Meet the Team

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Editor in Chief

Susan Wexler

     As a born and bred New Yorker, I was reluctant to leave the city 43 years ago. My husband Jesse, however, was eager to accept a position with a Westport, CT based radiology practice, and so I agreed to move to Westport.

     I needn’t have worried. Jesse brought me to a very special town. We raised our two children in Westport and they also appreciate the multiple charms of our community—particularly the beautiful beach. 

     Eager to actively engage in the community I came to love, I became the President of The Westport-Weston Cooperative Nursery School. Many of my closest friends today are my fellow parents from that wonderful institution. As a founding member of The Conservative Synagogue, I organized their educational program and became the first Membership Chair. We exceeded expectations with a total of 82 new families that first year. I have also contributed to the Westport Youth Commission as the leader of a Community Service Award committee.

     My education at Queens College and the University of Pennsylvania prepared me for my career as a NYC reading teacher. Later I became an adjunct professor of Reading and Study Skills at Westchester Community College. I LOVED teaching the community college population, but always recognized that guiding and mentoring were my favorite parts of teaching.

     This led me to train for my very rewarding 22 year career as an Educational Consultant, guiding students through the college admissions process. I treasure the relationships I was fortunate to have established and always appreciated the trust each family placed in me.

     Although I have recently retired from Ed Consulting, I remain an active Fairfield County realtor and eagerly approach my twelfth year in sales. I have also had the great honor of officiating at a wedding, which gave rise to my dream of becoming a Westport Justice of the Peace. This past election cycle four candidate names were placed in a hat for the two open Independent positions. Sadly my name was not drawn forth… I remain hopeful for this role in the future!

     I view my varied roles through each period of my life as different threads of the same mission: mentoring and empowering people as they transition to the next step in their lives. Most recently, at a time when we all need to connect, inspire and sustain each other, I am introducing a new thread—stitching together my passion for creative writing with the timeless love stories of those who are generous enough to share.

 

Many thanks to my wonderful team as well as: 

     The Writers’ Workshop at the Westport Center for Senior Activities, the birthplace of this blog. Three years ago I joined this group, led by our esteemed teacher, Jan Bassin. I could not have created this site without Jan, whose skill and support I will always cherish.

     

     I am very grateful to Rosemary Cass, a fellow workshop member and blogger, who has mentored me through the blogging process. I highly recommend her site seeingitclearlynow.com, designed to enrich the lives of older adults. 

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David Wexler

Creative Director

     Hello! I’m Dave, Susan’s son, and I’m proud to be the Creative Director of this fantastic endeavor. I’ve done everything from editorial work to software engineering and user experience design in my day, giving me lots of experience in a lot of different things. I’ve even got a Master’s degree in Cinema Studies from NYU, making me a certified film nerd. 

     Working as an educational consultant specializing in writing and the college application essay, I’m very good at helping people find their voice and express themselves--two things that translate very well to sharing personal tales of romance. I’m very excited to help this venture grow and bring joy to more people as both readers and writers.

     When I’m not helping kids get into college, working on this fabulous website, or playing around with technology, you’ll find me doing a lot of fun things that involve projectiles: playing ultimate frisbee and disc golf, racquet sports, archery, watching baseball (Let’s go Mets!), and more.

Art Director

Poppy Livingstone

     Hi! My name is Poppy Livingstone, and I’m a senior at Staples High School. I was raised to people-watch, and have always appreciated a good story. ‘What’s New in the Romance Department’ has given me the chance to combine art and storytelling, the two things that I treasure most. When not trolling the Stratford Antique Center for old photo albums or hiking with friends, you can find me working on the school newspaper as Editor-in-Chief, or teaching English as a second language at Building One Community in Stamford. You can find my writing, art, and other projects at https://livspec8.wixsite.com/poppylivingstone, or @poproxart on Instagram.

Jacqueline Alvarez

Co-Editor

     I was hired for the Grand Opening of Macy’s Huntington, Long Island, in 1962, as a hostess for the store. I still have the “Welcome” sash I wore to greet the throngs of customers. At the end of my one week assignment, I was offered and accepted a full time sales position. Interacting with the public had proved to be intoxicating.

     My promotions to management and the Herald Square buying line were early steps on my path from merchandising to personnel training manager. Upon promotion to Human Resources Manager I was responsible for six different different store locations.

     I met my husband Frank in the Huntington branch, and we welcomed our son in 1968. Macy’s truly had become a part of my life. A diagnosis of MS prematurely ended my career after thirty two years.

     I relocated to Westport, CT in 1999 to be closer to my son Frank, my daughter in law Janette, and my three beautiful grandchildren, Noah, Colby and Jada. I enjoy music, writing and creative expression. As a member of the Writers Workshop at WCSA, I have been able to indulge all three.

     With special thanks to my friend and classmate, Susan Wexler, I begin my new venture as co-editor of her blog, “What’s New in the Romance Department?” I look forward to reading your stories.

Violet Cooper

Social Media Coordinator

     Hi, my name is Violet Cooper, and I am a senior at Staples High School. For much of my life, I have been described as a certified romantic, and have indulged myself in the world of storytelling. I like to think I was born with an innate curiosity for the beauty of inner, quiet lives, and a love of language. Normally you will find me with my nose deep in a book (or two), watching films, appreciating the beauty of nature on a walk or a bike ride, strolling through vintage shops on a hunt for one-of-a-kind treasures, or acting in productions with my friends at Staples Players. Next year I will be attending Washington University in St. Louis, with hopes to study Global Studies, English Literature, and French.

A Word About Our Angels

In researching the history of Raphael’s angels, which come from the Sistine Madonna, painted in 1512, we learned the following: 

“Legend states that the two angels were modeled after two children Raphael saw wistfully looking up at a baker’s shop window, no doubt pining away for sweet confections.”