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Greenwich couple honored for longtime service to town

November 14, 2018

GREENWICH — Jim and Debby Lash will be honored Thursday by the National Executive Service Corps for their decades of community service to the town, nonprofits and the new community pool in Byram.

The couple will be honored in a dinner at the Greenwich Country Club starting at 6:30 p.m.

“They really exemplify what we’re all about,” NESC President Marv Berenblum said. “Jim has years of experience both in corporate work and in government service, and he’s always been focused on the nonprofit world. And I know what Debby has done for this town. I’m a swimmer and everyone in this town has seen the good work she’s done to make sure we have a municipal pool in Byram.”

The NESC’s mission is to strengthen and empower the management of nonprofit organizations, schools and government agencies by providing high-quality and affordable consulting services. Volunteers with corporate backgrounds use their skills to help nonprofits in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

“The Lashes have been giving back for years, and we wanted to honor them for that because our organization is all about giving back,” Berenblum said.

Jim Lash served two separate tenures on the town’s Board of Estimate and Taxation and was chairman of the powerful budget committee both times. He was also the town’s first selectman from 2003 until 2007 and has served as president of Greenwich Library’s board of trustees.

Lash said the award was a meaningful one for them. “People always say government service is a thankless business, but it’s not,” he said. “You don’t always get recognized in this way, but there are lots of little ways you do get that recognition. It’s very nice.”

It is especially nice to be honored alongside his wife, Lash said. She has 50 years of giving back, and he said he has only “a mere 25” compared to her.

“She deserves this,” Lash said.

Debby Lash, a longtime active volunteer, stepped up as co-chair of the Junior League of Greenwich’s committee to raise money for the new municipal pool in Byram. The pool, which opened to great acclaim in late June, was completed through a public/private partnership. The Junior League undertook a three-year campaign to raise $2.5 million for the project.

Lash and Carisa Sykes co-chaired that campaign, which is expected to meet its goal by its planned date of May 2019.

Additionally, she is the past chair of the Greenwich United Way’s board of directors.

“Recognition by the National Executive Service Corps is a great honor,” Debby Lash said. “Jim and I so appreciate the opportunities we have had to work with nonprofit organizations that value voluntarism and its importance to our civil society.”

The NESC is based in New York City and has offices in Stamford and Hartford. Founded in 1977, it has deep roots in Greenwich, with several residents serving as board members, said Berenblum, who is a Greenwich resident.

kborsuk@greenwichtime.com

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