WOW Forum Speakers

2020 Speakers Coming Soon!

Check back in Spring 2020 for the announcement of our speakers.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude and our highest appreciation for the following speakers who made our 2017 conference such an amazing and memorable event:

Ann Temkin

Ann Temkin became Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture in 2008, after joining The Museum of Modern Art in 2003 as Curator. During her tenure, Ms. Temkin has focused on reimagining the Museum’s collection galleries: transforming them from a fixed display into a dynamic, rotating presentation. Under her leadership, the acquisitions program has strengthened the holdings of landmark work by modern artists whom the Museum collects in depth, widened its breadth with works by historical artists new to the department’s collection, especially women, artists of African descent, and artists working outside of Europe and North America, and collected actively from the new generation of artists working today.

Ms. Temkin is the curator or co-curator of the exhibitions Judd (2020), Studio Visit: Selected Gifts from Agnes Gund (2018), Picasso Sculpture (2015), Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor (2014), Jasper Johns: Regrets (2014), Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New (2013), Ellsworth Kelly: Chatham Series (2013), Claes Oldenburg: The Street and The Store and Mouse Museum/Ray Gun Wing (2013), Abstract Expressionist New York (2010), Gabriel Orozco (2009), and Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today (2008). She is currently preparing a multi-authored anthology of essays entitled Women at MoMA: The First Generation.

From 1990 to 2003, Ms. Temkin was the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her exhibitions there included Barnett Newman (2002), Alice Neel (2001), Constantin Brancusi (1995), and Thinking Is Form: The Drawings of Joseph Beuys (1994), as well as a series of contemporary projects titled Museum Studies.

Ms. Temkin is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an ex-officio Trustee at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and a member of the Board of Overseers at California Institute of the Arts. She was born in Connecticut and received her BA magna cum laude from Harvard University and her PhD in the history of art from Yale University.

Brooke Goff

Brooke A. Goff is a personal injury lawyer dedicated to improving the lives of accident victims throughout Connecticut. With a proven track record of success, Attorney Goff only works for the injured or those suffering injustice – not for insurance companies. She handles cases involving injuries that result from car accidents, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, pedestrian vs. car accidents, workers' compensation accidents, and sex abuse. Clients enjoy working with Attorney Goff because she treats people like people.

As a prominent personal injury attorney in Hartford, Attorney Goff has never shied away from a challenge, regardless of who the opponent may be. Notably, Attorney Goff pursued sexual abuse cases against the Boy Scouts of America, which were covered by TIME and CNN. Attorney Brooke Goff also earned Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ recognition in 2017, marking 2018 as her second consecutive year.

Attorney Goff’s clients have access to her by cell phone 24/7 because she wants to be there when they need her most. She has made countless house calls and hospital visits to make her clients’ lives easier and works countless hours to provide clients with the service and level of communication they deserve.

She has her own radio show called “Ask Attorney Brooke Goff” every Tuesday at 9 AM on 104.1 WMRQ, where she answers listeners questions with Amy and Holden. This live Q & A gives Attorney Goff an opportunity to connect with the community and provide injury-related knowledge.

Thousands of claimants have sought the help of her experienced legal team, which has obtained success after success for clients. More than 9 out of 10 of Attorney Goff’s clients are successful in obtaining an out-of-court money settlement or court award. Experienced, reputable, accomplished, and committed service – that is what she provides for her clients.

Dr. Catherine Takacs Witkop

Dr. Catherine Takacs Witkop is the Associate Dean for Medical Education at the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, “America’s Medical School,” Uniformed Services University (USU), Bethesda, MD. Prior to this position, Col (Ret) Witkop served as the Vice Chair for Medical Education, Department of Preventive Medicine & Biostatistics (PMB), and Program Director for the General Preventive Medicine Residency at USU, culminating a 22+ year career in the U.S. Air Force.

Dr. Witkop graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from Yale University and earned her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. She entered the Air Force on Active Duty as a resident in Obstetrics/Gynecology at David Grant Medical Center, Travis AFB, California. In 2008, Dr. Witkop completed a second residency in General Preventive Medicine with a Master’s degree in Public Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.

