When groups of people unite for the common good, they can transform every aspect of society—from housing and food security to education and health. It’s happening now, part of a growing movement of connecting local governments, businesses, nonprofits, and citizens, and it’s making a lasting difference in the places we call home.
Dovetail Social Innovation Platform is the incubator for interconnected communities. We’re working with communities at the local level and developing tools to make the movement scalable nationwide. We’re also working on an integrated media campaig to promote and popularize this growing movement—so more people can experience positive change right in their own neighborhoods.
The “interconnected communities” model is defined by the connections that make communities strong and that support health in all of its forms. We connect strategies, funding, technology, information, and other resources to create an integrated web of initiatives supporting positive change. When this happens, a feedback loop of opportunity, equity, health, and cohesion begins to replace the dynamics of chronic illness, insecurity, poverty, and inequity prevalent in disadvantaged communities. The social challenges that communities face are deeply interconnected. Housing security affects food security affects educational achievement, and so on. Extensive research from the Centers for Disease Control, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Prevention Institute and others shows that coordinated changes made at the community level can have profound, sustained positive impacts on health and longevity. Interconnected programs are a win-win for communities. When done well, they can improve quality of life and help transform local economies. According to the CDC, communities across the U.S. are spending more that $1 trillion each year dealing with sicknesses that are preventable. We see an opportunity to pro-actively address those challenges, and redirect community resources to more productive uses.
Vincent Tufo serves as chief executive officer of Charter Oak Communities (COC), formerly the Stamford Housing Authority, a progressive community development organization serving Stamford, Connecticut. Mr. Tufo is also founder and president of Rippowam Corporation, COC’s real estate development subsidiary. COC replaces or recapitalizes publicly-assisted housing properties to create mixed-use and community facilities in Stamford’s underserved neighborhoods. These communities are then strengthened through strategic partnerships that help implement diverse initiatives that serve the needs of the neighborhood.Under Mr. Tufo’s leadership, COC has created a dedicated entity – Dovetail: Social Innovation Platform (SIP) – to support multi-sector solutions to complex socio-economic challenges. The SIP team currently serves as an incubator for several pilot initiatives including the Vita Health and Wellness District and the Stamford Cradle to Career program. SIP is co-sponsoring national and regional initiatives with affiliate organizations to build capacity and leverage social enterprise. In one such effort, SIP is working in partnership with the New York metro area Regional Plan Association by incorporate emerging Anchor Institution Strategies to drive comprehensive neighborhood revitalization.
Mr. Tufo has a BA degree from Binghamton University (SUNY) and a MA degree from the University of Michigan. He is a long-time member and past chair of the Connecticut Housing Coalition, a statewide advocacy and capacity building membership organization. He is an active national advisory board member of the Association for Community Health Improvement.
Pamela A. Koprowski is as an accomplished public affairs executive with more than three decades of public relations, government affairs, and community relations experience, including strategic communications, program development, planning management, and execution. As public affairs consultant to Stamford Health, Ms. Koprowski has provided strategic guidance for successful outreach to government, corporate, and nonprofit stakeholders to support the Hospital’s Facility Master Plan. Currently, Ms. Koprowski supports Stamford Health’s Community Health Improvement Plan and Vita Health & Wellness Community Collaborative. Previously, Ms. Koprowski served as director of public affairs at Stamford Hospital for a decade, successfully opening of new facilities, developing programs, and guiding the regulatory processes.
As the founding president of Stamford Neighborhood Housing Services, Ms. Koprowski led the campaign to fund Connecticut’s first Mutual Housing development and raised private contributions to support housing rehabilitation and nonprofit affordable housing programs. Ms. Koprowski served on the Advisory Board of Reading Is Fundamental, was a Director of the Connecticut Association for Human Services and the United Way of Stamford, among other organizations, and was awarded the Dr. Joyce Yerwood Community Service Award by the NAACP-Stamford Branch. She lives in Stamford, Connecticut.
Melissa Kaplan-Macey leads RPA’s research, planning and advocacy activities in Connecticut. An expert in land use planning and community engagement, Mrs. Kaplan-Macey has extensive experience in building collaborative relationships with community partners. Her areas of focus at RPA include improving access to jobs and affordable homes for low and moderate-income families in Connecticut, and advocating for investment in the state’s transit system. In collaboration with Dovetail SIP, she is heading RPA’s efforts to promote and institutionalize collaboration between anchor institutions, municipalities, and local communities across the region through creation of a New York metro region anchor strategy network.
Mrs. Kaplan-Macey is an adjunct professor in the urban planning program at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She holds a master’s in urban planning from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and a bachelor’s in urban studies from Brown University.
Jonathan F.P. Rose focuses his business, public policy and not-for-profit work on creating a more environmentally, socially and economically responsible world. In 1989, Mr. Rose founded Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, a multi-disciplinary real estate development, planning, consulting, and investment firm. In close collaboration with cities and not-for-profits, the firm has completed $2.3 billion of transformational work. As a thought leader on urban issues and the development of communities of opportunity, Mr. Rose has been recognized for his work with many awards including MIT’s Visionary Leadership Award and The Urban Land Institute’s global award for Excellence.
Mr. Rose and his wife, Diana Calthorpe Rose, are the co-founders of the Garrison Institute and serve on its Board. The Institute connects inner transformation with outer solutions to relieve suffering in the fields of trauma, education, and the environment. Mr. Rose graduated from Yale University in 1974 with a B.A. in Psychology.
For over thirty years, Bob Arnold has been the President and CEO of Family Centers. Through a team of dedicated professionals, volunteers, and a board of directors, Bob works and collaborates with numerous community groups, businesses, foundations and individuals whose philanthropic goals are met through the work of Family Centers.
Bob is a past chairman of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies, a past president of the Greenwich Kiwanis Club, and has served on a variety of advisory boards and task forces. Additionally, he led Family Centers through seven successful mergers creating an efficient and broad-based organization that assists over 23,500 children and adults each year. He holds a Masters degree from Columbia University School of Social Work.