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What I Learned About Mentoring From My Mentor, Donella Meadows

At the May 19th Heroes & Leaders celebration of mentors in the Upper Valley, Elizabeth Sawin, Co-Director of Climate Interactive delivered a keynote speech focused on what she learned about mentoring from one of her mentors, long-time Upper Valley resident, Donella (Dana) Meadows. Meadows was the founder of the Sustainability Institute (now the Donella Meadows Institute) and a co-founder of Cobb Hill Co-housing.  Elizabeth worked with her from 1995 until Donella’s death in 2001. We asked Elizabeth to share the list of six traits of mentorship that she outlined in her speech in this blog post.

Donella Meadows influenced so much about my life, especially where I live and the work that I do. In reflecting on how it is that she had such a significant impact, I realized that there were six habits and attitudes that she cultivated that made her a powerful influence not just on me, but on hundreds of other people.

A mentor really sees you, and the goodness in you, and makes you feel special, and chosen, even while you might be one of dozens or hundreds of people who each also feel that special bond. Even fifteen years after her death, I run into people who tell me how much Dana influenced them. Philanthropists, writers, teachers, researchers, all came out of study with her at Dartmouth somehow transformed and found ways to turn that transformation into work in the world. I hear stories from people touched deeply by her genuine desire to hear the essence of their ideas and her willingness to provide practical help to put those ideas into practice.

A mentor makes you jump and stretch and leap and try things you never thought you could. My husband and I, brand new parents, with a brand new mortgage, took a job at Dana’s new institute when she offered it to us. It was a 50% pay cut from our previous jobs and had a guaranteed salary for only six months, and we jumped. Some of our neighbors at Cobb Hill uprooted their lives to join our experiment mostly on the basis of her encouragement. They packed up households, kids, in one case a truckload of farm equipment and animals, on the strength of her vision and her ability to articulate it.

A mentor is so fully herself that she creates a little sliver of space for you to be more fully yourself. Before I knew Dana I knew people who were top-notch thinkers and academics. And I knew people who were intuitive and good at expressing feelings. But I hadn’t met anyone who did both, at the same time. You’ll see that balance today, if you look at her writing, but it was even more apparent in her being. Today, whenever, I am in a group that’s deeply emotional and I feel brave enough to bring in some quantification, or whenever I am in a group that is only looking at analysis and I feel brave enough to talk about my feelings, I feel Dana there, still at my side, reminding me that it is possible – and in fact essential – to bring my full self into this world and into my work.

A mentor finds something to praise and deeply appreciate in whatever you produce. Whatever effort, product or prototype, someone brought her, no matter how amateurish their effort to make the world a better place, Dana embraced it and celebrated it, and then suggested and nudged it just a little further towards excellence.

Mentors allow you to figure things out for yourself and leave you the pleasure and pride of self-discovery, even if you are walking along a path she has already traversed.  As we started to work together I’d have sparkling, shiny ideas for projects we might undertake at her new Institute. I’d bring them to Dana and she’d get excited and encourage me on. It was only after she died, and I began to read essays and papers she’d written before I knew her, that I realized that, for at least several of those brainstorms of mine, she’d already had the idea herself, or most of it, five or ten years ahead of me.

A mentor so empowers you that you believe you did it yourself, and in fact, the illusion is so strong that you did it yourself, that you can keep on doing whatever ‘it’ is even if you loose her. When Dana died so early, so unexpectedly in 2001, the Sustainability Institute was extremely young, and Cobb Hill was still in the construction phase. Both efforts continued in part because of the shared ownership and vision Dana had cultivated in each member of both projects.

 

Honoring 12 Upper Valley Mentors

Vital Communities will honor a dozen Upper Valley mentors at its 2016 celebration on May 19. The annual event, now in its fifth year, recognizes community leaders who have made significant positive impacts in the region and serves as a benefit for the Leadership Upper Valley program of Vital Communities.

“The Upper Valley is a special place because of the people who care so deeply about our community,” said Vital Communities Executive Director Tom Roberts. “The 12 mentors we’re pleased to honor this year have invested their time and energy to provide guidance and inspiration to our region’s current and future leaders.”

Beth 2012Keynote Speaker: Elizabeth Sawin is Co-Director of Climate Interactive. A biologist with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Beth trained in system dynamics and sustainability with Donella Meadows and worked at Sustainability Institute, the research institute founded by Meadows, for 13 years. Beth’s work increasingly focuses on Multisolving, helping people find solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while producing multiple benefits in health, justice, equity, resilience, and well-being. She writes and speaks on this topic to local, national, and international audiences. In 2014 she was invited to participate in the Council on the Uncertain Human Future, a continuing dialogue on issues of climate change and sustainability among a select group of humanities scholars, writers, artists, and climate scientists. Beth’s work also focuses on capacity building – helping leaders achieve bigger impact. She has trained and mentored global sustainability leaders in the Donella Meadows Fellows Program, and provided systems thinking training to both Ashoka and Dalai Lama Fellows in recent years. Beth lives in rural Vermont and is a member of Cobb Hill Co-Housing along with her husband, Phil Rice, and their two daughters.

