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Chapter Executive Committee Election

Terms: 2 year terms 2024-2025

2023 Chapter Candidates

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Susan Eastwood

Susan Eastwood is a long time member of Sierra Club CT. She serves as Chapter Chair and is a member of the Political and Legislative Committees. In her hometown, she founded and Chairs the Ashford Clean Energy Task Force and has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Board of Finance. After working with domestic violence projects for many years, she was appointed to the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. 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. She was active in the successful fight to stop the proposed gas plant in Killingly and is working with the CT Zero Waste Coalition to find sustainable solutions to our waste crisis.

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Shawn Gregory

Hello!  I am a senior at Wilton High School in Wilton, CT.  I became interested in environmental work after conducting research on the effects of PFAs contamination on mature stem cells at Yale University.  After encountering the potential risks of these chemicals through his findings, I began to work with a variety of local organizations like Wilton Go Green and the Norwalk River Watershed Association to fight for overall environmental change.  Examples of my efforts include preventing the expansion of a methane gas pipeline and successfully protesting the installment of a new turf field at a local, all-natural meadow.  I've also founded his own organization, named "Rhysos," to increase environmental justice coverage in secondary school education.

As a member of CT Sierra’s leadership team, I will support anti-PFAs legislation and advocate for the protection of underserved communities from further environmental devastation.  I also want to create a CT youth environmental network to bring together Connecticut youth in the fight for meaningful environmental change.

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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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Tenaya Taylor

Tenaya Taylor is a Capital Community College graduate, rapper, artist, business owner, writer, executive director, and founder at Nonprofit Accountability Group (NAG). NAG is an inclusive arts and social justice organization dedicated to grassroots movement building. Tenaya's work in Greater Hartford includes housing families facing eviction, creating 3 community gardens,100 paid internships for young people in Hartford ages 13-30, two little free food pantries, and a statewide mutual aid network for frontline communities impacted by climate change, the housing crisis, and environmental racism. Tenaya has been an advocate for intersectional solutions on housing reform, clean energy, and abortion access at the Connecticut State Capital and Hartford City Hall.

Shoreline Group Candidates

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Lorinne Kovachi-Sekban

Lorinne has lived in Killingworth CT since 2006, with her two sons and husband.  She grew up in Trumbull, CT and still has family in Fairfield.   She holds a Bachelor's Degree from The University of New Hampshire, where she majored in English/Communications and minored in Environmental Science.  Junior year she studied at UCSC (Santa Cruz, California).  She has worked for over two decades in advertising and marketing.  From 2007-2012 she worked as the National Account Executive at Shore Publishing in Madison.  From 2012-2016 she was the Project Leader for New H/aven Living magazine published by The Hartford Courant.  Currently, she works out of her home in Killingworth in digital and out-of-home media for Screenvision Media.  While in college, she was active in non-violent protests for peace and environment, including protesting the nuclear power plant project in Portsmouth, NH.  In 2019, as a resident of Killingworth, she orchestrated a grassroots effort to stop the deforestation of "core forest" directly adjacent to the Chatfield Hollow State Park property by an energy company out of Canada to put up solar panels.  She and one other resident fought this project stating it did not make sense from a Carbon footprint standpoint.  "Although I am a true believer in solar energy" she states "it made no sense from a Carbon Footprint perspective to deforest a pristine, wooded area that contained several endangered species and native vernal pools. She worked with her colleague and followed the strict guidelines of the Connecticut Siting Council to fight this project.  After almost a year and tremendous effort, they won and The Siting Council did not approve the project.  Lorinne has considered herself an environmentalist since a young age.  In her spare time she gardens (organically of course), is often walking with her dog Jake at Parmelee Farm or Chatfield Hollow.  She cares passionately about educating others on the importance of fighting Climate Change, saving our oceans, and investing in renewable energy sources such as solar, and wind energy. 

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Eric Whittall

I am a newly returning member of the CT SIERRA CLUB in 2023. Growing Up in CT I developed an early love for the outdoors on family camping trips in the Adirondacks and White Mountains. Pursuing my love of the wild spaces of Nature while living in Colorado and California I began exploring our National Parks. I have now visited 41 National Parks, 34 National Monuments, am a supporter of the National Parks Foundation, and have been a speaker at Earth Day celebrations in the past. However, in my travels across the U.S. I have been struck by the increasing ravages of climate change on a very personal level, having narrowly escaped catastrophe in the midst of forest fire, lightning strike, and flooding. These and other climatological events are becoming far too common. I believe that advocacy for preserving life on our planet in all its forms is essential, now more than ever, before it is too late. It is only together that we can make a difference!

 

I am a clinical psychologist, having worked in various hospitals and finally in private practice. I live in Guilford with my significant other and animals, and enjoy hiking, kayaking, and re-building stone walls.

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Jody Kaplan

Retired Law Enforcement Officer 
United States Park Police 
Poet, Singer, Motivational Speaker
A.A.S. in Agriculture 
Biology background 
Often work nature, and its lessons into my poems, meditations. 
Hold creative writing workshops at the Deep River Library

Greater Hartford Group Candidates

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Rick Haeseler

Rick is a long time Sierra Club member.  He is currently serving as Vice Chair of the Greater Hartford Group Executive Committee after approximately 10 years as Chair.   Rick  has also been active on the Political Committee. Election of strong environmental candidates in Connecticut remains a major focus.  He believes in getting more dues-paying members to actively participate on campaigns and committees.

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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. 

 

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. He is currently a member of the South Windsor Energy Committee.

 

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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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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