Board of Directors
Anne Calabresi is a long-time New Haven civic leader. She is one of the founders of LEAP and The New Haven Arts & Ideas Festival. In 2013, she began meeting with local civic organizations to find space where people lacking permanent homes or sufficient food could find safety, welcome, warmth, a free healthy cooked breakfast of their choice and shelter from the weather in the morning as an alternative to being isolated outside.
In March 2015, with encouragement and support from John Bradley, then Liberty Community Services Executive Director and initial funding from the Carolyn Foundation, Sunrise Cafe – an independent 501c3 since 2019 – opened as a program of Liberty Community Services.
Robert Dargan, MBA
40 years of significant achievement in corporate, entrepreneurial and non-profit environments including: Retired from General Re Life Corporation (Subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway) as Director of Treaties, Assistant Secretary. Previously one of three founders of Connecticut American Inc which was affiliated with then named Blue Cross Blue Shield. Bob is a Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI) and a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). Previous non-profit activities include Past President, Branford Jaycees; Past Chairman, Branford Board of Ethics and a Past Member, Branford Board of Education
Sally Fleming, MSW
Ms. Fleming is a former nurse and retired social worker. She spent 25 years working with the Department of Children and Youth Services and 8 years in clinical work with Yale Child Study Center.
She is currently President of the Board of Loaves and Fishes, the New Haven non-profit food pantry and clothing closet. She serves on the Vestry of St Paul and St James Episcopal Church and is a longtime volunteer with Sunrise Cafe.
Dr. Joanna Vincent, MD
Dr. Vincent received her BS from Cornell University-New York Hospital School of Nursing, her MA from New York University and her MD from the Medical University of South Carolina. She was board certified in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology and Geriatrics, and practiced over the years in Waterbury, CT, on Cape Cod, and in the greater New Haven area.
More recently Dr. Vincent was a volunteer (licensed) physician at the Hospital of St. Vincent, Merton Center Clinic, Bridgeport, CT and AmeriCares Free Clinic, Danbury, CT
In retirement she is a volunteer (license inactive) at Cornell Scott – Hill Health Center in their Homeless Outreach Program and a longtime volunteer with Sunrise Cafe.
Sara Ohly, Ph.D.
Awarded Ph.D. in Anthropology by Yale University in 1994 and an M.A. in International Relations with a Special Focus on Refugees and Immigrants, Ethnicity, and Bilingualism from Yale In 1986.
Performed fieldwork research among Turkish migrant families in the Netherlands between 1990 and 2006 studying visiting and hospitality as practices that express ethnic and religious identity, shape gender relations and patterns of education and marriage, and structure the formation of groups by religious sect, orthodoxy, politics, region, and ethnicity.
Prior to retirement, she worked as a Research Affiliate at Macmillan Center, Yale University working on a book on Visiting Turkish Migrants in the Netherlands and taught at Connecticut College and Wesleyan University as a Visiting Adjunct Professor in Anthropology.
Ms. Ohly is fluent in Turkish and studied French, Italian; Spanish, Greek, and Dutch. She is a Volunteer English as a Second Language Teacher with the Integrated Refugee and Immigration Service in New Haven, and serves on the boards of the Urban Resources Initiative at the Yale Forestry School, the New Haven Land Trust; the Center for Independent Scholars and the Neighborhood Music School. She has been a volunteer with Sunrise Cafe since 2016.
Arthur R Hunt, Consultant
Wide-ranging strategic planning, operations, finance, production, change management, process improvement, software implementation, data conversion and project management experience including at the COO and CFO levels.
Retired from Yale University in June 2014 and founded RWS-Advisors, a consulting practice assisting not-for-profit organizations with strategic planning, mission-vision-values statements, financial systems, donor management systems and executive development.
Active contributor to a variety of political and social justice causes including the Hamden, CT Democratic Town Committee, First Presbyterian Church in New Haven, CT (Peace and Justice Action Group), the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship in Stony Point, New York (Deputy Director) and the EmergeCT program in New Haven, CT.
Ms. Stewart is a self-educated professional. She attended Gateway Community College. She manages a hair salon in New Haven where she is also a sought-after makeup artist. Active in the LGBTQ community.
She is a fine artist and has curated art shows for local New Haven artists at Barracuda, Rimage Salon and Spa and Counterweight Brewery. She is currently creating a mural on State Street in New Haven. Volunteer at Sunrise since 2016.
Merlyn V. LaPaix, MSN, MBA, Consultant
Retired from Yale as Director of Nursing. Over 35 years of executive and management leadership experience. Ms. LaPaix has been recognized for her extensive and effective work in patient safety and nursing leadership. She was responsible for financial program management of five inpatient units and the psychiatric observation unit, with revenues totaling approximately $260 million. Ms. LaPaix spearheaded a shift in culture away from the usage of restraints (75% reduction) and toward other less restrictive interventions. She has played an integral part in creation of a fully staffed, 24/7 Psychiatric Observation Unit that effectively reduced emergency department wait times and dramatically improved patients’ connection to ambulatory care. She currently is a Nurse Consultant for Joint Commission Resources a resource for nursing quality and safety including staff education programs survey readiness tools and peer networking.
Terry M. Holcombe, Yale BA l964 and MA l971, PhD (Hon) Muskingum University 2016
with his wife Marya
Mr. Holcombe retired from Yale University in 1997. He served as the University’s first Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs responsible for all development activities, including the Alumni Fund, the Association of Yale Alumni, Alumni Records and other alumni relations activities. He received the Yale Metal – the highest award presented by the Association of Yale Alumni – in 1995.
After graduating from Yale, Mr. Holcombe worked for ACCION International, a nonprofit micro-loan corporation providing grants and technical assistance to development projects in Latin America. Mr. Holcombe then served as vice president of Whittier College; executive director of The Campaign for Yale; and vice president for university development and alumni relations at Columbia University.
Mr. Holcombe’s consulting activities have included Ford Foundation, Dartmouth College, Brown University, Joint Commission on Hospital Services, Institution Getulio Vargas (Brazil), American University in Cairo, Agency for International Development, Peace Corps, Save the Children Foundation and Special Olympics International.
Mr. Holcombe is a Fellow at Timothy Dwight College and serves on the Board of the Yale Alumni Fund, the Association of Yale Alumni and the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, VT. He is a longtime volunteer at Sunrise Cafe.
Kathy Priest is a trust and estate attorney with the firm of Davis O’Sullivan & Priest and is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association Elder Law and Estates and Probate Sections. She is a 1970 graduate of Vassar College, and received her law degree in 1979 from State University of New York at Buffalo. Ms Priest has lived in New Haven for 40 years and is a long time volunteer with Sunrise Cafe.