Board of Directors

The Jordan Porco Foundation’s Board consists of the founders:

Ernie Porco, Chairman and Co-Founder
Marisa Giarnella-Porco, President and Co-Founder

As well as the following dedicated individuals:

Carlo Fusco, Chief Underwriter, Mass Mutual
Christopher G. Aroh, CPA, CohnReznick
Clement Lewin, Ph.D., MBA, Associate VP R&D Strategy, Sanofi Pasteur
Ivan Maisel, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
Peter F. Culver, Esquire, CEO, IWM Advisors, LLC
John “Jack” Soos, Sr. Manager, Industrial Engine Programs, Pratt & Whitney
Michael K. Kalman, CEO, MediaCrossing, Inc.
Arthur Mintzer, Partner, Social Venture Partners, Connecticut
April Brackett, Assistant Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Allied World Assurance Company
Jeffrey Lesser, SVP Asset Acquisition-Remarketing, Sherwood Integrated Solutions
Sarah-Kate Venison, LMFT, Founder, Psychotherapist and Consultant, SKVenison, LLC.

Honorary Board Members:

Carla M. McCall, Co-managing Partner, AAFCPAs
Nancy Brockman, Owner, Creative Director, Chimera Communications, Inc.
Alan B. Lazowski, Chairman, Founder LAZ Parking
Michael J. Kuziak, Chief Operating Officer LAZ Parking
Tom Steen, Executive Director, CASAC, Capitol Area Substance Abuse Council

Clinical Advisors:

Harold I. (Hank) Schwartz, M.D., Psychiatrist-In-Chief, Institute of Living, and Vice President of Behavioral Health, Hartford Hospital
Dr. Mercy Arias, Psy.D., Miami, FL 
Rocío Chang, Psy.D. , Clinical Research Associate University of Connecticut Health Center, Psychiatry Department
Dr. Elizabeth Cracco, Ph.D., Director of Counseling and Mental Health Services, University of Connecticut, Storrs Campus
Dr. Barry A. Schreier, Ph.D., Director of University Counseling Services and Clinical Professor of Psychology, University of Iowa
Dr. Jason Sikorski, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychological Science, Central Connecticut State University
Steven C. Rogers, M.D., MS-CTR, Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Associate Director of Research, Director of Emergency Mental Health Services for the Emergency Department, and Co-PI for Injury Free Coalition for Kids at the Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center
Celeste Jorge, MPHEpidemiologist, Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Coordinator, Health Statistics & Surveillance Section, Connecticut Department of Public Health
Michele Martin, MSAssistant Director Campus Recreation & Intramurals/University Wellness Director, Georgia Southern University

Staff

Marisa Giarnella-Porco, Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Co-founder and President of the Foundation, Marisa has worked in human services since 1985. Her employment experiences range from the CT Department of Children and Families to various positions with local mental health authorities in Eastern Connecticut. Marisa has actively volunteered for decades in her community and is currently an active member of the CT Suicide Advisory Board. Marisa enjoys cooking, gardening, water sports, and snuggling with her two dogs Sydney and Valentina.

Email Marisa at mgiarnella-porco@jordanporcofoundation.org

Matt Riley, Chief Operating Officer

Matt studied abroad at the American School in London before returning to the United States to earn his Bachelors in Communications from the University of Hartford. He has fifteen years of experience in corporate training and development and ten years in nonprofit senior management, including director positions with the American Red Cross and United Way. Matt is an active volunteer and regularly participates in community engagement activities. He is a Connecticut state certified firefighter, founder of the emergency medical training company, CSR, and is a passionate advocate for suicide prevention. When he’s not working, Matt enjoys spending time with his family or when time permits, golfing.

Email Matt at mriley@jordanporcofoundation.org

 

Rachel Papke, Communications Manager

Rachel earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 2002. Her 14-plus years of project management in the health care industry serve her well in her multi-faceted role as the Communications Manager which includes event planning, social media management, blogging, writing press releases, partnering with media, driving marketing campaigns, creating mental health awareness campaigns, and more. Rachel’s strong focus on strategic marketing, paired with her innate passion for helping others continues to make a positive impact in the community.

She was born and raised in Connecticut but has traveled across the country, living in New Jersey, California, and New York. She enjoys spending time with her family, barre, dance, yoga, the beach, and blogging. She is a contributing writer for The Mighty. Her next adventure is working to self-publish her children’s picture book manuscript.

