Board of Directors

Eric Beit, Membership Chair

Eric is currently a technician at Retail Solutions/Acme Rental Systems and formerly worked at the family run Beit Bros. Supermarkets. Eric has a passion for history and loves being involved with the NHS.  Eric and his wife, Erin, recently bought a historic house in Norwich.

William Champagne, President

Bill Champagne has been a resident of the greater Norwich area since 1970 and has been a real estate agent specializing in antique properties since 1973. He has been involved with heritage development since 1979. He is surrounded by history majors – his wife Patrice Champagne, son Rob, and daughter-in-law Desiree.

Jayne Michalek

Dave Oat

Mr. Oat is a native of Norwich and now lives in Waterford with his family. Dave recently retired from Pfizer after 31 years as a Research Scientist. Growing up in New England, Dave couldn’t help but develop an interest in colonial history. Dave is presently the city cemeteries historian for the Norwich Historical Society and former president of The Guns of Norwich Historical Society. He also serves as a board member for the Connecticut Gravestone Network, and Maplewood Cemetery. Researching and studying cemeteries, gravestones, death and burial traditions have been his passion for many years. He is fascinated by the art, spirituality and human history. Burial customs run deep within any society or culture and, for those who understand them, provide incite as to how people intimately relate to and find their place in this life experience.

Joseph "Joe" Smith

Joe Smith is a former member of the Mohegan Tribal Council and current member of the Tribe’s Council of Elders. At Mohegan Sun, he worked in communications and publications, and later moved to a position as a publicist for the Sports and Entertainment department. For the Mohegan Tribe, Smith worked as a manager of communications and public affairs for eight years, responsible for internal and external outreach for the Tribe. Smith grew up in Uncasville, and later moved to both New York City and Los Angeles. Over a twenty-year career as a story editor and story analyst, Smith held positions at ABC, The Walt Disney Company, Paramount Pictures and 20th Century-Fox. He holds both Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Columbia University, and lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Rich Pascal, Vice President

Richard (“Rich”) Pascal has been a lawyer since 1988. His office is in Norwich. He has been an Instructor of Accounting at Three Rivers since 1989, having formerly practiced as a Certified Public Accountant.

Sandra Soucy, Secretary

Sandra Soucy, a native of Connecticut, received her B.A. in history from the University of Connecticut and her M.Ed. from St. Joseph College (now the University of St. Joseph) in West Hartford. She has been teaching social studies at Norwich Free Academy since 2004. Sandra and her husband, Denis, recently became residents of Norwich, after raising their family in Marlborough, CT. Before becoming a teacher, Sandra worked for many years as an independent real estate title searcher, and was a member and president of the Marlborough Historical Society. Last summer, Sandra was among 60 teachers nationwide, to be selected to attend the Supreme Court Summer Institute in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored by Street Law, Inc. and the Supreme Court Historical Society. Sandra has also served as a judge in the annual Connecticut History Day program for 6-12 grade students.

Jessica Suplee, Treasurer

Jessica Suplee is a Norwich native who currently resides in Norwich with her husband and three children. Jessica was in the banking industry for 20 years, most recently as a Consumer Lending Administrator. Several years ago, Jessica decided to pursue her dream of becoming a history teacher and went back to school. In 2017, she graduated from Eastern CT State University with a Bachelors Degree in History and Social Science and in 2018 she graduated from Sacred Heart University with a Masters Degree in Education. Jessica recently obtained her CT Teaching Certification in Secondary Social Studies and teaches social studies at Barrows STEM Academy in Windham. Jessica hopes to combine her love of history with her business background in her new role at Norwich Historical Society.

Viriginia Valace

First, as a resident of Norwich for 42 years, wife of a former restaurateur in downtown Norwich and parent of two sons educated in the Norwich School System, Virginia has maintained strong bonds within our community. She has been active in the Norwich Heritage Trust, Norwich Rose Arts Festival and other Norwich-related efforts. Virginia received three CT State Teaching Certifications (Elementary Ed, Special Ed and Certified School Psychologist). Her employment has ranged from the Preston School System, Newington Children’s Hospital and Hebron. Most recently, Virginia served as Gifted Education Teacher in the Hebron Enrichment Program.

Vivian Zoë

Vivian F. Zoë is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and the Ohio State University with degrees in studio art, arts education and administration and theatre. Currently the director of the Slater Memorial Museum, she has served as the director of the Noah Webster House in West Hartford, The Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford, Craftsman Farms (New Jersey Home of Gustav Stickley) and the City of Hartford’s Office of Cultural Affairs. She is a peer reviewer for the American Association of Museums and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.

Executive Director: Regan Miner

Regan Miner is a proud Norwich native is responsible for overseeing all administrative duties, fundraising efforts, capital projects, and is the program coordinator for NHS. Miner received her Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Connecticut and holds a Master’s Degree in Public History from Central Connecticut State University. In addition to her position at NHS, Miner serves as Chairman of the Norwich Historic District Commission and is a board member of Preservation Connecticut. Lastly, Miner was the recipient of the 2016 40 under Forty Award, the 2016 Connecticut Governor’s Conference on Tourism Rising Star Award, and the 2018 Mimi Findlay Award for Young Preservationists.