Bernier, who took office on Monday, April 1, has been an active leader and has a wide range of experience in local private government and not-for-profit roles. Most recently, she served as director of court and legal services for the Domestic Violence Crisis Center. She has also had counseling roles with Kids in Crisis and V.I.S.T.A. As a lawyer, she served in the State's Attorney Office in charge of domestic violence cases. Her private practice work specialized in family law.
"We are pleased and excited that Carrie will be joining TCF as our new executive director," said Christie Stone, president of the board of directors of TCF. "Carrie's leadership, intelligence, enthusiasm and understanding of the needs in the community make her an ideal choice to lead the fund's future growth and success. We welcome Carrie and look forward to working with her in our mission to provide support for the many essential human service needs and community initiatives in our area."
Upon being selected to serve as executive director, Bernier said, "The Community Fund is an exceptional organization with a long history of serving our community. It assists those with the greatest need by making intelligent and thoughtful financial awards to local social service agencies. I am honored to serve as executive director and am looking forward to working with the many dedicated volunteers, donors, board and staff members to carry forward the important work of The Community Fund."
The Community Fund of Darien was established to address human service needs in the community. Since its founding 61 years ago, TCF has granted more than $20 million to local agencies that support the homeless, youth mental health, victim services, literacy, individuals with developmental delays, substance abuse, the elderly and food banks in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford. TCF supports other small agencies and projects through special and emergency grants, and the Touch of Life Fund.
In addition to funding, TCF takes a leadership role in making a positive difference in the community. Through the Human Services Planning Council, town leaders and professionals meet monthly to discuss community issues, social concerns and the solutions needed to address gaps in services.
Town initiatives started by TCF include Thriving Youth: Connected Community, a community collaborative that works to build developmental assets for youth, and Aging in Place in Darien, now Aging in Place+Gallivant. TCF also takes an active role in encouraging youth and volunteerism with the Youth Community Fund and Darien High School Volunteer Fair and celebrates volunteers of all ages at the Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.