Wilton’s Board of Finance selected resident Sandra Arkell as its newest member Wednesday evening (Sept. 16) to fill a vacant seat–but she almost wasn’t even considered, thanks to the town’s email spam filter.
Arkell will be seated as a BOF member alongside Rutishauser, Michael Kaelin, Stewart Koenigsberg, Chris Stroup and Kevin Gardiner. As a Democrat, she joins Kaelin, Stroup* and Gardiner in giving the Democrats a majority on the BOF for the first time in many years.
The BOF members had scheduled 10 interviews with residents interested in stepping up to volunteer to fill the seat vacated by Peter Balderston, after receiving 12 emails from residents who had initially applied for the open spot (two applicants withdrew due to business and schedule conflicts).
But Arkell, the ‘lucky’ 13th candidate, was never initially invited for an interview after her email was caught in the town’s email spam filter. Board chair Jeffrey Rutishauser, read a prepared statement at the start of last night’s public selection meeting explaining what happened, after Arkell’s name hadn’t appeared on publicly posted agendas until very late in the process.
His statement also clarified several changes in deadlines and dates that had been part of the selection procedure–making sure that there was no confusion in a process where transparency and adherence to public notice procedure is critical.
“On Sept. 12, I was notified of a candidate, Sandra Arkell, who emailed an application prior to the deadline. The email did not reach the Board of Finance because of the town’s spam filter. As the application was properly submitted, that candidate was added to the agenda of tonight’s executive session meeting and that candidate was interviewed tonight,” he read.
Arkell was selected from what Rutishauser called “a very talented pool of candidates.”
“We were quite surprised and humbled by the quality and quantity of the candidates that submitted their credentials and resumes to us for consideration. I think I can speak for the other people on the board that feels that any of them could handle the requirements that we asked of them,” he said.
Before the BOF members voted, Rutishauser encouraged the applicants who did not get selected to run for a position on the board next year. “We’re always looking for talented people to come onto the Board of Finance, to do the important work that we do for the town.”
Stroup nominated Arkell, and the nomination was seconded by Kaelin. The vote was unanimous.
Update, Thursday, Sept. 17: Arkell emailed GOOD Morning Wilton about her appointment. “I am equally humbled to be appointed for this opportunity given the many qualified candidates who submitted their application for consideration. I’m inspired by their enthusiasm to volunteer and by all of our town volunteers who work hard make Wilton such a wonderful community. I look forward to working with the Board of Finance to continue its important work of overseeing our town’s finances.”
Arkell currently serves as the Corporate Controller for Mastercard and in that role is the principal accounting officer for the company. In her email applying for the BOF seat she wrote, “I am confident that my depth of experience in Finance and Accounting, as well as my strong leadership and teaming capabilities, will enable me to get up to speed quickly and to collaborate with others on the Board to best serve the residents of our town.”
She also noted that her current job responsibilities for Mastercard include “budgeting, forecasting, financial analysis, pension plan accounting and employee benefit finances,” which align with what the BOF does for Wilton.
Arkell included her Linkedin profile in her application.
“Sandra Arkell is Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Officer at Mastercard, leading the Company’s accounting and financial reporting function and internal control compliance program. Sandy serves as the Global Policy Director and oversees the Operational Risk Management and Business Process Excellence teams to drive training and awareness in continuous process improvement and to assist in the execution of strategic and operational priorities. Prior to joining Mastercard, Sandy was Vice President, Finance and Corporate Controller for Dover Corporation (NYSE: DOV), a $7 billion diversified global manufacturer. During her tenure, Sandy supported the Company’s strategic investment portfolio initiatives, including 40+ acquisitions totaling nearly $4billion, and the $3 billion public company spin-off of its technology subsidiary.
“Prior to joining Dover, Sandy held various positions in finance and accounting in the fast moving consumer goods and manufacturing sectors. Sandy’s broad-based company experience includes Wendy’s/Arby’s, Delphi, Sears/Kmart and Pulte with functional expertise in mergers & acquisitions, financial planning, reporting and analysis, investor relations, risk management, pensions and shared services.
“A native of Pennsylvania, Sandy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from The Pennsylvania State University, and began her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a certified public accountant.”
Arkell will serve until Nov. 30, 2021, when will have to run for election if she wants to serve another term on the BOF.
*Christopher Stroup is a registered unaffiliated voter, but he is counted as a Democrat because he ran for and was elected to the BOF as part of the Democratic slate in 2019.