JSC: Biographies of Commission Members

Biographies of Commission Members



Robert S. Bello is an attorney in the Stamford law firm of Meister Seelig & Fein LLP.  The firm is a general practice with an emphasis on civil and criminal litigation, including personal injury, medical and legal malpractice, commercial and construction disputes as well as family law.  It also handles business and real estate transactions.  Attorney Bello concentrates in criminal litigation where he has garnered extensive trial experience, including numerous jury trials of serious felonies, winning acquittal in many.  He has also briefed and argued several criminal appeals before the Appellate and Supreme Courts.  Mr. Bello is a graduate of Fairfield College Preparatory School, Fairfield University and St. John's Law School, where he graduated in 1961.  He has been admitted to practice in Connecticut State and Federal Courts for 50 years and is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, the Fairfield County Bar Association, the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.  He is a past recipient of numerous pro bono awards and citations, including a 1999 C.B.A. Pro Bono Award.  He has been a panel member and contributor to several CLE seminars on criminal law.

Mr. Bello was appointed by former Chief Justice Sullivan to the Client Security Fund Committee, where he continues to serve, having been reappointed by Chief Justice Rogers.  Previously, he served as Chairman of the Committee on Training and Employment which was the original designated community action agency in Stamford.

Robert S. Bello also served the Commission as its Chairperson from 2011-2014.  

Attorney Bello has been married for 50 years to his wife Frances, with whom he has a son Christopher, who is a Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary with General Re Life Corporation in Stamford.  Attorney Bello enjoys spending his free time with his five grandchildren.


Audrey B. Blondin was born and raised in the New Haven area, and has practiced law in Torrington since 1980.  She and her daughter Rose currently have Litchfield County's only Mother-Daughter law firm, as well as Torrington's oldest woman-owned law firm.  She has been a resident of Litchfield since 1986, and is a graduate of Laurelton Hall, Southern Connecticut State University magna cum laude and Temple University School of Law.  She also holds a Certificate in Public Health from the University of Connecticut, and is currently a part-time MPH student at UCONN. 

Attorney Blondin’s areas of practice include real estate, loan workouts, short sales and foreclosures, probate matters, wills and estate planning, juvenile and family law, contracts and animal rights law. Attorney Blondin has served as counsel for many banks and mortgage companies, providing representation on residential real estate closings, including FHA, CHFA and VA loan programs.  Attorney Blondin is admitted to the Connecticut Bar, U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.  Attorney Blondin is a member of Connecticut Bar Association and the Litchfield County Bar Association, as well as a James W. Cooper Fellow Lifetime Member and a Justice of the Peace.

Attorney Blondin has served as the Democratic State Central Committeewoman from the 30th Senatorial District from 2002 to present.  She also served as a Selectman for the Town of Litchfield, Connecticut from 1993 to 2003 and was a candidate for Secretary of the State 2006.  She also served as a member of the Connecticut delegation to the 2000, 2004, 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions.

In 2001, Attorney Blondin, along with her husband, Dr. Matthew Blondin, founded VOSH-Connecticut, the Connecticut Chapter of VOSH-International (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity), and is currently serving as Secretary/Treasurer of VOSH-Connecticut.  Attorney Blondin, along with her husband, Dr. Matthew Blondin, has served as Mission Director for VOSH-Connecticut since 2001, organizing and conducting annual missions to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, providing eye examinations and eye glasses to over 3,000 area residents per year, who otherwise would have no access to eye care.  Since 2001, over 35,000 residents have received eye care services and eye glasses through the volunteer services of VOSH-Connecticut.



A Chicago, Illinois native and who comes from a long lineage of Ministerial and Pastoral service. Licensed to preach in 1973 by the Union Baptist Church of Springfield, Ill. and ordained in 1979 by a council of the Woodriver District Association, an affiliate of the Illinois Baptist General State Convention. He has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Illinois. Pastor Curtis matriculated at the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Moody Bible College, and the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA; he received a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Eastern Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, VA. In his 40-year ministerial career he has received numerous educational certificates and certifications.

In 1990 he was called to the St. Paul Baptist Church in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he served as Pastor until 1994. He is currently serving as Senior Pastor of the 121 year old Grace Baptist Church in Norwalk, CT.  Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Pastor Curtis’ leadership, the Grace Baptist Church is experiencing significant spiritual and numerical growth. Major church renovations are being made which will allow both current and future members and their families to continue a high-level ministry in reaching families and community.

