Under the general direction of the Commission for Educational Technology, the Connecticut Education Network (CEN) is led by its Director, Ryan Kocsondy. The role of the Director is to oversee the directional and operational activities of CEN, ensure alignment with member needs, advocate and promote CEN activities as a leader amongst its peer provider networks in the nation, and enable the evolution of the network as the most advanced Internet and network service provider in CT. With nearly 20 years of experience in IT, Kocsondy has extensive experience supporting large scale networks, physical infrastructure projects, data center operations, campus technology support services, and business operations. He represents CEN and its members both regionally and nationally through service as Chair on the Board of Directors for NEREN, an Internet2 Connector Principal, an adviser to the Northern Crossroads (NoX), Secretary on the Board of Directors for The Quilt, Chair for The Quilt CEO Roundtable, and most recently served as an advisor to Governor Lamont's "Everyone Learns Initiative".
Phone: (860) 622-4563
Team Lead & Senior Network Engineer
Rick joined the CEN team as a Network Technician 4, providing leadership, direction and oversight to the Network Engineering team. He brings 18 years of experience from Sprint Corporation, where he served in various capacities in network operations. For the last 6 years he performed the role of Senior Engineer.
Ricks holds a B.Sc. in Applied Science and Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology, with a concentration in Telecommunications, Management and Military Leadership.
Phone: (860) 622-4567
Ray Carcano has over 30 years of experience, which began in data center operations and progressed through several levels of technical support roles. Currently Ray holds the position of network engineer at CEN. Prior to joining CEN in 2005, Ray spent 24 years in private industry. He set up some of the very first LANs in 1981 and then progressed to supporting wide area networks in the US for multi-national companies with offices in South America, Europe, and Asia. In his spare time, he enjoys bicycling, playing guitar, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Phone: (860) 622-4564
Ralph is a highly motivated and dedicated network engineering professional with 23 years of technology experience, including 5 years as a technical lead. He has hands on experience in infrastructure design, implementation, network capacity analysis, and administration. Ralph is recognized by management for his strong attention to detail and objectives. Proficiencies include project management methodology and planning for large enterprise network rollouts, and upgrades. Cisco Certifications: CCNA R&S Certified, CCNP R&S Certified, and CCIE R&S Written.
Phone: (860) 622-4565
Mike Pennington is an IT Professional with more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of the field. After graduating Eastern Connecticut State University (2000) with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, he started working for Manchester Public Schools. After ten years of building a solid infrastructure and framework, he decided to focus his career on networking. In 2011 he joined the Connecticut Education Network as a Network Engineer. In his free time, he loves playing volleyball, practicing his jiu-jitsu, kayaking, and hanging out with his family and friends (and chickens!). He is also the Secretary to the Connecticut Poultry Association and on the Tolland Technology Advisory Board.
Phone: (860) 622-4566
Network Admin 1
Bradley Tudisca graduated in 2019 from Central Connecticut State University with a Bachelor's in Networking Information Technology. He worked at Charter Oak State College in New Britain for 4 years as a Junior System Administrator. He moved to UConn but decided he wanted to do more on the network side of things and joined the CEN team. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with family and friends, going to NYC and seeing Billy Joel in concert.
Associate Network Engineer
Christian joined the CEN team in May of 2022. Prior to CEN, Christian worked as a security engineer. Christian has worked with the CEN networking team previously in subcontracted roles performing firewall mitigations. In his spare time, Christian enjoys relaxing outside with a jug of water.
Associate Network Engineer
Chris joined the CEN team in May of 2022. Prior to joining CEN, Chris spent 16 years in the healthcare industry as a Certified Surgical Technologist. Chris made the transition to Network Engineering after his recent graduation from Southern New Hampshire University in 2021 where he received a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. Chris is also a US Army veteran and former sergeant. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and woodworking.
Member Services Manager
Paul joined the Marketing, Communication and Member Relations team at CEN in December 2015. In his role he engages and connects with CEN members to ensure delivery of excellent customer service and to grow the member network. Prior to CEN, he established multiple K-12 tutoring businesses and also enjoyed engineering and operations management roles at UTC and Kimberly-Clark Corp. Paul earned a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. from Western New England University. Paul’s favorite past times include tennis, hockey, and golf.
Member Services Specialist
Wendy has been working for the Connecticut Education Network since 2006. In her role as Member Services Specialist, Wendy works closely with members in many ways from selling new services, onboarding new members, troubleshooting problems and addressing anything the member needs. Wendy has been working in the field for 30+ years and has experience in Business & Office Management, Sales & Customer Service, and Marketing & Member Relations. She loves working with people in any capacity. In her free time, her passion is advocating for people in poverty, the homeless or the disadvantaged.
