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Meet our Staff

The CdLS Foundation employs a professional staff, who are available to provide support and information and help with fundraising events and awareness activities.

Executive Director
Bonnie Royster ( )

Bonnie joined us in January of 2017. As Executive Director she has overall responsibility for the planning, implementation and administration of all Foundation programs and services. Bonnie holds her bachelor’s degree from UMASS at Amherst in Finance. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked to help young people realize their full potential through resilience training, and spent many years as a leader in the customer service industry. Interesting fact: Bonnie hosts an annual community fish fry – a fall classic – where over 250 pounds of haddock, whiting and catfish is fried to perfection and served to neighbors and friends to bring in the fall season.

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Medical Director
Antonie Kline, M.D.

Dr. Kline joined the CdLS Foundation in 2001 as Medical Director. In this role, she oversees the Clinical Advisory Board, CdLS Clinic for Adolescents and Adults, the Ask the Expert program, the biennial Scientific Symposium, and much more. Since 2000, Dr. Kline has been Director of Pediatric Genetics at the Harvey Institute of Human Genetics at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, Dr. Kline completed her medical studies at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. She spent her residency at Sinai Hospital, where she was Chief Resident. She gained valuable experience in CdLS during a Medical Genetics Fellowship at Jefferson Medical College with Dr. Laird Jackson, the Foundation's first medical director. Dr. Kline is currently an instructor in Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Consulting Geneticist with the Department of Pediatrics at Sinai Hospital. Interesting fact: Dr. Kline has gone on medical missions to Haiti and Senegal.

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Family Service Manager
Deirdre Summa, L.M.S.W.  ( )

Deirdre joined the Foundation in 2006 as a Family Service Coordinator and became the Family Service Manager in 2010. She earned her Master’s in Social Work from Springfield College. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked at organizations providing support and education in the areas of domestic violence, at-risk youth and high-risk pregnancies. She also ran a home preschool when her three children were young. Interesting fact: Deirdre is the fourth of five children of an Irish immigrant father and spent a year exploring Ireland with her family as a child.

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Family Service Coordinator
Lynn Audette, L.M.S.W.  ( )

Lynn has been serving the Foundation as a Family Service Coordinator since 1996. She earned her Master’s in Social Work from Boston University, where she focused on working with families of children (birth to three) with special needs. She and her husband, Rich, live in northeastern Connecticut with teenagers Jillian and Nicholas and yellow Lab, Dobby. Interesting fact: Lynn is avid reader and knitter and can do both at the same time.

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Family Service Coordinator
Whitney Rinaldi ( )

Whitney joined the Foundation in February 2017 as a Family Services Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social work from Western Connecticut State University. Prior to joining the Foundation she worked seven years at a non-profit providing crisis management and coping strategies to at risk families. Interesting fact: Whitney and her husband, Adam, recently adopted a seven month old Labradoodle named Winston.

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Development Manager
Kristi Larson  ( )

Kristi joined the Foundation in 2016 as Development Manager. She holds a B.A. in Communication Arts/Media Studies from Mount St. Mary College. With 14 years of fundraising experience, she has a deep understanding of nonprofit management and philanthropy. Her most exciting career involvement was being a part of an organization that eliminated sheltered workshops and successfully implemented 100% community-based employment, volunteer and recreation activities for adults with disabilities. When not in the office, you can find Kristi, her husband and yellow lab/pointer at the football, baseball, soccer and wrestling sidelines cheering on their two sons. Interesting fact: In 2006, Kristi had the opportunity to meet and thank her childhood idol, Don Mattingly, for his influence in her playing softball. 

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Graphic Designer/Webmaster
Francesca Scognamiglio  ( )

A staff member since 2011, Francesca is the Foundation’s Graphic Designer/Webmaster. She holds a B.F.A in Graphic and Interactive Communications from Ringling College of Art and Design. Interesting fact: Francesca enjoys baking in her spare time and always shares her treats with the office staff (her flourless chocolate cookies are amazing!).

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Senior Finance Officer
Julie Brodnitzki ( )

Julie joined the Foundation in 2017 as the Senior Finance Officer. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Accounting from the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked at the Northwestern Connecticut YMCA as the Staff Accountant. Julie lives in northwestern Connecticut with her husband and three children. Fun fact: Julie is an avid skier and taught her three children to ski when they were only 2 years old.

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Major Gifts Director
Kati Liss-Hensel ( )

Kati joined the Foundation in May 2017 as Major Gifts Director. She received her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Hartford and has 12 years of experience in nonprofit management, specifically around the cultivation of leadership and major gift donors. Prior to this position, she was Development Director at Middlesex United Way. She currently lives in East Granby, Connecticut with her husband, son, daughter and two dogs. Interesting fact: her “fixer-upper” home, a historic house built in 1750, is most definitely haunted - with everyone in the family having at least one unexplained experience – especially the dogs.

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