VTDigger Staff & Trustees

Business Office

Marnie DeFreest

Finance Manager

Marnie DeFreest, VTDigger’s Finance Manager is a Vermont native and has called the Mad River Valley home for over 35 years. She graduated from Community College of Vermont with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and began her finance career with Isis Clothing for Women, a women’s active wear company in Burlington, VT where she helped grow the company throughout the US and Canada before their home offices relocated to Colorado. In her spare time, she enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

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Taylor Haynes

Creative Director

Taylor Haynes is VTDigger's Creative Director, focusing on the design and overall reader experience for our audience. With over a decade of marketing and design experience, she has worked with businesses throughout multiple industries to elevate their visual presence across print and digital platforms. Taylor got her start at Chelsea Green Publishing and expanded her career to include projects with Pompanoosuc Mills, Montshire Museum of Science, Global Rescue, the iconic Lou’s Restaurant & Bakery, and many startups and businesses throughout North America.

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Libby Johnson

Director of Development

As Director of Development, Libby Johnson focuses on building philanthropic support to advance VTDigger's mission. Libby has worked in development for more than 15 years, channelling the generosity of individuals, families, foundations, and corporations to support a broad range of causes including education, the arts, the environment, and health care. Her entire career has focused on the issues and systems that affect our most vulnerable citizens. Libby came to Vermont in 2012 to spend time in the mountains, and she currently lives in Richmond with her husband, two children, good dog, and bad cat.

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Jim Lehnhoff

Jim Lehnhoff

Chief Revenue Officer

Jim Lehnhoff leads VTDigger's revenue generation and oversees most of the business office. He has more than a decade of digital media revenue experience and team-building acumen. Jim launched his career at Gawker in 2006 and has helped to build some of the web’s most beloved brands including the Onion, Slate and Serious Eats. He was Vice President of Slate’s award-winning branded content studio, overseeing a team of 15 and leading the studio through multiple award-winning projects. Before Slate, Jim returned to Gawker as Director of Advertising Strategy. He was previously the managing director of advertising and creative services at Serious Eats where he increased revenue by nearly 50 percent.  Most recently before joining VTDigger, Jim served as director of sales at Luster, a startup technology company serving the events industry.

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Kate Olney

Director of Donor Engagement

Kate Olney is VTDigger's Director of Donor Engagement, focusing on planning and implementing donor communications, stewardship and events. Kate is a seasoned professional with over two decades of development, marketing, and public relations experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.  When not working, you'll find Kate and her husband, Kelton, on the sidelines at U32 games cheering on their kids, Quinn and Grace, hiking, gardening, and spending an occasional Saturday at the local dump.

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Libbie Sparadeo

Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnerships

Libbie Sparadeo leads community engagement and partnerships at VTDigger. Libbie previously managed development and planning for Neighbors in Action, a demonstration project of the Center for Court Innovation that promotes community health in Central Brooklyn. Libbie was also a policy associate at the Katal Center for Health, Equity and Justice, and managed a Ford Foundation initiative at CUNY alongside formerly incarcerated and undocumented students in the South Bronx. Born and raised in Brookfield, Vermont, she holds an MA in Human Rights from Columbia University. She lives in Randolph.

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Florencio Terra

Membership and Development Coordinator

Florencio Terra is responsible for building the core base of support for VTDigger’s quality investigative and public policy journalism. He coordinates the organization’s membership campaigns and supports events around the state bringing Digger members and supporters and journalists together. Florencio got his start in journalism as a production manager at The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, the student newspaper at UMass Amherst. After graduating with a bachelor’s in communications he moved to the greater Boston area and worked in film and video production. He later relocated to central Vermont and returned to the world of journalism working in design and production for a local Vermont weekly, the Hardwick Gazette.

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Newsroom

Maggie Cassidy

Deputy Managing Editor

Prior to joining VTDigger, Maggie Cassidy served as editor of the Valley News in the Upper Valley, where she also had worked as web editor and a reporter. She previously spent time reporting in the Boston area and Hawaii.

