Board of Directors
Karen L. Neilan
Karen has been committed to building, developing, and continuing financial relationships as a Personal Banker and Chartered Retirement Planning Councilor at Liberty Bank for the past 32 years. It has been a wonderful opportunity for her to serve the community at large in a financial capacity and on a personal level. A precious gift in her life, and what matters most, is making a difference in the lives of others.
Karen has a long standing relationship at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in various capacities. She is a member of the Hospital Council, Lawrence + Memorial Benefactors Society (LAMBS), Lawrence Society, Annual Giving Committee and Well Healed Woman Committee. It was an honor for her to be the 2015 Well Healed Woman Recipient. This award is presented to a woman who embraces health, healing and humor in her life and volunteer work with passion.
As the Immediate Past President of the Auxiliary of Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, Karen continues to serve on the Executive Board and Board of Directors. Having served in various roles throughout the years to include Assistant Treasurer, Treasurer, Finance Chairwoman, and Vice-President has been honorable. She is committed to its mission, which is to support the Hospital in its efforts to improve the health of our region.
She is passionate about the mission of the New London Community Meal Center, which is to feed the hungry men, women, and children in our community. Writing grants to secure funding is her area of expertise in serving on the Board of Directors.
Karen has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce Eastern CT throughout her tenure at Liberty Bank. She is a graduate of The Leadership Program, which exposes promising leaders to those issues that affect our communities, businesses, and the public.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern CT is dear to her heart. Karen is a proud supporter of the VNAngels, a group of supporters dedicated to the mission, which is to optimize the health and well-being of everyone living in southeastern CT.
It is a privilege and honor for Karen to serve as President on the Board of Directors for Center for Hospice Care Southeast Connecticut, a distinguished non-profit organization that is committed to providing quality care to people with life-limiting illnesses and support to their loved ones before and after death. She looks forward to her continuing role as ambassador for The Circle, along with serving on the Governance Committee and the Development Committee.
James E. Bates
Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Investments
Lives in Mystic
"I have been a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones since 2007. Prior to that, I spent 15 years in the healthcare industry, specifically in Long Term Care. During 9 of those years, I was a nursing home administrator. I reside in Mystic with my wife Caryn and daughters Sydney & Morgan."
Finance Director at Pfizer, currently supporting early stage research groups like Medicinal Chemistry. Over my 11 years at Pfizer, I’ve also supported Business Technology, Global Operations/Facilities, Procurement and late stage drug Development programs including Eliquis (while still in Phase III trials). My current role is based in Groton, but I also spent several years based out of New York and managing a global team of 14 colleagues. Prior to accepting a role at Pfizer, I worked for five years in the IT department for the Mashantucket Tribal Nation, supporting financial systems at their various enterprises, including Foxwoods Casino. Other past roles have included Corporate Controller positions for local manufacturing and health care businesses.
My public accounting background includes two years at Arthur Young (now Ernst and Young) in Hartford and five years with Marien & Co. in Norwich, where my focus was on governmental and non-profit audits. Clients included Pierce Memorial Baptist Home and several smaller non-profit agencies.
I received both my BS in Accounting and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut. I’m also a Certified Public Accountant.
My husband and I have two grown children, both living in North Carolina. We enjoy great food and traveling, with New Orleans being a favorite destination. We live in a very secluded spot in Gales Ferry, which we share with our five dogs and two cats.
Megan Robinson, Ph.D.
Director, Groton Collaboration Manager, Pfizer Inc. Lives in Gales Ferry. "I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry since 1999 and relocated to Connecticut in 2007. I believe in giving patients as many options as possible to manage their health and am delighted to be on the Hospice board. Outside of work, I spend time with my husband Terry and teenage daughter Olivia. I enjoy watching football, hiking, and performing at local nursing homes with the Pfizer Singers. "
Lives in East Lyme
Owner of Ed Lorah & Associates, LLC; formed in August of 2006, a public accounting firm located in New London with 12 employees. Wrestling Coach for over 7 years at East Lyme High School. Ed was the former President of the Board & Treasurer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southeastern CT and a member of LAMBS. He and his wife Maria have 3 children.
Attorney Brown, Jacobson, P.C. Lives in Oakdale. Jeff Buebendorf practices in the areas of civil litigation, employment law, personal injury and employment discrimination. He has argued before the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts, as well as the Mashantucket Court of Appeals. He also practices before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Prior to accepting an ex officio position on the Center for Hospice Care Board, he served as a voting member for 9 years, during which he was Vice President for 5 years.
