Executive Director Announcement

December 21, 2023

SUMMIT – Christopher Bonner, an experienced executive with over 27 years of professional success and a long-standing commitment to service, has been appointed to serve as the next Executive Director of The Connection. The announcement was made by the Chairwoman of The Connection’s Board of Trustees Julie Lanzone.

“Chris is a dynamic leader who the Trustees are excited to partner with in directing The Connection’s second century of success,” said Lanzone. “His depth of leadership experience, knowledge of the greater Summit community and his commitment to social equity will ensure The Connection continues its deep history of program and service excellence and meaningful engagement.”

For the past four years, Bonner has been the Director of Operations for Kent Place School where he led and provided executive oversight for school-wide operations. Previously, he was an educator and then Director of Campus Operations for KIPP New Jersey, a charter school that is part of the “Knowledge is Power” national charter school system.

Bonner began his career in the United States Army and then joined the United States Coast Guard where he served in increasingly more senior roles, concluding his military career as the Deputy Chief Learning Officer for Education, Professional Development, and Advanced Distributed Learning.

As a volunteer, Bonner served for six years as a member of the Summit Board of Education and is a member of The Summit Foundation’s Board of Trustees.  

“We are especially impressed with Chris’ record of leadership and service to children and families, both personally and professionally, in the communities in which he has lived and worked,” noted Search Committee Chairwoman Maria Williams.

Bonner will succeed current Executive Director Wendy Graeb, who will be retiring in early 2024.

“The Connection has been there for the Summit community for over 100 years,” said Bonner. “It was there for our family when we moved here nine years ago, and I look forward to leading The Connection into the future and ensuring its success for another 100 years.”

The Connection is a non-profit, human service organization providing a variety of programs and activities open to everyone regardless of ability or economic circumstance. To find out more about us, including our financial assistance program or how you can help us help others with a donation, visit www.TheConnectionOnline.org.