Central Connecticut Regional Planning AgencyCT

Staff biographies

Carl J. Stephani
Executive Director

Carl has over thirty years of planning and management experience, having served as a county planning director, town manager, county commissioner, and city councilman before coming to CCRPA. He has a B.A. from the University of California-Berkeley and an M.A. in Regional Planning from Syracuse University. Carl is a successful grant writer, an experienced public speaker, and has given presentations on planning and zoning at a wide range of venues. Carl has been responsible for establishing and managing dozens of successful effective citizens’ committees.

Cheri Bouchard-Duquette
Office and Financial Manager

Cheri has over twenty-five years of experience in the accounting and Administrative Assistant fields. She is responsible for all bookkeeping functions, accounts receivable, accounts payable, grant funding management, cash management, employee benefits, payroll, quarterly payroll taxes, and yearend work. Cheri works closely as liaison between the Agency and its auditor. She handles the administrative functions of the Agency including preparation and distribution of the monthly meeting packages along with minutes for the meetings. She is married and resides with her husband and daughter in Bristol.

Francis R. Pickering
Deputy Director

Francis was born in Willimantic and raised in Storrs. A fluent German speaker, he earned an M.A. in Environmental Management from the Free University of Berlin, an M.A. in Geography from the University of Connecticut, and a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Connecticut. Prior to that, he was awarded a yearlong DAAD Graduate Fellowship and an A.B. from Princeton University in German and Politics. Francis is responsible for the Long-Range Transportation Plan, Unified Planning Work Program, and regional Plan of Conservation and Development; he also leads up special projects. Francis represents the region at the Environmental Review Team; King’s Mark Resource Conservation and Development Project, Inc.; New England National Scenic Trail Stewardship Council; and the Regional Brownfields Partnership. In his free time, Francis loves to mountain bike, travel, and tell corny jokes.

Timothy Malone
Senior Planner & Economic Development Program Manager

Timothy was born and raised in Burien, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. He attended the University of Washington where he received a B.A. in Geography. Tim subsequently completed an M.A. in Regional Planning at the State University of New York-Albany. While in school he completed two internships. One was for the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal, studying green building standards. The other was for the Hudson River Valley Greenway, creating a resource guide for scenic byway planning. He helped present the results of the latter at the 2010 Upstate New York American Planning Association conference. In his spare time he enjoys bike riding and photography.

Kristin Thomas
Associate Planner

Kristin received a in B.S. Natural Resources and Recreation Management from the University of Vermont and an M.A. in Land Planning and Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design. She has a passion for sustainability planning and design and creating solutions that integrate human needs, such as transportation, energy, and food systems, with ecological functions and processes. At CCRPA, Kristin works on Land Use Referrals, Emergency Management, Open Space Preservation Projects, and various transportation-related projects. In her free time, Kristin can be found working on freelance design projects, snowboarding, running, gardening, and cooking.

Abigail St. Peter
Associate Planner

Abigail was born and raised in Canton, Connecticut. She attended the University of Connecticut where she received a B.A. in Urban and Community Studies. Abby subsequently completed the Master of City and Regional Planning program at the Ohio State University. While in school she completed various internships. One was for the Cape Town Community Housing Company in Cape Town, South Africa where she worked as a community development intern. The other was as a research assistant where Abby assisted with work surrounding racial justice and equity as it pertains to land use regulations and transportation. At CCRPA Abby works on the ADA Paratransit Service and other transportation-related projects. In her free time, Abby enjoys running, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Jason Zheng
Associate Planner

Jason graduated from the University of Connecticut with a M.S. in Transportation and Urban Engineering, B.S. in Civil Engineering, and minor in landscape architecture. While a graduate student, his research focused on the relationship between transportation, economic growth, land use patterns, and sustainability. Jason has presented his research at numerous regional conferences, and his work has been published by the Transportation Research Board. His duties at CCRPA include managing the Transportation Committee, Transportation Improvement Program, FHWA (STP Urban Program, STP and Transit Enhancement Program, Bridge on/off system, FTA (section 53xx), and local funding programs, as well as conducting traffic, intersection, and pedestrian/cyclist counts and analyses. In his free time, Jason enjoys playing with dirt and cooking. (Not at the same time!)

Amanda Ryan
Assistant Planner

Amanda grew up in Burlington, Connecticut. She attended the United States Coast Guard Academy where she received a B.S. in Marine and Environmental Science. Upon graduating she served as a Coast Guard junior officer for 5 years living in Newport, Rhode Island and Portsmouth, Virginia. Deciding to change careers, she left the Coast Guard and attended the University of Rhode Island and earned an M.S. in Environmental Science and Management. During her time in Rhode Island she worked on projects examining climate change adaptation in New England, watershed management, and impervious surface mapping. Amanda enjoys hiking, making things from scratch, and traveling whenever possible.

Elizabeth Esposito
Regional Planner

Elizabeth grew up in Killingworth, Connecticut. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Smith College. While in school, she completed various geography and planning projects including a study on access to goods and services from bus routes in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and a Coastal Zone Management Plan for the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. This final project was presented to the island’s Town Council. She also worked for the Office of Planning and Development in Northampton, Massachusetts as a research intern. Currently, she assists the planners with research, data analysis, and conceptual drawing. Outside the office, Elizabeth enjoys gardening, cooking, and kickboxing.

Michael Towle
Assistant Planner

Michael, originally from Massachusetts, received a B.S. in Environmental Science from UMass Lowell and an M.S. in GIS for Development and the Environment from Clark University. His research at Clark focused on conservation applications of GIS. Some example projects include; collecting and mapping plant species in the high desert of Oregon and identifying potential Mongolian Gazelle conservation plots for the Wildlife Conservation Society. As a conservationist Michael is passionate about planning projects that preserve natural resources. In his spare time he enjoys board games, camping and relaxing.

Kristin Hadjstylianos
Assistant Planner

Kristin was born and raised in Watertown, Connecticut. She attended Central Connecticut State University where she graduated with a B.A. in Geography with a Specialization in Planning. During her senior year she completed an internship in a Planning & Zoning office working on commercial and subdivision site plans and zoning enforcement. She is currently finishing her GIS Certificate Program and is planning on attending graduate school in the near future. At CCRPA she has assisted in the research and development of various planning projects. In her free time she enjoys traveling, reading, and baking cupcakes.

Greg Martin
Paratransit Coordinator/Emergency Planner

Greg grew up in New Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated from Keene State College with a B.A. in Geography. While earning his degree, Greg worked with the city of Keene, New Hampshire to synthesize data collection to map statistically significant qualities and quantities of city-owned trees for Keene’s Tree City USA program. The final project was presented at both Keene State College’s Academic Excellence Conference and at the American Association of Geographers Conference in Seattle. He currently helps coordinate the Central Connecticut Paratransit Service and assists in strategic planning for paratransit and other transportation services.  He also administers Citizen Corp/Community Emergency Response Team grants for the region. In his free time, Greg loves to snowboard and would do it year-round if he could.

Christian Meyer
Planning Aide

Christian was born and raised in central Vermont. He received a BA in Economics and East Asian Studies from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Wanderlust then led him to China, Korea, France, Mongolia and eventually back again to Vermont. In the course of his travels he worked as a homebuilder, English teacher, forest technician, alpine ski instructor, building developer and economic researcher and completed a master’s degree in urban planning at the Institut d’Urbanisme de Paris in Paris, France. At CCRPA he hopes to work on a broad spectrum of projects and further expand his perception of the opportunities planning and economic development present to improve local quality of life. In his free time he can be found listening to podcasts, playing with his pooch, or savoring local microbrews.