I’m Eileen Kelly and I live in Summit with my fiancé, Matthew. A couple years ago, Matthew took a job based out of Northern New Jersey. As two born and bred New Yorkers, we were excited to explore New Jersey and were lucky enough to stumble upon Summit. It was Summit’s tree-lined streets, vibrant downtown, and proximity to New York City that initially drew us here. And like all wonderful towns, it was the people of Summit - welcoming, smart, and dedicated community members - that affirmed our decision to build our future here.
As a young couple, figuring out where to raise our future family was one of the most important decisions of our lives and Summit’s community spirit instantly made us feel that we had finally found ‘home’. I understand the importance of a strong community in one’s upbringing. As the daughter from a working class family with an immigrant mother from Ecuador, I was the first person in my family to graduate from a four-year college. I know first hand the struggles and sacrifices a family must make to ensure the successes of the next generation. Because of my experience, I’ve always had a desire to help others the way my family and community helped me. For this reason, I feel a sense of civic responsibility and serving on Common Council is an opportunity for me to give back to all of those who have worked so hard to make Summit such a wonderful place to live.
I believe I have a lot to offer Summit’s Common Council.
For the last twelves years, I’ve worked in financial, operational, and strategic roles in the consumer products and technology industries and currently serve as the Director of Finance & Integration at Refinitiv. I also have experience working globally and lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina as an economic analyst for Unilever. My professional opportunities would translate well to providing a fresh evaluation of our city finances. I believe we must find innovative ways to stabilize and lower the property tax burden and create budget savings.
In 2015 I also launched my own travel app, @WingitTravelApp. As Co-Founder of my start-up, I learned how to take an idea and turn it into a viable product. I know how to think outside of the box to solve problems and I have the know-how to help provide digitally savvy solutions for the city.
Outside of my professional experiences, I believe in the importance of civic duty and a commitment to volunteerism. I currently serve on the boards of Harlem Dowling, a non-profit family services agency in Harlem, NY and EquiShui, a non-profit that provides equine therapy to individuals who experience PTSD. In addition to my time on these boards, I like to gather friends for park clean-ups and tree planting events.
While I’m a relatively new Hilltopper, I’ve spoken with many people before deciding to commit to run for Council and one thing I heard a lot was that our town is changing. That change is seen whether it’s in new development ideas for downtown, shifting demographics or a lot of fresh faces like mine.
There are very important and complex decisions on the horizon here in Summit and we’re going to need the right leaders to take them on and manage them. I joined this race to bring a fresh face and a new perspective to the Common Council.
I look forward to sharing my ideas with you and continuing to invest my time in listening and learning about the issues important to our community.