Board of Directors & Advisory Committee

Kelly Coleman

Kelly Coleman

(Chair) Brattleboro

Kelly is the Program Director at Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) a nonprofit based in western MA, where she oversees the organization's grants and manages programs in the areas of building markets, farm to consumer, infrastructure, and public issues and education. She received a master’s degree from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and spent several years promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting environmental causes in California before moving back to her native Northeast. Kelly lives in Brattleboro with her husband and two children.

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Elizabeth Courtney

Elizabeth Courtney

Montpelier

Elizabeth Courtney is an environmental consultant, a licensed landscape architect, and co-author of Greening Vermont, The Search for a Sustainable State. She has served on various boards and councils of advisors to Governors Kunin, Snelling, Dean and Shumlin. For the better part of a decade, she was a member of, and then chaired, Act 250’s quasi-judicial Environmental Board. In 1994, Elizabeth was awarded a Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard University, after which, her landscape architectural practice took her to Prague, Bellagio, Davis California, and H. Ross Perot’s extensive land holdings in Texas. She became Executive Director of VNRC in 1997 and served the organization for 15 years. Now, she helps several non-profits to fulfill their missions, writes a monthly column on the environment and continues to build on her 45 years of work to protect the beauty, durability, and functionality of Vermont’s environment.

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Richard Czaplinski

Richard Czaplinski

Warren Village

Richard Czaplinski, born and raised on a farm in Wisconsin, came to Vermont in 1972 to take a position with the Agency of Natural Resources preparing river basin plans for Vermont as required by the Clean Water Act. He attended the University of Wisconsin –BS, Engineering (1964), MS, Water Resources Management and MS, Urban and Regional Planning (1972). After 15 years working for the Agency of Natural Resources in the Water Quality Division managing River Basin Planning, Flood Plain Management, Lakes and Ponds, and Non-Point Source Programs, he left and became an Environmental Protection Consultant taking work in the areas of groundwater protection, flood plain management, erosion control, river basin planning, on-site waste water management, sustainable living and energy conservation. Richard serves on the Board of Friends of the Mad River, a watershed organization, and, after serving in the US Navy for six years in the 1960’s, continues to serve the country working for peace as President of the Will Miller Green Mountain Veterans For Peace, Chapter 57. When requested, Richard gives tours of his homestead (built in 1978) to demonstrate “built-in” energy conservation and sustainable living. He also continues to offer free consulting for root cellaring and composting. He now lives in Warren Village with his wife Kinny Perot and plans to do more writing about energy conservation and sustainable living.

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Judy Dow

Judy Dow

Essex

(She/Her/Hers) Judy is a Vermont Native and has lived here her entire life; she currently resides in Essex, Vermont with her husband Steven. Judy has an education career spanning more than three decades. She works primarily as an independent educator, with degrees in Education and Teaching for Social Justice, but is also an environmentalist, consultant, cultural specialist, author and basketmaker conducting classes and workshops for students of all ages. She was the 2004 recipient of the Governor’s Heritage Award for Outstanding Educator. Currently, Judy is the Interim Director of Gedakina. Gedakina is a non-profit organization which focuses on the challenges and hardships that Native America youth, women, and communities face on a daily basis that are rooted in multi-generational exposure to systemic poverty, oppression and violence. Gedakina works within Native rural, urban and reservation communities from across our region and beyond. We seek to reconnect native people from family bands to tribal nations, strengthening community and historical alliances. Recently Judy has been working with Windham Southeast Supervisory Union part time to assist in creating an Ethnic Studies frame work for the district. Judy is also serving on the Nellie Mae Educational Foundation Advisory Board to create a culturally appropriate format for distributing funds.

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Chad Farrell

Chad Farrell

Burlington

Chad Farrell is the Founder and CEO of Encore Renewable Energy, a leading integrated clean energy services company focusing on commercial-scale solar PV and energy storage systems and 21st century solutions for underutilized property. He is a developer, project manager and environmental engineer with over 20 years of professional experience in the fields of environmental engineering, professional project management and renewable energy project finance and development. At Encore, Mr. Farrell has led collaborative efforts to design, permit, finance and construct over 65 different commercial scale solar PV projects throughout the State of Vermont and beyond, representing over $80M in total project investment value. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and earned a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont. In addition to serving on the VNRC Board of Directors, Chad is also a member of the Board of Directors for Renewable Energy Vermont, Vermont’s renewable energy trade organization. Chad is also a member of the Vermont Climate Economy Action Team. He lives in Burlington.

