Unless you had business with Northern Nurseries on Mountain Road in West Suffield, you might not have heard of Colin Moll before he burst on the scene, shortly after being nominated in October 2021 for First Selectman by the Republican party. So late was his entry into the race, that the Suffield Observer deadline for candidate responses to posed questions had passed without his input. But win he did, and we are now left with the questions of who is this guy, where did he come from, and how is he doing so far?
To start with the last question, according to town employees, Moll is doing a first-rate job. From the town clerk to the tax collector’s office to the library employees, glowing responses are the same and paint him as an articulate, intelligent, hard- working, and fair-minded man. Town Clerk Kathy Dunai reports that since the election, he “has embraced the town and municipality as a whole and has spent time in all departments shadowing employees to learn what we do.” Likewise, Jill Schechtman, Tax Collector, calls Moll “a breath of fresh air.” She adds that he is an outstanding listener and takes the time to learn what each person does, “soaking up information like a sponge.” Human Resource Executive Assistant Shannon Jendrysik says that he is “friendly, approachable and professional”. Mel Chafetz, a member of the Board of Selectman, recognizes the tough line that Moll has to walk in balancing competing desires of groups in town, and commends his ability to take in information from all sides before making a decision.
So, where did this good listener come from? Moll was born in Seoul, South Korea on April 29, 1987, and came to America when he was adopted at age 3. Living in a small rural town in Amish Country, he has a younger sister who was also adopted by his mailman father and social worker mother. Although he claims not to speak Korean, his army bunk mates might dispute that, having reported to him that he would often talk Korean in his sleep. He attended and graduated from Philadelphia University in 2010, which he regards as a four-year maturation process. He enlisted in the army, which he believes brought out the leadership quality and discipline he has today. Colin served at Willow Grove AFB in Pennsylvania.
After just under five years in the service, he worked for a brief time in security and then landed a job as assistant manager at a Northern Nurseries facility in northern Pennsylvania. At the end of 2018, Moll took over as manager of the Suffield nursery facility turning it into a thriving enterprise.
Perhaps no one is more surprised at his becoming the first selectman than Moll himself. Says he, “Two years ago, I wasn’t even a member of a party, as I was so focused on work!” He feels that his new position taps into a part of him that he finds rewarding–namely, to interact with and help people; he hopes to bring a more community feel to Suffield by holding more events. He is appreciative that the employees and residents have been open and welcoming to him.
When asked what he likes best about the job, Moll states that he likes collaborating with the town employees who he feels are doing a great job. The chief drawback to the job is the pace at which things get done. His admitted biggest adjustment so far in working in the public sector is “having more patience!”
In his spare time Moll travels extensively and has visited his birth homeland, as well as other far-flung lands. “I believe it is important to be cultured, and I appreciate the foods and architecture of other countries when I travel.”
When asked where he sees himself in ten years, he says he would like to own a business. For now, however, Moll is committed to Suffield and is in the process of buying a house in town. In parting he said that it is important to like the job you’re in, and as the First Selectman, he does.