Snapshot: Sheila Torres
Occupation: I’m the Operations Manager at the Edmond Town Hall reporting to the Board of Managers. My role includes management of the building, staff, rentals, and some of the programming activities.
Family: I have my husband, Warren Stamp, and daughter, Shaina Stamp. Shaina is a senior at UConn and in the school of agriculture and studies resource economics. She studied in Spain last year and wants to study in the Netherlands this fall. She loves it. I never pressured her for where to go or what to major in, but it’s really interesting because I went to UConn, studied economics, and studied international economics in the Netherlands. I love talking economics with her.
Pets: We have had our senior dog, Ace, for four years now. He came into my life because of my first dog, Duncan. I just loved him so much. He was a rescue, too, and we adopted him from the ASPCA.
How long have you lived in Newtown? I’ve lived here since 2000, and Shaina went to school here. I used to live in New Fairfield and was working for Bayer Corporation in West Haven, so it was quite a commute. This was the perfect spot, because my husband worked in Danbury.
What do you like to do in your free time? I love gardening! I took a master gardening course and everything. I also love reading and taking my dog for walks.
Do you have a favorite book? That’s such a hard question because I love reading, and one of my favorite places is Byrd’s Books [in Bethel]. A book that comes to mind is The Last Temptation of Christ by the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis.
What is your favorite travel destination? I’ve traveled a lot and actually lived in India and the Netherlands. I have so much traveling to do, so I hope I haven’t found my favorite destination yet. I’d love to see every single national park.
What is the best part about Newtown? One of the things that makes Newtown unique is that there is such a sense of community and belonging here. Also, the fact that so many people volunteer.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My mom, Maria Gonzalez; and my mother’s father, Manuel Gonzalez, who have both passed away. I had a very close relationship with my grandfather, and we were good friends. My mother was so instrumental in my life — she’s the one who pushed me. She was the tough love type of person, and I find myself doing that with my daughter.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? I have literary-type heroes for what they wrote about, including Helen and Scott Nearing. They moved to Vermont in the 1930s and were the grandparents of the back to the land movement. I liked their philosophy of life — living simply, eating healthy, doing good for each other, and having community.
What is your favorite genre of music? I like rock and folk music in general. I love bluegrass and authentic music from my own culture of Puerto Rico.
Do you have a favorite TV show? One of my favorites is Zero Below. I could watch marathons of it for days. My favorite channels are Nat Geo, the Science Channel, Home and Garden Channel, MSNBC, CNN, and the History Channel.
What is something you cannot live without? Coffee. My friends give me signs that say phrases like “What do you mean decaf?”
What is your proudest accomplishment? I’m proudest of my family, of course, but I’m also really happy with the changes that have taken place at Edmond Town Hall during my tenure and those taking place right now, as we are in the midst of renovations. I’m happy to be part of ensuring people continue to support and value this place.