Foundation appoints young board member

Former intern brings modern communication skills to TBBCF Board of Directors

By KATHLEEN EDGECOMB

Gabby Tudisca is one busy millennial.

The former college intern for the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation works full time as the membership services coordinator for the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce; she does graphic design for her father’s custom-made cornhole boards; and she does reception work at a nursing home where her mother works. And she occasionally helps out at special events at a local hotel.

So when the Brodeur Foundation asked her if she was interested in serving on its board of directors, she naturally said yes. She likes being busy.

“I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was ready,” she said during a recent telephone interview. “I’m definitely young. But I have some fresh ideas.”

As the grassroots organization, which is run almost entirely with volunteers and donations, nears its 15th year, it is trying to get younger people involved with its mission of raising money for breast cancer research. 

As an intern in 2017, Tudisca helped the foundation update its website and newsletter and enhanced the social media footprint on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. She was hired part time after graduating from Eastern Connecticut State University and helped continue the college internship program.

At the end of her internship she talked about the need to continue the program. She reached out to Three Rivers Community College and Eastern Connecticut State University and designed job descriptions for administrative and graphic arts interns. The foundation has had four interns who have earned college credit. Gabby is now the internship program administrator.

Interns are a great way to get more young people involved, she said.

“The interns can bring a revolving door of ideas,” she said.

She left the foundation in 2018 after getting a full-time job at the chamber, but continues to work with the TBBCF.

Tudisca joins two other young professionals who were appointed to the board last spring. Debbie Yother is vice president and personal lines business development manager at SAVA Insurance Group. Tricia Cunningham, former president of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, is now director of community relations at Fairview Odd Fellows Home of Connecticut.

Gabby  attended her first board meeting in October.

She wants to get more young people involved with the organization and its mission of using 100 percent of its fundraising dollars for grants to researchers studying breast cancer. Maintaining the college internship program is one way to reach younger volunteers, she said.

“I want to help them (the foundation) stay relevant,” she said, adding that she can focus on modern ways for communicating with a younger generation. She wants to engage fellow millennials, post millennials and Generation Z to get involved.

For now, she said, she’s set to hear all the ideas of her fellow board members and to help them in any way she can.

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