Member Services Specialist
Rachael joined the CEN Member Relations team in February 2018. In her role as Marketing and Publicity Coordinator, she works closely with members to develop, promote, and execute both in-person and virtual training sessions, leads efforts for the annual CEN Member Conference, and leads the development of website enhancements and member communication strategy. She offers nearly 15 years' private sector sales and marketing experience, most recently with Superwinch in Dayville, CT. Rachael has a track record of success helping organizations grow through improved communications, service, and outreach. Rachael graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her children and family, travel, off-roading, dance, reading romance novels and watching chick flicks with her two cats Gemma and Theo.
Phone: (860) 622-4588
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Deanna joined the CEN Member Services team in November 2021, having worked as a part of the CEN team in her Graphic Design position since May 2019. In her role as Marketing and Communications Coordinator, she works closely with members to develop, promote, and execute both in-person and virtual training sessions, including the annual CEN Member Conference, and leads the development of website enhancements and marketing collateral. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2020 where she earned a degree in Fine Arts, with a concentration in Graphic Design. Prior to working with CEN, Deanna worked as a brand ambassador for Big Fish Promotions, an advertising company located in Glastonbury, CT. In her free time she enjoys playing sports and making art.
Dick LeFave has been a volunteer consultant to CEN and the State CIO for the past 3 years, providing content assistance for marketing and promotion. He founded a consulting company in 2007 focused on information strategy and execution based on over 30 years IT experience. He has been a Board Member for Amdocs Corporation since 2011. Publications by LeFave include a fictional book, “An IT Tale – A Program Manager’s Journey” and jointly authored a best practices book, “Implementing Strategic Sourcing”. He conducts IT leadership training and has published technical papers on IT leadership. LeFave received a Bachelor of Science from Boston University, an MBA from The University of Puget Sound in Seattle and a MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He also completed the Harvard Business School (HBS) Advanced Management Program and Board Executive courses. LeFave is a veteran of the US Army, a published amateur photographer, and he resides with his family in Voluntown, Connecticut.
Student Written Communications Specialist
Marina Britos-Swain is a senior, undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut and joined the CEN team as a Written Communications Specialist Intern in March of 2022. She is pursuing an Individualized Major BA degree that focuses primarily on the interdepartmental connections within Communications, Psychology, and Anthropology, as well as Philosophy, Sociology, and Political Theory for the purpose of nurturing her book on the social impact of technology. She intends on continuing her education at the University of Connecticut for her PhD in Technology and Social Behavior, so she may continue working for CEN after graduating in May of 2023. Marina works primarily for the marketing and communications team where she works closely with Deanna and Rachael. She also works with Dick in interviewing our members, writing, editing, and publishing the spotlight articles that highlight our member's voices and their experience with our services. Marina has worked in public service, much like all the women of her family, for several years in prevention and advocacy for the wellbeing of her peers and subsequent generations.
Business & Administrative Services
Financial Assistant 1
Molly joined the CEN team in January, 2020. Prior to CEN, she has ten years of experience working in non profit STEM organizations, state parks, and national parks in customer service, education, and administrative support roles. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She enjoys traveling, motorcycle riding, reading, and spending time with friends, family, and her cat.
Phone: (860) 622-4589
Finance Manager 1
Peter joined the CEN team in January, 2022. In his role as Finance Manager he is responsible for the fiscal operations of CEN including oversight and management of budget, finance, accounting, cash flow management, Federal E-Rate program, capital planning, and back-office support functions. He joins us from Otis Elevator – United Technologies where he had 20+ years of finance and accounting experience. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Indiana University and a M.B.A. from Purdue University. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, traveling, skiing and running.
Phone: (860) 622-4568
Radu is performing his Army Career Skills Program Fellowship with CEN through the Hiring Our Heroes program. Radu’s role with CEN is as a Project Manager Fellow. He joins the CEN team from the US Army where he has 30+ years of experience working on complex projects and leading teams to excel. Radu has spent the last 18+ years in the US Army’s Special Forces (Green Berets). He commanded in Special Forces at the team and company level and has deployed to Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe. Radu holds a B.A. in Economics from CCSU. His experience will help CEN better organize, execute, and close out projects and programs. He currently resides in the Washington DC area and will be relocating to CT soon. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, traveling, hiking, and playing golf.