Chief Alexander and carJim Alexander has spent his career helping and uplifting people both in his community and his work. Jim began his 25-year police career in the Upper Valley, culminating in the role of Chief of Police of Lebanon. He has a BS in Criminal Justice Administration and had a unique opportunity to graduate from the FBI National Academy in 2004. During his tenure as the Lebanon Chief of Police he was integral to several community programs, including the Grafton County Drug Court, which seeks to provide treatment and break the cycle of recidivism for repeat, non-violent offenders. Jim was one of a handful of local officials who launched the program, which has become a key part of the local criminal justice system. He is now the Emergency Management Coordinator for Dartmouth-Hitchcock and serves on the New Hampshire and Vermont Emergency Manager Hospital Association Boards. In addition he has been on the board for the Friends of the Drug Court and Lebanon Outing Club and is active in the Christ Redeemer Church in Hanover. Jim lives in Canaan with his wife Deb.

Barnes Boffey Barnes Boffey head shothas many passions, significant among them his love for the work and the vision of the Aloha Foundation. Summer 2016 will be his 24th and final summer as the Director of Camp Lanakila, and his 55th all together. He uses his Middlebury College drama major skills in all facets of his professional life, primarily teacher training, including directing the UVTTP (now UVEI) in its early adolescence and then as Director of Teacher Training at Dartmouth. He has maintained a private counseling practice since 1977, specializing in “Success Counseling.” As a long-term faculty member of the Institute for Reality Therapy, he worked closely with one of his primary mentors, Dr. William Glasser. Barnes credits much of his perspective in helping others to his own struggles with addiction and recovery, and his book Reinventing Yourself shares some of that journey. His true passion is helping people find their best selves and bringing those into being. He thanks Aloha for giving him the opportunity to do that as a way of making a living.

 

Tommy ClarkTommy Clark is a pediatrician and former professional soccer player. He conceived the idea for Grassroots Soccer after living and playing soccer in Zimbabwe. Tommy was born in Scotland and moved to Zimbabwe at age 14, where his father Bobby Clark was coach of the Highlanders Football Club. He attended Dartmouth College, where he was captain of the soccer team. Following graduation, Tommy returned to Zimbabwe to teach English and play professional soccer. He attended Dartmouth Medical School and was twice named the Resident Teacher of the Year during his residency in pediatrics at the University of New Mexico.  Following residency, Tommy was a research fellow at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California at San Francisco. Tommy has been awarded the American Academy of Pediatrics Annie Dyson Child Advocacy Award, the Dartmouth College Martin Luther King Junior award, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care Nkosi Johnson Award, and the Peach Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.

 

CD HeadshotCarol Dunne has directed many acclaimed productions as the Producing Artistic Director of Northern Stage. She joined Northern Stage in 2013 and has helped to reimagine and reshape the company in its new home, The Barrette Center for the Arts. Under Carol’s leadership, Northern Stage has successfully launched a new works festival whose first play, Orwell in America, will transfer Off-Broadway in the Fall of 2016. A Senior Lecturer in Theater at Dartmouth College, she has forged an official partnership with Dartmouth offering a groundbreaking collaborative program called Shakespeare in the Schools for area schoolchildren, and creating an Experiential Term for Dartmouth theater students. Carol also introduced musical theater into the curriculum at Dartmouth and has directed half a dozen musicals there. She received the Distinguished Lecturer Award from the College in 2010. Prior to joining Northern Stage, Carol was the Producing Artistic Director of the New London Barn Playhouse, where she produced over 50 plays and musicals and is credited with dramatically transforming a struggling yet beloved institution into an artistically excellent, fully professional and financially successful company. She lives in Etna with husband Peter Hackett and children Ellie and Jamie.

 

PETERPeter Faletra received a Ph.D. from Boston University, where he was a teaching fellow in the accelerated medical school program. During his Ph.D. years he co-founded a successful biotech company and invented a novel method of producing large amounts of antisera for medical and scientific use. He spent 10 years at the Office of Science in the Department of Energy, where he was the Director of Workforce Development. In 2012, he was awarded an AAAS fellow for his many years as a mentor to students from middle school through medical school. Dr. Faletra is the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Academy of Science that has a mission to help secondary school students perform extensive scientific research and become members of the scientific community. He is now semi-retired and teaching science at Crossroads Academy where he and his wife Elaine take great enjoyment mentoring students from the Upper Valley and helping to inspire them to be the sort of scientists our world needs to address some of the most challenging issues facing the human race.

 

Dan JantzenDan Jantzen has been a member of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock management team since 1990 serving in a variety of leadership positions. In his current role as Executive Vice President for Operations and Chief Operating Officer, he oversees operations across the D-H system. In 2012, he was named one of the “100 Hospital and Health System COOs to Know” by Becker’s Hospital Review. A Certified Public Accountant for over 30 years, Dan was previously a Senior Manager in the Audit Department of KPMG Peat Marwick, primarily serving clients in the health care, public utilities, and financial services industries. He graduated from Northeastern University with a BS in Business Administration and a concentration in Accounting. Dan has served on the Boards of a variety of Upper Valley organizations including David’s House, Crossroads Academy, New London Hospital, and Mascoma Savings Bank. He is a guest lecturer at Tuck, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI), and the Geisel School of Medicine and enjoys passing on what he has learned to the next generation of leaders. Dan lives in Etna with his wife, Deb. They have three adult children and a new grandson.

