​​Meet the Nickerson Team

Board of Selectman


Paul Dagle, Incumbent 

East Lyme Resident since 1998

Married to Ann with son AJ & daughter-in-law Nicole, sons Matt and Brian (deceased)
Past Board/Commission Involvement: 
East Lyme Planning Commission Alternate (2003-2007) 

East Lyme Planning Commission (2007-2009)
East Lyme Board of Assessment Appeals (2009-2013) Chairman (2013)
East Lyme Board of Selectmen (Appointed January 2017-Present)
Community Involvement:

Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization
East Lyme Little League Coach and Board of Directors – League Equipment Manager
East Lyme Youth Basketball Coach
East Lyme Youth Football Coach
East Lyme High School Varsity Football Coach
Co-Founder and Vice President of the Brian Dagle Foundation
American Foundation of Suicide Prevention – Northern CT Chapter Board      of Directors - Treasurer

Employment: Director of Facilities and Construction Support - Electric Boat
Education:  BS Mechanical Engineering – Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Statement: East Lyme has provided so much for my family over the last 19 plus years and I want to continue to give back in return.  Our community is made up of wonderful people, vistas, recreational facilities, schools, small businesses and caring organizations. As a selectman I pledge to maintain what makes our town an outstanding place to grow up and grow old in and to meet the future needs of our residents and businesses while being fiscally responsible to taxpayers.
​ 


​Kevin Seery, Incumbent Deputy First Selectman 

East Lyme Resident for 33 years

Wife is Dawn Maness Seery (lifelong East Lyme Resident). Sons Christopher and Kevin Seery, both graduates of East Lyme High School.

Past Board Experience
East Lyme Board of Education (1997-2011), serving 6 years as Board Chair.
East Lyme Youth Services Board of Directors (1994-2001)
Community Involvement:
Former Assistant Coach and Volunteer for EL Youth Lacrosse and Football (2003-2007)
Team Parent, EL High School Lacrosse Team (2011)
Employment: Retired State Trooper (28.5 years of service).  Served as the Salem Resident Trooper from 1993 to 2015.  Recognized twice by MADD for efforts in DUI enforcement.  Court certified expert witness in accident reconstruction.
Education: B.A. in Sociology, University of New Haven, 1977;  A.A in General Studies, Boston University, 1975
Statement: East Lyme continues to be one of the finest towns in which to live in Connecticut.  Under its current leadership East Lyme has become a great location for young adults, families, and seniors to reside.  There is no finer place than East Lyme to call home.  It has, and continues to be, an honor to be able to serve this community on the Board of Selectmen!

Marc Salerno, Incumbent 

I am a lifelong East Lyme resident and proud 1995 graduate from East Lyme High School.   My wife, Sara, and I have two children in the East Lyme school system and are actively involved in the community.  I am currently serving in my third year on the Board of Selectmen after serving 13 years on the Zoning Commission (six as Zoning Chairman).  
Employment: Senior Engineer/Project Manager at Applied Physical Sciences, Inc. in Groton, CT. 

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth in 1999. Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2000.
Community:
East Lyme Board of Selectmen (2015-present)
East Lyme Zoning Commission Chairmen (2009-2015)
East Lyme Zoning Commission member (2001-2015)
East Lyme Aquifer Protection Agency (2009-2015)
Assistant Coach, East Lyme Little League (2011- 2017)
Former 4th/5th grade East Lyme Youth Basketball Recreational Commissioner (2015-2016)
Member of Niantic Bay Sailing Academy Board of Directors  (2015-2017)
Member, ELRTC (2001-present)
Former Assistant Den Leader - Cub Scouts (2013 - 2015)

Statement:  East Lyme is an amazing place where our children are proud to stay and raise their families after graduation.   I was one of them.  The quality of life in our town is unsurpassed in the region.  It is of upmost importance to me to maintain the quality of life, especially in a time of mounting budget cuts from the state.  I am not afraid of doing the hard work that is required to serve on the Board of Selectmen in order to make informed decisions.  Over the last three years, I was actively involved in the elementary school design steering committee, efforts to form an independent police department and development of a blight ordinance.  I am currently chairing a subcommittee to develop a purchasing policy for the town. 

