Meet the members of Strategic Plan Committee
FAIRFIELD — Seven residents are setting the town’s path forward.
Tasked with finding a consultant to help guide the town as it attempts to map out its future, the Strategic Plan Committee’s members range from people born and raised in town to relative newcomers. There’s a Fairfielder of the Year on the roster, along with a former professional lacrosse player.
So, who are these seven? Here are some thumbnails about the residents who make up the committee, as they prepare for their first meeting on Thursday:
Battista moved to town 13 years ago and has thrown herself into the fabric of Fairfield. After 27 years as a human resources professional with corporations like General Electric, RBS and Unilever, Battista co-chaired the town’s 375th Anniversary Gala and has served as chairwoman of Grasmere Adult Day Care, and president of the Junior Women’s Club
In 2015, Battista, who is the Pink Pledge chairwoman, was named Fairfielder of the Year.
Battista said she has been looking for an opportunity to get more involved with the town and, until now, had not quite found the right opportunity.
“I love the sense of community our town has on so many levels,” Battista said.
Gross, who is a strategic account sales executive with Hewlett-Packard Enterprises, had three reasons to submit his name for consideration. First, he said, he has been on the receiving end of RFPs in his career and thinks he knows what makes for a good RFP. Second, the type of services he has sold are strategic services. And third, he has watched the town debate issues like Penfield Pavilion and teacher pensions and thinks a strategic plan is overdue.
“I am excited about the town putting it in one place, that all town citizens and town boards can use as the guide to measure against as we face other major debates in the future,” Gross said.
Kaiser comes from the municipal sector. Since 2012, she has served as the economic director for the town of Stratford. She is a partner and co-founder of Strategic Initiatives LLC.
She has served on the board for the Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival since 2007, and from 2008 to 2013 was a board member of Al’s Angels, a charitable organization based in Westport. She is a trustee of the Alexander Tognino Foundation and served on the board of the Center for Women and Families from 1999 to 2001.
Montelli is a relative newcomer and moved to Fairfield from Weston. He and his wife chose Fairfield because it offers “the best of suburban living with the most citylike amenities.”
The former major league lacrosse player with the Rochester Rattlers, Montelli received a master’s degree from Harvard, with a thesis on the impact of aging millennials and baby boomers on the housing market. He works at Post Road Residential, a real estate development company based in town.
“I know much about the demographics and impending housing consumption shifts that will take place over the next decade, and I think it would be useful for my new hometown to have someone on the team who has lived and breathed many of the goals/objectives of the committee.”
Montelli previously worked for Barclays Investment Bank.
Jacyln Gailhard Picarillo
Picarillo was born and raised in Fairfield, and works as a Realtor. The former vice president of the Fairfield High School Class of 1997, Picarillo said, “Fairfield certainly has changed over the years, but I have a vested interest in bringing even more positive change.”
Picarillo has volunteered with Near & Far Aid since 2014, and in 2016 was the director of the auction for the Spring Gala.
“I want to make Fairfield better than ever,” she said.
Schechter has been a tax attorney and a human relations officer, and now heads her own strategic consulting firm.
“As a strategic planner myself, I understand the benefit of a collective and shared vision and plan for any organization,” she said.
Before starting her firm, she was director of advancement and communication at the New Canaan Library and a human resources vice president with Starr Commonwealth.
Wynne’s corporate career includes stints as managing director at Gupton Marrs International Inc. and managing principal with IBM Corp. as an internal transformation consultant. He said he has cross-industry experience in finance, project management and business transformations at banks, pharmaceuticals, General Motors, IBM and KPMG.
“I believe this initiative will be critical to the management of the ongoing evolution of the town, and the evolution of the many factors that should be considered to maintain Fairfield’s attractiveness as a place to live and raise our families,” he said.