Board of Directors

MEET BENHAVEN’S BOARD MEMBERS

Benhaven is fortunate to have strong leadership from its Board of Directors. Board members have diverse backgrounds, relevant experience, a collaborative approach to guiding the agency in policy and financial matters, and a passion for ensuring quality and responsiveness to our program participants, students, residents and their families.

Carl Casper, current Board Chair has been involved with since 2013. Prior to his current role, held the position of Secretary. Before Benhaven, Carl spent over ten years as a member of the Sarah Seneca Residential Services Board, an agency dedicated to providing individualized residential services for individuals with intellectual / developmental disabilities, Down Syndrome and Autism. Carl is currently the EVP and COO of Connex Credit Union, headquartered in North Haven, CT. Casper received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina and his MBA from Quinnipiac University.  He resides in Wallingford with his wife and two children.

Kara Faraclas, Ed.D, current Vice Chair of the Board, is the Chair of the Department of Special Education at Southern Connecticut University and the Area Coordinator for the Graduate Concentration in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. She is the President of the Connecticut Chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children. Kara worked for Benhaven as a teacher early in her career. She joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and became Vice-Chair in 2017. She has dedicated her career to the education and lifelong learning of individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities.

Thomas Igoe, current Treasurer and Secretary of the Board, is a parent of an individual with Autism. He joined Benhaven in 2017 after a career as a practicing attorney in New York City. With expertise in corporate finance and corporate regulation, he served as vice chairman and chairman of a large national law firm and then as CEO of a global lawyers professional liability insurance company for its member national and international law firms. Tom and his wife have raised their 38 year old son, who lives independently in the New Haven community and continues to benefit from the special services provided by a team of dedicated Benhaven professionals.

Wick Chambers is a lawyer practicing in New Haven with an emphasis on legal ethics. He joined Benhaven’s Board of Directors in 1981 and served as Board Chair from 1996 until 2019. He serves on the Board of Foote School and of Horizons at Foote. He was President of the Board of Directors of The Victim Rights Center of Connecticut, Inc. for five years from its founding until it was acquired by the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence. He was inspired to join the Benhaven Board after meeting Benhaven’s founder, Amy Lettick, learning about all that she had done and was doing to provide a home and opportunities for her son Ben and others on the autism spectrum.

Kevin Daly joined the Benhaven board of directors in 2017.  Kevin has worked with hundreds of Connecticut families of students with disabilities as a special education consultant for more than 20 years.  He is also active in the Connecticut Special Education PTO Alliance, the Greater Bristol Community Collaborative and the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities.  His son was a special education student who eventually went on to a successful career as a public school teacher.  Kevin and his wife live in Bristol.

Kathryn du Pree is the Executive Director of Benhaven and a member of the board of Directors. She joined Benhaven in 2016 after a career in public administration serving individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has served as Deputy Commissioner of DDS in Connecticut and as an Expert Reviewer involving DOJ lawsuits in Texas and Virginia. She has an MPS from Russell Sage College and completed her doctoral course work at the Heller School at Brandeis University in Intellectual Disability Policy. She developed a passion for this field as a result of assisting and living with her nephew who is on the Autism Spectrum.

Janette Johnson began working at Benhaven in 1992 as a consultant and helped form The Learning Network which was Benhaven’s consulting branch of the organization.  Janette supported Benhaven’s focus on person-centered planning and designing positive futures plans for children and adults. Janette facilitated what was called The Benhaven College and taught others to completed functional assessments of problem behaviors called Behavioral Overviews and ecological designs which highlighted teaching positive behaviors to replace negative behaviors and create positive physical, social and teaching environments which would decrease problem behaviors and make learning new behaviors easier.

Janette consulted within Benhaven and outside of Benhaven including working with others in the states of Connecticut, California, Tennessee, Arizona, New Jersey, and New York. Throughout her career she was involved with many of the top professionals in the field of positive behavior support and families and individuals with differing abilities who all had a mission to support positive change in the lives of people and in their communities.  She retired from Benhaven in 2015.

James C. McPartland, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center. He is a licensed child psychologist and Director of the Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic. Dr. McPartland’s program of research investigates the brain bases of neurodevelopmental disabilities to develop biologically-based tools to improve detection and treatment. He is the Principal Investigator of the Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials, a nationwide effort to identify biomarkers to support intervention research in autism. His contributions to the field have been recognized by numerous awards, and he has been named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Division on Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder. He believes strongly in the mission of Benhaven, and he is grateful for the opportunity to serve on its board.

Alexander Westphal, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine with a primary appointment in Yale’s Division of Law and Psychiatry and a secondary appointment at Yale Child Study Center. He serves a consulting forensic psychiatrist on risk for Connecticut’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. He has a clinical and research focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder and is particularly interested in clinical risk assessment and ASD, as well as other topics related to ASD and the legal system.  He has worked with Benhaven as a psychiatrist since 2007, has been on the Board of Directors since 2012, and has served as the Director of Psychiatry since 2018.

Stephen Wizner has served on the Benhaven Board of Directors since 1994.  He is the William O. Douglas Clinical Professor Emeritus at the Yale Law School, where he taught and supervised law students representing, among others, families with children on the autism spectrum in special education cases in a disability rights clinic.  He and his students often partnered with Benhaven in those cases.

Larry Wood became an employee of Benhaven in 1971, shortly after finishing serving in the US Army as a non-combatant overseas.  With prior experience with the Neighborhood Youth Corps in the late 1960’s, he was offered a position in Benhaven’s new project funded by the CT Department of Vocational Services.  After that project was successfully completed, he was offered the position of starting Benhaven’s Residential Program.  When Benhaven’s founder, Amy Lettick, retired in 1986 he was offered the position of Executive Director, a position he kept until 2016, when he retired.  

Throughout his career, he was involved with developing many change initiatives for Benhaven and other organizations.  He and colleagues won awards from Pew Charitable Trusts and Fast Company magazine for their efforts.

Benhaven

187 Half Mile Road
North Haven, CT 06473

Administrative Offices

tel (203) 239.6425
fax (203) 239.1318