Meet Our Speakers

Opening Introductions

Rollin Schuster
Managing Principal
The Schuster Group
President & Founder 
TANGO (The Alliance for Nonprofit Growth
and Opportunity, Inc.)

Rollin G. Schuster Jr. is the Managing Principal of The Schuster Group, formally Schuster Driscoll, LLC, a Financial Services Firm specializing in Employee Benefits, Retirement Planning, Human Resource Consulting and Executive Compensation.

Rollin began his financial services career in 1983 with MassMutual. After nine years of success he had a desire to build an independent financial services practice and created Schuster Driscoll, LLC. For the last 25 years he has focused on providing clients with innovative employee benefit strategies. Under his guidance the firm has grown to become one of the region’s largest independent benefit consulting firms with offices in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Rollin is also a Partner of Insurance Provider Group, LLC (IPG) a property casualty insurance agency. This organization offers insurance and risk management strategies from a portfolio of leading carriers.

Rollin serves on the NFP Benefits Partner Broker Advisory Board as well as numerous carrier advisory boards. He is also a member of Connecticut Benefit Brokers and the National Association of Health Underwriter and is a frequent speaker on the Affordable Care Act and other industry related topics. 

Rollin’s affinity for serving the nonprofit sector inspired him to create a nonprofit; TANGO (The Alliance for Nonprofit Growth and Opportunity, Inc.) which he now serves as President. This organization provides resources to over 1300 nonprofits helping them further their mission and create positive change in the sector. Rollin’s nonprofit involvement includes serving as Treasurer on The Board of Directors of CW Resources, Inc., The Chair of The Board of Directors of Qualidigm, Member of the Compensation and Benefits Committee of Renbrook School, Corporator of CCARC and Connecticut Community Care, Inc.

Rollin is a graduate of Franklin Pierce University and holds numerous insurance licenses and is a registered representative with Kestra Securities, Inc. He is also an Investment Advisory Representative (IAR). 

Gian-Carl Casa
President and CEO
CT Community Nonprofit Alli an ce   (The Alliance)

In July 2016 Gian-Carl Casa became the first President and CEO of the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance (“The Alliance”), Connecticut’s statewide association of nonprofits representing nonprofit agencies across Connecticut. Before that, he served for five and a half years as Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs at the state Office of Policy and Management. At OPM he was responsible for budget-related and other legislation, managed requests for state bond funding and was in charge of communications for the agency, working closely with the Governor’s office. Before joining the administration he worked for the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, most recently as Directory of Public Policy and Advocacy, where he worked on many association-related activities. He has a BA and MA in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He lives in New Haven.


Spencer Cain
Cain Associates, LLC
Spencer Cain is currently President and Founder of Cain Associates LLC, a government relations consulting firm. Cain Associates provides services to a variety of clients including Gaffney Bennett and Associates, the state’s top lobbying firm. Cain Associates also provides consultant services to Connecticut Non Profit Alliance as well as the MetroHartford Alliance.  Since founding Cain Associates in January 2010, Spencer Cain has been providing consulting and lobbying services to clients in areas of state budget and tax policy as well as public policy research and analysis in the areas of health care, economic development, human services, legislative and regulatory affairs. Prior to 2010, Spencer Cain served as a non-partisan analyst for the Connecticut General Assembly for 30 years. 
For the first 15 years he worked as a Chief Research Analyst for the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee and conducted numerous studies of state agencies and program operations. As a chief analyst for the bipartisan committee, Spencer’s responsibilities included the supervision and management of public policy research and performance audits on state programs and conducted cost-benefit analyses on those programs to determine their effectiveness. 
From 1995 through 2009, Spencer was the Chief Budget Analyst at the legislature’s Office of Fiscal Analysis and was responsible for budget and policy formulation. Spencer managed a team of staff analysts that had budget oversight responsibility for agencies and programs in the areas of health, human services, labor, insurance, banking, public utilities, consumer protection, and legislative management and provided direct assistance and advice to legislative leadership, committee members and legislators on a wide range of budget and tax issues. In addition Spencer was responsible for calculating the state’s spending cap.

Keith Phaneuf
State Finances Reporter
The CT Mirror  
A winner of numerous journalism awards, Keith Phaneuf has been CT Mirror’s state finances reporter since it launched in 2010. The former State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Keith has spent most of 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. A former contributing writer to The New York Times, Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

Barry Simon
Oak Hill/CT Institute for the Blind
Barry Simon has served as a leader in the human services field for over 25 years.  Barry has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Oak Hill, Connecticut’s largest private provider of services to the disabled since 2013 after 20 years as Executive Director of Gilead Community Services in Middletown. Barry has tirelessly advocated for all aspects of disability services and for the staff providing those services. In particular, the reduction of institutional care, with the end goal of increasing care options while reducing the significant state deficit and improving the quality of life for those individuals provide and need such services. 

Barry holds an MPA in Health Care Administration, an MA in Marital and Family Therapy and a BA in Psychology, all from the University of Connecticut. In addition to his work in the human service field, Barry has served as an adjunct professor at Middlesex Community College in the Sociology department.

Barry’s involvement with non-profit boards, public policy, the business community, and health & human service committees has been extensive. He is currently involved with several non-profits, is an active participant and serves on the board of the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance and as one of the Division Chair of the Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Division. Barry serves on the Board of the Metro Hartford Alliance. He also serves as Executive Lead for the Medicaid Innovation Working group and as the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Connecticut Health Council. Barry has been appointed to the Governor’s Non-Profit Health & Human Services Cabinet and the IDD Partnership. Lastly, he also co-chairs the Public Policy Committee for Easterseals National.
For more information, please contact Rob Bloomstone at