First Selectman Ellen Scalettar recognized Kate Brown as the October Woodbridge Person of the Month. Scalettar initiated the Woodbridge Person of the Month recognition program to spotlight the many Woodbridge residents, volunteers and employees who go above and beyond the expected in their dedication and commitment to Woodbridge and its residents.
Kate Brown, a personal trainer, owns Brown Fitness Training. Brown Fitness Training is located at 245 Amity Road, where Kate organized the first Scarecrow Festival in 2013 as a way to drive more traffic to Woodbridge’s retail shopping areas.
Kate encouraged local businesses to create business-themed scarecrows and place them in front of each storefront. She also encouraged businesses to offer special sales on the day of the event and brought in family-friendly entertainment to attract more people.
Noticing Kate’s commitment to the Town, First Selectman Scalettar asked Kate if she would be interested in serving on the volunteer Economic Development Commission, which promotes the Town’s business community. “Kate is a tireless advocate for Woodbridge businesses,” said First Selectman Ellen Scalettar. “She is a big thinker and spends a lot of her time ensuring the success of her neighboring businesses. Kate took her passion for promoting our local businesses, coupled it with my commitment to encourage more community events, and led the charge to create a month-long (October) series of events. Her energy and enthusiasm are inspiring and our local businesses are better off because of Kate.”
“I am honored to receive this recognition,” said Kate. “It feels really good that the First Selectman supports my efforts and is helping to promote local businesses. I’ve worked very hard on this project – with a lot of other people – because I recognize that what’s good for my neighbor’s business is good for my business.”
Thanks to Kate’s vision, the Scarecrow Festival has grown each year. Last year it was timed to coincide with the Woodbridge Road Race and Massaro Farm’s Family Fun Day. The separate organizations promoted each other’s events and helped raise awareness.
This year the Scarecrow Festival has become a month-long celebration of the Town, now called “Woodbridge Fallapalooza”. Kate’s original vision was to strengthen the local business community by creating a business-focused event. Now it has a broader focus; this new festival promotes economic development by highlighting the great things about Woodbridge: the Town’s history and farming heritage, the strong volunteer ethic and the Town’s recreational programming. There is still a business focus: Local clothing stores will display their wares at a fashion show, local restaurants will be highlighted during Restaurant Week, business representatives are invited to a business happy hour and more.
If you know a Woodbridge employee, resident or volunteer who’s gone above and beyond expectations, please nominate that person for this award by contacting Betsy Yagla at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-389-3403.