Board of Trustees Biographies

Wooster School's Board of Trustees is comprised of distinguished individuals dedicated to Wooster's mission to educate the minds of its students, to cultivate their ethical understanding, to develop their artistic appreciation and expression, to promote their physical well-being -- thus to prepare each individual for college and for a useful life.

Susan Becker P '13, '16

Susan grew up on a dairy farm in Northbridge, MA and spent her summers at her family home on an island off the coast of Maine. After graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a Backelor's degree in Computer Science, Susan moved to New York with IBM, starting as a software programmer and then a systems engineer. Susan became a leading application developer and market specialist in the emerging field of multimedia technology. She developed some of the most advanced interactive marketing programs for clients in the media, utilities, insurance, banking and retail industries. Susan then founded the Multimedia Design Group, which developed a cutting edge mobile sales application for the Sci-Fi Channel, which was praised by Advertising Age magazine as the future of advertising sales. Today, Susan enjoys applying her technology and project management skills to various non-profit and philanthropic endeavors as an advisor, board member and more than anything else, a person who gets things done! Susan and her husband Todd (a technology start-up entrepreneur, executive, and investor) have two children, Madison '13 and Harrison '16, who thrived at Wooster School from kindergarten through high school graduation. Susan and Todd live in Ridgefield, CT and enjoy running, gardening, camping and regular family visits to Maine, Massachusetts and Florida.

Richard Bevier P '20, Vice-President

Chip has extensive experience in the medical device industry within the areas of product marketing, new product commercialization, business development, and sales.Before joining HydroCision, he was Director of Project Rapid Exchange at CORDIS, a Johnson & Johnson Company.Previously, Chip served in various senior management positions during his 14 years at CORDIS, including Director of Global Product Management for Interventional Cardiology.After leaving HydroCision, Chip was involved in a number of medical equipment start-ups. He earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University.

Carroll W. Brewster

Carroll W. Brewster, graduate of Yale College and the Yale Law School, served as legal assistant to the Chief Justice of the Sudan for three years and practiced law in Connecticut for five years. He then served as Dean of the College at Dartmouth College, President of Hollins College in Virginia, President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and as executive director of the Hole in the Wall Gang Fund. He lives on a family farm in Ridgefield where he grew up.

Matt Byrnes P '17, '19, '22, '24, Head of School

Matt is in his fourth year as Wooster's Head of School. Previous to Wooster he served as Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education in the Darien (CT) Public School District. Before Darien, he was a high school principal in Brewster, New York and Novato, California. A life-long learner and educator, Mr. Byrnes has nearly two decades of experience as a teacher and educational administrator and holds degrees from Duke University, San Francisco State University and the University of California at Berkeley.

Matt is married to Madyn Gwynne and has four children at Wooster – Kernochan '17, Cooper '19, Brooks '21, and Avery '23.

Richard Clarkson '81

Richard's relationship with Wooster began a few years after his sister Helen's (class of '79) when Tom Wilcox '66, admission officer, allowed him to slip in on her coattails in 1975. Richard is never far from Wooster - stopping by to watch athletic events, theater performances or attend social events as his schedule permits. Richard was married in the Wooster School chapel, and his youngest daughter Victoria was a participant in 'Summer at Wooster' program for many years, graciously hosted by the MacNutts to avoid the long commute from NYC!

Richard resides in NYC with his wife Susan and 2 daughters – Olivia and Victoria – and recently opened his own consultancy specializing in Electronic Trading Infrastructure within the Investment Banking arena. In addition to Wooster, Richard also served on the Board of Trustees of the Caedmon School in NYC for eight years.

Sean Cunningham P '25, Assistant Treasurer

Sean Cunningham is the president and CEO of the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB), one of the advertising industry's leading trade associations. Since his appointment in June of 2003, he has completely transformed the CAB from informational bureau to a direct-to-client television advocacy group with the strategy of presenting the medium's many investment options dramatically to advertisers and their agencies. In December 2006, Mr. Cunningham efforts were independently recognized, as he was named the 'Cable Television Executive of the Year' by the editorial staff of Television Week magazine a leading industry news outlet.

