Our Executive Director and Staff

Phyllis Cortese – Executive Director

A professional in the entertainment and recording industry for over 25 years, Phyllis has been a recording artist and manager with MCA and RCA Records. She developed marketing campaigns, booked venues and managed international tours and directed global product promotion with television, radio and concert appearances. She produced and directed promotional videos and national and regional television and radio spots. Phyllis managed an FM radio station in the Los Angeles market and produced regional music festivals. She served as executive director of a nonprofit arts organization in California and on the board of directors for many nonprofit organizations such as American Cancer Society, Rotary International, American Heart Association, Leukemia Society, Hospice, Thousand Oaks Arts Commission, county-wide Chambers of Commerce and numerous others. Phyllis also served on the board of the Connecticut Arts Alliance.

Phyllis hosts the Charter Communications program, “Local Edition,” and received a NECTA – New England Cable and Telecommunications Association Award – (Individual Achievement Cable Television Program Host).


Alexis Koukos – Office & Event Manager

Alexis combines her passion for the community and business management in her position as Office & Event Manager. She is responsible for all financial matters and event planning, sharing her creativity, compassion and love of the arts with the greater community. Alexis studied dance, frequents the theater, and is an avid writer. She currently reports on local features for the Hersam Acorn Newspapers in Fairfield County.

Alexis’ commitment to helping others began at a young age. While in high school and college, she organized multiple charity fashion shows, raising money for Save the Children and Habitat for Humanity. Her volunteer work includes Relay for Life, Junior Achievement, and Family & Children’s Aid.  Alexis also serves on the Sacred Heart Church Parish Council and is a faith formation teacher.

She graduated summa cum laude from Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Accounting and minors in Finance and Professional Writing. Alexis received the Business Dean’s Award and the Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award for academic excellence and community service in 2016. During her undergraduate career, Alexis was an active member in the Kathwari Honors Program, serving as a teaching assistant, student worker, and tutor and she continues to be an active WCSU alumna.  Recently, she won the 2017 Milli Award from the Fairfield and Westchester County Business Journals, recognizing professionals who are on their way to changing the world.