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Emma Cotton

Emma Cotton

Climate & Environment Reporter

Emma Cotton is a Report for America corps member who covers the environment, climate change, energy and agriculture. Previously, she covered Rutland and Bennington counties for VTDigger, wrote for the Addison Independent and served as assistant editor of Vermont Sports and VT Ski + Ride magazines. Emma studied marine science and journalism at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

 

 

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Peter D'Auria

Education Reporter

Peter D’Auria covers education for VTDigger. Prior to moving to Vermont, he worked for The Jersey Journal, The Chilkat Valley News, and Willamette Week. He is originally from Portland, Oregon.

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Jeralyn Darling

News Editor

As VTDigger's news editor, Jeralyn Darling anchors the night desk, often as the final set of eyes on stories before they are published. Before arriving at VTDigger she was a night desk editor at the Valley News, covering the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. Jeralyn has spent the last 14 years as a journalist. She holds a BA in journalism and sociology from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. When not at work, Jeralyn can be found on the trail with her husband, in the woods hunting mushrooms or volunteering with animals.

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Diane Derby

Senior Editor

Diane Derby is a senior editor at VTDigger focusing on criminal justice and policy reporting. She spent nearly two decades in journalism, including stints at the Burlington Free Press and the Rutland Herald. For nine of those years, she reported for the Vermont Press Bureau, providing coverage of state government and the congressional delegation for the Herald and the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus. Derby later served as a spokesperson for then-Sen. Jim Jeffords and as a field representative for Sen. Patrick Leahy.

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Michael Dougherty

Senior Editor

Mike Dougherty is a senior editor at VTDigger leading the politics team. He previously served as the publication's digital editor. He is a DC-area native and studied journalism and music at New York University. Prior to joining VTDigger, Michael spent two years as a program coordinator for the Vermont Humanities Council. Before moving to Vermont in 2015, he spent seven years managing recording operations for the oral history nonprofit StoryCorps, assisted Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas, and contributed to the Brooklyn-based alt-weekly L Magazine.

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Lola Duffort

Lola Duffort

Politics Reporter

Lola Duffort is VTDigger’s politics reporter. She previously served as the publication's education reporter from 2019 to 2021. Prior to Digger, Lola covered schools for the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire and the Rutland Herald. She has also freelanced for the Miami Herald in Florida, where she grew up. She is a graduate of McGill University in Canada.

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Liora Engel-Smith

Health Care Reporter

Liora Engel-Smith covers health care for VTDigger. She previously covered rural health at NC Health News in North Carolina and the Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire. She also worked at the Muscatine Journal in rural Iowa. Engel-Smith has master's degrees in public health from Drexel University and journalism from Temple University. Before moving into journalism, she was a scientist who briefly worked in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Katherine Fiegenbaum

Northeast Kingdom Reporter

Katherine Fiegenbaum covers the Northeast Kingdom for VTDigger. She previously covered the NEK and New Hampshire’s North Country as a staff writer for the Caledonian-Record. She also has worked at Foster’s Daily Democrat in Dover, New Hampshire, and as the Capitol Hill Reporting Intern for the Durango Herald. She also worked for many years in agriculture, including time spent in Guatemala with the Peace Corps. She has a B.A. in International Studies and Arabic from American University.

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Alicia Freese

Newsletter Editor

Alicia Freese began her journalism career as a reporter with VTDigger. She later spent five years covering local and state politics as a staff writer for the Seven Days newspaper. Her work has won awards from the New England Newspaper & Press Association, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, and the Vermont Press Association.

 

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Anne Galloway

Anne Galloway

Founder and Editor-at-Large

Anne Galloway is the founder and editor-at-large of VTDigger. She has worked as a reporter and editor for over 20 years. She holds a BA from the University of Kentucky and moved to Vermont in 1988. For many years, Galloway was a contributing writer for Seven Days Newspaper and a visual arts reviewer for the Times Argus. She was the editor of the Sunday Rutland Herald and Barre Times Argus from 2004 to 2009. Her reporting has appeared in The New York Times(the Vows column), the New York Daily News, Vermont Life and City Pages (Minneapolis). In March 2017, she was a finalist for the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for her investigation into allegations of fraud at Jay Peak Resort. Galloway was also a finalist for the Investigative Reporters & Editors FOI Award in April 2017.

