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Every Kids Helping Kids project is initiated, managed and led by middle and high school youth. Our members plan, implement and then reflect before during and after each project.
Our mission is to develop leadership skills through youth-led service projects.  We empower students to take their passion and turn it into action to make a difference in the lives of other kids!

Kids Helping Kids Board of Directors

Lexi Kelley, Founder

Kids Helping Kids is a 501c3 and was founded in the summer of 2009 by Lexi Kelley. The idea to start KHK came from the small acts of kindness from many people that Lexi experienced at 12 years old while recuperating from a bad car accident in January 2009. Lexi was so touched by their kindness that she thought to herself, if we can continue to have lots of kids do just a little, we can really make a difference for those in need. So she and a small group of friends organized their first KHK project in order to give other kids her age the opportunity to feel the impact, joy and reward of helping others. As the team of volunteers has grown and matured, so has their reach and impact in the community. There is now over 350 kids from 59 different schools involved in one or more KHK projects. In 2014, The World Affairs Forum named Lexi Kelley winner of the Future Global Leader Award for Fairfield County and the $10,000 Merit Scholarship for college.

In addition to over 800 hours dedicated to starting and growing KHK, Lexi is an avid hip hop dancer, shodan black belt, part of a cappella at school, and a tour guide and ambassador at school amoung a long list of other activities. She keeps herself active!

Jennifer Kelley, Executive Director

jenn kelleyJennifer is a certified teacher in grades K-6 and has a Masters in the Art of Teaching. She is passionately dedicated to making a difference in the community and collaboratively fostering future leaders. After her daughter, Lexi, came up with the idea of creating a platform for kids to make a difference in the community around their passions, she helped Lexi form KHK in June 2009 where she is currently serves as the executive director.

She has worked in both private and public elementary school in the Fairfield County area. She has worked as a pre-school teacher and center manager for 12 years where she planned curriculum, trained assistants and taught three differentiated programs. She lived in Asia for 5 years where she was an ESL teacher.  In her early career, she worked for 12 years at C2Media, an international presentation company, as a general manager. Jennifer resides in Stamford with her husband.

Dan Brennan

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 10.49.40 PMDan is a principal and partner at Brennan & Vlahakis Insurance in Stamford Connecticut. He is involved with every aspect of the agency, frequently working in sales, marketing, finance, advertising, claims and customer service capacities. Dan is also the Chairman of the E. Gaynor Brennan Golf Commission and sits on the advisory board for Union Mutual Insurance Company, as well as being involved with the Stamford Chamber of Commerce.

Dan attended the University of Rhode Island and graduated with the class of 1989 and currently lives in Stamford with his wife and three children.

Chip Cingari

ImageChip is an owner of Grade A Shop Rite, a business that began as a small family grocery store. Today, their 12 stores are thriving. The Cingari family prides themselves on their community service, giving back is a family tradition. For over thirty years they have been dedicated to fight against hunger by supporting the food bank of lower Fairfield County. He is also very involved with the Yale Eye center. Chip Cingari has served as a member of the CT Food Assoc since 1983 and has been on the board of the Italian Center since 2004. Chip has 3 children and 2 grandchildren and lives in North Stamford with his wife, Nancy.

Irene Eddy

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Irene is a global capital markets leader who specializes in asset securitization and structured finance.  She has over 20 years of experience structuring and executing private Rule 144A and public asset-backed transactions.  Prior to her career in structured finance, Irene was a legal intern at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and an auditor at the public accounting firm Deloitte.  She brings a wealth of knowledge to our board. Irene lives in North Stamford with her husband and 2 children, both KHK ambassadors.

Charles Evangelakos

Charlie is an accomplished wealth preservation specialist at Sagemark Consulting with over 24 years of experience helping highly affluent families, corporate executives and business owners manage the unique complexities of their financial health and legacies.  Charles has advised Fortune 500 CEO’s, executives, multi-generational families and prominent business owners.  He creates a wealth blueprint that is customized for each client and shared with the client’s other advisors to coordinate their financial and personal objectives.  In 2016 he was listed as one of New England’s Premier Financial Advisors by the Wall Street Journal.  He was also named the 2015 Planner of the Year for Lincoln Financial Network (LFN), which is awarded annually to the leading financial advisor among thousands affiliated nationally with LFN.

Charlie is an active participant in the Broader Boston Community and has served on several boards and advisory committees, including those for Mercantile Bank, Commerce Bank, Brookline Foundation, Worcester Academy and the Boston Estate Planning Council.  He is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is an avid squash player and lives in Chestnut Hill, MA. with his wife and three children.

Bob Hagan

bob hagan (1)Bob Hagan is Vice President at Newtek. Bob has significant experience around expanding customer base and relationships as well as has extensive sales and management experience in the healthcare, information technology and financial services business, with special expertise in lending and new business development and brings a wealth of community knowledge to our team.  He is a Stamford football, soccer and Little League coach, former Executive Board Member of the Stamford Exchange Club, and was Chairman of the Fundraising Committee and a key member of the Executive Committee for the 2009 Stamford Mayoral election. He lives in New Canaan with his wife and 3 children.

Bob Moore

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 11.11.34 PMBob Moore, CEO and Founder of Moore Physical Therapy & Fitness started Moore in 1990 and has practiced in Darien for over 25 years as a certified physical therapist. Bob now owns and operates 7 locations in Fairfield County. The company brings together health care professionals including certified athletic trainers, licensed physical therapists as well as certified and licensed strength and conditioning specialists. Moore is dedicated to helping clients achieve their goals including improved physical function and enhanced athletic performance.  He lives in Fairfield with his wife and 2 twin boys.

