Ellen Crovatto

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New Canaan Connection Brings ‘Red Notice’ Author Bill Browder To Library Talk

Town resident Ellen Crovatto, prior to joining New Canaan Library as its development director, spent a career in investment banking. She worked 12 years on Wall Street and the last part of her career was spent raising private equity capital for investing in the former Soviet Union. “My role was to invest and raise half a billion dollars for the very first early stage investment in Russia in vouchers,” Crovatto recalled on a recent morning. And in that role, she crossed paths—at conferences, for example—with Bill Browder, the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management who would go on to publish the nonfiction bestseller “Red Notice,” subtitled “A true story of high finance, murder, and one man’s fight for justice.”

An absorbing book that is, as the back cover says, part “financial caper,” as well as “crime thriller” and “political crusade,” “Red Notice” tells the story of Browder’s intrepid and freewheeling professional entry into post-Soviet Russia, launch of Hermitage and subsequent clashes with corrupt Russian government officials and oligarchs, punctuated by the death of his own attorney, Sergei Magnitsky (whom Browder calls “the bravest man I have ever known” in a photo caption). Next month, thanks to Crovatto’s connection to him, Browder will come to New Canaan for a special library-organized event. Continue Reading →

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Letter: ‘Thank You’ from New Canaan Library following Successful ‘Books, Blues and BBQ’

Dear Editor:

A big ‘Thank you’ to all our sponsors, volunteers and guests of this year’s Books, Blues and BBQ event. Last Friday evening, 300 people enjoyed dancing under our tents to the incredible music of Tangled Vine while sipping craft margaritas, courtesy of Don Julio and Diageo. We were so grateful for the generosity of Half Moon Brewery whose seasonal ales were a big hit with the crowd, and made a wonderful complement to our Dinosaur Barbeque buffet. Every day the Library strives to connect us to ideas and opportunities for learning in our community – fundraising events like this one help support the many programs and services that keep those links vital. Thank you to all our talented Trustees and tireless committee volunteers who made this night a success: Holly Parmelee, Maya Frey, Kate Burt, Alicia Wyckoff, Kajsa Sheibley, Jen Gallagher, Jen Joyce, Krista Cody, Sheri West, Krista Kenin, Susan Graetz, Leslie Bisesi, Polly Goodyear, Meredith Petitjean, Susanna Anderson, Jenny D’Alba, Marnie Augustine, Shannon Broder, Kim Quinn, Annie Drapkin, Amedee Maggard, Carolyn Williams and many others. Continue Reading →

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New Canaan Library to Host Pulitzer Prize Winner Anthony Doerr at 8th Annual Literary Luncheon

New Canaan Library officials announced Tuesday that the writer to be honored at this fall’s literary luncheon is none other than Anthony Doerr, who this week was named Pulitzer Prize winner for his massively popular novel “All the Light We Cannot See.”

The 8th Annual Literary Luncheon will be held Nov. 4 at Woodway Country Club. The library’s director of development, Ellen Crovatto, said she’s “thrilled” for Doerr on the award and “very pleased that he will be our guest” at the luncheon. “It’s a tremendous honor and privilege that the library gets to present him in the community,” she said. “This will be his only area appearance in the fall.”

As in years past, the library will hold a ‘benefactor’ presale with additional tickets made available in the fall. Continue Reading →

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VIDEO: New Canaan Library’s ‘Books, Blues & BBQ’ Draws Hundreds

New Canaan Library’s Books, Blues & BBQ, May 30, 2014
More than 300 supporters of New Canaan Library donned their best checkered button-downs, boots and jeans for the organization’s third annual “Books, Blues & BBQ” fundraiser. Dancing to some great music from the band Tangled Vine, party-goers fed on Dinosaur BBQ and mingled beneath massive canopy tents in what Ellen Crovatto, director of development at the library (and a very good sport—see end of video above) called a “record-breaking” event in terms of attendance. “Fortunately the skies were kind and it didn’t rain for too long,” Crovatto told NewCanaanite.com midway through Books, Blues & BBQ. “We’ve had tremendous community support and across an entirely wide range of demographics.”

Asked what makes the event so popular, Crovatto said: “I think it’s a casual event that unites people around the concept of supporting the library, its programs and collections. And it’s almost a community celebration in terms of what the library offers in its cultural offerings.” Continue Reading →

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