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Auditi Guha

Chittenden County Editor

Auditi Guha is Chittenden County editor at VTDigger. She started her reporting career at a national daily in India before moving to Boston for an MA in journalism from Emerson College. She has worked at several community newspapers in Massachusetts - from the Cambridge Chronicle to the New Bedford Standard-Times, covering various beats from arts and food to politics and crime. She was one of 12 national Guggenheim criminal justice fellows in New York in 2012. Auditi has multiple journalism awards from the New England Newspaper & Press Association. Most recently she covered race and justice nationally for Rewire.News, a DC-based news site, where she focused on the Flint water crisis and Native rights. Auditi is a founding member of the Boston chapter of the South Asian Journalists Association, a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Environmental Journalists, and a mentor for young journalists with Report for America. Her work has appeared in the Boston GlobeBoston HeraldPatriot Ledger, Providence Journal, HuffPost, and Associated Press, among other publications.

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Paul Heintz

Managing Editor

Paul Heintz is managing editor of VTDigger, where he oversees day-to-day operations of the newsroom. Heintz previously spent nine years at Burlington’s Seven Days newspaper, serving as a reporter, columnist and political editor. During that time, he was named journalist of the year by the New England Society of News Editors and won the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s Morley L. Piper First Amendment Award for his successful advocacy for Vermont’s first media shield law. Heintz previously worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and for the Brattleboro Reformer and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and thru-paddled the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

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Tom Kearney

Tom Kearney

Senior Editor

Tom Kearney is a senior editor at VTDigger. He was executive editor of the Stowe Reporter from 2005 to 2020, and oversaw improvements to the newspapers in Morrisville, South Burlington, Shelburne and Charlotte/Hinesburg after the Stowe Reporter acquired those weeklies. Earlier, he was executive editor of The Keene (N.H.) Sentinel for 20 years. He is a member of the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.

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Alan J. Keays

Criminal Justice Reporter

Alan J. Keays is the former news editor of the Rutland Herald. He is VTDigger’s criminal justice reporter and continues to report on EB-5.

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Jack Lyons

Burlington Reporter

Burlington reporter Jack Lyons is a 2021 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He majored in theology with a minor in journalism, ethics and democracy. Jack previously interned at the Boston Globe, the Berkshire Eagle and WDEV radio in Waterbury. He also freelanced for VTDigger while studying remotely during the pandemic in 2020.

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Sarah Mearhoff

Political Reporter

Sarah Mearhoff is one of VTDigger's political reporters, covering the Vermont statehouse, executive branch and congressional delegation. Prior to joining Digger, she covered Minnesota and South Dakota state politics for Forum Communications' newspapers across the Upper Midwest for three years. She has also covered politics in Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she is a proud alumna of the Pennsylvania State University where she studied journalism.

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Kevin O'Connor

Reporter

Kevin O’Connor is a Brattleboro-based writer and former staffer for the Sunday Rutland Herald and Times Argus. O’Connor covers Windham County.

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Erin Petenko

Data Reporter

Erin Petenko is VTDigger’s data reporter, working on her own data-driven stories as well as collaborating with reporters across beats to crunch numbers, design graphics and make sense of spreadsheets. Petenko comes to Vermont from New Jersey, where she was a data reporter at the statewide news website NJ.com.

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Shaun Robinson

Northwestern Vermont Reporter

Shaun Robinson covers Franklin and Grand Isle counties. He is a member of the Report for America corps, a national service program for journalists. Previously, Shaun covered Massachusetts state government for The Cape Cod Times and produced videos for GBH, one of Boston’s NPR stations. He also worked at The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, MA and has written for The Boston Globe. Shaun studied journalism at Boston University, where he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Free Press. While he was editor, the paper won New England College Newspaper of The Year. Shaun was born in Seattle and grew up in Princeton Junction, NJ.

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Riley Robinson

General Assignment and Multimedia Reporter

Riley Robinson is a general assignment and multimedia reporter, covering stories across the state in writing, photos and video. She is a graduate of Northeastern University's School of Journalism and first joined the Digger newsroom as a Dow Jones News Fund intern.

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Glenn Russell

Glenn Russell

Photographer

Glenn Russell is a VTDigger staff photographer. Glenn worked for more than 30 years as a photographer at the Burlington Free Press and as a freelancer. He grew up overseas and in Washington DC as a State Department kid before coming to the University of Vermont in 1982. He and his wife live in Jericho with two dogs.

