Maker/Artist/Exhibitor Bios

  • Balam Soto: An award winning, internationally acclaimed new media artist, Balam has exhibited his works worldwide. Balam creates contemporary, exploratory artworks that fuse low tech with high tech, including interactive art installations and public artworks.
  • Burnkit 2600: These Danbury natives have been mesmerizing minds of all ages with their unique blend of music crafted with circuit bent gear, 8-bit video game systems, analog synths, drum machines, samplers, and modified electronic instruments. They combine digital wizardry and old school analog gear to perform unique virtuosic blends of music with a live rock aesthetic. 
  • Luke’s Toys: Responsibly built and sustainably made eco-friendly toys with a simple, old school wooden style. These are toys that look like they could have been hand crafted by a skilled wood worker, with some of the qualities of their full-size counterparts. Made in Danbury, CT. U.S.A.

Luke's Toys

  • BLOCKprintedART: Artist and maker Karin Mansberg, will be hosting a “drop-in” in workshop for kids and adults of all ages in the creating amazing works of art using ink & paper!


  • The Danbury Museum & Historical Society: The Danbury Museum & Historical Society will be here to display their recent 1950’s exhibit showcasing two of the most popular toys from that era: Silly Putty and Dominoes! Yes, you will be able to make SILLY Putty! Click here:
  • Melissa Slattery: Melissa leads fun, hands on collage making “drop-in” workshop for adults and children of all ages. Melissa was the first ever Maker-in-Residence at the Westport Library and she is an award-winning artist, graphic designer and teacher. Click here:
  • Samurai Armor – Ben Armstrong: Local maker Ben Armstrong brings his love of Eastern culture and all things Zen. Ben has been crafting Japanese samurai armor by hand. It’s a meticulously time consuming process which results into something wonderfully artful to the eye and practical for sword play!ben armstrong
  • LEGO Robotics – Ellen Bell: Acclaimed LEGO robotics coach, Ellen Bell and her team will be demonstrating their latest robot creation made from LEGO Mindstorm and WeDo sets.
  • BuildARobot
  • Patrice Gans of Random Hacks of Kindness Jr.: RHoKj provides 4th – 8th grade students and opportunity to problem solve and innovate with technology as well immerse students in the computer science experience. Patrice, who heads this organization, will be demonstrating Dash and Dot, robots made by Make Wonder that are designed especially for children to teach the basics of computer programming or “code”. Click here:


  • Union Rail: Union Rail is a Connecticut based band who blends old time American music with their own mix of good time singalongs.
  • Connecticut Science Center – Teen Innovation Program: The Teen Innovation programs were launched in the summer of 2012 to bring together urban teens to learn STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles, gain work experience, engage in peer-to-peer mentoring and 21st century skill-building, and work alongside established scientists.
  • For Beginners: Danbury’s own publishing house, is a graphic nonfiction series that deconstructs complex ideas and makes them accessible to the everyday reader. Every book in the series serves one purpose: to present the works of great thinkers and subjects alike in a straightforward, accessible manner. With subjects ranging from philosophy to politics, art, and beyond. Click here:
  • Jeanne Rogers – Fantasy Author: Award winning local author, Jeanne Rogers uses her love of Australian wildlife, endangered animals and her passion for conservation to create a children’s fantasy book, The SWORD OF DEMEIZA that has evolved into a series that is full of imagination, heroes and moral guidance. Click here:
  • Chris Durante – Billions & Billions of Blocks: Local artist and business owner, Chris knows how to juggle art and commerce. His Billions & Billions of Blocks Project is an experiment in tactile memory jog; they reminded Chris of children’s blocks. Six perfect little surfaces to explore, write on, paint and make notes on. The cubes inspired a series of drawings which led on to become an analog image generator of sorts
  • chris durante
  • Mathnasium: They make math make sense! Whether your child started out far behind or already ahead in math, Mathnasium will help them leap ahead because we know that any child can be successful in math—it’s a matter of teaching it in a way that makes sense to them. Click here:
  • Candlewood Fencing Center: The Science and Art of Fencing will be seen up close as the members of the Candlewood Fencing Center demonstrate their skills for the public. This is a one of a kind spectacle, be sure to see this! For more information, click here:
  • MEAT the Press: Local Food Truck superstar. Find out what the buzz is all about! Their food is off the hook!

meat the press

  • CT StrEATERY: 2015 CT Chef Challenge winner and CT StrEATery Food Truck owner, Adam Bedini serves up local farm to truck food with his new age twist!
  • streattery


2014 Line-Up

We have some great social media workshops lined up for this year.

Jean Carucci is a Business Strategist for BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands. Jean has spent 20 years working for large agencies and Fortune 500 companies such as P&G, Nestle and DIRECTV. She is alaso a Teaching Assistand for Brand School Master Class, a unique and impactful online branding class for entrepreneurs.

