To view a historic Town Council timeline, click HERE.
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Howard A. Thrailkill
Michele A. Henry
In 1964, Michele graduated from Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY, with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in psychology and minoring in mathematics.
After graduation, she worked at Young and Rubicam Advertising Agency doing Media Research.
She married Clifford Henry, a Wall-Streeter, in 1968, and moved from Manhattan to Rye, NY. Michele always loved crafts and taught knitting in Rye.
She continued to work for Y&R as a consultant (now the mother of a baby girl; Y&R was very forward thinking and let her work at home). When she and her husband also had a son, she decided to give up her work with Y&R.
When she could, she worked at Greenwich Research on financial research for special projects for 3 years. She also got her Real Estate license and worked in that field for more than 25 years.
She and Clifford bought their first property in Orchid in 1996 - the lot where they live now - and then bought a house on Caribe. To begin with, they were very part-time residents, because they both worked. Their now college-aged children preferred to ski rather than play golf or tennis, so even vacations were NOT spent in Orchid!
However, they grew increasingly fond of Orchid and their friends here. They sold the Caribe house and finally built on the first lot they'd bought all those years ago. It's where they live today.
Michele plans to retire fully from Real Estate in New York this year - She has had a partner there with whom she has worked for the past 5 years.
While in Orchid she discovered her love of painting and helped to found the Orchid Island Art Club, which is embarking on its third Art Show, a recent accomplishment she is quite proud of!
Robert J. Gibbons
Bob Gibbons graduated from Fordham Law School in 1969 and practiced law for 42 years, for most of his career as a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a major international law firm headquartered in New York City. He represented corporations, investment banks, lending institutions and governmental entities in the development and financing of industrial facilities and public infrastructure projects in the US and abroad, including federal, state, municipal and other governmental entities throughout the U.S. (e.g., municipal electric utilities of Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida), as well as foreign governments (e.g., Hungary and the Czech Republic). Bob’s community activities have included New Canaan Country School (Board President), New Canaan Field Club (Board Member; Membership Committee Chairperson), New Canaan Winter Club (Board Member), Town of New Canaan Utilities Commission (Commission Member), New Canaan Youth Baseball (Board Member), Ocean Residences Condominium Association (Board Member) and Orchid Island Beach and Dune Preservation Advisory Committee - Feasibility Task Force (Task Force Member). Bob and his wife Judy have been residents of Orchid since 1999 and spend their summers in New Canaan, CT where all three children and their families reside.
Mr. Thrailkill received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and his Master’s degree from Florida Institute of Technology.
In 1962, he joined Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Florida, as a design engineer assigned to defense and aerospace programs. His lengthy career at Harris later included appointments as General Manager of two Harris business divisions involved in high-performance computing.
Later, he served as president of high-performance computer businesses at both Motorola and Floating Point Systems.
In 1992, he joined privately-held ADTRAN, Inc., a Huntsville, Alabama, based telecommuni-cations firm whose shares began trading on the NASDAQ in 1994. He retired as ADTRAN’s President/COO and Member of its Board of Directors in 2005.
He has served on Boards of Directors of multiple Huntsville-based engineering services and manufacturing firms, the Business Council of Alabama, and Alabama’s Certificate of Need Review Board. He also held Board seats with several civic and service organizations in the Huntsville area as well, including the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce where he was elected Chairman in 2003. In 2005, he was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as Alabama’s first member of TVA’s Board of Directors, and the United States Senate subsequently confirmed his nomination for a term that expired in 2010. During his tenure with TVA, he chaired Board committees overseeing power generation and distribution, Environmental stewardship and operations safety.
Harold Ofstie grew up in Chappaqua, New York and spent his career in the investment business in Philadelphia, PA, first in institutional sales with Smith Barney, and starting in 1982 managing institutional equity portfolios for Delaware Investment Advisers. In 1997 he was a founding partner of Chartwell Investment Partners, where he worked until retiring in 2006. He obtained a BA in political science from Penn State University in 1966, served as a Lieutenant in the US Army from 1967-1969, and obtained a masters in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. He is married to Nancy Ofstie with three children, Harold Jr., Erik and Katherine. He resides in Orchid, Florida and summers in Boulder, Colorado.
Town Council Composition and Duties
The Town Charter demands that the Town of Orchid maintains a Town Council of five members, elected at large by the electors of the Town. Only qualified electors of the Town are eligible to be a member of the Town Council and they serve without compensation. In November, during the first regular meeting following the election, the Town Council selects a Mayor and Vice-Mayor from its members. All powers of the Town are vested in the Town Council, except those powers specifically given to the Charter Officers or specifically reserved by the Charter to the electors of the Town. See the Letters Archive page for the Mayor's latest newsletter along with other Town letters sent out to residents. Read the current Council's bios below.
The Town Council holds regular meetings and special call meetings open to the public and where participation is encouraged. A regular meeting is scheduled every first Wednesday of the month at 9:00 a.m. View the Home, Agendas & Minutes and/or Bulletin Boardpage on this site for information about upcoming meetings.