He has held various corporate positions; his last position was Vice President, Human Resources (HR) at Universal/NBC, Music Division, East Coast Region based in New York City, with offices in Atlanta, GA and South Beach, Miami, FL.  He has also held various senior HR positions in the global accounting and consulting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers, the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation and the Illinois Department of Revenue.

His religious and community affiliations are extensive as he currently serves in the following capacities: Vice-President At Large for the Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention (CSMBC), Treasurer, Judah Baptist District Association, (CSMBC), Board member Urban League of Southern Connecticut, Chaplin-Norwalk Fire Department, Chairman of Board of Directors Norwalk Children’s Foundation which is a multi-million foundation which assist and serves children and families in the Norwalk, Ct area. In addition to the service of the Lord his passion is the founding and establishment of the South Norwalk Collegiate Academy, a K-8 charter school of which he serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is a Past-President of the Norwalk Branch of the NAACP and has served on the State of Connecticut’s Legislative Achievement Gap Commission/Task Force. He is a member and a past President of the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (Norwalk), member of Norwalk Clergy Association. He is the husband of Janis (Richardson) Curtis, the father of three daughters, two sons and eight grandchildren.


Greg Davis is a native of Hartford.  He graduated from Tufts University and Georgetown Law School.  Greg worked at the law firm of Murtha Cullina and the Legal Department of Northeast Utilities before joining Travelers Insurance Company in 1997.  Greg currently serves as President of the Hartford Public Library and served previously as President from 2009 to 2011; and he has been on the Board of the library since 2006.  He has been an alumnus, trustee since 1991, and former Board President for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford.  Greg also serves on the Board of Overseers for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, and he is Vice-President of the Board of Directors for the Hartford Youth Scholars.

Greg resides in Bloomfield where he is a member of The First Cathedral.


Jonathan Ferrigno currently serves as the Special Assistant to House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz. In that role, he works closely with the Speaker and his legal team on the dais during Session days dealing with the legislative procedures of the House. He also helps to facilitate the Speaker’s appointments to various state task forces, boards, and commissions.

Jonathan previously worked as an aide to Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey acting primarily as the point person for constituent services. He also served as the administrative staff for the Regional Policing Work Group of the M.O.R.E. Commission where he worked towards drafting proposed legislation that would create savings in the state budget through regional cooperation. He has also volunteered on multiple successful State Representative re-election campaigns for the House Democrats caucus.

Jonathan graduated from the University of Connecticut where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He currently resides in West Hartford.


Sarah Fryxell currently serves as Chief Legal Counsel for the House Republican Office in the Connecticut General Assembly. In her role, she provides legislators with guidance on legal, legislative and policy issues. Her duties include conducting legal research, drafting bills and amendments, negotiating legislative priorities on behalf of House Republican members, and serving as the caucus liaison to the Office of State Ethics, the State Elections Enforcement Commission, and the Freedom of Information Commission.

Prior to becoming Chief Legal Counsel, Ms. Fryxell served as Legal Counsel for the House Republicans for eight years focusing primarily on issues before the Judiciary, Commerce, Insurance, and Public Health Committees.

Ms. Fryxell is a Commissioner on the Connecticut State Marshal Commission and was elected to serve as a Trustee on the Library Board of Directors in Westbrook, Connecticut from 2009-2015. Ms. Fryxell is a 2001 graduate of Villanova University and a 2005 graduate of Villanova University School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in Connecticut and New York.




Joseph J. McGee is Vice President, Public Policy and Programs, The Business Council of Fairfield County.  Joe has worked extensively with the business community, civic organizations and government officials in the areas of economic development, transportation, housing, energy conservation, environment and tax and fiscal policy.

His community leadership roles reflect his commitment to these priorities.  He is currently Co Chair of The Commission on Economic Competitiveness and a member of the Commission on Judicial Selection.

Joe’s major focus at the Business Council is the development of high speed commuter rail.

Following the aftermath of the extreme storms in 2011, Joe was appointed as Co-Chair of The Two Storm Panel in 2011-2012 by Governor Malloy. In 2010, he served as Co-Chair of the Policy Committee for Governor Daniel Malloy’s Transition Committee.

