Amy Merli, Chair, grew up in a small town surrounded by nature in Connecticut and has been a proud vegetarian since 1997. Her love for animals and passionate for the environment has lead her to spearhead different art activism projects like, Trashion Fashion, which is an organization whose mission is to promote creative reuse in our society by challenging individuals to create wearable art with items diverted from the waste stream. Amy has been an environmental speaker at places such as Fashion Institute and Technology in NYC, Stamford Museum, Central Connecticut State University, Trinity College, and many k-12 schools throughout the east-coast. Amy has also worked as the Regional Sustainability Steward for Lush Cosmetics working with Lush stores throughout North America. She has had the privilege to assist in, develop, and implement projects to meet Lush's sustainability goals: such as water reduction/diversion, zero waste shops through composting, ethical buying, and energy reduction. She is a certified holistic health coach, professional dancer, and certified yoga instructor. Amy loves to attend her local farmers market and lives a minimal waste-free lifestyle while inspiring others to do the same.
Thomas J. Kehoe, Treasurer, was elected to two terms as Glastonbury’s State Representative (2006 and 2008), where he served on the Energy and Technology, Environment and Transportation Committees. In 2009, Kehoe was named an Environmental Champion by CTLCV for his advocacy for open space and farmland preservation and his leadership of the “Complete Streets” legislation. A resident of Glastonbury since 1987, Kehoe has also been very involved with local land conservation issues. He is past president of the Glastonbury Land Heritage Coalition Inc that works to preserve open space and farmland. Kehoe was also on the Board, and President, of the Great Meadows Conservation Trust which owns hundreds of acres along the Connecticut River in the towns of Glastonbury, Wethersfield, and Rocky Hill. An avid bicyclist, Kehoe was a founding member of Glastonbury Bikeways Inc., and led an effort to secure funding for a local multi-use trail. He was also on the Board of New England Public Radio. Kehoe was formerly general counsel for a business unit of ALSTOM Power Inc, in Windsor, CT. Prior to joining ALSTOM, Tom was general counsel for Electric Boat Corporation, in Groton, CT.
William A. Ruskin, Secretary, is the founder of the Law Office of William A. Ruskin. He has been practicing environmental law and toxic tort litigation for over 35 years. Ruskin has served on the board of the CTLCV Education Fund since 2002. In addition to his long-time service on the CTLCV Education Fund Board, Ruskin serves as a Board Member of the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, where he assists in educating stakeholders concerning mass transit, environmental justice and protection of the Long Island Sound. As a graduate of the Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences and Cornell Law School, Ruskin has consistently received an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell and obtained the Best Lawyers in America distinction in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action Defendants (2017). Ruskin was invited to join the International Association of Defense Counsel (“IADC”), where he was recently appointed Chair of the organizations Toxic & Hazardous Substances Litigation Committee. He has lectured and written widely on a broad spectrum of environmental and litigation topics, including for the Ruskin Litigation Blog.
Recent Alumni/Previous Directors
Wildaliz Bermudez is a long time Hartford resident and community activist. She founded and chaired the City of Hartford's first Green Action Team from 2009-2013, promoting workplace environmental stewardship. While working for the City of Hartford's Mayor’s Office, she assisted in developing sustainable policies which led to a Hartford Clean Energy Task Force. She was a Co-Host for Univision Spanish T.V. “El Show de Analeh- Cafe con Luis segment”, where she educated Latino viewers on public policies.
Wildaliz has a Masters Degree in Environmental Science Education from the Universidad Metropolitana in Puerto Rico and a Bachelor's Degree from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Having served on the Board of the CT Landmarks Society from 2011-2013, she assisted with event/outreach promoting historical preservation. Wildaliz is committed to teaching and encouraging urban communities to shape and foster more environmentally sustainable practices as part of everyday city living. She is presently a member of the Hartford City Council.
Julio A. Concepcion was born in Puerto Rico but moved to the Hartford Region when he was three years old, settling in the City of Hartford in 2005. From 2005-2007, Julio served as Community Liaison and Assistant to the Mayor of the City of Hartford where he focused on resolving constituent issues throughout Hartford. Currently, Julio serves as the Vice President of Hartford Partnerships for the MetroHartford Alliance, the City of Hartford’s Chamber of Commerce and the Hartford region’s economic development leader. In this capacity, Julio is the liaison between Alliance Investors and the City of Hartford, its elected and appointed officials, its departments and most importantly, its neighborhoods.
