Linda Habgood for Westfield Town Council Ward 1

lindahabgood300px.pngLinda Habgood is running for a 1st Ward seat on the Town Council for one simple reason: She is passionate about Westfield. “Our town has a winning combination of attributes—smart citizens, strategic location, financial strength and great schools,” she says. “I am committed to making it even better.”

Linda knows finance. She and two partners own a small business that facilitates foreign direct investment in healthcare, clean power, education, start-ups, telecommunications, and infrastructure in Latin America, Africa and Asia. For 28 years, she has thrived in a world built on public/private partnerships, and her knack for structured finance and ability to bridge differences have enabled her company to close more than $11 billion in transactions for 1000+ clients. Linda loves her business because she can use her talents to improve the lives of others. As she observes: “From financing solar-based energy solutions in India to hydropower projects in Panama, India and Kosovo, I have seen creative financing change people’s lives.” Now she wants to use her talents to help enhance Westfield’s strengths, unifying both people and business leaders for an even brighter future.

Her financial skills have already improved lives in Westfield. A serial volunteer, she has been Finance Chair of the Presbyterian Nursery School and Kindergarten Board, Fundraising chair of the Westfield HS PTSO, and a two-time producer of the Washington School Show. In 2005, as co-head of a special Citizen's Action Committee, Linda advocated for the ‘Centralized Kindergarten Bond’ that brought about the creation of Lincoln School. She is also a Board Member and active fundraiser for the New Jersey Festival Orchestra.

On the Town Council, Linda will dive into revenue and budgetary matters. “Our AAA credit rating is both a source of pride and an asset,” Linda explains. “If wisely used, we can address pressing problems like our stagnating downtown, and situations where infrastructure has been neglected – and we can do it at minimal cost to the taxpayer. In addition, I look forward to exploring new revenue streams for our Town. Raising property taxes can’t always be our answer.”

Linda holds a BA (Presidential Scholar) from The College of William and Mary and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She has run the New York City Triathlon twice, raising with her husband and their team over $65,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma research in the process. Her husband, Gary Zanfagna, is Antitrust Counsel at Honeywell.

She has two sons at Westfield High School, Phil, who is Linda’s Campaign Manager, is a senior, and Andrew is a sophomore. Both boys are active in the WHS Basketball program, Model UN, and Choir. They all are active members of the Presbyterian Church in Westfield – where Linda serves as a mission trip advisor and a long-time member of the Youth Commission. The family can be spotted all over Westfield walking Daisy, their fluffy sheepdog.

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