Board of Directors

Friends Center’s Board of Directors is a dedicated group who stewards Friends Center and assures and oversees its organizational health and effectiveness. Working in close partnership with the Executive Director, they give their time, talents, resources and expertise to provide leadership and support to achieve agreed-upon goals and objectives consistent with Friends Center’s mission, vision and values.

Latrice Allen-Frasier

Keyri Ambrocio

Keyri Ambrocio serves as the Deputy Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. Keyri works closely with the team to manage media relations and communications strategy. Keyri brings a keen understanding of how to effectively communicate the Senator’s priorities and legislative accomplishments to constituents and the press. Prior to joining the Senator’s team, Keyri held various roles in political communications and public affairs, honing her skills in message development and media outreach. She has a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of New Haven. She currently resides with her husband in Branford, CT.

Jane Coppock

Jane has had many passionate interests in her life —  among them, music, environment, Quakers, history, children, and New Haven — which have informed her careers and activities over the years, and together, demonstrated her unwavering commitment to people and place.

Her involvement with Friends Center and the New Haven Meeting began when she bought a house near the Center in 2002, but her Quaker roots go much deeper, with a Quaker heritage on her father’s side and a Quaker upbringing  that included attending three Friends schools.

Jane’s love for music led her to pursue a PhD in music theory/history at Princeton and a decade of teaching at Dartmouth and MIT. In 1989, she decided to make a bold transition and make her environmental concern paramount in her life. She came to the Yale School of the Environment, first as a student, then as assistant dean of the school and editor of a publication series for almost 20 years, retiring in 2010.

Since retiring, Jane has been an active participant in Yale American history courses and graduate seminars, studying primarily Native history and the history of slavery. Recently, she spent a year as a researcher for the book Yale and Slavery: A History, published in February 2024 by Yale Press.

For Jane, working with children has always been a passion. As a volunteer in Friends Center preschool classroom and a Friends Center board member, Jane puts her devotion to children in active form. She is immensely grateful for the opportunity, and committed to doing her part to ensure the success and ongoing development of all children at the Center.

Jessica Herrington

Kaaren Janssen

Kaaren’s career in science began in the research lab – after graduate school and postdoctoral work, she became a research associate at the Salk Institute in La Jolla. Her growing interest in science communication – teaching, writing and editing – led her into the world of scientific publishing, where she became exposed to a wide range of research topics, discussion and planning with an active and entertaining Editorial Board, helping to sort out the next big application of interest to the readership. At the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Kaaren became further involved in acquisitions and development programs, communications and project evaluation in academic publishing and education, mentoring students. She currently devotes her time to science communication and education, as well as serving as consultant to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, working for the preprint server bioRxiv. Kaaren’s community work has focused on supporting education – as a member of the Guilford Board of Education for 8 years; on the Board of Guilford, A Better Chance for 12. She is now so pleased to be involved with the Friends Center, seeing what a difference can be made when the focus on high quality care and education and family support begins early. Kaaren has two children, now grown – neither went into science, but each married a scientist. Her family all shares a love of hiking and open water swimming.

Greg Melville

Shaylice Meserole

Joanna Meyer

Joanna Meyer brings more than 20 years of experience in education to her role as a Friends Center board member. Joanna’s work at The Consultation Center at Yale focuses on early childhood education through the Partnership for Early Education Research (PEER) and on social and emotional learning through school-based research in Connecticut and across the U.S. Prior to her work at Yale, Joanna supported middle school science teachers through the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership (MainePSP), a school-university partnership that focused on improving the teaching and learning of science in secondary and post-secondary classrooms.

Joanna began her career as an educator, with ten years of teaching experience that spanned three school districts, a Job Corps center, and two experiential learning settings. As a high school science teacher, Meyer led her school’s decennial accreditation process with New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Meyer also served as a fellow of the Maine Writing Project, a mentor teacher for the teacher preparation program at the University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development, and a coordinating teacher for the National Science Foundation GK-12 program at the University of Maine’s College of Engineering.

Joanna is also a proud parent of two Friends Center alumni.

James Morrissey

James Morrissey is a partner in Brown Rudnick LLP’s Corporate Practice Group, where he serves as a passionate and pragmatic advocate for the owners and developers of infrastructure and real estate. He prides himself on being a “dealmaker” and team player, leading and advising on deals of every shape and size.

As a member of the Firm’s Energy Transition group, Jimmy knows that the world is rapidly changing, and that companies need attorneys willing to change with it. He believes in the new technologies that will power a net-zero world and in assisting the changemakers developing them. Accordingly, he has counseled clients on renewables, biofuels, battery storage solutions, hydrogen production, cryptocurrency mining and microgrids.

