Mark Contreras, President and Chief Executive Officer of Connecticut Public, has led several media businesses through digital transformation. Prior to his role as Dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University, Contreras served as CEO of Calkins Media, a privately-held media company, which developed innovative strategies to maximize audience reach, engagement and revenue by embracing streaming media platforms such as Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV. The strategy also included providing journalists with new digital video tools and creating more locally focused content.
In addition, he served in top volunteer leadership roles of news media organizations including the News Media Association and the American Press Institute. He is a Fellow of the Millennium Class of Henry Crown Fellows of the Aspen Institute. He serves on the Board of Directors of GFR Media in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Woodward Communications, Inc in Dubuque, Iowa.
The son of an Irish-American school teacher and a Mexican immigrant, Mark grew up in the Midwest—first in Minneapolis and later Chicago. Mark has an A.B. in History from the University of Chicago and a MBA from the Harvard Business School.
He and his wife, Marybeth Sughrue, have one adult son, Michael.
Phone: (860) 275-7220
In 2011, Joe Coss was hired by CPBN. His primary responsibility at the time was to lead and manage CPTV’s round the clock sports network and during that time, he increased productivity using emerging technology through his leadership. In just 18 months, Joe tripled the station’s live programming lineup.
In June of 2013, after working at CPTV for two years managing the company's sports network, Joe was promoted to the position of Production Manager and was responsible for overseeing three statewide television networks. During that time he managed a variety of television production services including award winning national television specials from musical performances to college and high school sports. In July 2016, Joe was promoted to Director of Operations.
As Director of Operations, Joe joined the Senior Management Team and expanding his responsibilities to include oversight of Connecticut Public’s Radio Operations and Traffic Departments as well as Capital planning. During this time he spearheaded the effort to expand WNPRs presence on the Connecticut shoreline by building a new radio studio in New Haven. He led the IT Department through revitalizing the Company’s network infrastructure and technology.
Prior to joining CPTV, Joe served as the Sports Information Director at Post University in Connecticut. Through Joe’s strategic efforts, he was able gain national exposure for the 1,000 student university. Joe placed stories in the Wall Street Journal, with the Associated Press, and repeatedly on Connecticut’s CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX affiliates. During his tenure, the school's athletic programs received more television coverage than any other NCAA Division II program in the state.
Phone: (860) 275-7532
Sarah DeFilippis joined Connecticut Public in 2016, and serves as Chief Marketing and Engagement Officer. She oversees marketing strategy and implementation for all Connecticut Public programming on radio, television and digital platforms, and also supports all marketing and communications for the organization’s fundraising and sponsorship initiatives.
In 2018, she led the company’s comprehensive rebranding initiative, which designed repositioned Connecticut Public as an omni-platform public media organization for a new generation of viewers, listeners and digital users. As a marketing strategist and brand storyteller, Sarah’s career has been dedicated to helping emerging and established organizations to launch new initiatives, create and reinvigorate brands, overcome competitive challenges and turn customers into brand advocates.
Prior to joining Connecticut Public, she led a strategic marketing and branding studio for 18 years, which provided strategic marketing expertise and creative solutions to corporations and middle market businesses in a broad range of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, graphic arts, and healthcare.
Phone: (860) 275-7290
Lisa Di Donato Cambria is the Executive Assistant to the President and Chief Executive Officer at Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc. and Assistant Secretary for the Corporation. In this role she is responsible for all aspects of support to the President and CEO, in addition to acting as chief liaison to the company’s Board of Trustees.
Her career with CPBI has spanned over 34 years, including two decades in the local and national programming departments where she supported legendary Executive Producer Larry Rifkin and played a key role in the meteoric rise of CPTV in developing several landmark programs such as Barney, Thomas the Tank Engine and UConn Women’s Basketball. Prior to her current role, she provided executive level support to the Executive Vice President of Development and Chief Operating Officer.
Lisa holds a B.A. in Psychology from the College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY. Outside of the C-Suite, Lisa can be found most often in the two places she loves most: her kitchen and along the seashore in Old Lyme. She resides in Manchester with her husband of 25 years, Steve.
Phone: (860) 275-7222
Sonja Pasquantonio is the Director of Human Resources at Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for soup-to-nuts of the multi-faceted Human Resources function, a job that cares for 130+ full-time, part-time, intern, and temporary employees working towards the radio, television, and education components. She has over 27 years of human resources experience, including two decades in various national and international roles in government agencies.
Prior to coming to Connecticut Public, Sonja was the Human Resources Director at the State Education Resource Center.
Sonja holds a M.A. in English Literature from Old Dominion University and a M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Capella University. She resides in East Granby, Connecticut with her husband, Mike, and their two daughters.
Phone: (860) 275-7588
Tim Rasmussen is the Chief Content Officer at Connecticut Public Broadcasting in Hartford, CT. where he oversees all content produced and distributed by Connecticut Public, including Connecticut Public radio, three television channels, and digital and online platforms. Before joining CT Public, he was the Director of Photography at ESPN where he is responsible for photography at ESPN The Magazine and all digital platforms. In 2017 the Magazine was awarded General Excellence and Best Sports cover by American Society of Magazine Editors. He joined ESPN in 2015 after nearly 10 years as Assistant Managing Editor for Photography at The Denver Post, where the paper became known for its exceptional photography and awarded three Pulitzer Prizes.
