Name: Mel Webster
Family: Married to Kathleen Sullivan for 30 years. Two children, Elisabeth, a sophomore at Emerson College, and Thomas, a junior at The Governor's Academy.
Why North Reading?: We have lived in North Reading for nearly 30 years and I love the town. My wife and I grew up in Haverhill and when we were looking for someplace closer to Boston, North Reading seemed like the perfect place. I love volunteering and have been involved in many school and town activities over the past 20 years. The only way a town thrives is for its residents to participate.
Industry: Marketing and Communications.
Occupation: Principal at Aquarius Advisers, a boutique communications firm with several clients from the technology industry. I have been in PR/Communications for more than 30 years and have worked with some of the largest tech companies in the world, including IBM and Hewlett-Packard, as well as some of the hottest startup companies. Prior to Aquarius, I was one of the founders of a technology PR firm that became one of the largest in the country.
School: University of Massachusetts, BA in English/Journalism
Hobbies: My main hobbies are watching and coaching sports and listening to music, both live and recorded. I am a Boston Celtics season ticket holder and one of the biggest thrills of my life was seeing the Celtics beat the Lakers in 2008 to win the NBA championship. I also follow UMass sports closely, especially the basketball, hockey, football and lacrosse teams. I have coached youth sports for close to a dozen years, beginning with my daughter's youth soccer team when she was seven-years-old and running all the way through coaching my son's U18 soccer team this year. I also have coached basketball and lacrosse in town.
Favorite Music: Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello. They have all delivered tremendous shows nearly every time I have seen them. Recently, I have seen Coldplay twice and they rank near the top of all of the concerts I have seen. Two shows I recently thought were great were Arcade Fire and Death Cab for Cutie.
Other Interests: Public education and the challenge of preparing our kids for an economy and world that in many cases we can only imagine. This is why I am serving my third term on the North Reading School Committee and why I was actively involved with the school system in other capacities prior to running for a school committee seat. I am fascinated by what technology may be able to do to help teach and prepare our children for the future, but it will never be a replacement for great teachers.
Faborite Movie: Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and It's a Wonderful Life. The former is the funniest movie I have ever seen and the latter is the most touching and heartfelt movie ever made.
Favorite book: House, by Tracy Kidder.
Favorite Restaurant: I have to stay local and go with the . Great barbecue and always a great meal. Also need to give a shout out to my friends at the for their great subs and pizza.
- Born in Haverhill, Mass., which at one time was known as the "Queen shoe city of the world," due to the large number of womens' shoe manufacturers in the city.
- As a newspaper reporter, right out of college, got to interview George H.W. Bush during the republican primaries in 1979-80, and follow him around during a campaign tour, which included a tee shirt company in Plaistow, NH.
- Played pinball with Elvis Costello in 1978 in the bowels of the University of Massachusettts student union building.