New publisher, bank president fill seats on The Day's board

From left, Patricia Richardson, The Day's president and publisher, and Michael Rauh, president and chief executive officer of Chelsea Groton Bank, were elected to The Day Publishing Co.'s board of directors, while David Nolf and Douglas Teeson stepped down Wednesday during the board's annual meeting.
From left, Patricia Richardson, The Day's president and publisher, and Michael Rauh, president and chief executive officer of Chelsea Groton Bank, were elected to The Day Publishing Co.'s board of directors, while David Nolf and Douglas Teeson stepped down Wednesday during the board's annual meeting.

New London — David Nolf and Douglas Teeson relinquished their seats on The Day Publishing Co.’s board of directors Wednesday, stepping down during the board’s annual meeting in accordance with board bylaws.

Both men had reached the board’s mandatory retirement age of 75.

Patricia Richardson, The Day’s new president and publisher, and Michael Rauh, president and chief executive officer of Chelsea Groton Bank, were elected to the board. Re-elected were Gary Farrugia, the former publisher; Maureen Croteau; Lynda Smith and Ralph Guardiano.

“Ironically, this was their last board meeting and my first,” Richardson, who took The Day’s helm May 7, said of Nolf and Teeson. “My impression is that they’re two consummate professionals. We will miss their institutional knowledge. I believe they were an invaluable resource for Gary and The Day, especially during the economic downturn."

“I’m looking forward to Michael coming on board, and I’m thrilled that Gary is staying on,” Richardson added.

In interviews after Wednesday’s meeting, Nolf and Teeson talked about their tenures.

Nolf, of Mystic, joined The Day's board in 1996, near the end of a decadeslong career at Analysis & Technology Inc., then a North Stonington-based provider of engineering and IT consulting services. He served as A&T’s chief financial and administrative officer and corporate secretary, and was a member of the company’s board for 25 years.

He chaired Westerly Hospital’s board of trustees from 2003 to 2005.

Nolf recalled that Al Almeida, The Day’s former general manager and former chairman of the hospital’s trustees, recruited him for The Day’s board.

“It's a relatively small board and, historically, it’s always had a member with a financial background. The board was looking for someone with that kind of background,” Nolf said.

He believes the board has adopted a more professional approach in recent years, with individual members developing expertise in such areas as compensation, audit and strategic planning. He cited Farrugia’s 2001 hiring as the “main success” of his years on the board.

Teeson, a retired rear admiral in the Coast Guard who lives in New London, joined The Day’s board at about the same time Farrugia arrived. He served as president and director of Mystic Seaport from 2001 to 2009, and before that was the superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy, from which he graduated in 1965.

He reflected on the fact that the major institutions in his life — the Coast Guard, Mystic Seaport and “the paper” — are all “mission-oriented enterprises” where the people who work are similarly dedicated to the organizations that employ them.

Teeson, too, praised Farrugia’s performance, citing The Day’s 2008 acquisition of the Shore Publishing weeklies, “a strong asset to the bottom line,” as well as the former publisher’s “commitment to the digital revolution.”

“Gary came with a vision of how to get out in front of that. He had a willingness to innovate, to try new things,” Teeson said.

Both he and Nolf said Richardson has “all the right experience and enthusiasm” to pick up where Farrugia left off.

Rauh, 58, of Mystic, spent 19 years at the Washington Trust Co., Rhode Island’s largest independent bank, before joining Chelsea Groton, the largest independent bank in New London County, in 2010.

A 1981 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he chairs the board of directors of Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and serves on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, the Norwich Free Academy Foundation and the Norwich Community Development Corp., among others. He is a past chairman of the Connecticut Bankers Association.

In a phone interview, Rauh said he spent his first 10 years after college working in publishing and marketing. He got his start selling advertising for a magazine publisher in Rhode Island.

On The Day’s board, he will assume Nolf’s role, focusing on finances.

“I want to be as helpful as I can to the company’s management,” he said. “It’s no secret that the last 20 years have been tough on the newspaper business and that The Day has successfully made its way, partly because of great people and partly because of its business setup.

“What Gary and his team have done to broaden The Day’s revenue stream has made it a survivor in a world where there are not a lot of survivors,” he said.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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