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Partnership for Strong Communities Update

In September 2017, Partnership for Strong Communities welcomed Terry Nowakowski as its new Chief Operating Officer. Terry brings twenty plus years of diverse healthcare and human services experience in public, private Managed Care, hospitals, not-for-profit and for-profit institutions and is locally and nationally recognized in her work in trauma-informed, gender responsive and culturally competent care. Before coming to the Partnership, Terry worked at The Connection as Director of Behavioral Healthcare Services and as a member of their CORE Executive team. Prior to her work at The Connection, Terry spent three years as a Regional Administrator at DCF, reporting directly to Commissioner Joette Katz. Terry has also been Deputy Director of Statewide Services for DMHAS, VP of the CT Service Center at Value Options (now Beacon Health Options), Sr. VP of New Business & Network Development at PractiCare, Director of Managed Care at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Director of Provider Hospital Organization & Provider Relations at St. Francis/Mount Sinai Hospital & Healthcare System.

Terry is managing the day-to-day operations of the Partnership, as well as leading multiple areas of its homelessness agenda. Terry will play a lead role in the health and housing integration work. She can be reached at

Additionally in September 2017, the Partnership welcomed Patrick McCabe as a member of our Board of Directors. Patrick is an attorney and public affairs consultant with over 25 years of political, public affairs and legal experience.  He is a founder and principal of Capitol Strategies Group, a strategic communications and public affairs firm which develops and implements lobbying, grassroots/strategic communications and earned-media strategies for a wide range of clients. A native of New Britain, Mr. McCabe received his undergraduate degree in politics from Fairfield University, and his JD from the Fordham University School of Law.  He is admitted to the Connecticut and New York Bars.

Prior to forming Capitol Strategies, he practiced law in New York City with Rogers & Wells, where his practice focused on the areas of banking, securities, and public finance law. As a public affairs consultant since the early 1990’s, Mr. McCabe has represented over 250 organizations at the State Capitol in Hartford and in Washington, DC. Mr. McCabe’s clients have included Fortune 50 companies, national industry and trade associations, and nonprofit organizations.

Mr. McCabe is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of Fairfield University. He served three terms on the West Hartford Town Council where he was the Minority Leader.

Carla Miklos is the new Chair of the Reaching Home Campaign's Steering Committee, and will serve for the next two years. Carla is the Executive Director of Operation Hope of Fairfield, Inc. She joined OH in 2007, after working for the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority as the manager of their Residential Lending division. She has been a long-time advocate for affordable housing, homeless prevention, and economic opportunity. 

Ms. Miklos has an extensive background in banking and corporate real estate, where among other positions, she was the first female Director at Prudential Asset Recovery, managing a team of professionals in default management and the disposition of non-performing assets. As former Director of Family Assets at FSW (now LifeBridge), she helped develop the homeless prevention loan fund, a microenterprise development initiative, and other programs designed to provide community residents with education, support services, and asset building opportunities. She was instrumental in creating a Community Development Financial Institution, CDFI, focused on providing access to savings, credit, capital and financial education to underserved populations. 

Carla serves on the executive committee and coordinating committee of Opening Doors Fairfield County, is past board chair and current board member of Supportive Housing Works, is past board chair and past board member of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and is a member of the Reaching Home campaign’s coordinating council. Ms. Miklos holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities from the University of Bridgeport, as well as a Master’s Degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.  

Elizabeth Roberts, MSW, joined Partnership for Strong Communities in September of 2017 as a Policy Analyst. Liz provides support to a variety of workgroups and taskforces within the Reaching Home Campaign to support development of specific initiatives, advocacy and recommendations for legislative actions. Additionally, Liz analyzes and compiles data, writes and disseminates advocacy materials, and plans workgroup meetings and activities.

Liz came to the Partnership as a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, with an MSW in Policy Practice. While earning her advanced degree, Liz aided representatives at the Connecticut General Assembly, and assisted UCONN’s Chair of Policy Practice, collaborating on numerous projects to enhance community services. Liz also worked for the Connecticut Fair Housing Center while in graduate school, performing investigations to improve access to housing and combat discrimination practices.

Liz holds a BS with a focus in Sociology and an AS in Paralegal Studies. She earned a certificate in International Social Work and is a certified Notary Public. Liz began her career as a Paralegal which led to her prior occupation as a Disability Case Manager, where she was responsible for claims decisions and advocating for her clients. These experiences led to her desire to promote equity through policy practices. 

Please welcome these remarkable folks to our community!