The West Hartford Republican Town Committee has endorsed a slate of five candidates for Town Council and two candidates for the seats on the Board of Education that are up for election this year.
On Monday July 24, 2017, the West Hartford Republican Town Committee voted on the party’s 2017 slate of candidates for Town Council and the Board of Education for the November 2017 municipal elections.
This year’s candidates come from diverse backgrounds and bring significant work experiences that will aid them in office. Town Republican Chairman Dennis Swanton said he is “very excited about this slate of candidates and looks forward to working with such a talented group.”
Information about each candidate and their qualifications for these positions can be found below.
Chris is currently serving his second term on the Town Council and is seeking re-election. He and his wife, Stephanie, have lived in West Hartford for over 20 years and have 3 daughters – Emma, Clara, and Mary Charlotte.
He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law, and a masters in law degree in Insurance Law from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He is currently a partner with the law firm of Reardon Scanlon Vodola Barnes LLP in West Hartford.
Chris has coached youth lacrosse, served on the town’s Risk Management Advisory Board, volunteered for and supported a number of local charities, and currently serves as a mentor and volunteer in the West Hartford Public School System.
Chris has been honored to serve on the Town Council for the last two years where he served on the Finance & Budget Committee, the Public Safety Committee, and the Education Liaison Committee.
Chris was raised in West Hartford. He now resides on Fern Street with his wife Holly and their two children: Lilia and Joey. Chris graduated from Conard High School in 2001. He then attended Loyola College and Quinnipiac University School of Law. He now works as a lawyer in town with the law firm of Conway Stoughton, LLC.
Ryan grew up in West Hartford, graduating from Conard High in 1995 (his parents also went to Conard). He attended George Washington University for his BA in International Affairs, and earned his MBA from Babson College in 2008.
After working for General Electric in Connecticut, Texas, Ohio, and California, Ryan returned to West Hartford in 2012. He and his wife Audrey live in their “forever home” with their two dogs, Harp and Guinness.
Ryan is the GM Sales & Business Development for Doosan Fuel Cell America, which manufactures Class I renewable energy systems in South Windsor. Ryan has spent most of his career working on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to help improve our environment. He helped Las Vegas become one of the first cities in America to upgrade all of its streetlights to energy efficient LEDs; he developed a 65 megawatt wind farm in Colorado; and worked with General Motors to improve energy efficiency in their manufacturing facilities. Ryan plans to bring his extensive global business acumen and fiscal responsibility to the Town Council to ensure West Hartford remains one of the best places to live and work in Connecticut. Ryan currently serves on the WH Conservation and Environment Commission
Mary M. Fay, a resident of West Hartford for 15 years, is a financial services senior executive. She has held several senior business leadership roles, including senior vice president and general manager of Sun Life Financial, where she also chaired diversity and inclusion employee resource groups and served on Sun Life boards.
Mary has also been senior vice president of GE Capital, and senior vice president of ING. Starting out as a financial analyst, Mary has also held executive positions at Travelers, Hartford HealthCare, The Hartford and AIG.
Mary was raised in East Hartford and attended public schools. She went on to graduate from Skidmore College, with a B.S. In business/accounting and a minor in government. She played basketball and started the women’s softball team at Skidmore. Mary earned an M.B.A. From Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Active in her community, Mary was appointed to the West Hartford library board, is a frequent volunteer at Morley school, is active in Concerned Citizens of West Hartford and Save our Water, CT. She also serves on the board of overseers for Newton-Wellesley hospital, is chair of the reviewing stand for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, and was named a “Top Woman in Business” by Hartford Business Journal. Mary has served as an alumni admissions correspondent for Skidmore College since graduating. Mary was an inaugural member of West Hartford’s first Parent Leadership Training Institute, where she was elected class speaker at the state-wide graduation at the state capital.
She is a member of the Irish American Home Society and The Thistle Lawn Bowling Club, and is a parishioner at St. Timothy’s. Mary is married and has a 7-year-old daughter, Katie.
Julie Krug grew up in West Hartford, attending Morley and Bugbee Elementary Schools, King Phillip Middle School, and graduated from Hall High in 1992. Julie holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and a Master of business administration from Bay Path University. She is the director of Insurance and Risk Management for Sunrise Communities, a social service organization.
Julie has been involved with the Junior League of Hartford since 2006 serving various leadership roles including the presidency from 2015-2016; she continues to be a board member. She is also the vice president of the Board of Directors for the Intensive Education Academy, a small special education school located in West Hartford, and has been a board member since 2010.
Julie resides in the Norfelt neighborhood with her husband, Jonathan Kaplan, and their dogs.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Jay Sarzen is running for re-election to the West Hartford Board of Education. Jay has served on the Board since December of 2012 and assumed the role of Republican financial examiner shortly after he was seated.
Jay has been a strong advocate for all West Hartford citizens on a variety of matters. In his nearly five years on the Board, Jay has been a strong proponent for key metrics that identify the District’s successes and areas for improvement, as well as for a series of metrics that gauge how well the District prepares students for post-high school educational or vocational life.
Jay also has been a staunch advocate for ensuring that students’ needs are met through appropriate funding while keeping in mind the impact to the West Hartford taxpayer. To wit, during the most recent budget season, Jay advocated for keeping programs such as all-day kindergarten in place because of their broad reach, but questioned whether other programs without as broad of a reach could be retained in a more cost-efficient manner.
Beyond financial matters and success metrics, Jay has engaged with the West Hartford community at-large. A primary example of this was during the town-wide debate in 2015 over the Native American imagery used at Hall and Conard. Jay worked assiduously with community leaders, students, parents, and alumni to broker a compromise that ultimately met the needs of most stakeholders by allowing the names to remain with the imagery de-coupled from the name.
Jay works at Boston-based Aite Group, a consulting, advisory, and research firm focused on helping the insurance industry strategically navigate through technology-driven changes. Jay’s expertise in business has been honed over a career that has largely focused on delivering advice and guidance to Fortune 500 firms both as an internal associate at firms such as State Street, MassMutual, and The Hartford, and as an external management consultant for BearingPoint’s (KPMG Consulting) Business Strategy practice.
Jay graduated with honors in political science from Trinity College (Hartford) in 1994 and received his MBA in strategy & general management from the University of Notre Dame in 2001. While at Notre Dame, Jay was elected vice president of the MBA program by the classes of 2000 and 2001.
Jay and his wife Amy, a former President of the Duffy School PTO, have lived in West Hartford for over 11 years. Their son is a rising sixth grader at Sedgwick Middle School.
Robert Levine is a Republican party endorsed candidate for the board of education in the town of West Hartford. His wife, Gayle, has taught in town for 15 years and he has been a small business owner of Hart Real Estate for seven years, with an office in West Hartford Center. He has three children, Jack, Cameron, and Katie, with two dogs Benjy and Jedi. He is currently serving as the vice president on the board of directors for the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors. He also serves on the West Hartford Board of Assessment Appeals.
His background in government goes back many years: From his fall semester of college as a White House intern in Washington, DC, to his first job after graduate school as a policy analyst on the Speaker’s task force on education in New York State. After a time, he became a budget analyst on the ways and means committee. He also had consulting jobs doing program evaluation and financial audits for public housing authorities and child support enforcement agencies around the country. Rob’s educational background includes an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University.
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