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Riverbrook Regional YMCA Team

The staff at the Riverbrook Regional YMCA are dedicated professionals, with most of our senior department heads having a long career of YMCA experience. We are here to serve our members and the community by being informed, responsive, caring, and willing to go the extra mile to be sure your needs are met. 

Executive Management

Christene Freedman

Christene Freedman
Chief Executive Officer
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cfreedman@riverbrookymca.org

Christene joined the Riverbrook Regional YMCA family as CEO in October 2023.  A non-profit executive with 25 years experience, she previously served for seven years as the Chief Development Officer at the Riverbook Y responsible for steering the $6M Building New Stories fundraising campaign.  She began her career in non-profit leadership working as the Supervisor of Visitor Education for the New England Aquarium in Boston and continued her career from there in various leadership positions at national museums and private schools, serving most recently as the Chief Advancement Officer for Waveny LifeCare Network.  This career path, coupled with her commitment to volunteerism, aligns with Christene’s personal priority that communities are safe, inclusive and sustainable.  She serves as District Governor for Rotary International and is a member of the Rotary Club of Wilton.  She and her husband David have two children, Zachary and Madison and a very energetic 9-year-old dog Horizon.  Christene enjoys eating chocolate (daily), gardening, traveling, the beach, and spending time having fun with friends and family. 

Operations

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Samantha Lusher
Chief Operating Officer
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slusher@riverbrookymca.org

Samantha has been in the YMCA system for 16 years. She has been in aquatics, in the roll as a swimmer, lifeguard, swim instructor, and Red Cross instructor for her whole life. Samantha has a master’s degree in Sports Management from East Stroudsburg University in PA. In her very small amount of spare time she loves to play with her son in the pool or on the playground.

Administration

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Shana Russnok
Chief Financial Officer
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srussnok@riverbrookymca.org


Shana has been working at the Wilton Family YMCA since 2013 and has been the Chief Financial Officer since our merger with the Norwalk YMCA in 2015. She was certified as a CPA after graduating from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Shana lives in Wilton with her family and enjoys volunteering with various community groups. In her free time, she likes eating pizza and spending time outside in the sun!

Financial Development

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Jarred Barnes
Chief Advancement Officer
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jbarnes@riverbrookymca.org

Jarred is the Chief Advancement Officer of the Riverbrook Regional YMCA. He works regionally with YPN Chapter 3 as the EAF Chair and Nationally as the Chair of the Under 40 Network with NAYDO. He joined the Riverbrook Regional YMCA in 2021 as our Chief Development Officer and Head of Marketing; prior to that he was the Capital Campaign Manager of the Wilton Grown YMCA in Philadelphia. In Our Community, he sits on the Wilton Youth Council, founding Member of the Wilton Executive Leader Group, and both a member of the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2013 and Master’s in 2014 both in Political Science from Lehigh University, along with two minors. He currently resides in Stamford and enjoys golf, softball, and everything Black & Gold, because of Pittsburgh where he grew up.

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Cecilia Staunton
Individual Giving Manager
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cstaunton@riverbrookymca.org

Cecilia joined the Riverbrook YMCA in 2017 as the Individual Giving Manager. Her role at the Y is to oversee and manage Development efforts such as the Annual Campaign and special fundraising events. She received her B. A. in Medieval History from Wells College and holds a certification in landscape design from the New York Botanical Garden. An avid lifetime swimmer, when she is not at the Y working or swimming, she designs gardens for local clients. She has happily lived in Redding since 2008 with her husband and their three handsome sons. A few of her favorite things are spending time with her family, her friends, her pets, and traveling anywhere.

Human Resources

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Maria Bonini
Director of Human Resources
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mbonini@riverbrookymca.org

Maria has been working at the Riverbrook Regional YMCA since 2012. Maria holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration – Management. She is a Society of Human Resources Management Certified Professional and Notary Public. Maria’s previous career entailed working for several prominent banking institutions, other Fortune 500 companies, and Non-profits. Maria enjoys working in the community where she and her family have lived from 1990 – 2000 and from 2003 – present, after relocating to Hudson, Ohio for 3 years. The YMCA is the cornerstone of the community and Maria is proud to be a part of this vital institution. Maria enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling both domestically and abroad, attending concerts and Broadway shows.

Marketing

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Michelle Wishna
Director of Marketing
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mwishna@riverbrookymca.org

Michelle started her Y career after relocating to the area 22 years ago with her 2 young sons. Starting as Membership Coordinator for 1 year, she then moved to the position of Membership Director with additional duties in marketing and communications.  From there Michelle advanced to her current position as Director of Marketing. Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Broadcasting and spent 6 years at CBS News in NYC.  When Michelle is away from the Y she loves to travel, sail and backpack.

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Liz Champagne
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
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lchampagne@riverbrookymca.org

Liz joined the Y in 2021 as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator. Her previous work experience was in advertising as Art Director. Liz received her bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University and then did her graduate work at The School of Visual Arts in NYC.

