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50 Most Influential People of Litchfield County 2011




Litchfield's 50 Most Influential People

The Litchfield area is filled with talent and money and dedicated community spirit. We have among us great artists and shop owners, non-profit organizers, and big-money philanthropists. They use their time, talent, and resources to improve this corner of paradise and to weave a certain charm into the fabric of Litchfield County. For the second year, with the help of a distinguished panel of advisors, we present Litchfield’s Most Influential People.

GEORGE MALKEMUS & ANTHONY YURGAITIS
The creators of Manolo Blahnik shoes have saved hundreds of acres of farmland from development and brought us Arethusa Farm, producing the finest milk and dairy products. Now they have opened a creamery on the site of the old Bantam Firehouse, featuring their ice creams and yogurts.

ROBERTA ANDRULIS METTE
As the director of the Litchfield Community Center, Berta, as she is known, has created a resource for all ages, offering free movies, lectures, language classes, music, and a host of other innovative programs. It reaches out to all of the Northwest Corner and she is its driving force.

MARSHALL MILES & JILL GOODMAN
Together they have brought radio back to Sharon by starting up NPR station WHDD, making it possible for residents to once again have access to the finest programming around. In addition, they have added unique local shows to the mix.

DR. ISADORE TEMKIN
Longtime Torrington resident and family dentist, he owns and runs community radio station WAPJ, a welcome addition to the Northwest Corner’s programming credentials, with a mixture of music and talk. He has been instrumental in the plans to redevelop downtown Torrington and serves on the Coe Memorial Park Advisory Committee.

JOEL VIEHLAND
Nominated as one of the best new restaurants by the James Beard Foundation, Community Table is a farm-supporting restaurant whose menu changes weekly, if not daily. He is a true visionary who, in a small space, presents sumptuous dining in a relaxed atmosphere, featuring a community table that seats 12, plus nine smaller tables.

MICHAEL & NANCY ACKERMAN
The owners of The Pantry in Washington Depot combine eating with shopping. Day-trippers and regulars alike go for gourmet food, takeout, and homemade baked goods, while surveying the housewares store that encircles the dining tables—everything from exotic olive oils to sea salts to beautiful French pottery. Through their catering division, they service some of the most important charity events in town.

RYAN BINGHAM
At age 22 he was elected mayor of Torrington in November 2005—the youngest mayor in the history of Connecticut. Now in his second term, he has worked diligently to revive Torrington’s downtown, get the education system on track, and bring the city back to its glory days.

MERYL STREEP
The most renowned actress of our time, she with artist husband Don Gummer has raised four talented children in the Litchfield Hills and quietly supports local charities. She continues to amaze us on the screen—and with several of her children following in her footsteps, we have much to look forward to.

VITA MUIR
As the brains behind the annual Litchfield Jazz Festival, she has gathered premier musicians and turned this into a must-attend event. Through this venue she has created a four-week camp that offers intensive music education for some 550 students on the campus of the bucolic Kent School.

KENNETH COOPER
As President of the Kent Library board, he has raised the bar for author events, attracting the likes of Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell. He has been instrumental in the library’s fundraising activities and is dedicated to keeping reading and books at the forefront of education.

BILL BURGESS
A founder of Litchfield Hills Food Service, whose mission is to connect sustainable agriculture, local food, and an active, healthy lifestyle, he helped create the Litchfield Hills Farm-Fresh Market, a boon to local farmers and a favorite Saturday-mornings destination.

ROXANA ROBINSON
Called “John Cheever’s heir apparent” by the New York Times Book Review, and compared by Time to Henry James and Edith Wharton, she is the chronicler of WASP family life. She writes insightfully about families and internal relationships, believes in the power of words, and is deeply involved with the PEN American Center.

DALE & QUENTIN RYAN
Dale has brought her passion for gardening to the Litchfield Garden Club, where she is active in preserving the Litchfield Green. Quentin serves on the board of New Milford Hospital. Together they have been instrumental in the hospital’s renovation projects, including upgrading its cafeteria and exterior landscapes.