Julio also serves as Chairman of Hartford Crime Stoppers, was Chairman of the Young Professionals Taskforce, and is an active board member of the Hartford Community Loan Fund, Downtown Business Improvement District, Hartford Areas Rally Together, The Knox Foundation, and Hartford 2000.
In March of 2010, Julio was elected to serve in Hartford’s 5th District Town Committee and in 2011 he was chosen as the Grand Marshal of the Puerto Rican Day Parade and as a Hartford Business Journal “40 under Forty” winner.
Thomas Harrison is a resident of Avon and has been active in the environmental field since the first Earth Day in 1970. He is currently Chairman of the Avon Board of Finance and a member of the State Contracting Standards Board. Thomas is an Adjunct Instructor of Environmental Law at the University of Connecticut. He is a current Executive Committee member and Past Chairman of the Environmental Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association.
Thomas is a retired Partner of the Hartford-based law firm Day Pitney LLP. He was a Chairman and member of Board of Directors of the Connecticut Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association. Additionally, Thomas is a Former member of Board of Directors of the National Audubon Society in Connecticut, as well as a past member of the Connecticut Environmental Forum.
Thomas was a Chairman of the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality and a former member of the Avon Inland Wetlands Commission. He also was a Regional Counsel of the US Environmental Protection Agency in the Chicago Region. He formerly was the Chief of General Enforcement of the US Environmental Protection Agency, New York Region, as well as Former Assistant Attorney General, New York State Environmental Protection Bureau.
Timothy Bowles has long been active in the environmental movement. He is an advocate for comprehensive land use planning to avoid sprawl, preserve open space, and create viable alternative transportation options. Tim was appointed to the State Clean Energy Fund in 1999, has served as the Chair for the Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club, on the Preston Planning & Zoning Commission, and also on the Board of Directors for the People's Action for Clean Energy.
Tim has an M.A. in Child Welfare from Saint Joseph College and a B.A. in English from Windham College, Vermont. He has worked as a social worker for the Department of Children and Families, and later as a planning analyst. He has also worked as a legislative liaison for Connecticut's Office of Policy and Management in the Energy Division and as a Statewide Regional Planning Coordinator.
Alan Brewster served as Associate Dean for Management and Resources of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). In addition to administrative and financial management of the School, he also directed an executive training program on sustainable development for municipal officials in China. Prior to joining F&ES, he was the Senior Vice President of the World Resources Institute, a policy research center in Washington focused on the global issues of environment and sustainable development.
A graduate of Wesleyan University and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, Alan has also served in local public office in New Jersey as a school board member, Chairman of a local planning board, and City Council President.
Sharon E. Lewis is Director of the Hartford Citizens in Action, a grassroots organization dedicated to environmental justice and social issues. Previously, Sharon was the Lead Organizer and Special Projects Director for the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice in Hartford, CT and a teacher in the Hartford public school system for 6 years. She also has extensive experience in the reinsurance and insurance industry having spent 17 years in the industry specializing in self-insurance. Sharon is a member of the Capitol Region Council of Governments’ Environmental Justice Advisory Board and Women’s Voices for the Earth (Missoula, Montana) Board of Directors. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.
TJ Dubeansky moved to the Hartford region in 2010 in order to attend the University of Connecticut where he subsequently received his graduate education in Political Science and Survey Research. Prior to living in Connecticut, he grew up in Mentor, Ohio and lived in Chicago, Illinois where he studied at Northeastern Illinois University. He now works as a successful strategic analyst for North Central Connecticut’s Workforce Investment Board where he conducts industry and occupational analyses and strategizes how to connect employers to employees in the region.
The environment has always been at the top of his radar and he now, as a board member of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, seeks to engage all members of society to better educate them on environmental topics and bring them together around key sustainability issues. He also belongs to Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (HYPE) where he has volunteered on their Civic Engagement Committee for the past two years. He is always looking to meet like-minded individuals who seek to create an economically competitive and environmentally sustainable place for us all to live.
Russell Brennemanis an environmental lawyer who has been involved in land conservation and environmental issues in Connecticut for more than thirty years. He helped organize several of the earliest community land trusts, drafted the legislation enabling conservation easements in this state and chaired the Connecticut Greenways Committee that was the precursor of the Greenways Council.
