Board of Directors

NTA Board of Directors

The NTA is led by a Board of Directors who serve two-year terms. We strive to involve diverse community members in order to engage a wide range of interests and talents in environmental education and tree planting efforts.

Board nominations for each year are voted on during the NTA Annual Meeting each fall.

Our Officers

Officers are elected annually.

President: Allan Broadbent

Vice President: Andrew Strauss

Secretary: Anna Thurston

Treasurer: Ashley Wutz

Our Board of Directors

Directors are elected biennially.

Tom Arbron

Andy Britell

Allan Broadbent

Deborah Burnaman

Kate Fenton

Ray Rumer

Jeff Scherr

Susan Simmons

Paul Sotnik

Andrew Strauss

Anna Thurston

Mike Yeosock

Rich Whitehead

Ashley Wutz

Director Bios

Tom Arbron is the founder of Arbron Media Associates located in Norwalk, Connecticut. He became interested in the Norwalk Tree Alliance through his work at Fodor Farm. Tom’s goals for the NTA are to grow the Urban Tree Canopy in Norwalk and to try and cool impervious surfaces in our most populated areas around the city.

Andrew Britell is an entrepreneur who has spent the last two decades in the Waste Management and Landscape industries. He owned and operated both businesses simultaneously and has enjoyed designing and installing beautiful landscapes throughout Fairfield county. He has recently taken over his family’s electric bike business and has enjoyed its new daily challenges. Andrew splits his time between Naples, Florida (where his bike business is located), and Norwalk, Connecticut (where his children reside). He is the Director of the Schoolyard Habitat for Columbus Magnet School, and got involved with the NTA from Yolande LeCoz who was a long time board member. From his many years of experience in the landscape industry, Andrew helps guide the NTA Tree School education program.

Allan Broadbent hails from sunny California, where his love of trees began as a child during a visit to the Giant Sequoias of Muir Woods in northern California. As a youth, Allan spent countless hours climbing the California Live Oaks, Bigleaf Maples, and Coast Redwoods that were all throughout his family’s neighborhood. Since 2005, Allan has been working as a landscape architect in Connecticut, designing and managing many wonderful landscapes throughout greater New England. He is currently practicing with Granoff Architects in Greenwich, and was previously the Director of Design for The LaurelRock Company in Wilton.  Allan is married to the brilliant Corinne Broadbent, choreographer and director at the Summer Theatre of New Canaan. He and Corinne reside in Norwalk with their two nature-loving children. Allan joined the NTA in 2017.   

Deborah Burnaman was born and raised in Pound Ridge, New York. She has been a resident of the Wilton/New Canaan area for 30+ years and is a proud mother of four children that attended local public and private schools. Deborah is an avid tennis player, runner, and aspiring golfer. She is passionate about gardening, green energy, electric vehicles, and solar power. As a real estate agent, Deborah sees how trees add value to our properties and our communities. It’s her dream to make the world a greener place to live, one house at a time.

Kate Fenton counts herself lucky to have grown up under East Norwalk’s tree canopy. Her favorite memory is of the lush oak tree outside her window as a child, and Kate remained tied to this tree canopy even when her career as a fine artist and educator took her to New York, England, and France. One day, she discovered that the Norwalk tree canopy was diminishing even though new buildings were growing. That’s when Kate got involved with the NTA. One of Kate’s favorite things about being on the board is that everyone has a voice; notwithstanding individual differences, every board member shares the same priority to take care of Norwalk’s trees. Kate loves connecting others with the natural world and is grateful to support Tree School and its ability to integrate science, outdoor education, reflection, and autonomy for children.

Jeff Scherr is a Landscape Architect at Granoff Architects. As a landscape architect, trees are important at his job, and they’ve also been childhood jungle gyms, kickball bases, hiking trail markers, and much more. Jeff grew up in New Jersey and has lived in Rhode Island, Shanghai, New York, and now in Connecticut. Since trees play such an important role in his life and career, as a new Norwalk resident it seemed like a no brainer to get involved with the city through its trees. Jeff is excited to see what Norwalk’s trees can be imagined into.

Susan C. Stearns Simmons and her husband moved to Rowayton, Connecticut in 1990 where they have lived happily since then. Her story here begins with a long career on Wall Street in the Foreign Exchange Market. After 25 years commuting to the City from Rowayton, Susan retired from the business in 2005. During her career she was always an avid bonsai enthusiast. In pursuit of this hobby she studied with Yuji Yoshimura, renowned Bonsai Master, for 10 years and much later earned her Master Gardener Certificate from University of Connecticut. In 2007 Susan became the Bonsai Assistant to the Japanese artist at Shanti Bithi Bonsai in North Stamford, Connecticut. Over the next 6 years she helped maintain the massive collection of trees, taught classes in bonsai design theory, assisted in New York Botanical Garden annual fall display, and sold many bonsai trees. The nursery closed in 2013. Since 2013 Susan has been busy in her own bonsai garden maintaining a collection with trees dating to her early years in the hobby – 1985. It is through the appreciation of bonsai that she has become an advocate for the tree canopy in Norwalk’s urban forest.

Andrew Strauss is a tree guy. Always has been. He grew up in the woods of Stamford under the arches of magnificent elm trees long ago fallen. After retiring from a demanding marketing career in Manhattan, Andrew spent more time on his little acre along the Norwalk shoreline installing many specimen trees. One day, Norwalk’s assistant Tree Warden visited and declared his property “Andrew’s Arboretum.” Andrew was soon named to Norwalk’s Tree Advisory Committee, and then joined the City’s non-profit partner organization, Norwalk Tree Alliance. In 2017, Andrew became President and helped to renew it with a dedicated board of directors. Today, as a continuing board member and Vice President, he looks forward to building on our progress of tree advocacy and our presence at our new home at Fodor Farm.

Anna Thurston moved to Norwalk from New Haven, Connecticut where she developed a deep appreciation for trees during her graduate program at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. During this time, she also obtained a second master’s degree at Yale Divinity School to develop skills in social justice and interreligious dialogue. Currently, Anna is a researcher for the Yale Forum in Religion and Ecology and her favorite trees native to Connecticut are Black birch (Betula lenta) and Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina). Anna believes in the value of story and advocates for a world where everyone belongs. She recognizes that indigenous peoples and non-white populations are disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution and biodiversity loss, and that the environmental movement has historically excluded or forgotten minority voices. Anna hopes to support the NTA in its commitment to promote and protect Norwalk’s trees and to advocate for equitable expansion of tree canopy cover.

Ashley Wutz moved to the Stamford area from Buffalo, New York (Go Bills!) and has been working in Accounting/Finance for 10+ years. She is currently with Booking Holdings which is headquartered in Norwalk. She is very enthusiastic about supporting and promoting community engagement through volunteerism. Ashley’s favorite aspect of NTA so far has been the energy and passion from the members of the board to expand programs and offerings to enrich the community.

Interested in Joining our Team?

Boost your resume & network with key members of the Norwalk community

Promoting and protecting Norwalk’s urban forest is a collaborative effort. If you are passionate about tree plantings, science education, fundraising, and/or environmental communications, this is the place for you. 

Volunteer with one of our NTA Committees:

Programs & Events Committee

Education Committee

Communications Committee

Finance Committee

Grow with us

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