Norwalk BOE hires communication director

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Norwalk Schools Superintendent Manny Rivera congratulates Brenda Williams after she was named the new Norwalk Public Schools communication director Tuesday night.

NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk woman said she is ready to “hit the ground running” Wednesday morning as the new communications director for Norwalk Public Schools.

The appointment of Brenda Williams to the position created by Superintendent Manny Rivera was unanimously approved Tuesday night by the Board of Education. There were 25 applicants for the job, Rivera said, and Williams was “outstanding.” Board member Artie Kassimis called Williams’s resume “impressive,” while board member Shirley Mosby said it was a step in the right direction, that Williams would help him get out in the community more.

Williams, a 17-year resident of Norwalk, has a background of establishing communications for corporate employers, according to her resume.

She has been working since February 2011 at Daymon Worldwide in Stamford, a 40-year-old company with 22,000 employees, to build the company’s first corporate communications department, the resume says. That included the company’s first consumer public relations, consumer affairs and social media outreach programs, the resume says.

Williams headed up global internal communications for Anheuser-Busch InBev from July 2009 to February 2011, the resume says. Her history with InBev goes back to 2000, when she expanded the public relations role into a full-service communications department, the resume says.

She earned her law degree from Pace University School of Law and has a bachelor of science degree from Boston University College of Communications.

Not only that, but Williams is a parent chaperone for the Norwalk High School marching band – her daughter is a sophomore at the school, she said. She was treasurer of the Nathan Hale Middle School PTO in 2011 and 2012, and was a committee chairwoman and parent volunteer for the Columbus Magnet School Young Astronauts, including two fifth-grade simulated space missions, in 2009 and 2004, the resume says.

Her son is a senior at the University of Connecticut, she said.

“I have always wanted to do something that would contribute more to the local community and so this is, I think, absolutely a right fit for me right now,” she said. “I am really looking forward to helping bring our communications to the next level at the school system.”

She will be paid $60,000 a year in a contract that is valid through June 30, 2015, according to the BOE packet. The pro-rated salary for the remainder of the 2013-2014 budget year is just over $34,000. When Rivera announced his staff reorganization plan in August, he said he had budgeted nearly $88,000 a year for the position, which would be prorated the first year because the position would not be filled until Nov. 1.

What’s first on the agenda?

“There’s an awful lot going on,” she said. “I’m very excited to sort of sit down and take a look at what is going on and figure out what the number one priorities are. Dr. Rivera has already outlined a lot of initiatives for communications and I think we’re just going to keep pushing that, based on what his vision is.”


3 responses to “Norwalk BOE hires communication director”

  1. Casey Smith

    Unless I am very much mistaken, the Board used to have a very similar position, which was eliminated back around 2008.

  2. Correct — this is re-establishing the position (though I’m pretty sure at a lower cost).

  3. marjoriem

    She sounds highly qualified. I would love to know why she gave up a corporate (presumably high paying) job to work for so little money?

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