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Men of Westport

Each June we task ourselves with narrowing down the fabulous men in Westport and Weston and focusing on a handful who impress us with their creativity and commitment, who bring a certain panache to our community, and who have diverse and unique interests.

This is never easy.

Especially this year, because we threw it out to our readers to nominate their favorites and, well, there are a lot. Bad news is, we couldn’t feature them all. Good news is, we can always feature them next year, or the year after that, or the year after that….

Jeffrey Selden

Managing Partner of Marcia Selden Catering

Former Board Member, Event Committee Member, Active Volunteer for Pink Aid

President of Full Court Peace

WLM: Marcia Selden is one of the most popular caterers around NYC. Yet you exude a wonderful sense of humor and charm. We all know catering is a stressful business, so how do you manage to keep it light-hearted?

JS: “I get along with everyone and nothing seems to bother me. My wife says I am 'unflappable.' It’s ingrained in my personality to be calm and cool; and translates to the team I work with and my client interactions.”  

WLM: You worked with Elton John as his butler while at the St. Regis Hotel, and you were Julia Child’s teaching assistant while attending BU. Please divulge a story about each of them. 

JS: “My favorite part of working with Elton was unpacking and organizing the dozens of suitcases of clothing and eyeglasses that he had for his tours! I got to see his clothing and costumes before everyone else which I found so cool. He also kick-started my love of eyeglasses and gave me a pair of his which I still have. Imagine having a pair of Elton John’s glasses?!

“For Julia – working with her directly and her husband Paul was a treasure. One of my funniest moments with her was her training me on how to present a roasted goose. Feel free to stop me at a cocktail party and ask about ‘the crotch of the goose.’”

marciaselden.com

Jay Norris

Lead mentor for the Techstars program powered by JP Morgan Chase

Co-Founder of StartupWestport.org 

CEO & Co-Founder of Guesst Software

CEO & Co-Founder of BlackLight Extension powered by Microsoft. 

Chairman & Founder of the Vision Club. 

Founder of Westport10 

Board of Trustees- Westport Library 

Mentor, ABC

WLM: You’ve helped market some big names in music - Alicia Keys, Notorious BIG, Whitney Houston. What is one of your favorite initiatives?

JN: “There is one promotional tour that I remember like it was yesterday because this artist is still very relevant in our culture today: Alicia Keys. She had been around for a couple years, however, no one at the label could figure out how to get her record on the air waves  - this was before the digital streaming business.

“I decided to select five markets that we felt would understand Alicia, her music and her vibe. Alicia lit the stages on fire. Her music vibe sparked an entire organic soul movement in these towns and I’m proud to say she is still creating hits 20 years later.”

WLM: You begin every morning by giving thanks and asking for the acceptance of new ideas and challenges. What compelled you to start doing this? 

JN: At a young age I was taught that life can be extremely challenging. I realized that I could either be reactive or proactive in my approach to dealing with these challenges.”

WLM: Aside from friends and family, what is one thing you value?

JN: “Individuals who have the courage to be happy daily no matter what life has thrown at them.”

Dan Woog

Blogger and Community Builder

Co-founder of the Staples Gay-Straight Alliance

Author of Jocks and Jocks 2

Former Staples Soccer Coach

WLM: You wrote a number of books, including a series on male high school athletes. These were national bestsellers and are credited with “changing the face of athletics forever.” But you’re best known, now, for your popular blog 06880DanWoog.com.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in Westport since you started 06880 in 2009? 

DW: “COVID brought a whole new group of people to Westport – all of them, it seems, from Manhattan and Brooklyn. They came here for all the right reasons – the schools, the amenities, the vibe of the town – and they are very eager to make it their home. 

“They are young, smart, energetic, creative, and fun. It’s the 2020s version of the 1950s, when my parents moved here and began making their mark on the place. It’s another exciting time, for sure.”

WLM: What are one or two of your favorite posts and why?

DW: “Hah! I can’t pick one or two out of the 15,000 plus. So I’d have to say: anything that shines a light on an overlooked, unknown, or important aspect of Westport; any post that moves someone to action, or any story that causes someone to say, ‘Holy s---! I didn’t know that!’"

Tony Sirico

Founder of Greg & Tony Salon, est. 1977 

Art & Fashion International, Master of the Craft 

WLM: Owning a business in Westport for almost 50 years is a big accomplishment. What made you decide to become a hairdresser?

TS: “I grew up the oldest of three boys all in one bedroom on the first floor of our Italian family home. School was not for me, I could barely read and write and struggled terribly. I left school at 16 to become a hairdresser. I was lucky to have found something I love to do. That's why I am still doing it.

"I knew Westport was special [when I opened Greg & Tony] and I still feel that way. Westport draws you in as a member of its community. I have been fortunate to experience and be a part of it over the years.”  

WLM: Are there any hairstyles in the last 45 years that you particularly like or dislike?

TS: “I love a layered bob and a short, sculpted cut. Nothing better than when a client gives me artistic freedom after consultation.” 

WLM: Rumor has it you’re responsible for Christopher Atkins famous ‘do in Blue Lagoon. How did that happen?

TS: “Ahhh rumor is wrong! I've got some notables but that was not one. Pretty sure that was Phil aka Philip. Phil and I started in Westport together at Charles of the Ritz on Main Street [currently Rye Ridge] in 1960.” Editor’s note: Perhaps not Chris, but he did ‘do Bernadette Peters, Lucie Arnaz, and Harry Reasoner, plus all of the actors, actresses, and wigs for the Westport Country Playhouse.

Maxx Crowley

Vice President of Acquisition and Asset Management at SCA Crowley Real Estate

President of the Westport Downtown Association

WLM: Why two X’s?

MC: “My Mom is a bit crazy like me and wanted to make me a little different so she thought the extra X would be a fun way to make my name stand out.”

WLM: What are the WDA's responsibilities?

MC: “As president, I work closely with the merchants and business owners of downtown to improve the commerce and culture of downtown Westport for the benefit of our community. We do this through our events, next major one being the 50th Fine Arts Festival, which helps draw residents and people from surrounding areas to downtown Westport.

“We also fundraise to take care of the maintenance and beautification of downtown with flowers and hanging baskets in the spring, summer, and fall, and holiday trees and lights in the winter.”

WLM: You want more attractions to keep people downtown - like an ice rink on Veterans Green. Any other ideas? 

MC: “I love the idea of putting an ice rink on Veteran Green. I think the plans the Downtown Planning and Implementation Committee (DPIC) are putting together to reinvent the waterfront with the Parker Harding renovation and adding more public green space downtown are incredible. I’d love to one day shut down Main Street for a pickleball tournament. Maybe one day!”

  • (Photo: Pam Einersan)
  • (Photo: John Videler)
  • (Photo: Phillip Van Nostrand)
  • (Photo: Guesst Software)
  • (Photo: Guesst Software)