ExCom Meetings

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

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Susan Eastwood
Chapter Chair

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
Vice Chair

 

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.

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Lori Fernand

Membership Chair and ExComm Member

 

As you know, unprecedented change is underway. The existence of our species, and the millions more with which we share this planet, rests on how we respond to the challenges we face today. The arrival of my first grandchild has only underscored this fragility and the limited time within which we must act. This is why I am proud to be a part of the Sierra Club.

I currently serve as a Special Assistant to Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and have had the great fortune to work alongside other trailblazers including the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize and an Academy Award winning documentarian. I also serve as Secretary to the Simsbury Democratic Town Committee and as a facilitator with the Alternatives to Violence Project at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Facility. My greatest joy is joining with other people to do remarkable things in support of the common good-whether that be with a small group of friends or a community of thousands.

My hope is that a hundred years from now, people will look back at this time with awe. They will see a humanity that united together in recognition of our common fate. They will see a people who understood that existence on this planet required all of us to act together. They will herald organizations such as the Sierra Club for their advocacy, vision, and guts in tackling the solvable problems we face. They will celebrate how lucky they are to live on this wonderous planet and commit to making that possible for future generations.

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Jeff Gross
ExComm Member

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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Arthur Helmus
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.  

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Roxanne Lapierre
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.

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Kate Trinkaus
ExComm Member

Kate Trinkaus recently graduated with her Masters in Physics from the University of St Andrews. She is very dedicated to working to reverse the climate crisis – in fact, she decided to pursue a physics degree so she could improve the performance and accessibility of renewable energy technologies! She decided to take a gap year before beginning a doctoral degree to assist with and learn more about implementing climate solutions in the real world and to work towards making a larger impact on the climate crisis beyond academic research alone. As part of Sierra Club Connecticut, she has co-organized and managed outreach for events and is co-leading an air quality study. She is also on the Communications team. Kate is very grateful for the opportunity to join the Executive Committee and assist with Sierra Club’s mission of protecting our planet’s future. 

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Adam Wood
ExComm Member

Adam Wood served on Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s transition committee. He has worked in the past as Chief of Staff of the New York State Thruway Authority (overseeing the country’s largest public infrastructure project – construction of the new Tappan Zee “Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge”) and of the City of Bridgeport. He has also worked as Director of the State Democratic Party, State Senate spokesman and senior advisor, strategist and campaign manager for numerous statewide campaigns including Governor Ned Lamont and nationally targeted congressional candidates. 

Adam has a passion for the environment and clean, renewable energy. He has been a Sierra Club member and supporter for many years and also serves on the board of the League of Conservation Voters. He has over 20 years of experience in conducting successful media advocacy campaigns working for clients such as the Pew Charitable Trusts, TESLA and Anbaric Wind.  

He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Haverford College and an MBA from the State University of New York at Albany. 

Diane Crawford
Chapter Treasurer

 

I am the Connecticut Chapter's treasurer.  

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Dennis Desmarais
Dennis Desmarais
Communications Chair
ExComm Member

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.

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Stephen Lewis
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.”

 

Martha Klein
Martha Klein

Chair of the Nominating Committee, Lead Volunteer of the Beyond Gas Campaign and the Scantic River Partnership, and a member of the Communications Committee

 

Martha previously served as Chapter Chair. Her focus is opposing the shale gas expansion plan in Connecticut, which continues to foster the construction of unneeded power plants, expansion of pipelines, and the conversion of unwitting consumers to climate destroying methane for residential use. Martha is engaged in a new conservation project to investigate threats to water in the state. Climate disruption is her driving concern. 

Martha's background is as a public health nurse, and she serves as chair of her town's Conservation Commission. 

Diane Lentakis
Diane Lentakis
Ready For 100 Lead 

I am ready for 100.

Susan Petit
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.

  

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Marci Wilkins
Chapter Conservation Chair  

 

I conserve.

Connecticut Chapter Staff

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Samantha Dynowski
State Director

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. 

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Alycia Jenkins
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.

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Jhoni Ada
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. 

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Ann Gadwah

Advocacy & Outreach Organizer

Ann Gadwah is a passionate environmental activist and the current chair of 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 work 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 the chair of 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, cooking, a good book, and a walk in the woods.