ANNE DRANGINIS

She was the first female assistant state’s attorney for the Connecticut Superior Court and was appointed in 1985 to the Connecticut Superior Court. In 2000, she was elevated to the Appellate Court. Her community-mindedness makes her a valued member of the Litchfield Board of Finance. As a practicing lawyer, she balances high-profile clients with her interest in local charities and children’s causes.

LARRY KRAMER
Playwright and gay-rights activist, he has been at the forefront of the campaign to raise AIDS awareness. His play, The Normal Heart, brought to light the bureaucratic paralysis and apathy of gay men to the AIDS crisis. Now, 25 years after its off-Broadway production, the Tony-nominated play has debuted on Broadway to rave reviews.                                            

ELLEN GRIESEDIECK

She is an artist whose vision for the American Mural Project turned into a happening. In a converted mill building in Winsted, she has paid homage to the history of workers in America. Artists from all over the country participated, and it has raised nearly $2 million.

FR. ROBERT TUCKER
As pastor of Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Litchfield, he reaches out to all denominations and offers advice and solace to all. He is considered irreplaceable in his approach to prayer and religion.

DAN DWYER
The owner of Johnnycake Books in Salisbury has created a place to relax, peruse, and purchase current and rare books, upholding the tradition of the independent bookstore, as well as creating an Internet presence.

BROOKE HAYWARD
She was at the forefront of the memoir genre with her book, Haywire, telling the glamorous yet tragic story of her family. She inspired other writers to tell their own stories and now, after some 35 years since publication, the book is back in print, a finely written story of survival.

RICHARD SEARS
As development director of the Housatonic Valley Association, he is dedicated to protecting and preserving the natural wonder of the Housatonic River and its environs. By creating innovative programs, he has made us all aware of the natural beauty that needs to be cared for.

SUSAN KINSOLVING
Hotchkiss’s first official poet-in-residence, and author of three books of poetry, she has a questing spirit that inspires students toward understanding and writing poetry of their own. Her ability to reach out to students and instill the foundations for their growing intellect has made her a champion for literacy in schools.

MICHAEL TRAPP
He has brought sophistication and beauty to our area through his design work and his eclectic shop in West Cornwall. A master at collecting unusual, one of-a-kind pieces that we all want to own, his ability to juxtapose the old and the unexpected in both interior and garden designs makes him much sought after.

BUNNY WILLIAMS
She taught us how to decorate with ease, designing rooms in which dogs are welcome on the furniture and there is always a place to put your feet up and your drink down. A Falls Village resident for over 30 years, she is a mainstay of Trade Secrets and has donated her talents to refurbish the Falls Village Inn.

MATT DERIENZO
As editor-in-chief he has taken new initiatives to revitalize Torrington’s Register Citizen. The paper’s new office is based on an “open newsroom” concept, with a community media lab, a community journalism school, a local news library, and a newsroom café, all of which are free to the public.

MIA FARROW

Actress, human-rights activist, and Bridgewater resident, she will be the 2011 recipient of the Marian Anderson Award, which honors artists whose leadership benefits humanity, for her work to raise awareness of the plight of children in war-torn regions and on behalf of refugees around the globe.

MARK MACOMBER
As president and CEO of Litchfield Bancorp, he has worked tirelessly to make his the go-to-bank for friendly service and efficiency. Deeply involved in community services, he has served on the boards of many organizations and worked with the bank to donate funds that support local causes.

A.R. GURNEY
A member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he captures the essence of the manners and morals of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant upper class in his plays—with gratifying results. Crisp language and ironic phrasing are the backbone of today’s American theater.

PHILLIPS “PETE” HATHAWAY

A former antiques dealer, he has opened the doors of his renovated Ragamont House to a number of local charities, including Women’s Support Services, Scoville Library, and Salisbury Family Services. He is on the board of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Middendorf Foundation and is a founding member of “The Dream Team” at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

GREGORY MOSHER
Director and producer of nearly 200 stage productions, his revival of A View From the Bridge was a smash hit. He is now back on Broadway with a revival of That Championship Season. A Roxbury resident, he has frequently directed special events for such organizations as The New Yorker, PEN, and various other social causes.

