I’ve been active in our community’s life as a business owner, parent, volunteer and town meeting member. I’ve employed more than 400 local people, taught children to cook, coached youth soccer and volunteered for many local and state-wide organizations.
Our community faces real challenges and the choices made in Montpelier matter. Many of the issues I care about - creating jobs, achievement in schools, a vibrant local agriculture and raising healthy kids - need a committed, experienced Brattleboro champion.
Some of My Community Experience:
- District-3 Town Meeting Member
- Brattleboro Civilian Police Communications Committee, Member
- Brattleboro Area Chamber, Board Member
- Vermont Fresh Network, Board Member for six years - 2 years as Chair
- Landmark Trust (Scott Farm), Treasurer
- Advisory Council to WRCC Culinary Arts Program, Member
- Healthy Communities Coalition, Member
- Sunrise Rotary, Member
- Strolling of the Heifers, Advisor and Caterer
- Feast on the Farm, co-creator – I have served more than a thousand diners great local food on local farm fields.
I have worked in the food-service industry for almost 20 years. As a business-owner in Brattleboro, I employed and supervised more than 400 employees. After the Riverview Cafe closed, I started two new businesses, Rigani Catered Wood-fired Pizza (with Dan and Karyn Tyler) and Entera Catering. We now employ 3 full-time employees and ten part-time. Most of our employees were part of the team at Riverview Cafe.
Two years ago I began teaching a culinary class at Kindle Farm. I have also volunteered hundreds of hours teaching kids to cook in Brattleboro schools.
I grew up in Marlboro and graduated from BUHS in 1989. Four years studying philosophy and religion at Wesleyan University led me on an unusual path; I decided I wanted to be a chef. I moved to Burlington and attended New England Culinary Institute. After a stint in New York City, I moved back to Brattleboro with my wife, Susie Webster-Toleno (BUHS ’88), who is a minister and hospice chaplain. Together, we’re raising our sons, Owen and Malcolm, who attend BAMS and Green St. School. A decade of business experience and activity around state-wide policy issues led me to believe that business can be an important catalyst for change. Last year I finished a two-year MBA at Marlboro College.