Valley Community Foundation Welcomes Diane Stroman and Nancy Valentine to Board of Directors, Announces New Officers

The Valley Community Foundation's (VCF) Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Diane Stroman and Nancy Valentine. Diane and Nancy, both longtime Ansonia residents, further bolster the diversity and representation on the Board of the Valley's five towns.

Derby, Conn. (January 30, 2020) - The Valley Community Foundation's (VCF) Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Diane Stroman and Nancy Valentine. Diane and Nancy, both longtime Ansonia residents, further bolster the diversity and representation on the Board of the Valley's five towns.

The VCF Board announced additional developments: Upon completing her full seven-year term, which included a year as 2019 Chair, Lynne Bassett Perry has departed from the Board. Former Vice-Chair, Donald Smith, Jr., was elected to Chair the VCF Board. Jack Walsh was elected to Vice-Chair. Marianne Smythe and Raymond Oppel will continue their respective leadership roles as Secretary and Treasurer.

During her tenure on the Board, Lynne Bassett Perry helped create and refine VCF's grant program and community impact initiative. She supported the development and production of two Valley Community Indices, fostered an organizational atmosphere of strategic grantmaking and helped to create and Chair VCF's Program Committee. Most impactfully, Lynne has continued her family's legacy of philanthropy in the Valley by making significant community investments through The Bassett Family Fund.

In a statement, Sharon Closius, VCF President and CEO, said:
"On behalf of the VCF Board of Directors, we are thrilled to welcome Diane Stroman and Nancy Valentine. This will be Diane's second term on the Board and we are so glad to have her back with us. While she retired from her position with TEAM, Inc. two years ago, still remains extremely involved with several nonprofits in the Valley along with the City of Ansonia. Nancy has been actively engaged in a wide range of Valley-serving organizations for many years. She was Ansonia's first woman Mayor and brings a great perspective to the table. In addition to their tremendous accolades, Diane and Nancy also represent VCF's commitment to inclusively represent the towns, communities, and individuals in which we serve, and we look forward to their capable contributions. On a separate note, we are incredibly thankful for Lynne's service on our Board. While it is sad to see her go, VCF and the nonprofit organizations serving the Valley, as a whole, are in a better position because of her focused grantmaking efforts and commitments. We are so incredibly grateful to her for the support she has provided all of these years."

New VCF Board Members:
Diane L. Stroman
Diane L. Stroman is a lifelong Ansonia resident and graduate of Ansonia High School. She retired in 2018 as Executive Vice President after 25 years of service with TEAM, Inc. Diane is deeply passionate and very knowledgeable about the Valley community's needs. She currently serves in a part-time capacity as the Ansonia Public Schools Mentor Coordinator.

Diane was elected to the City of Ansonia's Board of Alderman in 2019 and serves on several community boards: The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Julia Day Nursery, and the Valley Juvenile Review Board. She chairs Ansonia's Elderly Services Commission and the Julian A. Taylor Scholarship Committee, which has a fund at VCF. Diane is a Corporator for Valley United Way, Griffin Hospital, and BHcare, and is also a member of the Ansonia Branch NAACP. She was formerly on the Ansonia Board of Education and past President of the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club.

Diane is an active member of her church, Greater Evangel Temple Church of God in Christ, and is the recipient of numerous community, civic and fraternal awards. She and her husband, John, reside in Ansonia and have two children and two grandsons.

Nancy Valentine
Originally a Rhode Island native, Nancy moved to Connecticut in 1973 before moving to Ansonia shortly thereafter where she has lived since and currently resides with her husband, William Zwack.

Nancy volunteers in many facets at TEAM, Inc.: as a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Associate) for more than a decade, a member of the Valley Senior Service Council, Valley Caregivers, Annual Intergenerational Fashion Show, and Festival of Trees committee. She has been a Rotarian since 1999 and serves as Treasurer of the Seymour Oxford Rotary Club. Nancy also serves on the Hallock's Landing Board of Directors and the BHcare Business Advisory Council, and additionally volunteers with the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut.

Beginning service as a Senior Warden at Christ Episcopal Church in Ansonia in 2019, Nancy is active with the Vestry, Episcopal Church Women's Group, and fundraising activities. She also is a Corporator with Griffin Hospital, as well as a volunteer at Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury.

Nancy has the distinction of being the first woman Mayor for the City of Ansonia, is a lay reader, Notary Public, and a Justice of the Peace.

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 the website at or contact VCF President, Sharon Closius, at or 203-751-9162.