Connecticut College Magazine · Winter 2011


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That's the Spirit: Class of 1986 reminds us what Reunion is all about

Despite the embarrassment of having reached our 25th Reunion, the celebration was worth the wait. We had record attendance and, as class tradition dictates, an overwhelming number of last-minute arrivals. Everyone seemed to agree that we had a great class. People became reacquainted or even met for the first time, and it was another fun time at Conn. And we survived a weekend of partying despite our slightly advanced age. If you missed catching up in person, here is an update from a number of our classmates. Despite claims of “oh, I'm boring,” as you can see from the entries below the Class of 1986 is pretty interesting.

Sarah Pitt Del Cristo and Carlos Del Cristo live in Cos Cob, CT, with their three boys, 13, 10 and 7. Sarah was recently inducted into the CC Hall of Fame for her swimming successes. Carlos is a stay-at-home dad and recently gave up his minivan.

Doug Bigham works for Merck in Billerica and plays a lot of tennis. Wife Judy stays home with their 16-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.

Jeff Nicholson lives in Stowe, VT, with wife Karen, Abby, 14, and Eric, 12. He is president and co-founder of Karen runs their alpaca farm, Stepping Stone Farm. They all lived in Italy last year for six months for no reason. Jeff's sister, Lee, is married to Akhil Garland '85, who crashes of our reunions. Akhil and Lee live in southern New Hampshire with their two children: Amy, 16, and Jason, 18. The family is planning to spend a year away in Mexico to become more fluent in Spanish. Akhil also reports he still doesn't know what he wants to be if he grows up.

Margaret Dougan Pappas lives in Suffield, CT, with four children, ages 19, 18 and two 6-year-old twins. Balancing college and kindergarten is lots of fun. She was happy to see friendly, not-so-old faces on the Green.

Kevin McGann has three kids. He missed his son's ninth birthday to be at Reunion! He's still in the exciting world of insurance.

Jeff Previdi lives in Manhattan with wife Ilana and kindergartner Annabel. Jeff still works for Standard & Poor's and recently became a Finnish citizen.

James Richardson enjoyed his first reunion ever after living in Togo, the U.K., France and Belgium over the last 20 years. Now he lives in Concord, MA, with his Australian wife, Susan, whom he met in Denmark. Their children are ages 10, 6 and 1. He used the reunion to catch up on sleep and take a break from diaper duty.

Jon Dorf lives with wife Yvonne and their two girls, Brianny and Alexa, in Mamaroneck, NY.

Laura Maguire Hoke is a realtor and her husband is a professional photographer (which, she notes, is almost as good as being married to a plastic surgeon). Daughter Ailsa goes to school for musical theater in NYC, and son Scotty is a theater major at Youth Performing Arts School.

Nick Avery and wife Alex (our own Nicholas and Alexandra) live in an old Victorian farmhouse with an orchard and pond and, yes, they grow their own vegetables. Nick works in historic preservation and Alex is a landscape architect. Nick is happy to report that he finally found someone to put up with him. They met the week after graduation. Happy 25th!

Ed Mills lives in Hingham, MA. He and wife Marianne have three children and just celebrated their 15th anniversary. Ed is director of training at American Dental Partners and still sails and skis.

Kitty Ijams Butt and Clem Butt '87 live in Fairfield, CT, with their kids, Lily, 11, and Alden, 9. Everyone but Kitty plays lacrosse, so she has her weekends free to attend things like Reunion. She's a recruiter for IHS and Clem owns Classic Garden Design ( His work has been in too many magazines to mention.

Meg Felton Staunton lives in Fairfield, CT, with husband Steve and sons Conway, 13, Archer, 11, and Redmond, 8. She notes that the boys are wild and crazy, and that it will be a miracle if she lives through (or rather if they live through) this parenting ordeal. Steve has a commodities hedge fund in Southport and is home most evenings for dinner. Meg produced an off-Broadway play a few years ago. For sanity, she is dabbling in the crazy world of entertainment, considering producing opportunities and doing some writing of her own. She says it's a pie-in-the-sky dream, but, hey, we all need dreams!

Jackie Newman Eshet is a personal trainer – still torturing people to get fit. (And yes, she still looks amazing!) Her daughters are 16 and 13. Meg and Kitty were the favorite guests at daughter Julia's bat mitzvah.

