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Community Advisory Board

The Community Advisory Board shall reflect the communities served by Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR) through the review of programming and policies. The CAB shall also advise station administration and the governing board with respect to the educational and cultural needs of the communities and to make recommendations it considers appropriate to meet such needs.

As Connecticut's public broadcasting network, our mission is to serve our diverse audiences to the best of our ability. The Community Advisory Board represents the interests of our viewers and listeners, and communicates these interests to us.

The Community Advisory Board's advice helps Connecticut Public ensure that effective community input goes into our program planning and development.

Your Input is Important!
Please take our short survey and let us know more about your experiences with Connecticut Public's programs and services.

You can also reach out directly to Connecticut Public's Audience Care team.

audiencecare@ctpublic.org · (860) 275-7550
Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Office Location: 1049 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105

How the Community Advisory Board works

  • The CAB operates independently from Connecticut Public's Management. It's an autonomous body that elects its own officers and determines its own agenda.
  • The CAB reviews our Programming Goals, Services, and Policy Decisions. After these reviews, the CAB makes recommendations to station management.
  • The CAB's meetings are open to the public. The Community Advisory Board is informed of program development, production and outreach projects proposed by Connecticut Public during regularly scheduled meetings. The CAB reviews these activities, and gives its advice on programming and projects in progress.

In addition to meeting as a group, the CAB conducts ascertainment projects and hosts program screenings to gather relevant feedback. This helps us ensure that our programs, services and policies reflect and respond to the interests of our community.



Linda Cavanaugh, Chair
Farmington, CT
Member since 2016

Linda’s career as a government manager at the federal, state, and local level includes economic development, community planning, business development, employment, housing, program analysis, and management. She has written opinion pieces, produced community access programming, and volunteered for nonprofits that assist the elderly and disadvantaged. Linda is Chair of the Community Advisory Board, and a member of the Education and Board Relations committees.

“Professionally and personally, I’ve tried to provide information to engage, enlighten, or entertain people of all ages, especially the underserved….and that’s our CAB’s mission!”


Gwendolyn Edwards, Vice Chair
Norwalk, CT
Member since 2017

Gwen is an Emmy-nominated, award-winning broadcast journalist, television producer, and community talk show host. Among her many honors is being named as Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches’ 100 Most Influential Blacks and as Connecticut Hall of Fame’s Best Community Talk Show of the Year. Gwen serves as Vice Chair of the Community Advisory Board, is the lead member of the Volunteer Coordination Committee, and is a member of the Digital Media Committee.

“My childhood, education, socialization, communication skills and my life-long career in broadcast journalism all were greatly influenced by PBS. I believe it is my duty to give back.”

Eric Bennett
Cromwell, CT
Member since 2018

Eric is a co-lead member of the Community Advisory Board’s Education Committee.


Mike Burns
Woodbridge, CT
Member since 2020

Mike’s academic and professional expertise is in nonprofit governance, management, and fundraising. In addition to his work as a strategic consultant and university professor, he serves on the board of the CT Association of Foster and Adoptive Families and is a foster parent to teenage girls. Mike is also a member of the Community Advisory Board’s Education and Board Relations committees.

“I believe in Public TV/Radio as a vital institution with core values that contributes to the way we live in and govern society. CAB is one forum for me to lend my skills and experience to support Connecticut Public in particular and public broadcasting in general.”

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Kathye Cypress
West Hartford, CT
Alternate Member since 2021

Kathye’s career in advertising and marketing strategy includes account management roles for advertising agencies and Fortune 50 marketing departments. Most recently she was a director of product marketing for UnitedHealthcare. Kathye holds an MBA in marketing from Loyola University and a BA in journalism/advertising from the University of Oklahoma. She serves on the Community Advisory Board’s Education Committee.

“Connecticut Public is my main source for news and information about our community, our state, our country, and the world - I know it to be truthful, professional, and often courageous reporting. I hope that my perspective can help to keep it relevant, and I consider it a privilege to serve on the Community Advisory Board.”

Claire Dalidowitz
Kensington, CT
Member since 2020

Claire is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center specializing in food allergies. She developed the Clinical Nutrition Department when the hospital opened. Previously, she was a Saint Joseph College tenured professor and a National Practice Chair for Women’s Health. Claire is a Master Gardener running a garden for a soup kitchen and serves on the Community Advisory Board’s Digital Media and Volunteer Coordination committees.

“I believe in supporting Connecticut Public because it provides accurate, in-depth programming rather than sound bites. It also offers a diverse palette of programming for all ages and people - you will be well versed if you participate.”