 

Shirley's head shotShirley Jefferson, a Selma, Alabama native, received her BS in Public Administration from Southeastern University and a JD degree from Vermont Law School. As the law school’s Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity, she provides leadership and guidance for individual students and student organizations, administers the VLS Code of Conduct, serves as chair of the Student Services and Diversity Committee and serves as an advisor to the President and Dean and other Deans and Directors on student and diversity issues. Shirley is also an adjunct professor teaching Race and the Law and Non-Profit Organizations and was appointed by Governor Jim Douglas to the Vermont State Police Advisory Commission. She is known for her motivational speeches on diversity for many different audiences. Shirley lives in Sharon, VT, with her son Jamaal and her granddaughter Liyah.

 

 

JoeJoe O’Donnell has been an Upper Valley resident for most of the time since 1969, when he arrived in Hanover to attend Dartmouth Medical School. He trained in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute from 1976-78, but soon returned to become chief of oncology at the White River Junction VA Hospital. He and his oncology colleagues were very involved in the development of the care of patients with cancer in the region, and the programs and outreach of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. He has also been influential in coordinated efforts aimed at preventing illness and developing palliative care programs. He has been in the Dean’s Office at Dartmouth Medical School since 1985 and is currently Senior Advising Dean. He has led award-winning efforts to involve students in service to the community, and nurtured efforts to embed compassion in medical care and to create a focus on wisdom in medicine. Joe and his wife Janice raised four children and now have four grandsons. They live in Grantham, N.H.

PeggyPeggy O’Neil  has been the Executive Director at WISE since 2003, working to support Upper Valley people and communities impacted by domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking. She also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. With an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Antioch College, Peggy has worked in nonprofits focused on crisis services and mental health for over 25 years. She is a trained domestic and sexual violence advocate and received her crisis worker certification from the American Association of Suicidology. Peggy is also a 2005 graduate of Leadership New Hampshire and the 2015 recipient of the Deborah Aliber Award for Community Service from the Women’s Network of the Upper Valley. She lives in Cornish, N.H.

 

Susan Reeves colorSusan Reeves is Professor and Dean at the School for Health Professions at Colby-Sawyer College. A retired employee of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, she served the organization for 35 years, specializing in oncology nursing. Susan joined the adjunct faculty at Colby-Sawyer in 2003 teaching Biomedical Ethics. After serving in a part-time role as the Chair of the Nursing Department, in 2007 she was asked to lead and re-build the Nursing program where she has served since. She also led the development of the College’s Health Care Management, Health Promotion, and Public Health programs, as well as both an online bachelor degree completion program for registered nurses and the College’s first master’s program, which will be in nursing.  Susan is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for New London Hospital and is a Director for the Crotched Mountain Foundation. She also works closely with faculty of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth to offer interprofessional education sessions to nursing and medical students as well as electives in the medical humanities. Susan and her husband David live in New London, N.H.

 

gayGay Sabin has been a beloved teacher for over 47 years, and also an award-winning supervisor and mentor, and an active leaders in many educational associations. Although she has officially retired, Gay is still serving as a substitute teacher at the Grantham Village School, where she has taught since 2002. Nominated by her 1965 classmates, Gay was awarded the 2015 Touch the Future Award by the Independent Alumni Association of Framingham State University honoring teachers who teach teachers and demonstrate and instill an enthusiasm for teaching. Among other accomplishments, Gay was awarded the national Thanks to Teachers Excellence Award in 1990. Gay began her teaching career in Deerfield, MA, where she and her husband, Chris, raised their daughter Kate. They moved to NH (Eastman) in 2002 and she began to work at the Grantham Village School.  In 2013, Gay was awarded the Eastman Recreation Volunteer Award for her work mentoring the teen business project, “Peppermint Patty’s.”

 

fwt photoFred Thomas, at age 89, personifies the mission of SCORE, an organization dedicated to providing counselors, advisors, and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners and for which he often volunteers five days a week. Since 1984 Fred has served as a mentor for the Lebanon Chapter of SCORE, offering advice and encouragement to countless Upper Valley business owners. He served as President of the Lebanon Chapter for four years and has also been the Chair and President of the SCORE National Board of Directors. He has served as a past Board Member of both the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and Vital Communities. In addition, he served as a Board member and Treasurer for the Upper Valley Land Trust. Fred holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University. He and his wife Marjorie live in Thetford and have three daughters, Laurie, Kathryn, and Barbara.