ELLA CLARK
She is the founder of Chore Service, which both employs and helps people who are elderly, ill, or homebound in the Northwest Corner. As social service agent for the Town of Sharon, she also serves as municipal agent for the elderly and has been involved with the Older Women’s League’s Kitchen, a food pantry serving both New York and Connecticut residents.

RICHARD DERWIN
For over 25 years, he has brought sartorial splendor to Litchfield Hills residents and visitors. Wife Andrea operates the ladies’ store and son Jonathan manages the men’s store. All three are committed to discovering unique, quality brands and presenting them in a sophisticated atmosphere with personal attention and charm.

DICK EBERSOL & SUSAN SAINT JAMES
Dick is among the most influential people in sports and throughout his career he has been recognized as one of television’s most creative programmers. He was the co-creator of “Saturday Night Live” and received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award. No one will forget Susan on “McMillan & Wife” or “Kate & Allie.” Though she has a star on the illustrious Hollywood Walk of Fame, she is at home in Litchfield where she was named to the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. A master gardener, she is on the board of the Special Olympics.

ROSE STYRON
Poet, journalist, and human-rights activist, she has chaired AI USA’s National Advisory Council and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Awards and she is once again on PEN’s Freedom-to-Write Committee—a true passion of hers. She currently serves on the boards of the Academy of American Poets, the Association to Benefit Children, and the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC.

KATHRYN MCCARVER ROOT
This former magazine photo editor and stylist has brought photography to Washington Depot in the form of KMR Arts Gallery. Focusing on both famous and yet-to-be-discovered artists and photographers, the gallery is a haven for locals who want an expert to help them start their art collection.

IAN INGERSOLL
He has been making Shaker reproductions for 30 years in the historic town of West Cornwall, and his furniture evokes a simpler time. Visitors to this area make a beeline for his shop, where beautifully crafted, meticulous pieces often become collectors’ items.

TOMMY SIMPSON
The ultimate renaissance man—painter, poet, sculptor, writer—his work bears the hallmarks of an naïve outsider with his brightly colored abstract paintings and furniture engraved with carvings and poetry. His ultimate goal is to entertain and bring joy to the viewer and his works are in the collections of many prominent museums.

DIXIE TODD
Renowned event planner Anne Perry Todd, known to her friends and clients as “Dixie,” has been creating unique parties for over 25 years. At Party Resources, Dixie and her team combine flawless style and attention to detail to create stunning fêtes for their clients. She is responsible for some of the most memorable events in the Litchfield Hills.

JOHN MOROSANI

He converted the fields of Laurel Ridge into pastures for his cows and brought us grass-fed beef. In spring the fields are a blanket of daffodils for all to enjoy. As such, his passion for conservation and his belief in farming the land create special bonds for the community.

WILLIAM PLUNKETT
He has served in various capacities in both the public and private sector and has contributed his time and talent to many boards including Historic Hudson Valley, White Memorial Conservation Center and Foundation, and the Governor’s Committee on Scholastic Achievement.

EDMUND MORRIS & SYLVIA JUKES MORRIS

Husband and wife biographers, he has given us in-depth views of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan; she has brought to life Claire Boothe Luce. The quality of their work and their allegiance to Kent and the NW Corner is well known.

BILL C. DAVIS
Playwright and screenwriter, he had a Broadway hit with his very first play, Mass Appeal, a winner of both the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama League Award.

SHEILA NEVINS & SIDNEY KOCH
Sheila as president of HBO documentary and her retired investment-banker husband Sidney purchased and preserved the beloved Bantam Cinema, where first-run movies delight audiences.

ROBERT PETRICONE
He has brought his expertise and rational thinking to Senior Core of Retired Executives, CT Junior Republic, the Oliver Wolcott Library, and the Litchfield Community Service Fund. He received the Distinguished Community Leader Award at the NW CT Chamber of Commerce’s Celebration of Success Awards.

