Author: Leblanc, Jeanne

Marilda Gandara ’78 Inducted Into Immigrant Hall of Fame

Marilda Gandara '78, a member of the UConn Board of Trustees, was inducted at a ceremony on July 14, 2022, into Connecticut's Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame. Gandara, who emigrated from Cuba to the United States with her family as a child, worked at Aetna for 30 years and became president of the Aetna Foundation. She was among four people inducted at the ceremony, including Radenka Maric, UConn's interim president, who was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina when it was part of Yugoslavia.

Marilda Gandara

Christian Watson ’00 Named State’s Attorney

Christian Watson ’00 has been appointed the state’s attorney for the Judicial District of New Britain, Connecticut. Watson previously served in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and as a prosecutor for the Division of Criminal Justice before going into private practice. He joined the New Britain State’s Attorney’s Office in 2010 and was promoted to supervisory assistant state’s attorney in 2016.

Wendy Clarke ’09 Named Partner at Kelley Drye

Wendy Clarke ’09 has been named a partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. Clark’s practice, based in the firm’s Stamford office, focuses on corporate transactions, including domestic and cross border mergers and acquisitions. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Co., the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, and the Securities Advisory Council to the Connecticut Department of Banking.

Mark Kohler ’87 Named Secretary of the State

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has appointed Mark F. Kohler '87 to serve as secretary of the state, filling a vacancy left by the resignation of Denise Merrill. Kohler was sworn in on July 1 and will serve until a newly elected secretary of the state takes office in January 2023.

Kohler retired earlier in 2022 from the state Office of the Attorney General, where he served as the associate attorney general and chief of the government administration division. In his 30 years with the office, he served in several divisions. From 2011 to 2021, he directed the Special Litigation Department, charged with representing state constitutional officers, the legislature, and the judiciary. The division handles election matters, charities, gaming, and federal Indian tribal issues.

Before joining the Office of the Attorney General, Kohler was an associate with Shipman & Goodwin from 1990 to 1992.

Mark Kohler sworn in

Mark Kohler '87 is sworn in as Connecticut Secretary of the State on July 1, 2022.