Honoring 10 Upper Valley Visionaries

Vital Communities will honor 10 “Upper Valley Visionaries” at its 2015 Heroes & Leaders celebration. The annual celebration recognizes significant community leaders and serves as a benefit for the Leadership Upper Valley business leader training program from Vital Communities. “Each year Vital Communities honors a select group of Upper Valley residents who have made significant contributions to the vibrant region in which we enjoy living, working, and playing,” said Executive Director Tom Roberts. “This year we’re thrilled to honor 10 people whose long-term visions have helped make the Upper Valley the vibrant community it is, rich with local agriculture, arts organizations, nonprofit services, world-renowned businesses, and more. We’re thankful for and inspired by their passionate leadership.”

 

len_smallKeynote Speaker Len Cadwallader has spent most of his professional career in nonprofit management. For 21 years he was on the management team of the Farm & Wilderness Camps in Plymouth, Vermont, serving the last 13 years as Executive Director. Most recently he served 11 years as Vital Communities’ Executive Director. He was a founding member of the Hanover Affordable Housing Commission that worked with Twin Pines Housing Trust and a private developer to create Gile Hill on land donated by the Town of Hanover. He has also served on the boards of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and the Upper Valley Business & Education Partnership. In 2012, Len was awarded the Allen and Nan King Award for Service to the Community by the Co-op Food Stores. He and his wife Mary Ann raised their two children in Rutland County, Vermont before moving to the Upper Valley in 1997. Since retiring from Vital Communities in 2011, Len has served his faith community, the Quaker meeting in Hanover. When not doing trail maintenance work for Hanover Conservancy, Len enjoys kayaking and adventure travel.

 

 

Barbara garden small

Barbara Ragle Barnes has dedicated her impressive career to improving the quality of education, much of it in the Upper Valley. Originally interested in medicine, Barbara decided to become an educator after teaching sailing at a camp the summer before she was to start medical school. When she moved to Norwich with her young family some years later, because of her background in science, she was recruited to work with two Dartmouth professors, one a biologist and one a physicist, who were also parents of children in the school, to help start a real, hands-on science program. Ultimately that led to the creation of the Upper Valley Educators’ Institute (UVEI), the highly regarded teacher preparation program in Lebanon. When Dartmouth became coeducational and a woman was needed in the Dean’s Office, Barbara filled that role as Assistant Dean of the College. Subsequently she became the head of two very different independent schools, one in Ohio and the other southern Vermont, and concluded her professional life as an educational consultant for 15 years.  Now, almost 92 years old, she delights in taking OSHER courses at Dartmouth. The Upper Valley is certainly the richer because of the efforts of this indefatigable lady.

 

 

Matt Bucy smallMatt Bucy  As a child of the 1960s, from his early days in Casper, Wyoming, to his arrival in New England; college at Middlebury for visual arts; Yale for architecture; and then employment at the company making the first digital synthesizer – curiosity was largely what drove Matt Bucy. “It’s all about poking things.”

Matt is perhaps best known for his purchase and renovation of the former Tip Top Bakery, now called Tip Top Building, a project that embodies the principles by which he lives: See future possibilities; respect what’s there; make it useful and as environmentally friendly as possible; be frugal not flashy; use color to express energy.

It’s interesting to note that Matt was encouraged to run for membership on the Hartford Select Board, a post for which he did not campaign. He won.

As a hands-on developer in the Upper Valley, a slight variation of Thomas Edison’s famous quote is appropriate to Matt: “Life is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration.”

 

 

Dick small

Dick Cyr was born on April 24, 1937 in Maine, and since then he has considered many places to be “home”. After high school, Dick was proud to have served his country as a Marine. Later he worked in construction and sales, but no other experience has been more rewarding to Dick than fulfilling his role as a father to his three sons, the youngest of which was David, who Dick adopted as a toddler. During David’s three-year battle with leukemia, Dick met many families struggling to be with their hospitalized children. In an effort to ease their burden, Dick channeled his own grief after David’s passing at the age of five and created the legacy that has become David’s House so that families have a home-away-from-home during the most difficult of times.

Dick is the recipient of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for community service and the New England patriots Charitable Foundation MVP Award from Volunteerism for his work in creating and sustaining David’s House.

 

 

Van Chesnut smallVan Chesnut moved to the Upper Valley in 1987 to become the Executive Director of Advance Transit, headquartered in Wilder, Vermont. His leadership and guidance developed the fledgling transportation company into one of the finest fare-free, fixed-route bus systems in the entire United States.

Van has more than 30 years of experience managing transit systems. An Indiana native, he graduated from Purdue University. Prior to his arrival in the Upper Valley he oversaw transit systems in rural and small town America, including Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and Columbus and Warsaw, Indiana.

Van has enjoyed unprecedented success developing numerous public-private partnerships in the Upper Valley to make Advance Transit an integral component of the region’s transportation systems, with high ridership and service productivity – a noteworthy accomplishment considering today’s strained town budgets and cutbacks on federal funding.

Van lives in South Strafford, Vermont, with his wife Leigh. They have two grown daughters, Laura and Lilly, who have graduated from college and now live and work outside the region.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADick Couch received a Bachelor of Arts in 1964 and an engineering degree in 1965 from Dartmouth College. After graduating, he worked for Creare as a project engineer, launching a career that would help make him one of our Valley Visionaries.

