For Immediate Release
Contact: Theresa M. MacNaughton,
Office: 860-520-7114

Hartford Stage announces new board member appointments at Annual Meeting

New members of Stage One also appointed

Hartford, CT, July 3, 2019 – Hartford Stage announced new and returning governing board members at its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 19. The incoming leaders of the Tony Award-winning theatre, Artistic Director Melia Bensussen and Managing Director Cynthia Rider, were introduced and welcomed at the meeting. Four new Stage One members, the young professional leadership arm of the governing board, were also appointed.

“We are so thrilled that such an upstanding group of community leaders will be joining our board at Hartford Stage. These individuals bring expertise and a broad diversity of skillsets to serve the mission of this jewel of a theatre in downtown Hartford,” said Board President David R. Jimenez. “We look forward to welcoming them onto our experienced board alongside our new executive leadership.”

Officers of the Hartford Stage Governing Board who were re-elected for one-year terms are Vice President John L. Sennett, Jr., Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Alleghany Corporation; Treasurer Devon C. Francis, Partner & Senior Consultant at Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC; and Treasurer Michael D. Nicastro, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member at Continuity in New Haven.

Long-time board members Jeffrey S. Hoffman and David M. Klein were elected as Life Directors in honor of their extraordinary service and loyal dedication to Hartford Stage.

Newly-appointed members to the Hartford Stage Governing Board of Directors are Donald Allan, Jr.; Gregory B. Butler; Andrew Diaz-Matos; Marilda L. Gándara; and Jackie Iacovazzi.

Donald Allan, Jr. is Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at

Stanley Black & Decker. Allan currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut and is a board member of

Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, Boy Scouts of America’s Connecticut Rivers Council, and the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business.

Gregory B. Butler is Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Eversource Energy. Butler serves as a member of the Board of Directors for a number of Eversource subsidiaries and the Eversource Energy Foundation. He also serves on the Boards of the Connecticut Business Industry Association, Connecticut Health Foundation, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, Connecticut Public Affairs Network, MetroHartford Alliance, Middlesex Hospital and the New England Council.

Andrew Diaz-Matos serves as Deputy General Counsel – Enterprise Transactions, Intellectual Property & Privacy Law for The Hartford. His team is responsible for overall legal support of The Hartford’s commercial and strategic transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing, real estate, and technology. Diaz-Matos is a Hartford Public Library board member and a United States Army veteran.

Marilda L. Gándara served as president of the Aetna Foundation from 1996 to 2008. During her tenure, Gándara focused on employee volunteerism by helping to establish more than 40 Aetna Volunteer Councils across the country. Gándara sits on the boards of the Connecticut Forum, Hartford Hospital, and Covenant Preparatory School LLC. She has received honors from the American and Connecticut Hispanic Bar Associations and has held leadership positions with Hispanics in Philanthropy, The Bushnell, Urban League of Greater Hartford, MetroHartford Alliance, and the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy.

Jackie Iacovazzi is Advocacy Manager for Global Government Relations at United Technologies Corporation. She is responsible for the development, implementation and execution of the corporation's digital advocacy strategy – which focuses on state, federal and international public policy issues. Iacovazzi is a former member of Stage One, the young professional leadership arm of the Governing Board at Hartford Stage.

Kaitlin Cole, Janixia Reyes, Kristy Sanadres, and Evan Seretan were appointed at the Annual Meeting as new members of Stage One for three-year terms.

Kaitlin Cole is an Assurance Manager with Ernst and Young, LLP. She was the 2018 recipient of the Leading with Confidence and Courage Award for the Ernst and Young Financial Services Office. Cole is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, where she was a member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball team.

Janixia Reyes is a Senior Consultant, Talent Acquisition–University Relations for Travelers. Reyes is the lead organizer and facilitator of Travelers’ Summer Intern Orientation and manages recruiting efforts. She is a member of the Hartford Jazz Society and the Connecticut Swing Dance Society.

Kristy Sanadres is a recent graduate from The University of Connecticut School of Law and an alumnus of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. She is currently a law clerk at Horton, Dowd, Bartschi, & Levesque, PC in Hartford. Sanadres co-authored a chapter in Remembering the Rescuers of Victims of Human Rights Crimes in Latin America, edited by Marcia Esparaza and Carla De Ycaza.

Evan Seretan is Counsel – Labor & Employment for Hartford HealthCare. He recently joined Hartford HealthCare after three years at Cyient, Inc. Seretan is a graduate of The University of Florida Levin College of Law and currently serves as the co-chair of the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Corporate Counsel Committee for the American Bar Association. 

Donald Allan, Jr.

Gregory R. Butler

Andrew Diaz-Matos

Marilda L. Gándara

Jackie Iacovazzi

Kaitlin Cole

Janixia Reyes

Kristy Sanadres

Evan Seretan


Hartford Stage enters its 56th season beginning an exciting new chapter. Newly-appointed Artistic Director Melia Bensussen and Managing Director Cynthia Rider will continue the theatre’s legacy of artistic excellence by creating theatrical works that enlighten, entertain, and educate.

Renowned for producing innovative revivals of classics, as well as provocative new plays and musicals,  Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation’s most prestigious awards, including the 1989 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Additional national recognition includes honors from the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, American Theatre Wing (OBIE), and the New York Critics Circle.

Hartford Stage has produced over 80 world and North American premieres, including the new musical Anastasia, which enjoyed a two-year run on Broadway; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical; and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Other notable premieres include The Engagement Party by Samuel Baum; Make Believe by Bess Wohl; The Age of Innocence by Douglas McGrath; Seder by Sarah Gancher; Rear Window, adapted by Keith Reddin, and starring Kevin Bacon; An Opening in Time by Christopher Shinn; Reverberation by Matthew Lopez; Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov; and Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty. Nationally-renowned titles include the New York transfers of Enchanted April; The Orphans’ Home Cycle; Resurrection (later retitled Through the Night); The Carpetbagger’s Children; and Tea at Five.The leading provider of theatre education programs in Connecticut, Hartford Stage’s offerings include student matinees, in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes for students (ages 3-18) and adults, afterschool programs and professional development courses.

The leading provider of theatre education programs in Connecticut, Education @ Hartford Stage offers student matinees, in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes for students (ages 3-18) and adults, afterschool programs and professional development courses. Education @ Hartford Stage programming reaches approximately 21,000 Connecticut students annually.

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