JOYCE BRIGGS
As a teacher, she helped students achieve their potential; as a director of the Litchfield Housing Trust, she helps families achieve the American dream of owning their own home.

ARTHUR DIEDRICK
His expertise in business and his commitment to the community have made him an asset on the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism and the Connecticut Public Broadcasting board of trustees, and as president of White Memorial board of directors.

CHRIS EDDY
This culinary star works his magic at Winvian, the unique resort in Morris. Taking the freshest, highest-quality ingredients, he creates food that is not found anywhere else in these hills.

GREGORY & CATHERINE ONEGLIA
A principal of O&G Industries, Gregory has been involved in most major construction in Connecticut. An avid runner, he racks up many miles for charity. Catherine works diligently for the Community Center and the CT Junior Republic.

CLINTON KELLY
He showed women what not to wear on HGTV. With a new book and a house in Kent, we look forward to everyone dressing better now that he’s around.

JO-ANN IANNOTTI & ROSEMARIE GRECO
Together they are the pillars of Wisdom House, Litchfield’s country retreat and conference center, offering a place for meditation, prayer, and an exchange of ideas with some of the foremost thinkers of our time.

ALEXANDRA CHAMPALIMAUD
Her interior design work takes her around the world, but her heart is in Litchfield where she has created Charym, a mind and body oasis; she was also the designer of the Litchfield Community Center. She and husband Bruce Schnitzer are involved in land conservation.

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June 2016

The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council presents the 7th annual Open Your Eyes Studio Tour featuring over 25 artists and artisans who open their studios and show their processes to the public....

Cost: FREE

Where:
Artist Studios- Litchfield, Thomastion, & Plymouth
158 Main Street
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Website »

More information

Salt of the Earth Spa and Rich & John's "The Stove Shop" are teaming up for an outdoor cooking demo event; featuring our salt tiles, Chef Rich and his beautiful high...

Cost: by donation

Where:
787 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT  06798


Telephone: 203-586-1172
Website »

More information

Kathy McCarver Root and her gallery, KMR Arts, proudly present the gallery’s newest exhibition, “Room”, paintings by Michele Mirisola. The exhibition will open with a...

Cost: Free to the public

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Rd, #1
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: 860-868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

The Stairwell Gallery at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT announces the opening of a special show of botanical watercolors by international award-winning artist Betsy Rogers-Knox.  ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  0693
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Gunn Circulation Desk
Website »

More information

Put on a happy face! Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie's farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio is the talk of the town. But it's a teenage crisis for new "steadies" Hugo and...

Cost: $29 - $79

Where:
The Goodspeed
6 Main St
East Haddam, CT  06423
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kathy McCarver Root and her gallery, KMR Arts, proudly present the gallery’s newest exhibition, “Room”, paintings by Michele Mirisola. The exhibition will open with a...

Cost: Free to the public

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Rd, #1
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: 860-868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

The Stairwell Gallery at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT announces the opening of a special show of botanical watercolors by international award-winning artist Betsy Rogers-Knox.  ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  0693
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Gunn Circulation Desk
Website »

More information

Enjoy online learning and engaging discussion at the Oliver Wolcott Library with the Monday Scholars! Monday Scholars combines the best of online learning with face-to-face classroom discussion!...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kathy McCarver Root and her gallery, KMR Arts, proudly present the gallery’s newest exhibition, “Room”, paintings by Michele Mirisola. The exhibition will open with a...

Cost: Free to the public

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Rd, #1
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: 860-868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

The Stairwell Gallery at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT announces the opening of a special show of botanical watercolors by international award-winning artist Betsy Rogers-Knox.  ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  0693
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Gunn Circulation Desk
Website »

More information

“Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see,” Samuel Clemens said on his first visit in 1868, “Hartford is the chief.” Throughout his two decades of residence in the city he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South Strett
Lichfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcot Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kathy McCarver Root and her gallery, KMR Arts, proudly present the gallery’s newest exhibition, “Room”, paintings by Michele Mirisola. The exhibition will open with a...

