Meet Our Board of Directors
President — Dr. Lisa Caruso
Dr. Lisa Caruso has seen the positive impact of the program CT-ALIVE supports on women who have been victims of abuse. Joining the Board in 2019, Lisa wanted to use her skills and vast experience to help the organization succeed and help women reclaim their lives after abuse. A resident of Branford, Connecticut, Lisa is now CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Haven. Previously employed with KPMG as Director of Business Technology Services, she also spent 30 years in IT leadership roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Vice President – Diana Diliberto
Diana is a Sales Outreach Specialist for a company in Bristol, Connecticut. She joined the CT-ALIVE Board in June, 2020 because she wanted to support women who have been through trauma. “It’s inspiring,” she says, “to see how these women can grow, how the light in their eyes gets brighter and their hearts beat stronger and stronger with the help of CT-ALIVE- supported workshops.” With her skills, she will be helping CT-ALIVE with fund development and fundraising.
Treasurer — Sarah Watson
Sarah was looking for a way to give back and serve the community when she met Susan Omilian, CT-ALIVE Project Director. It was Susan’s passionate work with survivors of domestic violence that led her to learn more about CT-ALIVE and join the Board in 2019. Sarah is now committed to helping victims and supporting survivors on their journey to rebuilding their lives after the abuse. Sarah is an accounting professional with a specialization in tax. She currently works for a regional public accounting firm, and she resides in Waterbury, Connecticut with her husband and three fur babies. When not at work, she enjoys walks with her dogs, traveling to Maine to visit family and reading.
Secretary — Jennifer Landau
Jennifer is a passionate supporter of women’s and children’s rights and believes that the work of CT ALIVE is very important to our communities. As an architect with a background in business administration and finances, she finds great fulfillment working for a mission-based organization dealing with multi-family housing during the day and utilizing her skills with a non-profit that deals with those families in need in her free time. Her interest in long-range planning and strategic thinking will help further the mission of CT ALIVE and expand its name recognition among residents of Connecticut, potential new donors and corporate sponsors.
Board Member — Joanna Ishmael
After attending Susan Omilian’s My Avenging Angel Workshops supported by CT-ALIVE, Joanna joined the Board in 2013. Dedicated to philanthropic causes, Joanna volunteered in her community for over 15 years. Passionate about encouraging survivors to move forward, Joanna’s own personal goals have been to become physically active and training in self defense and kickboxing. A resident of Hartford, Connecticut for 32 years, she worked as support staff at SEIU District 1199NE for seven years. She has also done canvassing in various political campaigns since 2008. Joanna graduated from Fordham University with her Bachelor’s in Political Science in 2010.
Board Member — Marisol Cardona
Marisol has served on the CT-ALIVE Board since 2014 and also is active in two other local Hartford community organizations and one virtual networking organization. She has over 18 years of experience in the financial industry with expertise in banking and brokerage operations. She has earned certification as an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) as well as the Lean Six Sigma certificate to help in the continual improvement process for the organization. Marisol is actively engaged in community outreach.
Board Member — Teri Coughlin
Teri has been an active participant in the My Avenging Angel Workshops program supported by CT-ALIVE and a member of the Board of Directors since 2016. As survivor herself, she has seen first-hand how the work the CT-ALIVE supports introduces survivors to a place untouched by their abuse and invites them into the world of “thriving,” not just surviving abuse. Today, she is dedicated to ensuring the success of CT-ALIVE so that other women survivors can thrive, too. Teri has been a resident of Windsor, Connecticut for the past 35 years where she raised her two children, now grown. She has worked in health care and non-profit organization management for many years, including spending most of her career as the Vice President of Finance and Operations of Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) East. She has also worked at MedOptions, Inc. as Senior Manager of Revenue Integrity
Board Member – Tennille Rivera-Clement
Tennille is delighted to be part of the CT-ALIVE Board. She met Susan at the My Avenging Angel Workshops that CT-ALIVE supports. The workshops were life-changing for Tennille as a victim of physical and sexual abuse. She wants women to know they can thrive after abuse. Tennille is a nurse coordinator for Community Health Resources (CHR), an independent fitness coach and a volunteer on the medical team for Crossroad Community Cathedral. A proud mother of two amazing daughters, Tennille enjoys dancing with her husband, spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading and writing.
Board Member — Milena Erwin, MBA
Milena, a Business Growth Consultant, is passionate about the mission and values of CT-ALIVE to empower victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to heal and thrive by providing support, advocacy and education. For many years, she has supported women to achieve financial independence through entrepreneurship. With a strong belief in CT-ALIVE’s focus and in its founder, Susan Omlian, Milenawelcomes the opportunity to serve on CT-ALIVE’s Board and expand the impact she can have on women’s growth and opportunities today.
Board Member — Ty Talley-Rushing
While working on a Non-Profit Executive Leadership Certification Program at UCONN, Ty completed a fellowship with CT-ALIVE in the Fall, of 2021. She became invested in Susan’s mission and impressed by her passion and the impact that her efforts had made in the lives of those touched by abuse. As a fellow, She helped do digital marketing for CT-ALIVE to promote awareness of the and assisting with the planning of the holiday party. Now as a Board Member, she continues her support in CT-ALIVE’s mission and values.
Board Member — Lynne Billings,MA
As a Board Member, Lynne wants to help the program that CT-ALIVE supports continue to grow and fulfill its important mission. As a participant herself in that program which has improved her personal and profession life, Lynne knows the benefits of helping women empower themselves and set a new vision for their futures despite all that has ever happened to them in the past. Lynne has a Master Degree Education and is a Professionally Licensed Library Teacher
Susan Omilian — Project Director, Never Going Back to Abuse Project
Susan Omilian is an attorney and the award-winning originator and facilitator of My Avenging Angel Workshops based on the idea “living well is the best revenge.” The workshops provide the critical “next step” for women to break permanently out of the cycle of violence and reclaim their lives. Since 2007, she has been the Project Director of CT-ALIVE’s Never Going Back to Abuse Project in which she provides her workshops, monthly follow up sessions and weekend retreats free of charge supported by CT-ALIVE.
Susan has advocated to end violence against women for the past forty years including representing abused women in divorce and founding a sexual assault crisis center. Susan’s idea for the workshops came after her niece Maggie, a nineteen-year old college student, was killed in 1999 by her ex-boyfriend. She also speaks on dating violence at high schools and on college campuses across the country and has presented workshops at state, national and international conferences.
Susan held executive-level positions in Connecticut state government for eleven years including Director of Human Services Planning at the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) and Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Staff at the Department of Children and Families (DCF). She was Staff Attorney at the CT Women’s Educational and Legal Fund (CWEALF), a women’s public interest law firm, in Hartford from 1981 to 1986.
You Can Help Make a Difference
Your donation can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of women, children and families adversely affected by domestic violence.
Please make your tax-deductible donation to CT-ALIVE today!