Prior to his role at the CAB, his eighteen-year career was marked by several senior management positions with some of the most respected companies in the advertising industry. Cunningham was executive vice president & managing director at Universal McCann in New York. During his tenure, he was responsible for the management of four of the agency's strategic operating units. He played an integral role in helping to lead the firm during a tremendous period of new business growth. His stint culminated with Universal McCann being named "Agency of the Year" for its 2002 performance by both leading industry trades publications Advertising Age and Adweek.

Cunningham also held media positions of increasing responsibility culminating with being named executive vice president & media director for Ammirati Puris Lintas in both the U.S. and Canada during the 1990's. Additionally, he served as executive vice president & media director for Lowe, Lintas & Co. just prior to joining Universal McCann.

Known for his ability to deeply immerse himself in his client's business, Cunningham has considerable experience in many of the largest consumer verticals including automotive, technology, consumer electronics, consumer product goods, retail, beer, distilled spirits, hard goods and business-to-business marketing sectors.

Cunningham spent early portions of his career at two legendary agency operations; Benton & Bowles in their media department during the mid-1980s and then with Ammirati & Puris during the peak of its success. It was during his tenure at Ammirati & Puris that he co-launched a new agency in Toronto, an emerging marketplace that included a full-service media operation built from scratch.

Cunningham earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Communications from Boston College. An avid skier, fisherman and automotive enthusiast, Sean also recently earned a black belt in Shotokan karate. Sean and his wife Jessica have three young children and make their home in Westchester County, New York.

John Edelman '84, P '18, '23

John Edelman joined Design Within Reach as its new CEO in January 2010. He has more than 20 years' experience with consumer-focused lifestyle brands, most recently at Edelman Leather prior to DWR.

During his 14 years at Edelman Leather, six of which were spent as the company's President and CEO, Mr. Edelman exponentially increased its brand awareness, sales and profits as the leading national provider of premium leather to the home furnishings industry. He was instrumental in leading the sale of his namesake to Knoll in October 2007. Before joining Edelman Leather in 1995, he spent seven years at Sam & Libby, where he was responsible for U.S. business.

  • CTC&G announced Mr. Edelman as the 2014 Innovator award recipient at its eighth annual Innovation in Design Awards.
  • Elle Decor included him in a 2014 list of design innovators, saying he "turned the company around by cutting out the knockoffs."
  • House Beautiful cited Mr. Edelman as one of the 12 Design Visionaries to Watch in 2012, a list of influencers the magazine describes as "shaping the way the world looks, and the way we live."
  • Metropolis named him as one of the Game Changers featured in its January 2012 issue about "extraordinary people transforming design in bold ways."

Mr. Edelman is a 1988 graduate of Manhattanville College. He currently serves on the Board of Directors both for Waterworks, a luxury bath retailer, and for Carlos Falchi, a handbag designer. In addition, he serves on the Board of Trustees for DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) and as Executive Vice President of Herman Miller. Mr. Edelman lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut, with his wife, Bonnie, a photographer, and their two children.

Jodi Felton P '19, '22, President, Parents' Association

Jodi Felton is currently the Wooster School Parents' Association President. She loves Wooster School and does anything possible to support the great work done at the school.

Jodi grew up in Merrick, Long Island and attended Boston University. She spent her Junior summer studying Chinese in Taiwan. Upon graduation from Boston University, Jodi spent a year in Taiwan and Hong Kong studying Chinese and working. Jodi then moved to New York City where she became a Head Hunter for Attorneys. She has had her own firm, Berman International for the past 20 years.

Jodi happily married Bill Felton in 2000 and they have two boys who currently attend Wooster. They reside in Weston, CT.

William D. Felton P '19, '22

Mr. Felton has been in the commercial real estate business for 50 years. He has owned and operated properties nationwide with a concentration in New York City. Today, Felton Properties Inc. is a family business and has shifted its emphasis primarily to the Pacific North West where they have more recently purchased office buildings in Portland OR, Seattle WA, Salt Lake City UT, Minneapolis MN, and Denver CO. The company's main offices are in Portland OR and Westport CT.

Mr. Felton has been involved in the development program at Wooster and is a strong supporter of the Wooster philosophy of "Making Learning Visible". The Felton's live in Weston with their 2 younger sons, both enrolled at Wooster. Bill currently serves on the Board of the Westport Arts Center. He attended Boston University and received a degree of BS in Business Administration. His graduate degree in Business Admin at Baruch College was cut short so that he could serve in the Vietnam War.