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Tiffany Tan

Southern Vermont Reporter

Tiffany Tan is VTDigger's Southern Vermont reporter. She previously covered the police and courts for the Bennington Banner. Before that, she held a similar beat at the Rapid City Journal in South Dakota and spent more than 10 years working at newspapers and television stations in Manila, Singapore and Beijing.

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Fred Thys

Business and Economy Reporter

Fred Thys covers business and the economy for VTDigger. He is originally from Bethesda, Maryland, and graduated from Williams College with a degree in political science. He is the recipient of  the Radio, Television, and Digital News Association's Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting and for Enterprise Reporting. Fred has worked at The Journal of Commerce, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, NBC News, and WBUR, and has written for Le Matin, The Dallas Morning News, and The American Homefront Project.

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Jim Welch

Jim Welch

Senior Editor

Jim Welch is a senior editor at VTDigger and a former Montpelier bureau chief and executive editor at the Burlington Free Press. He also was deputy managing editor at USA Today and a speechwriter for the president of the American Bar Association. He has a degree in government from Georgetown University and a master’s in leadership from its business school. He also is a visiting scholar and adjunct lecturer at the University of Vermont. He previously served as a professional in residence at the University of Iowa.

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Natalie Williams

Digital Editor

Natalie Williams is the digital editor for VTDigger, where she leads the newsroom's digital strategy. She previously served as the publication's news editor. Before joining VTDigger, she spent three years at the Bangor Daily News as a digital editor and then the visuals coordinator. Natalie also worked as a reporter, photographer and editor for two publications in her home state of California after graduating from the University of Vermont.

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The Vermont Journalism Trust

Board of Trustees

Kevin Ellis

Kevin Ellis

Kevin Ellis is a co-founder and partner in Ellis Mills Public Affairs, a consulting firm offering political strategy and communications counsel to companies and nonprofits nationwide. Kevin co-founded Ellis Mills after 22 years at KSE Partners, LLC, a leading government affairs and communications firm. He led campaigns and counseled companies and nonprofits in government strategy, public relations and crisis communications, including the historic same-sex marriage campaign in 2009. At KSE, he helped lead the firm from three employees to 35, extending its reach into national government affairs consulting and strategic communications. Kevin advised clients in telecom, transportation, health care, farm-to-plate agriculture and education. He spent nine years as a journalist beginning with the syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Jack Anderson in Washington, DC. He was a reporter at The Tennessean in Nashville, covering police, City Hall and political campaigns. As Washington correspondent for The Tennessean in the early 1990s, he covered the presidential campaign of Al Gore, The Tennessee Valley Authority and many other national stories. From 1991-93, he was an environmental and political reporter for the Burlington (VT) Free Press. He serves on the board of directors of Chelsea Green Publishing, a leading environmental and sustainability publisher and the Green Mountain Film Festival in Montpelier.

Curtis Koren

Curtis Ingham Koren, President Emeritus

Curtis Ingham Koren is the founder of Vermont Intercultural Semesters (VIS), an accredited program that conducted ten high school and “gap” semester programs featuring intercultural immersion in Ladakh, India. In 2012, building on the track record of VIS, Koren co-founded FrontiersAfar (FAR), a new organization to develop additional experiential education programs in India and at other sites. Before becoming an educator, Koren worked as an editor and writer at Ms. Magazine, as a Middle-East correspondent based in Cyprus, and as a journalist at the United Nations. She served on the Board of the Vermont Journalism Trust for nine years from 2011 to 2020. She continues to serve on the board of the Brookfield Community Partnership, which she helped found to spearhead community and educational projects in Brookfield, Vermont.

Eric Hanson

Eric Hanson founded Hanson & Doremus Investment Management in 1995 and focuses on portfolio strategy, portfolio management, and client interaction.

Eric has managed money in Burlington, Vermont since 1971, first with Howard Bank, then Fraser Management Associates. Eric has also lectured at The University of Vermont and Saint Michael’s College and wrote a column on Personal Finance in The Burlington Free Press for ten years. Eric holds a BA from St. Lawrence University, where he is Trustee Emeritus. He is also a CFA® Charterholder and a CFP® Certificant.