Susan Daniels
Essex, CT
Member since 2020

Susan is a strategic marketing communications and design professional working with local, regional, and national clients in the retail, sports/entertainment, and nonprofit sectors. She has a BA in psychology from Trinity College, an MBA in marketing from the University of Hartford, a certificate in interior design from Rhode Island School of Design and has served her local community as a board officer for several foundations and nonprofits. Susan sits on the Community Advisory Board’s Board Relations and Digital Media committees.

“I believe that public radio and television play a critical role in shaping our community. The quality and scope of Connecticut Public’s journalism are impressive and I value the opportunity to play an active role in increasing this impact throughout the state.”

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Roger Desmond
West Hartford, CT
Alternate Member since 2021

Roger’s career highlights include 42 years as Professor and Co-Founder of the University of Hartford’s School of Communication. He holds a PhD in media studies and has published research articles on the media’s impact on young people. Roger has worked as a research study manager for CBS soap operas and a research director for PBS children’s shows. He writes newspaper and magazine articles on business and media-related topics and serves on the Community Advisory Board’s Digital Media Committee.

“In light of the demise of newspaper reading in the past two decades I see that people need and desire quality news and public affairs programming. Connecticut Public helps to fill that gap as well as the needs of young people for better content than they are getting from commercial sources. I’m happy to offer my help.”


James Hoyne
Enfield, CT
Member since 2020

James is an avid disabilities and education advocate. James serves on the Community Advisory Board’s Board Relations Committee.

“I serve to bring a perspective of the quality of TV produced from a young adult’s point of view in which I believe my life experiences and advocacy could help influence and inform others how they can get involved in their community.”


Patsy Johnson
South Windham, CT
Member since 2020

Patsy started her career in education as a public school music teacher and private music instructor before embarking on her graduate studies and research in early childhood music. She earned an EdD in Educational Leadership, received the Culbertson Award for her research studying conflict in school organizations, and retired as a tenured faculty member from the University of Connecticut. Patsy serves on the Community Advisory Board’s Education Committee.

"I want to share my expertise and experience in supporting the mission of Connecticut Public to improve and expand the educational, intellectual, and cultural life of Connecticut."


Llyn Kaimowitz
West Hartford, CT
Member since 2020

Llyn is a professional consultant to nonprofits. Her areas of expertise include board relations and fundraising. Her personal areas of interest include history, archaeology, music, and quilting. Llyn serves on the Community Advisory Board’s Education and Digital Media committees.

“Drama, comedy, documentary, or news, Connecticut Public tells the most compelling stories. They always draw me into a fascinating and different world.”


Henry Link
Hartford, CT
Member since 2013

Henry’s career work began with a degree from MIT before becoming an environmental engineer for the CT Department of Public Health. Upon retirement, he founded an advocacy group for renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation and recycling, and has served as board director for several small corporations and nonprofits. Henry is a member of the Community Advisory Board’s Education Committee.

“I serve on the Community Advisory Board since I have been a Connecticut Public member for 35 years and also a Legacy society member for 15 years and want to give back.”

Angela Martinelli
Oxford, CT
Member since 2020

Angela has served her community and country on Active Duty in the U.S. Public Health Service, the U.S. Army, U.S Army Reserves, and U.S. Air Force. She is a Certified Operating Room Nurse and earned a PhD in nursing. She is a nurse volunteer with Operation Smile International and Project Hope, and a nurse with the Connecticut Medical Reserve Corps involved in Connecticut's COVID-19 Response and other public health efforts. Angela is a member of the Community Advisory Board’s Education Committee.

“I have been a consumer of public radio and television much of my life. As I moved around the country during my career, NPR, and more recently, podcasts, have been a constant companion. Now that I am retired from federal service and have settled in Connecticut, I have the time to give back to this organization.”


Hank Nusbaum
Woodbridge, CT
Member since 2020

Hank is a practicing physician specializing in Addiction Medicine. Before entering the medical field, he earned engineering degrees and started work as a research scientist, ultimately progressing to corporate plans. He is an avid sailor and a lifelong learner. Hank serves on the Community Advisory Board's Education Committee.

“I serve on the CAB to give back to the community and be involved in something I've been a fan of since my son first watched Sesame Street. PBS and NPR are national treasures, contributing much to our citizens and society.”


Agnes Quinones
Meriden, CT
Member since 2017

Agnes is an education consultant-program manager for the Connecticut State Department of Education, overseeing state-funded grant programs. She holds advanced degrees and has received national recognition for her vision, leadership, and commitment to equity. She serves on several boards, including as chair of the State Education Resource Center. Agnes is co-lead of the Community Advisory Board’s Education Committee and member of the Board Relations Committee.

