At its first meeting of the year, on February 27, 2018, at the Olive Chendali Room in the East Lyme Community Center, the Foundation was pleased to welcome a new officer and new members.
The new Vice-President of the group will be Jessica Todd, the Director of Finance at Chelsea Groton Bank. Ms. Todd, who has a Master’s degree in Accounting from Bryant College, is also the Treasurer of the East Lyme Middle School PTA. In addition, she is on the Sponsorship Committee of the East Lyme Little League. Ms. Todd is dedicated to continuing the Foundation’s support of the Boardwalk, The Promise of Tomorrow’s Trees, the new Bandshell, and the Grass Project to help stabilize the beach. Ms. Todd will be replacing John T. Hoye, who has served as Vice-President since 2003. Mr. Hoye will remain as a Director of the Foundation.
Another new member is Jo-el Fernandez, a Social Work Supervisor for the Department of Children and Families, State of CT. She is also on the Board of Directors at Temple Emanu-EL in Waterford and a volunteer for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Jo-el was interested in joining the ELPTF to “help keep our town beautiful and preserve its ‘village’ character.”
She will be joined by Rasa Clark, a Real Estate Agent at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. Rasa said that she and her husband moved to East Lyme 14 years ago because they “fell in love with its charm, beaches, and wonderful people.” Because of her love and desire to help others, she desired to be part of ELPTF.
An additional new member is Sandy Greenhouse, an M.D. in Internal Medicine with the Gales Ferry Medical Group. Because of his love for hiking, walking, swimming, concerts, and community event, he was “motivated to join ELPTF to help improve the physical and cultural beauty of East Lyme.”
The final new member welcomed into the group was Ted Norris, President of Pamlico Group. Ted, with his wife and two young children, moved back to Niantic in 2014. His marketing and branding firm specializes in the marine and fishing industries. Since the boardwalk is a daily part of his family’s life during spring and summer, he was motivated to join ELPTF “to promote the coastal areas of our community and create environments where people can enjoy our coast.” He will serve on the Executive Committee.
Other members of the Executive Committee are Donna Gada, June Hoye, John Hoye, Carol Marelli, and Bob DeSanto. Other directors are Bryan Buckley, Anne Chekal, Holly Nye, William Rinoski, Gary Orifice, Polly DeSanto, John Whritner, James Gallagher, Vic Vicari, Mathew Whittico, and Andrew Pappas-Honorary Life Member.
In addition to the new Vice-President, Jessica Todd, other officers who will continue to lead the group are President, Joe Legg; Secretary, Michelle Maitland; and Treasurer, Kathie Cassidy.
During the meeting, the Foundation gratefully recognized the work of Departing Directors- Pat and Jack Lewis. The Lewises have served on the Foundation since its inception in 1995. For the past five years, they have served on the Publicity Committee of The Promise of Tomorrow’s Trees project. Each year they would take on the task of delivering posters to all of the businesses on Niantic Main St. In 2016, they both were also crucial organizers of the Boardwalk Re-dedication.
Holly Cheeseman, Representative in the 37th District, presented them with a citation, from the State of Connecticut co-sponsored by Senator Paul Formica, for their exemplary community service. Their enthusiasm and counsel, during 23 years of volunteer service, will be sorely missed.