Meet The Staff

Cassandra Weik, LMSW
Client Support and Program Coordinator

Cassandra (Cassie) has been working with young children and their families for seven years. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Psychology as well as her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut. Cassie has worked as a head and assistant teacher in childcare centers and a psychiatric clinician for an in-home program for young children and their caregivers. She loves working with children, being outside, and spending time with her family and dogs! Cassie finds joy in animals, laughing with friends, and meeting new people.

Jan Lyon, M.A., E.C.E.
Outreach Director

Jan Lyon has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland and received her M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Antioch University. Jan served the State of Maryland in residential programs for children with multiple disabilities and medical needs for 12 years, returning to CT in 1982. She has worked with children with developmental and mental health labels in a variety of community organizations in CT and served as Care Coordinator for Litchfield County for 10 years. She has over 40 years coordinating, designing and implementing programs for families with challenging children. As Director of Outreach and Children’s Services, she worked with the Torrington area community providers,  identifying and filling gaps in services and supports for children and their families  for 10 years for Brooker before semi-retiring. Jan  raised two, now-adult, adopted children with special needs and is currently raising her grandson. Her current role-part time at Brooker is as Peer Coordinator of grandparents raising grandchildren under a relatives as parents grant from the Brookdale Foundation. She is a nature lover, owning a farm in New Hartford for 33 years, an avid gardener and artist.

Support Staff

Cathy Coyle, M.B.A.
Executive Director

Cathy earned an Associate’s Degree from Northwestern CT Community College followed by a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Services Administration with honors from Providence College. She received her MBA from the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining Brooker Memorial in 2004, Cathy was the Executive Director at the YWCA of New Britain. Cathy has more than 30 years of non-profit experience, including 20 in executive leadership roles. She enjoys working in a children’s organization where there is a smiling face around every corner. She also enjoys working with volunteers and likes the ever-changing challenges and opportunities of managing the organization. Her outside interests include running, hiking, traveling, flower gardening and cooking. She and her husband have two sons, the oldest is enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.

Michele Benson

Michele joined Brooker Memorial in June, 2019. Her Dad’s family grew up in New Hartford. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She received an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Tunxis Community College. Michele has been married 30 years and has two boys, a grandson and a granddaughter. She LOVES her Friday night sleepovers with her grandson and looks forward to her granddaughter joining him when she gets a little bigger. Her hobbies are gardening, sewing, taking walks and hiking.

Tom Lopardo

Tom recently retired, after 28 years, from the City of Torrington Public Works department. He was a mason and road crew foreman. Tom graduated from Wolcott Tech with a degree in HVAC. He has 3 grown children. His hobbies are fishing and antique cars.