Board of Directors
Carolyn Treiss, President
Carolyn Treiss served as the Executive Director of the former PCSW state agency and now serves as President of PCSW, Inc. and Treasurer of PCSW Education Fund, Inc. Carolyn currently serves as Executive Assistant to Commissioner Scott Jackson at the Connecticut Department of Labor.
Carolyn’s passion for women’s rights advocacy is longstanding, having served as executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice CT, chief of staff at the state Office of Health Care Access, legislative program manager for the Department of Social Services, and as policy director for the Connecticut Senate Democratic Caucus.
She has served on both her local Town Council and Board of Education, as well as serving as a former board member of NARAL Pro-Choice CT, CT NOW and the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund.
Treiss was named the recipient of the 2015 Catherine Roraback Award from NARAL Pro-Choice CT, as well as a member of Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s “First 100 Plus,” an award honoring leaders working to improve the lives of domestic violence victims in Connecticut.
Valarie Shultz-Wilson, Vice President
Valarie Shultz Wilson served as a Commissioner of the former PCSW state agency and now serves as Vice President of PCSW, Inc. Valarie has served as President & CEO of the Urban League of Southern Connecticut since 2006.
Valarie has served on various boards and committees, including United Way of Coastal Fairfield County; International Women's Forum, Connecticut chapter; UN, US committee on Women NYC chapter; Institute For Domestic Violence in the African American community; Office of Violence Against Women round table for Women & Girls of Color; Regional Planning Association (CT); Women in Development (NYC); and the Booker T. Washington Charter School.
Susan Toliver, PhD, CFLE, Secretary
Susan Toliver served as a Commissioner of the former PCSW state agency and now serves as Secretary of PCSW, Inc. Susan is a Professor of Sociology and Co-Coordinator of Women's Studies at Iona College. She volunteers with and serves on the boards of directors of a number of local, national, and international organizations including Starfish Connection, Educating Every Child, and is a member of the Connecticut State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. She has authored numerous publications on women, families, and Black life and culture.
Mary Lee A. Kiernan, Treasurer
Mary Lee A. Kiernan served as the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and a Commissioner of the former PCSW state agency, and now serves as President of PCSW Education Fund, Inc. and Treasurer of PCSW, Inc. Mary Lee is currently the President and CEO of the YWCA Greenwich.
She Co-Chaired the Fund for Women and Girls at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Fund for Women and Girls (FWG), the largest women’s fund in New England, and she co-founded the Family Economic Security Program at Norwalk Community College with her colleagues at FWG.
Mary Lee was elected to and spent five years on the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation, where she served as caucus leader, and she served as Board Chair of the Greenwich United Way. She serves on the Advisory Boards of the Urban League of Southern Connecticut and Greenwich Hospital. She previously served as Communications Director at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation and practiced corporate law with Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft in New York.
Maritza Bond, Director
West Haven, Connecticut
Maritza Bond served as a Commissioner of the former PCSW state agency and now serves as Secretary of PCSW Education Fund, Inc. Maritza is the Director of Health and Social Services for the City of Bridgeport, where she leads efforts that promote, prevent, and protect city residents.
Maritza has been in the Public Health sector for over 15 years serving both urban and rural settings. Previously Maritza served as Executive Director of Eastern Area Health Education Center (EAHEC), Inc. In this role, Bond provided leadership to bring educators, health care professionals, and community leaders together regionally and statewide to ensure health care access and enhance the workforce in Connecticut.
Prior to joining Eastern AHEC, Maritza coordinated several grant project initiatives at the Naugatuck Valley Health District, including the Immunization Action Program (IAP). Maritza was the 2015 Health Rural Health Leadership Fellow, a 2008 CT Health Foundation Leadership Fellow and served on various boards and committees statewide.
Catherine Ernsky, Director
Catherine Ernsky served as Vice Chair and a Commissioner of the former PCSW state agency and now serves as Vice President of the PCSW Education Fund, Inc.
Catherine is President of The Ernsky Group located in Naugatuck, CT. Catherine has over fifteen years of experience in the financial services industry and specializes in Individual Wealth Management, Legacy Planning and working with small businesses.
Catherine serves as a Vice-Chair for the Naugatuck Republican Town Committee and Chair of the Naugatuck Arts Commission. Previously she has served as an immediate past Burgess for the town of Naugatuck, State President for the National Association of Insurance and Financial advisors, Government Relations and Executive chair for the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, Delegate for Amnesty International, Child’s rights advocate for Save the Children and an after-hours military case worker for the American Red Cross.
Jillian Gilchrest, Director
West Hartford, Connecticut
Jillian Gilchrest served as the Senior Policy Analyst for the former PCSW state agency. Jillian is currently the Director of Health Professional Outreach for the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. A graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, Ms. Gilchrest has extensive experience advocating for women’s health and safety, in particular influencing public policy. She currently Chairs the State’s Trafficking in Persons Council for the Connecticut General Assembly. Jillian also served as the Director of Public Policy and Communication at Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Policy Director at the Connecticut Association for Human Services, and Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut.
Hilda Nieves, Director
Hilda Nieves served as Treasurer and a Commissioner of the former PCSW state agency. Hilda retired from the State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch, CSSD, in 2010 after nearly 33 years of public service in the Criminal Justice arena in several roles and committee appointments. Since retirement, she's remained committed to serving those in need by continually volunteering, advocating and working on behalf of abused and neglected children thru CASA, Children in Placement as a Volunteer Coordinator & Guardian Ad Litem thru Connecticut probate and juvenile services courts.
Patricia Whitcombe, MD, Director
Patricia Whitcombe served as a Commissioner of the former PCSW state agency. Born in Cuba and raised in Puerto Rico, Dr. Whitcombe attended and graduated from both Yale College and the University of Connecticut's School of Medicine. Following the completion of her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Danbury Hospital, she went into private practice and is the founder and co-owner of Connecticut's only free standing birth center. She also is a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It has been her exposure to women from all walks of life that has raised her awareness of many of the issues that impact them.
Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut
PCSW, Inc. will advocate in the same key policy areas addressed by the former PCSW, including economic security; health and safety for women of all ages; discrimination in all forms; education; and women’s leadership.
members of these
new entities are
and improve the
lives of everyone
in the state.
President of the
Women’s Business Development