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25 Most Dedicated, Most Creative, Most Influential

Cara Blazier is a former clinical social worker. A Litchfield resident, she is a trustee of the Oliver Wolcott Library and has served on its Festival Committee for seven years. She volunteers for Friends in Service to Humanity (FISH) in Torrington, the Litchfield Aid of the Connecticut Junior Republic, and is a trustee of the Litchfield Historical Society where she co-chairs the Membership Committee.

Carol & Bill Jones are both active with Food Rescue, which distributes surplus food from area restaurants and markets to several food banks. She is a trustee of the Litchfield Historical Society where she chairs the Collections Committee. She  is the founder of the Litchfield chapter of Quilts That Care, an organization that creates and distributes quilts to patients undergoing cancer treatment at ten area hospitals. He is active with the Litchfield-Morris Rotary, the Litchfield Community Greenway, and the Litchfield Design Review Advisory Committee.

Elliott Davis, a former venture capitalist, founded Mine Hill Distillery in Roxbury where he restored several iconic buildings and received a Historic Preservation Award of Merit from the state. He also started New Leaf Farm, dedicated to raising Icelandic sheep, and is former president of the Washington Environmental Council.

Janet Marlow is a composer, researcher, and consultant known for her contributions to the understanding of animal hearing and how sound affects their behavior. She is the founder and CEO of Pet Acoustics Inc., a global company of innovations for pet wellness. She received the Pet Age Women of Influence award and is a member of the Animal Behavior Society, Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Marcia DeSanctis is an author and essayist whose work has been published in Vogue, Town & Country, Departures, Travel & Leisure, Architectural Digest, BBC Travel, Marie Claire, O The Oprah Magazine, among other publications. She has won five Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers. She was a broadcast news producer at ABC News, CBS’s “60 Minutes,” NBC’s ”Dateline,” “Dow Jones,” and for Barbara Walters as well.

Saun Ellis is an actress, filmmaker, and teacher who produces documentary films. She serves on the board as well as teaches English with Literacy on the Green in New Milford.  She is on the New Milford Refugee Resettlement Committee, active with the Farmer’s Table in Litchfield County, and works with the Western CT Civic Action Group.

Tony Vengrove is the founder of Miles Finch Innovation, a marketing and innovation consultancy, and the award-winning Makery Coworking, Litchfield County’s first coworking space. He serves on the Board of ASAP, The Corporation for New Milford Economic Development, and the Management Department Advisory Board for the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University.

John Favreau,  an expert in brand management and marketing, is currently focused on the revitalization of Warren Town Center, the commercial property that he purchased last year. He has opened Warren General store and café and is in the process of opening Warren Works, a shared office and coworking space. He serves as president of the Warren Historical Society, is on the Warren Wetlands Commission, and is treasurer of the NWCT Arts Council.

Deborah C. Foord,   a Litchfield native, pursued a long career in investment management in New York City and has now returned to her hometown. She has been instrumental in organizing food services through the Litchfield Community Center’s Family Dinner Night, The Pantry at St. Michael’s, and Food Rescue US. She serves on the board of the Litchfield Community Center, the Finance Committee of the Connecticut Community Foundation, and  organizes public art exhibitions for the Broadway Mall Association.

Martin Fletcher,  considered “the gold standard of war correspondents,” has covered world events primarily for NBC News, as a correspondent in Israel and bureau chief. A recent addition to Litchfield County, he has won numerous prizes for television journalism, among them are the DuPont Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence, and five Emmys. He is the author of several books, including the recently published Promised Land: A Novel of Israel.

Lisa & John Harris   moved to Litchfield County 20 years ago. She is a writer and movie producer; he is a developer with an international hospitality background. They opened the White Horse County Pub & Restaurant in 2009, serving American classics with a modern spin, using ingredients grown in their fields. The restaurant serves over 150,000 guests a year.

Dan Furman is co-owner of Cricket Hill Garden, a second-generation specialty nursery and forest farm in Thomaston. It is famous for the six-acre Peony Heaven, celebrating one of the most beloved flowers in New England. He has worked to expand the peony production program and diversify stock to include unusual landscape and forest edibles. All of the plants are grown without the use of  synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.

