The CT Chapter holds nine meetings per year on the fourth Wednesday of every Month, with a few exceptions. We do not meet in July and August; we meet on the first Wednesday in December and skip the November meeting. All meetings convene at 7pm, via virtual meeting.
Chapter / Committee Leaders
Susan Eastwood (She/Her)
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.
Jeff Gross (He/Him)
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.
Arthur Helmus (He/Him)
Legislative Chair and ExComm Member
Arthur is a lawyer and currently develops commercial, industrial and residential solar power projects in four states. Prior to that, he served as a 2nd Vice President in the insurance industry and as corporate counsel where he led teams responsible for remediating hundreds of pollution sites across the United States. Art has served as a member of the CT Chapter Sierra Club Legislative Committee for the past year and currently serves as Vice Chair. As a renewable energy professional and legislative activist, Art has lobbied the Connecticut Legislature, submitted expert testimony on behalf of the Chapter, and has given presentations to industry groups on the need to improve the collaborative relationship between industry and environmentalists. He seeks to apply his skills earned through his MBA and Masters Degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management to enhance the effectiveness of the Sierra Club's initiatives. Art's knowledge and background will contribute significantly to the Chapter's brain trust.
Susan Petit (She/Her)
Shoreline Group Representative
For the last few years I have served on the Sierra Club Shoreline ExCom and the Connecticut Chapter Political Committee, on the latter helping to conduct interviews for candidates looking for endorsement. Involvement with the Political Committee has been significant to me, especially so in this time of political chaos and unrest. I have also been fortunate to have been able to travel back and forth to Africa these last years, meeting with researchers and working on wildlife conservation projects. I hope to do more in this area. Another passion of mine is wildlife photography, both here and in Africa.
Roxanne O'Sullivan (She/Her)
ExComm Member, CCL Delegate, Communications Committee
I joined the Connecticut Sierra Club Communications Committee in 2017. Since then, I primarily work on communications for the Chapter, including the website, social media and the newsletter, and have also been involved in data base development. I support the work of the Chapter Director by helping with social media and other tasks. I feel working on the website provides the best opportunity for my skills and talents to benefit the Chapter. I'm a millennial, a digital native, and am deeply committed to the Sierra Club mission. I'm very eager to join the ExCom this coming year! When not working for the Sierra Club, I work full time as a Registered Nurse. In my free time I enjoy the outdoors by biking and hiking.
John Pilgrim (He/Him)
Backcountry camping devotee turned environmentalist, John meshes a passion for data with the outdoors. He discovered the Sierra Club in 2020 after driving after wedge between himself and most of his friends and family over sustained discussion of environmental inadequacy. What John lacks in experience he makes up for in his fervent and detail oriented nature.
Since finding his family, John has been involved in various initiatives such as air quality research while supporting core IT tenets of the club through the Communications team. He intends to expand out into the strategic side of the club by getting involved in the CT Executive Committee. When he’s not out hugging trees, John can be found throughout Hartford country driving the speed limit on his growing collection of electric PEVs.
Term: 2024 -2025
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.
Diane Crawford (She/Her)
I am the Connecticut Chapter's treasurer.
Kate Donnelly (She/Her)
Kate is a life-long grassroots activist for peace and social justice. Her environmental awareness began at the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. She participated in many campaigns over the years from the anti-nuclear power movement to the recent campaign against the Killingly fracked gas power plant. She organizes, lobbies, educates, and participates in nonviolent civil disobedience including against the Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota. She is co-founder and chair of the Hampton Green Energy Committee which is working to make Hampton 100% renewable energy. Her efforts include energy efficiency campaigns for residents and town buildings, and putting solar panels on roofs.
Kate has been a partner in Donnelly/Colt Progressive Resources for 47 years, providing the movement with organizing materials such as buttons, posters, and stickers. She was First Selectman in Hampton, worked as an organizer for Neighbor to Neighbor and Solarize CT campaigns. She lives in Hampton and has three adult children. Kate is a member of the Windham/Willimantic NAACP Environmental Justice Committee, and No More Dirty Power in Killingly. She believes that intersectional organizing is the only way to guarantee a future for our environment and for a peaceful and just society for all.
Ann Gadwah (She/Her)
Advocacy & Outreach Organizer
Ann Gadwah is a passionate environmental activist and the Advocacy and Outreach Organizer with Sierra Club Connecticut. Raised and educated in the hills of Western Massachusetts, Ann learned to love the outdoors and nature from an early age. When the Exxon Valdez oil spill happened in 1989, Ann was devastated and knew then she wanted to help protect wildlife, the oceans, and the environment.
Ann wore various hats over the years. She has been a high school history teacher and a community activist. She organized rallies in support of Standing Rock and the LGBTQ community. She was a bartender and a tarot reader. She always wanted to help protect the natural world so in 2008, she joined the Sierra Club. Her activism there focused primarily on petitions, rallies, letters and phone calls to elected officials. In the wake of the 2016 election, she wanted to do something more, something that mattered, that could make a difference. She called Sierra Club Connecticut and asked if there was anything she could do to help. There was. This started her on the journey that brought her to today. Her work with Sierra Club is the most important and fulfilling job she has ever done.
