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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.

Neil Beesley, LCSW, Board Member

Mr. Beesley joined the Board of Directors in April 2024.  In the early 90’s Neil worked at Benhaven as a Direct Support staff person, then as a Residential Teacher through 1994 and finally a long tenure as a Social Work consultant through 2023.   Neil has continued to be inspired by Benhaven’s dedication to positive, innovative, person-centered services.

Neil is a practicing social worker with nearly 30 years of service at VA Connecticut Healthcare System, serving as Director of the Social Work Service for 13 years.  Neil is responsible for a large social work staff who manage programs including Family Services, Caregiver Support, Respite, Suicide Prevention as well as a team of mental health clinicians.

Neil received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and his master’s in social work from Southern Connecticut State University.

Ken Cabral, President & Board Member

Ken Cabral returned to the provider community after a 25-year career in state government including Connecticut and Washington, DC.  His career has focused on person centered and family center service in the field of Autism, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Child Welfare. He has a passion and commitment to supporting people and their families. 

Since returning to Connecticut Ken has served as the Regional Administrator for both Region 5 and Region 1 at the Department of Children and Families and the Director of Family Services Strategy at the Department of Developmental Services. 

Ken’s focus fully aligns with Benhaven’s mission of enabling people with autism and pervasive developmental disorders to participate in community life, exercise productive control over their own lives, have meaningful relationships and associations, be gainfully employed, and experience happiness and personal satisfaction. 

Carl Casper, Board Chair & Acting Secretary

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.  

Eileen Clark, Board Member


Eileen joined the Board of Directors in April 2023.  Her connection with Benhaven is through her son Sean, who has been with the agency since 2020.   As the mother of Autistic twins and a son with mental health challenges she is able to give a unique perspective.  Eileen brings passion, compassion and heart to the table.

 

Eileen’s education includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and A Master of Science Degree. She loves to create in various artistic media while also being fascinated by human health and physiology.  She has recently shifted to mixed media explorations launching Eileen Clark Art, LLC this summer. She is a member of Guilford Rotary as well as Guilford, Madison and Clinton Art Societies. In addition, she serves on The Board of Directors at Vista Life Innovations.

Eileen lives along the shoreline with her husband Dave. They enjoy working in the yard, taking trail walks, field trips, cooking, and baking.

Amy Clarke, M.S. Ed., 6th Year Ed. Leadership, Board Member

Amy Clarke brings a robust background in education to her new role on the Board. Her association with Benhaven began during her college years, where she gained valuable experience working in the residential and school programs.  Throughout her career, in both the private and public sectors, Amy has held various roles, including special education teacher, principal and Director of Students Services and Special Education. Amy has a Master of Science Degree in Special Education and a 6th Year Certificate in Educational Leadership.

In her retirement, Amy remains actively engaged in the field, serving as an executive coach for the Connecticut Association of Schools, consulting with several Connecticut school districts and working with UCONN supporting the development of interventions for struggling youth.  Amy is dedicated to equity and upholding the dignity, growth and value of individuals with diverse abilities. She is excited to have reconnected with the Benhaven Community. 

Christine Cukar-Capizzi, PsyD, BCBA, Board Member

Dr. Cukar-Capizzi is an Assistant Professor of Child Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center. She is a licensed child psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

Dr. Cukar-Capizzi specializes in the assessment and treatment of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As a BCBA, Dr. Cukar-Capizzi has a long history of providing consultation and behavioral supports for individuals with ASD and their families in a variety of settings. Her research interests have included evaluating the quality of behavior intervention plans written for children with ASD. Presently, Dr. Cukar-Capizzi conducts diagnostic evaluations in the Yale Child Study Center Developmental Disabilities Clinic, provides therapy for children and adolescents in the Outpatient Clinic, and provides clinical characterization for a number of federally-funded studies of ASD. She is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to Benhaven by serving on its board.

Thomas Igoe, Vice Chair & Treasurer 

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.

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 complete 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.

Dr. Sherab Tsherinlga, MD, Board Member

Dr. Tsheringla trained in Medicine, Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at CMC Vellore India,  University of Minnesota, Yale School of Medicine and Yale Child Study Center.  Dr. Tsheringla has spent the last two decades working closely with neurodivergent individuals and families through a breadth of experiences.  These have included various clinical, research and administrative roles in settings ranging from outpatient autism clinics, longitudinal neurodevelopmental intervention centers, inpatient psychiatric facilities and residential care for neurodevelopmental conditions.  At Nambikkai Nilayam - House of Hope - in Tamil Nadu, India, Dr. Tsheringla worked with a multi-disciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, special educators, case managers, occupational therapists, speech therapists and physical therapists to provide a full spectrum of care from assessment to behavioral and developmental interventions, helping clients and families achieve their treatment and life goals.

Dr. Tsheringla teaches medical students about autism and hopes to improve medical care for neurodivergent populations.  He has also conducted several workshops on autism targeting audiences ranging from schools to police and judicial systems.  He has continued his advocacy at state and federal levels in the United States, and hopes to continue to elevate the voices of autistic individuals and their families.  He recently co-founded AND-US-HERE, a collective for Asian American and Pacific Islander autistic experiences and resources and is also working with community members in Bridgeport, Connecticut to better understand and collaborate with autistic individuals from these underserved groups.  Dr. Tsheringla does autism research and his current focus has been on using novel brain stimulation approaches to understand autistic brains better and in developing more effective interventions for co-occuring mental health conditions in autism.  He is inspired by the Benhaven model of care and is hoping to serve on the Board of Benhaven working together towards a better way to provide services to our loved autistic patients, friends and families.