Norwalk fills key new role; Kulhawik to help state effort; Maritime Aquarium finds leader

Norwalk Chief of Social Services Lamond Daniels.

NORWALK, Conn. —- A roundup of Norwalk personnel happenings:

  • Chief of Social Services named
  • Kulhawik named to task force
  • Maritime Aquarium appoints new CEO


‘An excellent first person to take this job’

Lamond Daniels was confirmed as Norwalk’s first Chief of Community Services at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“I know how to bring people to the table. I am a consensus builder, or relationship manager, and I always strive to discover how can we get to a ‘yes.’ I plan to be visible, approachable, accountable, a team player, a listener and innovator when needed,” Daniels said to the Council, before the unanimous vote in his favor.

Daniels is taking on a position created in Mayor Harry Rilling’s reorganization of top administrative roles.  He will oversee the Fair Rent Department, Human Relations, the Health Director and the Library Director, as well as a Human Services Director, also a new position. The job replaces the Human Relations & Fair Rent Department Director position formerly held by Adam Bovilsky.

Council member Doug Hempstead (R-District D) did not vote to approve the position but said Tuesday that he was impressed with Daniels’ resume and found him very qualified to take the job. Also impressed were Personnel Committee Chairwoman Barbara Smyth (D-At Large) and Council President Tom Livingston (D-District E), who said Daniels will be a “tremendous asset.”

“I particularly like the fact that you have experience both in the private and public sector,” Livingston said. “And I know that’s going to be a real asset to you, when you come to bring groups together, look for possible funding sources and the like… I think you will be an excellent first person to take this job.”

Daniels has a Master’s Degree in public administration from the University of New Haven and a Master’s in social work from Fordham University. He received a Bachelor’s in social science from the University of Bridgeport. Daniels said he was a child in Norwalk and went to Naramake Elementary School.

His application states that he has worked for the CVS Health Aetna foundation since February 2016 as a principal consultant. “I served in corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at the corporate office, working with government affairs, the legal division and the business units, as the principal lead working with cities and counties, social and health departments large and small across the country,” Daniels said. “…Before that, I was the newly appointed director of neighborhood initiatives for the city of Bridgeport, working directly with the mayor’s office, spearheading neighborhood projects, built environment projects, community safety initiatives, neighborhood improvement plans, and ensuring some of our most challenging neighborhoods have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”

His application shows that he held that job from December 2013 to November 2015, under Mayor Bill Finch.

“And over the past five years, I have a part time job as an adjunct professor for the Connecticut Community College System, teaching new and aspiring community service workers,” he said.

“You’re the right person for the job,” Mayor Harry Rilling said. “As you know that was the glaring needs in Norwalk … someone who could provide social services and bring coordination together to all the services that are available, and how people live their quality of life, improve their quality of life. And I too am very, very impressed.”


Kulhawik to help study police transparency and accountability

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) has appointed Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik to the Task Force to Study Police Transparency and Accountability.

“The Task Force to Study Police Transparency and Accountability was established in 2019 by Public Act 19-90,” a press release said. “The task force consists of 10 members who are appointed by the Speaker of the House and Senate President, as well as the undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division, or the undersecretary’s designee, the Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, or the commissioner’s designee, and the Chief State’s Attorney, or the Chief State’s Attorney designee who are all non-voting members.”

Kulhawik joined the Norwalk Police Department in 1983 as a patrol officer and was “promoted to Detective in 1987, Sergeant in 1995, Lieutenant in 2000, Deputy Chief in 2007, and Chief of Police in July 2012,” the release said. “He has worked in all aspects of the department including patrol, narcotics, general investigations, and community policing.”

That “distinguished career” makes Kulhawik “a great addition” to the task force, Duff is quoted as saying. “It is critical that police departments across the state look to further ensure transparency and accountability, and I’m pleased that Chief Kulhawik will be able to contribute his voice and expertise towards achieving this goal.”

Kulhawik thanked Duff and said the work will be “very important.”

The task force is required to submit a preliminary report by no later than Jan. 1, 2020, and a final report with its findings and any recommendations for legislation no later than Dec. 31, 2020, the release said. It will then dissolve.



Patlis new Maritime Aquarium CEO

Jason Patlis, the executive director of Marine Conservation Programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society and a former president of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, has been named the new president and CEO of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

Jason Patlis. (Contributed)

It’s been a while since the Aquarium had a president and CEO. Brian Davis, Ph.D., held the role from December 2014 to May 2018. “Maureen Hanley briefly filled that role from November 2018 to February 2019,” Maritime Aquarium Dave Sigworth wrote. “In the interim since, duties of that position have been filled by Dave Truedson, our chief operating officer, and John Joyce, our chief financial officer.”

Patlis brings to Norwalk a 27-year career of executive management and public policy in ocean and natural-resource conservation on a national and international scale. His experience combines science literacy and education, research and conservation, and law and advocacy. He begins his role at The Maritime Aquarium on Mon., Nov. 4.

The release said:

“We feel like we’re a band that got Paul McCartney to come sing lead,” said Audrey Weil, co-chair of the Aquarium’s Board of Trustees. “Jason brings to The Maritime Aquarium an incredible depth of knowledge, vision and leadership in national and international marine conservation, as well as proven experience in not-for-profit management. He is impressively accomplished in all his endeavours, and we are so pleased and fortunate to welcome him to The Maritime Aquarium.”

Patlis will take the helm of the one of Connecticut’s largest family attractions, which draws nearly 500,000 visitors a year through its live exhibits and educational programming focused on Long Island Sound. The Maritime Aquarium is just one of three facilities in Connecticut earning top accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), which this month honored two of the Aquarium’s educational initiatives with national awards.

“I am deeply honored and profoundly excited to lead The Maritime Aquarium forward,” Patlis said. “An institution that is beloved by the community for its live exhibits and educational programs, The Maritime Aquarium has an opportunity to grow into a more powerful champion for Long Island Sound and its coastal environment.”


This story was amended at 1:56 p.m. to correct Mr. Daniels’ first name as Lamond, not Lamont, and to remove the Fair Housing Department from his list of responsibilities.


Lisa Brinton September 30, 2019 at 6:54 am

I wish the new CEO of the Maritime Center well, as he immediately faces challenges heaped upon him from the DOT with the Walk Bridge. The biggest item on his plate will be trying to close the financial gap on reconstruction of the IMAX theater. I’ve heard $13M. Will that number be whittled down, disappear or go up? Who’s paying for the difference? Not the state – they made that clear. Norwalk taxpayers? Maritime benefactors?

This is just another unintended consequence of the Boondoggle Walk Bridge replacement in Norwalk and how our city elders gave away our rights when they allowed the legal standing of FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) on Norwalk. How many more unintended consequences will there be?

Kathleen Montgomery September 30, 2019 at 1:52 pm

We still need to see a cost-benefits study for the IMAX theater. How many people used it previously? What is the future of IMAX across the country?

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