Ann currently resides in New Hartford, CT with her husband and son and various animal friends. She teaches yoga part time. She loves traveling, live music, cooking, a good book, and a walk in the woods.
Stephen Lewis (He/Him)
Chair of the Hartford Group
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.”
Tanya Bourgoin (She/Her)
Wildlife Committee Chair
Tanya was born and bred in CT and is a lifelong resident of the state, with the exception of a few years spent in Colorado attending Colorado State University. She started her first conservation advocacy organization back in elementary school. After receiving a pin maker for Christmas, she recruited her friends to form a group to sell the pins, baked goods and branded pencils and donated the proceeds to national wildlife causes. In high school, she and a few close friends founded a school-wide organization to promote diversity, tolerance and inclusion long before most people were thinking about such issues. At the age of 6, she helped her grandmother raise an orphaned baby squirrel, and in 1998 she attained her wildlife rehabilitation certification.
Tanya is the President of the Friends of Machimoodus and Sunrise State Parks which she co-founded in 2016. In September of 2022, she was proud to be elected to the board of Friends of CT State Parks. Most recently she was appointed to serve on her town's Sustainability Team, a role which will allow her to share her knowledge and opinions about our natural resources and how to protect them. Additionally, she has been a DJ on WCNI Radio, a non-commercial listener-supported station in New London for the past 15 years, serving as the fundraising director from 2015 until this past March. When she’s not in a meeting, she likes to be outdoors with her husband, dogs, ducks and goats.
Diane Lentakis (She/Her)
Ready For 100 Lead
I am ready for 100.
Shawn Gregory (He/Him)
Shawn Gregory is a senior at Wilton High School in Wilton, CT. He 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, Shawn 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 his 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. Shawn has also founded his own organization, named "Rhysos," to increase environmental justice coverage in secondary school education.
As an ExCom board member, Shawn will support anti-PFAs legislation and advocate for the protection of underserved communities from further environmental devastation. He would also like to create a CT youth environmental network to bring together Connecticut youth in the fight for meaningful environmental change.
Brian Martin (He/Him)
Term: 2024 -2025
A resident of the city for the past 13 years, Brian Martin has a heart for Hartford. His passion stems from the fact that Hartford is nearly 18 square miles, and though replete with innumerable religious institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies, people and entire families continue to fall through the cracks. In his work as a motivational speaker and catalyst coach, Brian works with small groups and individuals to help people discover, uncover, or recover the winning narrative of their lives.
Currently, Brian is completing his undergraduate studies at Trinity College, and works on campus in the Career & Life Design Center as the Career Programming Intern. Additionally, through the local nonprofit, Hartford Communities That Care, Brian works at New Visions Alternative School as the Youth Empowerment Coach. And he serves as Community Organizer for the national nonprofit, Trust For Public Land.
Brian has always had a love for nature. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, he lamented the fact that he had limited access to the great outdoors. Summers were spent in North Carolina, where he could explore with abandon. And that’s what he wants for Hartford youth: The benefits of learning to recognize and appreciate the nature in their own neighborhoods and connecting them with programs that take them beyond the confines of the city.
Connecticut Chapter Staff
Samantha Dynowski (She/Her)
Samantha joined Sierra Club Connecticut as the State Director in August 2018. Samantha works alongside Sierra Club Connecticut's dedicated volunteers organizing activists to fight climate change, reduce pollution, protect wildlife, and eliminate threats to air, water and land. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Samantha was DIrector of Advocacy and Outreach at the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. She grew up in Wethersfield and West Hartford, and graduated from UCONN. She now lives with her family in West Hartford. When not advocating for a livable planet, Samantha can be found hiking, dancing, gardening, cooking and pursuing her best life.
Ready for 100 Organizer
Alycia D. Jenkins is an emerging scholar, a freelance teaching/performing artist, poet, writer, and activist. She is the Sierra Club CT's 'Ready for 100' campaign organizer. Alycia is a Trinity College graduate who currently resides in Hartford, Connecticut where she has lived for the past eleven and a half years. She is a proud African American feminist who believes in the power of liberation of Black and American Descendants of slavery families. Alycia advocates to change the world one city at a time by way of environmental justice.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Jhoni Ada joined the Sierra Club Connecticut as a Community Outreach Coordinator in May 2020. Jhoni works with Chapter staff and volunteers to promote chapter priorities. Jhoni also works in the city of Bridgeport with Green Village Initiative, teaching youth about urban agriculture, leadership, and action. Prior to this, Jhoni worked at UCONN as the Administrative Lead for the Digital Media and Design Department. She has done community organizing work in the South Bronx and approaches the ecological justice work she is doing in Bridgeport with rigor. When Jhoni isn't dreaming of innovative ways to empower communities, she is binge-watching Netflix series, trying new recipes, visiting new trails, and farming.