“I admire Connecticut Public’s mission. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to a culturally-minded organization that creates spaces for all the community voices to be heard and to be seen. By serving, I too learn and grow.”


Natasha Samuels
Manchester, CT
Member since 2016

Natasha is an intellectual property manager at Yale University with a degree in information management and technology and a certificate in legal studies. A native of Jamaica, she served on the board of the West Indian Social Club and the Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival planning committee. Natasha enjoys photography and promotes Connecticut through her @Love.Connecticut Instagram account. She is a member of the Community Advisory Board’s Digital Media Committee.

"I enjoy being affiliated with an organization that still adheres to ethical standards of reporting by delivering trusted and unbiased news."


Hank Savin
New London, CT
Alternate Member since 2020

Hank has long been an active voice for Connecticut Public and southeast Connecticut. He worked in the transit industry, becoming the owner of a motor coach company, before working in the nonprofit sector as a development administrator and as an educator. Hank is the Chairman of the Foreign Trade Zone Commission for the City of New London and serves on the Community Advisory Board’s Education and Volunteer Coordination committees.

“I participate to further and strengthen the public service and independent voice of Connecticut Public and to help to strengthen its involvement with southeastern Connecticut.”


Bill Seymour
Glastonbury, CT
Member since 2020

Bill was a newspaper journalist prior to becoming a state government official in communications, policy analysis, and program operations. He is now a freelance writer and adjunct professor. He earned a master’s degree in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and is a board member of its New England Alumni Association. Bill is the lead member of the Community Advisory Board’s Digital Media Committee and also serves on the Volunteer Coordination Committee.

“I believe that public television and radio are treasures in our society that need to be preserved and enhanced with the changing times. If we lose either, we shut a window to a more detailed, less scripted, more intimate, very realistic view about ourselves, our society, and our futures. Commercial television fails often to offer this kind of reflection and view to ponder.”


Lauren Shafer
West Simsbury, CT
Member since 2020

Lauren is a retired high school English teacher and a teacher-consultant with the National Writing Project. She has worked as a book editor and publications manager, and while studying at the University of Pennsylvania, interned at a PBS affiliate. Lauren volunteers for local nonprofits, and has completed Encore! CT's nonprofit sector immersion program. She serves on the Community Advisory Board's Digital Media and Board Relations committees.

“I am passionate about all that public broadcasting has to offer Connecticut residents: stories of our past and present, educational resources, and community connections. Now more than ever we need to support accurate and trustworthy media.”

Credit: Carrie Draghi

Dan Smolnik
Hamden, CT
Alternate Member since 2021

Dan practices law, lectures, and pens articles in the areas of tax, business transactions, and tax-exempt organizations. He served on the Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Advocacy Panel and was awarded the Presidential Silver Citation for his contributions. He also holds an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and serves on the Town of Hamden’s Economic Development Commission, the Board of the Hamden-North Haven YMCA, and the Community Advisory Board’s Board Relations Committee.

“An informed public is essential to a thriving community, and I have discovered no more effective platform for the sharing of information than Connecticut Public. Participation in its mission is an important part of my dedication to public service, and an outstanding opportunity for me to learn from this distinguished and creative team.”

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Craig Wagner
Norwich, CT
Alternate Member since 2021

Craig’s engineering career started at the University of Connecticut where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a PhD in computational and theoretical fluid dynamics. He held research appointments doing code development in the field for 39 years, working for Electric Boat for the last 22 years before his retirement in 2018. Craig serves on the Community Advisory Board’s Education Committee.

“I want to lend a conservative viewpoint to NPR in order to even out the playing field.”


Leeanne Zalewski
New Britain, CT
Member since 2018

Leanne is an Associate Professor of Art History at Central Connecticut State University. She earned a PhD and has published articles on late nineteenth-century American collections of European art. Prior to her academic career, she worked at an auction house and later at an art gallery in New York City. In addition, she is a professional MENAHT dancer specializing in Egyptian-style raqs sharqi. Leanne serves on the Community Advisory Board’s Digital Media Committee.

"As an avid fan of NPR and PBS, I appreciate the opportunity to offer input via the CAB on these valuable public services."


Community Advisory Board Meetings are open to the public. For more information email cab@ctpublic.org.

Meeting Dates

  • September 14, 2021
  • December 14, 2021
  • March 8, 2022
  • June 14, 2022
  • September 13, 2022
  • December 13, 2022

Until further notice, all meetings will be held virtually, beginning at 6:30 p.m. If you would like to join a meeting, please email Sarah DeFilippis at sdefilippis@ctpublic.org for the meeting conference call details.

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