Upon completing her Ob/Gyn residency, Dr. Witkop served as staff physician at Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrews AFB, MD, and after graduation from her Preventive Medicine residency, she served as Chief of Trainee Health at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. There, she provided oversight for monitoring the health of over four thousand cadets annually and led the implementation of preventive medicine programs and mitigation of population-based medical conditions. In 2009, Dr. Witkop was awarded the U.S. Air Force Medical Service Preventive Medicine Physician of the Year Award and was subsequently selected to be the Preventive Medicine Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General. She then served as Chief of Preventive Medicine at the Air Force Medical Support Agency, advising the Air Force Surgeon General on preventive medicine issues and overseeing the development of preventive medicine policy for execution at all Military Treatment Facilities supporting Active Duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard personnel, before moving to USU in 2015. While at USU, she received the School of Medicine Dean’s Impact Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Mission of the School of Medicine on two occasions and was recently awarded the 2019 American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) Distinguished Service Award. 

Dr. Witkop is Professor of Preventive Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology at USU and is board certified and clinically active in both specialties. As a Fellow of ACPM, she served as the co-chair of the ACPM annual meeting in 2018 and was recently selected to serve on the ACPM Board of Regents. Dr. Witkop is also a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), where she has served on multiple editorial boards and committees. Dr. Witkop has authored numerous articles in peer reviewed journals, written several text book chapters, and has been an invited speaker at local and national meetings.

Col (Ret) Witkop is married to Col (Ret) Jeff Witkop and they have two children, Gabriel (16) and Paul (14). They currently reside in McLean, VA.

Panelists

Judith McElhone

Judith McElhone is the founder and executive director of the Five Points Center for the Visual Arts located in downtown Torrington’s historic district. Under McElhone’s leadership Five Points has grown from a small temporary store front gallery in 2012 to an arts organization, which includes 2 beautifully renovated exhibition spaces in downtown Torrington: Five Points Gallery and Five Points Annex, a non-juried community pop-up gallery.

In 2017 Five Points formed a strategic partnership with the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford to form the Launchpad initiative. The Launchpad program provides young emerging artists access to affordable shared studio spaces above Five Points Gallery, a serious arts community, mentorship opportunities and a biennial exhibition in Five Points Gallery.

In June of 2020, Five Points Center for the Visual Arts purchased the former UConn Torrington Regional Campus on University Drive in Torrington. The campus property is currently transitioning to an Art Center – Art Park, which will add to Torrington and Northwest Connecticut’s growing reputation as an Arts destination.

Mrs. McElhone holds an AS degree from Northwestern Connecticut Community College and a BFA and MFA from the Hartford Art School. She is an exhibiting professional artist, visual arts educator and a Connecticut Visual Arts Fellow recipient.

McElhone was honored as an NCCC Alumna in 2003. She received the University of Hartford Alumni Association’s 2014 Anchor Award, which recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves by achieving the highest level of professional and community accomplishments. In 2019, McElhone received the Connecticut Office of the Arts “Art Hero” award. She also been recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Litchfield County by Litchfield Magazine.

Lesa A. Vanotti

Lesa A. Vanotti is the President & Chief Operating Officer of Torrington Savings Bank.  In November of 2019 she was appointed as the Bank’s future President & CEO effective October 1, 2020.

Vanotti, prior to November 2019 held the role of Senior Vice President, Treasurer & CFO. She joined Torrington Savings Bank as an Accounting Assistant in 1996. During her tenure she’s held titles of Accounting Officer, Assistant Treasurer, and Vice President & Controller. She is a graduate of Torrington High School and Post College and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Connecticut. 

Vanotti is a Torrington native who is active in the community. She currently serves as a Trustee of the Torrington Library and Chair of the board of directors at Community Health & Wellness Center of Greater Torrington, She has served as a member of the St. Peter’s School Board & Finance Committe, Asst. Treasurer of the United Way Board of Directors and, Secretary & Treasurer of the Women & Girls Fund of Northwest Community Foundation. Lesa is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants and the Financial Manager’s Society and is actively involved in the Connecticut Bankers Association School of Finance & Mangement.

She currently resides in Torrington with her husband, Tom.  They have two grown children, Justin and Morgan.

