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New England Center for the Deaf, Inc.

2016 Annual Report

New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. originated in 2011 as a result of the tragic loss of a young man in the Deaf community. This loss illuminated the need for Deaf –competent social services and thus NECD, Inc. was formed.  The founding members, Tracy Knight and Joseph Sisk built the board and this was the beginning. 


Since the formation of the board and the Incorporation in March of 2011, we have moved forward in our development.  Our Board currently consists of 6 members, most of whom have been involved since the inception of NECD, Inc.  The Board members are very committed to our mission and come to us from a variety of backgrounds.  All board members bring specific strengths and benefits to the Board and to the agency. 


We are very proud to introduce the NECD, Inc. Board of Directors. 


Tracy Knight:  Tracy has her BSW from the University of Saint Joseph (formerly St. Joseph College) and her MSW from Fordham University. She also has her Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) credential.  She is a co-founder of NECD, Inc. and is the mother of a hearing impaired son.  Tracy has been connected with the Deaf communities in Missouri, Kansas and Connecticut for almost 20 years.  During this time, Tracy served on the Region 5 Council of Developmental Disabilities, the southwest Missouri Task force on Autism and is a former member of the Parent Advisory Committee at the American School for the Deaf.  In addition to her efforts in the creation and development of NECD, Inc., Tracy is currently working full time as a Case Manager.  Prior to this, Tracy was the Administrator of a small non-profit agency and it was there that she became familiar with grant writing and fundraising.  Tracy is the board President and the Chief Executive Officer of NECD, Inc. 


Joseph Sisk:  Joe has his BA in Psychology from Bard College and his MA in Psychology from The New School for Social Research.  He has subsequently earned his License as a Professional Counselor and he is a Nationally Certified Counselor and holds his Specialty Certificate in Substance Abuse.  He is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional  Joe is a co-founder of NECD, Inc. and he is the Chairman of the Board and is the Chief Operating Officer for NECD, Inc.   Joe has over 25 years of experience in the field of human services including over 20 years of management experience.  In addition to his responsibilities at NECD, Inc., Joe currently work full time as the Director of a Clinical Assessment unit at another social service agency in Connecticut. 


William Gilbert: Bill attended Boston College for his undergraduate work as well as his MSW.  He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Connecticut.  He subsequently earned his Licensed Clinical Social Worker credential and then his Specialty Certificate in Substance Abuse.   He holds the position of the Vice-Chair on the NECD, Inc. Board.  Bill has over 2 decades of management experience in the field of social services and has been a Senior Manager and agency Vice President for many of those years at a substance abuse counseling agency.  Bill currently works as the Chief Operating Officer for a social service agency in Connecticut.    


Maria Weingart: Maria has been connected to the Deaf community for over 20 years.  She is fluent in American Sign Language and is strongly committed to the welfare of the Deaf individuals in Connecticut.  Maria also has had personal experience with the Deaf community being the mother of a Deaf son.  Maria holds the position of Secretary on the NECD, Inc. board.   


Christopher Knight, Jr.:  Chris (Cj) is a Director on the NECD, Inc. board.  He is hearing impaired and is fluent in American Sign Language.  After growing up in Missouri and being educated in the mainstream through elementary school, his family moved to Kansas where he attended the Kansas State School for the Deaf.  He graduated from middle school at KSD.  Chris came to CT where he attended the American School for the Deaf and graduated with his high school diploma.  Since graduation he has obtained his veterinary assistant certificate from Tunxis Community College. 


Ruth Ennis:  Ruth has her Master degree in Education and currently works in special education with hearing impaired students in the public school system.  Ruth is the mother of a hearing impaired daughter and is very committed to the mission of NECD, Inc.  Ruth holds the position of Board Treasurer for NECD, Inc. 



Second Annual Summer BBQ

We held our second Summer BBQ at Flamig Farm in Simsbury, CT.  The owners of the farm graciously donated the space to us for this event and made available the grounds including a petting zoo, and provided a hayride for our guests.  This event also included a raffle and silent auction through which the agency received over $1200 in donations.    The weather was perfect, the hot dogs and hamburgers were grilling and all in attendance had a great time.  We had over 60 people in attendance throughout the day and had many chances to make new friends and to further introduce our agency to the community. 



New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. continues to develop and modify its strategic plan for the forthcoming years.  We anticipate an increase in community events both social and educational. 

We also expect to open up our Outreach and our Case Management Services this year. 



NECD, Inc. has completed our annual appeal letter writing campaign which netted $1980.00 dollars from our generous and supportive private contributors.

NECD, Inc. renewed our membership to GrantStation.  This is a service that monitors new grants that are available and send a weekly email to the subscribers with potential grant opportunities.  It is through GrantStation that we became aware of one of the grants for which we applied and we continue to scour the opportunities for appropriate and feasible options.    



New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. has entered the electronic age.  We have a Facebook account which, by the end of 2016 had 1100 likes and it is growing every day.  Many of the ‘likes’ are international individuals and Deaf agencies from across the globe and we have communicated with many of our supporters internationally.  We can be found on Facebook at New England Center for the Deaf.  Through Facebook we are able to communicate with potential constituents and begin marketing. 

We also created a Twitter account which is located at @NECDINC.

Additionally, we created, built and manage our New England Center for the Deaf, Inc. web site located at  This web site has proven to be an invaluable tool in our ability to better communicate with our constituents and potential clients.  We also have our upcoming events posted there as well as pictures from our past events.  We have received donations through our PayPal account which is linked to our “Donate” page.



News from the Board

This year we began our search for a property for the agency that we could call home.

We will be working to add some new members to our Board as a means to enrich our perspective and create a greater spectrum of influence, outreach and diversity. 


New England Center for the Deaf, Inc.

2016 Contributors


The Board of Directors and Management of NECD, Inc. wishes to thank all of those people and businesses, large and small, who have helped us with contributions, financial and goods for our raffle and silent auction this year.  Without the generosity of you we would not have been able to facilitate the building of NECD, Inc.  Thank you all.



Supporters                    0-$99

Mark and Anne Brayman

Leanne Dillian

Kevin and Karen Dinowitz

Ruth and Bill Ennis

David and Dawn Levesque

Howard and Susan Levinson

Pete and Kathleen MacDonald

Dominick Reisen

Amy and Mark Salvemini




Sponsors              $100-$499

Linda and Seymour Adelman

Annette and David Dolan

Bill and Betty Cheney

Nevin and Julie Christensen

Elizabeth Clark

Deacon Phil and Linda Hayes

Ann Z. Leventhal and the Hon. Jon Newman

Eleanor and David Lewis

Father Joe Looney

Sylvia and Ralph Memolo

Drs. Jacob and Mary Ossar

Henry and Sarah Rianhard

Don and Janet Smith

Nancy Steinberg

Patricia and Herman Weingart



Donors                 $500-$999

Chris and Michelle Knight


Patrons                $1000-$4999


Benefactors          $5000-$9999


Endowers            $10,000+



Corporate Sponsorship

We would like to thank Flamig Farm and Nevin and Julie Christensen for their generous donation of their property, facilities and petting zoo for our summer picnic.


We would also like to thank the following businesses for their generous donations of goods and services. 



Big Y World Class Markets

Boston Red Sox, MLB

Chili’s Bar and Grill

Colchester Mill Fabrics

Curves of Avon

Deck the Walls of Joplin, MO

Hartford Yard Goats

Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort

New England Patriots, NFL

Old Well Tavern

Petco of Avon

Six Flags New England

Skydive Danielson

Southwest Airlines

The Coffee Trade

Turning a Page Antiques

Walt DISNEY Company

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