Rudy Marconi has been First Selectman of Ridgefield since 1999. His ability to get things done has won him supporters of all political persuasions. He is running for re-election not just on his track record, but also on a platform he calls “Rigdefield 2020—a Vision for our Future.” That vision includes boosting Ridgefield’s economic vitality by re-energizing our downtown and reimagining Branchville as thriving “second village.”
Rudy is a hometown success story. A star athlete at Ridgefield High, he went on to earn a degree in business administration. In 1986, he returned to join the family business, Nano Marconi, Inc. Being part of a local business with extensive ties to the community gave Rudy a unique perspective of town life and business.
Rudy’s passion for public service led him to two terms on the Planning and Zoning Commission, and then two as a Selectman. He narrowly lost his first bid for the top job in 1997 but was elected two years later by an historic 63% of the vote and has served since 1999.
During Rudy’s first term he convened a “Sewer Summit,” which brought town officials and citizens together to solve a problem. This marked the beginning of a uniquely collaborative approach to town business.
He has made economic development a priority, notably brokering a $382 million expansion of Boehringer-Ingelheim—a huge economic boost for Ridgefield. He put together Rigefield’s first long-term financial forecast and has stuck to it—winning the town a AAA bond rating for ten consecutive years. On Rudy’s watch, Ridgefield has acquired over 600 acres for open space, built a new middle school and remodeled the others; built the rec center, fostered a senior center, and blossomed as a safe, thriving community, earning the title “Connecticut’s #1 town.”
Rudy’s wife of 31 years, Peggy Marconi, is a respected Rigefield businesswoman. He has a daughter, three sons and six grandchildren.
Barbara Manners has served on Ridgefield’s Board of Selectmen since 1997. She has been a resident of Ridgefield since 1988 when she moved here from New York City to raise her son David Manners-Weber who is now 31 years old and an attorney living in Washington D.C. Barbara herself was a practicing attorney for 17 years prior to David’s birth, concentrating in corporate law and ultimately general counsel of a publicly-traded company. She had extensive experience managing in-house as well as outside counsel, negotiating contracts, dealing with state and federal agencies, administrative law, litigation etc.
Barbara and her husband Morgan Weber, also an attorney, now retired, first bought a house in Ridgefield in 1983 as a weekend hideaway from New York. But with the arrival of their son David, they decided to relocate permanently to Ridgefield.
Once David started kindergarten, Barbara became heavily involved in promoting the arts in Ridgefield and was instrumental in founding the Ridgefield Playhouse. She was its incorporator and first President of its Board of Directors. Subsequent to 9/11/2001 Barbara started CHIRP (now in its 18th season) with the goal of drawing the community closer together through the presentation of free music in the park.
Barbara is the recipient of several awards for her efforts in the arts and public service, including the 2010 Martin Luther King Community Service Award, 2013 Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut Heart of the Arts Award, and the 2014 Ridgefield Arts Council Nancy Comstock Andrews Award.
Barbara also served on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury for three years 1996-1999, Board of Directors of ABC from 1996-March 2001, and Board of Directors of the Ridgefield Symphony for seven years. She was a Member of the League of Women Voters and of American Association of University Women and recipient of their 1999 Connecticut State Award for Community Leadership.
Barbara continues to serve on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Center and also oversees fundraising for the Holiday Trust Fund, a community fund she established in 1999 to raise funds to support the Halloween Walk and downtown holiday lights.
Selectwoman Manners continues to live with her husband Morgan and their four dogs in the home they originally purchased in 1983. As a member of the Board of Selectmen her primary focus has been attempting to preserve Ridgefield’s “small town” feel. She believes it is critically important to maintain Ridgefield as a desirable community for persons of all ages.
I will contribute new ideas on the quality of life issues facing our town. My perspective as a long-time community volunteer, a local businessperson employing local people, a major taxpayer and the father of a fourth grade student in Ridgefield’s schools provide a broad point of view on our town.
As a member of the Board of Selectman, my priorities will be:
- Implement the findings of the citizen’s committee reviewing the Schlumberger property;
- Establish a facilities committee for all town-owned properties reporting to the Board of Selectman with a five year capital plan;
- Work with the Economic Development Commission on sustaining and increasing our tax base.
I look forward to speaking with you!
- My years of Community Service:
- Ridgefield Board of Selectmen
- Ridgefield Playhouse – Founding member
- The Community Center – Board of Directors
- The Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors
- Chairman of the Scotts Ridge Middle School Site Selection Committee
- Committee to establish the Ridgefield 9/11 Memorial
- B.S. Finance – Boston College
- Masters in Community Economic Development – NH College
- Ridgefield Board of Selectmen Commercial Beautification Award
- Ridgefield Board of Realtors Commercial Property Improvement Award
- Green Building:
- Catoonah Mews project – Energy Star Standard
- Ridgefield’s first LEED Platinum home
- 86 Governor Street – National Green Building Standard – Gold Level
A resident of Ridgefield for over 25 years, Molly has a long history of contributing to our town. Molly was a driving force in Ridgefield’s anti-idling campaign, resulting in rules that were adopted unanimously by the Board of Selectman. Molly served as a volunteer treasurer for the PTA or clubs at EVERY level of our school system—Farmingville Elementary, ERMS and the RHS Post-Grad Party. Her commitment to the environment and quality of life in Ridgefield is evident in her work as Treasurer of Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment (RACE) and as her service as Treasurer and Board member for the Garden of Ideas.