Membership

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Molly Blosser
Director of Membership Experience 
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mblosser@riverbrookymca.org

Molly began her career here when she was 17 years old as a summer camp counselor and loved it so much, she never left. Through the years she has worked throughout the childcare and camp, as well as IT and Member Finance. She is thrilled to be the Director of Membership Experience and cares deeply about our Y and our incredible members.  Molly was inspired by the collaborative and caring work being done in Wilton through our Y and obtained a degree in Human Services to be a more effective and impactful leader. In her free time, she loves to be outside with a good view and a good book.

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Suma Iyer
Membership Coordinator
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siyer@riverbrookymca.org

Suma has been working with the Wilton Y since 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in business management. Her experience varies from working with advertising agencies like DMB&B and Y&R, teaching fitness classes and training clients. She is an avid cook and enthusiastic fitness influencer and hopes to write a cookbook someday.

Healthy Living

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Rhoda Kasparek
Director of Healthy Living
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rkasparek@riverbrookymca.org

Rhoda joined the Riverbrook Regional YMCA in 2017 as a Personal Trainer after previously working at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Brownings Fitness in New York City. She graduated from the University of Richmond in 1998 with a degree in Health and Business Administration and has always had a passion for helping others achieve their fitness goals. After starting a family and moving to Norwalk, Rhoda was drawn to our Y for the child watch, pre-school, and camp that her children have fondly enjoyed over the years. She has run and medaled in countless road races and Triathlons of all distances from 5K’s to Marathons and even a Half-Ironman; but more recently has grown to love the sport of pickleball and can often be found playing a pickup game with members on any given Friday afternoon. She believes fitness is to be enjoyed and loves to help members find the best way to stay active while having fun.

Camp, Sports, Childcare

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Mike Kazlauskas
Senior Camp & Sports Director
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mkazlauskas@riverbrookymca.org

Mike or “Coach Kaz” as some kids like to call him, started working at the Wilton YMCA in 2007. He started working at the Summer Camp as a specialist for many summers until he became one of the Unit Directors. In that time, he worked at the Front Desk as well as the Sports Department, including supervising Archery. Mike got elevated to a fulltime position as the Camp and Sports Director in 2017. Mike graduated from WCSU with a Criminal Justice degree. In his free time, he can be seen being a Volunteer Fire Fighter in Ridgefield, CT where he has been serving since 2013. He likes to live by the saying “FTK” or For The Kids!

 

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Kimberly Fejes
Early Childhood & School Age Development Director
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kfejes@riverbrookymca.org

Kimberly began working at the Wilton Y in 2009 in the Camp & Afterschool Programs. After graduating with a degree focused on Early Childhood Education from Bay Path University, she taught as a 4’s Preschool Teacher and the Kindergarten Enrichment Class for several years before she took on her current role overseeing all Childcare related programs. Kimberly is certified as a Positive Discipline Trainer for Teachers and Parents, is the Y’s Certified Praesidium Guardian and is certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid among others. Kimberly will be celebrating her 15th Camp Summer, having supervised specialists and our Camp-To-Come-To counselors for 12 years before becoming the Assistant Camp Director. Miss Kimberly enjoys running, cooking, crafting and All Things Disney.

Buildings & Grounds

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Rossvin Badilla
Senior Director of Building and Grounds
rbadilla@riverbrookymca.org

Wahoos Swim Team

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Todd Stevens
Director of Competitive Aquatics
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tstevens@riverbrookymca.org

With over two decades of coaching experience at the Y, Todd has been an integral part of our organization since 1998 and is currently the Director of Competitive Aquatics. Todd graduated from Ithaca College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and held the men’s 50 Freestyle record 1985 – 2009. He was awarded the FCIAC Girls Swimming Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2017 and was also recognized as the CIAC/CISCA Girls High School Swimming Coach of the Year in 2008. Todd holds ASCA Level 4 Certification and has been Head Coach for Wilton High School Women’s and Men’s Team since 1998. His passion for swimming and his commitment to competitive aquatics inspires his athletes to strive for excellence. In Todd’s spare time he enjoys gardening and sharing his vegetables with friends and family.

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Matt Salig
Associate Director of Competitive Aquatics/National Team Coach
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msalig@riverbrookymca.org

A native of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Salig joins the Wilton Y Wahoo family from La Salle University where he served as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He helped to lead the Explorer men’s and women’s teams to 10 program records during their 2022-2023 campaign. Prior to his time at La Salle, Matt served as the assistant with Amherst College where he aided the Mammoths to a third-place finish at the 2022 NESCAC Championships, ultimately concluding in the women’s team finishing 12th place at the 2022 DIII NCAA Championships. He was awarded the Jean Freeman Scholarship which is granted by the CSCAA to assistant coaches whose exceptional contributions have brought recognition to their institution through leadership, integrity, honesty, competitive attitude, and personal graciousness.

Matt grew up in YMCA swimming starting from the age of 8 at Lionville Community YMCA and continuing through his high school career with Upper Main Line YMCA. He boasts 17 YMCA Swimming National Championship titles and qualified for both the 2012 US Olympic Swimming Trials and the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships in the 200 butterfly. Salig is the record-holder in the 200-yard butterfly and also owns the fifth-fastest 200 IM and sixth-fastest 400 IM of all-time at Penn State swimming under the Coaching and guidance of our own Hall of Fame Coach Tim Murphy.

