Staff | Junior Achievement of Southwest New England



Jeremy Race
President & CEO
Nicole Diorio
Director of Education


Sumayya Ayoub
Senior Education Manager - JA Days
Lisa Cowell
Education Manager - Central District
Mara Henze
Education Assistant
Josh Kelly
Education Manager – Traditional & Specialty Programs
Donna Koch
Education Manager - Traditional Programs
John Ross
Education Manager - North District


Ray Lilley
Special Events Manager - Bowl-A-Thon
Jacqueline Lombardi
Special Events and Marketing Manager
Justine Smith
Development Associate
Amanda Teti
Grants Coordinator


Carole Dicks
Office Manager/Executive Assistant

Our Office


Telephone: (860) 525-4510
Fax: (860) 525-4403

70 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105


Jeremy Race

Jeremy Race – President & CEO

Experience before JA: Graduate School
Education: B.A. in History, Fairfield University; M.S. in Elementary Education, Central Connecticut State University
What I like most about JA: The mission is powerful. What could be better than helping young people dream big about their futures and teaching them the strategies to achieve those dreams.
What I like most about my job: The majority of my time is spent strengthening existing relationships with JA supporters, establishing new partnerships, developing new programs, and working strategically to grow JA's base of support. Knowing that all of these endeavors will allow our organization to serve more young people and create even more intensive JA experiences year after year is both satisfying and inspiring.
Favorite story about a JA student: Each year, I have the pleasure of working closely with several JA students in preparation for their speaking roles at JA's annual Partners in Achievement breakfasts in Hartford and New Haven. At last year's event, I was so proud to watch Josslyn, a student from New Britain who at one point was on track to not graduate from high school, stand up in front of 400 guests and state that thanks to JA, "I will graduate high school. I will attend college.  I will be successful." It was a moving moment I will never forget.
Jeremy is a board member for the Connecticut Jump$tart Coalition and serves as the Career Development Chair for Fairfield University's Hartford alumni chapter.

Elaine Dwyer

Elaine Dwyer – Chief Administrative Officer

Start Date: September 1980
Experience before JA: Flow Equipment Supply Corporation, Inside Sales
What I like most about JA: JA has continued to evolve and stay relevant by expanding its programs and reaching students earlier in their lives. I'm impressed that so many volunteers find participating in our programs and touching the lives of children so important and personally satisfying.
What I like most about my job: I've had opportunities to grow with the organization and work and learn from some very talented people.
Favorite story about a JA student: My grandson had JA in the Enfield School system for three consecutive years. He and his friends looked forward to his JA volunteer coming to his school every year and would talk about the concepts he learned.

Nicole Diorio

Nicole Diorio – Director of Education

Start Date: September 2011
Experience before JA: Sales, Footprints
Education: B.A. in Liberal Arts, Southern Connecticut State University
What I like most about JA: The sole purpose is to empower young people to succeed.
What I like most about my job: I enjoy having the opportunity to work and give back to our surrounding communities, including the one I grew up in. I also know that the work I do makes a positive influence in children's lives.
Favorite story about a JA student: I recently taught a 5th grades class. Several of the students were in a 4th-grade class I taught the year before. The students not only remembered me, they remembered the lessons I taught them. Every single student in the class has received JA since they were in kindergarten. They expressed that this was their favorite day of the school year.

  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

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