Richard Brayshaw and Susan Redshaw Brayshaw '88 have been married 18 years. They live in Smithfield, VA, and have three kids. 14-year-old William is over 6'2”. Claire, 21, is majoring in art and philosophy at VCU. Camille, 12, is a straight-A student and multitalented.

Mary-Ann Somers recently moved to Atlanta from Istanbul, where she worked for Colgate Palmolive for a few years. She loves her new job in a venture and innovation group at Coca-Cola. She travels a lot and her favorite destination to date is Prague.

Tom Saidy and wife Stacey live in Bethesda, MD, with Margaux, 8, and Jane, 6. Tom co-manages a global emerging markets investment fund for Cartica Management LLC.

Dave Benjack lives in Norfolk, VA, with wife Claire. They have three boys: Andrew, Alex and Clay. Dave owns a commercial contracting company and serves on several boards. He regularly sees Larry “Nemo” Hannafin, who lives in Fairfax, VA, with wife Joanne and kids Ryan, Claire and Lauren. Nemo has been in commercial real estate finance for 15 years. He stays in touch with a number of alumni and he still loves golf and beer. Dave also sees Dederian, Nahill, and Rosie and chats with Polly.

Ned Hurley lives in NYC with wife Vicky McGarry Hurley '87 and their kids, 10 and 12. He loves to boat off Long Island. He owns a marina in Bay Shore, NY, and upright parking lots. He operates the entire Coney at MCU Park Island parking lot — the site of Luna Park and home to the Brooklyn Cyclones. Ned still keeps in touch with Philippe Roederer and Bill Nightingale '87, who works as an Emerging Markets Debt Trader and lives in Rowayton, CT, with his wife, daughter and two sons. Bill still sails – he won the JY Nationals two years ago and plans on winning again this year!

Rich Snyder was married last September. He and Ari live in Brookline, MA. His family includes stepson Paul, 16, and a goldendoodle, Fozzie. Rich is a food broker in the Boston area. He finished his sixth consecutive Boston Marathon and is proud to say he's still standing!

Philippe Roederer lives in NYC with his wife and 9-year-old twins. He works for a French company in the wine and spirit business. Philippe stays active playing golf and tennis, often travels coast to coast, and stays in touch with his family in France.

Sam Caulfield lives with his wife and two boys, aged 9 and 7, in Old Greenwich, CT. Sam works in the exciting corporate tax field. He rides the 456 train daily and is waiting for the new Metro North trains to kick in. His life is filled with soccer, baseball, tennis, skateboards and rip sticks.

Our Illustrious President Tom Liptack is married to his prom date, Barbara. They have two kids. Tom works as a financial consultant and coaches soccer and hoops — four teams in all. They live in the town where Tom grew up — Larchmont, NY.

Chris Rempfer teaches English and public speaking at City College of NY. He wrote a screenplay, “Moving Mike,” which was screened at the Williamstown Film Festival. He spent a year as a speechwriter for Bill Thompson, former comptroller of NYC. Now he's developing a new musical about Robin Hood.

Chris Tierney and wife Ann have two children, Ted, 12, and Megan, 10. He is a controller in the software industry. He still plays soccer, skis and parties. And yes, the man drives a monster vehicle to accommodate as many soccer players as possible.

Nick Dolin has been married five years and has a 5-year-old daughter, Katie. He's worked at HBO for 16 years and is the producer of “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” He runs, plays basketball and is teaching Katie the finer points of bike riding.

John Derderian and Amanda Kuklin Derderian '88 have two children. He works for Waltham Lumber and likes to ski. He truly wishes Amanda had joined us for Reunion — he's used to being a couple. Awww!

John Nahill lives in Winchester with wife Maureen and five kids, ages 11-21. The oldest just graduated from college! John just started a new company, Seaside Investment, focused on energy and health care. He still plays golf and is good enough to beat Nemo.

Michael Reder is married to Andrea Rossi-Reder, the College's associate dean of freshmen and sophomores. Michael teaches contemporary lit at Conn and is the director of the Joy Shectman Mankoff Center of Teaching & Learning. They are a real Conn couple! They have two kids, Noah and Lucy. Michael also is very busy trying to be a fun dad.