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Don Hooper

Don Hooper

Brookfield

After teaching three years in Botswana as a Peace Corps volunteer, Don hired instructors for the Community College of Vermont. He became VNRC’s Membership Director in 1979 and was Acting Executive Director in ’83 and ’84, just prior to representing Randolph, Brookfield, and Braintree in the Vermont Legislature for 8 years. Don served as Secretary of State for Vermont before working as New England Regional Representative for the National Wildlife Federation. In his NWF conservation job he served as an ex officio member of the VNRC board. The Hoopers live on a hill farm in Brookfield where their three sons Miles, Sam and Jay learned to hay, chainsaw, and play horseshoes. Recently “retired,” Don subscribes to Chief Seattle’s admonition that “we haven’t inherited this land from our parents so much as borrowed it from our children.”

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Scott Johnstone

Scott Johnstone

Grand Isle

Scott Johnstone’s career has been centered on leading and growing organizations that reside at the turbulent intersection of nature, people, and infrastructure. Scott is the Energy Market Leader for New England for VHB. In this role he has the opportunity to combine his engineering roots with the policy, software, and services focus he has gained in his career into fully integrated solutions for clients across the region. Prior to that Scott led both Packetized Energy and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, focusing in on addressing climate change in economic ways. He also had the honor of being Secretary of Natural Resources in Vermont and has served as Public Works Director in Conway, NH and Burlington VT. Scott also enjoys volunteering for non-profit organizations having served on many Boards in Vermont and across New England. Scott lives in Grand Isle Vermont with his wonderful partner Marcy.

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Will Lintilhac

Will Lintilhac

Shelburne

As a trustee of the Lintilhac Foundation, a family foundation based in Shelburne, Will is able to support research, education, and conservation of Vermont's natural resources, renewable energy economy, and changing communities. After graduating from UVM in 2010 with a degree in Natural Resources, he has worked on diversified organic farms in Vermont and Massachusetts. Will and his wife, Rosy, can be found in our green hills, mountain biking from spring to fall, and skiing from fall to spring. The best days are when he can do both.

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Ira Marvin

Ira Marvin

Hyde Park

Ira is the farm and facility manager at Butternut Mountain Farm, a family business focused on maple syrup production, processing, and distribution. Working on the land and in the woods, Ira has grown the company’s home farm operation to 26,500 taps. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life Science. Ira lives in Hyde Park with his wife Katie and their three children.

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Kesha Ram

Kesha Ram

Burlington

Kesha Ram is the former Vice Chair of the Vermont House Natural Resources & Energy Committee, serving four terms in the Vermont House of Representatives on behalf of Burlington. In 2018, she graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government with a Master of Public Administration. She has worked for the City of Burlington as the Civic Engagement Specialist and for Steps to End Domestic Violence as the Legal Advocacy Director. She currently consults on policy equity, including rural environmental justice and health. She also serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and formerly on the boards of the Center for Whole Communities, Emerge Vermont, and the University of Vermont.

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Amy Seidl

Amy Seidl

Huntington

Dr. Amy Seidl is the Associate Director in Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont. Her courses include Introduction to Environmental Studies; Sustainability Science; Teaching About the Environment; Environmental Literature of the Anthropocene; and Adaptation to Climate Change. Amy is a UVM fellow in Service-Learning and Sustainability, an affiliate of the Gund Institute, and oversees the Environmental Program’s capstone internship program in Environmental Studies. Amy is the author of two books on climate change, Early Spring: Waking to a Warming World (2009) and Finding Higher Ground: Adaptation in the Age of Warming (2011), both from Beacon Press. In 2010 Amy received a “Best of the Best” award for Early Spring from the Association of Academic and University Presses. She received a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Vermont and a Masters degree in Entomology from Colorado State University. Amy lives in Huntington, Vermont with her husband and two daughters in an off-grid, solar-powered home. Amy is the author of two books on climate change, Early Spring: Waking to a Warming World (2009) and Finding Higher Ground: Adaptation in the Age of Warming (2011), both from Beacon Press. In 2010 Amy received a “Best of the Best” award for Early Spring from the Association of Academic and University Presses. She received a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Vermont and a Masters degree in Entomology from Colorado State University. She holds a B.A. Science and Poetry from Hampshire College. She lives in Huntington, Vermont with her husband and two daughters in an off-grid, solar-powered home.

