Campaign 2019

We are excited by the truly high caliber of our 2019 slate, and we thank the candidates for their willingness to serve our town. Each one of the Democratic candidates is fully engaged in the life of Wilton. They understand our town, our schools, and our neighbors, and they will make real differences in the tone and responsiveness of our town’s government. – Tom Dubin, Wilton Democratic Town Committee Chair

The Democrats have assembled an incredibly talented group of candidates, who were chosen because of their remarkable competence, strong work ethic, and their proven ability to work well with others. They are an extraordinary group whose common goal is to keep Wilton a great place to live. – Ross Tartell, DTC Nominations Committee Chair

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Deborah McFadden

Deb has spent her lifetime working to make her community better. She currently serves on the Wilton Board of Selectmen; first filling an open position and now as the highest vote-getter for selectmen in the last election. Deb has worked on behalf of the Wilton Security Task Force, Norwalk River Valley Trail, STAR Lighting the Way (supporting those with disabilities), Trackside and Sustainable CT.

Deb represented Connecticut as a member of the 2008 Electoral College. She served on the Mayor’s staff of Salt Lake City after successfully developing programs in the SLC Police Department Crime Prevention Program. She is currently the Director of Business Development for Stronger International, an IT security and training consultancy.

Deb and her husband, Jack, have lived in Wilton for more than 20 years. All of their children attended Wilton Schools. She is a graduate of Utah State University, in Journalism and Political Science.

Ceci Maher

Ceci is an experienced leader in long-range planning, budgeting, program development, evaluation, fundraising and marketing. From 2005 – 2019, Ceci was CEO of Person-to-Person, a social service agency serving 25,000 people annually in Fairfield County. Under Ceci’s leadership, Person-to-Person experienced significant growth in delivering services and programs, and expanded from one to three sites.

Ceci has served in many capacities on numerous boards including Chairperson of Minks to Sinks, Board Member of Wilton A Better Chance (ABC) for 8+ years and the library board. In 2019, Ceci was appointed to the Board of Finance.

Ceci and her husband, Rob, have lived in Wilton since 1988. Her children all graduated from WHS. Ceci is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and Columbia University School of Social Work. She received professional training at the Stanford Social Innovation Nonprofit Management Institute and the Harvard Business School Executive Education program.

Ross Tartell

Ross has spent his career helping individuals become successful leaders, and enabling organizations to achieve peak performance. He runs a leadership development consulting firm and teaches at Columbia University. Previously Ross worked in managerial capacities at GE Capital and Pfizer. He holds an M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. In his commitment to public service, Ross applies his extensive business experience and skills to help others find common ground and unlock hidden opportunities to better serve the community.

Ross is a Wilton Fire Commissioner, chaired long-range planning teams in the Wilton Schools for 22 years, and is involved in a wide range of community and professional activities. Ross and his wife, Karen, have lived in Wilton since 1989. Their son graduated from WHS and is now in graduate school.

Kevin Gardiner

Kevin has nearly two decades of experience working with companies to improve their operational efficiencies, while also improving both the employee and customer experience. He has worked in various Management and Senior Management positions at multi-million dollar startups, and multi-billion dollar companies. Kevin is currently the SVP of Operations for Wilton-based Talivity, supporting the rapid growth of their portfolio companies.

Kevin has been a Wilton Energy Commissioner since November 2017, where he is currently the Vice Chair and Secretary, and he has been a Student Mentor and Judge at UCONN’s Innovation Quest Program since 2018.

Kevin and his wife, Mauricia, moved to Wilton in 2016; their daughter and son are preparing for 2nd grade and preschool. He received a BSBA in Finance from Bryant University, and an MBA from The University of Connecticut.

Jung Soo Kim

Jung Soo and her husband, Gene, have raised their three children in Gene’s hometown, Wilton, for the past 15 years. With her youngest entering Middlebrook, Jung Soo earned her Masters in Software Engineering and started a new career in technology where she leverages her quantitative and qualitative analytical skills in the financial data industry.

Jung Soo has been an active volunteer in the Wilton public schools and PTA’s. She has shared her interests and knowledge with the Wilton community by teaching computer programming summer camps at the Wilton Library and organizing a financial literacy group.

Jung Soo received a BA in History from the University of Chicago and her Masters in Software Engineering from Fairfield University.

