Allie CashelSelf-Employed Nonprofit Consultant and Founder of the Suffering the Silence Community Inc, Chronic Illness & Disability Rights AdvocateMore
Allie Cashel is the author of Suffering the Silence: Chronic Lyme disease in an Age of Denial (North Atlantic Books) and is the co-founder and president of The Suffering the Silence Community, a nonprofit organization dedicated to breaking the stigma surrounding chronic illness and disability. Since starting work with STS, Allie has been invited to facilitate workshops and to speak about disability, inclusion, and storytelling at events around the country. She has appeared in a number of global media outlets, including Good Day NY (Fox5) and NowThis Live News, and has presented her work at a United States Congressional Forum.
Alongside her advocacy work in the illness and disability community, Allie works as a marketing and content development consultant for nonprofit and mission driven companies in the United States and Europe. Highlights from her current consulting work include managing the 2018 Our World is Kind Photography contest with Envision Kindness, empowering youth activism with The Service Learning Project, and bringing community voices into the marketing strategy and brand development at the social impact startup, Mighty Well.
Harnessing the power of storytelling, she gives voice to individuals and organizations working to create positive change in the world. Allie graduated from Bard College in 2013 with a BA in Written Arts and lives in Burlington, VT.Less
Andrew KabueFederal Government, AnalystMore
Andrew is an analyst for the federal government. He has worked for the federal government for over four years. Andrew began service with the federal government by volunteering with the Peace Corps. The time in the Peace Corps motivated Andrew to seek opportunities to evaluate how policies, specifically economic policy affects the population.Less
Ari MileikowskyNational Life Group, Information Security AnalystMore
Ari Mileikowsky is a graduate of Champlain College with a B.S. in Computer Networking & Cybersecurity, as well as a specialization in Cybersecurity. Currently, Ari is an Information Security Analyst and Certified Information Systems Security Professional in waiting.
At a young age, Ari began experimenting with information technology, repairing smartphones, digging into code, and assisting his surrounding community with IT issues. During his years in high-school, Ari developed an aptitude for leadership; joining a variety of organizations such as DECA and JROTC. In DECA, Ari crafted a business plan based on making electric cars feel and sound like their gasoline-powered equivalents that won at the state competition. Throughout his 4 years in JROTC, Ari devoted over 300 hours to his local community and advanced to the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
During college Ari found a passion in Cybersecurity, understanding the impact that attackers could cause. He wanted to protect others from scams, having their information stolen, or being blackmailed. After Champlain College hosted their first Conference ‘Understanding Digital Threats,’ Ari discussed the issue of Cybersecurity with local businesses, and non-profits, coming to the conclusion that there was a lack of affordable Cybersecurity protection.
Thus Ari founded Trusted Intruders, a company dedicated to protecting small and medium-sized organizations as well as non-profits. His vision is to secure America, one organization at a time, ultimately ensuring our government and critical infrastructure is safe.Less
Bethany FairVermont State Archives & Records Administration, Archivist IIMore
Bethany Fair is an independent oral historian and archivist at the Vermont State Archives & Records Administration. With a background in historical research, oral history, and digital asset management, Bethany has been thrilled to bring her diverse skill set to state government. As an archival public servant, she makes meaningful connections with Vermont citizens through providing reference services, processing historical collections, and conducting strategic public outreach and education campaigns. Her work is motivated by the fervent belief that those who take up the role of public records steward must constantly strive to rectify disparities that exist in information access, both digital and physical, by actively connecting citizens to the public records that will help them make informed decisions and fully participate in their democracy by holding their elected representatives accountable.
A first-generation college student from East Tennessee, Bethany earned her Bachelor’s degree in English literature at The University of Florida and then made her way to New England where she earned two Master’s degrees in history and library and information science with a specialization in archival management from Simmons College in Boston. During her graduate studies, Bethany was honored to serve as Dean’s Fellow for International Initiatives throughout her tenure.
Her history thesis and current academic research pertain to the anthropological evaluation of space/place and how identity becomes embedded within culturally constructed spaces. She received several student travel and merit awards for her thesis, “Non-Places & Neofundamentalism: Mohamed Atta’s Quest to Reconstitute Anthropological Space.” As an information professional, she seeks to find innovative ways to use this research to answer questions about how space/place may impact our information identities and define how people interact in digital spaces.