In 1968, in a garage across the street from Creare’s main headquarters in Hanover, he and then Creare President and Dartmouth professor Robert Dean co-founded Hypertherm. Their objective was to apply ultra-high temperature technology to industrial problems.

In 1971, Dick purchased the majority interest in Hypertherm, which today has grown into an international conglomerate with 1,400 associate-owners. Of Hypertherm’s 112 patents in the fields of plasma cutting and pollution control, Dick was the inventor of 42. In 2002, Hypertherm was ranked 12th in Fortune Magazine’s listing of Best Companies to Work for in the United States. Hypertherm was also recognized as one of the best large companies to work for in the State of New Hampshire.

 

 

Robert Dean smallDr. Robert C. Dean Jr. is the founder or co-founder of 11 Upper Valley companies that have all flourished in the field of advancing technology. They include some names many in the region will recognize: Creare; Hypertherm; Creare Innovations, which became Spectra/Dimatix and sold to Fuji; Verax; Synosys, renamed PerSeptive Biosystems; Synergy Research Corporation; Synergy Innovations; Simplex; NanoComp Technologies; Synticos; and Sunfyr.

Dr. Dean holds three degrees from MIT, including a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in 1948, a Master of Science in 1949, and a Doctor of Science in 1954. He served as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. From 1956 to 1960, he was the Head of Advanced Engineering at the Ingersoll-Rand Company. In 1961 he moved to the Upper Valley and became a Professor of Engineering at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and is now Professor of Engineering, emeritus.

 

 

David_Goudy-1 smallDavid Goudy served as the Executive Director of the Montshire Museum of Science for 34 years, retiring in March 2015. He came to the Upper Valley in 1981 and, together with a highly dedicated staff and community of supporters, transformed a fledgling museum into a nationally recognized center for science learning. Under his leadership, the Museum has been lauded for its innovative approaches to delivering science education to rural schools and families. David’s passion for education and the natural world has had a significant impact on countless children and families over the years. In addition to his role at the Montshire Museum, David has served the Upper Valley community in volunteer capacities with the Howe Library, the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, Dartmouth Hitchcock, and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. David considers himself lucky to have been part of such a generous community; however it is the community that has benefited through David’s work.

 

 

 

guests_dave smallLiz and Jake Guest have owned and operated Killdeer Farm in Norwich since 1980. They now operate over thirty acres of organic vegetables , 14 greenhouses of bedding plants and organic tomatoes, a successful  farmstand and a CSA with over 400 members. Liz and Jake both have long histories as visionaries and activists in the growing and promoting of local and organic food.
Liz was a founding member of the Plainfield, VT Coop, a central figure in the emerging food coop movement in Vermont, and the initiator of many food-related projects such as a coop grain mill and the widely distributed presentation and slide show addressing the need for locally produced food. Liz co-directed the “Grains and Beans” project, a project to promote the re-introduction of locally grown grains and beans. She has been a board member of the Hanover Coop, and chaired the Education Committee.
Jake has been active in a variety of Ag and food projects, organizations, and movements. In the early 70s, he was a founding member and board member of the NOFA (Northeast Organic Farmers’ Association), a founding member and coordinator for the Upper Valley Food Coop, and co-founder of the Norwich Farmers’ Market. He has been a board member of the Hanover Coop and is currently a board member and past president of the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers’ Association. Jake was recently honored at a conference in California as one of a small group of founding “agrarian elders” of the Organic Movement in the United States.

 

 

carol_smallCarol Langstaff’s life combines music, movement, and storytelling with fostering community. As the daughter of singer and theater director John Langstaff and traditional-music collector Diane Hamilton, Carol’s creative apprenticeship began in childhood and widened with extraordinary teachers at the Longy and Dalcroze music schools, Neighborhood Playhouse, and the dance school of Martha Graham.

In addition to her choreographic gifts, Carol plays many instruments, and she has a special talent for channeling groups of people into theatrical extravaganzas such as Revels, co-founded in 1971 with her father; and FLOCK Dance Troupe, founded in 1999, where she directs seasoned performers and eager amateurs in multilayered productions exploring ecology, overdevelopment, refugees, aging, and gender.

Co-founder of numerous Upper Valley ventures, including Strafford’s Creative Preschool, the Upper Valley Food Co-op, the Earth and Arts Camp, and Connecticut Riverfest, Carol participated in the process that birthed Vital Communities. Carol’s current focus is an effort to transform youth violence into new forms of creativity and responsibility.

 

 

Jim Varnum smallJim Varnum was President of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital from 1978 until his retirement in 2006 and was Founder and President of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Alliance from 1983 to 2006.

Jim graduated from Dartmouth College in 1962 with a major in economics and went on to receive his Master’s degree with honors in Hospital Administration from the University of Michigan. He was CEO of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics in Madison and later of the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at the Geisel School of Medicine.

