Board of Directors

Board of Directors (2021-2022)

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.

Tammi Flynn

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.

Jayne Michalek, Vice President

Jayne Michalek is a marketing manager at Business and Learning Resources, a division of Simplify Compliance. A Michigan native, Jayne moved to Connecticut in 2013 to attend graduate school at Quinnipiac University. Enchanted by New England’s charm, she has made Southeastern Connecticut her new home.

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.

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.

Derell Wilson

Born and raised in Norwich, Derell serves the community in many ways; he sits on the NFA Alumni Board of Directors as Vice President, he is Chairman of Norwich’s Democratic Town Committee, he serves as 2nd Vice President of the Eastern Connecticut Association of Approved Football Officials, and he serves on the Norwich City Council. In 2018, Derell was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut by the NAACP State Conference of NAACP Branches. Derell is a paraprofessional and coach (Track and Basketball) at the Integrated Day Charter School.

Staff and Counsel

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.

NHS Counsel: Rich Pascal

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.