Lynne Pogmore LaBelle lives in Sarasota, FL, where she is a photostylist for the Home Shopping Network. Her daughter Mia, 6, is a little dancing queen and artist. She thinks that she misses winter until Lisa Newman Paratore sends her pictures from RI. Lisa lives in the Providence area, where she's an interior decorator and owns Homestyle, a design store in Providence. She has two daughters, ages 8 and 5. They love Thanksgiving visits from Auntie Lynne and Mia. Lisa and her husband, Larry, were married by Father Larry in Harkness Chapel and had their reception at the Garde Arts Center in New London.

Polly Altrocchi Clark lives in Pleasanton, CA, and teaches third grade. She and husband Kevin celebrated their 20th anniversary this year. Their kids are Lucy, 17, Cameron, 15, and Caroline, 12. Polly is still the responsible one of her CC friend group.

Susan Zuckerman Broude lives in Manhattan and has two children, Jake, 15, and Caroline, 11. She works for a not-for-profit that supports inner-city Catholic elementary and high schools. She skis, runs, and is a soccer, figure-skating and baseball mom. She loves to try to find time to sleep.

Ronnie Venture lives in Washington DC. She is the director of EEO and diversity for the Department of Homeland Security. She has been married to Tim Mullins for seven years and they have a yellow Lab named Moon. Ronnie and Tim love to travel. Their most recent trip was a Mediterranean cruise to Santorini, Italy, and Greece. On a recent trip to St. Thomas, they went helmet diving to walk on the bottom of the ocean!

Frances Cole Jones lives in Bridgehampton, NY. She's the celebrated author of “How to Wow” and “The Wow Factor.” She loves to spend time with Jill Hanson; Jill's daughter, Clare; and son, Benjamin. Jill, an architect, lives in NYC with husband Doug Simon '85. They just finished a seven-month “walk about” to Greece, Turkey, Cambodia and Russia.

Sarah Hutter lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and kids Henry, 7, and Claire, 5. She works for Everyday Health, an Internet startup in Manhattan. She sees Margi Schwartz, Chris Rempfer and Jon Latimer, who have all proved to be awesome babysitters.

Nina Calace-Mottola Kiess, husband Kurt, their three kids and beloved Yorkie live in Manhasset, NY. All the kids (16, 15 and 12) go to the same elementary and high schools that mom and dad attended. Nina keeps busy with lots of volunteering and planning her 30th high school reunion. That girl loves reunions!

Danny Selcow, wife Melissa and son Max, 5, live in NYC's Upper West Side. Danny is a part-time riathlete (he completed one on the way to Reunion!) and an adviser for Wilmington Trust. Melissa is an artist specializing in charcoal renderings of nudes. Max started kindergarten this fall.

Marc Agnifilo is married and lives in NYC's Financial District. He is a criminal defense attorney and represented Dominique Strauss-Kahn. His three girls (14-year-old twins and a 6-year-old) are competitive equestrians. For fun Marc participates in long-distance charity bike rides and plays ice hockey.

Leonard Ellentuck is married with a 2½-year-old son. An oncology social worker for Georgetown Hospital, he is working on starting a private psychotherapy practice. For fun, he does what ever his son wants to do and he's exhausted!

Chris Livingston lives with his wife; Madeline, 6½; and Graham, almost 5, in L.A., where Chris works in real estate and directing his second movie, “Dumbbells” — watch for it! He loves going to the park or beach with his family and enjoys seeing old friends from school.

Margi Schwartz runs the sculpture department at Sotheby's Auction House. She lives in Manhattan and sees way too much of Sarah Hutter, Chris Rempfer, Meg Felton and Mary-Ann Somers. She spends as much time as she can on the water in ME. She loves her job, life and family, and celebrated her birthday during Reunion. She was more than surprised when a cake appeared and the whole class sang “Happy Birthday”! Future plans may include life in New Zealand or Siena … stay tuned!

Dina Johnson Church is married with two kids in Northern VA. She's still acting and singing, but not making any money at it. She worked in health care, public relations and marketing before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She passionately studies the novels of Jane Austen and the world of perfume.

Athena Tsakanikas is married and lives in Wilton, CT. An attorney, she's been at the same job for the last 11 years and is super busy running between family things. Stop by if you're in Wilton!

Hilary Gans lives in Palo Alto, CA, and is married to his sweetheart from sophomore year, Hayley Altman Gans '87. They have three boys who are all better and smarter than dad. (Best Reunion attire EVER!!)

