40 Under 40

 

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Christi Holmes • 36 • New Haven
   As director of the Connecticut State Medical Society Health Equity Campaign, Christi Holmes has made it her mission to reduce the racial and ethnic disparities in delivery of medical care caused by language barriers and other cultural differences. In 2008 she launched a research study to assess Connecticut doctors’ intercultural competencies. The results led to a program, Care in Context, which provides continuing-education credit to physicians as incentive to improve doctor-patient communication and create a more fair and balanced health-care system. Introduced during grand rounds at 15 Connecticut hospitals, the program has received high marks from participating doctors and garnered national attention: Holmes now serves on the National Commission to End Health Care Disparities and was invited to present a paper at the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates last summer.
Buddy Prete • 39 • Milford
   President of his own flooring company—Ultimate Interiors—since 1992, when he was a Fairfield University undergrad, Buddy Prete is the model of a modern small-business booster. He’s on the board of Milford Progress Inc., belongs to the Milford Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Downtown Milford Business Association. High school pal Jeanne Jamieson praises his business savvy: “Over the years, Buddy has managed to grow his business while competing with the big-box stores,” she says. “His personal service, attention to detail and desire to provide a quality product have taken him far.”
Roxanne Melaragno • 34 • Fairfield
   Roxanne Melaragno is one of a new generation of teachers who contribute much more to their schools than simply standing in front of a classroom. According to Christopher Geissler, principal of Middle Gate Elementary School in Newtown, where she teaches, “Roxanne is an intelligent teacher-leader and valuable member of our school system. She works hard to further the district’s goals, improve her craft and ensure success for all students. Currently, she’s co-chair of our Early Intervention Team, mentor for the TEAM program and a member of the Teaching and Learning Subcommittee of our District Strategic Planning Committee. She has made many contributions to education, and her ability to relate with students and guide their learning is equally impressive.”
David Klineberg • 33 • New Haven
   Want to increase awareness of your product or move merchandise off the shelf? New Haven’s Response LLC, a marketing firm where David Klineberg is vice president of client services, is one place to check out. At Response, Klineberg is responsible for overseeing the client management team and helping develop a strategic vision for clients. He also founded the country’s first “crowdsourced” sports franchise, the Torrington Titans baseball team, before selling it last year. A further sidleline, and fandom, has led him to a consulting role for the digital and social-media presence of Grammy Award-winning singer- songwriter Van Hunt.
Marisa Balletti-Lavoie • 28 • Meriden
   Balletti-Lavoie started Sassy Mouth Photography four years ago as a way to “bring art, love and much sassiness to the masses.” The masses seem to approve: Her business—devoted mostly to family and wedding photography—has grown by leaps and bounds. She has a thriving studio in downtown Meriden, and last season shot 40 weddings. Balletti-Lavoie also donates her time and talent to the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, doing the photography for all its fundraisers and offering free photo shoots as prizes.

 

40 Under 40

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