Mike Kaelin

Mike has served in leadership positions in Wilton town government and community organizations for more than twenty years, including as a member of the Board of Selectmen and a member of the Charter Commission, President and a member of the Finance and Executive Committees of the Wilton Library, and Vice President of Civic Affairs for the Wilton Chamber of Commerce.

Mike is an attorney and a Principal in Cummings & Lockwood LLC in Stamford. In appreciation for their volunteer service, Mike and his wife, Carol, were recipients of the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Riverbrook Regional YMCA in 2015. Mike and Carol have lived in Wilton since 1993. Each of their four children attended the Wilton Pubic Schools from kindergarten through high school.

Mike received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Duke University in 1981 and 1984, respectively.

Chris Stroup

Chris has been chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of Wilton Re Ltd. since its founding in 2004 and an operating partner at Stone Point Capital for 15 years. Previously, Chris was the CEO of Swiss Re Life & Health America Inc. and the CFO of a publicly traded life insurer. Chris began his career at Ernst & Young LLP and was admitted to the partnership in 1993.

Chris served on the Wilton’s Board of Education for four years and was appointed to the inaugural Economic Development Commission.

Wilton welcomed Chris and Catherine in 1994. Sarah and Alex attended our exceptional public schools before matriculating to excellent universities. Chris earned a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

 

Savet Constantine

Savet is a dedicated advocate for pragmatically achieving the highest quality educational experiences and outcomes for Wilton’s students, parents and educators. She has demonstrated her commitment to community service through multiple leadership positions, most recently as WHS PTSA president for the past 3 years. Previous roles included Middlebrook PTA president, WHS PTSA Secretary, Parent at Large for WHS PTSA and Middlebrook PTA, and Wilton PTA Council VP of Budget and Reflections Chair.

Savet has worked on initiatives and programs focused on budget, academic curriculum and extracurricular activities. Savet brings her previous experience in international marketing and education to these roles having received a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a BA from Carleton College.

Savet and her husband live in Wilton with their son, a rising WHS senior. Their daughter is a WHS graduate attending Carnegie Mellon University.

Ruth DeLuca

Ruth and her husband moved to Wilton in 2016 for its excellent schools and small, caring community. They have 3 children making their way through Miller-Driscoll and pre-school. Ruth is a member of the Miller-Driscoll PTA and strongly believes in the value of public education and local control, oversight, and decision making.

As a Director at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, she advocated for science based drug regulatory policy and worked with manufacturers of cancer and orphan disease drugs to get their point of view heard in Congress. In private practice, she helps people navigate the healthcare system.

Ruth graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 2011, and is a member of the New York Bar. She holds a Masters of Philosophy and Social Policy from The George Washington University, and her BA from Northeastern University in Economics and Political Science.

Rem Bigosinski

Rem is a licensed landscape architect who has designed public spaces for nearly a decade, from Shanghai to Connecticut. Rem’s approach to design is story and research driven, from high-profile mixed use projects, to residential homes and corporate campuses to streetscape design. In addition to his design practice, Rem teaches architectural engineering courses at Norwalk Community College part-time. He also volunteers on Wilton’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

Rem and his wife, Pola, have lived in Wilton since 2018. Rem has a BFA from UConn and an MLA from The Rhode Island School of Design. He was also a Fulbright Fellow to Poland where he studied bronze casting and sculpture.

Florence Johnson

Florence grew up in Wilton and raised her family here.  She brings to P&Z intimate knowledge of the land and decades of perspective on the town’s built environment and values. Florence has a long history of community engagement as a member of Wilton League of Women Voters, Wilton Presbyterian Church, Wilton YMCA, Wilton Kiwanis and community educator for Universal Healthcare Foundation of Connecticut and AccessHealthCT.

Now an administrator in the Social Work Department at Sacred Heart University, Florence has also served as a policy analyst, managed operations subject to regulatory compliance, and designed impact assessments, community engagement programs, and implementation plans.

Florence received her BA in Literature from the U.C. Santa Cruz and her Masters in Health Advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College. Florence is also a graduate of UConn’s Master Gardener program. Skills acquired studying Landscape and Garden Design at the Brooklyn and New York Botanical Gardens enabled her to design approved site and building plans for recently completed home renovations. 

Peter Squitieri

Peter loves Wilton for its rural beauty, for its strong community spirit, and for its outstanding schools. Being on the P&Z commission will let him translate this attachment into helping make sure that the next Master Plan both preserves these qualities, and encourages the managed growth necessary to assure our continued excellence.