Robert Clark is a Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert and Solution Provider Partner with over 30 years of experience advising small and medium-sized businesses, Fortune 50 companies, nonprofits, associations, and industry groups on marketing, sales, operations, strategy, international trade, and information technology.

He has presented to organizations and companies of all sizes including Chambers of Commerce, Trade Organizations, Professional Associations, and for corporate audiences.

Robert is Managing Principal of LucidPointe, LLC., based in Darien, CT. LucidPointe, LLC. is a Constant Contact 2012 & 2013 All Star Award Winner working with small businesses and non-profits to help make social media and email marketing a key part of their successful engagement with customers and constituents.

Donna Cravotta is the CEO of Social Sage PR, the creator of the Total Social PR System™ and Publicity Prowess. She helps entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses maximize their online presence with a very different approach to social media and public relations. Her commitment is to ensure that her clients are empowered to amplify their unique voice and share their purpose, without overwhelming their schedules.

A natural connector of people and a relationship builder long before Facebook even existed, Donna has created a simple, yet strategic method to reveal hidden opportunities online that create authentic opportunities for her clients to grow their networks, gain loyal followers, connect with the media, all done with ease and grace.

Donna knows a thing or two about creative (and cost-effective) social media and online strategy, the best part is… she teaches her clients how to build these strategies into their own businesses in an ongoing and sustainable way. Her technique can be easily implemented in just a few minutes each day to create valuable business connections and media hits. The best part is they result in lasting relationships that lead to mind-blowing opportunities and endless possibilities.

William DeRosa William is Principal and co-founder of Talking Finger, a multi-award winning marketing agency which focuses specifically on social media. Along with his team, he creates comprehensive social marketing strategies that include a high integration with other online and offline ad/marketing initiatives as well as a complete suite of services from profile creation and development to social optimization, content creation and curation, social monitoring, analytics and more. He is also a Facebook Developer and ads manager.

He has been involved in the advertising/marketing field for twenty-two years since graduating from LIU and is highly experienced in branding, online marketing, trade shows, and other various forms of both traditional and online media. This creates a strong foundation for the new world of social media marketing.

His focus is not only to understand trends in social media marketing, but to be a trendsetter. He brings this comprehensive approach to businesses, organizations, municipalities and non-profits he works with, as well as individuals who wish to learn about this fundamental shift in how we communicate, build relationships, and increase brand awareness. In the end, the goal is to generate a stronger bottom line by understanding emerging and existing social networks and the audiences who use them.

He is a public speaker and keynote presenter available for conferences or symposiums where he engages audiences and generates high value to those attending. He publishes the daily social media and technology online newspaper “Talking Finger Daily” as well as continually creating educational materials for his clients and peers.

Talking Finger can also fulfill traditional marketing product and service needs such as trade show displays, graphic design, printing, public relations, branding, website/SEO and more with a vast network of close strategic partners and associates. This allows William and his company to give you a full service marketing team with each member of the team being an expert in their specific field.

Joel Espinoza is the Social Media Analyst and Content Creator for the Digital Agency of Hearst Media Group Connecticut. In this role, Joel is responsible for the planning, strategy, and nurturing of Hearst Media CT client’s social media platforms. His duties include creating content with blogs, external sources, offers/prizes, and optimizing social media for enhanced organic search results. Joel plays an active role communicating with various departments of Hearst Media Services to add to the growing digital needs of various businesses throughout Connecticut. Prior to joining Hearst Media, Joel was the communications advisor in 2011 to The Positive Young People Foundation (PYPF), an HIV/AIDS advocacy nonprofit in Los Angeles. Joel spearheaded PYPF’s national social media campaign BREAK the SILENCE, a campaign devoted to raising HIV/AIDS awareness among the most impacted communities in the United States. Joel has also worked at the Southern California Association of Governments and the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital as a Geographical Information Systems Analyst. Joel specializes in research and producing thematic maps that provide detailed data to governments, nonprofits, and educational institutions. Joel holds a B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning, graduating Magna Cum Laude from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Tony Fasanella is Vice President of digital media for the Hearst Connecticut properties, in this role, Tony is responsible for the Digital Arm of the Connecticut group, in addition, Tony has an active role in new digital product development for the Hearst Group as a whole. He also oversees the Digital Media services division, a division devoted to new digital media, including, SEO, SEM, web builds, mobile web, social media, retargeting and more.

Tony has been in the media business for over 24 years, having a hand in developing and executing the first Automotive and Real Estate websites for the Connecticut Post Newspaper, as well as rolling out the first digital partnerships with Yahoo and Zillow for the paper as well. In 2010 he became the head of the digital media services division for the group and in 2011; Tony was named the vice president of digital. Tony is an active member of The Hearst innovations group as well as Save the music foundation.

