FIE Announces 2024 Gala Honorees

January 4, 2024 | Foundations in Education | General Media Mentions News

Foundations in Education, Inc, (FIE) a non-profit organization established to advance the Diocese of Bridgeport’s ongoing mission to support Catholic education in Fairfield County, announced its 2024 Gala Honorees—recognizing generosity and advocacy in support of Catholic education.

The 2024 Honorees are volunteer leader and philanthropist, Michael Shea, and our Corporate honoree, M&T Bank.  Foundations in Education will honor the recipients at the 8th annual Gala on Thursday, April 25, 2023 at Woodway Country Club in Darien, Connecticut.

“It is an absolute delight to be honoring such special friends this year! Michael Shea has served as an enthusiastic leader for Foundations in Education since early in our organizations founding and has been a generous supporter of our mission.  We are equally grateful to the relationship with M&T Bank and their predecessor People’s United, who are trusted bankers for our organization, and who are also generous in their support and enthusiasm for Catholic Education,” remarked Foundations in Education’s Executive Director, Holly Doherty-Lemoine, CFRE.

FIE is pleased to recognize Michael Shea for his inspiring leadership and personal commitment to Catholic Education. Michael has been a longtime leader and supporter of Foundations in Education and the Diocese of Bridgeport; he believes wholeheartedly in Catholic Education and Foundations in Education’s mission.  Michael was a founding Foundations in Education Board Member and Development Committee Chair.  Professionally, Michael founded Connecticut Business Systems in 1986, which Global Imaging Systems acquired in 1998, and was then acquired by Xerox in 2007. Shea was named President and COO in 2005 and was named CEO in 2007. He has since retired and most recently served on the Board of Gridiron Capital, a private equity firm. Michael and his wife Rebecca have two children and reside in Southport.

M & T Bank is recognized for their corporate commitment to Catholic education across the Diocese of Bridgeport. M&T Bank provides banking products and services in 12 states across the eastern U.S. from Maine to Virginia and Washington, D.C.  M&T merged with Peoples United Bank in April 2022. Their Trust-related services are provided in select markets in the U.S. and abroad by M&T’s Wilmington Trust.

Frank Micalizzi will be accepting the award on behalf of M&T. He was named M&T Bank Bridgeport Regional President and Head of Commercial Banking for Connecticut. He served as M&T’s Tarrytown, NY and Connecticut Regional President since 2015. Frank and his wife Hilary reside in Ridgefield, CT.

Gala Committee Chairs Jen St Victor-de Pinho and Allison Reiling are joined on the Gala committee by Barbara Ripp, Jody Myers, Michele Mitola, Lisa F. Martino, Maribel Holmes, Holly Doherty-Lemoine and Emily Carriero. They are planning an exceptional event this year and invite you to join us April 25, 2024 at Woodway Country Club. For ticket information or to learn more, please contact Emily Carriero at