The Team

Our Board is made up of local politicians and community members. Each Board member is a resident of the project area, and has the experience and commitment of serving the public and producing positive results.

Board of Directors

Kim Maxwell


Mr. Maxwell migrated to Norfolk, CT from Silicon Valley, where he started and presided over two companies, the first inventing the modern dial-up modem, the second earning the world-wide standard for DSL.  He formed and was the first chair of the DSL Forum, now the Broadband Forum, to build standards for broadband transmission.  His 1998 book on the subject is entitled “Residential Broadband: The Battle for the Last Mile.”  He has a BA and PhD from Stanford University.

Jessica Fowler

Board Chair

Jessica Fowler serves as selectman for Sharon, Connecticut.  She is now in her third term.  Before her election as selectman she spent six years on P&Z, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and Long Range Planning Committee.  She has served on the boards of the Susan B. Anthony Project, Indian Mountain School, and the Sharon Day Care Center.  She is presently the Chief Operating Officer for Project Delivery Associates, a construction management firm.  Jessica has a BA degree from the University of Colorado and a Masters degree from Baruch University through a National Urban Fellowship Award.

John Brett


John comes to our board with a deep sense of civic duty and a shared concern for our region’s well being.  He has worked with the region’s Audubon Society, the Salisbury Visiting Nurses Association, and the Housatonic Regional High School among other groups.  He retired recently from a career in investment banking with Morgan Stanley, Paine Webber, and UBS AG. He holds a BS degree from Fordham University.

Roberta Willis

Chair Nomination Committee

Roberta Willis founded Northwest Connect.  She recently retired from 16 years as assemblyman from the 64th district representing nine municipalities in the northwest corner.  In more than 25 years in public service she has served on numerous boards, many devoted to education and women’s rights.  She co-founded with Meryl Streep the national organization Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet.  Roberta holds a BA degree from Vassar.

Paul DePaolo

Paul DePaolo recently retired as Technology Librarian and head of the Innovation Club at Hotchkiss School. He has an extensive background in information technologies. He helped found and managed for 2 years and now advises the Tri-State Mini Maker Faire, a Hotchkiss School sponsored event offering creative and enterprising young people an opportunity to present technology projects to the public. Paul holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Wayne Hileman

Wayne Hileman chairs the Planning Commission for Washington, Connecticut and sits on its Economic Development Commission.  He chaired its Housing Commission for six years and served as President of the Rotary Club.  A professional musician, he toured with the Grammy-nominated Borealis Wind Quintet while producing, engineering, and restoring audio recordings for numerous artists and labels.  He currently works as Managing Editor of Research Square.  Wayne has degrees from SUNY at Potsdam and Yale University.

Brian Mirizzi

Brian Mirizzi is the lead technical manager for Litchfield County Dispatch; he knows fiber optic networks from the inside, as they are the core of emergency dispatch services for twenty towns in Litchfield, Hartford, and Fairfield Counties.  He thus serves as our key technical advisor.  He has a BS degree from Quinnipiac University in Communications and Computer Information Systems.

Leo Paul

Leo Paul serves as first selectman for Litchfield, a seat he has held for sixteen years.  He is also President of Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST), a political advocacy group committed to giving small towns a strong voice in state legislation.  After a 20 year term as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, Leo took an executive position at a Connecticut video production company before turning his full time attention to community service.  His resume now includes many board seats, commissions, and fraternal organizations.  He has BS from University of Wisconsin and an MS Chapman University.

Candy Perez

Candy Perez serves as Mayor of Winsted.  She is presently running for state assembly from the 63rd district.  Candy has been mayor or selectman at many intervals since 2002.  She retired as principal of Northwestern Regional School District 7 in 2016.  Prior to her duties as principal Candy was an award-winning athletic director promoting women’s basketball throughout Connecticut. Candy has a BA and an MA in educational administration from Southern Connecticut State College.

Donald Stein

Don Stein serves as First Selectman for Barkhamsted.  He is also now the president of the Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation. A resident of Barkhamsted for over 40 years, he has been First Selectman for eleven and was a member of other civic boards for some 12 years before, including the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Education.  He also serves on the Board of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns.  A tireless civic worker, he is chair of the Materials Innovations and Recycling Authority, a quasi-public agency that turns solid wastes into useful materials for 51 Connecticut communities.  Don worked for 37 years in various management positions for United Technologies after earning BS and MEng degrees from Cornell University.

Paul Tarsa

Paul serves as Member Relations Manager for the Connecticut Education Network, CEN, Connecticut’s state-wide fiber optic network delivering Internet access and network services to higher education, research, K-12 schools, libraries, municipalities, and businesses. Prior to CEN, Paul built a career in engineering and operations management at United Technologies Corp. and Kimberly Clark Corp., before establishing a multi-unit supplemental education business. A Litchfield county resident for over 25 years, he has served on several community organizations and boards. Paul earned a BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a MBA from Western New England University.

Marketing Support

One Eleven Group

The One Eleven Group has been a full-service marketing agency for over 20 years, with an emphasis on digital, but with plenty of traditional media experience as well. The team supports Northwest ConneCT by providing web development and marketing.

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