Al Littlefield
East Lyme resident since 1984. I am a 33-year resident of East Lyme, married, with two college-age children (both educated in East Lyme)

Past/Present Board of Education Involvement: 
13-year member of the East Lyme Board of Education (since 2004), served in the capacity of Board Secretary and Deputy Chair 
Integral member of Board of Education committees and subcommittees including Finance, Facilities, and Operations (FFO) Committee, Personnel Policy Committee, Non-Union, Non-Administrative Staff Subcommittee, and the Redistricting Subcommittee

Employment: US Navy Submarine Sonar Technician, engineer, and technical writer
Government/civilian contractor (submarine & aviation industry)
LEARN, Regional Educational Service Center, Intervention Specialist at the Marine Science Magnet High School
Education: Bachelors in Communication Science

Statement: I strongly believe that the East Lyme School system needs to stay at the cutting edge and maintain our educational excellence.
I plan to work to continue to protect our children's education and community investment, seek to improve our educational facilities through carefully-planned capital improvements; remembering above all, the school belongs to the community and as such every taxpayer deserves to be heard when the Board embarks on capital projects.   
My commitment to quality education in East Lyme is genuine, has a long course to run, and I feel that I can actively continue to contribute to the Board’s commitment to the furthering and maintenance of Quality Education in East Lyme. 

John Kleinhans

Current:  Board of Education (2 years)
Community Involvement:
Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. 
Former member of the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees. 
Former Student Body President of Lyndon State College
Former Executive Director of the Connecticut Republican Party.
Education: BA from Lyndon State College and a Masters of Public Administration from Norwich University. 
I am the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for ImageWorks. 
Statement: Statement-  I'm incredibly passionate about my service to the East Lyme Board of Education because of my long history with our community. When I moved here as a 16 year old to a new surrounding you could imagine the fear. But our school system really helped shaped me into the person I am today. Almost 10 years later it's my goal to continue to advocate for our students just as people advocated for me and my future. Our town is tremendous and I am so honored to serve on our Board of Education. It is my hope to take my business experience as well as my experience in politics to help ensure success for our school district. While Hartford continues to be a mess, we need strong, capable leaders to fight for our town and our students.

Board of Finance 

​Board of Assessment Appeals

​William Mather

​​Lifelong resident of East Lyme (7 generations)​
Family: Spouse Candace, two children (ELMS & ELHS)
Employment: President - Fraser Commercial Services, Inc. since 1987 (currently employing 70 people)
Current East Lyme Town Treasurer since 2016; Deputy Town Treasurer 2011-2016

Military: Enlisted Member - United States Coast Guard 1982-1987
Service to our Community:

Member - East Lyme Board of Finance 1997 - 2003, Chairman 1 year, Deputy Chairman 3 years
Member - East Lyme Middle School Design Committee 1998-2002
Member - East Lyme Little League Board of Directors 2010-2015, Coach, Team Manager, Player Agent
Member - East Lyme Fire Department since 1980 (former Financial Secretary 1989-1991)
Past Treasurer - Flanders Baptist and Community Church 1999-2005, and Board of Trustees Chairman 
Education: Eastern Connecticut State University - BS Business Administration 1993
Personal Quote: “Having served and trained under Bruce Brailey, (EL Treasurer for nearly 18 years), I plan to continue the history of prudent, profitable investing & oversight of the town’s finances. Thank you for your vote.”

​​Town Treasurer

Scott Fraser​​

Town Clerk

Karen Galbo
Education- 
Certified Connecticut Town Clerk
Bachelors Degree from Albertus Magnus (Business Management)
Associates Degree from Becker College (Sports Administration)
Paralegal Certificate (University of New Haven)
Town of East Lyme-
Assistant East Lyme Town Clerk - 14.5 years
Assessors Office - 2 years
Recording Secretary for Zoning Commission
Other- 
Notary Public
Justice of the Peace
Secretary of East Lyme Youth Cheerleading
Statement: "I have lived in Town for 42 years, married to my husband Scott for 19years, 3 children (Richard, Scott Jr., Ashleigh) all in East Lyme School System".

