NEW GLARUS — For Faun Marie Phillipson, the lively streets of New York City could not compare to the bright stars and fresh air of Green County.
“Every time I came back here, it would get harder and harder to leave. I would stand outside of my parents’ house the last night I was here and I just got to a point where I was like, ‘If I feel like this is where home is and this is where my heart is, then why am I leaving?’,” said Phillipson, who is running for Green County Circuit Court Judge.
For five generations, her family has lived, worked and served in the county.
“My great grandfather was a blacksmith in New Glarus,” she said. But the family history of dedication to New Glarus did not stop with him. Phillipson said that one of her grandfathers owned a grocery store in the community and the other farmed. Her mother was the director of nursing at the New Glarus Nursing Home.
Phillipson herself has been involved in the community for much of her life, having served on the New Glarus Public Library Board of Trustees, Community Foundation of New Glarus and the Board of Directors of the Swiss Center of North America. Currently, she is on the board of directors at the Bank of New Glarus Sugar River Bank branches and volunteers with the Green County Literacy Council.
“I care very much about Green County and I care very much about the future of Green County,” she said. “This is a place that I love. I grew up here, my parents grew up here and my parents’ parents grew up here. I want to serve the county and the people of this county in the best way I know how.”
Phillipson first got a taste of living outside of New Glarus when she went to UW-Madison in 1992. After graduating from undergraduate studies at Madison, she moved to New York City for Law school.
“It was exciting for me to go someplace else, someplace that I’d never been, someplace that my family had never been,” Phillipson said. “Sort of start over where people had never heard about me and just sort of forge my own path.” Regardless, she never forgot about her hometown.
In 2004, Phillipson planted roots in New York, opening a firm with her business partner. By 2007, Phillipson & Uretsky, LLP opened a New Glarus branch and Phillipson alternated between the two locations. Now, the firm has offices in New Glarus, New York and New Jersey and Phillipson resides full-time in New Glarus.
“I’ve practiced in many different forums, many different courtrooms and before many different judges,” she said. “I feel well-equipped to use that experience, building on everything I’ve learned from different judges in different courtrooms, to apply my skills to our courtroom here in Green County.”
Phillipson hopes that she can continue to serve the county she knows and loves through the position of judge.
“Being a judge is a really tough job and it’s something that you have to really want to do,” she said. “I really want to do it because I believe in Green County and I believe in this place that has given me so much. I would like to give back in the best way that I know how. I’m prepared to give this everything I’ve got.”