A co-founder and former chair of CTLCV and the CTLCV Education Fund, Russ also serves as vice-president of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, a 100-year-old forest and open space advocacy organization, serves on the board of the Conservation Law Foundation of New England, is a director of Environment and Human Health, and is an elected member of the International Council on Environmental Law. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Brenneman is of counsel to the Hartford and New Haven law firm, Murtha, Cullina, Richter and Pinney, where he founded its environmental practice group. He was one of the organizers of what is now the Environmental Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. In prior years he has served as president of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority and as chair of the Connecticut Energy Advisory Board. He is a member of the adjunct faculty of Trinity College, Hartford, and for a number of years taught environmental law at the University of Connecticut School of Law.
Judy Harper is a founder and former Director of the Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury since 1993. She supervises the teaching staff and the administration of this regional nature center as well as planning and running the Adult and Family Programs, coordinating and recruiting volunteers, overseeing all special events and fundraisers, and providing all publicity and marketing. Currently Connecticut Audubon Center at Glastonbury touches 20,000 people annually with its environmental education activities. Judy joined the Glastonbury Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency and Conservation Commission in 1988 and has been Chairman since 1996. She is currently secretary to the Great Pond Preserve Stewardship Committee and Glastonbury Community Council. Judy serves on the Board of American Public Information on the Environment. Judy has lived in Glastonbury all her adult life and has been an active volunteer throughout, serving on the Commission on Aging and the Board of Education. She received the Governor’s Award for Drug Use Prevention, Glastonbury’s FOGY (Friends of Glastonbury Youth) Award for her volunteer work with the town’s children, and the Thank You Award from the Connecticut Valley Girl Scout Council for years of troop leadership and camp certification workshops.
Joseph McGee is Vice President, Public Policy and Programs for The Business Council of Fairfield County. Joe has worked extensively with the business community, civic organizations and government officials in the areas of economic development, transportation, housing, energy conservation, environment and tax and fiscal policy. Before joining The Business Council of Fairfield County, Joe was Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic Development, Chairman of the Connecticut Development Authority and Chairman of Connecticut Innovations, Inc. from 1990-1994, and Vice President at People’s Bank between 1979 and 1990. Prior to joining People’s Bank, he served as Staff Director for Congressman Stewart McKinney, from 1971 to 1978.
John Millington is Counselor to the Chairman and President on the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Millington has worked for Time, Inc. as assistant to the President and also as Managing Director of the International Book Division, as President, Life Circulation Company, and as Circulation Director, Sports Illustrated. He was a co-investor and Managing Director of Bangkok World Newspaper, Ball Communications and Atlas Communications as President and Publisher. Mr. Millington is President of the Steep Rock Land Trust, a Trustee of the Washington (Conn.) Housing Trust, former Director of the Council on Environmental Quality, and serves on the board of Connecticut Fund for the Environment.
Tom Swarr, served as Chair of the CTLCV Education Fund from 2011-2014. Tom is an independent consultant specializing in design for environment and safety, life cycle management of industrial product systems, and community- based strategies for sustainable development. He is the program manager for an initiative co- sponsored by the UNEP and the Society on Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry to build the capacity of global supply chains to implement sustainable business practices.
Tom retired from United Technologies with nearly 30 years of experience in advanced materials and manufacturing processes, product design and development and business development while at International Fuel Cells. Tom holds a B.S and M.S. in Material Science and Metallurgical Engineering from Lehigh University, a M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a PhD in Organization and Management from Capella University. He is a founding board member of the CT Partnership for Sustainability Education, Inc. and serves on the Advisory Commission on the Environment for the City of Hartford.
Holt Thrasher manages Mooreland Partners, a communication industry consulting organization. He is a former Partner of Broadview Holdings, a global information technology merger & acquisition advisory and investment firm. Prior to this, he was a consultant with Omnipoint, a PCS service provider and developer of wireless communications equipment. Earlier, Holt was a Vice President at Smith Barney, Harris, Upham & Co. and an associate with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.. He serves on the boards of T-NETIX (NASDAQ: TNTX), the Kairos Foundation (as Co-President of this non-profit communications training organization), Audubon Connecticut (as Chairman of this operating Board of the National Audubon Society) and serves on the advisory board of Jefferson Partners Capital a venture capital firm. Holt holds an MBA degree from the International Institute of Management Development in Switzerland and a BA degree from Colby College.