About the Board

Robert R. Simmons

Rob Simmons has served on the Board of Directors of the Yankee Institute since 2010; and was elected Chairman on March 5, 2012. He succeeds Andrew J. Cowin who served with distinction in that capacity since 2003.

Rob has spent over 45 years in public service beginning with his enlistment in the U.S. Army in 1965 as a Private and ending as Connecticut’s Business Advocate in December 2008.

In February 2007, Rob was nominated by Connecticut Governor M. JodiRell to become Connecticut’s first Business Advocate, and he was subsequently confirmed unanimously by both houses of the Connecticut General Assembly.

Rob Simmons was the first Republican to be elected to a third term in Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District since Horace Seeley-Brown in 1954 – one half century ago. Previously, Rob served in the Connecticut General Assembly for ten years representing the 43rd District which includes the towns of Stonington and North Stonington.

As a Member of Congress, Rob supported free enterprise and advocated for jobs and the economy. He received numerous awards from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, National Association of Manufacturers and other pro-growth free market business organizations.

Rob enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1965 as a Private, graduated from Infantry Officer Candidate School in 1967, and spent 19 months in Vietnam, where he earned two Bronze Star Medals. In 1969 he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, working as an Operations Officer for a decade, including five years on assignment in East Asia.

In 1979, Rob left the CIA to join the staff of Senator John H. Chafee (R-Rhode Island). In November 1981, he was named Staff Director of the Senate Intelligence Committee by Chairman Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona) – a position he held until February 1985. Rob developed his fiscally conservative free market philosophy from Senator Goldwater.

On leaving the Committee, Simmons was commended by the 99th Congress with Senate Resolution 57 for “Distinguished Service to the United States of America.” He was also cited by CIA Director Casey for his “distinguished contribution to the intelligence community” and was awarded the CIA Seal Medallion, its highest civilian award.

In 1974, Rob Simmons married Heidi Paffard, also of Stonington. She is a public school teacher at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London, CT, specializing in early childhood education and literacy. They have two grown children and live with their three dogs in a family residence in Stonington, CT.

Andrew J. Cowin

Andrew has been a private investor since 1998 served as Chairman of the Yankee Institute from 2003-2012.

Prior to that, he was executive director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Civic Innovation. In that position, Andrew worked with mayors from around the country to find new ways of addressing urban problems.

He served from 1994 to 1995 as minority counsel to the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice in the U.S. House of Representatives.

From 1989 to 1993, Andrew was the United Nations analyst and Jay Kingham Fellow for International Trade at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He also wrote numerous papers, articles and op/eds on subjects outside the field of international affairs, including crime, drugs, federalism, and campaign-finance reform.

Andrew lives in Connecticut, is married to Allyson Tucker Cowin, and has three daughters. He has a B.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from New York Law School.

Gerald Gunderson, Treasurer

Gerald Gunderson is the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of American Business and Economic Enterprise, and Director of the Shelby Cullom Davis Endowment, at Trinity College in Hartford. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington, with a thesis in economic history supervised by Douglass North, a Nobel Laureate. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Mount Holyoke College, and North Carolina State University.

Professor Gunderson has published numerous academic papers, including studies of the cause of the American Civil War, the demise of the Roman Empire, and models of entrepreneurship. He also has authored columns in more than 20 newspapers throughout the nation, including the Wall Street Journal. He has worked with national professional associations concerning entrepreneurship, economic and business history, private enterprise systems, economic education, and public policies. He served as president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and is now editor of The Journal of Private Enterprise. He was a founding member, serves as a member of the executive board as treasurer, and directs the Academic Advisory Board for the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, Inc. He received the Freedom Foundation’s award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education in 1980. In 1996, he was appointed by the governor to the Educational Improvement Panel to develop solutions to poor public schooling in Connecticut.

Dr. Gunderson is the author of A New Economic History of America (McGraw-Hill, 1974) and The Wealth Creators: An Entrepreneurial History of the United States (E.P. Dutton, 1989) which Peter Drucker, the mentor of modern management, described as “brilliant.” He continues working on the topics of global entrepreneurship as well as the growth of anti-slavery sentiment in the U.S.

Daniel Gressel

Daniel Gressel is the president and founder of Teleos, a global macro hedge fund based in Stamford. He has served as a board member of the Yankee Institute since 2004.

