Remembering Briggs Tobin: A True Champion for Fairfield County

Apr 25, 2022

The board and staff of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation are heartbroken over the passing of Briggs Tobin.

Briggs, who died April 7, 2022, after a short illness, served on the Foundation’s Board since 2015 and had been our Board chair since 2020. He was 60.

He was widely respected throughout our organization as a thoughtful and creative leader and collaborator. He cared deeply for our community and the Foundation — and that care and sensitivity extended to every person who he connected with in his role.

Briggs was generous with his time and he took great care to listen to every voice and understand every perspective.

Because of these traits, he was an exceptional leader and collaborator — traits that he brought to his role as the former head of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence Advisory Council and later to his stewardship of the Foundation as board chair.

Briggs believed in equality and opportunity for all. In his position as Board Chair, he was passionate about our mission of closing the opportunity gap in Fairfield County. He was especially interested in affordable housing and worked to educate himself and others about how to increase accessibility in the region. During his tenure, he also helped guide the Foundation through the COVID-19 pandemic and spearheaded our strategic planning efforts.

And his service to our community extended far beyond the Foundation. He also served as Vice Chair of Ridgefield’s Historic Commission. He understood the importance of preserving Ridgefield’s welcoming Main Street vistas, free of fences and walls.

Briggs was intelligent, kind, witty and modest. He looked for and found the best in people. Above his desk, Briggs pinned a handwritten note “Goals for the Next 25 Years” dated 2015. This brief list included “continued learning” and “stay connected with old friends.” Briggs was much loved and will be sorely missed.

The Foundation will honor his memory by continuing to pursue our mission and carrying forward his work around closing the opportunity gap. The Foundation’s Board has voted unanimously to appoint Johnna Torsone and Ed Ford as Interim Co-Chairs through the balance of the Foundation’s fiscal year, which ends June 30.

A private Celebration of Life will be held next month in Ridgefield. Contributions in Briggs’ memory may be sent to (a trail connecting Norwalk, Wilton, Redding, Ridgefield and Danbury), Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence, or a charity of your choice.