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Snapshot: Arnie Berman



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Family: My wife, Nancy Goldman; and two brilliant daughters from my first marriage. Both are in their late 20s and living in Providence, R.I.

Pets? Officially, no. But we frequently babysit my ex’s dog Stella, and we’ve pretty much adopted my brother-in-law’s cat, Macintosh.

How long have you lived in Newtown? Three years. I have lived in Fairfield County for most of my adult life. But my wife is from Westchester County. We moved here after spending a few years in White Plains.

Career: I’m the CFO of Sterling Transportation. My best friend and I are helping to build a first-class freight logistics company. I spent most of my career as a Wall Street strategist focused on the technology sector. After 30 years of criticizing how companies were being managed, it was time to grow up and help actually manage a company.

Are you a part of any local clubs or organizations? I’m active in Newtown Lions Club. It’s a terrific group of men and women with a wide range of backgrounds and experience that are united by a desire to help others. I was fortunate to meet the Lions shortly after I moved here. They’re responsible for making Newtown feel like home to me, and for making me feel rooted in this wonderful community.

What do you like to do with your free time? Free time? What’s that? I do love hiking and kayaking. And I’ve recently taken to Pickleball.

Favorite book genres and authors? I love to read history. I’m a bit of a plodding reader, but I remember what I read. I avoid “trash novels” because they’re not worth retaining. My favorites include Gordon Wood, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and David McCullough.

Favorite movies? Just about anything directed by Clint Eastwood or Quentin Tarantino. My favorite movies include Gran Torino, Pulp Fiction, The Big Lebowski, and The Shawshank Redemption. And, of course, Animal House.

Favorite TV? Rome, The Wire, Curb Your Enthusiasm. HBO seems to have a monopoly on my favorites.

Who or what has been the biggest influence in your life? First, Spiderman. Or more specifically Spiderman’s Uncle Ben, who said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” The key point that Uncle Ben may have missed: Each and every one of us has great power. Every time we walk into a room, or interact with other folks, we all have the power to influence whether other people in our lives have a better or worse experience for it. I think of this as “Radical Accountability.”

Second, Marcus Aurelius. Meditations is chockablock full of timeless advice for how to deal with people and live a fulfilling life.

If you could spend the day with one person, living or deceased, who would you choose and why? John Adams, or any of the nation’s founders. If they came back to life for a single day in 2024, would they be amazed? Or disappointed? How would they feel about Donald Trump, the Supreme Court’s recent interpretation of the Second Amendment, the influence of social media? I’d love to show them around and have a chat.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Look for the best in people. I had a eureka moment in college, when I noticed that the frat guys would always answer questions about one of their fraternity brothers with “Great guy.” I grew up in a household that was often quick to make negative judgments about other people. In college, I began a lifetime effort to become less cynical and to look for the best in everyone I meet.

What is the best advice you’ve ever offered? With great power comes great responsibility. It’s my personal credo. And remains my most important principle that I have tried to impart as a parent, a spouse, friend, and colleague.

Do you have any pet peeves? The sound of Styrofoam rubbing against Styrofoam. Orphan socks. People who think that the person with the loudest voice wins the argument.

What is something you can’t live without? Caffeine. Oh, and my gorgeous wife Nancy whose smile and sense of humor light up every single day. Second wives are the best!

What is your proudest accomplishment? Being a better parent than my parents, who were better than their parents. If we keep this trend going, a few millenniums from now, one of my descendants will have a perfect childhood.

What is your favorite thing about Newtown? The generosity of its residents. When given a chance to help our neighbors, that’s what we do.

What is your favorite thing to read in The Newtown Bee? Anything about the Newtown Lions Club! And the Letters to the Editor. They provide a great window into what issues are occupying the attention of our community. When someone takes the time to think through a subject and put fingers to a keyboard, it’s almost always worth reading (even when we disagree).

What is your favorite travel destination? Italy. Duh.

This week's Snapshot introduces readers to Arnie Berman. —Bee Photo, Hicks
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