Harry Moses has spent his career making documentaries and recently completed Guilty Until Proven Guilty, which was named best documentary at the 2018 LA DOC Film Festival. His films have played on every major commercial network and on PBS, HBO, Showtime, the History Channel, and the BBC.  He is the recipient of Emmy, Peabody, and Directors Guild of America awards, as well as a lifetime achievement citation from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his work on “60 Minutes.”

Chrissy Armstrong & Ben Nickoll both had successful careers in finance before moving full time to Washington in 2011. She began singing bossa nova professionally and has performed in New York and at local fundraisers. He has served on the boards of Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust and Steep Rock Foundation. They both are supporters of environmental causes including land preservation, water restoration, education, healthcare, and the arts.

George Champion opened George Champion Modern Shop in 2004 and it soon became a pioneer in the antiques capital and greater Litchfield County, featuring furniture and objects from classic mid-century designers such as Charles and Ray Eames and Osvaldo Borsani.With his knowledge of both manufacturing and design, his shop has become a leading resource for collectors.

Gerri Griswold is director of administration and development at the White Memorial Conservation Center. A wildlife rehabilitator and educator, she is licensed by the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to keep and exhibit non-releasable bats and porcupines for education. She has presented hundreds of programs to libraries, classrooms, Scout troops, and other organizations.

David Mwanza is a certified PTR tennis professional who has been teaching in Litchfield County for over ten years. He has been working with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and sits on the diversity and new generation committees in New England helping to develop policy and growth for tennis in this area. Currently he is working on an after school program in Torrington, which will serve children who may have difficulty accessing tennis.

Catherine Fields
has been director of the Litchfield Historical Society since 1987 and is passionate about the importance of local history in creating a community’s sense of place. She has worked tirelessly to strengthen the Society’s connections to the community through exhibitions, school and family programs, and special projects.

Lisa Taddeo, a Washington resident, is a writer and journalist, whose short fiction has been awarded two Pushcart Prizes. Her nonfiction work has been included in Best American Sports Writing and Best American Political Writing. She was awarded the William Holodnok Fiction Prize and the Florence Engel Randall Award in fiction. Her book Three Women, which explores the sex lives and desires of three ordinary women in diverse circumstances across America, is being released in July 2019.

Kevin & Charlie Dumais  are a prime example of young couples who are moving to Litchfield County and carrying out their businesses locally. In addition to Kevin’s interior design business, he and husband Charlie own Dumais Made, a complete line of unique handmade ceramics. They are part of the Bantam Arts Factory and engage with local organizations to support artists.

Connie Manes, a Kent resident, has been executive director of Kent Land Trust since October 2008. An attorney and consultant specializing in organizational assessment, capacity building, and land trust accreditation, she is a member of the Kent Conservation Commission, Steering Committee member and Training and Education chair of Connecticut Land Conservation Council, and HVA Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative manager.

Scott Bond & Steven Miller are part of the revitalization in Washington Depot. Bond operates Byrde + the b, a hair salon, skincare, and beauty destination for both men and women. Miller is an artist creating images inspired by nature. They are on the board of the Washington Business Association and supporters of Gunn Memorial Library, Housatonic Valley Association, and Washington Fire Department, to name but a few.

Stephanie & Tim Ingrassia own and operate Spring Hill Farms and Spring Hill Vineyards in New Preston, making award-winning wines. She is an art collector, curator, and vice-chair of the Brooklyn Museum’s board. He serves as Chairman of Global Mergers and Acquisitions at Goldman, Sachs & Co. They are avid supporters of local events, including Five Senses Festival, which they graciously hold on their property.

Adrian Wagner   is  involved with the Roxbury Land Trust, Rivers Alliance, Sharon Audubon, and the New England Wildflower Society. While mowing the field in front of his home, animals, bees, and butterflies fled as he disrupted their habitat. Wagner then embarked upon a plan to restore the meadow. He has become an advocate, noting that  meadows can create pollinator pathways — a critical resource for migrating butterflies and birds.

Margo Martindale, acclaimed  actress and Kent resident, has won Emmys for her work in “The Americans” and “Justified”. She has also appeared in “The Millers”, “The Good Wife”, and “Sneaky Pete”. She made her Broadway debut in 2004 as Big Mama in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” for which  she received a Tony Award nomination. She serves on the benefit committee for the Housatonic Valley Association Benefit.

 

 

 

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