Oliver Wolcott Library Welcomes New Officers and Trustees
The Oliver Wolcott Library welcomes four new trustees and a new slate of officers elected at its annual meeting in September and subsequent board meeting. Trustees share many responsibilities and play a vital role in ensuring the Oliver Wolcott Library remains a vibrant cultural and educational center that enlightens, entertains and informs. The Board provides strategic vision, oversees its financial needs and responsibilities including fundraising, and advocates for the library.
The 2015- 2016 Board includes officers Emily Dalton as President, Philip Miller as Vice President, Patrick Boland as Treasurer and Maura Malo as Secretary, as well as Egils Bogdanovics M.D., Stuart Chapman, Kyra Hartnett, and Todd Johnson. Completing the twelve member board are four newly elected trustees: Cara Blazier, Carole Gibney, Dan Kraut, and Susan Pasquariello.
Cara Blazier is a retired Clinical Social Worker. Prior to this, she was the Assistant Director of the Music Library at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Cara holds a BS from Emerson College, a Master of Social Work from New York University and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University. She currently serves on the Sponsorship Committee for the library’s annual fundraiser, the Festival of Trees. She has actively served as a Festival Committee member for the last five years. Cara also volunteers for Friends In Service to Humanity (FISH) and the Litchfield Aid of the CJR.
Carole Gibney currently serves on the library’s Silent Auction Committee and Sponsorship Committee for the library’s annual fundraiser, the Festival of Trees. She has actively served as a Festival Committee member for the last five years, and in the late 1990s was the co-chair of the Festival Tree Committee. Carole served on the Board of Directors of Prime Time House in Torrington. She is presently a Realtor at Marrin, Santore Realty, Lithfield. Previously, she worked in publishing as a fashion editor at Condé Nast Publications. Carole lives in Litchfield with her husband.
Dan Kraut currently serves on the library’s Program Ad Committee for the Festival of Trees, and has been on the library’s Audit Committee for several years. Dan also currently serves on the Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust Board. Dan served on the Litchfield Country Club Board for two years where Dan was the Membership Chair. Dan was also former Treasurer of the Litchfield Country Club. Dan lives in Litchfield with his wife.
Susan Pasquariello currently serves as the library’s Annual Fund Drive Chair. She has been involved in the library for decades. She last served on the Board in 2001- 2006 where she served as Secretary for several years. Susan was the President of the Board in the mid-1970s. Since leaving the OWL Board, she has remained active in library, continuing to volunteer for the Festival of Trees, and serving for three years on the Finance Committee. For several years, Susan served on the Seherr-Thoss Foundations as Director and Secretary. She also has served in leadership positions of the Litchfield Women’s Forum. Susan lives in Litchfield with her husband.
OWL Board President Emily Dalton is the co-founder and Executive Vice President of Jack Black, a premium line of men’s grooming products. Jack Black is the fastest growing prestige men’s grooming brand in the U.S. and is ranked as a top prestige brand in the U.S. She earned her M.B.A. from the University of Texas. Emily is currently the Festival of Trees Chair for the 2015 Festival. She also served as the Chair of the Festival of Trees from 2011- 2013, and served as the Silent Auction Chair from 2009- 2010. Last year, she served as the library’s Annual Fund Drive Chair. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Susan B. Anthony Project. Emily lives in Litchfield with her husband and their two daughters.
OWL Vice President Philip Miller recently retired from the investment business. During his career he oversaw institutional portfolios and mutual funds as a Managing Director at Smith Barney in New York. Most recently he was affiliated with Scholtz and Company where he managed high net-worth clients. He earned his BA at Wesleyan and served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela. He is a member of Trinity Milton Episcopal Church and has served on the boards of the Litchfield Historical Society, the Litchfield Country Club and the University Club. He is currently a member of the Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust. Phil lives in Litchfield with his wife.
OWL Board Treasurer Patrick J. Boland lives in Litchfield with his wife, and is a retired Managing Director of Credit Suisse First Boston. He is also the Board President of the Connecticut Junior Republic. He was the chairman of the First National Bank of Litchfield until the bank was sold to Union Savings Bank in April of 2010, and is currently a Corporator of Union Savings Bank. Pat holds a BS degree from the State University of NY at Buffalo and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He worked for over 30 years as a banker in New York City. Pat began his banking career in 1974 with J.P. Morgan and Company. He has served as the library’s Treasurer for several years, as well as continuing to serve on the library’s Raffle Committee.
OWL Board Secretary Maura Malo is the Chief Risk Officer and Chief Internal Auditor for Connecticut Mutual Holding Company (CMHC). CMHC is a mutual holding company that owns Litchfield Bancorp, Northwest Community Bank, and Collinsville Savings Society. Maura earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Western New England College and MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She currently serves as a Girl Scout leader and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Five Points Gallery in Torrington, past President and Board member of the Junior Women’s Club of Litchfield Hills, and a recipient of the 2013 New Leaders in Banking award. Maura currently serves as the Chair of the Program Ad Committee for the Festival of Trees. She served as a member of the Program Ad Committee for the last three years. Maura lives in Litchfield with her husband and two daughters.
Farewell to Our Majestic Copper Beech
Our majestic copper beech tree has been a symbol of the library for decades. Since the Oliver Wolcott Library moved to its current location in July of 1967, the beautiful Copper Beech Tree by the main entrance has welcomed visitors. With its wide branches, stunning copper leaves, and enormous trunk, it has delighted and enchanted library patrons for decades.
Unfortunately the tree has been declining for more than ten years, and by last summer, was declared completely dead when not one new leaf emerged. It is slated to come down in late May or early June.
Dead trees have many uses and can be stunning in their own right. However, being a public building with about 250 visitors a day, we cannot accept the threat that a dead tree could pose to our patrons. As a result, after much careful deliberation and thought, the library’s Beech Tree Committee concluded that the tree should be removed.
The library did everything it could to keep it strong including using a skilled arborist to assist with the best practice for the care and nurturing of big trees. But, ultimately, like all things in life, the tree finally reached the end of its life.
The library formed a Beech Tree Committee appointed by the Board President to decide what should be done. The Committee includes local artisan and owner of Northwest Corner Woodworks John LaGattuta; Litchfield Garden Club past President and Litchfield Land Trust board member Drew Harlow; Litchfield Garden Club member Jane Hinkel; Litchfield Garden Club member Marla Patterson; Vice President of Chapman Lumber and library trustee Stuart Chapman; Founder of Zero Odor and library trustee Jim Huffstetler; White Memorial trustee and library trustee Susan Spencer; and Library Director Ann Marie White.
After careful review and deliberation, the Committee decided that if the tree was sound upon removal, they would work with three local artisans, Richard Heys, John LaGattuta and Jim Nash of Nash-Winn Milling, who will craft specially-made items from the beech tree that the library can own and proudly display as a way to honor and memorialize the tree.
Additional plans include saving a couple of slabs of the tree, if sound, to use as an educational tool that will highlight significant historical events matched to the tree rings of that same year.
The Committee also plans to replant either in the fall of 2014 or spring of 2015, depending on the tree selected and availability.
While the Oliver Wolcott Library is saddened to see its friend, the magnificent Copper Beech go, we look forward to memorializing it with local artisans, using the opportunity to educate young patrons on how to identify and appreciate trees, and planting a new tree.