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Connection, Collaboration & Service

With the graduation of this year’s class of 30 participants, Leadership Upper Valley has trained more than 200 community leaders — from bankers to educators to nonprofit staff and retirees — in its first decade.

The power of the program is the ways in which it connects participants to the community — and to each other — to the benefit of all.

Read the entire article in the Valley News Enterprise Magazine.

30 Community Leaders Graduate from Leadership Upper Valley

Leadership Upper Valley Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Largest Class Ever

The largest class yet – 30 participants – graduated from Vital Communities’ Leadership Upper Valley program on June 8 in Windsor, VT. The year-long program aims to inspire, educate, and engage established and emerging leaders to better serve their communities.

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“This program changed the very way we think and interact with one another and with our community,” said graduate Markell Ripps, an attorney at Grossman & Ripps PLLC, who spoke on behalf of the Class of 2016 at the ceremony. “We entered this program as individuals, bankers, nonprofit employees, lawyers, educators, entrepreneurs, CEOs, family care givers, business owners, Vermont and New Hamphsire residents, and we leave as volunteers, future public servants, board members, questioners, and best of all classmates, fellow Upper Valley community members, and friends.”

Established in 2007, Leadership Upper Valley engages participants in 10 day-long sessions from September through June focused on key aspects of community life in the region. Topics include Economic Development, Education, Government and Politics, Arts and the Creative Economy, Communication, Health and Human Services, Environment, Transportation, and Justice.

Including this year’s graduating class, there are now more than 200 Leadership Upper Valley alumni. The Class of 2017 will begin in September.

This year’s graduates include:

Addy Mae Williams, Mascoma Savings Bank

Ayeshah Al-Humaidhi, Upper Valley Humane Society

Brent Edgerton, Kendal at Hanover

Christopher Coughlin, Dartmouth Printing

Cynthia Twombley, West Central Behavioral Health

Daniel McCarthy, Sage Dining Services

Diane Reinhardt, COVER

Elizabeth Long, Twin Pines Housing Trust

Emily Rogers, Hanover Consumer Co-op

Frank Gould, Mascoma River Greenway Coalition

Georgie Sawyer, David’s House

Irene Green, Northern Stage

Jeremy Coylewright, WISE

Jessie Farnham, Frazer Insurance Agency

Kyle Fisher, Listen Community Services

Lindsey Klecan

Lyn Miller, Our Hybrid Lives, LLC

Margaret Monroe-Cassel, TLC Family Resource Center

Marion Steiner, Lake Sunapee Bank

Markell Ripps, Grossman & Ripps, PLLC

Michael Baymiller, Hypertherm

Rachel Abendroth, Dartmouth College

Ron Miller, Sustainable Woodstock

Sadie Wells, Mascoma Savings Bank

Shawn Bard, Ledyard National Bank

Sue Nadeau, Southwestern Community Services

Terri Decker, Claremont Savings Bank

Tim Condon, Cook Little Rosenblatt & Manson, PLLC

Tina Stearns, City of Lebanon

Wendy Farnsworth, Dartmouth-Hitchcock

See more photos from Graduation here.

 

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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.

 

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Apply Now for the 2016-17 session

Leadership Upper Valley (LUV) provides leaders with extensive networking, learning, and service opportunities with a wide range of community members and employees from companies big and small, nonprofit organizations, and municipalities. The program runs from September through June each year, with participants spending one day each month learning about a different aspect of the Upper Valley. The 80 hours of training includes sessions on Education, Arts and the Creative Economy, Health and Human Services, Economic Development, Justice, Government and Politics, Transportation and Livable Communities, and the Environment.

“Leadership Upper Valley participants come away from the program with knowledge of regional issues, opportunities, people, lifestyles, and trends, an expanded network of community leaders and partners, and motivation and experience to provide service within the community,” said program manager Stacey Glazer. “No other program offers such a comprehensive overview of the Upper Valley.”

Leadership Upper Valley is open to anyone living or working within Vital Communities’ 69-town service area and is limited to 30 participants each year. Learn more and apply .

Application deadlines: March 15 – Early Decision,  June 1 – Regular Decision.

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.

 

 

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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.”

 

 

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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.

Graduation 2014

29 Local Leaders Graduate

Twenty-nine leaders from around the region graduated this week from Leadership Upper Valley, a program of Vital Communities that inspires, educates, and engages citizens to better serve their communities. The graduation was held Wednesday, June 11, at Harpoon Brewery in Windsor.

“The modern models of leadership that are most widely embraced in the world are inclusive and creative. They are problem solving and solution seeking,” said Opera North Executive Director Pamela Pantos, Leadership Upper Valley Class of 2010 alumna and this year’s commencement keynote speaker. “Graduates of Leadership Upper Valley are well-prepared to provide this kind of leadership, whether in their workplace or the broader community. It is a way of life that breeds success in everyone with whom we come in contact.”

Established in 2007, Leadership Upper Valley engages participants in ten day-long sessions from September through June focused on key aspects of community life in the region. Topics include Economic Development, Education, Government and Politics, Arts and the Creative Economy,  Health and Human Services, Environment, Transportation, Justice, Community and Civic Engagement.

This year’s graduates include:

Anibal Sepulveda, Hypertherm

Beth Vessicio, Mascoma Savings Bank

Betsy McClain, Town of Hanover

Cathee Clement, Chrysalis Properties LLC

Chris Mazurek, West Lebanon Feed & Supply

David Brooks, City of Lebanon

Ellie Tsetsi, Good Beginnings of Sullivan County

Ericka Gray, Kendal at Hanover

Gary Laperle, Dartmouth Printing Company

Hailey Wetherbee, Kendal at Hanover

Ham Gillett, COVER Home Repair

Jacqueline Hill, Morgan Stanley

Janet Miller Haines, Northern Stage

Jason Dacier, Co-op Food Stores

Jaye Olmstead, David’s House

Justin Provost, Claremont Savings Bank

Kari Jo Grant, Dartmouth College

Kevin Kober, Ledyard National Bank

Laurie Tostenson, Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Linda Miller, Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Lucinda Walker, Norwich Public Library

Mike Kenney, Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Mollie Naber, Self-Employed

Richard Hoffman, Hartford School District (HACTC)

Sarah Simonds, Vital Communities

Sue Bryan, Lake Sunapee Bank

Susanne Abetti, Geobarns LLC

Sylvia Provost, Henderson’s Tree Service LLC

Tom Yurkosky, TPY CFO Services

Including this year’s graduating class, there are now more than 150 Leadership Upper Valley alumni. The Class of 2015 will begin in September.

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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.