Molly Kellogg

Molly Kellogg is the Chairman, CEO and President of Hubbard-Hall Inc., a provider of chemicals and formulated surface finishing specialties for industrial manufacturing. Hubbard-Hall was founded in 1869 as Apothecaries Hall and has been led by 6 generations of the Kellogg family. Molly joined the company after receiving her MBA from INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France) in 1993. She spent 20 years running the company’s Wilmington, MA division including the 8 years as Executive VP with responsibility for corporate strategy before becoming President & CEO in 2014 and Chairman in 2019.

Molly grew up in Watertown, CT and was a day student at Taft School. After graduating from Princeton University (Princeton, NJ) in 1987 with a degree in Comparative Literature, Molly worked on the 1988 presidential campaign of Mike Dukakis in San Francisco. She continued doing advance work for local politicians, international leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela and ultimately worked for Bill Clinton on his first presidential campaign in 1992.

In addition to serving as a Director of her family company, Molly currently sits on a regional Board of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) and serves as a Trustee for Denny Land and Cattle. While raising her 4 children in Newton, MA, she volunteered for many years as a youth soccer coach and helped restart and coach the girls ice hockey program in that town. Molly continues to play ice hockey regularly and lives MA with her husband John Frantzis.

Maria Gonzalez

Maria Gonzalez is Director of Community Services at New Opportunities INC. of Greater Torrington. Maria moved to the US from the Dominican Republic at the age of 17. She graduated from William H.T. High School in Bronx, NY, then attended Manhattan Community College and the University of El Paso Texas for Business Administration. After managing a travel agency for 16 years, Maria relocated to Winsted, CT. She was a teacher’s aid at Pearson Middle School where she served as a liaison to the Latino community, working with students and their parents.

Maria went on to work for Alternative Employment, where she was able to employ most of the Latinos that were looking for employment at that time. She also worked at LARC Community Employment Resource House at the Department of Labor. During those years, the Latino Community did not have access to many training programs. Under Maria’s guidance, Northwestern Connecticut Community College started a Nursing Assistance Program with a bilingual component that would allow Spanish-speaking students to take the courses. The first group of students completed the training and passed the state exam and were all able to find employment immediately.

Maria has always been very involved with the Latino Community. In 2008, she started an after-school program (Youth Group) for middle and high school students to increase the graduation rate and higher education enrollment and decrease the rate of teen pregnancies and juvenile court cases among the Latino youth. There are currently 100 students enrolled in the program.

Maria also started The Northwest CT Latina Woman Association in 2013 to give support and leadership opportunities to Latino women in Northwest Connecticut.

Over the years, Maria has been recognized for her dedication to the region with many awards including a certificate of Appreciation for Community Partnership from the Urban and Community Studies Program University of Connecticut/Torrington Campus, from the Dominican American Coalition of CT and the Dominican Embassy in NYC, Torrington Area Youth Service Bureau, Torrington PAL Spirit of The Community Award, and was the United Way of Northwest Connecticut Women’s Leadership Initiative 2019 Woman of the Year.

Maria has served on many boards and committees around the region including: Mayor’s Cultural Committee, LARC, United Way of NWCT, Police Community Action Committee, Women and Girls Fund of Northwest CT, Coalition to Reduce Youth Substance Abuse, EdAdvance Adversity Committee, Torrington PAL, Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, The Gathering Place, Community Health and Wellness Center, among others.

Maria has two daughters and one granddaughter and has been a foster parent to two young ladies for over 13 years.

Master of Ceremonies

Jennifer Parsons

Jennifer Parsons is the General Manager of WZBG Radio, 97.3 FM and has been in the position since August of 1993. Prior to her employment in Litchfield, she was with WINE/WRKI Radio as the Local Sales Manager and Account Executive in Danbury, CT for many years.

Parsons has served as the Chairwoman of the Connecticut Broadcasters Association and continues to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. She was a founding member of the Litchfield Education Foundation, currently represents Litchfield on the Sandy Beach Commission, is a Vice-Chairman of the CJR Invitational Golf Tournament and was a Torrington Rotarian for many years.

Parsons has three sons and lives in Litchfield with her husband, Dan.