Five Questions For... Sonal Rajan, mother and marketer
FAIRFIELD — Sonal Rajan made her way to Fairfield from the West Coast. Born in Walnut Creek, CA, Rajan attended high school in August, Georgia. She graduated from Georgia Tech, where she earned a bachelor degree in management, and also met her husband, Kumar.
They lived in Seattle before moving here in 2005. A mom of two McKinley School students — Kiran, 8, and Mira, 5 — Rajan works as a marketing consultant, after a career of working in marketing for a variety of technology companies. Two of her current clients are Operation Hope, the town’s Community and Economic Development Department.
Rajan recently answered some questions about her busy life.
Q: Why did you want to get involved in the town government?
A: When we moved here, I joined the Junior League of Eastern Fairfield County, a women’s leadership and volunteer organization that has been making an impact in the greater Bridgeport area since 1920. During my active membership, I held committee chair & board positions in fundraising, marketing and community development, as well as serving as president in 2013-2014. Learning more about our community, and the non-profits and people that are served by it, as well as a love for Fairfield, have all inspired me to be involved in Town government.
Q: Why the Board of Library Trustees, and what does serving on that board mean?
A: I cherished my tenure in leadership for the Junior League; I like to see how organizations run and in collaboration with like-minded people, take an active role in helping them move forward. Because of my League experience, I was approached with the opportunity to be considered for the Board of Library Trustees. I’m an avid reader and I’m excited that both my girls also share a love of reading; we spend a lot of time at the library. Serving in this role filled personal and professional goals, and it has been eye-opening, educational and inspiring. As the chair, I’ve enjoyed getting to know Town and political leadership, and understanding how the town works. Being a library trustee has made me a better-informed citizen and mother, as I can see where and how to advocate for what’s important for my family.
Q: When did you get involved with Operation Hope?
A: The Junior League has been supporting Operation Hope since the non-profit formed over 30 years ago, which is how I became involved in the organization as a volunteer. When transitioning from a full-time career three years ago, Executive Director Carla Miklos offered me an opportunity to support Operation Hope’s marketing efforts. In my small part, moving forward Operation Hope’s mission to end hunger and end homelessness, along with its passionate staff and volunteers, is a dream come true. It’s a privilege to know that what we do directly impacts the lives of families and individuals, helping them achieve stability and experience transformative change.
Q: What would you say to someone who says they’re too busy to get involved in their local community?
A: Just do it. Read the paper (or watch FairTV). Get to know how the town works. Attend Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance meetings during budget season and advocate for what’s important to you - that’s where you’ll learn lots of interesting things! Support a candidate that speaks to your interests and work on his or her campaign. Send letters to state and nationally elected officials. Or simply start with your child’s school and join the PTA. Join the Junior League (our membership drive is currently open) and get to know the community or join the Friends of the Library and volunteer either at the Main Library or Woods Branch for a few hours. There’s always time for someone to do something — and try to involve your kids.
Q: Have you ever thought about running for an elected office?
A: The time has never been better for women running for office, across the country and especially here in Fairfield. I am inspired by the many female candidates in our town and state and support and applaud them for seeking to drive change. Serving as a library trustee, as well as my work with Operation Hope and the Department of Community & Economic Development, has given me a unique perspective of our town. For now, I’m happy focusing on these roles, as well as having the privilege of raising our girls and being involved in their extracurricular activities and McKinley School’s very active PTA. But never say never!