Leta Highsmith was employed as Vice President of Business Development for Specialized Packaging Group for 20 years. Upon retirement in 2010, she turned her time and talents to serving her community. Leta is the Board Chair of Junta for Progressive Action; a non-profit organization that provides a wide range of education, counseling, legal, and social services to the Latinx community in the Greater New Haven area to advance an inclusive social, economic, and civic community for all.
Leta is also a founding member of the Dixwell Avenue Arts Festival, exposing New Haven's urban youth to a wide array of arts mediums. In addition, Leta is in her 20th year as the director of the children's choir at the Dixwell Avenue Congregational UCC in New Haven. Leta is a member of the Board of Directors of "Jane Doe No More" - a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower survivors of sexual assault to find their voice, advance their healing and educate others. She speaks on panels and in classrooms bringing JDNM's signature program, "Safe Student Initiative," to students from middle school through college.
As a Licensed Bicycling Instructor, certified by the League of American Bicyclists, Leta shares her love of cycling by teaching bicycle safety, bicycle maintenance, and bicycle handling skills to children and adults all across the state. Leta is recipient of the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Southern Connecticut Black Nurses' Association. Leta received her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut and her MBA in International Business from the University of New Haven.