Gail Lavielle was first elected in 2010 to represent Connecticut’s 143rd House district, which includes most of Wilton, the eastern part of Norwalk, and part of Westport west of the Saugatuck River.
Currently serving as an Assistant Republican Leader, Rep. Lavielle is the House Ranking Member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee and a member of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee, the Transportation Committee, and the School Construction Priority List Review Committee, as well as the House Republican Screening Committee. Previously, she served as Ranking Member of the Commerce Committee and as a member of the Appropriations and Higher Education Committees. She also sits on bipartisan caucuses focused on Manufacturing and services for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Rep. Lavielle brings to public service many years of executive leadership in the business world, as well as experience teaching at the university level. Drawing on her real-world skills and expertise, she has developed or supported many proposals to make Connecticut’s government less costly and more efficient, create a fertile climate for jobs, reduce the tax burden on people, businesses, and municipalities, and make the state more competitive as a place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.
In addition to serving on budget-writing teams that have developed and proposed several fully vetted no-tax-increase biennial budgets and midterm budget adjustments, she has fought for improved rail service for commuters, equitable state funding for Norwalk’s schools, mandate relief for successful school districts, and protection of municipally owned open space. She has also been an outspoken opponent of expanding the state’s powers of eminent domain.
In 2012, Rep. Lavielle was named “Woman of the Year” by the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Fairfield County, for her leadership in supporting proposals to reduce taxes and state government costs and to remove legislative barriers to business growth. She was also named an Environmental Champion by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2015, she received the STAR, Inc. “Humanitarian Award” for her commitment to serving people with intellectual disabilities.
She has also been recognized for her work on education and children’s issues. In 2011, she was honored with the “Tip of the Cap” award for education advocacy. The Early Childhood Alliance has recognized her support for children’s issues, naming her a “Children’s Champion” in 2013, 2015, and 2016. In 2015, she also received the “Parent & Child Hero Award” from CT Parent Power.
For more than 25 years, Rep. Lavielle worked in finance, marketing, and communication, holding executive leadership positions with Fortune 500 corporations. As chief executive of a subsidiary of the Interpublic Group, she turned a company around, managed it through a severe recession, and doubled revenues while running it for five years at a substantial profit. She also served as Senior Vice President of Suez Environment, the world’s largest water and wastewater services company, managing people in more than 30 countries and working closely with the financial community to build its understanding of complex government contracts.
Rep. Lavielle has shared the lessons of her real-world business experience with students at UConn, where she taught upper-level courses to undergraduates. An advocate of the benefits of a well-rounded education, she holds an MA in French from Yale and a BA in English from Cornell, as well as an MBA in finance from UConn. A former music critic, she wrote reviews for The Wall Street Journal and is the author of a book on opera.
Before her election to the General Assembly, Rep. Lavielle was active in public service on both the state and municipal levels. As a member of the CT Public Transportation Commission, she defended the interests of Fairfield County on issues including the upgrading of the Danbury branch line, rail station parking and access, the renovation of the Wilton train station, and the development of pedestrian and bike paths. She also served on the state’s Advisory Council for Professional Standards for School Administrators and the Governor’s task force on rail station parking and access, and was a founding member of the Norwalk River Valley Trail steering committee.
As an elected member of Wilton’s Board of Finance she gained practical experience with the particular issues faced by Connecticut’s towns and cities in a difficult economic environment. She also served on Wilton’s Energy Commission.
Rep. Lavielle is active in many local service, civic, and cultural organizations. She serves on the Boards of the Norwalk Senior Center and the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County, as well as the Advisory Board of Wilton Go Green. She has also served on the Board of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Fairfield County and the Stamford Symphony Chairman’s Council, and has been a delegate to the Yale Assembly. She lives in Wilton with Jean-Pierre, her husband of more than 30 years.