Cost: Free to the public

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Rd, #1
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: 860-868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

The Stairwell Gallery at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT announces the opening of a special show of botanical watercolors by international award-winning artist Betsy Rogers-Knox.  ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  0693
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Gunn Circulation Desk
Website »

More information

Put on a happy face! Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie's farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio is the talk of the town. But it's a teenage crisis for new "steadies" Hugo and...

Cost: $29 - $79

Where:
The Goodspeed
6 Main St
East Haddam, CT  06423
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kathy McCarver Root and her gallery, KMR Arts, proudly present the gallery’s newest exhibition, “Room”, paintings by Michele Mirisola. The exhibition will open with a...

Cost: Free to the public

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Rd, #1
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: 860-868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

The Stairwell Gallery at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT announces the opening of a special show of botanical watercolors by international award-winning artist Betsy Rogers-Knox.  ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  0693
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Gunn Circulation Desk
Website »

More information

Put on a happy face! Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie's farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio is the talk of the town. But it's a teenage crisis for new "steadies" Hugo and...

Cost: $29 - $79

Where:
The Goodspeed
6 Main St
East Haddam, CT  06423
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kathy McCarver Root and her gallery, KMR Arts, proudly present the gallery’s newest exhibition, “Room”, paintings by Michele Mirisola. The exhibition will open with a...

Cost: Free to the public

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Rd, #1
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: 860-868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

The Stairwell Gallery at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT announces the opening of a special show of botanical watercolors by international award-winning artist Betsy Rogers-Knox.  ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  0693
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Gunn Circulation Desk
Website »

More information

Put on a happy face! Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie's farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio is the talk of the town. But it's a teenage crisis for new "steadies" Hugo and...

Cost: $29 - $79

Where:
The Goodspeed
6 Main St
East Haddam, CT  06423
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Harvey Hubbell V, an Emmy-award winning documentarian filmmaker, will host a Little Free Library building workshop in his barn at 51 Hutchinson Parkway in Litchfield on Saturday, July 2 from...

Cost: Free

Where:
Captured Time
51 Hutchinson Parkway
Off Milton Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Little Free Library
Telephone: 203-770-4156
Contact Name: Rose Buckens

More information

Store manager Tom Bodnar, will host an outdoor talk on hydrangeas, followed by tours of the gardens and a flower arrangement demonstration. Rain or shine. Registration required.

Where:
White Flower Farm
Route 63
Litchfield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Harvey Hubbell V, an Emmy-award winning documentarian filmmaker, will host a Little Free Library building workshop in his barn at 51 Hutchinson Parkway in Litchfield.  He is partnering with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Captured Time
51 Hutchinson Parkway
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Rose Buckens
Telephone: 203-770-4156

More information

Kathy McCarver Root and her gallery, KMR Arts, proudly present the gallery’s newest exhibition, “Room”, paintings by Michele Mirisola. The exhibition will open with a...

Cost: Free to the public

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Rd, #1
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: 860-868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

Celebrate America's birthday with a spectacular fireworks display and evening of festivities. Come early to walk around downtown or hear to Young's Field for the annual carnival. The...

Where:
Downtown New Milford
, CT

More information

Ger into the spirit of Independence Day with a sparkling fireworks display. The Salisbury Rotary Club hosts the event and all proceeds go to the Rotary Club's student scholarhship programs. The...

Where:
Lime Rock Park
60 White Hollow Rd
Litchfield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The Stairwell Gallery at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT announces the opening of a special show of botanical watercolors by international award-winning artist Betsy Rogers-Knox.  ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  0693
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Gunn Circulation Desk
Website »

More information

Put on a happy face! Army-bound rock star Conrad Birdie's farewell appearance in Sweet Apple, Ohio is the talk of the town. But it's a teenage crisis for new "steadies" Hugo and...

Cost: $29 - $79

Where:
The Goodspeed
6 Main St
East Haddam, CT  06423
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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