Email Rachel at rpapke@jordanporcofoundation.org

Beth Ann Holcomb, Community Engagement Coordinator

Beth earned her Bachelor of Science/Arts degree in Accounting from the University of Hartford and her Masters degree in Finance from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Hartford. She has worked as a CPA in a public accounting firm and an Assistant Treasurer of a Fortune 500 company. Her breadth of experience in event planning and working with volunteers comes from years of volunteer service at her church, her children’s schools and the Greater Hartford Open (currently, Travelers Championship).

Beth resides in South Windsor with her husband Steve, her children Juliana and Michael, and her cats Penny and Abbie.  She enjoys the company of others, working out, shopping, day trips, and most of all spending time with her family.

Email Beth at bholcomb@jordanporcofoundation.org

Leah Nelson, Program Manager

Leah Nelson earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut, where her passion and experience with mental health advocacy began. She joined the Jordan Porco Foundation in 2012 and serves as the Program Manager, overseeing the growth, development, and integrity of the organization’s critical programs. Leah is a Certified QPR Trainer and has also presented her lived experience with mental health and suicide to a number of audiences. Leah volunteers as a canine foster parent with PAWS New England and as a Big Sister with Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters. Her favorite self-care activities include long drives singing along to the Indigo Girls, watching re-runs of Frasier and the Golden Girls, stand up paddle boarding or snowshoeing depending on the season, and spending quality time with her four-legged children: Mufasa the Lionhead rabbit and Sarabi the cat.

Email Leah at lnelson@jordanporcofoundation.org

 

Leigh Powers, Program Coordinator 

Leigh earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Alabama. After moving to the Boston area, she worked many years with the State of Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission until completing a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science at Simmons College. Leigh then worked as a Research Analyst for two Information Technology Consulting firms and then dived back into the non-profit sector as the Manager of Communications and Library Sciences for the Suicide Prevention and Resource Center (SPRC). She is now living on the Wesleyan University campus in Middletown, CT with her wife and two beautiful Whippets; Phoenix and Shanti! Her favorite self-care activities are watching the Whippets run on the beach, New York Yankees baseball games and cheering for the University of Alabama football team. Roll Tide!

Email Leigh at lpowers@jordanporcofoundation.org

Nick Marinelli, Program Coordinator 

Nick Marinelli earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychological Science from CCSU. He has always been interested in being an advocate for those living with mental health issues. His work in advocacy began with his involvement in the board of CCSU’s chapter of Active Minds as well as an advocate at the legislative level of the state government. He has volunteered and worked as a teacher in local preschools and has a drive for community service. Nick is an avid hiker and loves to exercise and live a healthy and active lifestyle. He is passionate about music, reading, and enjoys most of all the company of his friends and family.

Email Nick at nmarinelli@jordanporcofoundation.org 

Jacob St. Jean, Program Coordinator

Jacob received his BA in English from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2017 and is currently working towards his MA in English at Northeastern University in Boston.  When he is not commuting between Hartford and Boston he enjoys playing guitar and hiking with his hound dog Belle.  He enjoys traveling in his off time and has had the opportunity to explore different countries such as; England, Scotland, Italy, and Croatia.

Email Jacob at jstjean@jordanporcofoundation.org

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Dave Morency, Operations Coordinator

Dave was our inaugural “Foundation Champion of the Year” award winner for 2014. He spent countless hours driving a truck and helping us set up tents at Fresh Check Days. So when we realized we needed someone on staff to coordinate all our tent and operations work, Dave was the man for the job. We’re pleased to welcome Dave to the team as our Operations Coordinator. He makes tents happen.

Email Dave at dmorency@jordanporcofoundation.org

Mike Daly, Administrative Assistant

Mike was introduced to the Jordan Porco Foundation as a volunteer on the Hartford Resource Development Committee (RDC) and has served on that committee for over a year. Mike has a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and Organizational Behavior from Central Connecticut State University and a JD from Western New England University. He enjoys being part of the team, supporting the staff and helping the foundation operate efficiently. Mike will continue to work with the RDC and believes it is very important to share our mission with the community. In his spare time, Mike enjoys working around the house, reading, writing, and volunteering at his church.

Email Mike at mdaly@jordanporcofoundation.org