As a relatively new Vermonter and Waterbury resident, she spends her free time in pursuit of activities that may aid her in shedding her “flatlander” status such as skiing, hiking, and voraciously reading as many Vermont history books as she can obtain from the Waterbury Public Library. She is a dedicated activist and can usually be found at the nearest protest, Women’s March, or phone banking party. Most recently, she has taken an active role in the 2020 Vermont Suffrage Centennial Celebration committee and is thrilled to be working alongside diverse women from across the state to educate Vermonters about the history and result of woman suffrage and to engage women in the ongoing quest for equal citizenship.Less
Elena RubinettiSeventh Generation, Community Marketing SpecialistMore
Elena Rubinetti earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a major in Global Media and Communications and a minor in International Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey. For her senior capstone project, she worked with a fellow student to host Ramapo’s largest on-campus student-lead event, Woofstock, which raised over $3,000 for Shelter Our Pets, a New Jersey-based non-profit organization that fosters and cares for pets of domestic violence victims fleeing abusive situations. After spending an entire year planning and executing Woofstock, she realized her interest in working for a mission-based company or non-profit after graduation. For the first three years out of college, her jobs in digital marketing were at for-profit companies in New Jersey and Vermont. She continued volunteering at Shelter Our Pets and became involved in local political campaigns.
Currently, Elena works at Seventh Generation, a natural and sustainable home care products company based in Burlington, Vermont. Elena is so impassioned to work for a mission-based company that enables her to focus on environmental sustainability and protecting consumer rights every day. As a Community Marketing Specialist, she manages an online community of parents aiming to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. She provides support, activities and education on several topics, such as breast cancer prevention awareness, climate change and ingredient disclosure in order to empower parents to make better choices for their families and the planet. In her free time, she volunteers at the Humane Society of Chittenden County, hikes beautiful Vermont mountains, and hangs out with her dog.Less
Elise Greaves is a community organizer and former Political Engagement Coordinator with Rights & Democracy VT. A Winooski resident and Vermont native, she was born and raised in Hardwick and graduated as a first-generation college student from the University of Vermont in 2014. She has spent the past four years working with non-profit organizations and has experience in youth development, grassroots organizing, advocacy, and campaign management. She is passionate about economic and gender justice and interested in examining the role that we can all play in building communities that are healthy, safe and equitable for all.
She became interested in community programs and resources during her time at the at the University of Vermont, where she volunteered to teach and tutor a civics class for adult English Language Learners in preparation for the U.S Citizenship Test. Energized by the idea of serving her community and working to support the success of others, she joined AmeriCorps after graduation and spent her year of service coordinating community service opportunities for middle and high school students, mentoring, and working with youth at a teen center in Essex Junction.
Elise joined the team at Rights & Democracy in August 2015 as a canvasser, knocking on thousands of doors across the state to build support for statewide paid sick day legislation. Over the past three years, she has organized in communities around Vermont, bringing people together across a number of issues of social, economic and environmental justice, including a livable wage and a paid family and medical insurance program, and helped to lead the organizing of the Women's March on Montpelier in January of 2017. At roughly 20,000 attendees, the march was the one of the biggest in Vermont history and helped to spark a new wave of energy, organizing and activism across the state. Outside of issue-based organizing, Elise worked as a first-time campaign manager with Carina Driscoll’s campaign for Mayor of Burlington.Less
Jilliene JohnsonThe University of Vermont, Diversity, Engagement, and Professional Development DirectorMore
As an educator, Jilliene understands the transformative nature of education to shape and change lives and is dedicated to making higher education more inclusive, affordable, and equitable.
Currently she serves as the Diversity, Engagement, and Professional Development Director in the office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Students at the University of Vermont (UVM). In her role she oversees professional development for approximately 200 staff members in the division, serves as the divisional liaison to the faculty and students of the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program, Chairs the University’s Bias Response Program and provides divisional and institutional support for matters related to diversity, inclusion and campus climate. Prior to this role, she also had the opportunity to serve as the Assistant Dean of Students for three years. As an Assistant Dean, she was responsible for supporting the success and well-being of UVM students, oversaw the development and review process for institutional policies assigned to Student Affairs, and served as the Appellate Officer for all student conduct cases.
Jilliene’s passion for advocating for underserved communities and federal policy was further refined during her time on Capitol Hill. As a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Education Fellow, she served in the offices of U.S. Representative Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH) and Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC). Her portfolio included early childhood development, education (K-12 and postsecondary), health care, poverty, and judiciary issues.
Her commitment to equity and inclusion extends beyond her professional roles and continues as an Upward Bound Mentor, a National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Undergraduate Mentor, and as a GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Trustee at the College of Wooster.
Jilliene was born and raised in Greater Cleveland, Ohio. She earned a M.Ed. in Higher Education Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont and her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Black Studies from the College of Wooster.
