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


Mike Towle

Western Connecticut Council of Governments

Past President

Thad Dymkowski

Town of South Windsor

Vice President

Elizabeth Congo

Tighe & Bond


Richard Crowther

Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments

Committee Members


Richard Crowther Secretary Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
Mark Hoover Member at Large Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments
Non-profit Organization Representative
Jessica Mercier Member at Large City of Hartford
Jennifer Gauthier State Government Representative
Utility Representative Vacant
Mike Towle President Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WestCog)
Education Vacant
Elizabeth Congo Vice President Tighe & Bond
David Cook Member-at-large Fuss & O’Neill
Kevin Dunkin Member-at-large Town of Newtown
Thad Dymkowski Past Town of South Windsor
Rebecca Talamini Member-at-large AppGeo
Kristen Ponak Member-at-large Jacobs Engineering
Jennifer Petrario Member-at-large CTDOT
Zachary Giron Member-at-large CTDOT
Megan McGaffin Member-at-large Malone and MacBroom
Rich Gallacher Member-at-large Town of Manchester


David Cook

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.

Elizabeth Congo

Tighe & Bond

Liz is a Project Manager for all of Tighe & Bond’s CT-based GIS clients. She has completed work for a wide range of private and municipal clients throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions throughout her 9 years in the private sector. Liz is a graduate of Westfield State University where she received a BS in Regional Planning and GIS.

Rich Crowther


Rich has always been a lover of maps and dreamed of being a cartographer one day. He turned towards GIS after taking an intro course at CCSU and earned a bachelor’s in history and geography. In 2015, he earned his master’s degree in Geographic Information Sciences and Technologies from the University of Southern California. While he was living in California, he worked for the City of Los Angeles to enhance waste collection routes to reduce vehicle emissions. For the last three years, Rich has been the GIS Analyst for NVCOG and works on web apps, story maps, and expanding the use of GIS technologies within the region


Kevin Dunkin

Kevin has been the IT\GIS Specialist for the Town of Newtown now for over 2 years. Kevin holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology and minor in Environmental Studies and Communications from Fairfield University. He was initially introduced to GIS through his statistical analysis research with his professor at Fairfield in 2014 where he provided support in the advocacy of local non-profit initiatives for legislative reform. His passion for both people and the natural world has led him to continue exploring the relationship between the two with the use of GIS for over 5 years now. Since Fairfield, he has worked directly with municipal GIS systems in the cities of Bridgeport and Norwalk. He has worked extensively on planning, police\dispatch, public works, and IT projects and looks forward to returning to the steering committee in his second consecutive term.


Thad Dymkowski

Town of South Windsor

Thad Dymkowski is a certified GIS professional working for the Town of South Windsor with experience successfully completing GIS projects for a multitude of organizations in government, private sector, and academia. He has comprehensive knowledge of data creation and analysis, GIS server management, application design, database administration, web mapping, and 3D digital model creation. He earned Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Geography from CCSU. He developed an original curriculum for a GIS certificate program and is currently teaching it at Central Connecticut State University for its seventh successful year. He is a founding member and facilitator of the annual GIS Day Event for State of Connecticut. He currently serves as the treasurer for the New England chapter of URISA and is a past President of the Connecticut GIS  User to User Steering Committee.

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-

Connecticut Department of Transportation

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.

Mark Hoover

Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments

Mark have been a GIS professional for the past 9 years.  Currently, he is a GIS Analyst with the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments where he works on a variety of transportation, conservation and municipal projects.  Before that he was involved in academia, first as a Research Specialist with CLEAR, where he modeled salt marsh migration from sea level rise and then as a Research Associate at Yale where he worked on modeling CO2 evasion from streams.  Mark graduated from UConn with a BS in Environmental Science and a MS in Natural Resources.


Jessica Mercier

City of Hartford

Jessica is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University and has been working within the field of GIS for the past 8 years. I first worked at NEGEO which primarily focused on Parcel mapping / Trails and Enterprise Server. Most recent years have been spent at BETA Group as a GIS/Asset Mng Specialist focused on MS4 Stormwater, ADA Inspections, and Pavement Management/CIP. My current position is with the City of Hartford as their GIS Project Leader for the Dept of Public Works. Duties for the City include publishing and developing content on our Enterprise Server / AGO organization portals, and maintaining all DPW datasets


Jenny Petrario

Jenny is the GIS Analyst for the Town of East Hartford. 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 environment for East Hartford working in planning, public works, IT, and more.


Kristen Ponak

Jacobs Engineering

Kristen Ponak is a GIS Professional (GISP) and GIS Solution Architect at Jacobs Engineering. She’s earned nearly a decade of experience in GIS design/analysis, Web-GIS deployment, mobile application development and 3D visualization for various environmental, water resources, ecological and geotechnical projects all over the northeast states at GEI Consultants.  She graduated from the University of Connecticut, with a bachelor’s degree in GIS and Web-Technology.  To round out her education, Kristen’s Master’s Degree from Central CT State University is in Ecology and Environmental Science.  Kristen stepped into the consulting world after she was a GIS Technician for Northwest Conservation District, Candlewood Lake Authority, and a Resource Assistant for CT DEEP Wildlife.

Rebecca Talamini

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

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.