Eric lives in Burlington and is active in the community. He has served as Board Chair of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging (Age Well), and the Vermont Nature Conservancy. He is currently on the Board of VTDigger, is Chair of the Board of the Wake Robin Retirement Community and the Vermont Chinese School, and is the 2018-2019 President of the Burlington Sunrise Rotary Club.

Don-Hooper

Don Hooper

Don Hooper is Regional Representative of the National Wildlife Federation where he works on mutual initiatives with NWF affiliates the Vermont Natural Resources Council, the Environmental League of Massachusetts and the Natural Resources Council of Maine. At Harvard, then in Botswana (Peace Corps ‘69-‘71), Don imbibed Chief Seattle’s admonition that we haven’t so much “inherited this planet from our parents as we’ve borrowed it from our children.” Later, as a gung-ho college teacher, a hippie farmer, a think-outside-the-dots legislator, a “count every vote” Secretary of State, and an ardent lifelong “intelligent tinkerer conservationist” (Aldo Leopold urges us to ‘save all the parts’), Don has always thought it a good idea to try to leave the planet a better place than we found it. The Hooper family lives on a tilted hill farm in Brookfield where the family business (Allison’s, really), Vermont Creamery, started a quarter-century ago.

Neale Lunderville

Neale recently served as Director of the Community & Economic Development Office (CEDO) in Burlington, Vermont and, from 2014 to 2018, as General Manager of Burlington Electric Department. Prior to that, he was Co-Founder and CEO of NG Advantage LLC, a natural gas distribution company. In 2011, he was appointed Irene Recovery Officer, leading and coordinating Vermont’s recovery from the worst disaster to hit the state since the floods of 1927. He served in two top cabinet posts in Vermont state government: Secretary of Administration from 2008 to 2011 where he oversaw the daily operations of state government; and Secretary of Transportation from 2006 to 2008. He also served as Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs and a member of the governor’s senior staff.

In addition to the Vermont Journalism Trust, Neale is Chair of the board of the Preservation Trust of Vermont and serves on the boards of Champlain College and the Energy Action Network. He is a member of Governor Phil Scott’s Government Modernization and Efficiency Team (GMET). He is also involved with Change the Story’s Champions for Change and the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Climate Energy Action Team. He graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. and was given their 2012 Alumni Achievement Award.

Bill Mares

Raised in Texas, educated at Harvard, Bill Mares is a former journalist, state representative and high school teacher.   He has authored or co-authored 18 books on subjects ranging from the U.S. Marines to desert travel, and from war memorials to brewing.

 During 11 years he wrote over 200 Commentaries for Vermont Public Radio.  He also serves on the board of F4Farmers,  the Vermont Brewers Association and the Vermont Beekeepers Association. He lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife of 49 years, Chris Hadsel.  They have two sons.   

Jane Mayer

Jane Mayer has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1995. The magazine’s chief Washington correspondent, she covers politics, culture, and national security. Previously, she worked at the Wall Street Journal, where she covered the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the Gulf War, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1984, she became the paper’s first female White House correspondent. 

Jane is the author of the 2016 book “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right,” and the 2008 book “The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.” She is the co-author, with Jill Abramson, of “Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas” and, with Doyle McManus, of “Landslide: The Unmaking of the President, 1984-1988." All four of her books have been New York Times best-sellers. 

Jane began her career in Vermont as a reporter with the Weathersfield Weekly, the Black River Tribune and the Rutland Herald. She has won numerous awards for her writing.

Jane is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and in 2019 was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Middlebury College.

John Reilly

John Reilly, President

John Reilly is an independent consultant with over 40 years in the field of communications and public relations, with experience in journalism, public and media relations, corporate philanthropy, community involvement and employee engagement. John began his career as a reporter with the Burlington Free Press. He spent 12 years as a journalist with the Gannett and Newhouse newspaper groups in Burlington and in Washington D.C. and was part of the pilot team of Gannett reporters and editors that launched USA Today in 1982. From 1989 to 2014 John worked at MFS Investment Management in Boston, creating several new functions for the company, including its first media relations department, its first organized corporate philanthropy program, a broad-based program of employee volunteerism, and a Global Corporate Citizenship program encompassing the offices across the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. John is a former board member of the Americorps program City Year Boston and for the past 22 years has captained a team of cyclists that have contributed over $12 million to the Pan Massachusetts Challenge to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Johns Hopkins University and lives in Burlington.

