Board of Directors 2021 -2022

Charles Dobrow – President
Edward Peltier – 1st Vice President
Abigail McNeal – 2nd Vice President
Dr. Robert Dobrow – Secretary
David Maslin – Treasurer
Ronald Clymer – Assistant Treasurer
Mark Goldberg
Alan Goodman
David Hoff
Leslie Ohta
Judge Sydney W. Elkin

CHARLIE DOBROW
President HARTFORD PROBUS 2021-2022
National Secretary, PROBUS

I live in Wethersfield, CT and work as a sales and marketing professional at one of the leading Business to Business lead generation firms in the U.S. My wife is an elementary school teacher in Greater Hartford and my adult son is an arborist and Ropes Course builder in the Pacific Northwest. I am a graduate of Syracuse University.

I joined PROBUS in 2014, drawn to the opportunity to help intellectually disabled individuals enjoy life, experience fun activities and socialize in the community. There is also a fine comradery with fellow PROBUS volunteers and members. Interaction with developmentally challenged adolescents and young adults is very rewarding at our Annual Picnic, and as spectators at  sponsored College and Professional sports events. We look forward to the return of these paused events, once the pandemic has weakened its grip on society.

I want our nonprofit to continue to partner with like-minded charities and broaden our reach. I want PROBUS to become more of a household name, not a best kept secret. I also want to grow our Board and promote diversity and inclusivity on the Board.

As time permits, I also  truly enjoy hiking, biking and running both 10Ks and Half-Marathons.

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ABIGAIL MCNEAL  
2nd Vice President HARTFORD PROBUS 2021-2022

I hold a masters degree in Human Services: Marriage and Family from Liberty University and a Bachelor of Arts: Psychology / Sociology from the City College of New York. Throughout my career I have worked with various private providers throughout Connecticut that support persons with intellectual disabilities. I have maintained all levels of positions from direct care to manager up to the title of Vice President of Residential Services. I consider myself a strong advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families.

I first heard of ProBus from colleagues however I decided to join after being invited to attend a membership meeting. My decision to become a member was that I was drawn to the mission which falls directly in line with my career and personal goals. I thought that I could lend some of my expertise in the area to further provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities. I have been with ProBus for about 2 years and currently serve on the Board of Directors. It is a pleasure to be a part of this organization.

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ROBERT J. DOBROW M.D.
Secretary HARTFORD PROBUS 2021

West Hartford was my home for 40 years until I moved to Bloomfield with my wife, Judy. My three children are grown, as are four grandchildren.

I graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Medical School, and practiced Internal Medicine and Cardiology for 36 years. I volunteered and served terms as President of Hartford Heart Association and Connecticut State Affiliate of the American Heart Association. As a Medical Director at Anthem Blue Cross and later at Community Health Network I became familiar with provision of medical care, durable medical equipment and services to a much expanded universe of patients, including those with special needs, intellectual and physical disabilities.

When introduced to PROBUS in 2013, I found their mission matched my interests and experience. Our focus was on improving the quality of life of Connecticut citizens in the IDD community. I enjoy events such as hosting group homes at college basketball games, baseball clinics and picnics. There is a strong comradery among the businessmen and women, and professionals who have joined in supporting this mission. In retirement I remain productive serving on the Probus Board of Directors since 2018. As an “amateur photographer” I keep busy documenting Probus events and outings.

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JENNIFER DEJOHN 
Secretary HARTFORD PROBUS 2020-2021

I live in East Hartford, and have volunteered in PROBUS for a number of years. My profession has been as a Donor Relations Director for the Salvation Army of Southern New England. I have always sought to be associated with organizations serving the public. I support the work of Amnesty International. And the Salvation Army I have had experience with fund raising and grant writing for non-profit organizations.

I joined PROBUS because a current member shared with me his enthusiasm and belief in the work. It became clear to me that I would be happy to get involved  with PROBUS. “Making a difference” is my goal in life. I felt that my participation could indeed make a difference in the lives of people with IDD or Developmental Disabilities.

I so enjoy the PROBUS Annual Picnic, and look forward to it’s resumption as the Covid-19 pandemic is controlled. I also look forward to assisting in dispensing more grants to programs and staff who work with individuals with IDD.

My leisure time interests include hiking, and spending quality time with Daisy, my mixed breed Lab, Retriever and Hound.

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MICHELLE TREMBLANT LACROIX
Board Member HARTFORD PROBUS 2020-2021

A native of Massachusetts, Michelle spent much of her teaching career in West Hartford, CT as a special needs educator. In 2018 she was a distinguished finalist for West Hartford “Teacher of the year”. Her life’s work  involved the needs of children with learning challenges. Currently she teaches Special Education and Forensic Science at Springfield (MA) Hight School.

As a HARTFORD PROBUS VOLUNTEER, she shared her passion for programs  that increased skills and socialization of her students. She found a commonality of interests with other PROBUS members. Among her most successful programs, were a lively introduction of Music Therapy as a teaching aid for her students, and a strong participation by elementary students with special needs ,at a Dave Clark “Three-D” Disability-Dream- and Do baseball clinic with the Hartford Yard-goats (2018 and 2019)  She authored a stunning book “Community Voices Towards Equity- West Hartford Listens”. She has plans to write children’s books in the future, and is trying her hand as an entrepreneur of a gift shop in Ludlow, MA.

