New Hall Fame 22nd Anniversary Event log

October 17th, 2019

Community Honoree:

Faith Middleton


Affectionately referred to as the state’s “Culinary Goddess,” Faith Middleton is a two-time recipient of the Peabody Award for her public radio interviews. These awards, established in 1940, honor the most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in TV, radio and online media. Faith, a Hartford native, is a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, where she majored in English and Sociology. She was given Independent Study for her senior year when she was hired full-time as a writer and editor at The Willimantic Chronicle. She later worked at the Providence Journal, the Hartford Courant magazine, and Connecticut magazine, where she was appointed Editor-in-Chief.


Faith began doing a daily interview show for public radio in 1980, which eventually morphed into the popular Faith Middleton Food Schmooze (R).


Throughout her public broadcasting career she has produced, written or hosted national public radio and television shows, and was a frequent contributor on NPR, including serving as a guest host for a woman she loves, Terry Gross on Fresh Air.


Described as an “institution in her broadcast region,” Faith has been awarded two honorary doctorates and taught The Art of the Interview at Yale University. She was named Best Radio Talk Show Host by Connecticut magazine for 11 consecutive years. “The Goodness of Ordinary People,” her book about the true stories her listeners told her and co-host Bruce Clements onair, was published in 1996. She was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, received the renowned Ohio State Award, The Mark Twain Award, and the Distinguished Public Service Award of the Connecticut Bar Association.


Faith, who describes herself as a “proud Gay American dedicated to promoting all civil rights,” says her journey has been about a never-ending exploration of the richness of life. She’ll be announcing her next major project when her sabbatical ends in one year.

Corporate Honoree:
Jill Ruben Hummel


In her role at anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Jill Ruben Hummel manages the company’s local commercial, group and individual businesses, including sales, account management, provider relations and contracting, underwriting and product delivery. She also is responsible for the development of Anthem’s long-term strategic direction and collaborates with elected officials, regulators, providers, employers and other key stakeholders to drive improvements in healthcare access, quality, experience, outcomes and affordability.


Jill previously served as vice president of Payment Innovation for Anthem, Inc., the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. In this position, she was accountable for developing provider payment and delivery models that reward and support improvements in health, while reducing unnecessary costs associated with today’s fragmented healthcare system. During this time, she led the design and implementation of the largest commercial pay-for-value program in the country. Her team also supported the design of Anthem’s complementary transparency programs, which make cost and quality information available to physicians and patients.


Jill joined Anthem in 2007 as vice president of Provider Engagement and Contracting for Northeast Markets (New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine). In this capacity, she was responsible for management of the provider network, including implementation of innovative payment and healthcare delivery models with physicians and providers.


Before joining Anthem, she worked for UnitedHealthcare in several capacities, including most recently as the Northeast Regional president for Network Management. She also served as VP for Hospital Network Management for UnitedHealth Networks and, prior to that, as chief operating officer of UnitedHealthcare of the Midwest, Inc.


Jill currently chairs the Board of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, a nationally recognized organization dedicated to promoting high performing primary care as the foundation of an effective, efficient and equitable healthcare system. She also serves as co-chair of the Governor’s Prevention Partnership and as a board member of both the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and Qualidigm. She also is a member of the President’s Executive Council, a group of distinguished advisors who provide counsel to Paul Broadie II, President of Gateway Community College. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and her law degree from Washington University.

Corporate Honoree:

Gregory J. Pepe

Gregory J. Pepe is a founding principal of Neubert, Pepe & Monteith, P.C., a New Haven-based law firm, where he heads the Healthcare Law practice area. His extensive experience in the healthcare market, its accompanying regulations, and related business matters enables him to guide his clients in the ever-changing landscape of that particular sector.


