Board of Directors

Board of Directors (2024-2025)

Eric Beit, Membership Chair, President

Eric is currently a lead software technician at Acme Retail Systems and previously held a management role at the former family run Beit Bros. Super Markets. Eric has a passion for history and loves being involved with the NHS. Eric and his wife, Erin, enjoy working on their historic house in Norwich.

William Champagne, Past 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.

Robert Farwell

Bob Farwell recently retired after 18 years as the Executive Director of Otis Library in Norwich, CT. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Island Free Library on Block Island, Rhode Island. Bob and his wife live in Mystic, CT.

Tammi Flynn, Vice President

Tammi and her husband Sean have made Norwich their home since 1999. That same year she began working as the Director of Marketing at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme. There she has made tremendous strides in publicizing FloGris and its programs with ingenuity, continually developing strategies to attract new audiences. An effective collaborator, she has developed an extensive network of colleagues in the field of cultural tourism. She previously worked at the Worcester Art Museum as a project coordinator for the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund program, The Art of Discovery – a project designed to expand and diversify the museum’s audience. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Georgia. She and Sean enjoy discovering Norwich with their good boy (dogs) Weston and Max.

Miria Gray

In Miria’s role as Chelsea Groton Bank’s Community Education Officer, she is focused on developing the curriculum available to individuals, families and businesses, and reaching more members of our communities through the frequency and variety of classes being offered. Prior to joining Chelsea Groton, Miria was the Marketing Director for Norwich Community Development Corporation (NCDC), where she developed public events in conjunction with other community organizations and city agencies, oversaw economic development activities, and managed NCDC’s traditional and digital marketing. She also worked for several years as an intervention consultant at Sayles Elementary School in Baltic, where she developed lessons, taught classes and tracked the progress of students. Miria is Treasurer for Norwich Events Organization, Vice President of Jump$tart CT, Board Member of the Maples Farm Park Commission in Bozrah, and a Chair and Market Master of Bozrah Farmers Market. Miria graduated from Franklin Pierce University with a BA in English and Secondary Education. She is a 2015 Southeastern CT 40 Under 40 Award recipient. She and her family reside in Bozrah, CT.

Janine Guillet

Janine Guillet was raised in Norwich and is a graduate of NFA and UCONN. She previously taught third and fourth grade at the Integrated Day Charter School and currently works as the lead teacher of the Guillet Family Homeschool. Janine’s passion for education and history have led her to join the NHS. These passions have also led her to work as a trainer and facilitator of Kingian Nonviolence and Conflict Reconciliation. Janine lives in Norwich with her husband and four children.

Honorable Charles K. Norris

Attorney Charles K. Norris is admitted to practice in State, Federal and Probate Courts and the United States Supreme Court. He has litigated cases in the Connecticut Superior Court, Connecticut Federal Court and the Second Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

In Connecticut Superior Courts, Chuck has nearly 30 years of experience conducting trials before judges and juries throughout eastern Connecticut. As a result of his experience, Chuck Norris has received the rating of AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards (

In addition to litigating cases in State and Federal Court, Chuck has achieved the status of Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist by the Connecticut Bar Association. Chuck lives in Norwich with his wife and children. He is a licensed pilot and enjoys traveling, collecting cars, motorcycles, doing woodwork and spending time with his family.

Simone Oliva

Simone  is currently employed at Norwich Public Utilities as a Program Coordinator for Public Outreach. Prior to this role, they also held positions at Mohegan Sun as a Public Events Manager, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield as a Director of Event Production, and The Music Center as a Program Production Manager for Grand Park. Simone also worked at PSAV in various roles such as Manager of Sales, Rigging Technician, and Audio Visual Specialist. Simone  graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies.

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.

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 and retired in 2021. 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. Recently, 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.

Jennifer Willingham, Treasurer

Jen has been with Chelsea Groton Bank for over 15 years, initially in branch management roles, in 2021, she joined the Business Banking department as the Cash Management Officer. She earned a AS in Business Administration from Three Rivers Community College and graduated from the Connecticut School of Finance and Management in 2017. A lifelong learner she has earned several certifications and diplomas from the Center for Financial Training along with numerous other banking and leadership certifications. In 2013, she was a recipient of Chelsea Groton’s George Strouse “Spirit” Award which is given annually to employees who embody, and consistently demonstrate, the values and spirit of Chelsea Groton Bank through leadership, attitude, and community service. Jen is a graduate of the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce (GNACC) Leadership program, served for many years on the Board of Directors of Horses Healing Humans, is a member of the Women’s Business Development Council’s Review Committee for the Equity Match Grant Program and is an ambassador for GNACC where she mentors and assists as a liaison to new members of the Chamber. With her role on the business banking team, she serves as a Banker in Residence at Foundry 66 to be a resource to small business owners. Jen resides with her husband and children on their small horse farm in her hometown of North Stonington, CT.


Interim Part Time Executive Director: Amanda Keenan

A native of Nantucket Island, Amanda Keenan fell in love with maritime history at a young age. Working in the museum field for over two decades, she has worked in every aspect of museum operations in her time at the Nantucket Historical Association, the Nantucket Shipwreck Museum, and Mystic Seaport Museum (MSM).

Shortly before graduating from the University of Florida in 2008 with degrees in Japanese and Anthropology Amanda studied abroad in Osaka, Japan and finished her collegiate career in Mystic as a part of the Williams-Mystic Program. She immediately started working at MSM as a historical interpreter in the blacksmith shop, on the demonstration team, and was an 1876 era role-player. In 2013, she moved to the Advancement Department to learn the art of fundraising and database administration.

She earned her Masters in Public History at Central Connecticut State University and her capstone project featured a digital history tour for the American School for the Deaf’s bicentennial in 2017. She moved to Norwich in 2015 with her husband, Barry, and fell in love with the city’s history. They have been “ghosts” for the Norwich Historical Society’s ghost tour for several years. Amanda recently left her full-time job fundraising to spend more time with her daughter, Maggie. She works part-time at MSM in the blacksmith shop and redesigning the Benjamin F. Packard cabin exhibit.

Former Executive Director

Regan Miner is a proud Norwich native and is responsible for overseeing all administrative duties, fundraising efforts, capital projects, and programs for the 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 Vice Chairman of the Norwich Historic District Commission and is a board member of Preservation Connecticut and the Last Green Valley. Lastly, Miner was the recipient of the 2016 40 under Forty Award, the 2016 Connecticut Governor’s Conference on Tourism Rising Star Award, the 2018 Mimi Findlay Award for Young Preservationists, and CT Magazine’s 40 Under 40: The Class of 2022.