Most Dedicated, Most Creative, Most Intriguing
We have among us a great diversity of talented and community-driven people. They contribute their time, skills, and resources to improve this corner of our humble paradise. We asked Wiltonians to help us identify the individuals who may not be on everyone’s radar—unsung heroes, up-and-comers, emerging artists, entrepreneurs, innovators, and tireless volunteers—basically anyone of any age who deserved to have a spotlight shine on them. And, wow, did town residents embrace the challenge!
Don’t see someone who deserves to be on the list?
E-mail your suggestions for future honorees: email@example.com
Jackson Dill is obsessed with weather. This 15-year-old WHS sophomore launched an eponymous weather site (jacksonsweather.com), utilizing the same models used by the pros. His favorite type of weather? “Sunshine.” Favorite type of extreme weather? “Hurricane.” A successful meteorlogical career lies in this young man’s future.
Dale Hollingsworth launched Triax, a company dedicated to developing innovative products designed to prevent debilitating head injuries in sports. Working with his sons, Chad and Hunter, Triax recently joined the IBM Watson Ecosystem to improve player safety related to concussive impacts.
Grayson Kelliehor, who currently attends DePaul University, is founder of Grayson Henna, sharing with clients her passion for henna art, a type of ancient Indian body painting. Influenced by her extensive travels and experience living in Dubai, she brings her own brand of international flair to this unique art.
Bruce Beebe is a committed environmentalist and natural leader. Whether he’s pushing up his shirtsleeves to help in a town-wide cleanup, selling tickets at Jazz in the Garden, or leading a hike through the Weir Preserve, he leads by example. Beebe oversees 800 acres of preserved Wilton land and is a long-time volunteer at Weir Farm.
Rita TroshynskiI , aka “Rita the Paint Lady” at Ring’s End, has been a color consultant since 1970. Over the years, she has helped thousands of people select paint colors that will reflect their personalities and design aesthetic. Her extensive knowledge of color trends and paint types combined with her obvious enthusiasm for her job make her an invaluable Wilton resource.
Mary Zengo is a Masters running star who tirelessly lends her fitness expertise to both children and adults. She leads youth-fitness training programs with fellow athlete Bonnie MacLean Sheehan and has helped support the training efforts of many WHS sports teams.
Ed Romer has led an eclectic life, spanning several careers and continents. He now owns xpozure gallery, which showcases emerging artists, and has played a key role in supporting many creative projects in the film, dance, photography, and music realms. This wine enthusiast, artist, and raconteur is also known, along with his wife, Catherine Romer of Nod Hill Soap, for his generous commitment to philanthropy.
Margie Holcombe was one of the driving forces behind the resurrection and current success of Habitat for Humanity Youth United in Wilton. A young admirer says, “She leads us without telling us what to do, respects our suggestions, and works as hard as we do on the work sites.”
Jane Lancellotti had a stellar advertising career with Saatchi & Saatchi where she helped develop the hugely successful “Rock the Vote” campaign for MTV. Today she serves as an editor at Narrative Magazine and has also written several timely, incisive, and witty articles for the online publication.
John Reznikoff has been fascinated by historical artifacts since his grandmother helped him start a stamp collection. He segued into coins, then rare books, and then into a prominent business. His company, University Archives, offers everything from Marilyn Monroe’s silk stocking to an autographed quote by Charles Dickens. This signature expert inspired a “Law & Order” episode and landed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Natasha Babchak, the 23-year-old entrepreneur behind 22 Candles, a custom-cake company launched in 2015, says, “Designing and baking custom cakes and making people happy is my calling,” Her special occasion cake-pops are now shipped around the country and plans are underway to expand into party planning.
Susie Bedsow Horgan is a veteran of a New York show biz family, and has been a Broadway actress, writer, and producer for numerous television shows, author, and life coach. Horgan won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing Team for her work on the popular soap “One Life to Live.” Today this affable bon vivant helps people conquer their eating issues with her program, Making Peace With Potato Chips.
Captain John Lynch runs both Tip-a-Cop and the Torch Run for Special Olympics. “A-down-to-earth, very approachable guy,” Lynch dedicates his life to protecting the community and overseeing events that truly make Wilton a caring town focused on service to others.