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Darren Springer

Darren Springer

Burlington

Darren Springer was appointed and confirmed as General Manager of Burlington Electric Department in October 2018. Formerly, Darren served as Burlington Electric’s Chief Operating Officer and led the Center for Innovation team which includes the Policy & Planning, Finance, Information Technology and Energy Services divisions. Prior to joining BED, Darren served as Chief of Staff for the Office of Governor Peter Shumlin. Before working in the Governor’s Office, Darren was appointed as Deputy Commissioner at the Vermont Public Service Department, leading the advancement of the 2014 net metering law and 2015 renewable energy standard. Previously, Darren worked for 4 years in the Washington, D.C. Office of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders as Senior Policy Advisor for Energy & Environment, and later as Chief Counsel. He has also worked for the National Governors Association as Program Director for Energy and Transportation. Darren has a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University and earned a J.D. and Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. While at Vermont Law School, he was selected as Managing Editor of the Vermont Law Review, and clerked for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a member of the Vermont Bar, Virginia Bar, and Florida Bar. Darren has also served as a Policy Fellow on Climate Change and Renewable Energy at the University of Vermont Center for Research on Vermont, and in that capacity published a law journal article on the future of utility regulation in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review.

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Advisory Committee

Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the United Nations General Assembly. She also chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch and is a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. Maude is the recipient of eight honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, and the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award. She is also the best selling author or co-author of 16 books, including the recently released Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water.

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Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, where he spends as much time as possible outdoors.

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Will Raap

Will Raap

Will Raap founded the Gardener’s Supply family of companies in 1983, and he is chairman of the board. Will is also the founder and past Chairman of the Intervale Center, whose mission is to develop farm-and land-based enterprises that generate economic and social opportunity while protecting natural resources. Will’s commitment to build linked enterprises guided by social missions has extended to Costa Rica, where is founder of Greening Paraiso, a watershed restoration initiative; founding partner in El Centro Verde, a sustainable agriculture and agroforestry education and demonstration center; founding partner of Finca Lagunita, the first organic CSA membership farm in Central America; and partner in two conservation developments. Currently, Will is focused on two new environmental restoration enterprises: Earth Partners works with degraded and vulnerable ecosystems to develop and implement science-based, investment-optimizing restoration projects; and Carbon Harvest Energy builds landfill gas-to-energy projects that create renewable distributed energy, run greenhouses and aquaculture from the waste heat, and filter and capture all remaining gas and waste to produce algae for feed and biodiesel. Will lives in Shelburne, Vermont.

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James Gustave Speth

James Gustave Speth

James Gustave Speth is Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy at Yale where he served as Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies from 1999 to 2009. From 1993 to 1999, Dean Speth was Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality; and senior attorney and cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council. Throughout his career, Dean Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment. Among his awards are the National Wildlife Federation’s Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America’s Barbara Swain Award of Honor, a 1997 Special Recognition Award from the Society for International Development, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Environmental Law Institute and the League of Conservation Voters, and the Blue Planet Prize. He holds honorary degrees from Clark University, the College of the Atlantic, the Vermont Law School, Middlebury College, and the University of South Carolina. Publications include The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability, Global Environmental Governance, Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment, Worlds Apart: Globalization and the Environment and articles in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, The Harvard Business Review, and other journals and books. Professor Speth currently serves on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council, World Resources Institute, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Population Action International, The Center for Humans and Nature, 1Sky, and Climate Central. In July 2010, Professor Speth joined the faculty of the Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vermont.

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