Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity
Meetings: 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:45 pm

Past President - Michael Burton
President - Joe Hemingway 

Secretary  - Tamara Doherty

Treasurer - Sharon Doherty
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I have been a resident of Sandy Hook for the past 27 years. Having owned and operated my own construction and development business, Michael Burton Builders, Inc., since 1983, it was exciting to get involved in two major projects which are helping to revitalize Sandy Hook Center.

In 1998, I partnered with Ed Raymond, and purchased the former K’s Corner at 102 Church Hill Road. The buildings and infrastructure were in need of major repair. Utilizing the new Sandy Hook Design District Zoning Regulations, we were able to add 5 apartments, additional office space, and a laundromat to the grounds, making this plaza a true business hub of the Hook. At the conclusion of this project, I was instrumental in getting the Town to bring the water line down the hill into Sandy Hook, which, along with the earlier addition of sewers, opened up many more possibilities for businesses and property owners.

Three years ago I purchased and renovated the former Betts Homestead at 107 Church Hill Road. The very prominent Italianate style home, built in 1843, had fallen into disrepair. Again, the District zoning regulations allowed for the renovation of the home into office space, a large addition, and 2 more buildings yet to be constructed. Betts Square is now home to several medical and professional office uses. The two projects combined added over 120 parking spaces to the area.

I am an active member of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, and its representative on the Newtown Board of Fire Commissioners. I look forward to serving SHOP in my capacity as its President.
Tamara Doherty lives in Newtown with her husband, Shannon, and their two children.  She owns Wellbaskets.com, an online gift basket company, and Wishing Well, a gift shop in Sandy Hook.  Although she became interested in SHOP because of her business, her love of Sandy Hook grew from stories shared by her husband, a Sandy Hook native, who witnessed the area’s many changes and developments over the years.  She is delighted to be a part of Sandy Hook’s growth, and is passionate about motivating others to help the area succeed.
I moved to Sandy Hook with my family 25 years ago.  It is where my wife Maribeth and I have raised our two daughters, Sarah and Maggie.  My roots of community involvement go back to when Sarah started at Sandy Hook School.  I was one of the few dads involved with the PTA, and led the charge on fundraising for and installing the school’s new playground.

Over the years, I have been an active member of the PTA and PTA Council, volunteered on the Economic Development Commission, and served three terms on the Legislative Council.  I currently serve on the Newtown Parent Connection Board of Directors, and am a member of Newtown’s Rotary Club.

I have always thought that there are two types of people, those who see a challenge and turn away, and those who see a challenge and roll up their sleeves to help tackle it.  I have always considered myself to be in the second group, someone who is eager to step in and make a difference. 

SHOP was created to help revitalize the Sandy Hook Design District, to help current merchants succeed, and to attract new businesses to the area.  This is an exciting opportunity to make our community stronger, and I am excited to serve as Vice-President as we move forward to make Sandy Hook an exciting place for merchants, investors and the community for years to come.  While I do not own a business or property in the design district, I bring a unique perspective to this organization.  My background in town government and economic development, my professional career in construction, and my commitment to the community will be important to our organization as we move forward.
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