From 1988 until forming Teleos in February 1991, Daniel was a portfolio manager at G.T. Capital Management. From 1986 to 1988, Daniel worked as an economist for G.T. Management (Asia) in Hong Kong. From 1984 to 1986, he traded futures and options for his own account on the Comex and New York Futures Exchange. Daniel taught economics and consulted from 1978 to 1993, teaching at Baruch College in New York and Catholic University in Santiago, Chile.

Dan received a B.S. in Business Administration from Ohio State University in 1976, and an M.A. in 1978 and Ph.D. in 1984 in economics from the University of Chicago.

Ken Boudreau

Ken Boudreau is an investor and active member of his community. In addition to his service on the Yankee Institute Board of Directors, he is a a Trustee for the New Britain Museum of Art in New Britain and Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford.

Mr. Boudreau is a Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the CT Chapter of National Association of Staffing Services, the Wheeler Clinic in Plainville, CT, a Past President of the Board of Trustees of The Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT, a Past Director of the CT Business and Industry Association, a Past Trustee of Catholic Charities, Archodiocese of Hartford, and a Past Trustee of the Hillstead Museum in Farmington.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Hartford and Ken also served in the United States Marine Corps as a commissioned officer, serving in Vietnam where he rose to the rank of captain.

Ken resides with his wife Judy in Farmington. They have a daughter and son-in-law and one granddaughter.

George W. Schiele

George W. Schiele is president of George Warren Schiele, Inc., president and CEO of 4003 Corporation, and a director of Connecticut Innovations, Inc., where he serves as chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee.

George has been a Yankee Institute board member since 2001, and was appointed to the executive board in 2005. He is also a member of the Cato Institute, and Rainier and Penn Clubs.

An accomplished author, with bylines in over 30 newspapers and trade publications, including the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Naval Institute Proceedings, Los Angeles Times, and Forum, in 2003 George had an article published in Investor’s Business Daily that analyzed the growth of public employment in Connecticut and the state’s growing debt.

George resides in Greenwich with his wife Joan. They have three children and three grandchildren.

He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, College of Liberal Arts and Wharton School, Bachelor of Science in Economics (Finance).

Andy Jones

Andy founded North Star Partners, LP, an alternative investment program.  Prior to that, he was a managing director at Tweedy, Browne Company, LP and a Securities Analyst at Glickenhaus & Company.

Andy served as a director of Cornell Companies, Inc., a private corrections operator, from 2007-2010. During 2008, he also served as a director of Chem Rx Corporation, an institutional pharmacy provider.

Andy is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the New York Society of Securities Analysts.  He received a B.S. in Finance from Ithaca College and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.

Kevin North

Kevin is the founder and President of Talcott Realty Investors. Prior to founding Talcott, he was vice president and director of real estate for The Hartford.

Kevin is involved with a number of local and national associations. He is president of the Simsbury Fire District, chairman of the Simsbury Fire District’s Building Committee, a board member of the Children’s Educational Opportunity Foundation, trustee of the Masons Island Yacht Club, vice chair of the Simsbury Republican Town Committee, and a member of the Board of Finance of Simsbury.

Kevin also served as a member of the board for Mechanics Bank, a past member of the Salvation Army’s Advisory Board, and is an honorary Life Member of the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Department.

He received his B.A. in Economics from Trinity College.  He is married to Valerie, his wife of 38 years, and they have two daughters, Megan and Lindsay, both graduates of Trinity College.

Penny Young

Penny Young is an active member of the community. In addition to her commitment to the Yankee Institute, Penny is a board member for the League of Women Voters, Stamford Symphony Orchestra, New Canaan Garden Center, Senior Center of New Canaan, Waveny Care Network, Southwestern CT Area Agency on Aging and Norwalk Community College. Penny has served on the New Canaan Town Council since 1997.

She is also president of the Connecticut Area Agencies on Aging and the Elder Care Council of New Canaan. In 2007, Penny was appointed to the CT Commission on Aging, which she still serves.

Penny is a graduate of the University of Delaware, B.A. in Modern Languages, and the College of New Rochelle, M.S. in Gerontology. Penny and her husband Bob live in New Canaan.