Meet the 2021 Democratic Candidates

Bas Nabulsi

About Bas

Bas and his wife have lived in Wilton since 1992. Bas served on Wilton’s Planning & Zoning Commission in two stints totaling more than ten years, contributing to Wilton’s last two Plans of Conservation and Development. Bas is an intellectual property attorney who works with companies, universities and individuals to protect, enforce and monetize their innovations. Bas is active in the community in other ways, including serving on the Boards of the World Affairs Forum (chairman) and CT Legal Services, and teaching as an adjunct at Quinnipiac Law School. Bas helped to establish two pro bono clinics with CT Legal Services; a pardons clinic and a housing justice program aimed at addressing pandemic-related housing issues. Their two sons both graduated from Wilton High School.

“As a former Planning and Zoning Commissioner, I have a strong interest in seeing the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development executed and the community’s vision realized. I understand the important role the Board of Selectmen plays in that process.”

Keith Denning

About Keith

Keith, a relative newcomer to Wilton having moved from Ohio with his wife in 2017, brings a strong history of service both locally and globally. In 2021, Keith was appointed as an alternate to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Keith has been a practicing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for the past 38 years working initially as a staff anesthetist in hospitals in Missouri and Ohio and then as the Chief Anesthetist for two outpatient surgical hospitals in Cincinnati. Keith has served on medical missions though out the world first working with Operation Smile and then with PCRF, a medical organization that works throughout the Middle East. With a background in Catholic social teaching, Keith has also volunteered for many organizations working to find solutions for healthcare and housing needs as well as helping to relocate refugees.

“I hope to bring my experience of service to Wilton and build a strong and welcoming community for the next generation of families and businesses.”

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Sandra Arkell

About Sandra

In 2020, Wilton’s Board of Finance unanimously voted for Sandy to fill a vacancy. Sandy and her family decided to make Wilton their permanent home in 2017 after falling in love with its charm and scenic countryside, spending summers and holidays here. Sandy is Executive Vice President and Principal Accounting Officer for MasterCard. She is responsible for the global financial reporting function and ensuring the quality and integrity of the company’s financial statements and internal controls. Her 25-plus-year career includes financial leadership positions in accounting and finance, strategic planning, risk management and mergers and acquisitions at several Fortune 500 companies. Sandy began her career as a CPA in the audit and assurance practice of Pricewaterhouse Coopers after earning her Bachelors’ degree in Accounting from Penn State University, where she currently serves on the Accounting Advisory Board for the College of Business. Sandy also serves on the board of the Women’s Business Development Council of CT, a charitable organization supporting entrepreneurs through financial education and other services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across our State.

“I am running for office because I want to give back to this wonderfully unique town and feel my skills and experience are best contributed to the Board of Finance in carrying out its important work overseeing Wilton’s finances.”

Frank Bria

About Frank

Having determined that Wilton was the ideal place to raise their children, Frank and his wife moved to Wilton in 2008. Frank has served on several nonprofit boards focused on the educational needs of underserved children. Frank is a Senior Vice President with Gen Re has extensive legal experience, specializing in advising property and casualty executives and boards on strategic growth, designing new products, and potential business investments and risk transfer solutions. Prior to Gen Re, Frank was an Associate with Day Pitney, working on commercial disputes, federal securities class action lawsuits, white-collar criminal investigations, SEC enforcement actions, and internal investigations. Frank started his career as a federal law clerk in Texas. Frank received his B.A. from Amherst College and his JD from Boston College Law School.

“I am running as a fiscal guardian and a passionate advocate for children’s education. Education for our children is a critical and strategic long-term investment for our community. In order to support our educational goals and priorities, it is vital that we attract and retain businesses in Wilton.”

Events

Deborah Low

About Deborah

Debbie was elected to the Board of Education in 2017 and elected Chair in 2019. She was Superintendent of the Ridgefield School District for eight years. Before that, she worked for 20 years in Wilton public schools, including serving as Wilton High School principal and district assistant superintendent. Under Debbie’s leadership, the Wilton Board of Education has worked as a non-partisan team to define strategic goals, evaluate progress, support new programs, set policies, and advocate for necessary resources. Last year, team work was especially important as the Board focused on providing a quality experience for all students while ensuring their safety and working within the extraordinary confines of the global pandemic. The Board continues to focus on priorities such as a strengthening the math program, improving public communication and outreach and producing a budget that meets district needs and is fiscally responsible. Debbie is a 24-year resident of Wilton. Both her sons graduated from Wilton High School.

“I am excited to run again because of the challenges ahead. After last year, we must ensure a smooth transition back to more normal conditions and provide students with support tailored to their individual needs. We recently endorsed an ambitious portrait of the Wilton graduate and now need to match our curriculum and instruction to those aspirations. My commitment remains to maintain and improve upon Wilton’s legacy of educational excellence.” 

Pam Ely

About Pam

Pam has been a Wilton resident for nearly 40 years and has spent her entire career devoted to education and child advocacy giving young children the tools and confidence to become lifelong learners. For the past 20 years, she has been the Director of The Children’s Day School in Wilton (CDSW). Prior to CDSW, she was the founder and co-director of the Mitten Hill School a preschool that served as a state model of mainstreaming special needs children. She worked in special education at the Miller-Driscoll for 10 years. Pam holds both a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education, and a Masters of Teaching. She has lived in Wilton since 1983. Pam’s daughter graduated from Wilton High School.