Since her election, Molly has served as a strong, collaborative, and eminently qualified partner for the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, and Town Controller.
Born in Milwaukee, WI, and raised in Villa Park, IL, Dave graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in International Studies, with minor in Economics, from Bradley University in Peoria, IL, in 1969. In 1972, Dave earned an M.A. in International Economics from Denver University Graduate School of International Studies, having completed all Ph.D. requirements except thesis.
Dave was an original fundraiser, investor and consultant with JetBlue Airways in 1998, and served as Vice President – Planning based in the company’s Financial and Planning Office in Darien, CT, from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. Dave has over 30 years airline industry experience in aircraft scheduling, route selection, market development, pricing, competitive strategy, and profitability analysis. He has extensive consulting experience and has provided expert economic testimony in administrative law proceedings, bankruptcy court hearings and depositions in civil litigation. Dave served as a part-time professor at Regis College, Denver, CO, from 1971-1974, teaching history, government, and statistics.
In addition to his Board of Finance seat, Dave serves as Treasurer of the Ridgefield Orchestra Foundation, and has been a board member of the Foundation since 2014. Dave has been a member of Ridgefield’s Wolfpit Running Club since 2000, serving as president of the club for three of those years. Dave was an elected Board Member and Treasurer of Denver Unit 361 and also served as a member of the six-state District 17 Regional Board of Governors of the American Contract Bridge Association.
Jessica pursued her passion for the performing arts at several schools in NYC while teaching children at local area art schools. Building her training and vision, in 1999 Ms. Mancini founded The Ridgefield Studio of Performing Arts, where she brought dance and theatre arts to over 300 children and area families per year. Founded and run solely by Ms. Mancini, The Ridgefield Studio of Performing Arts prospered, becoming a key contributor to cultural and community activities in Ridgefield. In 2009, Jessica purchased the business Everywoman’s Spirit, a local gym exclusively for woman, changing its name to The Fitness Studio, and building it into her second thriving local Ridgefield business. In 2015, Ms. Mancini combined her two businesses under one roof, organization and brand as Ridgefield Dance & Fitness, creating a full circle atmosphere for health and wellness tailored to people of all ages.
In 2011, Ms. Mancini was elected to the Ridgefield Board of Finance. Ms. Mancini’s success building and growing businesses, creating local jobs and managing costs, payrolls and investments, have guided her service on the Board of Finance. As a mother of three and a life-long resident, she brings a listening ear and a passion for the town and its residents to her service.
Professionally, Sean is a Director in Willis Towers Watson’s Employee Insights practice where he has worked for 22 years. Working for Willis Towers Watson and, previously, a market research and consulting firm, Sean is experienced in the design, implementation, analysis and reporting of large-scale employee research projects, including employee opinion surveys, focus groups, etc. Using customized research tools, Sean helps clients understand how to use data to identify issues in the organization and then target action steps that will have the greatest impact on the business goals.
Mr. Connelly often speaks before industry groups representing employee perspectives on their workplaces. For example, Sean has been faculty for Harvard’s Forces of Change and regularly presents at the Conference Board and the International Association for Corporate and Professional Recruitment.
Sean has a B.A. and M.A. in applied psychology from Boston University.
Amy’s professional experiences began in the fields of public relations and advertising, first at American Express in NYC, then at The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and Foote Cone Belding Direct where she was worked exclusively on programs for Levi Strauss. Amy went on to work at Stanford University in the School of Education before pursuing her passion for baking, which ultimately lead her to buy Ross Bread in Ridgefield.
Amy’s time in the San Francisco Bay area exposed her to the importance of enriching communities with innovation, change and diversity, which she strives to do through her work at the bakery, in Ridgefield and throughout Connecticut. In addition to being an active member of CT Against Gun Violence and The Ridgefield Resettlement Committee, Ross Bread + Coffee honors 100% of all requests for support for Ridgefield based charities and organizations. In this way they support everyone in Ridgefield from students to seniors, animals to athletes, gun violence prevention programs and LGBTQ communities.
In 2017, Ms. Macartney-Freidenrich was elected to the Board of Finance. Amy’s deep Ridgefield roots, exposure to innovation in California, and experiences as a small business owner will help guide Ridgefield to a place where our town’s traditions and values can be the solid base upon which to create innovative pathways to success for both the town and its residents.
My family moved to Ridgefield in 2002, for the strength of the community, the charm of the town, and the excellent reputation of the schools. We’ve enjoyed and participated in many of the programs and benefits that Ridgefield offers to its families. As part of my commitment to this community, I’ve volunteered for a varied number of local groups including Lion’s Heart youth community service organization (Chapter President), Ridgefield Prevention Council and Ridgefield Basketball Association (Board of Directors). For over a decade I’ve been involved with the schools in many capacities including PTA President at BMES and SRMS, as well as VP and Chair roles at BMES, SRMS and RHS. I was also a member of the 2009 PreK-G8 Configuration & Districting Study.
