.

Diane Urban

Diane is a freelance digital learning producer/content developer. She has over 15 years of experience developing award-winning educational products for companies such as Disney Citizenship, Disney Publishing, and Pokémon. She has led all aspects of digital development including creative strategy, curriculum integration, and research/evaluation. She obtained a masters in technology in education from Harvard after graduating from Duke. Diane is in charge of collecting and analyzing our metrics in addition to creating a KHK program for elementary age students. She lives in Darien with her husband and three children.

Richard Vogt, CPA

Richard D. Vogt, CPA, CVA is the principal of Vogt & Company, P.C., a CPA and consulting firm. He is a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) with the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts. Mr. Vogt has over 11 years of professional accounting experience and over nine years of professional valuation experience. He is a member of the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accounts and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

In addition to providing tax and advisory services for small business clients, Mr. Vogt has provided valuation advisory services for a wide range of issues including complex business valuation, option pricing models, shareholder dissent, and economic damages.

He has worked as a senior auditor for Deloitte & Touche, a private industry controller for a manufacturing company and designed, developed and operated a four-unit restaurant company in California and Washington State. He has a Bachelor of Art in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration from Clemson University. He and his family are currently American expatiates living in Beijing, China, and he is pursuing a Masters of Taxation degree.

Donna Volpitta

Donna Volpitta, Ed.D., is an educator, author, and parenting expert who is passionate about the field of resilience. Through her Nametags Education Program, Pathways to Empower Curriculum, parenting book, and teacher and parent workshops, she offers practical strategies to build resilience in children.

Dr. Volpitta is on the Board of Directors for One Revolution, a non-profit foundation founded by Chris Waddell. Along with Mr. Waddell, she designed Nametags, One-Revolution’s education program, which teaches students that “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you.” Dr. Volpitta is an education advisor for both Little Noodles, a children’s educational television production company and Kids Helping Kids. She writes an education blog for Modern Mom and has authored several articles, received a grant from the Department of Education, and has given presentations at numerous professional conferences.

Dr. Volpitta is a former classroom teacher with experience in both general and special education. She holds a doctoral degree in Learning Dis/Abilities from Teachers College, Columbia University. She lives in Pound Ridge, New York with her husband and four children.

Updated 5.1.19