VYCC is fueled by an energetic team of talented individuals.
With backgrounds in education, agriculture, backcountry survival, the Peace Corps, and more, the staff at VYCC holds a skillset as diverse as the youth we mentor.
Food and Farm AmeriCorps Project Lead
Claire is a recent transplant from Seattle, WA, where she studied Environmental Policy. She completed her degree while interning with a with an organization in Hawaii that focused on traditional sustainable farming methods. Her passion for food systems has been growing ever since, and she has worked on several Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms and Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
Claire recently moved to Vermont in August to pursue a Master’s in Agriculture Law and Policy at Vermont Law School. She is excited to be with VYCC and eager to learn as much as she can about Vermont’s food systems. She is also looking forward to a summer of exploring the East Coast!
Claire.Kervran@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969
North Carolina Conservation Field Coordinator
Greg grew up in Columbia, Indiana. Like any Hoosier, he loves the outdoors, farming and basketball. Since his professional basketball career didn’t work out, he went to college at the University of Saint Francis where he studied Fine Art. After college, Greg took a summer seasonal job in western North Carolina to work with young adults and teenagers in the great outdoors. He fell in love with the mountains and leading groups on expeditions. Over the last decade, he has lead groups on long-term backpacking and paddling trips all over the Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Lakes, Rockies and the southwest desert. In 2015, Greg went back to school to study Forestry and began his role as lumberjack. He has also worked as an environmental educator with Auburn University and a Youth Conservation Corps Crew Leader in the Alaskan wilderness. He spent a few years with the US. Parks Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Tennessee Division of Forestry working on habitat restoration for endangered species, invasive plant removal, wildland fire control, trail-building and building maintenance, as well as managing tree-seed orchards, tree-seedling distribution to land owners, and farm and vehicle fleet equipment. Recently, Greg has been rigging and felling hazard trees, applying pesticide, and working with North Carolina State University to manage lob-lolly pine genetic studies.
Greg has a huge passion for conservation, and the natural resource field. He is looking forward to sharing and growing with VYCC.
Outside of work you can find Greg climbing mountains, paddling down rivers, and cutting down trees in the woods.
Greg.Zickgraf@vycc.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 157
Conservation Vermont Field Assistant
Since graduating college in 2013, Becki has been doing seasonal work in the outdoors. She spent time as a park naturalist, outdoor educator, and as a WWOOFer before developing a fondness for trail work. Since then, she has been involved with conservation corps in both member and leadership positions in several states.
Becki is excited to be back in the northeast after spending the past few years in different corners of the country. She is especially glad to be working for the VYCC, where she can continue spending some time working in the woods with some good people. She enjoys puzzles, hiking, and ghost stories.
Becki.Linhart@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 132
Conservation Vermont Field Assistant
Gabe was hatched and incubated in Vermont, raised mostly on a mixed diet of seeds and grubs.
He has been working in youth development and education for over ten years, both classroom teaching and leading outdoor programs in Thailand, California, Virginia, Utah, Hong Kong, China – and of course, Vermont. He first came to VYCC in 2015, after a brief and inexplicable stint of working for animation studios in Hollywood. Conservation work serves as the perfect outlet for both his adroit creativity and fondness of the outdoors.
An amateur zoologist, Gabe is replete with facts about biology and taxonomy. He also enjoys old European cities, spelunking, and the smell of spring.
Gabe.Albright@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 162
Dan became the Development Director in late 2017. He is responsible for raising public and private funding through support from individuals, foundations, corporations, government entities, and other organizations. Prior to joining VYCC, he spent 25 years in fundraising for social services, higher education, and medical organizations.
Originally from Connecticut, Dan graduated with a B.A. from Antioch College and an M.S.W. from Washington University. He is passionate about the nonprofit sector and really enjoys helping make great organizations and communities stronger through fundraising.
Being at VYCC has been a very positive experience for Dan. “Seeing so many people come together to address critical needs such as youth development, food insecurity, and environmental stewardship is very rewarding. I am grateful to all the supporters out there who make our important work possible.”
He was also thrilled to come to Vermont. “This truly feels like home, and it’s great to be here.”
Dan.Bailey@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 112
Farm and Food AmeriCorps VISTA
Ruby was eager to head to the green mountains of Vermont after growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey. She graduated this past May from The College of New Jersey where she studied Sociology and Environmental Studies. She has a growing interest in environmental justice and the ways in which communities have varying access to nutritious foods as well as sustainable food systems.
