Ladies and Gentlemen:
I encourage the residents of Westfield’s 1st Ward to support the candidacy of Linda Habgood for town council.
I’ve known Linda for 25 years and believe that her character, integrity, determination, and professional and community experience will serve the 1st Ward and the town extremely well.
I first met Linda in the early 1990s while working at Chase Manhattan. Linda’s first role at Chase was to travel the world for two years auditing the credit books of the bank. As a newly minted trainee based in New York, Linda had to walk into Chase’s overseas offices, meet with the senior bankers and determine whether their loans were performing and properly booked.
After tackling that first tough job, Linda moved on to help finance major U.S. corporations such as FedEx and American Airlines, before moving to Washington, DC, and taking a position with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US government’s private sector lending arm. Shortly thereafter, she earned her degree from The Wharton School. Finding her calling in international project finance, Linda joined and then became an equity partner in Delphos International, a specialty advisory firm focused on delivering public/private financing solutions to clients in the emerging markets.
But it was early on in her career that I gained first-hand knowledge of Linda’s precise and indefatigable approach to business when she would drop by my office to ask advice on how to solve a complex problem. A curious thinker and better listener, Linda persistently drove for answers. In the process of finding solutions for clients, Linda developed a supportive network of professionals within the bank which she has maintained and built upon throughout her career.
In 2000, I bumped into Linda in Westfield of all places when she, husband Gary and young son Philip (now 18!) relocated from DC and settled on Arlington Avenue. Linda and Gary welcomed Andrew in 2001 and their family became a fixture of activity in the neighborhood and in the Washington School district.
Linda’s passion for our community is beyond question. Over the past 17 years, she has, among other things served as finance director of Presbyterian Nursery School and as a teacher in the Sunday school; as an actor, producer and director of the Washington School show; as co-head of the Citizens Action Committee that advocated for the bond enabling the creation of Lincoln School; and as a board member and fundraiser for the NJ Festival Orchestra. She also raised nearly $70,000 by completing two NYC Triathlons (jumping into the Hudson River not once, but twice!).
At work, Linda has raised billions of dollars for clients worldwide, often working in challenging emerging market environments to negotiate and close business.
Most importantly, at home Linda and Gary have raised two fine sons and a rambunctious sheep dog, Daisy. Day in and out Linda has approached all of these endeavors with keen interest, good cheer, a smile and a kind word.
I encourage the voters in the Ward and across the town to get to know Linda, to appreciate her interest in their concerns and to understand how she may now put her unique set of skills, vision and energy to work for our town as councilwoman for Ward 1.
Trust me that Linda will get the job done!