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Connecticut Public Names New Officers to Board of Trustees

HARTFORD [June 7, 2024] - The Board of Trustees of Connecticut Public has elected seven board officers, including a new Chair, George Norfleet and Vice Chair, Catalina Samper-Horak.

Norfleet is a long-time board member of 13 years and previously served as Vice Chair for the past two years, as well as both Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee and the Audit Committee. Samper-Horak has also been a member of the board since 2022 and with her appointment of Vice Chair, she will also lead the Governance and Nominating Committee.

The Board of Trustees also welcomes a new member, Connecticut Public’s Administrative Services Manager and Board Liaison, Emily Caswell, as the Assistant Secretary.

Several officers will continue in their current roles including; Connecticut Public’s President and CEO, Mark G. Contreras, who will continue as President of the Board of Trustees, Connie Weaver who will continue as Secretary, Connecticut Public Chief Financial Officer, Meg Sakellarides, who will continue as Treasurer, and Radha Radhakrishnan, who will continue as Assistant Treasurer.

The new officers are:

  • Chair: George Norfleet
  • Vice Chair: Catalina Samper-Horak
  • President: Mark G. Contreras
  • Secretary: Connie Weaver
  • Treasurer: Meg Sakellarides
  • Assistant Treasurer: Radha Radhakrishnan
  • Assistant Secretary: Emily Caswell

With these changes to the trustees, the Board will have a total of 22 members.
“I am honored to lead our dedicated team in continuing to innovate and serve our community with excellence,” said George Norfleet, newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Having been part of Connecticut Public's journey and witnessing its evolution over many years, I am excited about the exceptional journalism, storytelling, and strategic initiatives underway to grow and diversify our audience. Together, we are positioning ourselves for the future, ensuring Connecticut Public remains a vital resource for our community.”

George Norfleet, Chair

George Norfleet is the Executive Director of the State of Connecticut’s Office of Film, Television and Digital Media. He began his professional career in advertising before moving into commercial and then feature film production. He has worked on films and television shows helmed by many of Hollywood's top directors and producers, consulted on tax, finance and production structures for film and television productions and spoken on tax incentives at Cineposiums, seminars and film industry conferences across the United States.

As the Executive Director of Connecticut’s Office of Film, Television & Digital Media, George oversees all of the office's programs and operations and focuses the state's resources on marketing Connecticut as a prime destination for film, television, entertainment and digital media companies to conduct production operations or to establish a locus in the state from which to do business.

George serves on several boards including the Council of Motion Picture and Television Unions, the Association of Film Commissioners International, the Council of State Government’s Eastern Trade Council, and the Connecticut Economic Development Association.

Catalina Samper-Horak, Vice Chair

Catalina Samper-Horak is a highly experienced non-profit executive, community leader and social sector entrepreneur. A seasoned collaborator across sectors, she was the founder and first executive director of Building One Community (B1C) based in Stamford, Connecticut. B1C launched as Neighbors Link Stamford and was established to address the needs of low-income immigrants. After stepping down from B1C, she served as interim CEO of 4-CT, an organization created to address the needs of CT’s most vulnerable residents disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. She is on the board of Americares Free Clinic and the investment committee of Social Venture Partners-CT.

Born and raised in Colombia, Samper-Horak has lived and worked in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Switzerland and the USA, bringing a robust portfolio of experience working in the non-profit sector across countries. Samper-Horak holds an M.S. in Genetics and Plant Breeding from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; an M.A. in Non- Profit Management from The New School, New York, NY; and a BS in Biology from Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia.

Mark G. Contreras, President

Mark Contreras, President and Chief Executive Officer of Connecticut Public, has led several media businesses through digital transformation. Prior to his role as Dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University, Contreras served as CEO of Calkins Media, a privately-held local television, digital and local newspaper publishing company. Calkins developed innovative strategies to maximize audience reach, engagement and revenue by embracing streaming media platforms such as Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV. He previously led local newspaper publishing and digital businesses for three public companies including Capital Cities/ABC; Pulitzer, Inc; and The E.W. Scripps Co.

In addition, he served as Chairman of the News Media Association and the American Press Institute. He is a Fellow of the Millennium Class of Henry Crown Fellows of the Aspen Institute. He serves on the Board of Directors of PBS and American Documentary, as well as Highlights for Children in Columbus, Ohio and Woodward Communications, Inc in Dubuque, Iowa.

The son of an Irish-American school teacher and a Mexican immigrant, Mark grew up in the Midwest—first in Minneapolis and later Chicago.

Mark has an A.B. in History from the University of Chicago and a MBA from the Harvard Business School.

He and his wife, Marybeth Sughrue, have one adult son, Michael.

