Mary Mann gone from NEON

Chiquita NEON 001-20130430
Former Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) interim CEO and president Chiquita Stephenson, left, and former NEON Chief of Programs Mary Mann.

Updated, 9:47 p.m., info from state Sen. Bob Duff.

NORWALK, Conn. – A long-time member of the administrative staff at Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) is no longer with the agency.

Mary Mann, recently described as chief program officer, was not at Monday’s Board of Directors meeting. NEON Communications Director Scott Harris said Wednesday that she no longer works there. He did not provide details.

NEON board Chairman Mike Berkoff did not respond to a request for comment.

Mann is the sister of departed NEON chief Joseph Mann. In July, her title was workforce development director. She received substantial raises under interim CEO and President Pat Pheanious Wilson, which was attributed to a change in job responsibilities.

NEON’s board voted Monday to dismiss former interim CEO and President Chiquita Stephenson. Mann was still working on NEON on Nov. 12.

Lisa Cooper, who in January was described as director of administration, was also terminated according to state Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), who said he got the information from NEON interim CEO and president Tommie Jackson.


12 responses to “Mary Mann gone from NEON”

  1. Mrs. Ruby McPherson

    Well, this still has more changes to go. With new board members that have yet been voted in, such as Michael Geak the voting that took place at the recent board of directors meeting Monday night at 98 South Main Street was not done right. I heard the Mayor was also at the meeting and asked questions. But I believe the new voted in board will need to be educate on procedures, rules and regulation cause clearly this seems like its still going the old way. Like Ms. Stephenson stated be apart of the team or leave. Also the fact that board member such as Jack O’Dea, and Berkhoff want to talk down to staff is unacceptable and they should also leave the board.Perhaps they have other intentions for that space, as other would like to use it for profit. I belive if you have others who are willing to step in even the old board that tried to get information but Ms. Stephenson refuse to allow them the information, some should come back to the table,at least they didn’t go along with the mix.

  2. Mrs. Ruby McPherson

    Thank you for that, Maybe you can check out just how much these guys are following State of CT Labor Laws. I believe the only people are finance and energy, maybe the HR person I would think she still have to clear up alot of work on people staffs benefits?

  3. Joe Espo

    It’s entertaining watching the demise of the Norwalk chapter of the Sopranos. Joe “Tony S” Mann- well he’s no more and maybe looking at RICO with a bazillion predicates ; Mary “Carmella S” Mann is looking at accomplice liability; Chiquita “Uncle Jun” Stephenson will probably be first to rat out the whole family to save her skin and preserve the integrity of her academic resume. I think Johnny Sac and Carmine lupertozzie are on the Board, but incognito. La famiglia e tutto a posto

  4. The Norwalker

    It is about time that Mary Mann left NEON. She was part of the Management Team that caused the loss of jobs for so many NEON Employees who worked for State Funded Programs. For many of those former employees the only reason that they lost their jobs was that the State Funding Sources were worried that the funds that they were giving NEON was not making to their targeted parts of the Community.

    Danielle Watson-Yates is still working at NEON as CFO and she was part of the Management that bounced checks, did not pay vendors and used program funds as a general pool of funding while Headstart was under funded. She also received a huge salary increase. She needs to be asked to leave, period.

  5. Lifelong Teacher

    The whole place needs to be swept clean. Mrs. Ruby, it sounds like maybe you are part of the staff, and if so, part of the problem. It is impossible to follow your posts.

    The more I read, the more disheartened I am about NEON. Now one of yesterday’s threads revealed that they are leasing old BOE buildings for little or no rent. With no head Start program, why didn’t the city terminate the lease agreements?

    While this bunch that ran the program into the ground, disserviced thousands of children (school preparedness wasn’t happening for many years), used NEON as their own cash cow with nepotism, alleged misappropriation of funds, huge salary increases, we have subsidized it at a whole different level.

    The entire management team needs to go. Now. Let the Housing Authority and Literacy How take it over. Maybe then children will come out of the program with appropriate oral language development, kindergarten readiness, and the behaviors necessary for success in school. The human brain is hard wired for speech and language, and that must come first before reading and writing. Folks, the gap starts before birth and by age 5, it’s already huge and growing exponentially.

    These children deserve do much more.

  6. The Norwalker


    In a place like NEON Program Directors and Employees below them are not on “the inside”, they do not know which way the organization is headed, they only know if their own program is successful or not.

  7. Bamboozled

    It’s a start and more still needs to go. I agree as well if staff who had nothing to do with this mess lost their jobs then yes so should the people who created it! An agency who has the best intentions for these children should take over.

  8. The people who lost their jobs should be able to reapply when programs start up again under other agencies.
    In the real world, when a company is sold to another company, all employees are asked to reapply and interview for their positions. This is the norm.
    It should be the norm for government entities as well.

  9. The Norwalker


    It is a shame that 99% of the people who lost their jobs at NEON fall under the category “not guilty”, while Administration Employees who make make 50k – 90k/yr still have their jobs.

  10. Mrs. Ruby McPherson

    Lifelong, I’m not apart of Neon, but if you still have certain administrators in place, ifs obvious the board and Mr. Jackson needs their help, even if they don’t listen. Everyone don’t know government programs Neon still uses or closing out benefits for staff.

  11. WHAT?

    Love the picture of Chiquita and Mary together, good news for them is that since both of them have a high school diploma it should be easy for them to replace those 100k jobs. Happy Thanksgiving you two, and thanks for all the help you did for the poor members of your own community you exploited until it got so ridiculous even Bruce Morris couldn’t give you cover any more.

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