Board of Directors
President, CTBLB, Executive Director, NVCOG
Rick Dunne, President of the Connecticut Brownfield Land Bank, is also the Executive Director of the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments where he oversees administration of regional policy and planning, brownfields redevelopment, and shared municipal services. Rick is Co-Director of the Greater Bridgeport/Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Connecticut Association of Councils of Governments, the lead advocate for regional solutions to municipal issues in Connecticut. Rick also spent a decade as the director of development and administration for the City of Derby, CT, and previously worked as a Policy Director for the Connecticut General Assembly’s Connecticut Institute of Municipal Studies where he supervised policy development and drafted legislation on a variety of issues.
Founder and first President of the CT Brownfield Land Bank; worked with municipalities and private developers to remediate and repurpose contaminated sites throughout the State. Drafted successful applications for more than $25,000, 000 in federal, state and foundation funding for brownfield cleanup. Recipient of numerous awards and recognitions.
Erin Howard, CTBLB Vice President
City of Hartford Economic Development
Erin Howard joined the City of Hartford in March of 2019. Previously she worked for the City of Torrington for five years as their Director of Economic Development. Prior to focusing her career on Economic Development, she has a strong background in planning having worked for the Town of Windsor, City of Middletown and Town of Ellington along with a few years in the private sector at Milone and MacBroom, Inc. Ms. Howard graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double major in Political Science and Economics. From there she attended the University of Massachusetts and obtained her Master’s Degree in Regional Planning with a focus on economic development. In 2012, Ms. Howard received her AICP certification from the American Planning Association. She is a member of the Connecticut Planners Association and sits on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Economic Developers Association (CEDAS).
Thomas Hyde, MBA, CTBLB Treasurer
CEO, Naugatuck Valley Regional Development Corporation
Thomas (“Tommy”) has been the CEO of the Naugatuck Valley Regional Development Corporation (NVRDC) since October 2020. As head of NVRDC, he has focused on attracting new developments and businesses to the region including a large scale, first-mile distribution center for Amazon. In addition to this role, Tommy also serves as the Interim Director of the Waterbury Development Corporation (WDC), a quasi-public entity that oversees the City of Waterbury’s construction and project management, loan portfolio, grant writing, and blight & housing relocation services. Prior to that, Tommy worked as Director of Government Affairs and Special Projects at the State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Tommy has held several high-level governmental and political positions throughout his career including State Director of Connecticut during the 2016 presidential campaign and Special Assistant to Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Tommy received his undergraduate degree in political science from Trinity College and his MBA from UCONN School of Business.
Roy E. Cavanaugh, P.E., CTBLB Secretary
City Engineer, Waterbury
Roy E. Cavanaugh, P.E., is currently the City Engineer for Waterbury, CT after serving as the Director of Public Works for Watertown for 18 years. Prior to that he was a Project Manager for civil and environmental consulting engineer firms responsible for projects throughout the Northeast. Mr. Cavanaugh has a BS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut and an MS Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of New Haven. He was a long serving chairperson with the Regional Brownfields Partnership and is currently the President of the Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut.
Kevin T. Taylor, Assoc. AIA
Executive Director, NEST
Born and raised in Waterbury, Connecticut, Kevin T. Taylor, a graduate of Hampton University, is the Executive Director of NEST, formerly known as the Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury, Inc. (NHSW), where he serves as public spokesperson for the organization, directs all aspects of the organization, accountable for strategic planning, human resources, finance management, fundraising, management leadership, and policy-making (in joint effort with Board of Directors), and turning “neighborhood of circumstances” into “neighborhood of choices”. In addition, Kevin Taylor founded ., an architectural design practice focused on modern design and urban planning with a focus on sustainability. His deeply held belief is that design excellence must serve a greater purpose and enrich the lives of all by way of experience and interaction with architecture and space.
Nefeli Bompoti, PhD
Assistant Professor, UMass Dartmouth
Dr. is an Assistant Professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She is an expert in environmental remediation with recent work focusing on environmental policy for building community resilience against environmental contamination. She received a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Connecticut, a M.Sc. in water resources science and technology and a Diploma in civil engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece.
Randi Mendes, PhD
Program Manager, UConn Technical Assistance to Brownfields
Randi Mendes has a B.S. in Ecological Engineering from Oregon State University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Connecticut (UConn). She has been a part of the University of Connecticut Technical Assistance to Brownfields team since 2021 where she was a postdoc, community liaison, and a project manager. Currently, Randi is Program Manager for the UConn TAB program helping to support New England communities with their brownfield needs. Her specialties include brownfields technical support, grant assistance, community engagement, and environmental justice.
Ronald J. Pugliese
President/CEO Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation
President/CEO Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation (2013-present)
Graduate of Western Connecticut State University (1974)
A former Teacher, was President of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association 1991-1994 Joined Household Financial Group in 1994, as a Lobbyist for all New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Minnesota, and Michigan. Senior Vice President and Group Leader with several Lobbyists in my Group. HSBC bought out Household in 2009 when HSBC stopped all State Government Lobbyists. I was President of the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce from 2010-2011.
Elizabeth Stocker, AICP
Land Use Planner & Business Development Consultant
Elizabeth Stocker, AICP is a certified land use planner and business development consultant. Ms. Stocker has a long career in municipal work including the Town of Newtown for 24 years filling multiple positions in urban planning, grant writing, project management and economic development. She also worked for the Town of Hamden, the City of Norwalk and the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency. Ms. Stocker currently serves as a director for the Housatonic Industrial Development Corporation and is an active member of the Connecticut Economic Development Association and the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association.
First Selectwoman, Seymour
Annmarie Drugonis currently serves as the First Selectwoman of Seymour, earning an appointment to the position in 2020 after serving on the Board of Selectpersons for more than a decade. Subsequently, she was elected in 2021. Annmarie holds a bachelor of science in environmental management from Columbia Southern University. Annmarie is an executive vice president and environmental engineer at Facility Support Services, where she oversees environmental enforcement and policies. Possessing extensive municipal experience, she formerly served on Seymour’s Water Pollution Control Authority and as chair of the Board of Public Works.
Director of Economic Development, Berlin
Chris Edge is the Director of Economic Development for the Town of Berlin, Connecticut. He has been with the Town of Berlin since January 2015. Previously, he served as a Job Developer for the ARC of the Farmington Valley, the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of New Britain and as a commercial real estate agent. Chris has been a foster parent through Klingberg Family Centers in New Britain for almost 19 years, adopting a son in 2019. He brings a 20-year history of success in business development in the private, public and non-profit sectors.
Rista Malanca, AICP
Rista Malanca, AICP has over 15 years of Municipal Experience. Rista has also worked as the Zoning and Wetlands Enforcement Officer in more rural Towns such as New Hartford & , providing experience working with a variety of property owners, development teams and State/Federal partners to transform these properties into Community assets. Rista has a passion for walkable communities and serves as the Co-Chair of the Naugatuck River Greenway Steering Committee and Vice Chair of the CT Greenways Council.