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A LETTER FROM OUR CHAIRWOMAN OF THE BOARD, KIM SIROIS PITA:


Hello to the Copper Beech community!


So much has happened at Copper Beech over the last year, and as the current chairwoman of the Board of Directors, I wanted to take a moment to share them with you and introduce myself.


After the departure of our founder and Executive Director, Brandon Nappi, in late 2022, we found an exceptional Interim Executive Director, Jeannette de Jesús, to lead us through the transition. Jeannette leveraged wisdom from her expansive work in non-profits to take a deep dive into the organization, helping us to restructure and secure major grant funding to keep us moving forward. Over nine months, Jeannette did her work with grace, care, and gumption — for this, we will forever be indebted.



A NEW BEGINNING

Last month, we welcomed a new leader to take us into 2024 and beyond. Our Human Resources Committee took careful consideration to find a mindful, mission-driven leader committed to community engagement and compassionate action, with a focus on social justice. I am grateful for the committee and the entire Board of Directors who took on this monumental task.


It gives me great pleasure to introduce our new Executive Director, Danae Laura, who has successfully led small businesses in the Boston area. She brings strengths in organizational leadership to Copper Beech, along with experience in marketing, event management, fundraising, and multicultural programs. She will lead our dedicated staff, whose tireless support has enabled us to continue evolving. This month, we will host a collaborative board/staff retreat to map out our vision for the future. We are excited about the prospects ahead to continue to create a ripple effect of mindfulness in our community and the world.


MY JOURNEY AT COPPER BEECH

Five years ago, I had no idea what it was like to be present in the moment without judgment of myself or others, the very root of mindfulness. I discovered Copper Beech, where I was invited to serve on the marketing committee to work on the organization’s strategic plan. 


Having served on non-profit boards and committees for most of my life, I was particularly excited about this new pathway into mindfulness. As past Chairwoman of the Board of Mental Health Connecticut, I had already emerged as a mental health champion and advocate in honor of my late sister Kelly, so this was a natural transition for me.


Copper Beech became my place to learn strategies to bring peace and calm to my own life. I enrolled in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, followed by a 5-Day Silent Retreat, and finally completed the comprehensive Mindfulness Facilitation Certification (MFC) training. As a volunteer, my trajectory with Copper Beech moved fast. I was elected to serve on the Board of Directors in addition to the marketing committee. I became Vice Chair a few years later, and since June 2023 I’ve had the distinct honor of serving as Chairwoman of the Board.


We have accomplished so much over this last year including the leadership transition, hiring new staff, program expansion into Waterbury and Hartford, and diversified offerings and facilitators, as well as the continued free daily meditations via Zoom. Each Tuesday, I lead the guided practice from 12:30 - 1pm EST. Please join me for a midday break. I would love to get to know you.


Thank you for being part of the Copper Beech community. Stay tuned for what’s to come...the opportunities are endless!

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