Bev Ward, an accomplished actress, singer, artist, and writer, is a true Reneissance woman. When not painting evocative art pieces or doing a star turn in a musical, she collaborates on writing original musicals with her husband, Kirby Ward. Recently she wrote, recorded and cut her first album, Bev’s Noble House of Pancakes.
Jeanne Robertson is a fundraiser and volunteer extraordinaire who has served as the development chair of Ambler Farm and on the boards of numerous non-profits, including the Westport Country Playhouse. She was also an executive producer of the powerful documentary Every Three Seconds. Her intelligence, mischievous sense of humor, and willingness to lend her expertise make Robertson a Wilton gem.
Rev. Jason Coker graduated from Yale Divinity School and got his PhD from Drew University, after escaping grinding poverty in the Mississippi Delta. He has dedicated himself to mission work, first with AIDS/HIV orphans along the Uganda/Kenya border, and then by founding the non-profit, Delta Hands for Hope, which provides tens of thousands of meals to children across Mississippi. In his role as pastor of the Wilton Baptist Church, he works with local clergy to present programs of interest to all faiths.
Patti Sylvia is Wilton’s cheerful serial volunteer. She heads the Autism Parent’s Club, a monthly support group for parents who have children on the autism spectrum. She is also the founder of the town’s autism newsletter. Sylvia’s compassion for others and her community outreach is inspirational for many in the Wilton community.
Tracey Heinemann left a successful career in advertising and marketing, and embraced full time her passion for jewelry-making. White Moth Jewelry was launched in 2010. Now Heinemann’s distinctive architectural pieces have a cult following and have been featured in Vogue and Cosmopolitan. Heinemann’s statement jewelry is available online and in select stores across the country.
Emily Humiston has lived in Wilton her entire life and now resides in the house where she grew up. As a child, Humiston developed a profound love for the outdoors while gardening with her grandparents. Twenty years ago she launched Tall Trees Landscaping when it was a distinct oddity for a woman to be a professional landscaper. Humiston’s work ethic, attention to detail, and engaging personality helped her build a loyal clientele. Her social conscience is legendary,
Tom Swick, known from the Wilton Library Media and Circulation department, is a highly regarded cartoonist and illustrator. Clients have include the New York Times Book Review, Playboy, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Kennedy Center. He also has solid street cred, having inked the cover illustration on the album Rapture of the Deep by British rock band Deep Purple. Today he is a regular contributor to Funny Times.
Claire Fraise, a homeschooled high- school junior, recently published Imperfect, a young-adult, science-fiction novel. Set in a dystopian future, the story revolves around the tyrannical Making Perfect Corporation, which kidnaps street orphans to use them in dark experiments with a sinister objective. Could a series be in the works?
Scott Weber is a singer/songwriter with a mission: to use his musical skills to raise money and build awareness for local causes. Since he launched his volunteer musical organization, Acoustic Wilton, in 2009, it has raised an astonishing $100,000 for non-profits such as Relay for Life, Wilton Youth Council, and the Wilton Education Foundation. Weber’s winning formula? Great music for great causes.
Alex Scaperotta became zealous about saving the environment after seeing An Inconvenient Truth at a young age. Since then, he has dedicated himself to green initiatives and was instrumental in lobbying town government officials to make Wilton an idle-free town. By law, vehicles cannot idle for more than three minutes, except when the temperature falls below 20 degrees or when in traffic. Alex works with Wilton Go Green to help educate kids about the initiative.
Alison Jacobson has found purpose in helping others overcome life’s slings and arrows, rather than let a series of personal tragedies bring her down. Jacobsen works as an advocate for the SIDS organization First Candle, educates the public through her national appearances as Safety Mom, lobbies government officials to step up their support of the special-needs community, and coaches women on how to navigate challenges and live their lives with joy.
Quinn Reedy is a much-admired and spirited Wilton High School senior. When not demonstrating his athletic prowess as captain of the WHS wrestling team, he can be seen appearing in local theatrical productions or lending his significant talents as a singer and musician to Acoustic Wilton.