Owner & Editor
Michael is a journalist of 20-plus years’ experience, a former member of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and steering committee for the New Canaan High School Senior Internship Program.
Michael grew up in New Canaan, attending Center School until they tore it down after he finished second grade with Mrs. Fischer, then East, Saxe and New Canaan High School.
He attended the University of Pennsylvania and University of Oxford, studying philosophy at both and graduating with a bachelor’s degree.
Michael and his wife Marie live in Stamford with their dogs (pictured at the very bottom of this page).
Susan Gelvin is a longtime resident of New Canaan who graduated New Canaan High School in 1992. She has served as co-president of the Saxe Middle School PTC, a mother of two, and likes shiny things.
Chandra has 14+ years of professional journalism experience and has held various writing, editing and PR positions at Belvoir Media Group, HooplaHa, Patch, Red 7 Media, and ProfNet. Throughout her career, she has covered numerous topics including, local, regional, and breaking news, arts & entertainment, business, technology, and health. During her time at Patch, Chandra received the company’s “Mission and Values” award while serving as an associate regional editor for her role in covering the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. She graduated from Virginia Union University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in English, an Associate’s degree in Journalism, and a minor in Music. She received her Master’s Degree in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University the following year. She currently lives in Norwalk with her husband and two daughters.
Laura Ault is a writer, creative director, and founder of a mission-based marketing consultancy, Good Witch. She’s a graduate of Colgate University, a proud Northern Californian, and the thing she misses most about working in the corporate world is the golden era of expense account lunches. She lives with her husband, three dogs, and two cats on New Canaan’s west side, and yes, she knows that’s a lot of pets.
Darcy Pennoyer Smith
One of many in the multi-generational Pennoyer family from New Canaan, Darcy Stiles Pennoyer grew up down the street from the Dinans, and she is an alum of Center School, Saxe and NCHS. Currently a New Canaan resident and now Darcy Pennoyer Smith, she is a freelance writer and blogger. She volunteers with various organizations such as the West School PTC, Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk, and New Canaan Cares. Her sons attend New Canaan Public Schools, and her husband Jud is a managing partner of Smith Hanley Associates LLC. The Smiths recently rescued two kittens, and the litter mates are settling quite nicely into their new home.
Darcy attended Ohio Wesleyan University and studied French, English, and politics & government before working as a journalist’s assistant at the United Nations, an assistant in a law firm, a marketing associate at a healthcare company, and an independent floral designer (she’s done flowers for over 100 events). Her longest stint with an employer other than herself was with New Canaan High School, where she worked first as a chemistry lab aide to see if she liked working with teenagers all day (the answer was yes), an intern in the English and world language departments, and then as a certified English and French teacher. Darcy earned a Master of Science in education from the University of Bridgeport in 2000, and she resigned from NCHS in 2014 in order to have more flexibility to care for her family. She still likes working with teenagers, so she tutors students in reading, writing, and the college essay.
Darcy loves New Canaan, and some of her favorite spots are the NC Nature Center, Waveny, Elm Street Books, Cherry Street East, and Gates. She enjoys all the Next Station to Heaven has to offer although the parking in town is a bit out of control, and she does like a stable post office.
Jes has lived in New Canaan since 1995, attending South and Saxe before graduating from New Canaan High School in 2009. Following that, he attended the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H. During his time there, Jes volunteered in the athletics department with both the Women’s basketball program as their manager, and Media Relations where he helped out at several different UNH athletic teams’ events. He graduated summa cum laude in 2013 with a B.S. in Kinesiology: Sport Studies. An avid baseball fan, specifically of the Mets. he enjoys going to Dunning Field to watch Rams football games, and his favorite restaurant in New Canaan is Cherrystreet East.
Patrick Barnard grew up in Darien and currently lives in Cos Cob – but he is very familiar with New Canaan: His wife, Patricia Wagner Barnard, is a New Canaan native and he has had in-laws and many close friends in town throughout his life. Barnard is a former editor of The Darien Times and has held editor roles for various print and online B2B publications. He currently works as manager, digital content, external communications, for Charter Communications in Stamford.
Editorial Advisory Council
After spending 17 years in media planning, Laura took a break from full time employment and moved with her husband and three children to New Canaan in 2002. Laura had had the pleasure of serving on the Board s of both the New Canaan Youth Football and ABC of New Canaan. Laura also volunteered extensively in the Schools and New Canaan Lacrosse Association including a term as East School PTC co-president. After spending time working in business-to-business marketing, Laura landed at the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce as Marketing Associate in 2012. Working alongside Executive Director Tucker Murphy, Laura enjoys working daily to fulfill the Chamber’s goal of “connecting the community with commerce.” While technically “empty nesters,” Laura and her husband Scott do share the house with their rescue dog @candace_the_Coonhound.
