Anita B. Pettengill
Anita Pettengill is president and co-founder of Make a Home Foundation. She cofounded Make a Home in 2010 with her husband Dan Telesco.
Anita and Dan started Make a Home Foundation because of their passion to help those in need. While watching an episode of Oprah that portrayed many female veterans suffering in silence, Anita and Dan realized the urgency of helping our veterans who have fought for our freedom.
Anita’s vision didn’t stop with helping veterans. She felt there were too many people in Connecticut that needed help, so she expanded her reach to not only veterans but all people that fall into poverty for one reason or another. As Anita and Dan attended tag sales, they came to notice that so much is going into our landfills that could be used by people who are homeless and getting back on their feet. From there it began; with a little red pickup truck they started collecting items. Word caught on fast and now Make a Home Foundation, along with the Amazing Store, has a wonderful 46,000 square foot building.
Anita resides in Sandy Hook, Connecticut with her husband, her children and her sister. For many years, Anita worked as counselor and case manager for families with substance abuse problems. As the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Anita has personal experience with PTSD, which she has used to counsel people. She has also worked as real estate agent and has a background in retail sales. Anita started her education at Norwalk Community College. She went on to attend Western Connecticut State University and also attended Real Estate University. Anita has a long history of volunteer work. She has been on the board of various charities and agencies throughout her life.
Anita, along with Make a Home Foundation, has helped improved the lives of thousands of people and is committed to doing so for years to come.
Directors and Advisers
Annette grew up in Waterbury CT and has a sincere desire to see the Downtown area thrive as it had in the past. Annette has always been active in the community and served as a Board Member for the Women’s Business Network and Watertown Chamber of Commerce. Annette also served as Chairman for CT Dance Theatre and was an Ambassador for the Waterbury Chamber of Commerce.
I was raised in Plainville, Connecticut, and graduated Plainville High School in 2001. Following High School, I entered Seminary sponsored by the Archdiocese of Hartford. I was assigned to St. Thomas Seminary Bloomfield, CT for a short time. I was transferred to Boston to attend St. John Seminary and Boston College to begin my Philosophy studies and Humanities. Following my brief year of studies, I was assigned to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, PA, where I spent my last three years of studies and discernment.
After four and a half years in seminary, I discerned that I was not called to the priesthood and moved back to Connecticut. I was employed for several years at The Hartford as a Property and Casualty Specialist. At The Hartford, I specialized in a variety of Property and Casualty product and moved through the ranks quickly, receiving a number of promotions and rewards. After several years of services at The Hartford, I left the organization to take care of my father, who was dying from cancer. I became his primary home health aide until his death 2 years later.
Following the death of my father, I was offered a position as FM Facility Maintenance, where I managed the Preventative Maintenance for a number of large retail stores. I oversaw millions of dollars worth of maintenance for TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Dollar General, Michael’s, Aaron Brother and American Eagle Outfitter. I was privileged to oversee over 7,500 stores across the United States and Canada. Although I enjoyed the challenge, I realized this was not my true employment vocation and left in early 2013.
At the encouragement of my wife Viviana, I decided to accept a position at the St. Vincent DePaul Shelter in Waterbury as a case manager. The shelter became a passion and a great love. I was humbled to serve the poorest of the poor and provide assistance to men, women and families. During this time, my wife and I decided to begin our family, therefore made some changes in order to ensure our growing family was well taken care of. Thus, we purchased a home in my hometown of Plainville, and my wife became pregnant with our first child in March I accepted a position as a case manager at the WorkPlace, enabling me to continue my work with the homeless, with a focus on homeless veterans.
My wife and I have dedicated ourselves to the service of the poor. Both my wife and I are case managers in inner cities and have a great love for the inner city poor. Both my wife and I are active members of St. Margaret Church in Waterbury, where we wit on the Stewardship Committee and the Social Services Committee. I am also a member to the Waterbury Homeless Services Committee, the Waterbury and the Danbury Continuum of Care Committees, and I have fostered a vast network of agencies, foundations and for profit organizations in the greater Waterbury area.
Kevin Yacko was born, raised and has raised four children with his wife in Newtown, CT.
Kevin was a licensed heating and plumbing specialist. For the past 25 years, he has owned multiple companies. Kevin has done landscape design, built roads and outside construction, including septic systems and drainage. Currently, Kevin owns and operates an excavation business with his three sons and a tree business with his two nephews. His wife and daughter are also employees of the family business, doing mostly office work.
When Kevin’s son returned from Afghanistan he bought a flag which hangs off the boom of the bucket truck and is displayed every holiday to honor soldiers and veterans.
Kevin is always willing to help other with his many talents and resourcefulness. After the tragedy in Newtown, Kevin, along with his wife and son, started the Sandy Hook Family Memorial to help children across the world.