Charter Oak Leadership Program Launch Team

Leadership Program of the Rockies (LPR), CLP’s parent organization, has recruited a team of leaders from Connecticut to help launch and run the Charter Oak Leadership Program. Beginning in 2017, LPR has been working hard to identify the talent needed to launch and lead this effort, studied Connecticut’s issues and demographics, and developed relationships with key groups and individuals who influence politics and policy in the State. An initiative of this scale and importance requires significant planning, time-on-the-ground, and resources. With the future of freedom in Connecticut at stake, there can be no short-cuts.

Four determined Connecticut leaders made a commitment to travel to Colorado for eleven consecutive months to join LPR’s 2018-2019 class. Their goal was to learn about the unique teaching techniques that LPR has fine-tuned over the last thirty years. These passionate, dedicated Connecticut citizens mastered a unique, highly successful curriculum that underscores three core elements: individual rights, the proper role of government, and the need for an active, engaged citizenry–all centered on the concept of freedom.

Today, the Charter Oak Leadership Program is well-immersed in America’s founding principles and the fundamental ideas of capitalism. This launch team started something new to Connecticut – a movement to preserve freedom. Just as impressive as their Colorado counterparts, this Army for Freedom possess a unique sphere of influence, a critical characteristic of every program graduate.

Cathy Carter is the Director of Community Outreach at The Saybrook at Haddam in Haddam, CT.  She has a wealth of marketing, public relations and communications experience spanning nearly 30 years.

In 2017, Cathy was elected as the Republican Registrar of voters in Old Lyme, CT.

Cathy earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of New Haven, and her Bachelor’s degree in Public Management from the University of Maine, Orono. She is also a graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT.

Cathy has served in leadership positions on the Meriden and Old Lyme Republican Town Committees, Soroptimist International, Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity, AAUW, The Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and 1991 Outstanding Young Women of America.

Kimberly Fiorello is the State Director for the Charter Oak Leadership Program, collaborating with the President of Leadership Program of the Rockies to maximize the success of the Connecticut chapter.  Changing our state’s culture so more folks actively choose freedom and reject force is the focus of Kimberly’s work.

Kimberly was elected in 2019 to serve as State Representative for District 149 (Greenwich, Stamford) in the Connecticut General Assembly.  Before that, she was elected to the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting.  She volunteers with the Collections Committee of the Greenwich Historical Society.

She has worked as a staff reporter for the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong, covering changes in corporate governance and shareholder activism in Asian markets.  She has appeared on CNBC Asia.  Before that, she was in the Analyst Training Program at Salomon Brothers.

Kimberly holds a U.S patent for a zippered storage bag she designed and made at home because she could not find what she wanted anywhere on the market.  Her patent was licensed to MBI Inc and was on the market as “zippedbags.”

Born in Seoul, South Korea, and having grown up in Reston, Virginia, Kimberly attended the United States Military Academy at West Point before transferring to and graduating from Harvard College, A.B. Economics.  She and her husband, Jon, live in Greenwich, CT, and have four children, two dogs, and four hens.  She is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, Class of 2019.

Andrew Olivastro leads a strategic communications firm. His career began as a newspaper reporter in Connecticut and he most recently led executive and employee communications for United Technologies, the largest corporation in the state. His career began as a newspaper reporter in Connecticut and he most recently led executive and employee communications for United Technologies, the largest corporation in the state.

In between, he spent 12 years in Washington, D.C., currently at the Heritage Foundation, and as a speechwriter at the RNC and in the Bush Administration, and advising Fortune 50 companies at Edelman Public Relations.

Gwen Samuel, head of the Connecticut Parent Union, is a trainer who’s been recognized in many publications for her outreach to parents.

She started a group called FACE (Family and Community Engagement), runs a program that transitions teachers into diverse classrooms, and works with the Yankee Institute on Connecticut school reform issues.