Brian O’Connor

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 10.58.43 PMBrian is a senior strategy executive who delivers value from insight through implementation. As a thought leader and transformational change agent for businesses, Brian has aided businesses through innovation advancements, strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions and market expansions. Brian operates with an entrepreneurial mindset and quickly analyses situations to solve complex issues for the companies he works with. He currently works at Pitney Bowes and lives in Greenwich, CT with his wife and two children.

Marie Rocha

10592976_10152654670673331_9179905715215425896_nMarie is a software developer and technology guru and has her own company. She has helped springboard KHK to the next level over the last year. She started by looking at how we managed all of our contacts and realized we needed a client relationship software. She spent time researching what would work best for KHK and suggested Salesforce. She has devoted over 100 hours in second half of 2013 to setting KHK up and training our volunteers. This new technology has allowed us to manage our incredible growth. We are grateful for her incredibly selfless donation of time, wisdom and energy. She continues to work with us to print reports and fine tune our database so we can maximize our growth. Marie is also on the PTA board at Northeast School and very involved in Greenwich Academy. She lives in Stamford with her husband and 2 children.

Kelly Foley Sapio

_DSC1112 psKelly currently serves on the Executive Committee of New Canaan Mounted Troop, a non-profit organization serving youth in our area. She has also spent considerable time in the community working with The Junior League of Summitt, Ox Ridge School PTO, Convent of the Sacred Heart Parent Organization and Darien YWCA Parent Awareness Committee, mostly taking on marketing and communications positions. Prior to staying home with her children and focusing on volunteerism, she spent 12 years working in New York for an Investment Firm and managed the marketing and client servicing efforts for the organization. She has a good amount of experience with both print and social media and desire to expand upon her volunteer commitments in the area. Her strength and desire is to lead the Development and Major Contributions at KHK as well as be on the strategic planning team. Kelly lives in Darien with her husband and 3 daughters.

Diane Urban

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Diane is a freelance digital learning producer/content developer. She has over 15 years experience developing award-winning educational products for companies such as Disney Citizenship, Disney Publishing, and Pokémon.  She has led all aspects of digital development including creative strategy, curriculum integration and research/evaluation.  She obtained a masters in technology in education from Harvard after graduating from Duke.  Diane is in charge of collecting and analyzing our metrics in addition to creating a KHK program for elementary age students. She lives in Darien with her husband and 3 children.

 

Richard Vogt, CPA

Richard D. Vogt, CPA, CVA  is the principal of Vogt & Company, P.C., a CPA and consulting firm. He is a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) with the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts. Mr. Vogt has over eleven years of professional accounting experience and over nine years of professional valuation experience. He is member of the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accounts and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

In addition to providing tax and advisory services for small business clients, Mr. Vogt has provided valuation advisory services for a wide range of issues including complex business valuation, option pricing models, shareholder dissent, and economic damages.

He has worked as a senior auditor for Deloitte & Touche, a private industry controller for a manufacturing company and designed, developed and operated a four-unit restaurant company in California and Washington State. He has a Bachelor of Art in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration from Clemson University. He and his family are currently American expatiates living in Beijing, China, and he is pursuing a Masters of Taxation degree.

Donna Volpitta

IMG_2214Donna Volpitta, Ed.D., is an educator, author, and parenting expert who is passionate about the field of resilience. Through her Nametags Education Program, Pathways to Empower Curriculum, parenting book and teacher and parent workshops, she offers practical strategies to build resilience in children.

Dr. Volpitta is on the Board of Directors for One Revolution, a non-profit foundation founded by Chris Waddell. Along with Mr. Waddell she designed Nametags, One-Revolution’s education program, which teaches students that “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you.” Dr. Volpitta is an education advisor for both Little Noodles, a children’s educational television production company and Kids Helping Kids  She writes an education blog for Modern Mom and has authored several articles, received a grant from the Department of Education, and has given presentations at numerous professional conferences.

Dr. Volpitta is a former classroom teacher with experience in both general and special education. She holds a doctoral degree in Learning Dis/Abilities from Teachers College, Columbia University. She lives in Pound Ridge, New York with her husband and four children.

Past Board Members

Michael D’Elia

_DSC1160Michael D’Elia is a principal of Olympic Construction LLC. Michael founded Olympic Construction LLC in 2002. He has over 20 years of varied construction industry experience and more than 30 years of business experience in sales and business management. As founder of Olympic, he is committed to the advancement of the company with the same continued dedication to quality and service that he has developed over the years. Michael’s natural leadership skills and vision are responsible for the company’s strong growth. He has a reputation for integrity, reliability, and dedication. This, combined with his diversified experience, has earned Olympic a reputation as a premier general contractor in Fairfield County.

Michael has served on the Environmental Protection Board in Stamford, the Stamford Golf Authority, the Allyson Rioux Memorial Golf Tournament Committee and the Citizen Advisory Board for Bankwell in Stamford. Michael lives in Stamford with his wife and three boys.

Susan Schulz

_DSC1660-2Susan is actively involved in her local community. She volunteers for Horizons in New Canaan, CT and is on the board as well and is currently a board member at New Canaan Country School. Prior to becoming a full time mom, Susan worked in the domestic and international financial services industry for 14 years. Susan is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, MA. Susan lives with her two boys and her husband in Stamford, CT.