Community leaders help us thrive.
In addition to providing strategic direction, the VYCC Board of Trustees does the invaluable work as ambassadors of the organization. Meet the Board.
Jim Feinson is President and CEO of Gardener’s Supply Company, a 100% employee-owned company and one of the nation’s largest multi-channel marketers of gardening products and accessories. Jim is a graduate of Cornell University, where he studied Economics and English. He received his MBA from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business. Under Jim’s leadership, Gardener’s Supply has won numerous local and national awards for their business success, innovative products, employee ownership, and community contributions. The company is recognized nationally as a leader in the socially responsible business community, and donates 8% of profits to gardening, sustainable agriculture, and hunger-related causes. Jim is also very active in the community. He serves or has served on several company boards; as an officer, board member or active member in several national industry associations and local and statewide business organizations; and as an officer and board member for many local nonprofits, focusing on gardening, conservation, youth development, and the arts.
Matt is a telecommunications specialist. His company, The Final Connection, serves the Vermont business community by providing analysis, equipment, and implementation services to improve and support voice and data communication systems. Over 50% of The Final Connection’s work focuses on supporting nonprofit organizations. In the spring of 1992, Matt was introduced to Thomas Hark and the mission of “personal responsibility” taught by the VYCC. Tom’s plans for the future engaged Matt’s enthusiastic support from the start. Participating in and supporting the evolution of the VYCC and the establishment of its permanent home at The Monitor Barn in Richmond has been one of Matt’s greatest joys. Matt also serves on the board of the Hart Foundation, a small foundation which supports environmental and social initiatives. Matt lives in Westford, Vermont with his wife Lisa and their son Griffen and daughter Taylor (VYCC ’04). Depending on the season, Matt can be found either ski patrolling at Smuggs or riding his mountain bike.
Immediate Past Chair
Linda McGinnis is the Program Director for the Energy Action Network, an active network of non-profit, business, government and education leaders working to creating a clean, affordable and secure energy future for Vermont. Linda has dedicated her professional life to seeking concrete solutions to sustainable development challenges, globally and locally. She worked for 20 years as lead economist and senior manager for the World Bank, advising governments and investors across 5 continents on policies and projects promoting sustainable economic development. Since moving to Vermont in 2010, her focus has been on state-level climate change strategies, renewable energy and energy efficiency policies and programs. She directed Governor Shumlin’s Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission (2012-2013), served as an analyst to the leadership team at the Agency for Natural Resources on climate change strategy and joined EAN in 2015. She currently serves as co-chair of the Clean Energy Development Fund, is a member of the Climate Economy Council (Vermont Council on Rural Development), is a family sponsor for the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, and feels especially privileged to be living in this beautiful state. She is married to Sam Carlson and is the proud mother of three children, Maya, Misha and Sean. She holds degrees from Stanford (BA), Princeton (MPA) and Harvard Business (Exec Ed).
Scott Weaver joins the VYCC board after 36 years with SCA, and many before that with the National Parks Service where he touched many lives. Over a series of program and partner leadership roles and eventually as SCA’s Senior Vice President for Government Relations, Scott shaped the wide majority of the 70,000 positions SCA fielded on his watch. Scott was also a prime architect of the Public Lands Corps Act and co-founded the Public Lands Service Coalition, which has created thousands of additional youth service opportunities. He was recently awarded The Corps Network’s Legacy Achievement Award, a recognition that was most-deserved. In the 1970s, as a Yosemite National Park crew leader and later with SCA, Scott led several teams of high school students with the woman who would become his wife and today, Scott and Kathy’s three children have all participated in SCA programs.
Joe is a vice president of Casella Waste Systems, where he serves as an advisor to the chairman and CEO. He teaches in the University of Vermont’s Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA program, and is chair of the program’s Advisory Board. In addition to being a trustee of VYCC, he served on the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council and recently completed twelve years of service as a member of the board of directors of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. He also served as the chairman of the Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy steering committee during 2013 and 2014. Joe speaks frequently to companies and organizations on leadership, organizational culture, problem-solving, business and cultural trends, economic development, business strategy and sustainability, and life/work balance. He’s been engaged as a speaker by groups and companies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Project Management Institute, MyWebGrocer, Green Mountain Power, the Enterprise for a Sustainable World, and the Vermont Federal Women’s Network. Joe lives in Chittenden, Vermont with his wife, Renae. They are the parents of five children.
Michael Snyder was appointed Commissioner of Vermont Forests, Parks, and Recreation by Gov. Peter Shumlin in December 2010. Prior to that he served for 14 years as Chittenden County Forester, providing land stewardship assistance to private landowners and municipalities. He also taught, for 12 years, two courses in Forestry at the University of Vermont and he continues to write the Woods Whys column for Northern Woodlands Magazine. Previously he worked in forest ecosystem science at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and in land surveying and forest management in New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Sweden. He was a U.S. Youth Conservation Corps member as a 15-year-old. He lives in Stowe and owns and manages a 91-acre forest in the northern Connecticut River valley of Vermont. He received both his Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in forestry from the University of Vermont.