Jimmy has worked in the energy industry for his entire career, and prior to joining Brown Rudnick, held a variety of legal and non-legal roles at a global energy company, including serving as in-house counsel. In support of the development of energy infrastructure projects, he represents companies in all forms of energy commercial contracting, including power purchase agreements, transmission support agreements, terminal service agreements, EPC contracts and offtake agreements.

Jimmy has a significant national leasing practice, counseling landlords and tenants in transactions for industrial, retail and office space, with a particular emphasis on repurposing existing properties and representing the portfolio companies of private equity funds.

Jim Murphy

Thayer Quoos

Thayer Quoos graduated from Yale Divinity School (1975) and completed CPE training at Yale New Haven Hospital in 2001. She has worked as an On-call Chaplain at YNHH since 1996 and is a member of the Religious Society of Friends, more commonly known as Quakers.

Over the years, she has worked with women leaving Niantic Prison, substance abusers (upstate NY) and teenage parents and their families (Windham Region in CT). In New Haven, she worked for many years at AIDS Project New Haven overseeing services to people living with AIDS/HIV and supervising the city-wide case management team (6 agencies). Thayer then commuted to New London where she served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Center of Southeastern CT, an agency serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Thayer worked at Chapel Haven in Westville, supervising programs for adults with cognitive disabilities who live independently. In 2008, she became a fulltime chaplain at Masonicare. She retired in 2022 but remains an On-Call Chaplain at YNHH.

Thayer has also owned a bed & breakfast in Chester, CT and every year hosted the teachers and visiting actors for the National Theater of the Deaf. Thayer loves being a grandmother to Sonia, the best kid in the world! She also enjoys gardening, painting, walking, and bicycling.

Brita Roy

Allyx Schiavone

Allyx has over 30 years of experience in early childhood development and elementary education as a teacher and administrator in CT and NY. She holds dual Masters’ degrees from Bank Street College of Education in Early Childhood Development and Elementary Education as well as a Bachelor’s degree from Union College. A third-generation New Haven native, Allyx maintains ownership in a New Haven real estate development corporation which she managed from 1998-2009. 

Allyx has served as Program Coordinator for New Haven-based Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES); Early Childhood Classroom Observer for Southern Connecticut State University; and Budget Coordinator for the New Haven Board of Education. Allyx has taught in several elementary schools and pre-school settings in NYC, New Haven and Greenwich; directed summer camps; and written and supervised curricula at elementary, middle and high school levels with an emphasis on multidisciplinary studies. 

Allyx is the driving force behind Friends Center for Children’s rapid growth and innovation. She, along with her team, is responsible for establishing Friends Center for Children as well as the acquisition of three school facilities and all of the supporting work which allows them to thrive. Allyx is the originator of many Friends Center initiatives including; the Emotional Wellbeing Program; the Teacher Housing Initiative; and the Teacher Leadership Program. 

Allyx is a founder of the New Haven Children’s Ideal Learning District (NH ChILD). NH ChILD is a coalition of local and national early childhood proponents who have come together to create an Ideal Learning place-based pilot program in New Haven. The goal of NH ChILD is to provide high-quality early care and education experiences for all 15,000 New Haven children ages zero to eight. 

She currently serves as a member of the National Ideal Learning Roundtable and the Mayoral-Appointed New Haven Early Childhood Council. She is a recipient of the Bank Street College of Education Alumni Association Recognition Award, presented annually to Bank Street graduates honoring outstanding career accomplishments in the field of education which exemplify the spirit and philosophy of Bank Street College; the Southern Black Nurses Association Community Service Award; the Amity Club Distinguished Italian-American Lifetime Achievement Award; Exchange Magazine’s Master Leader award; and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence’s Marvin Maurer Spotlight Award. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and is a former; board member for Connecticut Voices for Children; appointee to the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Reading; and leader of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund Community Leadership Program. 

First and foremost, Allyx is an advocate for early care and education, focused on creating alternative systems for members of the early childhood community who are marginalized, overburdened and underfunded. She is the mother of two fantastic adult children, the partner to an amazing man, and the provider for a lovely dog named Tuck.

 

Scot Wrocklage

Keyri Ambrocio

Keyri Ambrocio serves as the Deputy Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. Keyri works closely with the team to manage media relations and communications strategy. Keyri brings a keen understanding of how to effectively communicate the Senator’s priorities and legislative accomplishments to constituents and the press. Prior to joining the Senator’s team, Keyri held various roles in political communications and public affairs, honing her skills in message development and media outreach. She has a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of New Haven. She currently resides with her husband in Branford, CT.