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State Senator

Marilyn Moore

Representing Bridgeport, Monroe & Trumbull

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Sen. Moore Honors Trumbull Residents with “Integrity” Award

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Senator Moore with the 2017 Trumbull Intergrity Award recipients at Trumbull Town Hall, Thursday, September 28, 2017. (L-R) Dr. Matthew Wheeler, Jennifer Gillis, Paulette Mack, Senator Marilyn Moore, Jeffrey Kunkel, Brian Gillespie (son of Edward Gillespie) and Michael Silva.

TRUMBULL— Senator Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport, Trumbull, Monroe) hosted the 2017 Trumbull Integrity Awards at Town Hall Thursday evening where she honored five town residents making a positive impact on the community through their work and volunteer efforts.

“A person of integrity personifies a state of incorruptibility, soundness, and completeness,” Sen. Moore said. “Throughout the town of Trumbull, this is a quality that resonates in our residents.”

Sen. Moore’s Trumbull Integrity Award identifies and honors individuals whose integrity stands out in their community and echoes throughout. This year, the honorees were Edward Gillespie, Jennifer Gillis, Paulette Mack, Jeffrey Kunkel, Michael Silva, and Dr. Matthew Wheeler. Honorees were selected by the Trumbull Rotary Club and Trumbull Mothers Offering Mothers Support (MOMS).

Here’s what they wrote about each nominee:

Ed Gillespie —Nominated by Trumbull Rotary Club
Ed Gillespie is the Executive Director of BizMark, the B2B marketing and communications firm he founded 12 years ago. Ed grew up in the Bronx NY, attended the University of Virginia and later earned his master’s degree from New York University. His career started in financial services, including six years at Citicorp, before he moved to advertising at agencies including Burrell Communications Group, Omnicom and BizMark. Ed believes his life outside of the office is way more important than work. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, a Christian non-profit that serves the homeless, hungry and addicted. He just finished a term as President of the Trumbull Rotary Club and actively serve at his church, Crossroads Community Church. Ed lives in Trumbull, CT with his wife Eileen and three grown children, Brian, Meaghan and Erin.

Jeffrey Kunkel—Nominated by Trumbull MOMS
Jeff Kunkel runs Trumbull Helps, which has a mission to help residents of local Trumbull communities. This group has grown from organizing food drives (although this is still a large and important part of the group) to offering assistance to residents asking for help, providing meals at Bridgeport Rescue Mission, and supporting high school theater productions. Jeffrey regularly organizes food drives, fundraisers and serves/cooks food for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission and the Trumbull Food Pantry. Jeff is a Trumbull father and grandfather. He runs building services of Southern Connecticut. During storms, he has offered to shovel snow for elderly neighbors. He organizes events to pray the rosary, walking events around the mall. Jeff is a person who unites the community of Trumbull in friendship and fellowship and inspires and motivates others to help and support causes greater than themselves.

Michael Silva—Nominated by Trumbull MOMS
Michael Silva helps to run Trumbull Helps, which has a mission to help residents of local Trumbull communities. He is affectionately known in the community as “Bacon Mike,” because of his love of bacon and food. This group has grown from organizing food drives (although this is still a large and important part of the group) to offering assistance to residents asking for help, providing meals at Bridgeport Rescue Mission, and supporting high school theater productions. Michael frequently hosts food drives at his house. He helps to run a semi-annual bacon egg and cheese fundraiser with donations going to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. Michael is always very positive, is the first so say hello when he sees you, and is always spreading positivity when you see him in person and on social media. His positivity is contagious. He has two children who are in the Trumbull Public School system. He has high moral standards and adds tremendous value to the community.

Dr. Matthew Wheeler Nominated by Trumbull MOMS
Dr. Matthew Wheeler, also known as Mr. Matt to the children and parents, has been a preschool coordinator at Trumbull Early Childhood Education Center for the past nine years. The reason he is nominated by MOMS Club is because he is more than just a preschool coordinator; he truly goes above and beyond what is required. He is in constant communication with parents. He makes home visits to help with kids sleeping, eating, parenting and much more. On his own time, he delivers presents to under-privileged children for the holidays. He makes sure that those that are having financial difficulties have Thanksgiving meals. At all events the PTO and Father’s Club sponsors, Mr. Matt is always there, smiling and socializing with the parents and students and doing more than just your typical director. Parents always feel comfortable calling him and discussing anything that involves their children. Caring for people comes natural to him, as he was an EMT for 22 years in a previous career. Mr. Matt is a genuinely kind and compassionate person who makes our community better.

Jennifer Gillis and Paulette Mack- Nominated by Stern Village resident Patricia Carter
Jennifer Gillis works at the Senior Center at 23 Pricilla Place in Trumbull as an Outreach Social Worker. Paulette Mack works at Stern Villave, 200 Hedgehog Circle in Trumbull Housing as a Resident Service Coordinator. For these jobs you need to be a people person to do these jobs correctly and they both do. All the other items below is what makes them so “special” at their work:

  • Both are good listeners
  • Both are soft spoken
  • Both are comfortable to be around
  • Both are kind and caring with a mix of a lot of understanding
  • Both are great problem solvers
  • Both of them make you feel “special” when talking with you
  • Both of them work great with seniors and the disabled
  • They both give 100 percent plus which doing their jobs

We all believe in them and they are their when we need them. They always call you back too!

Senator Moore congratulates all the award recipients and encourages them to continue to serve Trumbull and surrounding communities with love and integrity.

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