Tim Rasmussen is the Chief Content Officer at Connecticut Public Broadcasting in Hartford, CT. where he oversees all content produced and distributed by Connecticut Public, including Connecticut Public radio, three television channels, and digital and online platforms. Before joining CT Public, he was the Director of Photography at ESPN where he is responsible for photography at ESPN The Magazine and all digital platforms. In 2017 the Magazine was awarded General Excellence and Best Sports cover by American Society of Magazine Editors. He joined ESPN in 2015 after nearly 10 years as Assistant Managing Editor for Photography at The Denver Post, where the paper became known for its exceptional photography. Under his leadership, the photography staff was awarded three Pulitzers, two for Feature Photography and one for Breaking News Reporting. He established video journalism at the Post where the staff was awarded 6 National Edward R. Murrow Awards including Overall Excellence and a finalist for a National Emmy in Current News Coverage. In 1988, he was accepted to the first Eddie Adams Workshop, where he received one of ten awards but, more memorably, he got to dance with legendary National Geographic photographer Jodi Cobb. In 1997, he made Eddie Adams' shit list - the only real accomplishment listed in this bio. Tim was fired from his first job as a photographer for refusing to allow a picture to be cropped. Fifteen years later, he realized he was a photo editor. On their first date, Koren, his wife of 22 years, had a newspaper clipping of one of Tim's recently published photo essays saved on her coffee table. Right then, he knew he had found true love - which eventually led to two boys.
Phone: (860) 275-7315
Meg Sakellarides, Chief Financial Officer of Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc, the parent company of Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio has over thirty-two years of financial management and business experience, specifically with for-profit financial services organizations and non-profit broadcasting and educational institutions. A 1986 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Connecticut with a B.S. degree in Accounting, Ms. Sakellarides is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of Connecticut and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Ms. Sakellarides spent seven years as a manager with the Big 4 accounting and consulting firm of Deloitte, specializing in audit services for corporate, banking, and not-for-profit clients. Clients included Emhart Corporation, TD Bank, and the City of Hartford. After her tenure at Deloitte, Ms. Sakellarides spent five years at CIGNA Corporation, an international healthcare insurance company, where she was responsible for human resource development and training for the Financial Executive Development Program (FEDP) for accountants and actuaries. In addition, her financial responsibilities at CIGNA included leading and managing the customer service and financial operations of their Reinsurance Division. The FEDP at CIGNA is one of the country’s most prestigious financial and executive leadership programs and Ms. Sakellarides participated in that executive development program throughout her career at CIGNA.
Ms. Sakellarides has been with Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc. for twenty-three years as its Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for all financial, administrative, legal and compliance matters for the Company. Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc. is a $20 million operation with three television stations, five radio stations, and has a wholly-owned for-profit subsidiary. While at Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc., Ms. Sakellarides was selected from hundreds of applicants to participate in PBS’ inaugural class for its Diversity Training Program, a year-long executive development program held at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Ms. Sakellarides is very active in the Hartford community and has been a Board member of several non-profit organizations, including the Connecticut Women’s Council, the Learning Corridor, Inc., and formerly the Girl Scouts of Connecticut. Ms. Sakellarides is active in the local arts community, recreational sports, and religious ministry, and currently resides in East Haddam, Connecticut with her husband, Scott Mokoski. Ms. Sakellarides and Mr. Mokoski have two adult children
Phone: (860) 275-7350
Deidre Tavera, Chief Development Officer
Deidre Tavera serves as Chief Development Officer at Connecticut Public overseeing institutional advancement efforts including leadership giving and major gifts, grants and foundations and legacy giving.
Previously, Deidre was Chief Engagement and Partnership Officer for Hartford Public Schools leading strategic and program planning, community partnerships, internal and external communications, fund development and grants management.
Deidre has worked for 30 years with many nonprofit and community-based organizations overseeing educational programming, community relations, marketing and communications, organizational development, fundraising, and board governance. As a senior leader at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts she led strategic planning efforts, designed an award-winning arts education program and a community venture to reach the elder market and initiated the start-up of a human resources department. As a consultant, she worked with over 30 nonprofit organizations facilitating planning and community discussions designed to advance the missions and improve service delivery and partnerships with stakeholders.
Deidre received a B.A. in Psychology from St. Michael’s College and an M.A. in Communication from the University of Hartford. She studied in Madrid, Spain and worked as an EFL teacher at the American Language Institute in Lisbon, Portugal. Deidre is a Board member of Hartford Performs and Hartford Promise, is a Corporator of the Hartford Public Library, Past Chair of the Women and Girls’ Fund of the Main Street Community Foundation and served on the St. Michael’s College Board of Trustees and National Alumni Board.
Phone: (860) 275-7275
Jake Volcsko joined Connecticut Public in May 2019 as Vice President of Data and Digital Operations. Prior to his current role, Jake was General Manager of Gannett Media’s Philadelphia cluster of newspapers, previously owned by Calkins Media. During this time his role was focused on the digital transformation of local media outlets.
During his career, in addition to websites, mobile apps and other digital products, Jake has successfully launched several paid online membership initiatives, and a digital services agency. He launched the first local news OTT application on Roku TV in 2013, and in 2014, his was the first local media organization to launch on Amazon FireTV, including a digital linear streaming channel.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts/Applied Media Arts from Edinboro University of PA, as well as an MBA from the University of Phoenix. In his spare time, Jake enjoys spending time with his wife, Angela, and sons, Elijah and Charlie, officiating high school football, putting together puzzles, and playing video games.
Phone: (860) 275-7251