Kara A. Capone

Kara A. Capone joined Community Housing Advocates, Inc. as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer in March 2020. 

Ms. Capone was formerly the director of Grants and Development with the Norwalk Housing Authority and served for four years as Chief Operating Officer for New Reach in New Haven.

“Here in Connecticut, there’s been great support for ending homelessness on so many levels,” Ms. Capone said. “We’ve been leaders in finding solutions by breaking down the silos in our service system.”

“I want to make a positive impact by continuing to look at how we can work in collaboration with agencies and organizations to make homelessness something that is rare, brief and non-recurring,” she said.

“Kara brings authentic passion for our mission and a deep respect for the homeless community,” said Sarah Treese, Board Chair and Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

“Her extensive experience, combined with strong collaboration skills, will make her an asset to both our organization and the communities CHA serves.”

As director of Grants and Development at the Norwalk Housing Authority, Capone oversaw the Norwalk Housing Foundation (NHF) and managed federal, state and local grants as well as special projects related to real estate re-positioning. Before joining NHF, she traveled the U.S. for two years as a consultant and trainer with Housing Innovations, a consulting and training firm focused on using innovative solutions to ending homelessness. Her experience encompasses managing and implementing family housing and homeless programs including emergency shelters, transitional and permanent supportive housing, homeless prevention and rapid re-housing, veterans’ programs, school-based, and family stabilization programs, a furniture bank, and housing development.

Ms. Capone holds a master’s degree in Epidemiology and Public Health from Yale University as well as a master’s in Community/Counseling Psychology from Marist College.

Kathleen Shaw

Kathleen Shaw, Chief Operating Officer of Community Housing Advocates, previously served as Vice President for Program and Operations for My Sisters’ Place. 

She joined My Sisters’ Place in 2004 with extensive experience in the human service field. She is the former Executive Director of Trust House, a family learning center in Hartford. She also previously served as Regional Director for Lutheran Social Services where she oversaw refugee & immigrant programs, adoption programs, and a variety of other community services for both Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

Ms. Shaw completed her Master’s degree in nonprofit management and philanthropy from Baypath University.

Daniel Gurvich

Daniel Gurvich, Chief Financial Officer of Community Housing Advocates (CHA), leads the finance, facilities, and IT functions. Combining these support functions under the CHA umbrella allows affiliate agencies to receive a higher level of service and automation in support of their mission while reducing administrative overhead. Prior to joining Community Housing Advocates in 2019, Mr. Gurvich served as the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, COO of Person-to-Person in Fairfield County and founding CFO of Cornell University Veterinary Specialists. He holds an MBA from Cornell University.

Diane Bengston

Diane is a recently retired Executive Vice President of Human Resources from Travelers Insurance Company. She was responsible for all Human Resource disciplines including Talent Acquisition, Compensation and Benefits and Diversity and Inclusion. She started her career at Travelers 42 years ago as a programmer trainee, moving into Human Resources and serving in many different roles to end her career as the Human Resources lead, responsible for 30,000 employees.

Diane has a bachelors degree in Human Development and Family Relations from The University of Connecticut.

Diane started her involvement with Mercy Housing and Shelter in 2017.  She was on the Board as they worked through the affiliation of Mercy Housing and Shelter and My Sisters’ Place creating Community Housing Advocates (CHA) and served on the Governance Committee and Development Committee for the past several years. Diane became the Board Chairperson for CHA in September of 2022.


In addition to her CHA involvement, Diane is a Corporator for Hartford Hospital and served on the Hartford Hospital 2022 Gala committee. She also is a volunteer for Lasagna Love, an outreach program serving meals to individuals and families in the Greater Hartford area. She is married and a mother of two adult sons and lives in Rocky Hill, CT. She is also Nana for her three cherished grandchildren.

Board of Directors

Diane Bengston 
Chair, Retired, Travelers Enterprise

Sr. Janice Kidney
Director, Sisters of Mercy

Elisabeth Hoisl 
Vice Chair, The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Marva Patterson
Director, Hartford Psychological Services

Andrew Meehan 
Secretary, The Travelers Companies, Inc

Anthony Torsiello
Director, The Travelers Companies, Inc

Matthew Candiloro
Treasurer, KPMG, LLP

Nicole Terry 
Director, Pratt & Whitney

Eric Hanly 
Director, Retired

Marie Spadorcia
Director, CVSHealth

Ken McAvoy
Director, Agave Grill

Colin Wrinn

Director, Reid & Riege, P.C.

Taylor Shea
Director, Robinson+Cole

Kelly Britt 
Director, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties 

Leah Chapman
Associate Director, Collins Aerospace

Mark Turek 
Manager, The Hartford