Photo by Marji McClure/The North Haven Courier
Gayle Sims’s three kids have moved through the North Haven school system, but she stays in touch with the families she met when her children were in school. “The families are our friends today,” she says. “And we still support the kids. We still watch [local] basketball games.”
No one can question the dedication Gayle Sims has to the North Haven community. The lifelong resident grew up in North Haven and still lives there-in the same house in which she spent her childhood.
The house looks a little different now. Gayle and her husband Bill put an addition on it to make it large enough for their family, which includes three children. Gayle, Bill, and their children all attended school in North Haven and all are graduates of North Haven High School.
For years, Gayle’s focus in the community has been on schools. Now it’s on business and networking.
Gayle’s children are now 24 (Ashley), 21 (Taylor), and 20 (David). But when they were in school, Gayle was very active in school programs, including athletics. She was also involved at the elementary and middle school level.
“I never missed a basketball game or a cheerleading competition,” says Gayle. “I enjoyed it.”
Gayle also enjoys her work. She is an attorney at The Pellegrino Law Firm in New Haven. Her area of focus is family law, but she also does real estate closings. She says that practicing family law is rewarding because “you’re helping people through a difficult time in their lives.”
With real estate, she guides clients through perhaps one of their largest purchases.
Gayle has worked at Pellegrino for 13 years.
“I came here because they wanted a family lawyer,” she says. “I’m very happy here. Every day is different. I can be in court every day or once a week.”
Gayle travels to courts in New Haven, Meriden, Milford, New Britain, and Middletown.
While work keeps her very busy, Gayle has found that she has more time for other business-related activities now that she isn’t spending that time on school activities.
Gayle says she was approached about 15 years ago to join a BNI (Business Networking International), but she couldn’t commit to the time necessary for membership.
“Now that the kids are grown, I can do that,” Gayle says.
Gayle says she is one of the original members of the North Haven BNI.
“It was the right time now because of the commitment,” she says. “This is my first networking venture. Professionally and personally, it’s been great. Professionally, it’s a great resource for me. And I enjoy everybody there…Before that, my focus was on basketball and cheerleading.”
It’s certainly a change of pace for Gayle.
“I’m getting into that phase where I can do other things,” she says. “It is a new phase.”
Gayle socializes a lot with friends and spends some spare time reading books on her Kindle. She has a close group of friends, North Haven mothers, who get together often.
“My two dearest friends are neighbors from North Haven. We grew up on the same street,” says Gayle.
For Gayle, her future is focused-of course-on her family and her career.
“I want to continue in my career and expand and grow my practice,” she says. “I also want to see my kids happy and successful. It’s all you can ask for.”