George Russell is an 8th generation Vermonter who left the state for college and returned in 2009 to be close to family and his roots. His corporate career involved selling and servicing products used by farmers and contractors both in North America and globally. He is founder of Machinery Advisors Consortium whose several independent consultants advise machinery manufacturers and their dealers in North and South America, and Europe. His corporate leadership positions have been in marketing, product development, strategic and business planning, and international dealer sales management. He and his wife Judy lived and managed for Case and CNH Industrial in Italy and France, where he was last Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing for construction equipment in Europe, Africa, Middle East and CIS. His history honors thesis at Harvard was about agricultural development in Addison Country and his MBA from Chicago was in Strategic Marketing. He lives in downtown Burlington and serves on several local boards including The Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History in Middlebury, which provides the opportunity to check on the family farm in New Haven dating back to 1788. The Vermont legacy and future is his driver to help VYCC deliver on its mission.
Anne Adler, a graduate of Wheaton College (Norton, MA) and Boston College Law School, practiced securities law for 15 years. While raising 5 sons and a daughter she did volunteer work and then became webmaster for an independent day school from 2002-2010 working with the communications, alumni and development teams. Her volunteer work included serving on multiple boards acting as counsel and/or overseeing the organization’s website, including being President/Board Chair of The Keewaydin Foundation based in Salisbury, VT. Anne has also served on the parents boards of her children’s schools, the Junior League, and Women of Vision.
Currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UVM, Ben is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on contemporary Cuba and Latin America. His scholarship addresses socialism/post-socialism, entrepreneurialism, sports, semiotics, and the relationships between nationalist rituals, moral authority, and political legitimacy. As a professor, Ben teaches courses based on these themes, providing active, often hands-on learning opportunities for students not only to understand non-Western cultures in their own terms but also to think about students’ own cultures in new ways. Ben earned his degrees in cultural anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA) and the University of Chicago (MA, PhD). Ben first encountered the VYCC while riding his bike past a trail crew in Jericho, and he immediately appreciated the intrinsic value of their work. After learning more about the organization, he is more convinced than ever that beyond the impressive material productivity of trail and farm crews, it is the ethical aspects of their work in terms of how “personal responsibility” is also a social resource that is not only valuable but simply vital. Ben also serves as the Vice President of the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund, a small foundation that supports social justice, environmental, and educational issues. With his wife Vicki Brennan, Ben lives in Huntington, VT, which gives him easy access to some of the best cycling and split boarding in the Green Mountains.
Doris “Dot” Evans (1916 – 2011)
An enthusiastic outdoorswoman and organizer, Dot played a central role in the revival of cross-country skiing in Vermont. In the 1960s, she and friends started clearing trails in the Underhill area – these trails still exist today. Dot’s deep concern for Vermont’s youth led her to help launch VYCC in 1985.
From 1985 until her retirement from the board in 1997, Dot’s energy and commitment, dedication and wise counsel became the driving force behind every facet of VYCC’s growth. She created the first board, and gained support from individuals, businesses, and state and federal agencies. She persuaded city officials to work with the new program on public and community service projects. She played a crucial role in helping the organization evolve from a state-based program to a free-standing nonprofit organization in 1993.
Dot had a long, distinguished career as a volunteer at the local, state and national levels. She received numerous awards in recognition of her contributions to Vermont’s communities, including the Susan B. Anthony Award, the Governor’s Earth Day Award and the Martha H. O’Connor Award, as well as an honorary degree from Burlington College. In 1993 she was honored at the White House for her work on vocational-technical education.
From the start, Dot’s vision, strength of character, and hard work have been defining factors in VYCC’s success.
Tom attended Williams College in Massachusetts where he discovered the great New England outdoors. During graduate work at Stanford University, he discovered the Sierras. After stints as a freelance journalist, filmmaker, media consultant, and a teaching position as Director of Media Studies at Antioch College-Baltimore, Tom settled down in New York City and co-produced and directed a series of documentary films for theatrical and television release. In 2001 Tom finally became a full-time Vermonter. In this most recent and very fulfilling chapter of his life, he is involved in philanthropy, civic engagement, and environmental health projects here in Vermont, and in the other places Tom calls home. Tom has served on the board of two foundations active in the fields of environmental health, youth and community development, and social change media. He is Clerk of the Board of the Robert Flaherty International Film Seminars and was twice President. He has also served on the Board of Trustees of Bethany College in Bethany West Virginia since 1991. In September 2006, Tom joined the Board of Green Mountain College in his hometown of Poultney where he lives with his partner Ina and two cats.
David joined VYCC’s Board of Directors in 2008 and served as Vice Chair, Secretary, and Chair of the Board. He passed unexpectedly in 2013. VYCC has named the Hay Mow of the West Monitor Barn for David to memorialize his indelible contributions to VYCC. The Hay Mow is a testament to his strong and clear leadership, commitment to education, connection to the land, and ability to infuse every situation with an element of fun. A slate plaque created by Sam Norris and Brian Days reads, “He was a true friend who brought us light and laughter. His commitment to young people and love of the outdoors were an inspiration to the VYCC. We remember David’s natural leadership and keen insight with great fondness.”
At the time of his passing, David was VYCC’s Board Chair, a partner at the law office of Langrock Sperry & Wool, a board member of the Committee on Temporary Shelter, and served on committees of the Vermont Bar Association.