Tag Archives: Steve Crowley

Who You Gonna Call? 15 Generations Of Westporters.

Peter Jennings’ family has been here for 11 generations.

Maxx Crowley — a 4th-generation Westporter — is, by comparison, a new arrival.

For years, the 2 families’ businesses have been friendly rivals — and sometimes partners — in the property management field.

Now they’ve joined forces. A recent merger created a new firm that offers a wide range of services — leasing, maintenance, bookkeeping and more — to commercial and residential owners from Westchester to Hartford.

But they’ll still concentrate on — and be headquartered in — Westport.

SCA Crowley trucks and team outside one of their properties: the 55 Greens Farms Road office complex.

After 28 yeas with the HK Group, Jennings started his own firm, Bayberry Property Management, in 2009. He eventually serviced, and served as a broker for, 80 buildings.

SCA Crowley — the business formed by Maxx’s father Steve — recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Steve started as a real estate broker, but soon realized that property owners wanted leaf removal, snow shoveling, landscaping, pothole fixing, painting and many other services.

COVID sparked a change in SCA’s real estate management. Homeowners moving from Manhattan and Brooklyn needed help learning about irrigation systems, hot water heaters and pools, and jobs like power-washing patios. The company — whose clients already included Playhouse Square, MoCA Westport, office buildings, medical centers and Homes with Hope facilities — expanded their residential property portfolio.

(From left): Bobby, Steve and Maxx Crowley.

SCA and Bayberry had been friendly for a while. They referred customers to each other’s services.

Now, Crowley says, their combined operations will be even more seamless.

“We’re a Swiss army knife,” Jennings adds.

The merged company will be called SCA Crowley Real Estate Services. (“Steve won the coin toss,” Maxx Crowley jokes.)

Peter Jennings

The only change, Jennings adds, is the purchase of new logowear and business cards.

The new firm’s offices will be on Kings Highway North, near Main Street. Its trucks will be at Riverside Avenue.

Though properties extend from White Plains to Hartford, it will still be a “mom-and-pop” company.

Plus other family members.

Maxx Crowley works with his siblings Bobby and Judy.  Jennings is joined by his sister Karen, daughter Katie, and sister-in-law Beth.

Both families will continue to contribute to Westport, in non-property management ways too. Steve Crowley is a longtime volunteer with many civic causes. Maxx Crowley is president of the Westport Downtown Association. Jennings is the Green’s Farms Congregational Church historian.

After 15 combined generations, the Jennings and Crowley family histories continue.

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Roundup: Lynsey Addario, Dracula, Tornadoes …

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Yesterday’s “06880” highlighted Tyler Hicks’ haunting photos from Ukraine.

But he’s not the only New York Times photographer shooting images in that threatened nation.

He’s not even the only one who is a Staples High School graduate.

Hick’s colleague Lynsey Addario — who graduated 3 years after Hicks, in 1991, and is both a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellow winner — has contributed her own important work.

This one shows — and humanizes — embattled Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ukraine president Volodomyr Zelensky (Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)

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Wednesday’s “Fall in Love with Westport” event was a great success.

A number of new neighbors joined “old timers” at Greens Farms Church. They shared tips and stories about life in this town. Just as importantly, they connected around kids, previous residences and similar needs.

It was a diverse crowd, with an international flavor. They plan to get together again soon.

If you missed the event and want to know more, email office@greensfarmschurch. All are welcome — church membership is not required!

“Fall in Love with Westport” at Greens Farms Church.

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On Halloween I was honored to hear the world premiere of “Dracula: The Covenant.” That’s the musical project Westporter Dodie Pettit worked on for years with her husband, the late Broadway star Kevin Gray. (It was in the works long before a similar show with the same name flopped.)

With help from husband Rex Fowler — with whom she performs, as Aztec Two-Step 2.0 — Dodie completed the project.

Now it’s on Spotify and other digital media. CDs will arrive soon. To download and listen now to this enthralling work, click here.


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In the wake of December’s devastating Kentucky tornadoes, Westporter Steve Crowley and his sons organized a fundraiser downtown.

Governor Andy Beshear recently thanked Crowley for both the money donated, and the specially designed t-shirts created for and sent to affected families.

Beshear also cited the “love and support” of donors, noting “we can come together in troubling times and give a lift to our friends and neighbors. In Kentucky we say ‘we will get through this, we’ll get through this together.’ Thank you for caring and contributing in our time of need.”

Steve Crowley (right) and sons sold t-shirts downtown.

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Edward Thompson is the beloved minister of music at Westport’s Unitarian Church.

He does far more than pick songs and direct the choir. He’s a working composer. On Saturday, February 26 (8 p.m., Unitarian Church of Westport), New York’s Choral Chameleon offers the world premiere of his 12-movement choral piece “Step into the Night.” A jazz quartet will join the voices.

Thompson wrote the work in response to situations like the pandemic, filled with isolation and fear. It includes elements of both the classical tradition and jazz.

Tickets are $25 each, available online and at the door.

Edward Thompson

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There is always something new at Finding Westport.

Jillian Elder has just added t-shirts (short and long sleeve), tanks, hoodies, tumblers, totes and mugs with 2 designs: the Minute Man in an “Interstate” crest (click here to see and order) and “I Really Miss Westport” (click here).

New “Finding Westport” designs.

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Alison Milwe Grace wears two toques. She’s a highly regarded culinary teacher at Staples High School. And her AMG Catering offers not just food for every event, but cooking classes.