Connie Weaver, Secretary

Connie Weaver is the Chief Marketing Officer of Equitable and a member of the company’s Operating Committee. In this role, Ms. Weaver oversees and aligns marketing, digital, and insights and analytics efforts to advance business objectives and grow the strategic value and positioning of the company through deeper client engagement and an enhanced end-to-end client experience. She is focused on implementing programs to advance the company’s holistic approach to helping clients reach their goals allowing more Americans to face the future with confidence. Since joining the company in 2019, Ms. Weaver has played a key role in the launch and positioning of the Equitable brand in the marketplace.

Prior to joining Equitable, Ms. Weaver served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at TIAA, where she oversaw the transformation of the company’s marketing strategy, digital experience and brand. Previously, she was Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at The Hartford, and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of AT&T. She has also led award-winning organizations in investor relations and marketing as an executive at Microsoft, McGraw-Hill and MCI.

Ms. Weaver has diverse board and advisory experience, having served on the boards of several corporate and non-profit entities. She currently serves on the boards of Make-A-Wish America, National Council on Aging and Connecticut Public, among others.

Ms. Weaver holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Textile Science and Marketing from the University of Maryland and has completed the executive financial management program at Stanford University, the executive marketing management program at Columbia University, and the global strategic planning program at IMEDE (Switzerland).

Meg Sakellarides, Treasurer

Meg Sakellarides, Chief Financial Officer of Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc, the parent company of Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio has over thirty-two years of financial management and business experience, specifically with for-profit financial services organizations and non-profit broadcasting and educational institutions. A 1986 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Connecticut with a B.S. degree in Accounting, Ms. Sakellarides is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of Connecticut and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Ms. Sakellarides spent seven years as a manager with the Big 4 accounting and consulting firm of Deloitte, specializing in audit services for corporate, banking, and not-for-profit clients. Clients included Emhart Corporation, TD Bank, and the City of Hartford. After her tenure at Deloitte, Ms. Sakellarides spent five years at CIGNA Corporation, an international healthcare insurance company, where she was responsible for human resource development and training for the Financial Executive Development Program (FEDP) for accountants and actuaries. In addition, her financial responsibilities at CIGNA included leading and managing the customer service and financial operations of their Reinsurance Division. The FEDP at CIGNA is one of the country’s most prestigious financial and executive leadership programs and Ms. Sakellarides participated in that executive development program throughout her career at CIGNA.

Ms. Sakellarides has been with Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc. for twenty-three years as its Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for all financial, administrative, legal and compliance matters for the Company. Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc. is a $20 million operation with three television stations, five radio stations, and has a wholly-owned for-profit subsidiary. While at Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc., Ms. Sakellarides was selected from hundreds of applicants to participate in PBS’ inaugural class for its Diversity Training Program, a year-long executive development program held at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Ms. Sakellarides is very active in the Hartford community and has been a Board member of several non-profit organizations, including the Connecticut Women’s Council, the Learning Corridor, Inc., and formerly the Girl Scouts of Connecticut. Ms. Sakellarides is active in the local arts community, recreational sports, and religious ministry, and currently resides in East Haddam, Connecticut with her husband, Scott Mokoski. Ms. Sakellarides and Mr. Mokoski have two adult children.

Radha Radhakrishnan, Assistant Treasurer

Radha Radhakrishnan retired as a President and COO from one of Hartford Financial Services Group companies. For nearly three decades, he held various management positions in actuarial, corporate planning, commercial, specialty and reinsurance departments. Prior to joining The Hartford, he was an Assistant Professor with the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia.

Radhakrishnan came to USA in 1969 from India in pursuit of graduate studies. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras, India and his Master of Science degree, specializing in Operations Research and Management Science, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.

Over the years, he has served on number of non-profit boards —Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding (CCIU), Covenant to Care for Children (CCC), Leadership Greater Hartford (LGH), Connecticut Valley Hindu Temple Society (CVHTS). He served as chairman for the United Way-The Hartford Group and also served as chairman of Connecticut Public advisory board. Radhakrishnan lives in Simsbury and enjoys classical music, travel, and Bridge tournaments.

Emily Caswell, Assistant Secretary

Emily Caswell serves as Administrative Services Manager and Board Liaison at Connecticut Public, a role she took on in 2023. Prior to that, she held several other digital and communications-related positions at Connecticut Public, including Digital Coordinator and Communications & Traffic Coordinator, among others. In addition to her service at Connecticut Public, she has held positions at several media and marketing organizations throughout New England. A Connecticut native, she holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing from Central Connecticut State University and an M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communication from Marist College.

For more information on the entire Board of Trustees, visit ctpublic.org/about/board-of-trustees

About Connecticut Public

Connecticut Public is home to Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR). Together, Connecticut Public serves more than one million people each week through Connecticut Public Radio and Connecticut Public Television, as well as through our many 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.