Meet the people who execute the vision of the Community Fund of Darien every day.
Charla Easterbrook joined The Community Fund of Darien in June 2019. A native Texan, she has considered Darien a home-away-from-home for many years. Charla has 20 years of nonprofit fundraising experience in animal welfare and academia. She raised funds for Texas Canine Search & Rescue Unit 1 during 911, traveled to Louisiana to provide assistance after Hurricane Katrina, set-up a make-shift kennel to accommodate 300 displaced animals in an abandoned garage after Hurricane Harvey, and served as lead for Service Enterprise through Points of Light. In addition, she served on numerous PTO Executive Boards in Highland Park. Charla lives in Darien and has three chldren.
Jen started her career in the for profit sector where she worked in the field of marketing for five years. Upon moving from Charlotte to New York, she decided to make a career change and returned to school to get her Master in Public Administration with a concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at NYU.
Following graduate school, Jen started her Development career at the American Red Cross, Greenwich chapter as Assistant Director of Development and later joined AmeriCares where she was an Associate Director of Major Gifts.
She became a stay at home mom and active volunteer when her first son was born in 2009. Jen volunteered for the Wilton Library Association, Wilton Public Schools, The Community Fund of Darien and served on the Strategic Planning Committee for Woodcock Nature Center and was a member of the Board of Directors of Zion’s Hill Preschool Program where she was Co-Chair for two years. Jen is currently a Board of Trustee for the Wilton Library Association.
Jen received her B.S. in Sociology from the University of Vermont. She lives in Wilton with her husband and two sons.
COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS DIRECTOR
Lisa Haas began working at The Community Fund of Darien in 2013 as the Director of Development and subsequently moved into the role of Community Investments Director in 2016. Prior to working at The Community Fund, she served on The Community Fund’s Board of Directors and participated in our grant review panels for
six years. Lisa worked in finance as a research analyst for Soundview and Schroders. She has a B.A. from Duke University and has an M.B.A. from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She has three children and
lives in Darien.
YOUTH PROGRAM MANAGER
Michaela grew up in Branford, Connecticut and holds a B.A in Global and International Studies with a minor in Youth & Society from Michigan State University. Since graduating with her undergrad she has worked abroad in Amman, Jordan and Cape Town, South Africa. She also worked locally as a teacher fellow with Americorps at an all-girls low-income middle school in Hartford, CT. She is recently returning to Connecticut after completing an internship in Cape Town for 6 months working with High School students at an education based non-profit. She currently lives in Branford.
thriving youth associate
Buck Allen is a recent college graduate with a major in psychology and double-minor in business and philosophy. Harnessing his interests in wellness, fitness, nutrition and mindfulness, Buck aims to help teens in Darien to flourish holistically. Buck is currently working as a Thriving Youth Associate for The Community Fund of Darien; involved in marketing, social media management, and facilitating discussions and panels.
Emily Larkin joined The Community Fund staff in October 2015. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University and a B.S. in Counseling and Human Services and B.A. in Theology from the University of Scranton. In her role as Thriving Youth Program Director, Emily administers a grant from Connecticut’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) aimed at youth substance use prevention and mental health promotion. In 2018, she was selected as one of Fairfield County Business Journal’s “40 under 40.” Emily and her husband live in Stamford.
Barbara joined The Community Fund of Darien as bookkeeper in 2015. Barbara is a CPA with a background in public accounting and has been doing bookkeeping for small businesses since 1996. Barbara graduated from Darien High School and received a B.S.B.A. from Villanova University. She currently lives in Darien with her husband and three children.