Tony resides in Stratford CT with his wife Angela and his two boys.

Kate Fitzpatrick is the CEO & Founder of Kate Fitzpatrick Consulting, a boutique social media agency focused on demystifying social media for entrepreneurs. She is passionate about supporting small business owners and teaching them to be more productive so that they feel better about the time and energy they spend on social media.

Patty Lennon. Before becoming a successful entrepreneur, Patty Lennon spent fifteen years working in the financial arena as a VP at CitiGroup, where she oversaw multi-million dollar technology projects and managed teams of up to fifty people.

Through her focus on operations, sales, and business management, Patty picked up skills which have greatly benefited her as the current founder of Mom Gets A Life, the Mom Gets A Business Conference, and Crowdfund With Ease.

To finance her first Mom Gets A Business conference in April 2013, Patty chose to forego initial sponsorship sales, opting instead to jump into the world of crowdfunding. With an event budget of $45,000 and a willingness to learn everything about the crowdfunding process, she planned out a three-phase campaign…which proved tremendously successful after just one phase.

Patty’s success has her in high demand throughout the country as a consultant and speaker. She has unlocked the formula to successful crowdfunding and is passionate about sharing this valuable business growth and marketing strategy with women everywhere!

You can grab her 5 Simple Strategies for Creating More Cash, Clamor and Credibility with Crowdfunding at

Linda Van Valkenburgh is the owner and certified executive career coach of My Executive Career Coach, LLC – Stamford, CT. She has great business experience in a broad range of corporate environments including marketing, advertising, engineering, entrepreneurial partnerships, industrial manufacturing and full time career development work experience.

Linda partners with clients to plan, manage and organize individualized career campaigns. She helps clients define career goals and identify career options utilizing proven and comprehensive career planning techniques and systems; provides opportunities to improve decision making skills; teaches job search and research strategies; and provides support for clients experiencing the stress of job loss or career transition.Linda assists clients to discover their skills and strengths; develop their value proposition and strategic plan; target opportunities that advance their careers to the next level and supports them through a skillful negotiation process.

Recognized by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), Linda’s credentials include: Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC), Certified Job Search Strategist (CJSS) and Certified Social Media Career Strategist (CSMCS). Linda’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Psychology from Marymount College and a Master’s degree from Fordham University with additional advanced degree credits from Purdue University. Linda has presented to MBA students on career strategies at the Yale School of Management and the UConn School of Business. She is an invited Career Expert on NBC Connecticut’s WVIT Channel 6; and has spoken at many networking and professional groups across the region including: New Canaan CaTS, Fairfield Library, Wilton Library, New York University Media Industry & Design/P3 IDEAlliance, PMI White Plains, Professional Services Group New Jersey Department of Labor, SCORE/Norwalk, UJA/WJCS Connect to Care, Bronxville Career Network, BlogTalkRadio, and local Comcast TV. She is a regular contributor for ExecuNet providing “Coffee Break” & Fast Track lectures and downloadable content, ExecuNet Career Advisor article contributions, and guest speaker for ExecuNet’s 6 Figure Hotline teleconferences. Linda also organizes and facilitates two monthly networking meetings for the 100k and 200k+ executive.
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Ellen Williams has over 20 years of technology and marketing experience and has presented to over 5,000 small businesses, nonprofits, and associations. Her advice on best practices help organizations understand how to build great customer relationships that inevitable grow their businesses. Companies and organziations that have invited her to present include National Association of Professional Organizers, Inc. Magazine, Microsoft Corp. and Ellen has also been a speaker at the Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston, Social Media Week NYC, InternetWeek New York, and Business Showcase 2012 in CT. The author of It’s About Time: Time Management Tips From The Software Revitalist™, and regular contributer to, Ellen has also been published in numerous magazines including Crain’s New York Small Business, The New York Enterprise Report, Self-Employed Professional, and Success.

Karen Yankovich is a Social Media Brand Strategist, Business Consultant, and Speaker, Karen Yankovich is the CEO of Dimare Group, LLC.  Having “been there and done that” in the arena of losing (and then re-finding) a focused approach to business and life, Karen now offers coaching and consulting for entrepreneurs. Her unique specialty blends her “get it done” attitude with a passion for soulful living in her personal services and online workshops.

Social Media and LinkedIn Evangelist, Karen guides entrepreneurs to creating wealth by combining smart business practices with simple proven systems that develop and maintain strong customer relationships. She offers results oriented and expert Conversational Marketing strategies that position her clients to bring in instant results. Karen’s background includes over twenty years in the fields of information technology, marketing, and customer relationships, making social media her ideal niche. hacker tee