Jim led Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Hanover during the planning and building phases for the new medical center and its historic move to Lebanon. The new Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, a $228 million project, opened its doors in October 1991, one of the few new medical centers in the United States at that time.

Jim and his wife Cindy have lived in Etna for more than 35 years.

heroesandleaders2014

Honoring Women Leaders of the Upper Valley

Vital Communities will honor 14 women leaders whose work has significantly contributed to the Upper Valley at its 2014 Heroes and Leaders celebration. The annual event recognizes community leaders and serves as a benefit for Vital Communities’ Leadership Upper Valley program. Read more below about the women we’re honoring and how they’ve helped shape the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Keynote Speaker: Sara Jayne Steen, President, Plymouth State University
Sara Jayne SteenSara Jayne Steen became the 14th president of Plymouth State University on June 30, 2006. Before coming to PSU, President Steen was dean of the College of Letters and Science at Montana State University. A specialist in early modern English literature, she is the author or editor of five books and many other publications and has received awards for teaching and scholarship.

President Steen is active with businesses and civic groups and serves on many state, local, and national boards. Among them, she is a member of the New Hampshire Higher Education Commission, the New Hampshire College and University Council, and Campus Compact of New Hampshire. At the national level Dr. Steen serves on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Presidents Group and on the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Council of State Representatives and its Committee on Policies and Purposes, its public policy board.

Merilynn  Bourne, Executive Director, LISTEN Community ServicesMerilynn Bourne
Merilynn Bourne is the executive director of Listen Community Services, which provides crisis and family services to Upper Valley households. As director of Listen, Merilynn has recently overseen the development of River Point Plaza, a new facility in White River Junction where the organization operates a thrift store and houses its Teen Lifeskills Center and Community Dinners Program, which provides free meals to Upper Valley residents five nights a week. Under her supervision, Listen’s retail revenues have increased from $600,000 per year to $1.6 million. Merilynn recently ended a nine-year stint as Cornish’s first female selectman. She has also served on the board of directors for More Than Wheels and Twin Pines Housing Trust.

Merilynn and her husband moved to the Upper Valley in 1971 for the area’s healthy lifestyle. She raised four children in Cornish, New Hampshire, and enjoys home improvement projects and family time. She also loves to paint, draw and sculpt.

Barbara Couch, VP of CSR at Hypertherm, President of HOPE FoundationBarbara Couch
Barbara Couch is Hypertherm’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, focusing on community engagement and sustainability in communities worldwide where the company operates. An Upper Valley resident for more than 30 years, her efforts in the community beyond Hypertherm have followed her passions around creating strong workplace cultures, education, and health care. Barbara is a Trustee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the Boards of Overseers for the Geisel School of Medicine and Hopkins Center for the Arts, the Boards of Directors of New Hampshire Public Radio and New Hampshire Businesses for the Arts, and the leadership team for ReThink Health. She is a member of the Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing Education Council and was recently appointed to Governor Maggie Hassan’s NH STEM task force. She is on the Advisory Boards for the Montshire Museum of Science, Institute for Lifelong Learning at Dartmouth (ILEAD), NH Stay Work Play, and the Dartmouth Skiway. Barbara and her husband, Dick, have three grown daughters and two granddaughters, who are the center of her life.

Jeanie McIntyre, President, Upper Valley Land TrustJeanie McIntyre
During her nearly 30-year career with the Upper Valley Land Trust, President Jeanie McIntyre has helped conserve 45,000 acres of land in a 45-town region, protecting some of the natural resources that define the Upper Valley landscape. After earning her bachelor’s degree at Davidson College in North Carolina – with an honors thesis on “Land Use and the American National Character,” good training for her future calling – her first career was in accounting for nonprofits and a small CPA firm. But the Lyme native moved back to the Upper Valley in 1987 after becoming pregnant with her daughter, and accepted an accounting position with UVLT – the beginning of her journey with the organization. Jeanie has served on the Lyme Conservation Commission, Budget Committee, and Planning Board, as well as the boards of the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce and Twin Pines Housing Trust. She is currently involved in the East Central Vermont: What We Want sustainable community regional planning project with Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission.

Jane Kitchel McLaughlin, The Kitchel-McLaughlin Family FundJane McLaughlin
Jane Kitchel McLaughlin has lived in the Upper Valley for 22 years and oversees the Kitchel-McLaughlin Family Fund, reviewing grants, conducting site reviews, and refining giving strategies as changing circumstances dictate. The Kitchel-McLaughlin Family Fund primarily takes a two-pronged approach to supporting nonprofits in the Upper Valley: It supports organizations that deliver essential services by awarding operational grants, and it also considers new initiatives and capital requests.

Jane also volunteers with Granite United Way, Friends of Hanover Crew, AVA Gallery and Art Center, the Hopkins Center for the Arts, and the Woodstock Community Food Shelf. An avid cyclist, she is active with World Bicycle Relief, an international organization committed to improving mobility in developing countries. Jane captains a Prouty team which has raised more than $500,000 for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. She also enjoys theater, cross-country skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and three children.