Ruby spent a semester working with a non-profit organization in Bologna, Italy where she helped upkeep urban community and rooftop gardens to provide produce and beauty to an affordable housing district, sparking her interest in horticulture. She started the Food and Farm Program in June 2017 as a member of the Leadership Development Crew where she fell in love with life on the farm and the mission of the Health Care Share. Now with the program for another year as a VISTA, she hopes to develop the Health Care Share and increase farm programming to further fight Vermont’s food insecurity and expand youth food literacy. In her spare time, Ruby enjoys hiking, hanging out with her dog, and live music!
Ruby.Bertola@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969
Office and Events Coordinator
Laura has a long history with VYCC starting in 1995 as an impressionable 16 year old. She was immediately drawn to the rich community and confidence that came from life on a trail crew. After two summers as a Corps Member, and in 2001 as Assistant Crew Leader, she got her Bachelor’s degree in Printmaking from Maine College of Art. She moved to Chicago to pursue her creative interests, and ended up in floral and event design and also became a certified Yoga instructor and trainer.
Laura found her way back to VYCC as a Crew Leader in 2012. She brings her talent for creative multi- tasking, customer service, and administrative support to her role as Office and Events Coordinator. In her free time she owns her own floral design business, practices bikram yoga, cooks from-scratch meals, and spends as much time outside as possible.
Laura.Demaria@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 200
Jeremy joined VYCC in early 2018 as a member of the Development team. He aims to cultivate key donor relationships and assists in maximizing all potential sources of funding for VYCC. He enjoys conveying VYCC’s stories and mission to anyone who will listen – especially to those gracious enough to donate.
Originally from western Massachusetts, Jeremy graduated from Clark University with a B.A. in Conservation Biology. He has held several conservation/ecologically focused positions all across the country. “I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work and live with a conservation team, which taught me many important values and skills I will use my entire life.”
Jeremy moved to Vermont in 2013 in search of an inclusive community that values environmental responsibility and soon after learning about VYCC, married his wife Sam at the West Monitor Barn. He enjoys exploring Vermont’s mountains, and searching for fresh pow.
Jeremy.Gerber@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 113
Food and Farm Program Director
A Bennington native, Paul studied sustainable agriculture, community development, and education at UVM and Evergreen State College.
Teaching is extremely important to Paul. He believes that his work in agriculture, education, and coaching has taught him exponentially more than he has taught his students. In particular, working with disadvantaged students and coaching high school basketball galvanized Paul’s core values for working with people.
Paul credits his family for instilling a strong work ethic and the importance of “working hard and smart.” Most importantly, his wife Kirsten and their two children are the foundation and driving force for all of Paul’s work.
Paul.Feenan@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969
Conservation Watershed Manager
Justin comes to VYCC with a wealth of experiences in youth development, conservation, and environmental science. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from University of Vermont in Environmental Science and Plant and Soil Science. He has worked as an outdoor adventure guide, Conservation Technician, Park Ranger, and in a variety of other outdoor jobs along the way. Justin is always striving to become a better mentor, teacher, and conservationist.
Originally from the “Nawth Shaw” of Massachusetts, Justin has lived in Australia, Michigan, New York, and Colorado, but during all of his travels he always felt the magnetic pull of the Green Mountain State. Along with his wife Mary, their dog Tayo and cat Nagini, Justin lives in Westford, Vermont and loves to run on the winding, hilly dirt roads of the Vermont countryside. You may also find him on skis in the backcountry, at a running event, or bagging sections of the Long Trail. Even more likely, you can find him on a soccer field somewhere, as a player or coach, indulging in his first love.
Justin.Geibel@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 133
Food and Farm AmeriCorps Project Lead
Ben is a native Vermonter, back to serve the VYCC community after his first season as Crew Leader in 2017. Ben has four years of experience mentoring children and young adults in outdoor settings, in the mountains of southern California, gardens of upstate New York, Boston area parks, and Vermont. This work began after graduating from Cornell University in 2014, studying Environmental Systems. In school, Ben performed in various musical groups, baked a lot of sourdough bread, and facilitated programs at the Cornell Team and Leadership Center. His work is inspired by a lifelong love of outdoor exploration, passion for experiential learning, and a drive to normalize ecological literacy for young people.
His efforts in education and mentorship revolve around focused listening, frequent and thoughtful feedback, and an attitude of optimism. Ben spends a great deal of time rock climbing and hiking great distances through the Green Mountains and White Mountains of New Hampshire, listening to Frank Zappa, and fermenting the delicious produce grown at the VYCC Farm.
