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Welcome to Redding Neighbors & Newcomers

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Meet the Board


Jess Tyson

President; Children's Playgroup Leader

Jess Tyson moved to Redding in the spring of 2019, and has loved becoming an active part of the community. She has two young kiddos and a passion for building community, so serving as the President of this wonderful club and the chair of the children’s playgroup is a natural fit. 

When she’s not chasing after her kids or dog, she serves as the founder and proud Director of Calm at Don't Panic Management, a virtual assistant agency that takes a people-first approach to success. Jess also started a small coworking space in the heart of Georgetown for busy entrepreneurs, creatives, and parents to have a haven away from working at home. She looks forward to meeting more Redding residents and bringing us all together!


Pamela Friedman

Vice President of Membership; Coffee Hour and Ladies Night Out Leader

After living a busy and active life on the Upper East Side and Darien, CT, Pamela left the hedge fund world and her beloved coastal community and moved to Redding in 2010 to join her husband Glenn, a longtime Redding resident. Shortly after moving to Redding, they learned they were expecting triplets!

Pamela first became involved in Redding Neighbors & Newcomers when she joined the infant playgroup as a way to meet other moms. She soon learned about all the fun events that Redding Neighbors & Newcomers offers and proceeded to become fully involved!

In addition to holding the role of VP of Membership, Pamela coordinates special children’s events and Ladies Night Out and maintains the club’s social media presence. Pamela and her family are often seen all over town enjoying all the benefits of living in Redding! Feel free to contact Pamela at


Cynthia Simeone


Cynthia moved from New York City to Redding in July 2021 along with her husband, Marc and son, Max. No one was more surprised with how quickly the love of NYC turned to the absolute adoration of living in Redding than this die hard 'City Girl'. The family attended their first Redding Neighbors & Newcomers event - the Lobster Bake - that first July and became fast friends with several of the members.

Cynthia thoroughly enjoys the Book Club, Ladies Night Out, Happiest Hour Out, and Critics Club. Having served on several professional organization Boards throughout her career in operational risk management, it made perfect sense for Cynthia to lend a hand with RN&N Board to continue fulfilling its mission of providing the residents of Redding and the surrounding area opportunities to socialize, meet new people, and become a more active part of the Redding community.


Elisa Blackman

Board Member; Bunco Co-Leader, Guys Night Out Leader

Elisa and her husband Hal and their two children, all born and raised in New York, never imagined moving out of state until falling in love with a house in Redding and moved in February 2021 during the Pandemic and a major snowstorm. Although still working full time, Elisa is an IT Project Manager and enjoys travel, cooking, hiking, gardening, and doing puzzles.

With grown children, we wondered how we would make new friends and get involved in the community. Within a month we adopted two rescue kittens and were introduced to RNN which we immediately joined and began to attend the clubs and events meeting many long time Redding residents and other newcomers forming fabulous new friendships.

Elisa is currently running two clubs and the annual Holiday Cookie Swap as well as pitching in with the club’s website.


Nina Heller

Board Member; Book Club Leader

Nina has lived in Redding with her husband, Kevin Murray, and their two children Sean and Kendall since 2002. As an avid reader, RNN provided an opportunity to join other book readers as a new member, and now Nina is the leader of the RNN book club.

As she and her husband have become empty nesters, they have enjoyed what the RNN activities have to offer. Kevin enjoys losing the $20 buy-in at poker nights, and they have attended countless RNN social events since becoming active members, of which the Escape Room night was a highlight. Beyond reading, Nina enjoys bike rides (listening to books as she goes), stained glass, jigsaw puzzles, and golf.

Marjorie Derven

Board Member; Book Club Co-Leader

Marjorie is a recent transplant to Redding, moving here with her  husband Ron from Piermont, NY, to downsize to a smaller home. She is happy to meet new friends in this beautiful town; RN&N has produced many wonderful connections! In addition to the board of RNN, Marjorie serves on the Redding Demoncratic Committee and the Redding Land Trust Board of Trustees.

