Biography

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Jim MarpeJim Marpe (pronounced MAR-pee) was elected First Selectman of Westport CT and took office in November, 2013. He has lived in Westport since 1989.

Marpe was born (1946) and raised in Canton, Ohio. He attended public schools in the Canton area, graduating from Glenwood High School (now GlenOak) in 1964. He received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1968 and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1970.

Jim retired as a Senior Partner in the New York City office of Accenture in 2002 after 32 years with this leading global management consulting and computer technology services firm. At that time, he headed Accenture’s worldwide financial services merger and acquisition practice. During his career, he worked with a variety of business and government organizations to develop business and information system strategies that were critical to their missions, and to implement those strategies through appropriate process and technology improvements and change management techniques. During his career, Jim has lived and worked at Accenture locations in Chicago, Copenhagen, Denmark, and New York City.

Jim Marpe was elected twice to the Westport Board of Education from 2005 to 2012 where he served as Vice Chairman from 2007 until he left the Board. During his tenure, he led a community conversation project that resulted in the current Westport Education 2025 Strategy development and implementation. He was also a part of the team that negotiated a settlement that allowed permanent lighting on the Staples High School football field. At the Statewide level, Marpe was a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) and was one of two CABE delegates to the Statewide Committee to upgrade teacher evaluations in 2012.

Marpe has had leadership roles in a variety of volunteer and not-for-profit activities, including:

Westport / Weston Family Y Board of Trustees (2005 to 2013)

  • Board Chairman
  • Endowment & Investment Committee Chairman 
  • CEO Search Committee 
  • Building Fund Capital Campaign

Homes With Hope (Westport’s homeless shelter and food pantry)

  • Board of Directors member for six years
  • Chairperson of Board Strategic Planning Committee. (Marpe developed the Permanent, Affordable Supportive Housing (PASH) strategy in 2003 that still guides Homes With Hope activities.)

Green’s Farms Congregational Church 

  • Former Congregation Moderator (President)
  • Chair - Senior Minister Search Committee (2002)
  • Co-Chair 300th Anniversary Celebration Committee

Westport Rotary Club

  • Co-Chair – The Rotary Foundation
  • Board Member

Stamford (CT) Symphony Orchestra

  • Board of Directors member for 15 years 
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors, 2003 to 2010 
  • Member of the Music Director Search Committee

Case Western Reserve University – Alumni Admissions Representative

Penn State University – Parents Advisory Board; Capital Campaign Subcommittee Chair

Wharton School – Social Impact Management Program Advisor

Marpe is also a member of a number of area organizations including the Y’s Men Club of Westport / Weston, League of Women Voters, Longshore Men’s Golf Association, Minuteman Yacht Club, Saugatuck Rowing Club, Friends of the Westport Senior Center and the Near & Far Aid Spring Gala Committee.

Jim is married to Mary Ellen Marpe, a native of Chicago. Until recently, Mary Ellen, owned and directed Westport’s Academy of Dance, which still serves over 400 ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance students. She participates in numerous local volunteer activities and is currently a board member and volunteer driver at ITN Coastal CT, providing rides for seniors and vision impaired adults. The Marpe’s have one daughter, Samantha, graduate of Westport’s Staples High School (2002) and Penn State University (2006); now living and working in New York City. And they are the proud “parents” of Olivia, their Bernese Mountain Dog.