Ben.Feinson@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969
Development AmeriCorps VISTA
A Michigan native, Rachel spent her college years traveling, farming and enjoying the breath-taking beauty of Lake Superior. She graduated from Northern Michigan University with a degree in Public Relations, but most of her work focused on sustainability and food systems. She has studied traditional farming techniques in Italy, urban agriculture in Brazil, permaculture in Great Britain and most recently completed a tropical agriculture and media internship in Panama. Rachel strongly believes that communication and cultural understanding are key elements for creating a sustainable future that benefits both people and planet.
After learning about the Health Care Share program, Rachel packed up her bags and moved to Vermont to join the team. As a Development VISTA, her main projects include running the annual Vermont Holiday Auction, expanding alumni efforts, and fundraising the Health Care Share. She will also support the general efforts and programming of VYCC through marketing, event planning and engagement efforts.
Rachel is a fan of photography, bluegrass and everything outdoors. This year she hopes to become a proficient paddle-boarder, hike the major mountains, and successfully make zucchini bread!
Rachel.Headings@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 114
Health Care Share Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
Emma grew up in an old farmhouse in Huntington, Vermont and fell in love with the state early on. She graduated from Middlebury College with a joint degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology, which allowed her to study the connections between people, place, and food. With experiences working on organic vegetable farms throughout Vermont, interning at a non-profit homestead in Vergennes, WWOOFing in Peru, and cooking for others in her college’s Local Food House, her passion for food systems work grew.
Emma first joined the Food and Farm Program in August of 2016 as an AmeriCorps VISTA member working on the Health Care Share program. After an engaging and challenging year on the Farm, she realized the she wasn’t ready to leave and signed up for a second AmeriCorps term as the Health Care Share Coordinator. She is passionate about building and developing relationships with the many different community members who support the program, and most enjoys the ways in which her work allows her to strengthen connections between Vermont agriculture and people from varied backgrounds throughout the state. In her free time, Emma enjoys being in Vermont’s great outdoors, cooking with fresh farm veggies, knitting socks, and summiting Camel’s Hump.
Emma.Homans@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 211
Food and Farm Program Manager
Caelan was raised in the suburbs and city of Detroit, Michigan and grew up swimming in the Great Lakes. She studied Sociology at the University of Michigan, graduating with honors in 2012 with a focus in hunger, children and poverty alleviation. In March of that year, she drove from Detroit to Montpelier, VT to begin two and half years of AmeriCorps VISTA service in the areas of family support, youth development, and nutrition education.
She enjoyed 18 months of that service as a Food Security Coordinator with the Food and Farm Program, a role that simultaneously challenged and fulfilled her. Today her desire to grow young leaders (just like we grow vegetables) is stronger than ever. She is driven to provide Corps Members with daily opportunities to feel confident and literate in the kitchen and in the field, and to learn what it means to work hard on something that matters.
Caelan.Keenan@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969
Breck joined the VYCC team in 2008 and became Executive Director in 2016. Helping every young person learn from the beauty, mystery, and challenges of the natural world is what drives Breck in his work. He finds inspiration in the creativity, resolve, and corps spirit that young people bring to VYCC. That VYCC has a deliberate focus on enrolling traditionally underserved populations is especially compelling.
Prior to VYCC, Breck was an outdoor educator and Director at Keewaydin Camp, a classroom teacher and Dean of Students at a small prep school, and a development professional in higher education. He also spent three fun years adventuring out west and travelling the globe before returning to his east coast roots.
Breck holds degrees from Lawrence University and Saint Michael’s College. Outside of work, he lives in the hills of Huntington, where he and his wife Margaret try to keep up with two daughters. Hockey, mountain biking, apple trees, good books, fresh powder, and the occasional zombie movie are all areas of keen interest.
Breck.Knauft@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 110
Conservation Program Coordinator
After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2013 with a major in Environmental Policy and Planning, Pilar spent ten glorious months in Massachusetts with Student Conservation Association, teaching environmental education in schools and maintaining trails around the Commonwealth. Living in this intentional, consensus-based community cemented in her mind how awesome and empowering conservation crews are and influenced her to pursue a career in the corps world. Pilar joined VYCC as a Crew Leader in 2015 and since then has moved to Vermont to enjoy all the maple syrup, darn tough socks, and the Burlington Bike Path.
Learning how to communicate with a diverse group of humans, including giving and receiving feedback, is important to Pilar. She believes in giving all VYCC participants, including herself, the opportunity to practice and improve their ability to express their thoughts and understand how they affect other members of their team. In her role as Field Assistant, Pilar has taken pride in helping Crew Leaders reach their personal and professional goals with constructive feedback and open, honest communication.
Pilar.Lopez-gomez@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 111
Marketing and Communications Director
Llu Mulvaney-Stanak has built their career around creating effective and engaging messaging and outreach that informs, inspires, and moves people to action. Over the last fifteen years, Llu has helped dozens of non-profits, advocacy efforts, and individuals harness the power of digital storytelling through social media, video, podcasting, and radio production.