Suzanne Gabriele

Suzanne is a psychoanalyst/psychotherapist in private practice in Mount Kisco and New York City. A large part of her practice is devoted to the developmental challenges faced by teens and their families. She has over 25 years experience working in therapeutic settings.

Prior to 2007, Suzanne lived in New Orleans where she was a lead therapist on the inpatient Eating Disorders unit at DePaul Hospital. After Hurricane Katrina, Suzanne was asked by Jazzfest Productions (organizers of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival) to facilitate psychoeducational and experiential workshops for the staff.

Suzanne has held Clinical Instructor positions at both Tulane University in New Orleans and the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. She is the author of several scholarly articles published in peer reviewed journals and has presented at numerous academic conferences. The Institute for Adolescent Development honored Suzanne at the International Conference on Adolescence for her research on bereaved teens. She has served on the Board at St. George's School in New Orleans.

Suzanne grew up in New York City and attended the Bank Street School for Children and Riverdale Country School. She earned a B.S. at Union College and a M.S. and Ph.D. at New York University. She has lived in Florence, Italy and Jerusalem, Israel.

Suzanne is married to Greg Wisdom, an otolaryngologist with the Mount Kisco Medical Group. They have two children, Ben and John, who both attended Wooster. Wooster continues to be a present and important part of her family's life and shared values.

James Heneghan P '17, '18, '22, Treasurer

Along with his wife, Laura, Jim is the proud parent of three current Wooster students: Brogan '17, Kylie '18 and Megan '22. Raising his family in New Fairfield, CT, they joined the Wooster community in 2009. Jim joined the Board of Trustees in 2011 and after serving on the Development and Finance committees was elected Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee in 2013.

Jim has been working in the finance industry for over 20 years and is currently a Partner and Portfolio Manager at OTA LLC in Purchase, NY. He began as a Systems Administrator and then transitioned from a supporting role to Proprietary Trader. He has extensive experience in utilizing equities, options, bonds and derivatives to trade various strategies including mergers and acquisitions, special situations, convertible arbitrage and statistical arbitrage. He currently holds Series 7, 55, 63 and 24 licenses from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. He has served on the Nominating Committee for the NYSE ARCA exchange. He obtained a BS degree in Information Systems from Pace University while working at Reader’s Digest as a quantitative analyst.

Jim has had the opportunity to invest and participate in a number of private ventures. Partnered with two of his brothers, he has enjoyed the creation and opening in 2013 of J.A. Heneghan’s Restaurant and Tavern located in Point Lookout, NY.

In his leisure time, Jim and his family enjoy life on Candlewood Lake, skiing, hiking and spending time with their many pets.

Neil Marcus '65

Neil Marcus first arrived on the Wooster School campus in the Fall of 1961 and he has never really left. Following upon his brother Michael's graduation (Class of '61) he spent four years preparing for admission to the University of Pennsylvania (B.A.) and subsequently New York University School of Law (J.D.). He is a principal in the Firm of Cohen and Wolf P.C. which he joined in 1973 and founded its Danbury office. He joined the Wooster Board in 1981 as President of the Alumni Council as has been a member ever since. His sons, Tim, Evan and Brandon all attended Wooster. He is married to Lisi and has a daughter ,Abby and two grandsons, Sam and Felix. He is a member of the CT. Milk Regulation Board as well as a number of community organization boards including The Aldrich Museum (past Chair), the Danbury Hospital (past Chair) and the Western CT Health Network Foundation.

Sean Marcus P '22, Assistant Secretary

Sean Marcus attended Wooster school from 1982 to 1984 (class of 1988). This was 7th and 8th grade and he found it miserable. After he left Wooster he graduated from Danbury High School and then went on to earn a BA from The University of Colorado at Boulder. After this Sean earned an MBA from The University of Connecticut School of Business. Sean has worked for Marcus Dairy Inc for over 23 years and is currently the Operations Manager.

With age comes wisdom so Sean enrolled his daughter (class of 2022) at Wooster and she has been there ever since. Sean's father Michael Marcus (class of 1961) also attended Wooster so this makes his daughter a 3rd generation student of which he is very proud of.

Sean currently lives in Danbury with his wife and daughter.