Matt graduated from Penn State in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. He also owns a Professional Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Medical Product Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and operated for five years in the medical device industry prior to switching to full-time coaching. Matt’s interests include board games, language learning, and spending quality time with his girlfriend, Alex, and his Bernedoodle puppy, Mac.

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Eric Holden
Associate Director of Competitive Aquatics & Head Age Group Coach
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eholden@riverbrookymca.org

Eric has been with the Wilton Family YMCA since 2017 and the Associate Head Coach/Head Age Group Coach since 2019. Eric is a Level 3 ASCA Swim Coach and has swimming and coaching experience at the Summer League, Age Group, Senior, High School, National and NCAA Division 1 level. Eric attended The University of Virginia where he served as the Varsity Swim and Dive Team Captain and graduated with a Masters in Health and Physical Education. When not at the YMCA, Eric enjoys anything outdoors, trying new restaurants, and spending time with family and friends.

Megan

Megan Lasto
Wahoo Head Developmental Coach
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mlasto@riverbrookymca.org

Megan joined the Wilton Y Wahoo family in 2023 as the Head Developmental Swim Coach. She attended Eastern Connecticut State University for two years where she was named Little East Conference Rookie-of-the-Year, Little East Conference Swimmer-of-the-Year, and New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association Female Swimmer-of-the-Meet. Megan continued her swimming career at Marist College where she competed and finaled in the DI MAAC Championship and ECAC Championship. She graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media and a minor in Business. Prior to joining the Wahoos, Megan served as the Assistant coach for the Hamden Hall Aquatic Club and Hopkins Swim & Dive team. She loves coaching and is excited to be a part of the Wahoo family!

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Emma Buckridge
Assistant Age Group Coach
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ebuckridge@riverbrookymca.org

Professional Experience
• CT Swimming Age Group Committee
• USA Swimming Women’s Leadership Summit participant
• Nutmeg Aquatics (2019-2023) Lead Age Group and Senior Coach
• CT Zone Team (LC 2022) Assistant Coach
• Waterford High School (Boys 2022-2023 Season) – Volunteer Assistant Coach
• Lyme-Old Lyme, Valley Regional, Old Saybrook (Girls 2022 High School Season) – Head Coach
• Soundview YMCA Stingrays (2017-2019) – Assistant Age Group Coach
• LEHY (2016) Volunteer Assistant 8 & Under Coach
Personal Achievements
• 4-year Eastern Connecticut Conference girls high school swimming champion
• 4x CT Swimming Distance High Point Winner
• School records at Norwich Free Academy: 200 free, 500 free, 200 IM, 100 fly, Relays
• All-time scoring record at NFA in the sport of swimming
• Swam Division II at SCSU – finished season ranking top 10 in NE-10 conference in the 200 fly and 400 IM
• UConn Club Swimming record holder in 400 IM and formerly 1000 free

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Jo Ann McCaffrey
Finance & Office Manager
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jmccaffrey@riverbrookymca.org

Jo Ann joined the Wilton Y Wahoos swim team back in 2005 as an Assistant Coach and has since transitioned into her current role as the Finance and Office Manager. In addition to her work with the Wahoos, Jo Ann is active with CT Swimming and was previously involved with Metropolitan Swimming, where she developed a passion for the sport and a strong commitment to community service. In 2022 Jo Ann received the Outstanding Volunteer Award from Ct Swimming for her contributions to the sport. When Jo Ann isn’t working or volunteering, you can find her tending to her garden and feeding her hummingbirds. She also enjoys crocheting and creating beautiful pieces for her friends and family.

Gymnastics

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Victoria Bronson
Gymnastics Director
203-529-3636
vbronson@riverbrookymca.org

Karen Brophy

Karen Brophy
Associate Gymnastics Director
203-529-3636
kbrophy@riverbrookymca.org

Starting with the Riverbrook Regional YMCA gymnastics recreational program in 2019, Karen gradually moved up with the ages to help develop the progressive, pre-team, and team girls. As a competitive high school gymnast and as a prior corporate director in the private sector, she is excited to bring her abilities to the Riverbrook Regional Gymnastics program as the Associate Gymnastics Director. 

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Diana LeVander
Gymnastics Coordinator
203-529-3636
dlevander@riverbrookymca.org

Diana started at the Wilton Y in 1997 as admin in the Sports department. While in sports she also worked as a Member Services Representative at the front desk, checked in members in the Fitness Center and was the Office Assistant in the Business office. Diana worked in the Business office for many years doing payroll, manually inputting registrations, and assisting the Business Director in her many daily tasks. She was able to put her early childhood education certificate to use as a head 2-year-old preschool teacher for 6 years, all while volunteering in gymnastics. Diana gave up all the hats in 2011 and started as “full time” Gymnastics Coordinator. Much of her early Coordinator hours were spent building the gymnastics program and getting the Wilton Y Gymnastics Center, at 644 Danbury Road, up and running to the successful program it is today. In Diana’s free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, sailing, and seeing live music!