Llu is a life-long Vermonter, graduate of both Castleton University and the University of Vermont, born in Marshfield, raised in Barre, and has lived in Burlington for nearly twenty years. Llu believes in three core digital truths: anyone can and should make their own media; going “viral” comes from practice or silly luck; bad design will be part of the fall of civilization.
Between Llu’s love of dressing up and zombie shows, it is no wonder their first day was 2017’s Halloween.
Pronouns: Please use Llu’s name or they/them pronouns when referring to Llu.
llu@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 100
Chief Financial and Operations Officer
Hapy joined VYCC in 2015 with over 20 years of finance and operations experience managing Small Dog Electronics, an Apple Computer sales and service company he founded with his father. Hapy has degrees from Northwestern University in Philosophy and Economics. He lives with his wife Jessica and many rescued dogs in their house in Fayston.
Hapy is a USA Hockey Ice Hockey referee and competes as a professional “heavy” athlete in the Scottish Games. Any spare time outside of that, he is honing his craft as an artisan blacksmith at his shop in Fayston.
Hapy.Mayer@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 134
Conservation Program Coordinator
Hans was raised in Maine, but has traveled and worked all throughout the US. His passion for the outdoors has driven him to trail work and conservation time and time again. Continually adding notches to his belt, he has worked for conservation corps in Maine, Montana, Utah, Vermont, and Texas. Hans began his time with VYCC in 2013 leading a roving conservation crew. Since then he has worked for the Vermont State Parks and the Student Conservation Association in their Adirondack Program. In the winters, you can find him at Bolton Valley Ski Resort running the lift operations. He is psyched to be back at the barn and ready to get out in the field. In his time off, he enjoys board games, trivia, a good game of dodgeball, and being in the outdoors.
Hans.Melhus@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 135
Conservation Program Director
Patrick joined VYCC in 2016 with project management and program development skills along with logistics and operations experience.
Patrick led trail crews with the Southwest Conservation Corps while earning a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. He pursued a Master’s in Sustainable Communities at Northern Arizona University and launched a composting operation there before starting his own compost business. He then completed a major restoration project on National Forest lands across Northern Arizona.
Patrick is focused on connecting with a diverse network of project partners, and increasing the project capacity of VYCC to expand the organization’s positive environmental and educational impact across the state of Vermont and beyond. He enjoys exploring Vermont’s rolling hills, hardwood forests, mountain bike trails, and many varieties of cheese.
Patrick.Pfeifer@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 141
Conservation Operations Coordinator
Jenn’s first job was with a Youth Conservation Corps crew where she spent summer days swinging picks and shovels or pulling invasive water chestnut. This experience took her to Vermont where she earned two degrees from Green Mountain College: a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies.
Jenn has since worked all over New England stewarding conserved land. She has worked for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, The Nature Conservancy, and served with Kestrel Land Trust through AmeriCorps.
When she is not in the woods, you can find Jenn on the volleyball court, at home with her 2 indoor rabbits, or searching for the most delicious doughnut.
Jennifer.Seredejko@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 148
A Southern Vermont native, Greg studied at the School of Natural Resources at UVM. Following graduation, he moved west in search of adventure and change. After a four year stint in sunny Lake Tahoe working for a small residential carpentry company, Greg began an 8-year career in wildland firefighting. Through his career in wildfire, Greg has traveled from the desert landscapes of Texas, to boreal forests of Alaska, assisting in fire suppression, forestry projects, and prescribed burns.
In 2015, Greg permanently relocated back to Vermont to work for the Green Mountain National Forest. His background in fire has taught him the importance of accountability, risk management, and hard work.
Greg lives in the Mad River Valley with his wife Lauren and their dog Chaplin. He enjoys skiing fresh snow, riding mountain bikes, and traveling to unfamiliar places.
Greg.Switz@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 121
Food and Farm AmeriCorps Project Lead
Chris is a native of Syracuse, NY and grew up enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. He is an avid skier and huge Manchester City F.C. fan. While in college, Chris developed an interest in sustainable agriculture after graduating from the University of Albany with a degree in Biology, and decided to give farming a go. Chris found his way to Vermont this past summer and joined the farm as a member of the Leadership Development Crew. He was quickly enthralled with life on the farm and the culture at the VYCC. He is continuing his experience at the farm as the Food and Farm AmeriCorps Production Project Lead where he hopes to develop his knowledge of farming and provide well grown quality food for as many people as possible.