In her spare time, she loves spending quality time with family and friends, traveling with her fiancée, and learning new ways to stay active.Less
Julianna BanachState of Vermont, Benefit Program Assistant AdministratorMore
Julianna Banach serves as a Benefit Program Assistant Director for the 3SquaresVT program (nationally known as SNAP) for the State of Vermont. She specializes in the SNAP-Education program partnering with the Vermont Department of Health. She has been with the State for five years. Julianna has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Castleton University where she also worked as a technician for the Theatre Department. She also holds a Board of Directors position for the October Theatre Company based out of Chittenden county Vermont where she is a paid vocalist.
When she is not working, she is an avid follower of politics and hopes to run for office in the near future. She lives happily with her rescue dog and loves live music and local events.Less
Kelsey Root-WinchesterWells River Wellness Hall, OwnerMore
Kelsey is the co-owner of the Wells River Wellness Hall and Rising Spirit Yoga. She is a yoga instructor and a certified health coach. Kelsey received her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Kelsey has a passion for health care. Her journey into health care began at 18 when she worked at an integrative pharmacy. When she moved to Vermont from Colorado, she took a 200 hour Yoga teacher training that inspired her to do more. In 2014 she purchased Rising Spirit Yoga and has grown the business to serve a larger community.
After completing her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition she began offering more health care to the yoga community. She now specializes in women's health and hormone disorders, supporting women of all ages. Kelsey and her husband Jason opened the Wells River Wellness Hall in November of 2018. The large building is now home to many wellness practitioners. She believes the wellness should be available to all regardless of where they live.
She serves on the Blue Mountain Union School board. Her other passion is for education. Children are our future. She serves on the community relations subcommittee of the school board, getting important board information to the community. Originally from Boulder, CO, she now lives in Vermont with her husband and children.Less
Kristine LottTNTP, Business AnalystMore
Kristine Lott is a Business Analyst at TNTP, a non-profit education organization working to achieve equity in education through advancing policies and practices that bring effective teaching to every kid in every classroom. In her role as Business Analyst, she uses strategic prioritization, attention to detail and operational expertise to implement technology projects that support programs in schools and districts across the country. Her work in managing technology systems supported the training and certification of thousands of newly qualified teachers across the country. In addition to her primary role, Kristine also serves on TNTP’s Diversity Leadership Council, which guides organizational efforts to achieve greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the business.
Prior to joining TNTP, Kristine earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Humanities at Michigan State University where she studied Anthropology and Art History. In her early career, Kristine gained experience in operations and logistics across industries from finance to hospitality. Beyond her professional endeavors, Kristine also brings her expertise and dedication to serve her community as a member of the Winooski City Council. After serving on a commission charged with understanding the local housing landscape and informing municipal policy, she was elected to serve as a Councilor to provide leadership on policy and strategy for the City.Less
Nick CharykAllEarth Renewables, Communication & Public Affairs ManagerMore
Nick Charyk is the Communications and Public Affairs Manager at AllEarth Renewables, in Williston, VT. In this role, Charyk helps bring more efficient renewable energy solutions to market. His work supports the construction of community wind farms, solar tracker arrays and recent efforts to bring community passenger railroad service to Vermont. He currently serves on the board of the Vermont Rail Action Network.
A native of Thetford, Charyk returned to Vermont in 2010 to after receiving an undergraduate degree from Harvard University. In the time since, he has headed up community outreach in support of successful Paid Sick Days legislation, organized childcare workers for the American Federation of Teachers, served as political director of the Vermont Democratic Party, directed Planned Parenthood’s Vermont Action Fund electoral activities in 2016, and managed a host of political campaigns at the local, legislative and statewide level.
Charyk lives in Sharon in a solar-tracker powered household with his wife Melissa, their two rescue dogs Clove and Gracie, and a twenty-pound cat named Gus.Less
Patrick SodumsBurke Mountain Hotel and Conference Center, Corporate Sales ManagerMore
Patrick Sodums is the Corporate Sales Manager at Burke Mountain Hotel and Conference Center in East Burke, Vermont. He works closely with corporate entities, state and federal government agencies and small businesses from across the U.S. and Canada. Before moving to the North East Kingdom of Vermont, he lived and worked in the Finger Lakes region of New York State where he attended Wells College and holds a B.A. in a self-designed degree of International Entrepreneurial Development. Active in his community, Patrick is a Trustee on the Board for the NEK Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chair of the NEK Young Professional Group, serving member of the NEK Collaborative task force for Leadership Development, Lyndon Area Youth Soccer coach, volunteer youth soccer referee, and volunteer usher for Catamount Arts. He is passionate about economic development and feels that underrepresented groups such as women and children are critical pillars for sustainable economic development in communities. In his free time Patrick enjoys being active outside (especially on the soccer field), exploring the vast beauty of Vermont’s Green Mountains, and cooking.