A native New Yorker, Marjorie hails from the Upper West Side and makes freqent visits with family and friends to the city to see art, theatre and dance.

Marjorie and Ron are exploring Redding’s abundant trails and experimenting with transitioning part of their backyard to a pollinator meadow to support Ron’s honey bee hives. Both enjoy cooking together with fresh, local ingredients. Formerly a successful entrepreneur and business owner of a boutique consulting company that delivered change management and organizational development to Fortune 500 companies,  Marjorie appreciates Redding’s open space, rolling hills and abundant light.


Nancy Pinto

Board Member; Bunco Co-Leader

Nancy grew up in Redding. She has a degree in Culinary Arts. She is a volunteer firefighter at the West Redding Fire Department. She traveled to and lived in many places. Nancy helped run a safari camp in Botswana, Africa. She ended up back home in Redding in 2001 to take care of her aging and ill parents.

Nancy loves animals especially cats, outdoor activities, adventures, crafts and meeting new people.


Jessica Yuzik Reisch

Board Member; Mahjong Leader

Originally from Queens, Jessica moved to Redding from New York City in 2020 with her husband and three young children.

Working in Human Resources at an entertainment company, Jessica was looking to meet people when she moved to a new town where she did not know anyone. She found Redding Neighbors & Newcomers and the rest is history!

Once in Redding, Jessica learned how to play Mahjong. She recognized a desire for members to learn and play…so started the Mahjong club.

In Jessica’s spare time, she loves going to concerts, immersing herself in pop culture, and volunteering at her kids’ school (s). You can often find Jessica at Mahjong, Bunco, Games Night, and Children’s Playgroup Events.

Renee Pessin

Secretary; Board Member

Renee moved to Redding in September, 2017 with her husband Jeff. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, she and Jeff have lived in IL, MA IA and most recently NY (Long Island and NYC). She loves being close to her daughters, their partners and grandchildren who live Bethel and Ridgefield and close enough to see her son often in NYC.  Renee has been in biomedical editorial consulting (grants and manuscripts) for the past 20+ years, and has a background  as a registered nurse and realtor among other things. At RNN, she has enjoyed (so far) book club, mah jongg, bunco and morning coffee get togethers on a regular basis. Game nights and wine and dine are also fun!


Janice Stauffer

Board Member; Critics Club and Happiest Hour Out Leader

Janice Stauffer has lived in Redding since 1997 and was born and raised in Stamford CT. She loves poetry, reading and traveling especially to Aruba. She is a critical care nurse and WCHN, a career she’s enjoyed for 28 years and counting. Janice is the president of The Danbury Nurses Union and very proud of the work she has accomplished in nursing. She is the Mother of 3 beautiful and successful daughters. Being on the board of Redding Neighbors and Newcomers is an added bonus that allows her to share her love of Redding.

Christine and Frank Polio

Honorary Members

Christine and Henry Polio became honorary members of the club in 2004. Both Christine and Henry were chosen to be honorary members because of their many years of service and participation. Christine has been on the Board of RN&N for 10 years, 6 of which she served as President. And if that weren’t enough, Henry has been our “Santa in disguise” (shh, don’t tell the children) for more than 12 years! But their participation doesn’t end there; you will always find one, or both of them, still enjoying the activities and interest groups that the club offers. Thank you, Christine and Henry, for the years of dedication and energy that you poured into the club!


We would like to acknowledge and thank some of the previous Presidents for all their hard work and contributions to RN&N! Our group has grown, in part, due to their terrific leadership, and we hope we continue to make them proud!

Autumn Bailey – 2021 – 2023
Tami O’Connor – 2019 – 2021
Bess Williams – 2017 – 2019
Daphna Arm – 2016 – 2018
Lindsay Menking & Kate Perry 2015 – 2016
Laurie Mayper 2012 – 2015
Suzanne Falowski and Kathryn Fenimore 2009-2012

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