Chris.Spencer@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969
Conservation Vermont Field Assistant
Becca cut her teeth working on trails in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, first with the Montana Conservation Corps then the National Park Service.
Prior to running saws and crushing rocks, Becca was swept up in the sport of crew. She rowed and coached at both the high school and collegiate levels. When not in boats Becca enjoyed being on trails- running and backpacking and occasionally horse packing, but never constructing or maintaining them until MCC. Perhaps based on her affinity for trails and crew independently, trail crew was a good fit.
Becca is thrilled to work for VYCC. She is passionate about conservation, community development, people empowerment, and New England’s steep and rocky ascents. Becca’s interests outside of trails and crew include skiing, biking, baking, and Norman Maclean stories.
Becca.Waldo@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3869 ext. 140
Program Services Manager
Maya is excited to bring her passion for social service and community building to her role as VYCC Program Services Manager. She spent the previous 12 years working at local social service non-profits in both direct service and program management. She is eager to contribute to the VYCC mission and is driven to find opportunities to strengthen the work through collaboration with community partners.
Maya was raised in Elmore, Vermont and spent her childhood exploring the outdoors. She had a non-traditional education including homeschooling while traveling with her family through Central America. Her parents always had an unwavering belief in her, and taught her that with personal accountability, determination, and hard-work she can achieve anything. These early life experiences inspired her to work in social services to have a lasting impact on others.
When not at work, Maya enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and children, making jewelry, and knitting.
Maya.Thompson@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 130
Food and Farm Program Coordinator
After spending the majority of his childhood across the pond in County Wicklow, Ireland, Andrew and his family moved to the US in 1999 to Wayne, Pennsylvania. Andrew studied Sustainable Development at the University of Colorado at Boulder. During college, he developed a passion for community development through food and farming. Andrew quickly realized that he wanted to work in food systems. After graduating, he moved to Vermont.
Eager to become part of Vermont’s thriving sustainable agriculture community, Andrew was instantly drawn to the Food and Farm Program at VYCC. He served as a Crew Leader for the Richmond Community Crew in 2015 and now embraces his role as the Food and Farm Program Coordinator.
Andrew is passionate about the Farm’s main project, the Health Care Share, which he finds revolutionary in its own right. He is committed to expanding this important project.
Andrew.Whitehead@VYCC.org | (610) 955.3766
Community Program Director
John is a native New Englander with 25 years of professional experience in education that includes teaching in Brazil, Qatar, and Thailand, as well as with organizations such as Montshire Museum of Science and Hurricane Island Outward Bound School.
His experiential, environmental, and traditional education philosophies inform his new focus on building VYCC’s presence across Vermont. He believes passionately in the idea of communities investing in their young people, and those young people reinvesting in the health and vibrancy of their own communities.
John loves to spend time romping outdoors with his two daughters, reigniting his desire to learn the bluegrass mandolin, making the perfect BLT, and finding the next great bike ride on the back roads of Vermont.
John.Woodward@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 131
Raul Zavallos was born in Peru. In 2007 he moved to the United Stated to pursue higher education and begin a new life. In 2014 he graduated from Champlain College with a Bachelor degree in Accounting. Immediately after graduation, he joined a small engineering firm where he began his career as an accountant.
Raul has a passion to serve other people and to increase his professional credentials. He loves learning and plans to continue expanding his education.
In his free time, Raul enjoys many different outdoors activities, such as but not limited to soccer, biking, hiking, and fishing. He also enjoys traveling.
Raul.Zevallos@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 137
Thomas founded VYCC in 1986 and led the organization through immense growth over three decades. A former Crew Leader for the Youth Conservation Corps in Young Harris, Georgia, and Camp Director for the Minnesota Conservation Corps, Thomas is recognized nationally for his vision in making VYCC one of the nation’s leading youth leadership, education, and training organizations.
Thomas received the prestigious Sterling College Environmental Leadership Award in 2009. He serves on the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) Board and chairs the Williston Boy Scout Troop Committee.
Thomas holds a Master’s degree in Experiential Education from the University of Mankato. He is the former Vice President of the Board of the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps (Corps Network) as well as a past Chair of the Catamount Trail Association, Recycle North Board, Mallets Bay Homeowners Board, and the Western Slopes Business Association. He has also served on the Vermont Environmental Consortium Board as well as many others, and was a founding member of the Vermont Alliance of Non-Profit Organizations (VANPO).
In the summer of 2015, Thomas moved into the role of President Emeritus where he continues to be a tremendous asset to VYCC. He serves as a resource and as a mentor, and is the organization’s greatest champion. He lives in Williston with his wife, Dana Hearn-Hark, and their three children, Eli, Zachary, and Rosie.