Lawrence Fitzgerald

Larry and his family (wife, Laura and sons Tyler and Evan) moved to East Lyme 10 years ago because of the excellent reputation of the community and its municipal leadership as well as its outstanding public school system. Larry is a native of CT, born and raised in Bridgeport.
Employment: He began his career as a pharmaceutical scientist for companies like DuPont and Pharmacia, quickly moving into leadership positions in the R&D divisions of companies like Pfizer, Lundbeck and AstraZeneca as a Manager/Executive. His proudest accomplishment was the co-founding of Pfizer’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Unit.  Over the last few years, Larry his been active with his own consulting practice, and an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Fairfield University.  

Community: Treasurer and Boys Team Coordinator for the East Lyme Soccer Association (2013-2016). 
Education: BA in Psychology from Fairfield University, a MS and PhD in Pharmacology from Albany Medical College, and MBA (with Distinction) from the University of Michigan.

Statement: I wish to leverage my experience in finance and corporate strategy as a business leader of large and small businesses. As a member of a bipartisan BOF team, I will exercise sound fiscal discipline in budgeting and cost management, and help ensure a balanced approach in funding valued services for all residents of a growing community while showing fiscal prudence on behalf of local taxpayers.  Experienced leadership is needed especially at this critical time when East Lyme can be unprecedentedly burdened with the financial problems generated at the State level”

Anne Santoro  
East Lyme resident since 1989
Married to Dr. Fred Santoro, Pediatrician in East Lyme.  Our two children (Thomas-attorney, Victoria-financial analyst) are graduates of the East Lyme school system.
Community Involvement:
Voluntarily served the East Lyme community in an organizational and leadership role in a number of matters throughout my residency.

Most recently, these include successfully challenging the installation of a cell tower along Ancient Highway as well as securing the renovation of the high school tennis courts.
Coached and mentored a Special Olympian tennis player for the past several years
Have taught tennis to high school students and adults since 2014 in Salem and East Lyme
Education: Graduated from Stanford University, Stanford, California (with Distinction) and University of Connecticut School of Law​
Employment: 
Worked as an attorney for several years: 
Former Special Contract Associate, Smithsonian Institution”s contracting office
Former Assistant City Attorney, Milford, Connecticut; 
Former Assistant Town Attorney, Town of Greenwich, Connecticut
Private practice
Former Chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Connecticut Bar Association​
Statement: 
I believe that effective governance begins at the local level. It relies in significant part on the skill and dedication of volunteer citizens who serve. Our Board of Finance plays a critical role in the fiscal governing of the town. I would be privileged to use my skills, experience, and especially my pragmatic approach to problem solving to positively help the Board carry out its important function. 


John Birmingham 

I was born and raised in East Lyme and have lived here for approximately 60 years. My wife Barbara and I moved to East Lyme when I took over Smith’s Pharmacy in 1977. I owned and operated Smith’s Pharmacy for 26 years until I sold to Stop&Shop where I worked for 13 years until I retired.  My son Patrick attended East Lyme schools where he received a foundation for a solid education. 
Education: BS in pharmacy at UConn;  MS in pharmacy from Northeastern University.
Community Experience: 

Former Member - Board of Selectmen

Former Member - Board of Finance

Former Member - Zoning Commission 

Former Member - Economic Development Commission

Statement: In all my work experiences, I was exposed to financial decisions that were based on cost management relative to the revenue available. This insight has give me an awareness of what experience and judgement is needed to make intelligent decisions regarding finance whether it is in a retail setting or in town government.  Now that I am retired, I wish to serve on the Board of Finance so that I can use my experience in both business and government to make sure the Town of East Lyme continues to develop and grow even though it faces some severe challenges because of the state's financial problems.