Lestra Litchfield is married with two girls, 13 and 11. They live in Cambridge, MA. Lestra is not working, but still painting and volunteering in the public schools. The family loves to travel, camp and hike. She looks forward to the annual pilgrimage to the Tetons and Adirondacks.

Sally Blodgett Olson lives in Seattle with her daughters, 17 and 13. She and husband Jim have been married 20 years. Sally is a social worker and teaches a parenting class for parents of infants and toddlers at a community college. She loves to find a few minutes to sit down and read. Jim is a physician and
researcher in pediatric oncology. They host house concerts for local artists.

Will Conroy, a screenwriter who wrote “Transsiberian,” is the president of the Arizona Inn, a hotel in Tucson built by his great-grandmother. He and wife Julia have two children, Liam, 8, and Eleri, 6. He still watches the Red Sox.

Chris Byrne and Holly Darr Byrne '88 have three kids. Chris is a senior exec in an international financial firm in NYC and coaches ice hockey for son Chris. Daughter Kim is a NY state crew champ and daughter Jenny is a stellar softball player. Holly is a fitness instructor specializing in Zumba.

Heidi Geiges lives in the Bay Area and teaches third grade. She's an avid wine collector and loves hiking. Heidi was thrilled to come back to Conn with her mother, Myrna Goldberg Geiges '57. Myrna joined our KB living room festivities.

Jonathan McEwan lives in Jersey City with his significant “bother” Jorge Abouyoun. He's a creative director at Mediapost, a small publishing house in Manhattan. In his spare time, he appeared in an independent film, “BearCity,” and filmed the sequel this summer on Cape Cod. He also DJs at clubs in Asbury Park, NJ, and Manhattan under the moniker Jonny Mack.

Bill Walter and wife Courtney live in Middlebury, CT. He works in educational publishing and travels a lot for work, but goes to Mexico and Block Island for non-business trips.

Bradley Wade, our new co-correspondent, lives in Ashfield, NC. He worked at the Biltmore Estate for 10 years as the specialist on all things Vanderbilt. He's now enjoying gardening, cooking and living in the mountains with his partner of 20 years, Darren, and their Chihuahua, Tina. He enjoys corresponding the old-fashioned way with pen and paper and would love to correspond with his classmates.

Wayne Elowe lives in Atlanta with wife Gina Sykes Elowe '87 and their girls, Grace, 16, and Brook, 14. Wayne is an attorney specializing in international corporate law and still plays hockey. Brook plays hockey and Grace is a figure skater. Gina was the head of a preschool and recently retired to start her own educational consulting firm. The family goes to ME in the summer to enjoy the beach, fishing and family.

Beth Block lives in Old Tappan, NJ. She is happily retired from law and teaching and now writes poetry and short fiction; several of her works are in print and online journals. She stills plays piano and guitar, sings and writes music, and is very committed to dog rescue. She spends summers in Ogunquit, ME. Her Great Pyrenees, Gilly, is also enjoying the fabulous life of retirement.

Mike Rosenberg and Shelley Brown '88 have two boys, Nick, 16, and Jeff, 14. Mike is an attorney in DC and they live in Bethesda, MD, where Shelley is the artistic director of the Strathmore Arts Center. They love to ski as a family and are members of a CO ski club. They stay in touch with Benjack, Nemo, Derderian, Nahill and Sean Fagan '87.

Kirstie Rice Fiora lives in Lexington, MA. She and Bill Fiora '85 have three kids: Mark, 16, and twin daughters, Lenae and Helen, 14. Kirstie sells product placement for Boston Brand Group. She completed a 4-mile obstacle course before dropping in for Reunion dinner and regularly competes in triathlons and open-water swimming. She's happy to report that her kids are much taller than her and are very good at pulling her in three different directions. It makes her long for the days on the first floor of Marshall … almost.

Chris Fray lives in Fairfield, CT, and teaches Chinese at Staples High in Westport, CT. He and Chip Reed have been together 18 years and were very happily united in marriage on their 16th anniversary. They love travel: Provincetown, Hampton and Fire Island are their summer destinations, and they're planning a second honeymoon to Cuba and South Africa. Chris has decided to study Arabic to add to his mastery of French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese – that way he can ask for directions in any country.

