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.
Officers are elected annually.
President: Allan Broadbent
Vice President: Tom Arbron
Treasurer: Ashley Wutz
Our Board of Directors
Directors are elected biennially.
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.
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.
Rob Frazier, as a young boy, would sit with his Dad on a winter day and, with the help of the Burbee seed catalogue, plan the vegetable garden for the next year. Walks in the woods identifying wildflowers and native trees wetted a lifelong love of the seasons and the relationship of nature and design. Training and an early career in Hospital Administration, a return to school in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, segued into a career in New York City managing capital projects for numerous non-profit organizations. These included educational, religious, healthcare and arts and cultural clients. The sum of these life experiences has given him a greater appreciation of the inter-relationship of landscape planning, ecology, trees, and the human world. He figures a day is not complete without reflection on this web of connectivity and the development of at least 10 new ideas. Rob has been planting trees in Norwalk since 1996 inspired by the belief that “Planting a tree is a vote for a future. “
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.
Paul Sotnik Paul is a Senior Civil Engineer in the City of Norwalk’s Department of Public Works (D.P.W.). In addition to being a licensed Professional Civil Engineer with the Department, Paul is also a Deputy Tree Warden. As a Deputy Tree Warden, he provides technical support to the Tree Warden and the D.P.W. Operations Division by doing property line research when there are questions about whether a tree is a City tree or a Private tree. He also issues Tree Removal and Trimming permits to resident’s Licensed Arborists for tree related work that involves City trees for new construction
such as for driveways and sewer laterals. In addition, Paul is the D.P.W. Staff representative to the Tree Advisory Committee. Paul was elected to the Board of the Norwalk Tree Alliance (N.T.A.) in November 2007 and serves as the D.P.W. representative to N.T.A. (the City’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit partner for tree related activities). He manages the annual D.P.W. Capital Tree Planting contract, the City’s annual Tree City U.S.A. applications and the planning for the City’s annual Arbor Day celebration that is held each year at one of the City’s Elementary Schools.
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 on 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 is represented. 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 these 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.
Jennifer Wilcox is a newcomer to the area and was drawn by, among other things, the beauty of the trees in Norwalk. Jennifer loves digging in the dirt and gardening in her yard, including arranging flowers nestled in with clippings of green. She is a founding partner of a boutique law firm and is happy to watch the trees zip by during her train ride to and from New York City. She is grateful for this opportunity to volunteer with a great organization providing a visible service to the community.
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.
Mike Yeosock is the Assistant Director for the Department of Transportation, Mobility, and Parking for the City of Norwalk CT. Michael is licensed as a Professional Engineer in 3 states and hold certifications as a Sustainable Transportation Professional and an Envision Sustainability Professional. He has been involved with the Norwalk Tree Alliance in various capacities since its inception. His interest in trees extends back to his youth, where he spent many a day, climbing the many pines and apple trees on his parent’s property in northeastern Pennsylvania. He has continued to pursue his interest in trees throughout his career with the City of Norwalk, as evidenced in many of his infrastructure projects for the city. Many of these projects have incorporated various types of tree plantings, whether it be trees for a green infrastructure project, the addition of trees to increase the street tree canopy, to provide some shade relief during a hike or bike ride, or the addition of various plantings to help mitigate storm-water runoff.
Interested in Joining Our Team?
Promoting and protecting Norwalk’s urban forest is a collaborative effort.
If you are passionate about tree health, science education, fundraising, and/or environmental communication, this is the place for you.
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