Leigh McNamara Gianakos

Commitment: 
It’s been such an honor serving on the East Lyme Board of Education- I deeply believe in the transformative power of a top-notch education, and I strive to help balance the priorities of being fiscally responsible with advancing the tradition of maintaining distinguished schools in our community. I’ve dedicated my career to the pursuit of educational equity and excellence.  I absolutely love my community, and I feel a personal obligation to utilize my passion and expertise to serve one of my community’s greatest assets- our school system.  In my time serving on the board, I’ve effectively leveraged my perspectives as a former East Lyme student, teacher, senior education talent partner, and now a (proud!) parent to advocate for our children and families in East Lyme. 
Past/Present Board of Education Involvement:
Current Board of Education member
Member of Board of Education committees and subcommittees including Finance, Facilities, and Operations (FFO) Committee, Policy Review Committee

Employment: I’m now working as a Senior Talent Partner for Achievement First, where I work to support recruitment, retention, and other talent practices at a portfolio of high-performing charter schools in Hartford.
Personal Information:
As a lifelong East Lyme resident, I’ve benefited immensely from receiving an exceptional education at Flanders Elementary School, East Lyme Middle School, and East Lyme High School.  After graduating summa cum laude from Northeastern University, I jumpstarted my career in higher education, as well as substitute taught for East Lyme Public Schools.  I then joined Teach for America, where I was selected to teach at the number one charter school in Tennessee for student growth.  During my time as a classroom teacher, I earned my Masters in Education from Lipscomb University, and was recognized as a Sue Lehmann Award Nominee for Excellence in Teaching.  I facilitated literacy development for 120 6th grade students that resulted in an average of 2.0 years of reading growth in one year and academic performance outpacing the state and district by 17%.  I’m now working as a Senior Talent Partner, where I work to support recruitment, retention, and other talent practices at a portfolio of high-performing schools in Hartford.

Planning Commission

Kirk Scott

Planning Commission(2016 to present)
East Lyme resident since  2009
Education:  Bachelors Degree from UCONN;  Masters Degree from University of New Haven
Statement: I am running for office because East Lyme is a fantastic place and I want to give back to the community and be involved in the future of the town. 

Tom Fitting

East Lyme Resident since 2010
Community Involvement:
Former youth soccer coach in East Lyme
Served on grounds committee for church
Member, East Lyme Republican Town Committee
Personal Information:  Married to Deborah Fitting. One child
Employment:  Owner of Royal Oak Landscape Company
Statement: "I have enjoyed living in a Town as wonderful as East Lyme and I look forward to the opportunity to give back to the community.  It is such a great place to raise a family."


Rita Franco-Palazzo

East Lyme Resident since 2006.

Community Involvement:
Volunteer at the East Lyme Senior Center
Co-chaired the Nassau County, Long Island March of Dimes organization for seven years prior to moving to East Lyme.
Secretary for the NY State Convention for the Order of Sons of Italy in America for six years
Personal Information: Married to Joe Palazzo for 25 years.
Employment:  Marketing and Sales Director for Pazzaglia Construction for the Sleepy Hollow Hills development.

Realtor for over 25+years (15+ years as a broker/owner)

Realtor's Board of Community Planning, City of Long Beach NY 15+ years
Statement: "In 2011 I was first elected to the Planning Commission.  I was re-elected in 2013.  My past experiences prior to moving to East      Lyme, and since becoming a member of this community, has provided me the experience necessary to contribute, in a positive manner, to the Town I have grown to love and call home!"


