Jim Blackketter served as Vice President and Director of Strategic Planning of Inmont Corporation of New York, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of lnmont’s RBH division in New Jersey, and Director of the printing ink division of BASF in Canada.
He was a founding board member of the Kent Village District Committee. He served as senior deacon of the First Congregational Church of Kent, President of the Kent Chamber of Commerce, and Chairman of the Kent Zoning Board of Appeals. He recently served on Kent’s Streetscape Committee. He currently serves on Kent’s Board of Finance.
Mr. Blackketter and his wife, Gini, moved to Kent in 1991 and owned Kent’s House of Books for 23 years. He is a Board member for the Kent Community Fund and for the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, where is a member of the Executive Committee.
Jim is Co-President of the Library Board and works with the Car Raffle, Development, and Endowment Committees.
She was a technical illustrator for several years, both full time and then as a freelancer. For 10 years, she assisted her husband, Marc, in running Aeroplan, Inc., a worldwide charter aircraft brokerage. She then sold real estate for three years before becoming associated with the Kent Library as a Board member and eager volunteer, a cause still dear to her heart.
Driving for FISH (Friends in Service Here of Northwestern Connecticut) in Kent and the surrounding areas is another valued opportunity Jan uses to give back to the community.
An Architect by profession, Sam served as executive vice president of the Envicon Group in New York and Real Vest Corp, in Stamford, both national real estate development companies, from 1973 to 1988. He moved to Redding, Connecticut in 1986, where he and his wife, Jill, and two daughters lived for 25 years, moving to Gaylordsville in 2011. While in Redding he practiced residential and community oriented architecture as a sole proprietor, a practice which moved with him to Gaylordsville in 2011. He also served two terms as President of the Mark Twain Library in Redding and was involved in a major expansion of its facilities, which was completed in 2001. While in Redding, he served on the Church Council of the Redding Congregational Church and was a member of the St. Paul’s School Alumni Association Executive Committee for 10 years. Sam joined the Board of the Kent Library Association at the beginning of 2020.
Ken Cooper – Chair, Kent Library Association Advisory Group
Ken Cooper has been a member of the Kent Library Association Board since 2006, serving on the Finance Committee and as a past President. He initiated the Library Lecture Series, which attracted world figures in the arts, politics and literary world to speak before the community. He is the Chief Financial Officer of ACK, Asset Management and was formerly CFO of Republic National Bank of New York. He is also on the Board of the Kent Land Trust and is Vice Chair of Studio in a School in New York City. Ken and his wife, Charmian, have been Kent residents since 2004.
Sandy Edelman is a lawyer and partner in the New York office of Dorsey & Whitney, specializing in the field of trademark law and advertising in traditional and social media. Sandy joined the Kent Library Association Board in 2011 and is currently Co-President with Jim Blackketter. She was previously Chair of the Membership Committee, currently serves on the Development and Finance Committees, and provides guidance on non-profit governance issues.
She and her husband, Burton Visotzky, have had a home in South Kent since 1995 and enjoy biking to town and on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.
Sandy is also a longtime Board member and currently Secretary of Dorot, Inc., a New York City-based non-profit that offers intergenerational programs to address social isolation among the elderly.
Sharon Hartwick is a real estate agent with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty and Vice President on the Kent Library Association Board. She heads the Directors and Personnel Committee and serves on the Benefit, Programs’ and Strategic Planning Committees.
Sharon and her husband, Tony, a sculptor and art teacher, have lived in South Kent since 2002. Previously she was a weekender in Litchfield County and Creative Director in the advertising business in New York City, working at various agencies, including Young & Rubicam, Interpublic Group and Della Femina. She graduated from the University of Minnesota and has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism.
Libraries have been a lifetime passion for her. Sharon’s mother was the director of a small town library for over 50 years—she’s had a library card since birth.
