Our Board

The Kisses from Katie board consists of family and friends passionate about helping others and about Katie.

Vickie Manning, President

Hi, I'm Vickie.  I'm the President and Co-founder of Kisses from Katie.  I'm mom to Katie, Gavin, and Owen and married to a wonderful husband, Alan.  We met at Gettysburg College and he quickly swept me off my feet.  I love spending time with my family.  Before becoming a mom, I was a first grade teacher for 8 years.  I loved teaching and watching the wonder and excitement through children's eyes when learning something new.

What makes you passionate about KfK?

I had the privilege of being Katie's mom.  She showed me what it means to love with all your heart and soul and changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined. I was lucky enough to spend every day of her life by her side and was honored to be able to hold her during her last hours.  I knew that I wanted to do something in her memory and Alan and I always wanted to be able to help others.  My hope is that what we do can ease just a tiny bit of the pain that these children have to go through.

Alan Manning, Vice President

I'm Alan Manning and by day (and some nights), I'm the COO at Planetree, Inc., a mission based non-profit that helps healthcare organizations about the world become more patient centered.  In the evenings (and many weekends), I act as the Vice President of Kisses from Katie, Inc.  
I'm a dad to Katie, Gavin, and Owen.  I'm a husband to Vickie.  I'm a life-long supporter of the greatest football (soccer to Americans) team in the world, Manchester United.  I'm a graduate of Gettysburg College, where I met Vickie. I'm proud to say that I was Irish by birth, and a Corkonian by the grace of God.  I came to the U.S. as a teenager with dreams of basketball stardom, and I believe that I have lived a life beyond his wildest imaginings, just in a different way than a 17 year old could have envisioned!!!

What makes you passionate about KfK?

As Katie's dad, I had the privilege of experiencing every step of Katie's life.  I was touched by her journey but I was also plagued by her pain.  As a part of Kisses from Katie, Inc., I hope to do everything I can to limit that pain for others.  Unfortunately, I know that I cannot prevent pain and illness for other children, nor can I change the feeling of isolation and ineptness that parents will invariably feel.  However, I can do little things to make it easier...better...all the while, honoring my hero, Katie.

Jessica Capellaro, Treasurer

Hi, I'm Jessica Capellaro and I'm the treasurer for Kisses from Katie and also Assistant Director of Information Technology for a Behavioral Health company.  I'm married with one daughter.  I love spending time with my family, photography and reading. I'm Katie's aunt and godmother and also a Hurricane - U of Miami Alumna.

What makes you passionate about KfK?

Katie makes me passionate about Kisses from Katie.  As Katie’s aunt, an organization that continues her legacy is something I am both proud and passionate about.  Beyond that, seeing what Katie’s family, and many others like hers, went through while their children were in the hospital make everything KfK does something i'm honored to be a part of.

Denise Theil, Secretary

Hi, I'm Denise!  I am a very proud Mom of two daughters, Tara and Alex. Three years ago I met a man who is everything I never knew I wanted (and I'm happier that I ever thought possible). I love to spend time laughing with my family and friends. My happy place is a beach or a lake and I only wish I had more time to spend there. My life has taken many twists and turns so I strive to live each day to the fullest and appreciate every day as a gift.

What makes you passionate about KfK?

I was working with Alan at Sightlines when Katie was born. He trusted me to inform our coworkers about Katie's condition. I am amazed at the strength of this wonderful couple and the organization they are building. I am honored to be part of the KfK Board and look forward to being an active member and supporting this organization and these people that I care about so deeply.

Dawn Bettencourt

Hi, I'm Dawn Bettercourt and I'm a special education preschool teacher in Milford.  I'm married with two children - one in college and one in high school.  I'm also a youth advisor for a church group.  I love reading, the beach, scrapbooking, and reality TV!.

What makes you passionate about KfK?

I have a personal connection with KfK having my own HLHS child and understanding some of the experiences that parents are going through when they have a critically ill child.  I'm hoping to help families where there was no support when we were going through hospital stays. [ more ]

Erin Chesery

My name is Erin Chesery and I'm a Registered Nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital (for over 10 years now!). I've been married four years and have two boys ages almost 4 and almost 2.  I'm a twin, the youngest of 7 children and grew up in New Haven.

What makes you passionate about KfK?
I'm passionate about Kisses from Katie because of the impact that Katie and her family had on me while Katie was a patient in the PICU at Yale (an impact which continues to through KfK).  I am happy to be a part of an organization that strives to make patients and families more at ease in an ICU setting.  Kisses from Katie has also always been supportive of nursing and provides resources for nurses to make their jobs easier and patients more comfortable. [ more ]

Amy Fiorillo

My name is Amy Fiorillo and I am very excited to be a part of the Kisses from Katie board.  I was born and raised in Milford, CT and I am a true Milfordite through and through.  There isn’t much more that I enjoy doing than spending time at the beach with my husband and two children.  If only I could bring my furry son, (my dog) Gilligan, then that beach time would be perfect! I am a big kid at heart and have always enjoyed the fun times that I get to have while teaching my students for the Milford Board of Education.  Currently, I am a special education preschool teacher in Milford.

What makes you passionate about KfK?

I am passionate about Kisses From Katie because I understand first hand how important support can be for a family caring for a critically ill child.  My family knows all too well about long hospital stays with a child and how it can impact all members of a family.  I am excited to be part of an organization that is there to take the edge off for families that are experiencing similar situations.  I am proud to have the opportunity to be part of such an amazing organization!

Alan Longley

I'm Alan Longley, husband to Teresa, and dad to Stephen and Emma.  I'm the Assistant Branch Manager for Torrco, Stratford.  I'm also the public address announcer for the Bridgeport SoundTigers.  I coach a youth boy's basketball team.

What makes you passionate about KfK?

My passion for Kisses from Katie was inspired by Vickie and Alan.  The strength and courage they have displayed throughout the years has been incredible and has reminded me how lucky I have been as a father.  I feel as if I have to pay my luck forward to help as many families I can.  While my contribution to KfK will pale in comparison to Vickie and Alan, I hope I can make a difference. [ more ]

Wendy Meyers

Hi, I'm Wendy Meyers.  I'm an RN in the PICU at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital which is where I met Katie and her family.  I've been happily married for over 10 years and we have two daughters and a dog.  I'm an Alumni of UNC Chapel Hill.  I love snow skiing, traveling near and far, and I prefer the mountains to the beach.  I also have an incredible sweet tooth!

What makes you passionate about KfK?

I met and bonded with Katie after her first surgery.  Her feisty and determined spirit was apparent from her very first days.  Her eyes were soulful and told you a story each and every time you looked into them.  She inspired me then, and continues to inspire me now - to be a better nurse, mother, and person, to not take life for granted, and to make the most of every moment.

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