Valley Community Foundation Welcomes New Board Members, Celebrates 15 Years of Philanthropy

(Left to right) Thomas Sutnik, Esq. and Terry Jones join the Valley Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.

DERBY, CT (July 8, 2019) - The Valley Community Foundation’s (VCF) Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Thomas Sutnik, a Shelton-based estate attorney, and Terry Jones, who has run the seven-generation Jones Family Farms for 50 years. VCF’s Board of Directors also thanks Jimmy Ryan, who has completed his second term.


The VCF Board announces additional developments: Upon concluding a three-year term as chair, Alan Tyma will continue his service on the VCF Board. Vice-chair Lynne Bassett Perry has been elected to chair. Donald Smith, Jr. has been elected to vice-chair and Marianne Smythe has been elected to secretary. Board member Frank Michaud has been appointed to a second term. 


The details were shared at the Valley Community Foundation’s Annual Reception, which was also held in celebration of 15 years of philanthropy in the Valley. At the event, VCF announced it received more than $3.5 million during 2018, awarded nearly $2 million in grants, and established 11 new funds. Notably, VCF also shared that it renewed its affiliation agreement with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, continuing the partnership in philanthropy between the two foundations for another decade. VCF now has more than 180 funds and $25 million in charitable assets. The 2018 VCF Annual Report and videos from the event are now available online.

Sharon Closius, VCF President & CEO, said, “On behalf of the VCF Board of Directors, we would like to thank Jimmy Ryan for his years of dedicated service to the Valley community. Our organization has experienced tremendous growth under his tenure, which started even before VCF was created in 2004. His involvement is also inclusive of a term on The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s Board where he also served as Chair.”


Closius added, “We are thrilled to welcome Tom Sutnik and Terry Jones to our Board. Tom brings a high level of expertise in estate planning that will play a key role in helping VCF build philanthropy in the Valley. Terry has a generations-old family history of community involvement, education and land usage, which further diversifies the areas of expertise that our Board represents.” 

New VCF Board Members:

Thomas Sutnik, Esq.  - Tom Sutnik is an attorney whose practice emphasizes estate planning and estate settlement. He has offices in Shelton and Southbury. Sutnik was the Probate Judge for the Southbury Probate Court from 2003 until 2011. In addition to his professional work, Sutnik is and has been very involved in community service. Currently, he is President of the Friend A. Russ Fund, a professional advisor to The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and a member of the Endowment Committee of the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley. He is a past president of the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley and Valley United Way. He has also served on the Board for Pomperaug Woods in Southbury and the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra. Sutnik is a recipient of the Gold Seal award for Community Service given by the Valley Chamber of Commerce.  

Terry H. Jones - Terry Jones is a lifelong resident of Shelton, where he has run the seven-generation, 400-acre Jones Family Farms for 50 years. He is the vice president of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Board of Control and a member of the Shelton Economic Development Commission. Jones also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the UConn College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. A passionate spokesperson for land conservation, he serves as Chairman of CT Working Land's Alliance, a wide coalition advocating for farmland preservation and healthy food. Jones is a leader in a coordinated school health initiative sponsored by the National Association of State Boards of Education, and serves on a broad-based committee to advance the development and implementation of policies to improve nutrition and the health of students. Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in plant science from the University of New Hampshire

About The Valley Community Foundation

Established in 2004, the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) distributes $1.6 million in grants each year to support the local nonprofit sector and the people it serves. VCF works in strong partnership with The Community Foundation for

Greater New Haven (TCF) to promote philanthropy in Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton, and receives a majority of its discretionary funding as a result of The Gates Fund and other preference funds at TCF that benefit the Valley. To learn how your gifts of cash, life insurance, appreciated stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets can help to support the quality of life in the Valley, please visit www.valleyfoundation.org or contact VCF President & CEO Sharon Closius.

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MEDIA CONTACT: 
John Ready
Donor Services & Communications Officer
Valley Community Foundation
(203) 751-9162
Email John Ready






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