Staff - The Westchester Community Foundation
Meet Our Team

The WCF staff has a profound knowledge of the region, its one million people, institutions, and resources. WCF staff bring an understanding of public policy and the ability to see "the big picture," expertise in examining nonprofit credentials and assessing local efforts, and ingenuity to help initiate new and innovative collaborations to resolve regional problems.

Connie Desimini
Connie Desimini
Office Manager & Grants and Scholarship Administrator

Connie Desimini joined the Westchester Community Foundation in February 2016. She oversees the Foundation’s grants management and scholarship programs. Prior to joining the Foundation, Connie worked for many years with various corporations in the food and fashion industries. She holds an Associate’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Fashion Design and a B.A. in Business Administration from Pace University.

Robin Melen
Robin Melén
Program Officer

Robin Melén joined the Foundation in 2013.  She is responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking programs in the areas of youth development, arts and culture, health, and technical assistance and capacity building for Westchester nonprofits.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Sing Sing Prison Museum.  She holds a B.A. from Syracuse University, and an M.A. in writing from Manhattanville College. Professional certifications include a certificate in nonprofit management from Manhattanville College. She is a graduate of Leadership Westchester.

Lauren Perkins
Program Officer

Lauren Perkins joined the Foundation in 2023. She is responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking programs in the areas of early childhood education, Native American youth, access to legal services, basic human needs and self-sufficiency, and health. She also is responsible for managing the Westchester Index. Previously, Lauren served as Chief Operating Officer of the Great Oaks Foundation and held leadership roles at the Fund for Public Schools and the New York City Department of Education. Lauren received a B.A. from Hamilton College and a M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Laura Rossi
Laura Rossi
Executive Director

Laura leads the Foundation’s efforts to address community needs by bringing together donors, funders, nonprofit leaders, and other partners to better understand the root causes of persistent challenges and emerging needs and develop a shared approach to improving the quality of life in Westchester.

She began her career at WCF in 2007 as a program officer. She holds a J.D. from New York Law School and a B.A. from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM. She is a graduate of Leadership Westchester. Prior to her career in philanthropy, she practiced law , worked for local and statewide nonprofits, and taught at local colleges.

Laura is co-chair of the board of directors of Sustainable Westchester, and a board member of New York Funders Alliance and the Support Center. In 2019 she was appointed to the Westchester Housing Opportunity Commission by County Executive George Latimer

Westchester Community Foundation. photo by Ari Mintz 7/22/2021.
Tara Seeley
Senior Program Officer

Tara Seeley has been with WCF since 2016. She is responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking programs in the areas of workforce development and job placement, community development, access to legal services, basic human needs and self-sufficiency, social justice, and conservation and environment. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was a program officer at the Central Indiana Community Foundation. She has held professional and volunteer leadership positions in Montgomery County, MD, and Indianapolis, IN, in community development, with a focus on affordable housing and economic and workforce development.

She holds a J.D./M.Div. degree from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. from Sewanee: The University of the South.