Foundations in Education Gala Lautenbach family, Burland to be honored

January 13, 2023 | Foundations in Education | General Media Mentions News

BRIDGEPORT—Foundations in Education, Inc, a non-profit organization created to assist the Diocese of Bridgeport’s ongoing mission to support Catholic education in Fairfield County, announced its 2023 Gala Honorees—recognizing generosity in support of Catholic education and excellence in education administration.

The 2023 Honorees are Philanthropists Cynthia and Ned Lautenbach and the Lautenbach Family Foundation and Helen Burland, Executive Director of St Catherine’s Center for Special Needs.  Foundations in Education will honor the recipients at the 7th annual Gala “Let there be bright!” on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at Woodway Country Club in Darien, Connecticut.

“We are exceedingly grateful to be able to recognize true heroes in our midst, as we do this year’s honorees.  Ned, Cindy and their family through the Lautenbach Family Foundation are true partners in our mission.  Helen has always brought her own “WOW” factor in the many years I have known her. I am grateful to our honorees for allowing us to celebrate them and their partnership in our work to help transform lives through education.” Remarked Foundations in Education’s Executive Director, Holly Doherty-Lemoine, CFRE.

Cindy and Ned Lautenbach

Cindy and Ned Lautenbach and the Lautenbach Family Foundation have been longtime supporters of Foundations in Education and the Diocese of Bridgeport, as they lived many years in the Diocese of Bridgeport and believe wholeheartedly in Catholic Education and Foundations in Education’s mission. 

Mr. Ned Lautenbach spent much of his career with IBM where he served as Senior Vice President and a member of the Corporate Executive Committee and was a founding Board Member with Foundations in Education.   Ned and Cindy continue to be involved with several non-profits while maintaining their strong commitment to Catholic Education in Fairfield County.  Ned established the Lautenbach Family Foundation in 2000 and has generously supported the work of the Diocese of Bridgeport and Foundations in Education among their many other charitable initiatives. The Lautenbach Family Foundation provides over forty scholarships per year for students of need across the country.

Helen Burland

Helen Burland, is being recognized for her Excellence in Catholic Education. cid:image003.png@01D8ED1D.9F32A300Over the past 15 years, Mrs. Helen Burland has overseen the transformation of Saint Catherine Center for Special Needs as a mission-driven organization in support of
children and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Fairfield University and her early career included roles in university advancement and enrollment management at both Fairfield University and the University of Bridgeport.

Helen joined the Diocese as the president of Saint Catherine Academy in 2008. In 2012, Saint Catherine Center was established and Burland was named Executive Director. She facilitated the addition of an adult services program in 2015 and led the capital campaign raising $5M for a building expansion that broke ground in late 2022.

Prior to joining St. Catherine Academy, Burland worked for the Town of Madison supervising town operations. She has served on the Fairfield University Graduate School of Education Board, Town of Madison Board of Education and Board of Finance. Burland and her husband, Tom, of 39 years have 5 adult children (with two daughters-in-law) and 2 grandchildren. She is a member of St. Margaret Parish in Madison. Throughout her personal and professional life, the common denominator has been her passion for education and a belief that our faith calls us to action.

Gala Committee Chairs Chris and Jen St Victor-de Pinho invited honorees, Foundations in Education Gala Committee, Board Members and friends to Indian Harbor Yacht Club to celebrate the 2023 Gala Kick-off. They gathered together within a lovely setting for a lively celebration, planning and enthusiastic anticipation of the “Let there be bright!” Gala.  The committee begins planning in earnest come the New Year.  If you wish to be involved, please contact Emily Carriero at