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, Board Chair
Mr. Casper has been involved with Benhaven since 2013 and previously was Secretary of the Board. Previously, he was a member of the Sarah Seneca Residential Services Board for over ten years. Sarah Seneca is a non-profit agency dedicated to providing individualized residential services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and autism.
Mr. Casper is currently the Executive Vice President and the Chief Operating Office of Connex Credit Union, headquartered in North Haven, Connecticut. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina and his MBA from Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut.
Kara Faraclas, Ed.D, Board Vice-Chair
Ms. Faraclas joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and became Vide-Chair in 2017. She is the Chair of the Department of Special Education at Southern Connecticut University, New Haven, Connecticut 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.
Ms. Faraclas worked for Benhaven as a teacher early in her career. She has dedicated her career to the education and lifelong learning of individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities.
Thomas Igoe, Board Treasurer and Secretary
Mr. Igoe 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.
Mr. Igoe and his wife have raised their 38 year old son with Autism 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, Board Member
Mr. Chambers joined Benhaven’s Board of Directors in 1981 and served as Board Chair from 1996 until 2019. He is a lawyer practicing in New Haven, Connecticut with an emphasis on legal ethics. 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.
Mr. Chambers 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, Board Member
Mr. Daly joined the Benhaven board of directors in 2017. He 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.
Mr. Daly’s son was a special education student who eventually went on to a successful career as a public school teacher.
Kathryn du Pree, MPS, Board Member
Ms. du Pree is the Executive Director of Benhaven and joined Benhaven in 2016 after a career in public administration serving individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She served as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in Connecticut and as an Expert Reviewer involving Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuits in Texas and Virginia.
Ms. du Pree has an MPS from Russell Sage College, Troy, New York and completed her doctoral course work at the Heller School at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 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, Board Member
Ms. 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. During her time at Benhaven, she supported person-centered planning and designed positive futures plans for children and adults. In addition, she 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.
Ms. Johnson consulted within 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, Board Member
Dr. McPartland 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, Board Member
Dr. Westphal 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.
Dr. Westphal 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 as 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.
Stephen Wizner, Board Member
Mr. 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, Board Member
Mr. 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 Connecticut 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 his retirement in 2016.
Throughout his career, Mr. Wood 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.