After attending New York’s School of Visual Arts, New Canaan native Julia Stewart worked in television production for many years. Upon her return here she worked for a local architecture firm, before becoming a full-time mom. Married to Doug Stewart, one of the owners of Walter Stewart’s Market and Stewart’s Spirits, she is the mother of Scarlett, Audrey and Griffin and dog children Margot and Pippa. She is thrilled to serve on the editorial board of the New Canaanite.
Rob Mallozzi III
As a former Selectman, First Selectman and Board of Finance Chairman, downtown commercial property owner, firefighter and local bank executive, Rob has deep and meaningful ties to the New Canaan community. He and his wife, Liz, have lived in town for 31 years where they raised and educated their two children: Robby and Kit.
Rob’s past affiliations have included the Rotary Club, YMCA, New Canaan Winter Club and the Poinsettia Club. He has served on the boards of the New Canaan Museum and Historical Society, Waveny Park Conservancy, Silvermine Arts Center, Waveny Care Center and chaired the New Canan Family Fourth of July Committee. A 20-year member of the New Canaan Fire Company, Rob was named Firefighter of the Year and received its highest honor- the Distinguished Service Award. Rob most recently served as that institution’s president.
After living several years in Manhattan directly above the Holland Tunnel entrance, Andrew and his wife Laura have happily called New Canaan home since 2014, and look forward to doing so for many more. A veteran of the advertising, entertainment and media business for 20 + years, Andrew also once-upon-a-time worked in public radio as a journalist for KFAI 90.3 FM in Minneapolis. He and Laura love exploring New Canaan’s amazing green spaces with their dogs Sally, Penny and George, enjoying the non-Holland Tunnel peace & quiet of the New Canaan indoors with their rescue cats, and reviewing the ever-expanding wealth of great local restaurants for NewCanaanite.com.
Michael Chen is currently the General Partner and CEO of Chen & Associates, an advisory services firm focused on the financial services, media, aviation, and food industries. Michael co-founded the firm in 1997 and joined full-time in 2013. His primary focus is managing a family office in Connecticut. In addition, he serves as the Vice Chairman of Grace Farms Foundation. He also serves as the Chairman of The CEO Forum, a fast growing media company focused on disseminating CEO wisdom exclusively to the top 10,000 CEO’s and aspiring CEO’s. From 2012-2013, he was a Management Committee Advisor and Strategic Partner to the Chief Investment Officer at Bridgewater Associates. From 2011-2012, he was the President of NBC News’ Strategic Initiatives Group and served on the Board of Directors for The Weather Channel. Prior to joining NBC News, Michael was a GE Officer and President & CEO of GE Capital’s Media, Communications, and Entertainment (MCE) business from 2006-2010. He worked at GE Capital from 1994-2006 in several executive positions in the aviation sector (GECAS), including leading the North America business from 1999-2006. He was also the Chairman of the Board and creator of the Peacock Equity Fund from 2006-2010, which was a digital media fund supported by GE and NBC Universal that returned 40% IRR before being merged into Comcast Ventures. Michael has been featured in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. He currently serves as an Emeritus Advisory Council member for the SC Johnson School of Business. In addition, he previously served on the Board of The Weather Channel, the Norwalk Community College Foundation, the Diversity Advisory Board at Sodexo Corporation, the Executive Diversity Council of GE, and the Planning Team for Grace Community Church. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester and an MBA in Finance from the SC Johnson School of Business at Cornell University. He and his family have lived in New Canaan for 27 years. He currently is a member of the Board of Finance for the Town of New Canaan.
After completing a degree in English with a secondary teaching qualification, Lisa traveled to England and then on to New Zealand, where her husband Matthew is from. Lisa started her Library career at Wellington Public Library (NZ) in 1990, and simultaneously completed a certificate of Library Studies at the Wellington College of Education (Victoria University). The couple moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. where Lisa worked in a corporate library, got her Master’s of Library Studies and where her two children were born. During the following decade the family moved internationally four times, with Lisa running libraries at International Baccalaureate K-12 schools in Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Mexico, before returning to New Zealand in 2006 and working once again in Public Libraries, including as Head of Libraries for the Tasman District of the South Island of New Zealand. With a shift to Auckland, Lisa took on a specialist role at the National Library of New Zealand for several years before being recruited to New Canaan to lead the organization and build a brand new Library facility which opened in February 2023. After 10 ½ years at New Canaan Library and having completed the largest private/public partnership project in the town’s history, Lisa stepped away from Libraries to embark on the next phase of her life which she intends to spend traveling with her husband, spending more time in Spain and their home in New Zealand as well as with their adult children in Europe. Lisa is passionate about the environment and is outspoken about environmental and climate issues. She is an avid reader and loves outdoor pursuits of all kinds. She is currently working on a research project into her ancestors who arrived in New Netherland in the early 17th Century.
Doug is the owner of Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee and founder of Caffeine & Carburetors. A past board member of the Chamber of Commerce who had served on the editorial board of Moffly Media publications, Zumbach is a current member of the New Canaan Men’s Club and New England Auto Museum. As owner of the iconic Pine Street coffee shop, Zumbach earned the 2016 Merchant of the Year Award from the Chamber.