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.
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.
Jim 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 was a member of the Kent Library Association Board from 2002-2016, 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 a retired partner from the New York office of Dorsey & Whitney, specializing in the field of trademark, copyright and advertising law. She is also a mediator for the Southern District New York federal court. Sandy joined the Kent Library Association Board in 2011 and is currently Board President. She was previously Secretary and Chair of the Membership Committee, also 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 Sandy enjoys local walks, gardening and baking.
Ellen moved to Kent in 2015 with her husband and son and first became connected to KML through Saturday morning story hours in the Junior Room. Having come from a town where children’s library programming was only on weekday mornings, she was immediately grateful for KML’s ability to accommodate all different family schedules. Ellen has a BA from Georgetown University and has worked in the asset management industry, primarily in institutional marketing and client service, for over 20 years, in both NYC and London. Ellen joined the Board in 2023 and she also serves as an officer for the Kent Center School Parent Teacher Organization and is a member of the KCS BoE Community Relations Committee. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing with her family and enjoying all that Kent has to offer.
Sharon Hartwick is a real estate agent with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty and Co-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 retired 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 has been a resident of Kent since 2005.
Jee Mee Kim
Jee Mee is a City Executive for Arcadis — a global design and engineering firm that works with public and private sector clients to develop sustainable solutions that improve quality of life. As City Executive for the New York metro area, Jee Mee leads the firm’s strategic growth initiatives, pursues new business development opportunities and partnerships, and oversees client relationships in the New York City region.
Jee Mee, her husband Peter, and son Oliver have been Kent residents since 2015. Jee Mee started visiting Kent (and KML) two decades ago, running her first Kent Pumpkin Run in 2001. In her spare time, she loves to run and hike with her dog Coco and ride her horses, Phoenix and Splash.
YuJung Kim is President of The Dodo, a mission-driven digital media company committed to telling the most inspiring and impactful stories about animals. She also serves as Group Publisher at Vox Media, where, in addition to The Dodo, she oversees SB Nation — an online network of over 300 sports communities. YuJung’s prior roles include managing the National Basketball Association’s digital media business and working in finance. She holds a BA from Princeton University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
YuJung is a resident of Kent since 2017, where she lives full time with her husband and young son — whose happy place is the children’s section (the train table more specifically) of the Kent Memorial Library.
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 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 is a member of the Architecture and Design Committee, plus serves on the Facilities Committee. Carol took over as the Board Secretary in 2023.
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.
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.. 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 as Co-Vice President on the Kent Library Association Board, plus 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.
Julie and her husband, Kevin, moved to Kent in 2003 and have raised their family in town. She taught science, entrepreneurship, and math and oversaw communications at Kent School for almost twenty years, and then pivoted to the private sector to work in financial modeling in green energy. Julie became connected to KML through story hour and lunch bunch in the Children’s Room, bringing Linnea and William to sing and learn with Miss Sarah and Miss Ellen each week. She volunteers at the Library to bring science and engineering experiences to local children and to teach adults how to engage with social media. Julie serves on the Library Board’s Car Raffle Team, is a member of the Outreach Committee, and assists with communications and 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 retired owner of Cottonwood Construction, a residential construction company based in Kent. He has lived in town for over 20 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.