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08/10/2023 07:00 AM

Glenn Herman: Dollars for Scholars

Glenn Herman serves as the chair of the Essex Rotary Club’s Scholarship Committee. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Make sure you get the N’s right: Glenn Herman’s first name has two; his last name has one. The students who apply for scholarships from Essex Rotary should know the correct spelling.

Glenn is the chair of Essex Rotary’s Scholarship Committee, and the time is fast approaching when the young people who received scholarships will start their college year.

Essex Rotary gives two scholarships of $3,000 each a year for all four years of college to two students from the community as well as a $3,000 grant for up to two years to a student going to trade school or vocational training program. The students must come from Essex, though there is no stipulation as to what secondary school they have attended.

Rotary raises money for the scholarships primarily through the annual shad bake, though individuals may also contribute to the fund.

Rotary asks the winners to come back, usually to the annual picnic, to talk about their experiences.

“That’s the fun, when they come back and we hear what they have been doing,” Glenn says.

Often, according to Glenn, the students’ college experiences have changed their original goals. Students transfer, and in recognition of the fluidity of the college years, scholarship recipients have five years to use their four years of money.

“A lot of kids don’t end up at their original college,” he points out.

Choosing the recipients from among the applicants is never easy.

“It’s a difficult process; there are so many great kids. There are mixed emotions; we can’t help everybody who applies,” he says.

Current scholarship winners include Matthew Buccelli, Reagan Doyan, Grace Haskins, Jordan Harris, Ava Boyles, Magdelana Dipierdomenico, Callie Breitenbach, Henry McPherson, and Taylor Milano.

Glenn is a longtime member of Essex Rotary; he has been president twice and on the board for 15 years.

He joined some three decades ago because a neighbor saw him out mowing the lawn one evening and asked why he was involved in lawn care when he could go to a Rotary meeting. He went and has been going ever since.

He notes, like many clubs and community organizations, membership in Rotary has declined as younger people chose different ways of building local ties. He hopes that winning a scholarship encourages the recipients to consider joining the organization in the future.

“It plants a seed about joining,” he says.

Glenn grew up in Old Saybrook and graduated from Old Saybrook High School and from Cornell University with a major in operations research and industrial engineering.

He earned his master’s degree in business administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic University, attending a satellite program at Avery Point. He not only got a master’s degree but met his wife Linda, who was also a student in the program. The couple has two adult children, Matt and Melanie.

Glenn was first employed at Electric Boat in Groton, but for most of his professional career, he has worked at Eversource. Since the changes COVID-19 made to office attendance, rather than five days in Hartford, Glenn now works several days a week at home.

His long job title, manager of the Transmission Capitol Program and Regulatory Response, means his job combines financial management, business skills, and engineering expertise.

The utility company can sometimes be an easy target, and, according to Glenn, not necessarily justifiably. “We need to educate people. They always say the rates keep going up. People need to look at their bills for cell phone, cable; utility bills compare favorably.”

The hardest thing to explain to customers who have lost power in an energy emergency, he says, involves disruption to the individual lines that go to homes.

“People say my neighbor has power, but why don’t I, and it’s because of their line,” he says.

And then he adds what could be the watchwords of Eversource: “Every storm is different.”

In his spare time, Glenn and Linda are walkers, gardeners, and boaters who enjoy the varied vistas along the Connecticut River, particularly Hamburg Cove. Glenn also likes to do home renovation and has undertaken projects, including a large cupola on the garage roof of his home.

Glenn points out that the Rotary has opportunities for members to get involved not only in the scholarship program but also in a variety of other programs to benefit the local communities as well as international initiatives like the campaign to eradicate polio. And he would like to see the Essex scholarship fund increase so that students can receive larger awards.

“It’s the cost of college,” he says. “It keeps going up.”

For more information on Rotary programs, visit