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Board of Directors

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Anna Gasinski

CAPP President

Anna Gasinski is a Public Health Analyst for the Overdose Response Strategy (ORS) program through the CDC Foundation and New England HIDTA. She was formerly a Prevention Specialist with Alliance for Prevention and Wellness, which is the Regional Behavioral Health Action Organization (RBHAO) for DMHAS Region 2 and former Prevention Coordinator for the Stratford Partnership for Youth and Families in Stratford. Anna obtained her certification as a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) in 2017. She has a BS in Public Health from Southern CT State University and has nearly 10 years of experience in the prevention field. She has been serving on the CAPP Board since 2015.

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Cassandra Schend

CAPP Vice-President

​Cassie Schend is the Prevention Project Director at The Village for Families and Children. She received her Masters in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut in 2018 and became a Certified Prevention Specialist in 2021. Cassie began her prevention career as a Youth Advocate for the Vernon ROCKS Coalition in 2017 and is now a co-chair for the coalition. Cassie is passionate about using data to inform prevention efforts and youth-driven prevention initiatives.


Kiersten Naumann

CAPP Treasurer

Kiersten Naumann earned her Master’s of Public Administration in Health Policy & Management from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. After graduation, she worked for the Deafness Research Foundation’s National Campaign for Hearing Health, as Director of Development & Media Relations, in Washington, DC. After returning to Connecticut, she worked as the Development Director at Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport, and then as a Substitute Teacher for the Milford Public Schools. Since 2017, she has been the Program Coordinator for TPAUD, Trumbull’s Prevention Partnership, under the Drug Free Communities grant program.


Ben Eaves

CAPP Secretary

Ben Eaves is the Prevention Coordinator for Partners in Community in Clinton, CT. He also coordinates the youth coalitions in the middle school and high school. Ben’s passion for prevention began at college when he worked in Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services. While studying Art at college, and then going on to play professional sports, he continued to work in prevention spaces through community work, training, consultancy, and mentorship roles. He now lives in Groton, CT.


Dena Miccinello

CAPP Board Member

Dena grew up in Connecticut, she has a degree in Public Health from SCSU and has nearly 8 years of experience in the prevention field. She served in the AmeriCorps program, Prevention Corps with TPAUD, Trumbull's Prevention Partnership, focusing on the opioid epidemic and spent time working in lead poisoning prevention for The Naugatuck Valley Health District. She was awarded the RYASAP Above & Beyond Award in 2018 and is a board member of the Connecticut Public Health Association's Health Education Committee. Most recently, Dena was the Prevention Coordinator at DMLWC, The Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Coalition, for 4 years, focusing on substance use prevention. Currently Dena works at The Hub, Region 1's RBHAO, focusing on problem gambling prevention and education. Dena was a lifeguard and aquatics director for over 10 years; this is where her passion of helping others started. Prevention is the way she now helps community members live a safe and healthy life. In her free time, she enjoys baking sourdough bread, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her loved ones.


Alli Behnke

CAPP Board Member

Alli Behnke, MSW, MA is the Prevention Coordinator for the Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition at the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau.   She has been a Social Worker for 20 years working in the fields of prevention, equine-assisted therapy, youth leadership, and health coaching/personal training.   Alli believes strongly in providing accurate information, education, and tools for success when empowering the LOLPC and REACH Youth Coalition to work together on strengths-based campaigns, programs, and activities.  Her passion is connecting people with their personal strengths and invaluable coping strategies to pave their individual pathway to well-being.  Facilitating community change through individual and collective connection and kindness is what drives her work at LYSB.   When she’s not working- Alli loves taking care of her small family farm, showing horses with her daughters, and running races with her husband and kids.


James Olsen

CAPP Board Member

James Olsen is the Prevention Coordinator for the Stratford Partnership for Youth & Families which is the recipient of both the Drug Free Communities and Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking grants. Prior to working in Stratford, James worked for four years as a Project Coordinator with the East Hampton Prevention Partnership. He completed a four year grant cycle of the Partnership for Success grant and was awarded the Drug Free Communities grant. James has a BS degree in Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University and is a Certified Prevention Specialist. This is James' sixth year as a CAPP Board Member.