Ellen has been volunteering for the Kent Library Association since 2010 and joined the Board in 2017. She currently serves on the Benefit and Development Committees as well as the Firehouse Task Force. She is a Physical Therapist specializing in the hand and owned Manhattan Rehabilitation Group in New York City for 32 years. Ellen enjoys volunteering her time with Habitat for Humanity and the SLT Scholars Program in Guatemala. Ellen and her husband Jean-Marie have been residents of Kent since 2005.
Michaela grew up in Encino, California, and attended Woodbury College where she studied interior design. During a break from school, while visiting friends in New York City, she was discovered by a photographer and so began a 20- year career as a fashion model and spokesperson. She did print and TV commercials as well as voiceovers for many well-known brands, including Cover Girl Cosmetics. She traveled the world on various modeling assignments, but eventually settled in New York City where she met her husband. When they retired, they moved to New Milford, and Michaela joined the Board of the Kent Library Association.
Michaela is the Secretary and also Archivist for the Library. She is involved with several of the fundraising initiatives, including the Car Raffle and the Benefit Committees, and she also assists with many other tasks. She works on events and volunteers at the front desk of the Library. Michaela enjoys contributing to what she considers an extremely important part of the community and takes pride in being involved in something that matters.
Beginning as a Librarian in its Art & Music Division, Carol spent over 25 years at Brooklyn Public Library (BPL). After a few years, she joined the Information Technology Department, becoming assistant director and managed the initiative that installed over 2,000 public computers in the Library system’s 59 facilities. She created and introduced training programs for both the public and the staff and managed the implementation of other new technologies, ensuring that they enhanced the library experience for the public. As Coordinator of Special Projects, Carol worked closely with BPL’s executive directors to design new buildings and renovate old ones in addition to addressing major policy issues on such topics as censorship and Internet access. She worked on a New York State Commission that created a new vision of library service for the 21st Century and planned a state-of-the-art visual and performing arts library. Carol received an M.A. in Library Science from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in art history from Bryn Mawr College. She has had a home in Kent since 1991. Carol joined the Library Board in 2015. She chairs the Outreach and Membership Committee and also serves on the Facilities and Strategic Planning Committees.
Rudy joined the Board in 2005 and is the Chair of the Car Raffle. He also serves on the Finance, Endowment, and Development Committees.
Rudy is a long-time member of SCORE, a nationwide organization of business mentors.
Paul Henry Nargeolet
Paul Henry “PH” Nargeolet has been a South Kent resident for six years and joined the Library Board in 2015. He is a former Commander who served 25 years in the French Navy. He has also been a ship’s Captain, a deep-sea diver, a submersible pilot and an underwater demolition and de mining team commanding officer. He became the Captain of the Deep Submergence Group of the Navy (formerly Bathyscaphe Group). After the Navy, he joined the French Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (FREMER) to extract resources like oil or fish. PH led several expeditions to the Titanic site and was involved in numerous scientific and technical expeditions around the world. He was in charge of the Deep submersible Nautili (20,000 feet) and Cyana (10,000 feet), and all the deep equipment, and the technical research office of the Institute. PH also dove with several Deep Submersibles from other countries. He was for eight years the CEO of a company that owned two 3,300 feet submersibles, a research vessel and a helicopter. He is the Director of the Underwater Research Program of RMS Titanic, Inc. PH is also the Technical Adviser and Consultant for the Five Deeps Expedition, which reach the deepest points of the five oceans with the only manned submersible in the world, diving to 36,000 feet.
Sharon Lynch Norton
Sharon Norton is a native of New York City and began her law career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Subsequently, she practiced civil litigation in both New York and New Jersey. As a partner in a civil law firm, she specialized in representing victims of employment discrimination and prosecuted state and federal civil rights cases. Later, as a Professor at St. John’s University, New York, she taught Criminal Justice and other law courses and was later named Vice Provost.
