Steering Committee

The business of the Network shall be managed by a Steering Committee consisting of 18 members. Steering Committee members may serve for a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms. In any given year, one-third of the Steering Committee members shall be approved by acclamation at the Annual Meeting except when vacancies may require more than one-third be approved. Individual Steering Committee members shall be selected to represent the following groups: state government, regional planning organizations, municipal government, public utilities, nonprofit non-governmental organizations, academia, private businesses, and 11 members-at-large. View past steering committee members here.

View the subcommittee members.

Executive Committee


Kavon Harris


Vice President

Thad Dymkowski

Town of South Windsor



Zachary Giron


Committee Members

Municipal rep David Anton
Private Sarah Morse
Member At large Aaron Nash
Member At large Zach Giron
Member At large Nick McNamara
Member At large Ashley Benitez
Education Kurt Schlichting
Non Profit
State Rep Kavon Harris
Member At large Nadia Ahmad
Member At large Thad Dymkowski
Regional Mike Towle
Member At large David Cook
Member At large Rich Gallacher
Member At large Rebecca Talamini
Member At large Matt Deal
Member At Large Jennifer Petrario


David Cook – FANDO

David is a graduate of Eastern CT State University and lifelong CT native- I took all of the GIS courses with Dr. Roy Wilson (prior to Dr. Meredith Metcalf’s arrival at ECSU). For seven years I have worked at Fuss & O’Neill as a hydrogeologist and have been involved in many projects throughout the state involving remediation, permitting, transportation, and natural resource studies/investigations. My GIS duties for the company include administration/publishing/developing content on our Enterprise Server and our AGO organization portals, training and onboarding for GIS users across the company, and have been an advocate for electronic data collection by suggesting keystone hardware and software installments.

Rich Gallacher – Town of Manchester

Rich Gallacher is the GIS Coordinator for the Town of Manchester and has worked as a GIS manger and technician for the Town of Groton and the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) in Hartford. Rich earned his Master’s in Applied Geography from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas and worked in Austin for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Zachary Giron – CT DOT

Zach received his M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of New Haven. He is currently a Transportation Planner at the Connecticut Department of Transportation within the Environmental Planning Department. Previously, Zach worked at the CT Metropolitan Council of Governments where he undertook many GIS related tasks/projects including updating and maintaining parcel datasets for the six municipalities within the MetroCOG region, developing methodology for MS4 mapping, and creating 3D scenarios utilizing ArcGIS Urban.

Jennifer Petrario – Mohegan Tribe

Jenny is the GIS Analyst for the Mohegan Tribe. Jenny received her BS from Eastern Connecticut State University in Environmental Earth Science with a Concentration in Sustainable Energy and a minor in GIS. Jenny then continued onto her MS from University of Rhode Island in Environmental Earth Science and Management with a concentration in Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis. She is currently building and maintaining the geospatial data for the Mohegan Tribe.

Rebecca Davis – App Geo

Rebecca has been working at AppGeo for four years. Prior to joining AppGeo I was a student at Westfield State University, graduated in 2015 with my BS in Environmental Science and BS in Geography and Regional Planning with  a minor in GIS and applied geography. I started off as a GIS analyst intern at AppGeo, hired 9 months after starting the internship as an analyst and I am now a project manager. I work with about 20 different municipalities, mostly in Connecticut but some in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well. I also work on large state agency projects focusing on transportation, HPMS and mapping out state ROW.

Mike Towle – WESTCOG

Mike is the Deputy Director at Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WestCOG) and has a passion for modernizing municipal processes, reducing to reduce workloads, automation, and data standards. He received a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and a M.S. in Geography from Clark University.

Ashley G. Benitez Ou – UConn

Ashley G. Benitez Ou is a Geography Ph.D. Student at the University of Connecticut. She received a BS in Natural Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico-Cayey, where she also worked as research assistant at the Environmental Cartography Lab. Her current research focuses on urban planning, climate resilience and adaptation, and environmental justice. In addition to her studies, she works as an Environmental Analyst 2 for Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Office of Climate Planning. She loves cartography, photography, and languages!

Sarah Morse – Tighe & Bond

Sarah graduated Westfield State University and received her BS degree in both Environmental Science and Regional Planning with GIS and Applied Geography minors. She previously worked at Springfield Water & Sewer and has been at Tighe & Bond for 7 years. Sarah has a strong background in water, sewer, stormwater, and energy utility mapping. She also has worked on a variety of transportation, solar, environmental and municipal projects throughout her time at Tighe & Bond.

Nick McNamara – UConn

Nick is the GIS/CAD Administrator for UCONN Telecommunications. Prior, he was the IT Manager at South Norwalk Electric and Water for 1.5 years, and the GIS Coordinator for 11.5 years. He has worked in a GIS software startup (Trade Area Systems), and for Osmose on an Eversource project. He has a MA in Geography from UCONN, a BA in Geography and English from UCONN and is currently working on a Master’s in Management of Technology at Fairfield University. He earned his GISP in 2012.

Aaron Nash – UConn

Aaron is the GIS Project Manager for the Connecticut Transportation Research Safety Center (CTSRC). Prior to working at CTSRC, he served the public sector for over 12 years working as the GIS Project Leader for the Department of Public Works in the City of Hartford, and as the GIS Coordinator for the Town of Vernon. Aaron has earned his graduate degree in Geography from Central Connecticut State University focusing on GIS and Urban Planning, his bachelors from the University of Connecticut in Political Science, and was GISP certified in 2010.

Nadia Ahmad – Yale

Nadia Ahmad is a PhD student at the Yale School of the Environment and an associate professor of law at Barry University. She is the Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Environmental Justice Task Force and an ABA Observer to COP 28.

Kavon Harris – CTDOT

Kavon is a resolute and well-rounded professional who served as a U.S. Army veteran. With eight years of firsthand experience as a data analyst, he has produced creditable, written, and oral reports to aid in the planning process for the Department of Defense and Military decision-makers. The individual is passionate about geospatial integrated systems (GIS) and software development, with an ability to computationally think and work with multiple programming languages. Currently, the individual holds the position of Transportation Planner at the State of Connecticut’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and is a volunteer youth basketball coach. Additionally, he is seeking to earn an international certification in data management while earning a B.S. in Computer Technology.