Before joining The Business Council of Fairfield County, Joe was Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic Development, Chairman of the Connecticut Development Authority and Chairman of Connecticut Innovations, Inc. from 1990-1994.  He served as Vice President at People’s Bank between 1979 and 1990.  Prior to joining People’s Bank, Joe served as Staff Director for Congressman Stewart McKinney in Washington, D.C. from 1971 to 1978.





Philip William Ryan is President and CEO of National Lumber Inc. in North Haven, a contractor lumberyard servicing new construction through much of the state.  Mr. Ryan is also a licensed Real Estate Broker, operating several construction and development companies, and managing multifamily owned properties throughout the Greater New Haven area.  Together, these companies' activities cover the spectrum from land acquisition, zoning, development, construction and sales. 
Mr. Ryan is a Life Member of the Board of Directors of the Greater New Haven Homebuilders' Association, and was a member of the State Board of Directors, as well as the National Association of Homebuilders, and Northeast Retail Lumbermens' Association.

Mr. Ryan is a 1963 graduate of Yale University.  He is a United States Air Force veteran who spent his first eleven years as a pilot, initially flying combat in Vietnam and Thailand.  He was among the aircrews who flew into Hanoi in February, 1972, for the initial POW release of captured military pilots.  Later, he served at the Pentagon, and completed his service as chief of Transport Pilot Assignments, at the USAF Personnel Center in San Antonio.
Mr. Ryan resides in Branford with his wife Jill (Diamond) Ryan.  They have two sons and three grandchildren.


Pamela Z. Sawyer served eleven terms as State Representative for the 55th District that includes the towns of Andover, Bolton, Hebron, and Marlborough, stepping down in January 2015.She was appointed Deputy Leader at Large for the House Republicans in 2009, after three terms as Minority Whip. She also served as Assistant Minority Leader in 1997, 1999 and again in 2001. Her committee assignments included Veterans' Affairs, Education, Higher Education, Employment Advancement Transportation, Environment, Human Services and Legislative Management over the course of her 22-year legislative career.  Former Representative Sawyer served as Ranking Member on the Select Committee on Children and on Human Services.
Representative Sawyer’s local experience includes twelve years on the Bolton Board of Education, serving from 1981 through 1993. She is also a Justice of the Peace, and is on the Board of Directors for both Hartford’s Junior Achievement and the Bolton Land Trust, a member of the Bolton Women’s Club and the national State Agricultural and Rural Leaders Council, as well as a founding member and first President of the UCONN Parents Association.

Having taught middle school science, she has long been an advocate for quality education as well as fighting for state dollars for open space and farmland preservation. Her recent efforts to create a working group to promote the CT Safe Haven’s Law continues, working to share the aspects of the law, in an effort to reduce the numbers of abandoned newborns, offering distressed mothers the option to leave the baby at an emergency room.

Pamela Sawyer was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and attended the Providence public school system. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Science Education from the University of Rhode Island and attended graduate school at the same University. She also attended the University of North Carolina School of Business leadership program.  Representative Sawyer resides with her family in Bolton.


Peter (Pete) Smith is the managing Partner of Rome, Smith & Lutz, Inc., a Government Relations firm located in Hartford Connecticut. Rome Smith & Lutz is one of the top ten lobbying firms in the state representing a variety of clients from community based non-profits, the Mohegan Tribe to fortune 25 companies.  Pete is a former state representative from Milford’s 119th district. During his time in the legislature, he was known for building consensus around issues and his passion for constituent causes. He served as co-chairman of the Conservation and Development sub-committee of the Appropriations Committee, vice chairman of the Commerce Committee, and as a member of the Environment and Transportation Committees.

Civic engagement is important to Pete. He has served on numerous boards and commissions both at the state and local level including Milford’s Fire Commission and Harbor Management Commission.  Currently, he is the Chairman of Milford’s Downtown River High Street Development Committee and is serving his second term as a member of the Judicial Selection Commission.  Pete and his family are active longtime supporters of The Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer at Yale New Haven Hospital and participate in Yale Cancer Center – “Closer to Free” bike ride.







Content Last Modified on 11/20/2017 3:12:38 PM

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