About Us


160 Main Street
Haverhill, MA 01830

Office Hours: M-F 8:30 – 4:30
Phone: (978) 374-0519
Fax: (978) 372-4890
Email: info@mvpc.org

Click a name for contact info and description.


Karen Sawyer Conard, executive director
Jenifer Dunlap, finance administrator
Nancy Lavallee, office administrator


Joe Cosgrove, environmental program manager
Peter Phippen, coastal resources coordinator


Anthony Komornick, transportation program manager
Mary Kay Beninati, senior transportation planner
James Terlizzi, senior transportation engineer
Daniel Ovalle, field services specialist
Betsy Goodrich, transit planner


Jerrard Whitten, GIS/IT manager
Stephen Lopez, senior GIS analyst

Community and Economic Development

Mike Parquette, comprehensive planning manager
Angela Cleveland, economic development planner/MVMB coordinator

Karen Sawyer Conard, Executive Director

phone: 978-374-0519 ext.12
email: kconard@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 2017

Karen became the Executive Director of the Commission in January 2017.  She reports directly to the 16 Commissioners and is responsible for the overall administration of MVPC.  She oversees all land use, transportation, environmental, GIS and economic development planning performed by the Commission and its staff of 15.

With twenty-nine years of experience in the public and private sectors, Karen has served in both the executive and legislative branches of state government, has worked for a private sector real estate development firm, and most recently served as Community Development Director for the Cities of Methuen and Peabody.  Prior to her tenure in municipal government, Karen served in various capacities at MassDevelopment, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, Department of Housing and Community Development, MBTA, Office of Governor Bill Weld and the Massachusetts State Senate.

Karen currently serves as President of the Board of Housing Support, Inc., a non-profit corporation with a mission to provide shelter, housing and related support services to low-income, homeless and/or handicapped individuals and families through the development, purchase, ownership or rental of various forms of real estate throughout the Merrimack Valley.  In addition, she serves as a Director, Executive Committee and Charitable Foundation Committee Member of The Savings Bank, as a Director of First Financial Trust, and Chairperson of the MA Gaming Policy Advisory Committee (appointed by Governor Baker in 2017).

She is a graduate from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and French.

Jenifer Dunlap, Accountant

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 11
email: JDunlap@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 1995

Ms. Dunlap is responsible for any and all financial activities including accounts payable, accounts receivable, job costing, billing, payroll, general ledger, financial statement preparation and analysis, forecasting and budgeting.

Prior to joining MVPC, Ms. Dunlap worked from April 1989 to June 1995 as General Ledger Accounting Manager/Assistant to the Controller at National Education Training Group – Spectrum, Bedford, MA. NETG-Spectum employs 200 who work to provide multimedia solutions for large corporations’ business concerns. Ms. Dunlap also worked from 1984-1988 (parttime) and 1988-1989 (fulltime) as Bookkeeper/Office Manger at Christiansen and Sergi, Inc., Haverhill, MA. Christiansen and Sergi Inc. provides professional civil engineering and land surveying services.

Education: BS in Business, Bentley College (1988)

Nancy Lavallee, Office Administrator

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 10
email: NLavallee@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 2002

Nancy takes pride in her position as Assistant to the Executive Director and as MVPC’s Office Administrator, the key focus to providing administrative support to the staff.  She coordinates and publishes the agency’s annual report, newsletter and marketing materials and is the event coordinator for MVPC’s training and workshops.  She also assist in updating and maintaining the agency’s website.

Prior to joining MVPC, Nancy worked for Honeywell Information Systems/Honeywell Bull for 18 years, Genesys Software and Elateral a London based Marketing and Branding firm.

Nancy has over 35 years experience as an office manager/administrator with an Associates Degree in business management and computer sciences from Northern Essex Community College.

Joe Cosgrove, Environmental Program Manager

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 16
email: JCosgrove@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 2014

Joseph Cosgrove is Environmental Program Manager at MVPC .  He leads environmental planning programs at the agency in areas ranging from Brownfields cleanup & assessment, to stormwater management, natural hazard mitigation planning, and open space & recreation plan development.

Mr. Cosgrove comes to MVPC with more than 25 years planning background at the state, local and regional level.  In addition to experience in planning and development at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, he has background as community development planner in the City of Methuen and at the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments.

Mr. Cosgrove has a B.A. degree from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Peter Phippen, Coastal Resources Coordinator

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 17
email: PPhippen@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 2002

Mr. Phippen coordinates and provides technical assistance to the Eight Towns and the Great Marsh Massachusetts Bays Program Local Governance Committee for the nine communities of the upper north shore to improve the conditions of Massachusetts Bay, including working with local officials and citizens to promote coastal stewardship; facilitating the development of coastal environmental initiatives, implementing outreach and education strategies; and the development of grant proposals to public and private sources to fund coastal restoration and protection projects.

Anthony Komornick, Transportation Program Manager

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 15
email: AKomornick@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 1983

Mr. Komornick is the Transportation Program Manager at MVPC. He directs the multimodal transportation planning activities of the agency, which include highway, pedestrian, bicycle, transit and other major means of travel in the region. Mr. Komornick has almost 30 years of experience in conducting transportation studies and analyses including the preparation of regional transportation plans, transportation elements of community master plans, development of regional transportation demand models, and the development of for major corridor traffic studies.

Mr. Komornick received his B.A. in Economics from the State University of New York at Cortland in 1977. He earned his M.A. in City and Regional Planning from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1982, with a concentration in transportation planning.

Mary Kay Beninati, Senior Transportation Planner

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 22
email: MKBeninati@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 1985

Ms. Beninati is responsible for producing the annual Merrimack Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MVMPO) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). She assists in the administration of the MVMPO Public Participation Plan and maintenance of the regional transportation demand model. In her twenty-eight years of transportation planning at MVPC Ms. Beninati has also conducted numerous corridor studies, intersection analyses, and air quality analyses.