Monica Farina, DNP, RN, CDE
As a public health nurse for the last 19 years, I have been involved in local, regional, State, and National health care initiatives to improve the health of populations. My career in nursing has shown that collaborative efforts and partnerships lead to improved health outcomes and can provide many community benefits. I look forward to assisting the Center for Hospice Care to enhance the health of individuals, families, and communities in need of care at a critical time. I completed a doctorate in nursing from Quinnipiac University, clinical informatics certificate from Indiana University, and Board certification in diabetes education. A lifelong resident of Southeastern Ct, Monica lives in Waterford with husband Jim, and has 2 grown sons.
Originally from Portland, CT, Kim has resided in Norwich, CT for over 30 years. During that time, Kim has extensively volunteered with Hadassah, an organization that supports medical care and research at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel. Kim currently serves as Organizational VP for the Eastern CT Chapter, and as Area Advisor for the CT Region. Previously, she held leadership positions in the Norwich Chapter of Hadassah including Fundraising, Membership, and Co-President.
As part of her work with Hadassah, Kim is a Co-Founder and Committee Chair of an annual event called “Wear Pink” which raises funds for Breast Cancer Research & Prevention. Kim also regularly volunteers at the L&M Cancer Center in Waterford, CT.
Lois F. Geary
Lives in Mystic. Lois is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a community volunteer who has been in the area for over 30 years. She and husband Bob have 2 sons and 4 grandchildren.
President, Brown & Knapp Group Benefits. Lives in Niantic. "I am an owner of Brown and Knapp Group Benefits LLC and specialize in employee benefit packages. My wife Ginny and I have lived in Southeastern CT for over 10 years and have 2 daughters, Jessica and Kaylee. It has been an honor to be part of the board for Center for Hospice Care Southeast Connecticut."
I have spent over 30 years as Director of Corporate Affairs for RBS Citizens Bank managing Social Purpose Investments, Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Relations, Communications and Corporate Compliance for The State of CT and Rhode Island. I have served on the Boards of Statewide LISC, CT Council for Philanthropy, CT Affordable Housing Coalition, Fairfield Housing Collaborative, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Advisory Board, CAHS, Alliance for Living, United Way, BP Learned Mission, L&M Finance Board, L&M Corporator, Dr. MLK Foundation, Eastern CT Housing Opportunities. I am the founder of the Lara B. Seder Tennis Camp in Norwich which is free for local children. Since retiring I have a greater interest in local initiatives that satisfy the needs of our local community.
Vice President Commercial Lending, Dime Bank
Lives in Oakdale
Mark E. Tramontozzi, MD
Physician, Surgical Associates of Norwich, LLC. Lives in Norwich. "As a physician who works with cancer patients, it's an honor to be on the Hospice board."
William F. Turner
Realtor, Market Realty LLC - Lives in Stonington - Bill Turner has a long career in the Southeastern Connecticut business community having served in many leadership capacities. Most recently, Bill has served as the chairperson for both the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut where he continues to serve as Trustee. Bill is a Corporator for Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and co-chair for the Hospice of Southeastern Connecticut’s “Circle” membership organization. Bill is on the Board of the Old Mystic Fire District, Three River’s Community College Foundation, and Board Vice President of the Mystic & Noank Library. Bill is a member of the Connecticut and National Trust for Historic Preservation and owner of Kentford Farm perennial gardens in Stonington.
In 2011 Bill was named “Citizen of the Year” and recognized for his contributions to the Southeastern Connecticut communities by the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. Bill’s level of integrity, enthusiasm and community service make him a natural fit for his current role as realtor with Market Realty LLC of Mystic. Bill is a strong advocate for improving communities, having served as an educator and administrator in the Connecticut public school system and more recently as lead legislative liaison for AT&T’s government and municipal affairs.
Served as Board Chair for 4 years
Lives in Groton
"As a nurse for 33 years, 28 as an ER nurse, and 19 years as a State Representative, I know the valuable role Hospice plays in the community. I am honored to be part of such a wonderful, caring organization. I live in Groton with my husband David and have 2 daughter and 3 granddaughters."
President, SAVA Insurance Group. Lives in Niantic. Volunteering and giving back to the community that has supported me professionally and personally through the years has played an important role in my life. I try to align my efforts with organizations that are committed to the community’s well being, emotionally and physically. Hospice is one of those special organizations that provide support and assistance in our lives at a very difficult and emotional time. I enjoy boating, golfing, yoga and cooking for my family and friends. I am honored to serve on the Center for Hospice Care Board of Directors.