James Mustich P '07, '12

Jim Mustich has been a Wooster Trustee since 2005, and has served as president of the Board from 2008-2016. Former Wooster parents, he and his wife Margot have raised two daughters, Emma, Wooster '07 and Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge '10, and Iris, Wooster '12 and University of Michigan '16.

A Princeton graduate, Jim has had a long career in bookselling and publishing, and is today Vice-President, Business Innovation for Barnes & Noble. Before moving to Barnes & Noble, for two decades he published the acclaimed catalogue A Common Reader, which he founded in 1986. Among his other projects, Jim is writing 1000 Books to Read Before You Die, forthcoming from Workman Publishing.

Prior to joining Wooster's Board, he served for six years as a Trustee of his high school alma mater, Fordham Preparatory School, Bronx, NY, working closely with administration and faculty as chair of the Board's Education Committee.

He and Margot reside in New Fairfield.

G.M. O'Connell P '18, '20

G.M. is the father of two Wooster students and a native of Wilton CT.

In 1987 G.M. co-founded Modem Media, the world's first online advertising agency. Modem was a pioneer in the commercial development of the Internet. The firm served a roster of Fortune 50 clients from 8 offices around the world, earning coveted awards in the U.S. and overseas. As Chairman and CEO from 1995 through 2004, G.M. guided Modem's service offering, growth strategy and key client relationships.

In 2004 G.M. along with his wife, Elizabeth and their four young kids moved to Argentina for a planned two year sabbatical. They came back to Wilton in 2011, having lost track of time, but gaining wonderful travel and cultural experiences none of them will forget.

G.M. has served on the boards of numerous companies and trade associations. He contributes time and resources to a number of charitable organizations in the U.S. and Argentina, including Todos Juntos, free dental clinics for impoverished children in Buenos Aires and Fundacion Cruzada Patagonica, a foundation supporting schools for indigenous children in Northern Patagonia.

G.M. enjoys a variety of outdoor sports and activities including fly-fishing, camping, skiing, tennis and tomato farming.

He is a graduate of Middlebury College where he majored in English and History.

Douglas Orr P '04, '07, '10

Resident of Ridgefield since 1983, married to Sally Savoia, parent of three Wooster School graduates - Maggie 2004 (Princeton 2008, Harvard Business School 2013), Jack 2007 (Boston University 2011), and Casey 2010 (Wake Forest 2014). Wooster School Board member since 1998, former member of Ridgefield Board of Education.

John Panikar P '21, '22

John Panikar was appointed president of Praxair Asia in 2014. He also has responsibility for the Middle East.

Panikar joined Praxair in 1991 and held a variety of assignments in operations and project management in Praxair's electronics business before being appointed Asia business manager for electronics in 1999. He was named director of business development for Praxair Asia in 2002, with additional responsibility for managing the helium, specialty gases, medical gases and carbon dioxide growth markets for Praxair India. He became managing director of Praxair India in 2004. In 2008, he transferred back to the U.S. as vice president, product management and analysis, for Praxair's North American Industrial Gases business unit and was appointed vice president of the U.S. South Region in 2009. Panikar was appointed president of Praxair Distribution, Inc. in 2010. He was responsible for the growth, profitability and return on capital of Praxair's packaged-gases business in the U.S.

A native of Mumbai, India, Panikar holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Rochester. He completed the Advanced Management program at Harvard Business School in 2010.

Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 250 company with 2014 sales of $12.3 billion, is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, primary metals and many others.

Alyssa Schechter '07

Alyssa Schechter grew up in Ridgefield, CT and attended Wooster for eight years. She was involved in Wooster's basketball, soccer, and lacrosse programs and served as the Senior Prefect for Wooster's class of 2007.

Alyssa graduated from the University of Virginia as a Jefferson Scholar and then moved to Boston to work as a consultant for Bain & Company. During her three years at Bain, she was able to devote some of her time to pro-bono education projects and spend six months working as a Strategy Analyst for a D.C.-based education non-profit. Now, Alyssa lives in Cambridge, MA where she is pursuing her M.B.A. at Harvard Business School.

Dane Unger P '16, '19

Dane Unger is an owner and board member of Unger Global. Unger was founded more than 50 years ago and manufactures high quality, innovative cleaning tools for professionals and consumers. With operations in USA, Germany, UK, France and China, the company distributes products to 80 countries.