Now she’s a television star. News12 Connecticut is featuring her, offering 5 favorite recipes, like honey-glazed chicken thighs and mussels with garlic toast. Click here to see (and then cook!).

Screenshot of Alison Milwe Grace.

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There’s a moose on the Sherwood Island Connector.

At least, it looked like that to Katja Gabrielson. When she posted this image — which I’m stealing as the “Westport … Naturally” image today — on Facebook, many users chimed in that they thought exactly the same thing.

Longtime “06880” readers George, Bev and Jeff Bullwinkel were not available for comment.

(Photo/Katja Gabrielson)

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And finally … because this is (as you know) National Condom Week:

 

 

Dry, A Blow Dry Bar

You would think that, with all the salons around town, you (and by “you” I mean “women”) could get a fast, affordable and long-lasting blowout.

According to September Sirico, you would be wrong.

A Westport native and “beauty industry veteran,” she recently opened Dry, A Blow Dry Bar. (The capital letters are correct. That’s the full name. It’s got a comma, just like a law firm.)

Like any good entrepreneur, September saw a problem. Actually, 2. Blowouts rarely kept their fresh luster for more than a day. Plus, they cost a ton.

September Sirico

She trained all her stylists in “Blow, the New York Blow Dry Bar signature blowout techniques.” In addition, the salon offers “chic updos, braids, hair extensions, makeup, lashes and more.” (Don’t quiz me on that. It comes straight from a press release.)

Also, though, like any good entrepreneur September had to overcome obstacles. She approached local banks that had relationships with Greg & Tony — a salon her family owns. Despite her perfect credit rating — and her long community involvement, like the governing board of Levitt Pavilion and volunteering for Near & Far Aid — all said no.

“I was asking for money for start-up that had nothing to do with Greg & Tony. These banks just wouldn’t fund a start-up,” she says.

This winter she cashed in her life insurance policy, and emptied her savings account. She also asked her parents to invest.

“That was hard,” she admits. “They’re thinking about retiring and slowing down. But they believed in the concept.”

Her Staples High School friends helped too. They were there every step of the way, offering both emotional and practical help.

Lindsay Francis researched blow dry bars, made calls, sat in on meeting with architects and builders, and gave feedback on logos.

Amy Scarella helped design the space, and ran errands.

Jennie Bedusa proofed website copy, and went to Los Angeles with September to study blow dry bars.

Dan Armitage made all the countertops. Mark Conte — who knew September’s husband at Fairfield Prep — created a huge chalkboard for the salon.

Family friend (and realtor) Steve Crowley added much-needed moral support.

A Google Images search for “blow dry” turned this up. Impressive.

Dry, A Blow Dry Bar is now open at 3397 Post Road in Southport. I could go on and on about how “clients can create their own signature style,” or take advantage of “facial waxing, lash tint and lash application, makeup applications and decadent head massages called ‘Floaters.'”

I could, but I’d have no idea what I was talking about.

You’ll just have to see for yourself.

And by “you” I mean, of course, “women.”

Tornado Tees

Some of the many victims of last week’s Memorial Day parade rainout live in Joplin, Missouri.

Longtime Westporter Steve Crowley — the founder of SCA Commercial Real Estate — was touched by our country’s many recent natural disasters, particularly the destruction by tornado of Joplin.

“As my son Luke and I watched the news and read the papers, there’s been just one thing after another.  It’s frightening,” Steve says.

“But everyone helped each other.  They got their picks and shovels, and went to work.  That’s great — but they still need lots of help.”

The logo on the t-shirt.

Steve asked noted graphic artist Miggs Burroughs to design a t-shirt.  Steve then paid for several hundred to be produced, and prepared to sell them during the parade.

He had a float, with plenty of kids helping out, all ready to go.  Whatever he raised he’d send to St. Joseph Hospital, and other Joplin places in need.

When the parade was canceled, Steve went to Plan B.  He set up a table on Main Street, and solicited passersby.

Sales were good.  One man handed Steve a $100 bill, saying, “Keep the change.”

Crossroads Hardware is selling the shirts too.

Steve still has plenty available.

“It’s nickels and dimes,” Steve says of the money he’s raising.  “But every little bit help.”

(To buy a shirt — or make a donation — call Steve or Hilary at 203-227-5050, or click here.)

Stockings For Soldiers

Several years ago, the Christmas spirit moved the Crowley family to help some of the most severely injured soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

They heard about Ward 57 — the amputee section of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  The Crowleys purchased 24 stockings — one for each soldier — and filled them with gifts.

The Crowley family, and their stockings.

Among them:  an Uncle Sam hat, Statue of Liberty pen and pocket calendar — all engraved with “Thanks to our heroes!” — plus a book, commemorative silver dollar with an American eagle (thanks to Sam Sloat Coins), an eagle/USA baseball hat and an M&M-filled candy cane.

An American flag pin decorated the trim of each stocking.  And each soldier received a letter from the Crowleys, commending them for their service.

They’ve continued the tradition every year.

“We believe the efforts, sacrifices and commitments provided by the men and women of the armed forces are immeasurable, invaluable and incredibly honorable,” Judi Crowley says.

“These stockings are our way of saying thank you to these brave men and women, and letting them know we’re thinking of them.

“It gives us great joy to fill up these stockings and ship them.  But when we receive a thank-you note — sometimes from the soldiers, sometimes from spouses — it really warms our hearts.  It reminds us of how lucky we are to have these brave men and women fight for our rights and our freedoms.”

(Want to help Ward 57?  Call Lisa Janet at 202-782-9759 or 202-789-1557 — note that there are restrictions on what can be sent.)