2021 ExCom Nominees

Shoreline Group

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John Dixon

I live in Madison CT and have been active in the Shoreline Group of the CT Sierra Club for over twenty-five years. Professionally I am an Educational Psychologist, was Research Director for the Hamden New Haven Cooperative Education Center for a number of years, Program Developer for the Creative Arts Workshop for a while, and then a Research Scientist at Yale until I retired. In the Shoreline Group I was Political Chair for many years and served on the Chapter Political Committee. In collaboration with Marcie Wilkins I helped initiate the New Haven Environmental Justice Network which was the key environmental organization in New Haven for many years. This led to formation of the Greater New Haven Green Fund which provides support for all environmental organizations in the New Haven area. When the Shoreline Group needed to be reorganized I worked with Tom Paul at finding new leadership for the Group. Now that my granddaughter, Marina Dixon, who served as Communication Chair for the Shoreline Group while she was in High School, has gone off to college at Brandeis University, I figure it would be ok for me to once again be on the Shoreline ExCom.  

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Jody Scott Kaplan

Hi I’m Jody Scott Kaplan
I’m running for the Excom for Shoreline Chapter.  I’ve been representing the Shoreline Chapter of the Sierra Club for approximately 4 years. I have an A.A.S. In Agricultural Science from S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale.  Graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia.  Worked in Law Enforcement for 23 years with The United States Park Police.
I live in Clinton CT and I’m a motivational writer, poet, often weaving healing mindsets, nature into my prose.
The need for green places, within our reach doesn’t merely serve wildlife, but our own understanding and health. There are many connections, lessons, that can be learned from our interactions with our environment. We need to preserve and protect it. It nurtures us and we need to return that favor.
I would like the opportunity to continue to serve on the Excom.
Thank you for your consideration.


Hartford Group

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Stephen Lewis

Steve Lewis is an avid environmentalist who gained his appreciation for nature and conservation as a Boy Scout and has carried that passion on into adulthood.  As a Scouting leader, he was awarded a significant conservation award for his work on monarch butterfly conservation.  Along the way he also became a Leave No Trace Master Educator and teaches Outdoor Ethics which are rooted in Aldo Leopold’s land ethic. 

In addition to his Scouting involvement, Steve is a Connecticut Audubon Master Naturalist who loves birding and teaches naturalist history and climate change in their Master Naturalist program in multiple Connecticut Audubon locations. 

Steve worked in the Connecticut General Assembly for over a decade and brings his policy and legislative process experience to the CT Sierra Club Legislative Committee. He has extensive experience in public health and environmental health policy and has worked on mitigating such environmental injustice as lead poisoning, asthma, and the impacts of landfills and waste burning in urban neighborhoods.

As an active champion of electric vehicle adoption, Steve helped South Windsor host its first Drive Electric Week event. He also worked with the town on model EV charger zoning regulations.  His work with the town on behalf of the Sierra Club helped the town earn Sustainable CT Silver Status.

In 2021, Steve agreed to become chair of the Connecticut Sierra Club Hartford Group and hopes to help that team achieve its environmental goals. He strongly believes in the power of collective action which is well summarized in the quote by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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Rick Haessler

A Suffield resident, Rick has served for the last 10 years on the Greater Hartford Group EXCOM, including 6 years as Chair. He also is a member of the Sierra Club Connecticut Political Committee and spent nearly 10 years as a member of the Sierra Club Connecticut EXCOM. Rick’s  focus is on electing strong environmental candidates and bringing younger and more ethnically diverse members to the Club.

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Nancy Potvin

Nancy lives in Manchester where she is a member of the Manchester Land Conservation Trust. Nancy's personal focus is the protection of open space. She has been a member of the Greater Hartford Group EXCOM for a number of years and has served as the Treasurer during that time. 

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Dennis Lockwood

Dennis Lockwood – A Simsbury resident, Dennis is a long time member of the
Sierra Club and a 5 year member of the EXCOM. Dennis has a green thumb and
frequently shares his surplus plants with members of the Club. He recently
served as Vice-Chair of the Group EXCOM.

Chapter ExCom

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Susan Eastwood

Susan Eastwood has been a member of Sierra Club CT for many years. She serves on the Political Committee and is proud to have been endorsed by Sierra Club in her run for the state legislature.

Susan has lived in Ashford with her husband, Tony, for the past 25 years. Susan has been a tireless advocate here in Connecticut for over 30 years.  She founded and Chairs the Ashford Clean Energy Task Force and served on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Finance. Her main focus now is fighting to slow the impacts of climate change, which she believes to be the overarching threat that we and future generations face.
We are seeing the devastating results of our dependence on fossil fuels right now! This has brought her to fight against the new fracked gas power plant recently approved in Killingly and to oppose expansion of the toxic ash landfill in Putnam..

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Angel Serrano

Angel Serrano is a Community Organizer at Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG). He is graduate of Goodwin College with a degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Health and a minor in Business. He is passionate about his education and hopes to apply the knowledge he gains into advocating for policies to support the sustainability movement. 


Angel has a strong interest in politics, and its effects on society. He plans to pursue a Masters in Public Policy, and combine knowledge of the law and the environment in order to fight for the transformation of our communities and businesses into sustainable ones.


He is an experienced citizen lobbyist and has engaged in legislative advocacy with the Legislative Team. Angel can bring legislative savvy, environmental knowledge and friendly relationships with Hartford politicians to the Connecticut Chapter.


Jeff Gross

Jeff Gross is a life-long adherent to sustainable living practices, but only found Sierra Club in 2016, when he volunteered to lead the new program now known as Clean Transportation for All.   As is the case with some of the Sierra Club priorities, including wind and solar energy, the Transportation's campaign work at the levels of legislation and public awareness is being reinforced by market forces:  in spite of outright hostility from the current US administration, all of these cleaner technologies are experiencing high growth and are projected to dominate in the coming decades.


As an Excomm board member, Jeff would like to engage in advocacy for a broader range of Sierra Club initiatives, including the  Ready for 100 Campaign and Outings. The hope is that these programs focused on local towns and local attractions, will bring in more active Volunteers, including our substantial base of Connecticut Sierra Club members.

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Dennis Desmarais

I'm a life-long Sierra Club member and outdoor enthusiast.  I currently serve as the co-chair and trip leader for the Sierra Club's Hartford Chapter of the ICO, where I've led dozens of trips with Hartford School children to local state parks.  I am also on the CT Sierra Club Communications team and for some time now have helped the team to put out newsletters, emails, and action alerts.  And most recently I became the Vice-Chair of the CT Sierra Club, giving me many more opportunities to make a difference.


As a parent of two young girls, it is important to me to both protect the environment and give the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.  Being elected to the CT ExCom has allowed me to pursue these goals not only for my own children but for the youth of all of Connecticut.