In addition to his legal career, Greg is an ardent and active member of the Greater New Haven community, especially skilled in providing leadership and support to the city’s key civic organizations and nonprofit entities. This includes co-founding and serving as a former president of the Board of Directors of Leeway, Inc., a nonprofit inpatient facility for people living with AIDS. He also has served as Board chair of the Town Green Special Services District, which funds special projects and improvements in Downtown New Haven, including those focused on cleanliness, safety, economic prosperity, marketing, promotions and advocacy. He is a former Board president of the Institute Library in New Haven, founded in 1826 and Connecticut’s oldest circulating library, as well as a current member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the Quinnipiac University School of Law and an adjunct faculty member at that school. He is on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and serves as one of its professional advisors.


He helped Gateway Community College launch its Mentoring Program. He also has advised several state medical organizations, including the Connecticut State Medical Society, and represents many physician groups, including integrated practices, independent practice associations and physician-hospital associations and others involved in healthcare law issues.


Greg earned a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and his law degree from the University of Bridgeport School of Law.

Alumni Honoree:
Keith T. Decosta

Keith T. DeCosta received his associate degree in Science/Rail Engineering Technology from Gateway Community College in 2018. He was hired by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) as a signal maintainer helper in the Communications and Signaling Department. In this position, he helps install signal-related components, relays, central instrumentation houses, track switch machines, color light signal assemblies, grade crossing systems and signal system/positive train control interfacing equipment. He also is involved in excavation to prepare for signal system direct burial cables; power cables; and the splicing, repair and terminations of buried cables.


Since joining Amtrak, Keith has achieved several qualifications: roadway worker protection, AMT 2, fall protection, forklift operation, and rigging. He is set to enter Amtrak’s two-year signal maintainer training program, which will qualify him as a signal maintainer responsible for upkeep and proper operation of the signal system within a specified track section of Amtrak’s Northeast Division territory.


Before pursuing a career in railroad engineering technology, Keith amassed 20 years’ experience as an automotive and truck repair technician, earning certification as an ASE

Master Technician and State of Connecticut emissions test inspector.


Keith’s love of “all things mechanical” goes beyond his professional career. He has volunteered at the Shoreline Trolley Museum, where he lends his expertise to many aspects of maintaining and constructing the track and signal system. This has included everything from installing replacement signal system wiring to bending tight radius in new rail in the trolley yard, to service and repair of machinery and equipment used in construction. He also gives back to the community as a volunteer member of the Branford Fire Department, Short Beach Hose Hook & Ladder Co. 4. Additionally, he was instrumental in securing a donation of used Amtrak signal equipment to Gateway’s railroad technology program, where it helps current students train for careers in that field.


He and his wife Darce have three children: Justin, Bela and Francesca. He enjoys watching his family grow and attending his stepsons’ football games and wrestling tournaments. He also makes time for his hobbies, including travel, hiking and collecting vintage lightbulbs and glass insulators.

Alumni Honoree:
Nicholas S. Naclerio

Nicholas S. Naclerio, C.P.A., is Vice President of Corporate Tax for AllianceBernstein (AB), an investment management and research firm with over $500+ billion in assets under management. In this position, he leads the global tax accounting and compliance functions.


Before joining AB, Nick worked at KPMG, where he rendered a variety of tax consulting, compliance, tax accounting and planning services to multinational clients in the financial services arena. He began his career at BlumShapiro, where he provided tax accounting, consulting, and compliance services to clients in a wide range of industries.


After receiving an associate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Gateway Community College, Nick went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Southern Connecticut State University. Before he graduated from college to begin his finance career, Nick was an amateur boxer. He and his two brothers, Mike and Georgie, trained at the prestigious Ring One Boxing in New Haven, under the tutelage of coach and mentor Brian Clark. Looking back, Nick acknowledges that many of his most important personal traits – like discipline, patience and dedication – were developed from the hours of “blood, sweat and tears” he shed working hard in the gym and honing his athletic skills. It was there that he developed the strong work ethic that has guided him throughout his career, but, more importantly, where he learned never to give up on pursuing his dreams and achieving his goals.


In addition to being a certified public accountant in Connecticut, Nick also is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Last December, Nick and his future wife Cheryl, along with their dog Cocoa, moved from New York City to Nashville, Tenn., where AB is relocating its corporate headquarters. There, Nick continues to enjoy time with friends and family, exercising, hiking, golfing, traveling and reading.