For the last 35 years Peter has had a successful IT consulting business with long-term clients from the Fortune 100, as well as numerous clients in the local area. He has also been a founder and Treasurer of several area service organizations.

Peter has lived in Fairfield county most of his life, growing up in New Canaan, and living in Stamford, Westport, and Norwalk before settling in Wilton in 2013. He and his wife Annette have two sons who both attend WHS.

John Gardiner

John has been involved in land use issues for many years. His interest began while he was still in law school when he served as a legal assistant to the Zoning Appeals Board in Indianapolis IN. It continued through his Chairmanship of the Board of Zoning and Architectural Review in Crested Butte, Co.

In Wilton, he has served on the Inland Wetlands Commission (Chairman), the Zoning Board of Appeals (Vice-Chairman) and the Planning and Zoning Commission (Secretary). Currently retired, he volunteers for the Wilton Food Pantry and Stay at Home in Wilton.

John has a BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from Indiana University. He and his wife, Julia, have lived in Wilton for over 25 years.

Sunila Kapur

Sunila has made Wilton her home since 1975. She started her career as a teacher at a private school in NJ. After moving to Wilton she entered the real estate industry. She started by building and remodeling homes here in Wilton in the 1980s and 1990s and is currently a real estate agent in town. Sunila is also a member of the Wilton Encore Club which promotes friendship and mutual support through social activities and helps raise funds to benefit agencies that provide social services to the local community. Sunila is co-Chairperson of international activities.

Sunila earned her BSE,B,ED in home economics from Lady Irwin college in New Delhi India. Sunila has two children who both graduated from WHS and Columbia University.

Bob Zsunkan

Bob recently retired after 45 years working for many of the world’s top reinsurance companies. Through his work he helped to preserve assets, assess risk and comply with government regulations through his role as Vice President & Audit Manager.

Putting his financial, mathematical and audit skills to work, Bob served as an Alternate to the Board of Assessment Appeals during the revaluation and appeals process in the Spring of 2019.

Bob and his wife, Alison, have lived in Wilton since 1993. Their two sons were educated in the Wilton school system. Bob holds an MBA and BBA/Accounting from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. Additionally, Bob is a Certified Internal Auditor (retired) (CIA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and has an Associate in Reinsurance designation (ARe).

Bo Mitchell

Bo was Police Commissioner of Wilton, CT for 16 years. He has been an elected Constable for 18 years since leaving the Police Commission. When he retired as Police Commissioner, Bo founded 911 Consulting which creates emergency, disaster recovery, business continuity, crisis communications and pandemic plans, plus training and exercises for organizations like GE HQ, Hyatt HQ, MasterCard HQ and 31 campuses nationwide. He serves clients headquartered from Boston to LA working in their facilities from London to San Francisco.

Bo has earned 22 certifications in homeland security, emergency management, disaster recovery, business continuity, safety and security. He also serves as an expert in landmark court cases nationally.

Ernie Ricco

Ernie is the owner of Ricco Enterprises, a construction management and property operations firm since 1988. Ernie has a long history of community and government engagement. He was elected to the Stratford Town Council at the age of 22 and held numerous government posts including the School Building Committee. Ernie has been Chairperson of the Wilton Democratic Platform committee since 1999 and has served as a Delegate representing Connecticut Democrats at numerous state and national conventions since 2000. Ernie is also a 20 year coach at the collegiate and high school level.

Ernie and his wife, Brenda, have lived in Wilton since 1994. They have 6 children all of whom have graduated from or currently attend the Wilton’s public schools. Ernie has a BS in Economics from Southern Connecticut State University.

Paul Soley

Paul has spent the past 25 years facilitating economic globalization as a leader within the corporate relocation industry. His career has taken him from an entry level position at a large multinational company to a leadership role at his own 2014 startup assisting foreign nationals arriving in the U.S on work visas settle into the New York tri-state area.

A member of Wilton Baptist Church since 2008, Paul has exhibited his dedication to service through leadership roles on the Missions Committee of the church, as a member of the Ministries Council of the denomination, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and as a deacon serving church members.

Paul has lived in Connecticut for 17 years. He and his wife, Elizabeth, moved to Wilton in 2007.Paul is a native of Minneapolis, and University of Minnesota alumnus.

 

Photos by Tom Grotta art@BrownGrotta.com