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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.

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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.

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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.

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Dena Miccinello

CAPP Board Member

Dena is currently the Prevention Coordinator for Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Coalition a Drug Free Communities grant program. She grew up in Connecticut and attended Southern Connecticut State University to receive her Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Dena has served in the Ameri Corps 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 also a board member of the Connecticut Public Health Association’s, Health Education Committee. Dena was a lifeguard for 10 years; this is where her passion of helping others started. Substance use prevention is the way she now helps community members live a safe and healthy life. In her free time, she enjoys baking sourdough bread, hiking, and spending time with her loved ones.

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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.

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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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James Olsen

CAPP Board Member

James Olsen is the Prevention Coordinator for the East Hampton Prevention Partnership which was the recipient of the Partnership for Success Grant. Prior to working in East Hampton, James worked for two years as a Program Assistant with the Stratford Partnership for Youth and Families, under 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 fourth year as a CAPP Board Member.

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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.

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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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