​David McIlhenney

Kathryn Johnson (alternate)

Don Phimister (alternate)

Board of Education - All Incumbents 



Zoning Commission


Matthew Walker, Chairman

Married nearly 30 years to Lisa M. Walker 
Proud parents of three adult children, Matthew, Emily and Annie and proud grandparents of Matthew and wife Brittany’s two children, Adelyn and Jax. Current Chairman / East Lyme Zoning Commission, 
Current Chairman/ East Lyme Aquifer Protection Agency
Past Board/Commission Involvement:  6 year-long member of the East Lyme Zoning Commission and 4 year-long member of the town’s Aquifer Protection Agency.
East Lyme resident since 1974, except for a period between 1988-1998 when I lived in New London for 2 years (1998-1990)  - which was followed by living in Waterford for 8 years.
Community Involvement
Former East Lyme Little League Baseball & Softball Manager / Coach
Former East Lyme Babe Ruth Coach
Former Youth Football Coach
Former Manager / Niantic American Legion Baseball Team
Former Asst. Football Coach – East Lyme High School
Knights of Columbus Member since 1989
Member of St. Matthias Parish
Employment: State of CT Judicial Department for the past 24 years as a Family Relations Officer. 
Education – B.A. Speech Communications, Minor in Criminal Justice, University of South Florida (1986).  
Have also attended training seminars on Zoning and Land Use
Statement: Though not without its challenges, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the East Lyme Zoning Commission these past 6 years.  Over that time span, I have grown to appreciate the importance of the issue of land use in our town.  There have been some late nights – and very interesting and complex applications before the Commission.  In my time as Chairman, I am particularly proud of the camaraderie that has been developed among commission members, and that the members’ individual viewpoints are always respected.  At this point, I am seeking to remain on the Zoning Commission to continue the important work of monitoring land use in our town through our existing regulations, as well as through keeping an open mind to the adoption of new regulations as necessary that make sense for East Lyme.  Lastly, being on the Commission has also been a great diversion for me as our three children have gotten older.  All three were the recipients of a first class experience growing up in East Lyme and attending our exceptional schools.  That said, I see my participation in the town’s business as a way for me to properly give back to a community that has given our family so much.


Norman Peck III  (1990-present)
Lifetime East Lyme resident
Community Involvement:
President, East Lyme Historical Society (2005-present)
East Lyme Rotary Club (1990-present)
EL Plan of Conservation and Development Committee (2000-2010)
Niantic Bay Sailing Academy Board Member (2014-present)
East Lyme Cemetery Association Board Member (1992-present)
Personal Information:  Married to Patricia Avery. Step children Hayley and Tyler Engleberg.
Employment:  Self employed as a Commercial Real Estate Agent since 1993 with Pequot Commercial.

Education:  B.A. in Business and Economics, St. Anslem College

Statement: "I have enjoyed working with the zoning commission members over the years in an effort toward maintaining a               balance between conservation, economic growth, protection of property values, and quality of life."


Kimberly Kalajainen

East Lyme resident since 2006
Spouse - Jackie Kalajainen; two children - Cooper (6th grade Middle School) and Riley (Pre-School Integrated Program at Lillie B. Haynes)

Community Involvement:

Inland Wetlands Agency 
East Lyme Little League Coach (T-Ball and A-Ball)
Employment:  Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, Vice President, Operations
Education: B.S. in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY;  M.S. in Managing Information Technology and Innovation from Champlain College, Burlington VT
Statement: My family and I love East Lyme and our very proud of the community we live in.  My goal in seeking a seat  on the Zoning Commission is to contribute my business acumen, knowledge and experience enabling East Lyme to foster responsibly economic growth while ensuring a highly desirable and vibrant community.  “Responsible Growth with our Community’s best interest at the forefront”


​Jim Liska (alternate)

East Lyme resident since: 1985

Married 27 years to Renee Liska RN, sons Evan 17 senior at ELHS and Nolan 16 junior at ELHS
Community Involvement
8 years on the East Lyme Zoning Board

Past Member Voluntown Inland Wetlands Commission

Member of VFW, American Legion, NRA
Employment: Retired Army 26 years. 2 combat tours
Manager of Clinical Engineering, Lawrence & Memorial and Westerly Hospital
1109th TASMG, Groton Ct  AH-64 Helicopter Mechanic
Statement: The town of East Lyme, beaches and schools have been wonderful for my family. Volunteering to be on a commission is my way of giving back to an excellent town.