Throughout her adult life, Sharon has served on various boards and committees for woman and children’s advocacy for the City of New York and private educational institutions. Since moving to Kent in 2009, she and her husband Jim have been involved in supporting the Library and the Kent Land Trust. Sharon joined the Library Board in 2016 and is active on the Program and Outreach Committees, and enjoys participating in all library events throughout the year.
Ruth G. O’Meara
Ruth O’Meara’s background as an educator includes teaching Spanish Literature and Language at St. Paul’s School and the Putney School. Ruth organized international trips for high school students, exchange students and hosted international students. She was the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities Awards, and was a reader for the Advanced Placement Spanish Literature Exam.
Ruth immigrated to the United States at age 14 and New York City became home. To serve her new country, she volunteered for the U.S. Peace Corps in Chile, South America. She also served as Cancer Society Chairman, organizing fundraising. After retirement, she served as docent at the Benton Museum, University of Connecticut.
Ruth first came to Kent in 1970, following her marriage to Eugene “Rusty” O’Meara, who was First Selectman for 12 years. Their three children attended Kent Center School. After being away for 26 years, she has made Kent her home again.
Currently, she is a deacon at the First Congregational Church. She is also a member of the Garden Club and the Informal Club. She joined the Kent Library Association Board in 2008 and serves on the Benefit Committee and is Liaison for the Book Sale.
Janet A. Levy Rivkin
Janet has been in Kent since 1988, initially as a weekender and now as an almost full time resident along with her husband Lawrence Rivkin. Janet is a graduate of the Mount Vernon, NY public schools and holds a BA in Sociology and Studio Art from Connecticut College (for Women).
She holds two Masters Degrees from Columbia University and an advanced certificate from Dartmouth College. In addition she was the first woman to be an Assistant Professor at New York University’s Real Estate Institute, from which she graduated with a Real Estate Degree and Certification.
In 1978, Janet was a founder of the Association of Real Estate Women, which was the first organization of its kind. She served as its President from 1983-1984 and was honored as a Pioneer leader in the industry in the early 2000s. In 1988, she was honored by the Associated Builders of NY and was recognized as a leader at the Multi-Housing World National Conference in 1987.
Her career has included property investment, management, brokerage and the development of a quality control inspection business. Many of her clients included major New York City office buildings and building complexes for hospitals and universities.
Civic involvement has been foremost in her life, especially in the areas of human rights and civil rights. She served as Vice Chairman of the Partnership for the Homeless in New York City and has for the past 36 years been a national leader for Girls Inc. She has proudly served on the Board of Kent Affordable Housing and for the last 10 years has served on the Board of the Kent Library Association where she helped to form a Facilities committee and worked to restore the severely-damaged historic Reading Room of the original library. She also serves on the Strategic Planning, Governance and Annual Benefit committees.
Janet’s favorite part of KML is Tuesday morning Rhythm and Rhyme where she get to watch young children, from infants on up, skip into the library with the most open and free minded spirits, ready to experience libraries, learning and the world.
Eric R. Roper
Eric is a retired attorney, having practiced in New York City for 50 years. He specialized in the financial services industry, principally establishing domestic and offshore investment vehicles. He also counseled various Non-Profit organizations. Eric is a co-founder of Help for Children, an international organization aiding physically and sexually abused children. He also serves on its Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
Eric joined the Kent Library Association Board in 2019 and serves on its Governance and Strategic Planning Committees. He’s a member of the Vestry of Saint Andrews Episcopal Church in Kent and is on its Committee on Mission and Outreach. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Theater Now New York, which promotes the works of young playwrights for musical theater.
Eric is married to Alice Roper, an art dealer and professional art appraiser. They enjoy their time in Kent by participating in local community activities, reading, exercising and entertaining friends.
Eric’s favorite weekend companion is his black 1955 Ford F 100, and he is often seen driving it around the village. The Ropers reside in Kent and New York City.
Betty Ruddy is a native of Michigan and spent most of her adult life in Seattle practicing corporate and banking law, raising a family, being a foster mother and serving on the Board of Treehouse, a non-profit organization that serves foster children.