Suzanne Long, Farmer, Luna Bleu FarmSuzanne Long
Suzanne Long of Luna Bleu Farm in South Royalton has been influential in Upper Valley farming for decades, laying groundwork for the vibrant agricultural landscape we enjoy in the region today. Suzanne and her husband, Tim Sanford, launched one of the region’s first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs and worked with schools and children long before formal farm-to-school efforts began. As a board member for NOFA-VT, Suzanne supported efforts to educate children and new farmers, and helped initiate the Farm Share Program to help low-income families access local foods. She worked with Vital Communities to create the Upper Valley Farm Worker Learning Collaborative. She has also been an active member of the Norwich Farmers Market and a strong proponent of the winter markets. Suzanne is on the board of BALE (Building A Local Economy). A Dartmouth graduate, she can also be found playing around the Upper Valley with the Old Sam Peabody contra-dance band.


Sue Mooney, CEO and President, Alice Peck Day Health System
Sue Mooney
Sue Mooney is President and CEO of Alice Peck Day Health Systems, including Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital and APD Lifecare, which includes the supported senior living facilities Harvest Hill and the Woodlands. Sue moved to the Upper Valley in 1998 and began working as a full-time OB/GYN at Alice Peck Day in 2000. In 2005, she took a leave of absence from the hospital to pursue her passion for improving healthcare quality.

Through a fellowship at the White River Junction VA Medical Center, Sue received a Master’s degree from the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences at Dartmouth College. Upon her return to Alice Peck Day in 2007, Sue became Medical Director of Quality at the hospital and assumed the role of Chief Medical Officer in 2009.

As CEO and President, Sue works with a senior leadership team of six and oversees about 500 employees. She is also a corporator for Mascoma Savings Bank and an incorporator for Lebanon College. She lives at Eastman in Grantham with her partner and two sons.

Gail Dahlstrom, Vice President of Facilities Management, Dartmouth-HitchcockGail Dahlstrom
As Vice President, Facilities Management at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Gail Dahlstrom’s leadership has literally shaped the landscape of the Upper Valley. She managed the hospital’s move to its Lebanon campus – a three-year, $220 million project – and has overseen a range of expansion projects in the last decade. Her ability to bring together the right people and her willingness to learn have helped her become one of very few women leading facilities management for hospitals nationwide.

Driven by a desire to contribute to health and wellness from a non-clinical angle, Gail earned her Masters in Health Services Administration at The University of Michigan School of Public Health. She shares her expertise through the Built Environment Network and American Society of Hospital Engineers. A past Chair of the Upper Valley Housing Coalition board, Gail is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at Vital Communities.

Julia Griffin, Town Manager, Town of HanoverJulia Griffin
Hanover Town Manager Julia Griffin has lived in the Upper Valley for 18 years. As the chief executive for the municipality, Julia oversees the police, fire, public works, and recreation departments, as well as all administrative offices and both town libraries. Julia chairs the board of New Hampshire FastRoads, a broadband project that has worked to construct a broadband Internet backbone from Orford to Keene. She also serves on the boards of Granite United Way and the Friends of Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth.

In her free time, Julia likes to garden, ride horses, and walk her dogs. She also enjoys helping to feed her son’s high school crew team. Julia met her husband as an undergraduate student at Wesleyan University, and has a daughter who attended the school, as well as a son who will enroll next year. She enjoys the quality of life the Upper Valley offers without the negative aspects of living in an urban area.

Jacqueline Guillette, Superintendent of Schools, Grantham SAU #75Jacquiline Guillette
Jacqueline Guillette is superintendent of the Grantham School District and owner of Capstone Consulting, LLC. As superintendent, Jacqui oversees the one-building district that serves students in grades K-6. She was previously superintendent for SAU #6, encompassing Claremont, Cornish, and Unity. She also serves on the New Hampshire Workforce Youth Council and the Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing Education Advisory Council. She is a corporator for the Claremont Savings Bank, trustee on the Claremont Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, and day planner for the Leadership Upper Valley Education Day.

Since 2011, Jacqui has worked with business leaders and educators to connect the education system with the manufacturing industry in the Upper Valley. So far, she has co-authored four classes with the help of other area teachers. The courses teach students about opportunities for young people in manufacturing and engineering.

A lifelong educator, Jacqui has lived in the Upper Valley for almost 25 years and enjoys reading, learning, and riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with her husband.

Sara Kobylenski, Executive Director, Upper Valley HavenSara Kobylenski
Sara Kobylenski is Executive Director at the Upper Valley Haven, where in her five years at the helm she has overseen a tripling of services provided in response to community need – including sheltering, case management, and food assistance – and equal growth in support from the community. Sara has been involved in social work in the Upper Valley since 1981, working for both nonprofit and state agencies with a focus on child welfare and human services. Sara served for 22 years on the Vermont Supreme Court’s Standing Committee on Family Rules, for nine years on the board of Alice Peck Day, for eight years on the Hartland School Board (she and her husband have two children), and is a past 4-H leader. In addition to her work at the Haven, Sara is currently involved with the Rethink Health initiative and is on the boards of both the Vermont Parent Representation Center and Mascoma Savings Bank. Sara has a Masters of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.

