Our Staff

Executive Staff

FrancisFrancis Pickering – Executive Director

Francis directs WestCOG’s staff and represents the region to partners, including state and federal agencies. Prior to joining WestCOG, he served as Deputy Director at the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency (CCRPA). Under his leadership, CCRPA worked to improve transportation and integrate of multimodal transportation into community planning. These efforts won CCAPA’s Innovative Plan of the Year in 2013 and NADO’s Innovation Award in 2014. Francis is also active in the development of major regional transportation initiatives and serves on the  Connecticut Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board. Francis holds an M.A. in Environmental Management from the Free University of Berlin (Germany) in addition to a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. in Geography from the University of Connecticut.


Administrative Staff

Patricia Payne – Finance Director

Patty serves as WestCOG’s Finance Director and is responsible for financial reporting, grant tracking and compliance, audit preparation, record keeping, and financial analysis. Patty has a degree in business along with over 25 years of experience in bookkeeping, office management, grant tracking, purchasing, and HR responsibilities.

JoJosephine Harvey – Financial Manager

Jo’s responsibilities include payroll, grant funding, employee benefits, and office management. She started working for HVCEO 25 years ago as the Financial Manager. Jo also worked in a financial capacity for the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA) and Housatonic Valley Economic Development Partnership (HVEDP). She worked for CPAs and Comptrollers for 20 years in Texas, Florida, and Connecticut. Jo has an Executive Degree in Business from Berkley College in White Plains, NY.

img_1077Nicole Sullivan – Communications Assistant

Nicole supports the Planning staff on administrative, legislative, and transportation projects. She also assists with communications. Prior to joining WestCOG, Nicole worked at Joseph Merritt & Company, where she archived confidential cases on behalf of the State of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families. Nicole graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut in Storrs and studied abroad in Ireland at University College Dublin.


 

Planning & Analytics Staff

CarlCarl L. Zimmerman, PhD – Senior GIS Manager

Carl manages the Data Analytics and GIS group for WestCOG and is involved in state-level GIS and data planning issues. His professional practice areas include transportation data and analysis; environmental planning; site planning and engineering, and water resource issues such as MS4 and Impervious Cover. He has over 15 years experience in geospatial technologies and planning while working in consulting, academia (e.g. Tufts and Coast Guard Academy), and state government (CT DEEP, Inland Wetlands Section). He has a PhD in Geomatics from the University of Connecticut, a MLA from Kansas State University, and a B.S. in Geologic Sciences from the University of Michigan.

img_1080Michael Towle – Planner

Mike oversees the environmental and hazard mitigation planning efforts. He works with municipalities and various environmental organizations on matters of land, water, and energy sustainability. Additionally, Mike provides support in GIS and data analytics. He received a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and a M.S. in GIS for Development and the Environment from Clark University.

Jamie Bastian – Associate Planner

Jamie assists the planning staff on transportation projects, including the regional freight plan. Jamie has worked in natural resource management for the Town of Old Lyme, CT, the US National Park Service, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. He received a B.A. in the Environment from the University of Michigan.

LizElizabeth Esposito – Associate Planner

Liz works on economic and community development, as well as online content for WestCOG. Prior to joining WestCOG, she worked at the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency, completing projects in food access and security, hazard resiliency, and educational opportunity. She also managed an award-winning Main Street Program in St. Helens, OR, and worked as an Assistant Planner for the Village of Port Chester, NY. Liz graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy. She also has a Graduate Certificate in GIS from the University of Connecticut.

Kristin Floberg – Associate Planner

Kristin assists both the Transportation and GIS staff on projects, including the regional snow removal optimization. She graduated with a M.S. in Transportation and Urban Engineering as well as a B.S in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining WestCOG, she worked as a Junior Planner at Fitzgerald & Halliday and as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Connecticut. She is passionate about the relationship between the built urban fabric and its effects on walkability.

Kristin Hadjastylianos – Associate Planner

Kristin assists with transportation planning services at WestCOG, including management of corridor studies and development of the region’s Long-Range Transportation Plan. Prior to joining WestCOG, she worked in transportation planning at AECOM and the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency assisting with road safety audits, transit and rail studies, and data analysis. Kristin graduated with a B.A. in Geography with a specialization in Planning from Central Connecticut State University.

William Kenny – Associate Planner

Will assists the Planning staff with a variety of tasks related to public health, including the Tick Illness and Drug Task Forces as well as emergency management. Before joining WestCOG, Will worked in politics, with people who are homeless, as well as on projects to tackle issues related to food accessibility. He earned his B.S. in Public Health Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a focus on health equity and economics.

Ariana  Vera– Associate Planner

Ariana supports transportation planning services at WestCOG. Prior to joining WestCOG, she worked in the insurance industry and in human resources. She also managed routing and schedules for a paving company and as a Product Specialist. She graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from Princeton University.


Summer Interns

Eli Egan-Anderson – Planning/GIS Intern

Eli assists the GIS staff with the expansion of the regional FEMA Community Rating System (CRS) and assisting towns with enrollment in the program. He is also working on development and implementation of a regional Natural Floodplain Functions Plan. He is currently enrolled in a M.A. in Geography at the University of Connecticut and graduated Cornell University with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

 

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