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DAVID HOFF
Board Member HARTFORD PROBUS 2021-2022

I was introduced to PROBUS 12 years ago by a friend and Board member. He explained that PROBUS was a volunteer non-profit organization providing ways to help those in need. I had no prior experience with persons with developmental disabilities, but was willing to learn and contribute. I found Hartford PROBUS to be friendly, warm hearted. I became involved in their programs, eventually as an officer and then President for three years. I have enjoyed our face to face contacts with individuals with disabilities, making them feel respected and included, by providing fun at picnics, and also funding classroom projects for teaching special needs students. In PROBUS, my interests include expanding volunteers and membership. I am involved in writing and utilizing digital platforms to publicize the good work of PROBUS.

Professionally I have been a massage therapist for thirty-five years. I specialized in hand and arm pain therapy called vascular arm massage. Additionally I have a Tee-shirt design and licensing company, affording opportunities to meet people all over the U.S.A.

In leisure time I am an avid reader; Charles Dickens my favorite author! My mother, Muriel Hoff is a pretty good poet and I am involved with publishing and editing her books. I believe my ability at establishing relationships has served me well both as a PROBUS member and individually.

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RON CLYMER
Assistant Treasurer HARTFORD PROBUS 2021-2022

Hi, I’m Ron Clymer, happily married to my wife Deb for over 50 years, and reside in South Windsor. We raised three children and now have 5 grandchildren. I recently retired from the state of CT after a long career in community development, housing, and Human Resources.

I have enjoyed my time with Hartford Probus over the last 15 years, serving on various committees and participating in most of its programs to support persons with developmental disabilities. I have especially liked being with our group home residents ( as well as individuals receiving “respite care” ) at our outings to college basketball and professional hockey games, flipping burgers at our Annual Picnic , carving pumpkins for Halloween, and filling balloons for sale by our volunteers at the Memorial Day Parade.

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MARK GOLDBERG
Board Member HARTFORD PROBUS 2021-2022
Past Terms As President of HARTFORD PROBUS and PROBUS NATIONAL

I live in Avon Connecticut, married for 57 years to my wife, Ellie who has supported all my activities while pursuing her own career as an elementary school teacher and principal. We have two daughters and three granddaughters. I served in the Vietnam conflict as a “Survivor’s Assistance Officer”. I worked with widows of slain soldiers to assure them getting benefits due them, and to make burial arrangements for those lost at war. That sad experience shaped my understanding of “giving of yourself”.

Back home I first joined the New Britain Chapter of PROBUS, where my father had been a founding member. Later, in Windsor, I joined the Greater Hartford chapter of PROBUS., where I served several separate terms as President. I was privileged to also serve terms as President of PROBUS NATIONAL, an organization which at one time had more than a dozen chapters in states on the eastern seaboard. I find this volunteer work very satisfying, because it focuses on improving the quality of life of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (the IDD community).

My career is as a financial advisor with Gateway Financial Partners in Glastonbury. I have made many friends, both at work and in my associations with fellow volunteers at PROBUS. My work on our community programs and interactions at our many planning meetings keeps me active, alert and involved. I may not be “burying dead warriors” as I did as a younger man, but I feel I am still serving my country and its citizens with special needs.

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LESLIE CAYER OHTA
Board Member HARTFORD PROBUS 2021-2022

Leslie C. Ohta is a resident of Glastonbury, who joined PROBUS in 2021, and is serving her first term on the Board of Directors. Leslie has two children and five grandchildren Her involvement with PROBUS was prompted by several meetings with members of our Board who had joined Webinar conversations offered by the Glastonbury MLK Community Initiative concerned with inclusiveness, racism and other social justice issues. These interests have spanned her entire career.

Leslie taught Chemistry and Physics in the Philippines for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. then lived in Japan for five years where she taught English and worked as a copy editor. Upon returning to the U.S. she attended law school , did a clerkship and worked as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice for 30 years. She spent the last year before retirement as a Federal Prosecutor in Iraq. Her volunteer work has taken her to Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Bosnia and the Czech republic as well as Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The thread connecting these employments is her deep interest in social justice issues. That is how she has come to serve on the Boards of a number of non-profit organizations including the Glastonbury MLK Community Initiative, Glastonbury ABC House and the Scheff Movement Coalition. She is looking forward to working at PROBUS with individuals sharing her passionate perspective, and values.

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JUDGE SYDNEY W. ELKIN
Former President HARTFORD PROBUS 2012-2014
Board of Directors 2015-2020

Judge Sydney W. Elkin has been a longtime resident of West Hartford. He earned his law degree at UCONN. Sydney has practiced law in this community since 1972 with several area law firms. He pursued solo practice since 1997. For years he focused on probate, real estate, and civil and criminal litigation. He was elected Probate Judge, District of West Hartford in 2002 and served in that capacity until 2016. He is a former prosecutor in the West Hartford Superior Court.

Sydney has been active in the community as a past president of Probus of Greater Hartford, The Hartford Jaycees, and the Emanuel Synagogue.

Judge Elkin took pleasure in recent years, providing a workspace in his chambers for Probus volunteers to prepare hundreds of balloons for fundraising sale at the Memorial Day parade. Sydney has always enjoyed cooking at Probus’ annual Barbeque and Picnic for area group homes residents. His legal expertise was frequently called upon as Probus parliamentarian, and to assist the Probus Board, in preparation of updated by-laws. He has found his years of Probus volunteering serving the IDD community to be very rewarding.

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