Leadership & Board
Kathleen Deschenes. For over 30 years, Kathleen has had a passion for helping people who are homeless, struggling with behavioral health and substance use disorders and those returning to the community from incarceration.
Kathleen received her MSW from NYU and began her career in New York City working on homeless outreach teams, in shelters and on inpatient psychiatric units at Bellevue and Beth Israel hospitals. She then transitioned to residential services working for Urban Pathways and The Postgraduate Center for Mental Health.
In 1998, Kathleen moved to CT and became the Executive Director for Interlude, Inc., an organization serving individuals with chronic and severe mental illness in residential and outreach programs. In 2012, Kathleen merged Interlude with Ability Beyond. She assumed a leadership position overseeing the Interlude programs as well as services for individuals with developmental disabilities and brain injuries. She was also the Director of Quality Assurance for Ability Beyond.
In 2016, Kathleen became the Chief Operating Officer for Gilead Community Services. In 2017, she became the CEO for CT Renaissance, an organization that had provided behavioral health and criminal justice services to adolescents and adults since 1967. CT Renaissance’s outpatient clinics, residential and community programs operate throughout the Waterbury, Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stamford and New Haven regions.
Throughout her career, Kathleen has also been a field instructor for social work interns from NYU, Columbia, Fordham and Western CT and Southern CT State Universities. She has enjoyed teaching students and is proud to be a Social Worker.
Kathleen strives to provide the best possible services to people in need. She is passionate about her work and about working for CT Renaissance. She has created a team environment where everyone has a voice in the vision of the organization. Her ultimate goal is to provide well-rounded, clinically sound services to the clients served in order for each person to…reclaim their life!
John Priscantelli, CPA. John has been a Certified Public accountant for over 25 years with extensive experience over different business sectors. Over this 25-year span, he has worked with Nonprofits, Private companies and Public companies. The challenges he has faced have been many, and the gratification of presenting fairly the financial picture for the organizations he has worked for and consulted with has been extremely rewarding.
When he came to work for Connecticut Renaissance, he thought it was a unique opportunity. The opportunity to ensure that the finances of the organization were presented fairly for a group of clients that were in need of help from our various programs was compelling. In his time at the organization, the need for our programs has never been greater and he feels we are poised to deliver. He is looking forward to the future of CT Renaissance with great anticipation.
Dawn Patston. Dawn first joined CT Renaissance as an intern in 2004 and has worked full time at the agency since 2006 in a variety of clinical and administrative roles. She is currently our Chief Operating Officer while her previous positions include Clinical Performance and Outcomes Director, Clinical Auditor and Program Director. She has extensive experience in juvenile programs, strengths-based practices, trauma-informed services, clinical documentation, quality initiatives, compliance, program management, EHR implementation and proposal writing. “CTR has enabled me to pursue meaningful work in support of individuals seeking to make positive changes in their lives – and to do so in a collaborative, creative environment.”
Board of Directors
Marlene De Bellis, LCSW, SCSA, CSW President
Alecia Andrews, Vice President
Joseph Riker, Treasurer
Debbie Clancy, Secretary
Advisory Board Members