Kathryn Stearns

Kathryn Stearns, Vice President

Kathryn Stearns, a resident of Hanover, N.H., spent 35 years in journalism as a reporter, editor, editorial writer, and occasional commentator for Vermont Public Radio. In 2012, she stepped down as editorial page editor of the Valley News, an award-winning daily covering Dartmouth College, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and more than 40 towns in the Upper Connecticut River Valley. She received a New England Press Association award for editorial writing in 2008. While living in London, England, in the 1990s, she contributed regularly to The Economist’s Britain section and its Global Agenda website. From 1980 to 1993, she was a member of The Washington Post’s editorial page staff. She edited the letters column, commentary pages and wrote editorials on a wide range of topics, including education, public policy and the arts. She and her husband, Robert Bruce, have three grown children.

Rob Woolmington, Vice President

Rob Woolmington is a lawyer based in Manchester.  He focuses his practice on environmental, energy and conservation matters.  Rob was formerly a reporter, photographer and editor for the Bennington Banner.  He served as the first chair of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and has chaired the Vermont Community Foundation and the Castanea Foundation.  Rob designed and developed a website for the village of North Bennington, where he has served for 26 years as the founding president of a community foundation.

Louisa Schibli

Louisa Schibli is a partner at Vermont Works Management Co, an alternative investment firm supporting Vermont’s job & economic development. She is a co-founder of Milk Money Vermont, an online equity crowd-funding platform connecting all Vermonters with opportunities to invest in Vermont businesses. In 2017, Milk Money won Vermont Businesses For Social Responsibility’s (VBSR) Innovation and Inspiration Award. Louisa successfully guided Milk Money through the acquisition by The Vermont Innovation Commons where she continues to pursue ways to grow the Community Capital movement and ways the Milk Money platform can support this effort. Passionate about the people and businesses of Vermont, in particular female founded/led businesses, Louisa led the charge to bring iFundWomen to Vermont as an alternative source of funding. She’s also a founding member of the Vermont Women’s Investor Network (WIN) and currently serves on the boards of the Flexible Capital Fund, LaunchVT and Mercy Connections. Louisa spent more than 12 years on the board of The Charlotte News, Vermont’s oldest non-profit community newspaper.

Mathew Rubin

Mathew Rubin, Treasurer

Mathew Rubin is the President of Spruce Mountain Design and developer and operator of renewable energy projects, including the Winooski One Hydroelectric Project. Matt is an outspoken practitioner of environmental sustainability from food production to electric generation, and consults on hydro projects in New England and globally. A leading proponent of renewable sources of electricity and supporter of efforts to mitigate the effects of business operations on our natural and social environment, Matt was a founding member of VBSR and serves on the boards of Renewable Energy Vermont, the Vermont Independent Power Producers Association and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

Ariel Wengroff

Ariel is an Executive-In-Residence and Senior Advisor at LionTree, a global TMT advisory firm, focused on the creator economy. Along with three others, she co-founded arfa, Inc.(now Chord Commerce), a platform for the creation of new beauty and personal care brands such as HIKI and State Of with people around the United States. Ariel's most recent film Sitara: Let Girls Dream, premiered on Netflix Spring 2020 on International Women’s Day in partnership with Gucci’s Chime For Change Let Girls Dream campaign. At VICE Media, she was an Executive Producer of the Emmy nominated VICELAND show WOMAN with Gloria Steinem, where at 26 she became the youngest person to be nominated as Executive Producer in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series category. With the help of the incredible Willow Bay and Amy Richards, they turned WOMAN into a course at USC Annenberg, helped develop the syllabus and was a guest lecturer. Ariel also served as Publisher of Broadly, VICE's women and LGBTQ+ identity channel, where they established Broadly as an internationally recognized brand, and focused on bringing often overlooked stories to light.

As Chief of Staff at VICE, Ariel worked on interviews with President Obama, President George W. Bush, Vice President Biden, Gloria Steinem, Malala, and many more. Ariel is on the 2020 Crain's Notable LGBTQ Leaders and Executives List, 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Media list and in addition to the Vermont Journalism Trust, she currently serves on the board of the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), Sad Girls Club, Lesbians Who Tech, VICE’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, and is a former commissioner on the Vermont Commission on Women and former member on the Vermont Board of Libraries.




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