Betty Porter, Founder, Vital CommunitiesBetty Porter
Betty Porter is the founder of Vital Communities and a 45-year resident of the Upper Valley. She began her volunteer career as a member of the League of Women Voters in Hanover, where she helped petition the national league to enable the board to work across the Vermont-New Hampshire state line. She also served on boards of the United Way of the Upper Valley, the Montshire Museum of Science, the Upper Valley Community Foundation, and Dartmouth Medical School.

Betty has endowed three community-meeting rooms in the Upper Valley, stipulating that the rooms remain free-of-charge for use by nonprofit groups. In 1995, she founded “The Upper Valley: 2001 and Beyond” to serve as a “neutral convener” where individuals and organizations could come together in a safe space to discuss ways to collaborate. Out of this project came Vital Communities, located in White River Junction. Betty grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and attended William and Mary College. She enjoys kayaking and walking in the Upper Valley.

Allie Quinn, Founder, Montshire Museum of ScienceAllie Quinn
Allie Quinn has a long history as an activist – or, as she says, a “troublemaker” – working to make life better here in the Upper Valley. As a new member of the League of Women Voters in 1957, she helped spearhead work toward regional collaboration in an area crossing two states and four planning districts. Although her résumé includes decades of work with a variety of organizations, she is most recognized for her role as a Founding Trustee and hands-on volunteer of the Montshire Museum of Science.

Allie was among those visionary community members who, in the 1970s, accepted Dartmouth College’s offer of its collections to provide the base for a regional public science museum. The Montshire has since grown into a recognized institution benefitting rural schools, nonprofit organizations, and the “young at heart of all ages.” A former board member and current advisor to Vital Communities, Allie has raised three children and enjoyed traveling the world as assistant to her late husband, Tuck School Professor Brian Quinn.

Bente Torjusen, Executive Director, AVA GalleryBente Torjusen
Bente Torjusen moved to the Upper Valley in 1982 from Tuscany, Italy, and began working as AVA Gallery’s Executive Director four years later. In 1990, she moved AVA from a one-room gallery in Hanover to the former H.W. Carter Overall Factory in Lebanon. Bente oversaw the renovation of the old factory as well as the capital campaign, raising $4.5 million. She focused on combining the raw space of the factory with contemporary design, and in 2007, the LEED-certified building reopened to the public. AVA Gallery is intricately tied to the Upper Valley community and works with other local organizations, such as Listen Community Services, to provide opportunities for children to participate in summer camps and art classes free-of-charge.

A native of Oslo, Norway, Bente studied abroad in France and Italy and met her late husband, Clifford West, while working in the Munch Museum in Oslo. The couple eventually moved to Tuscany, where they lived with their two daughters until moving to the Upper Valley.

Kathy Underwood, President and CEO, Ledyard National BankKathy Underwood
As President and CEO of Ledyard National Bank, Kathy Underwood oversees 100 employees at seven branches and one wealth management office in the Upper Valley. A nine-year resident of the area, Kathy is also Vermont’s delegate to the Independent Community Bankers of America and serves on the boards of the Federal Reserve of Boston and the New Hampshire Banker’s Association. As the audit chair for the Federal Reserve of Boston, she informs the board about economic growth in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Outside of the banking world, Kathy chairs the Strategic Planning Committee for Kendal at Hanover, serves on the Upper Valley Corporate Council from Vital Communities, and works as the Upper Valley Go Red Chair for the American Heart Association. Kathy enjoys the combination of a rural area with a rich quality of life in the Upper Valley. She skis, reads, and travels to relax, and also enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters.

Christina Fanitzi

Heroes and Leaders

Free Town Hall Discussion
about the challenges veterans face coming home and the opportunities available to them in the Upper Valley.

 

~Tuesday, May 7, 2013 ~
4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
Quechee Club, Quechee, VT

Moderated by Dr. Joseph O’Donnell, Director of Medicine and Psychiatry,
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Panelists include: Captain Stoney Portis (Dartmouth MALS ’13, West Point ’04, veteran of Iraq war); Major Christina Fanitzi (Tuck ’13): US Army on active duty; Colonel  Jim Geiling MD (Veterans Affairs Medical Center); Dr. Dan Tobin, (Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Albany, NY); and James Sturm (Co-founder and Director of The Center for Cartoon Studies).

The goal of this meeting is to bring a voice to ongoing challenges and solutions for our returning service men and women.
Please join us for this interesting conversation and bring your ideas.

Book Signing to Follow
Jim Wright will be available to sign his book, Those Who Have Borne The Battle: A History of America’s Wars and Those Who Fought Them. In addition, Matt Friedman and Laurie Slone will be available to sign their book,After the War Zone: A Practical Guide for Returning Troops and Their Families.
Many thanks to Liza Bernard and the Norwich Bookstore
For further information visit our website or contact:

Stacey Glazer | stacey@vitalcommunities.org | 802.291.9100 ext. 102

Brought to you by Leadership Upper Valley, a program of Vital Communities.