Duff, communications pro, joins economic commission

“I drive up Route 7 and I wonder why there’s so many vacant buildings,” Amanda Duff told the Board of Selectmen.

She wants to do something about it.

Duff, a communications professional “with nearly 15 years experience in public relations, marketing and social media” interviewed for a seat on the town’s Economic and Community Development Commission (ECDC) on Oct. 10, and was unanimously appointed by the selectmen.

“What I can really contribute is my public relations and marketing background,” she told the board.

Duff started her own business, Duff PR, in 2017. It focuses on “public relations and social media for the tourism and hospitality industries.”

A graduate of Hunter College, she’d been working in the field nearly a decade in 2012 when she joined the New York City division of Hospitality Marketing, a full service communications agency serving luxury hotels and resorts in the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Duff had been approached about joining the economic commission by its vice chairman, John Devine, had also met with chairman Arnold Light, and her appointment had the commission’s support.

She expressed agreement with some of the town’s established approaches to economic development such as using its lively arts scene as an attraction, and viewing Branchville with its trains and location on Route 7 as a target area for economic growth.

“Any town that can add arts elements is wise to do so,” Duff said.

“I live in the Branchville area,” she said. “I think there’s an opportunity to develop the Branchville area.”

She has a one-year-old, writes a travel and lifestyle blog, “A Life of Wander,” and started the Instagram account @RidgefieldMoms. But she told the selectmen she had the time and was committed to helping Ridgefield’s economy grow.

“Economic change doesn’t happen overnight,” Duff said. “I see this as a long-term involvement of my time.”