Heather McNeil

CAPP Board Member

Heather McNeil is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

She is also an AAMFT (American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists) Approved Supervisor.

Her clinical work experience has been with adolescents and adults in Southeastern CT. for over 20 years,

working with families impacted by addiction. She has been a member of the Ct. Military Support

program since 2005 and worked as an embedded clinician with the Ct. Army National Guard 2007-16.

She became the Director of Old Saybrook Youth and Family Services in 2010 and has facilitated the

growth of clinical services offered to community members needing mental health support. She has

initiated many Positive Youth Development programs which have been recognized on a state and

national level and is currently working towards becoming a Certified Prevention Specialist. She has been

an adjunct faculty at CCSU since 2013 in the Counseling and Education Department.

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Mike Tingley

CAPP Board Member

Michael works for the Bristol Department of Parks, Recreation, Youth & Community Services and is the Program Coordinator for Bristol’s local prevention council, Bristol Eliminating Substance Use Together (BEST). The program is funded by the CDC’s Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant and seeks to prevent substance use among youth. Targeted substances include opioids, vapes, alcohol and cannabis. He works with stakeholders in the city to develop Life Skills programs in the schools, billboards, posters and flyers, while also conducting compliance checks and attending community events. Previously, he was the Prevention Coordinator at Youth and Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth. Prior to that he was the Prevention Specialist at Connecticut Clearinghouse, a program of the Connecticut Center for Prevention, Wellness and Recovery at Wheeler Clinic. He worked closely with statewide prevention leaders to implement a broad spectrum of strategies to address the prevention and health promotion needs of communities within the state. Michael earned his BS in marketing communications at Emerson College, minoring in health communications. In 2017, he earned his master’s degree in public health at the University of Connecticut. A native of Enfield, Michael spent time living in Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago. He currently resides in Simsbury.


Melvin I. Wells III

CAPP Board Member

Melvin I. Wells III is a native of Hamden, Connecticut that attended both Hyde School of Sports Medicine & Health Science and Hamden Hall Country Day School during his time in high school. During this time Wells was awarded a selection as scholar athlete of the year and multiple academic and athletic all conference selections while playing football. Wells was also selected for participation in the Princeton Peer Leadership program at Hamden Hall Country Day School in 2016.
Wells attended Curry College where as a double major he studied Psychology and Philosophy. During his time at Curry Wells was involved in the Student Athletes Leadership Program focusing on resolving social issues on campus. Wells was also a 4 year member of The Curry College Football team where he earned a selection as team captain, becoming the second African American captain of the football team in college history. Concluding his time at Curry College Wells was selected as orator of the class of 2021, where on May 23 of that year Wells delivered a powerful speech that echoed the importance of determination and perseverance. After returning home from college Wells in his spare time began coaching football at Hamden Hall Country Day School where his love of sports and desire to guide youth continue to grow together.


Tyshaunda Wiley

CAPP Board Member

Tyshaunda Wiley is a Public Health Associate for the Office of Firearm Injury Prevention at the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH). Tyshaunda was formerly the Prevention Coordinator for the City of New Britain’s Local Prevention Council, a CDC Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant program. She received her Masters in Public Health from the University of Connecticut Health Center in 2014, and is currently in the process of receiving her certification as a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS). Tyshaunda has over 17 years of wide ranging experience in the public health and science fields including food science, health promotion, domestic violence prevention, behavioral health, and youth substance use prevention. She has been recognized on a state and national level for her coalition work including peer-to-peer prevention education, raising community awareness, empowering youth, and mobilizing community engagement. Tyshaunda is a firm believer that there is no such thing as an “accident”. With proper education and preparation, all unfortunate events are preventable. Tyshuanda also serves as the Grand Directress of Media Relations for the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World (I.B.P.O.E.W), and the Executive Vice Board President for the Opportunities Industrialization Center of New Britain Connecticut.


Carolyn Wilson

CAPP Board Member

Carolyn Wilson is a health program coordinator at Ledge Light Health District. She currently coordinates the Groton Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention. Carolyn is a Certified Health Education Specialist, Certified Prevention Specialist and a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. She is passionate about bringing creativity into prevention messaging. Carolyn has been in prevention for 10 years and has a background in public health, health promotion and behavioral science.

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