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Connecticut Public Names Four New Members to its Board of Trustees

Mitra Best, Melissa Fensterstock, Antoine Lewis and Joel Vengco add significant professional expertise to Connecticut’s public media organization.

Hartford, CT [November 16, 2023] - At its recent meeting, the Board of Trustees of Connecticut Public elected four new Trustees to its Board.

The four new Trustees are:

The Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board embarked on a comprehensive process to examine the needs of the organization and was able to address the existing needs of Connecticut Public in this slate of new Trustees.

“We feel fortunate that this group of very talented and very busy professionals has decided to support the ongoing efforts to grow Connecticut Public,” said George Norfleet, Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.

With the addition of these four trustees, the Board will now have 22 members.

“During the last several years, the Board has developed a comprehensive work plan to improve its processes in many areas critical to a board’s success,” said Board Chair Yvette Melendez. “This group of new Trustees will help us continue this work as well as to contribute to the organization’s continuing mission to serve the residents of Connecticut.”

“We are delighted to welcome such a talented and committed group of people to help Connecticut Public continue our progress in expanding and diversifying our audiences. In each case, the new Trustees’ backgrounds will offer significant and relevant professional expertise to our efforts in an increasingly challenging media environment,” said Mark G. Contreras, President and CEO.

Mitra Best
Mitra currently serves as PwC’s Technology Impact Officer, leading a business unit she founded to develop a suite of technologies addressing key elements of PwC’s ESG agenda.

Mitra also leads the Women-in-Tech ERG which she founded and grew to a thriving community and serves as a champion for diversity in technology.

Prior to joining PwC, Mitra founded two startups and led them profitably, with successful exits. Mitra holds dual bachelor’s degrees from UCLA in Computer Science and Linguistics, as well as graduate certificates from MIT Sloan, UCLA Anderson School of Management and Stanford University.

She serves as Board Director for the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, Creative Visions, Girls with Impact, and is a Founding Partner of StartUp UCLA. Mitra was appointed by the Los Angeles Mayor to serve on the Mayor’s Council on Innovation and by the Governor of Colorado to serve on the Colorado Innovation Network.

Mitra is fluent in English, French, Farsi and Spanish and enjoys leading and serving multinational organizations.

Melissa Fensterstock

Melissa Fensterstock
Melissa Fensterstock. Melissa is a Company Building Advisor at the Material Impact Fund, a deep technology venture capital firm.

She previously served as Co-Founder, CEO and Board Member of Landsdowne Labs in Fairfield, CT.

Melissa has held a number of positions in health technology companies including Stryker Orthopedics, Reed Elsevier and Immune Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IMNP).

She serves as an executive in residence at Yale University in New Haven, CT; Columbia University in New York City, NY; Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD; and Climate Haven in New Haven, CT.

She is a member of the Milken Institute’s Young Leaders Circle. She serves as an advisor to a number of organizations including Johns Hopkins University School of Arts and Sciences, St Johns College of Cambridge University and Digitalis Commons.

She holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in Boston, MA; an M.Phil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge: St. Johns College in Cambridge, UK; and a B.A. in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.

Melissa enjoys snowshoeing, traveling, blind wine tasting and culinary journalism.

Antoine Lewis

Antoine Lewis
Antoine Lewis. Antoine is an experienced and accomplished broadcaster with expertise in news, sports and entertainment.

Recently, Lewis built ESPN’s First Take into the #1 morning sports show for 11 consecutive years, consistently generating record-breaking ratings month-over-month. At ESPN he served as Vice President, Studio Production and Coordinating Producer.

In addition, he had significant experience building an Asian presence for ESPN’s show brands.

Prior to ESPN, Antoine had leadership and executive producer roles in news in Denver, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Chicago.

He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications. He has also served as a guest lecturer at Northwestern University.

Lewis holds a Master of Science in Journalism and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism & Economics from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

Joel Vengco

Joel Vengco
Joel is the Senior Vice President of ITS and Chief Information and Digital Officer (CIDO)

At Hartford HealthCare where he leads all technology operations and services, enterprise applications, data and analytics and digital transformation across Connecticut's largest health system. He has more than 20 years of healthcare technology, informatics and innovation experience and is focused on harnessing the power of data and digital to transform care delivery to be more a personalized and orchestrated experience for patients.

Prior to Hartford HealthCare, Joel was the SVP and CIDO at Baystate Health where he led several innovative partnership and technology initiatives with significant finance growth and returns.

Prior to Baystate Health, Mr. Vengco was Vice President and General Manager at GE Healthcare, where he led a$1.5 billion eHealth business and developed a population health platform eventually leading to a joint venture between GE and Microsoft called Caradigm. He has also held leadership positions at Boston Medical Center, Mass General Brigham's Clinical Informatics R&D and Eclipsys Corporation.

Mr. Vengco has been recognized by Becker's Hospital Review as "Top 35 Digital Leaders in 2023", "Top 100 Digital Leaders in Healthcare" and "Top 100 Health System CIOs To Know" every year since 2013.

Mr. Vengco holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College and has Masters degrees from

Harvard University and the Boston University School of Medicine.

About Connecticut Public

Connecticut Public is home to Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), Connecticut Public Spirit, PBS 24/7 Kids and Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR). Together, Connecticut Public serves more than 1.1 million people each week through Connecticut Public Radio and Connecticut Public Television, as well as through our more than 60 digital and online platforms, including ctpublic.org. Through our mission to inform, educate and inspire the people of Connecticut, we connect people of all ages to high-quality journalism, storytelling, education and experiences and amplify the voices of our diverse communities.  Connecticut Public’s main offices are located in Hartford, CT with studios at Gateway Community College in New Haven, CT as well as Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. Connecticut Public is also sole owner of the for-profit MediaVision Creative agency in Norwalk, CT. Connecticut Public is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with a $22 million annual budget, funded primarily through community support from individuals, foundations and corporate sponsors.