I believe my biggest contribution to the BOE is the experience I bring as a longtime volunteer and participant in the school system, and in the greater community. It is also the experience I bring as a mother of 4 boys: 2 of whom have been through the whole RPS system and are now at college, 1 high schooler and 1 middle schooler. And lastly the experience I bring as a lawyer, a marketer, and an executive search consultant who understands the current employment landscape and shifting skill set required in today’s workforce.
I understand the complexities around delivering a system of high quality learning, and continuing to build on the incredible successes of the Ridgefield Public Schools while preparing our children for the rapidly changing world and unknown careers of the future. It is something that I am passionate about, and grateful to be a part of through a role on the Board of Education.
Doug taught high school English for ten years and was an administrator for 4 years in Fairfield (CT) and Westchester (NY) Counties. Subsequently, he was the Director of Research for SPN, the non-profit affiliate of the Scholastic, Inc. In this role, he evaluated schools across the country to identify model schools and their best practices.
He is currently the Chief Academic Officer for KEYS2 Engage LLC., a software company based in Ridgefield, CT. He shares his expertise and knowledge at national education conferences such as the American Educational Research Association; the Association for American Middle Level Educators; and the Texas Computer Education Association.
He has co-authored two published studies: Effective and Efficient: Aligning Data Systems and Research to Improve School Performance and Focused on Student Success; and A Five-Year Research Study of Models, Networks, and Policies to Support and Sustain Rigor and Relevance for ALL Students. The latter was in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers and was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Doug holds a BA in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a MA in English Education from Columbia University, and a 6th year degree in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University.
Doug has served on accreditation committees for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEAS&C) and the Tri-States Consortium. He coached high school sports in Wilton, CT, including tennis and skiing.
I was delighted to be nominated by the DTC to fill a vacancy on the BOE in February 2015. Since joining the Board I have worked hard to maintain high standards, support inclusive collaboration between parents, schools and the RPS administration, and plan responsibly for the future of education in Ridgefield. Collaboration and a respect for different perspectives are very important to me.
Before moving to the US, I worked at University College London. I was responsible for finance, administration and staffing in a student center that served 13,000 students with a multi-million pound annual budget. This experience in tertiary education informs my commitment and support for Ridgefield Public Schools.
Since I became a US citizen in 2011, I have fully participated in the democratic process. I am passionate about education – the benefits to children, families and society from a high quality education are enormous. I truly appreciate the opportunity to serve as a member of the Board of Education working to support the education of children in Ridgefield.
Charles’ career focused on financial services and commercial banking, having been actively involved in the development and sales of software to support this niche market. During a successful 30 year career, Charles was able to develop client relationships both domestically and overseas, in order to promote the company’s products and services.
After retiring in 2014, Charles focused his efforts in public service. Charles supports the Ridgefield community and is active with ROAR, assisting the refugee family that has settled in Ridgefield, and working with the First Selectman on critical town projects such as the Main Street traffic and transportation study and proposals. Charles chairs the small committee that has reviewed the DOT Concepts, and works with the community and First Selectman to ensure a coordinated effort and responsive set of plans. Until spring 2017, Charles also served as an alternate on Ridgefield’s Zoning Board of Appeals, relinquishing that role when he was appointed to fulfill a vacancy on the Planning & Zoning Commission. Since his appointment, Charles has quickly become a valuable member of P&Z.
Charles values the opportunity to work in a collaborative environment, working with people representing different perspectives and backgrounds. The goal according to Charles is to seek consensus, allowing all of the residents of Ridgefield to benefit from the planning and zoning decisions that will affect their day to day lives and future.
As a 25 year resident of Ridgefield, Cathy has volunteered in many organizations in support of the community where she and her husband, Tom have raised three children. As a newly appointed P&Z member, Cathy leverages a varied background in real estate, financial services/hedge fund industries, hospitality and executive search. Cathy currently works in NYC as the Chief of Staff at an executive search firm. Her combined professional experience has required the ability to understand an issue in detail, lead with strong project management skills and work collaboratively towards a solution. That experience has proved invaluable in her work on P&Z where she views being a good listener as the most important skill. Past experience working with the Board of Education, PTA’s, BOS, ECDC, St. Mary Parish and many non-profit organizations have informed her knowledge on town issues and have encouraged a desire to give back to her community. Cathy is a problem solver who believes that everyone doing their small part results in something that is often bigger than the sum of those small efforts.
Dr. Kain has presented nationally and internationally, and has authored peer-reviewed papers for which he has received awards for excellence. Dr. Kain is active in the capital punishment abolition movement, having been moved from initial support to opposition based on his own extensive research findings.
A resident of Ridgefield since 1997, Jeff, along with his lovely wife Ann, is active in many facets of our community. He is a member of the town’s CERT emergency response team, a member of the town’s Graveyard Committee, a member of the Ridgefield Men’s Club, a former dog walker at ROAR, and a past Board member of the Ridgefield Symphony. Jeff Lundberg has been a member of the town Board of Assessment Appeals since 2015.