Ms. Beninati holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

James Terlizzi, Transportation Engineer, P.E.

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 26
email: JTerlizzi@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 2000

Mr. Terlizzi is responsible for administering pavement management programs, corridor traffic studies, parking studies and intersection improvement studies. In addition, Mr. Terlizzi assists with preparation of the Transportation Improvement Program and data collection for the Commission and the I-93 Corridor Study.

Prior to joining MVPC, Mr. Terlizzi worked for Edwards and Kelcey, Inc. of Boston, MA where he was Senior Transportation Engineer. While there, he worked on numerous projects including the signal design of intersections, traffic management plans for bridge foundation boring work, a master plan for an industrial park and peer review of work conducted in a Traffic Impact and Access Study (TIAS) for a development to be located in Newington, NH.

Prior to Edwards and Kelcey, Mr. Terlizzi worked at Vanasse and Associates, Inc. in Andover, MA where he was Project Engineer. In that capacity, he prepared TIASs and traffic studies within Environmental Impact Reports for land development by private and public entities. His clients ranged from office developers, to shopping mall developers, to public school systems. In addition, Mr. Terlizzi prepared Functional Design Reports (FDR) in support of signal design work for construction documents. One such FDR was for a signal system located on Pleasant Valley Street (Route 113) in Methuen.

Education and/or professional accreditation: Education B.S.M.E., University of New Hampshire; A.S.C.E.T., University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Professional Registration: Professional Engineer (Civil), Commonwealth of Massachusetts. License No. 39507.

Daniel Ovalle, Field Services Specialist

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 14
email: DOvalle@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 2000

Mr. Ovalle oversees and conducts transportation and environmental data collection studies. Transportation data collection projects include Automatic Traffic Recorder (ATR) studies, Intersection Turning Movement Counts (TMC), Park & Ride Surveys, Regional Bus Transportation Data Collection, Pavement Management Analysis, GPS Data Collection, as well as a variety of environmental data collection projects.

Prior to joining MVPC, Mr. Ovalle was employed with Andover Consultants, Inc. – Methuen, MA as a Land Surveyor, providing Land Surveying Services such as Boundary Surveys, Topographic Surveys, Land Court Surveys and As-Built Surveys.

Betsy Goodrich, Senior Transportation Planner

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 21
email: BGoodrich@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 2007

Ms. Goodrich is a Senior Transportation Planner for the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission where she focuses her work on alternative transportation modes including transit, bicycling and walking. Prior to joining MVPC, Ms. Goodrich worked for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy for eight years where she assisted trail builders nationwide as the Trails and Greenways Clearinghouse Manager in Washington, DC and then as a New England Field Representative in Massachusetts. She received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from The George Washington University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Dickinson College.

Jerrard Whitten, GIS/IT Manager

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 18
email: JJWhitten@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 1995

Mr. Whitten manages MVPC’s Information Technology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Performing in its capacity as the Regional GIS Service Center for northeast Massachusetts, MVPC works with municipal, private and state agencies, to map and analyze information, and to support the development of electronic records, datasets and information systems. Mr. Whitten is responsible for overseeing the operation and maintenance of the commission’s web-based Municipal Information Mapping Access Program (MIMAP) and the development of mobile GIS applications.  Mr. Whitten also manages the regional Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS).

Stephen Lopez, GIS Specialist

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 19
email: slopez@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 2006

Stephen is responsible for maintaining the Commission’s Geographic Information System (GIS). Prior to joining MVPC, Stephen worked as a Regional Planner with Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission. While there, his responsibilities included a variety of GIS, transportation, and environmental planning projects. Stephen’s past experiences also include working with the NH Merrimack County Conservation District as an AmeriCorps volunteer, and working for the NH Fish & Game Department Marine Fisheries Division, as a Biological Technician..

Mike Parquette, Comprehensive Planning Manager

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 27
email: MParquette@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 2007

Mr. Parquette has over thirty years of experience in city planning, economic development, downtown revitalization, and grant writing and management. As Comprehensive Planning Manager, Mr. Parquette directs the planning and economic development functions at MVPC, tying together the areas of land-use, economic development, transportation, and the environment by assisting communities with smart growth planning initiatives including 43D, 40R, TOD’s, and priority development areas. Mr. Parquette also works with the Merrimack Valley Mayors and Managers Coalition on their regionalization initiatives such as the regional energy program, regional inspectional services program, and regional 311 initiative. Mr. Parquette is also charged with management of the Merrimack Valley Economic Development (MVED) revolving loan program. Prior to working at MVPC, Mr. Parquette was the Assistant Director of the Community Development and Planning Department for the City of Peabody, MA.

Angela Cleveland, AICP, Senior Economic Development Planner/MVMB Coordinator

phone: 978-374-0519 ext. 28
email: ACleveland@mvpc.org

Started at MVPC: 2016

Ms. Cleveland became the Economic Development Planner/MVMB Coordinator  for MVPC in June of 2016.  She reports directly to the Comprehensive Planning Manager, Mike Parquette. She is responsible for writing and administering grant applications related to community and economic development; gathering and preparing data for studies, grants and recommendations relating to economic development and land use.  She provides technical and professional advice; makes presentations and monitors local, state and Federal legislation and regulations relating to economic development. She prepares graphics, charts, tables, promotional materials, etc. for economic development activities.



We’ve been around for over 50 years, governed by a simple vision: plan, develop and promote sustainable development of the Merrimack Valley by efficient use of regional resources.

  • Merrimack Valley Planning Commission
    160 Main Street
    Haverhill, MA 01830
    p: 978.374.0519
    f: 978.372.4890
    e: info@mvpc.org

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