“I have a mission to give young people a good start in life, and that means providing an enriched and wonderful educational experience, helping the young become confident learners and approaching life with a sense of adventure. I want to give back to the town I love. I feel my mission and experience as an educator fits perfectly with the Board of Education.”

Nicola Davies

About Nicola

Nicola and her husband moved to Wilton in 2005 for the small town feel and excellent schools. Nicola quickly involved herself in a variety of organizations in town, including Minks to Sinks, A Better Chance, Wilton Youth Council and Wilton Go Green. Her true passion has been the schools, she has devoted a great deal of time to all four PTAs over the last ten years. She is Treasurer at Wilton High School PTSA and a board member of the Music Boosters. Nicola has served as a substitute teacher at Middlebrook and has served as a parent voice on many district-level committees, where she is valued for her experience, positivity, and ability to see the big picture. Her two sons are students at the high school. Nicola has a BS in Economics.

“As an active member of the PTA, I have built strong relationships over the past year 10 years. I believe I can make a difference by working with the Board of Education, the schools and Wilton parents to improve the channels of communication and increase transparency.”

Eric Fanwick

About Eric

Eric was elected to Planning & Zoning in 2017 after previously serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals for five years and on the Water Pollution Authority for seven years. He is an independent database consultant. Eric has lived in Wilton for 22 years with his wife and four children.

“I’m running for office because Wilton is at a crossroads and the architectural character of the Town may greatly change in the next few years unless we are able to control our destiny through initiatives like the master plan. I feel my experience on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the water pollution control authority will help me guide Wilton to the future we all want.”

Ken Hoffman

About Ken

Ken has lived in Wilton for over 21 years. Before moving to Wilton, he lived in Easton, CT where he served on the Board of Finance. Ken and his family have built or restored four homes in Wilton, giving him a strong appreciation of how our planning and zoning regulations contribute to Wilton. Since 2018, Ken has served on the Wilton Pension Investment Committee, helping guide our investment strategy. Ken is the President of Optima Group, a consulting firm to the financial services industry. He holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and received his MS. from Yale University. Ken sits on the board of Access Help, a national charity providing peer-to-peer counseling. Ken and his partner have four daughters and one son all of whom graduated from Wilton High School.

“I am running for P&Z to help set guidelines and policy that will support a diverse and thriving community that all of us can be proud of and love. As an avid hiker and cyclist, I am especially keen on maintaining our mix of rural and urban spaces.”

Tom Gunther • Zoning Board Of Appeals

About Tom

Tom is concluding his full 4-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals and serves as the board’s Secretary. Prior to moving to Wilton 14 years ago, he lived in Westchester County and served as a ZBA chair for 13 years, gaining extensive experience in handling land use and zoning issues. Tom is also the Executive Director of Wilton CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), an active member of the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corp and a licensed amateur radio operator. Tom’s work experience includes 27 years in the banking and finance industry and 20 years in the global communications industry. Tom is married, and has thee grown children.

Jaclyn Coleman • Zoning Board Of Appeals

About Jaclyn

Jaclyn was elected to the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2019. She is a practicing real estate attorney and Managing Member of Jaclyn S. Coleman, PLC, a firm representing sellers and purchasers in residential transactions in the five boroughs of NY, Westchester County, Long Island and Connecticut. Her professional experience makes her adept at interpreting zoning regulations and aware of the importance of balancing implementation of these regulations with the unique nature of certain real property. Jaclyn, her husband and two sons have lived in Wilton since 2013.

Robert Wallace • Board of Assessment Appeals

About Robert

Bob Wallace was recently appointed to the Board of Assessment Appeals by the Board of Selectmen to fill a vacancy. Bob is Executive Vice President with Willis RE and is a seasoned member of the Casualty Actuarial Society with extensive experience in casualty actuarial science and all aspects of reinsurance treaty placement, reinsurance pricing, and risk and capital management. Prior to Willis RE, he was president of North Nod Consultants providing strategic reinsurance consulting. Bob is an Unaffiliated candidate running on the Democratic slate.

Constable

Bo Mitchell

About Bo

Bo was Police Commissioner of Wilton 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, Hyatt, MasterCard and 31 university and corporate campuses nationwide. Bo has earned 22 certifications in homeland security, emergency management, disaster recovery, business continuity, safety and security, and was instrumental in the creation of the Wilton Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). He also serves as an expert in court cases nationally.

Ernest Ricco

About Ernie

Ernie was elected constable in 2017. Ernie has a long history of community and government engagement. First elected to the Stratford Town Council at the age of 22, he has held numerous government posts. Ernie has been Chairperson of the Wilton Democratic Platform committee since 1999 and has served as Connecticut delegate to numerous state and national conventions since 2000. Ernie is the owner of Ricco Enterprises, a construction management and property operations firm. Ernie and his wife have lived in Wilton since 1994. They have six children who have either graduated from or currently attend the Wilton schools.

Richard Ziegler

About Dick

Dick has a long history of service to the town of Wilton as a former Wilton Constable, former Vice Chairman of the Inland Wetlands Committee and founder and former Executive Director of the Wilton Community Emergency Response Team, (CERT). Dick holds certification in FEMA emergency protocols. His extensive career included finance, marketing and operations management. Dick and his wife have been members of our community for close to 30 years.

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