Living abroad in Brazil for two and a half years exposed Patrick to a new language, culture and a superior style of soccer, but it was the people of Brazil that helped him find his passion for economic development and gave him a window into many new perspectives. He firmly believes that despite the global challenges we face, solutions can be found through solidarity, cooperation, and transparency.
Rachel O’BrienWashington County Mental Health Services, PBIS ClinicianMore
Rachel O’Brien is a Case Manager and Positive Behavior Intervention Services Clinician for Washington County Mental Health in Barre, Vermont. This role allows her to provide mental health services to a low-income, high-need school on a daily basis. Creating social-emotional competence in children, families, and care providers is the most important work we can do to prevent the trauma cycle. Rachel engages in daily intervention with kids, using her office to create a safe space where kids can express their needs and emotions, whether it is joy and excitement or anger, sadness and frustration. This work also includes creating systems to accurately collect data on students social and emotional behaviors and whether behavioral modification techniques are working. Rachel’s assessment of these data systems helps her to evaluate if her interventions are fostering growth in the student.
Rachel’s professional duties often also include providing training and consultation to school leadership within the district and to out-of-district schools looking to model the systems that Rachel has implemented. She also teaches to whole school faculties and provides training and consultation to support staff working directly with students. These topics are wide-ranging, from teaching educators to be trauma-informed, to crisis de-escalation, as well as data collection and analysis.
Rachel attended the Maine School of Science and Mathematics for her junior and senior year of high school. This academically competitive boarding school in northern Maine triggered a love of math and data that continues to be a large part of Rachel's life. After high school, she started at Unity College and on a whim took Intro to Education where the required reading was Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods. This education has served as a foundation for Rachel's educational philosophy: When a child's needs are met at the base level, then any child can achieve their goals.
Rachel also volunteers with the Vermont Food Bank, and is a volunteer coach with Girls on the Run Northern Vermont. In her free time, she loves to cook meals to share with friends, travel to different parts of the country, and complain about running.Less
Scott PavekUniversity of Vermont, Assistant Coordinator of Undergraduate Retention and Re-enrollmentMore
Scott Pavek works as the Assistant Coordinator of Undergraduate Retention & Re-enrollment at the University of Vermont, where he is also an MPA candidate. He currently serves as the Secretary on the Board of Directors for the CCTV Center for Media & Democracy.
Scott earned a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Vermont, where he majored in political science. While an undergraduate, Scott participated in the Vermont Legislative Research Service, an experience which has fueled his interest in state and local politics.
Scott has long been passionate about protecting the most vulnerable in Vermont communities. As an AmeriCorps member, Scott completed two terms of service working with at-risk youth in alternative middle and high schools. A person in recovery from substance use disorder, Scott spends his free time pressuring and persuading elected officials to address the state’s overdose crisis.Less
Shane RogersVermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, Rooted in Vermont Project ManagerMore
Since moving to Vermont in 2015, Shane Rogers has dedicated his career to improving the local food system and working to make it more equitable and accessible for all people. He currently works for Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in Montpelier, VT where he manages the Vermont Farm to Plate Network’s local food grassroots marketing campaign, Rooted in Vermont. With the goal of increasing consumer demand for local food throughout the state, Rooted in Vermont is shifting the local food narrative on social media and in Vermont communities to be more inclusive of the many ways Vermonters enjoy and acquire local food. By celebrating long-held local food traditions like gardening, hunting, fishing, wildcrafting and more, Rooted in Vermont is working to make the local food movement more inviting and accessible for all Vermonters.
Before managing Rooted in Vermont, Shane handled communications and development for Green Mountain Farm-to-School, a nonprofit in Newport, VT whose mission is to restore and strengthen local food systems in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont by promoting positive economic and education relationships among schools, farms, and communities. Through Green Mountain Farm-to-School, he was active in the Vermont Farm to Plate Network where he served on the marketing strategy committee responsible for developing the Rooted in Vermont campaign.
In his spare time, Shane has also worked as a campaign manager for two Vermont House of Representatives candidates, served as chair of the ReNewport Marketing and Tourism Task Force, and has volunteered with various other community organizations. He is an avid hiker, kayaker, and angler during the warmer months and curler and cross-country skier in the colder months. He moved to Vermont from Washington, D.C. where he had worked as a legislative researcher and writer for CQ Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper publication. He has also worked as a reporter for The Press newspaper in Avon Lake, Ohio and as an assistant director for Grassroots Campaigns Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio.Less