Tom Throop is furniture designer/maker with Black Creek Designs in New Canaan, CT. He and wife Kelley, a probate attorney, live in Rowayton. Their free time is filled with food, wine, kayaking, hiking and gardening.

Caroline Twomey Gilbert is married with two boys, 12 and 10. She is a consultant helping teachers find jobs in independent schools. Hockey, lacrosse, soccer and ski jumping carpools are her life. They spend summers in ME. The Salisbury School is home during the school year where husband Peter is director of admissions.

Sarah Lavelle works in retail in NYC. She is very proud of her fun nephews. She enjoys travel, but loves to explore the city, especially theaters, museums and restaurants. She has changed her life with the acquisition of an iPhone and by joining Facebook. That helps her stay in touch with CC friends like Caroline.

Mike Stryker and wife Donna have been married 15 years. They live in Ledyard, CT, with their two girls – the oldest, 21, just graduated from Becker College majoring in veterinary science (and her first job offer just came in!). Their 14-year-old is involved in theater, including Flock Theatre in New London. Mike works at Merrill Lynch, but he still gets the crowd going with Rhythm Method gigs.

Brenda Kramer Coutinho lives in Hopkinton, MA, and works as an OB/GYN at Milford Hospital, where she also chairs the OB/GYN Department. She and her husband of 20 years have two girls, Mia, 13, and Isabelle, 10. Dancing, soccer and art keep the girls busy. NYC is a favorite family destination to visit CC friends. They just returneds from a trip to London and Rome.

Dave Warner lives in Katonah, NY, and is married with a 14-year-old son. Dave works at ConEd and reports that lacrosse, baseball, football, track practices, meets and games keep them busy. He keeps old age away by playing with the Rhythm Method. The band has been together since 1985 still plays live shows in and around New London. Still, he found time to build his house. He even owns a backhoe. Dave is proud that he has been sober for 13 years.

Jill Zawacki Long lives in Waterford, CT, and is married with five children: Alexa (sophomore at St. Michael's), Nolan (high school senior), Weston (high school junior), Jackson (second-grader) and Jenna (Pre K). Surprisingly, she doesn't get out much. She is a teacher's aide in the middle school and loves traveling the East Coast. She still maintains a close relationship with Judy Martin Dickson, who lives in Glen Rock, NJ, with her husband, Jim. Jim misses most of our reunions because his Providence College reunion always falls the same weekend. Judy is a substitute teacher. They have 2 boys, Conor, 13, and Scott, 11. The boys chose mom's reunion over dad's ... future Camels?! Judy keeps in touch with Jessica Taylor Benoliel, Andrea Trella Blakemore and Patti Walsh.

Christina Horzepa lives in Westchester, NY. She works from home editing and writing for the Caramoore music festival. Husband Gary Dearborn works for Central Park designing playgrounds. Christina works at balancing career and family, which includes two kids, 12 and 8, one dog, and two cats. Tennis and piano lessons take up allegedly free afternoons. Bonus days are sleeping late and getting away to ME to relax and go bike riding.

Roger Kaufman has been designing office space and selling office furniture to corporate clients for 15 years. Five years ago he took the big leap and with a few partners opened his own firm, Environments at Work, in downtown Boston. They just opened a second office in Portland, ME! Although the economy has been a challenge they have grown every year. He and wife Michelle Grosser Kaufman '87 have two daughters, Allie, 17, a high school senior; and Emily, 15, a high school sophomore.

Cynthia Jaffe and husband Ted are enjoying life in the Bay Area with daughter Kate, 3. “She'll either kill us or keep us young!” Cynthia reports. After 20+ years in financial services, Cynthia took a well-earned break to be with Kate full time and enjoy the finer points of toddlerhood.

Bente Jones Starble lives in Reading, MA. She and Craig Starble '84 have been married for over 20 years and have three kids, Gracie, 19, Katie, 16, and Matthew, 12. She's finding it difficult to yell at her kids since they're all taller than her. When not bugging classmates for info on their lives, she keeps busy with school and sports (with each kid usually playing more than one at a time). Bente looks forward to summer vacation more than they do and loves sitting on the beach when not driving a carpool. She and Craig are very happy (and slightly worried) that daughter Gracie just finished her freshman year as a Camel and seems to be enjoying Conn even more than they did!

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