Dane joined Unger in 1985 and over the next ten years built the distribution, sales and marketing of the Professional business as National Sales and Marketing Manager. In 1995, Dane founded Unger Industrial, LLC, and as President was responsible for the development and implementation of the consumer business strategic vision. Unger Industrial sells to retailers such as William’s Sonoma, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware.

After moving out of an operating role in 2014, Dane has dedicated his time to giving back to the community by serving on several boards, including that of The Center for Compassion, Creativity & Innovation at Western Connecticut State University and the WCSU Founders Board.

Born and raised in California, Dane first earned an associate degree in classical music. After working several years as a music instructor, writer and performer, he landed a record deal in 1981 with the band Destiny, which he cofounded. He then changed careers to work as a salesperson for a chemical manufacturer in Southern California. In 1985 he moved to Connecticut, joined Unger and went back to school to earn his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Charter Oak University.

Dane currently resides in Brookfield Connecticut with his wife and has two children, one is a Wooster student and the other, a graduate of Wooster, now attending Washington University in St. Louis.

Lewis J. Wallace, Jr. P '23, Secretary

Lew was elected to the Wooster Board of Trustees in in 1991. Lew serves as Board Secretary and Chair of the Committee on Trustees. He is currently a Director of Sales and Service for Commonfund in the Mid-South United States. Commonfund is the largest non-profit institutional investment firm that delivers solutions for strategic institutional investors. Commonfund manages endowments with a focus on three primary activities: outsourced solutions, alternative investment strategies and private capital. Lew previously held positions in marketing for Pepsi-Cola and the R. T. French Company. He served in government as Assistant to the Mayor of Danbury, a Congressional District Director and a Connecticut State Representative. As a State Representative, Lew chaired the Committees on Workforce Development and Planning & Development. He served for 10 years on the Education Committee. Lew has been deeply involved in the non-profit sector, having founded the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, the Beaver Street Running Team, Reading Is Right and having served on a number of non-profit Boards.

Lew was born in Nuremburg, (West) Germany and grew up in New Britain, CT and Bloomfield, CT. He graduated from the Loomis-Chaffee School, the University of Pennsylvania and the College of William and Mary Sloan Graduate School of Business. He and his family are residents of Danbury. Lew is married to RoseMarie (Scott) Wallace of Wolcott, CT. They have two children; Jay of the Great Wooster Class of 2023, and Gwendolyn who attended Wooster K-8 and is at Phillips Exeter Academy 2017.

Bonnie Wattles P '18

Bonnie Wattles is currently Executive Director of Franklin Street Works, a not-for-profit contemporary art space and cafe located in Stamford, CT. At FSW, Bonnie has focused on the growth and effectiveness of its Board of Trustees. She has completed a strategic planning process, created and implemented an annual development plan inclusive of a new membership program, annual fund, and fundraising events. She has expanded its funding base to include corporate partners, individual donors and foundations.

Prior to joining FSW, Bonnie was principal of Barn Raising Partners, a consulting practice dedicated to helping local and national non-profits engage in fundraising and development programs. Her early career was in brand management at packaged goods companies including Nabisco Inc., The Dannon Company and Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up.

Bonnie is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Jewish Family Congregation of South Salem. Bonnie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College and and MBA from Columbia Business School.

Leon Weaver P '18, '21, President

Leon was elected to the Wooster Board of Trustees in 2014 and began serving as President in 2016. Leon and his wife, Karen, reside in West Redding with their three children Liam, Elizabeth, and Caroline. Liam and Caroline attend Wooster School. Elizabeth attends Hotchkiss School.

Leon, a lawyer by training, retired from the internet business. For the past several years he has been actively involved at the board level of several education-related nonprofit entities, including the Redding Education Foundation, the Redding Elementary PTA, the Connecticut Friends School Steering Committee and the Montclair, NJ Northeast Elementary PTA.

Leon is a central Massachusetts native. He holds a B.S. in Communications from Fitchburg State University and did graduate work in technical writing at FSU, and in Network Architecture at Northeastern University. Leon also holds a JD from the Massachusetts School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1995. Currently, Leon is working towards his pilot's license. When time permits, he also enjoys international travel, playing ice hockey and skiing with his family.

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