Betty first visited Kent in 2007 and fell in love with the area. In 2014 she bought and remodeled a house here to be closer to her children and grandchildren who live in Manhattan and New Jersey. She has always loved books and libraries. In 2013, she began volunteering at the Library book sale several hours a week, summer and winter. In 2017, she joined the Library Board of Directors. She is on the Book Sale and Strategic Planning Committees and is the Chair of the Development Committee.
Julie Saxton is on the Faculty at Kent School where she teaches math and runs the Entrepreneurship Program. She previously worked in Communications for the school in both web development and media strategy. Before Kent, she worked in curriculum development in the Engineering Department at Tufts University.
Julie and her husband, Kevin, left Boston and moved to Kent in 2003 and have raised their family in town. Julie became connected to KML through the zero-to-three story hour in the Children’s Room, bringing Linnea and William to sing and learn with Miss Sarah and Miss Ellen each week. Julie began volunteering at the Library a decade ago to bring science and engineering experiences to Kent children after school and teach adults how to engage with social media.
She has also served as PTO President at Kent Center School.
Julie serves on the Library Board’s Car Raffle Team, is a member of the Outreach Committee, and assists with technology needs.
Dana Slaughter has been a resident of Kent for 34 years, where she and her husband raised their two children. Dana has a BS in Biology from the University of Connecticut and an MA (Master of Arts in Teaching in Education and Biology) from Tulane University. She taught middle and high school science in New Fairfield for 21 years. Dana joined the Hotchkiss faculty from 2011 to 2019 where she taught a variety of science courses on a part-time basis. She was also a study skills and private tutor at the Marvelwood School in Kent. Dana is currently retired.
Dana is a member of various local organizations, including Secretary of the Kent Center School Board of Education, the KCS School Scholarship Fund and the Schoolyard Habitat Committee, as well as the Kent Quilters. She joined the Kent Library Association Board in 2018 and works on the Library Benefit, Development, and Strategic Planning Committees.
Rick is the owner of Cottonwood Construction, a residential construction company based in Kent. He has lived in town for 18 years with his wife, Sue. In his free time, when he’s not keeping up with Library repairs, Rick keeps busy coaching swimming and leading bike tours. Rick has been a Board member since 2017 and is Chair of the KML Facilities Committee.
John Walker has been on the Kent Library Association Board since 2018. He currently serves on the Finance Committee and is the Library Treasurer. A retired financial advisor, John also serves on the boards of the National Horse Show and the Garden State Horse Show, and he’s a partner in the Long Island Horse Shows. John is also a voiceover actor and audiobook narrator.
John L. Youngblood
John is the Managing Partner of Gallatin Capital LLC and has been responsible for all aspects of the operation and supervision of the Firm’s business since its founding in 2003. From early 2000 until Gallatin’s spin-off and founding, he was a Managing Director of Moore Capital management, a New York-based private investment manager of hedge funds and other alternative investment vehicles, where he was responsible for the business development and client services groups.
From 1991 through early 2000, John was a Managing Director of JP Morgan Chase, serving as Group Head of Private Placements and Structured Securities since 1993. He was responsible for overseeing the private placement of domestic and cross-border debt and equity securities, supervised Chase’s arbitrage collateralized loan and bond obligation businesses and served on the Commitment Committee for the Investment Banking Division. Before joining Chase, he was a Director in the Private Financing Group at Prudential Securities Inc.
John began his career at Lehman Brothers where he handled all aspects of private placements and investment banking projects for energy, utility and other companies as an Associate and later Vice President. ·
John received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College and a Masters of Management degree, Beta Gamma Sigma, from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of PivotalPath LLC, and the Board of Trustees
of Carleton College.
John joined the Board of the Kent Library Association in 2006. He is Chair of the Long Range Planning Committee and the Firehouse Task Force. He also serves on the Development and Strategic Planning Committees.