Working and Learning Together.
When board members join VYCC, they join a community that works deliberately to create a sense of belonging and connection. As integral members of VYCC, they support the organization on many levels, from first-time Crew Members to the overall health and future of the organization. Learn more about these amazing volunteers.
ANNE ADLER, Immediate Past Chair
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.
BEN EASTMAN, Chair
Formerly a professor in the Department of Anthropology at UVM, Ben is a cultural anthropologist and independent scholar 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 taught 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 fostering relations of care among each other and towards the environment that is particularly vital and inspiring. 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 splitboarding in the Green Mountains.
JIM FEINSON, Treasurer
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.
Jacqueline spent her growing-up years in Latin America and Thailand, graduating from high school from the International School of Bangkok. When finally coming back to her native country of the US, she recoiled from the American consumer culture and found home in the low rolling hills of eastern West Virginia where she raised two children, became a shepherd, and learned from her neighbors and the land where food comes from. Her career was in the arts, education, and community youth work. In 2009, she brought those skills to facilitating progressive education with students at Goddard College, where she co-developed the Community Education concentration with Dr. David Allen Frisby III.
She is blessed to be a mother and grandmother, sister, auntie, wife, and step-mother in a wonderful family who keep her learning and laughing!
Mallory has been serving in the conservation corps world since 2018. She got her start right here with the VYCC! After graduating with an environmental biology degree from Appalachian State University, she decided to get out of her home state of North Carolina. While Mallory got her start as a Conservation Crew Leader with VYCC, the next season she crew led for the Montana Conservation. Following her term in Montana, she found herself in a program staff position as a Field Training Coordinator with the Northwest Youth Corps in Oregon and Washington as well as their sister corps, the Idaho Conservation Corps! In 2021, Mallory decided to be closer to family and friends and moved back home. She is currently a Program Coordinator with Conservation Corps North Carolina! During her time with VYCC, Mallory fell in love with conservation corps work and the growth that service can bring into young people’s lives. She is so excited to serve the conservation corps world in this capacity, especially with the corps where she got her start. When she’s not in the world of conservation corps, you’ll find her curled up with a good book, on a hike, or in the best local coffee shop.
Jenny Naylor, Secretary
Jenny is an Executive Director and Banker at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Boston and has been working with wealthy families for almost 25 years. Bringing to bear the full resources of the firm, Jenny helps to provide her clients with J.P. Morgan’s expertise in investment management, banking, fiduciary and wealth advisory services. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Jenny spent 15 years with Goldman Sachs in Private Wealth Management where she orchestrated a full array of client services to affluent individuals, families, and organizations. She is passionate about the state of Vermont and spends a significant amount of time here with her family, enjoying camping, skiing, taking advantage of the local food scene and photographing the beautiful VT landscape. Jenny is chair of the Finance Committee for Mercy Connections in Burlington and recently joined the board of the VYCC as a strategic advisor. Jenny is an avid photographer in all her free time, loves to travel, and resides in the Boston area with her husband, two children, and two English labs.
WENDY NUNEZ, Vice Chair
Wendy has over 32 years of financial services experience. She is a founding partner of Champlain Investment Partners and oversees compliance and operations at the firm. Prior to joining Champlain, Wendy was a Registered Principal at Equity Services, Inc., where she managed the home office operations of the broker-dealer. Prior to that, she spent 14 years at Scudder Kemper Investments. In her most recent role at Scudder Kemper, Wendy was Vice President of The Regulatory Oversight Group; her group was responsible for all non-routine regulatory interactions, oversight of the Code of Ethics, as well as the compliance audit function. Wendy also held management positions in distributor and advisor compliance and investment operations.
Wendy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont and earned her Masters of Business Administration degree from Boston University. Wendy currently serves on the boards of University of Vermont’s Grossman School of Business, Green Mountain Adaptive Sports, and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.
Ezra joins the VYCC board after being a Project Lead with the Food and Farm Program in 2019, and participating in the Racial Equity Leadership Team in 2022. He is eager to continue to support an organization that has been so pivotal in his professional and personal growth. Having grown up near VYCC and hearing lore from his mom who served with the Vermont Conservation Corp in 1975 and 1976, you could say it was only appropriate that VYCC is again a part of Ezra’s life. Currently living in New York City, Ezra is the Director of the Heritage Farm at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. He oversees one of the largest urban farms in the city and grows a variety of produce for their CSA, farm stands, and restaurant partners. His favorite part of the job is working with high school students through the Summer Youth Employment Program who get to serve on the grounds each summer learning job readiness skills in green careers.
Ezra enjoys his commute to work each day that includes a bike and ferry ride! In his free time he enjoys exploring new neighborhoods and finding the city’s best dumplings!
Ray is excited about connecting with VYCC’s board after participating in the Food and Farm Program as a Project Lead in 2021. They are self-described as a forever student of the land and of people and a lover of food as a way of connection to both. They found their passion for growing food while studying Environmental Science at Colby-Sawyer College, through exploring and working in the school’s permaculture garden. After graduating, they served with SCA’s Massachusetts Americorps program, learning about building intentional community and leadership through teaching environmental education and trail conservation crews. Wanting to get back into farming and service work in a new environment, Ray dove into Peace Corps Ghana in the agriculture sector for three months before COVID-19 brought them home. They have since worked on multiple farms and trail crews to connect with the land and people through hard work and hard play. They are currently living, working, and playing in Portland, ME, farming vegetables, flowers, and mushrooms. Rayla gets jazzed about roller skating, taking long walks, drawing beets, reading sci fi, and admiring the clouds.
Katie Robertson, Staff Board Member
Katie finds the best way to build community and form relationships is over a delicious meal. Her passion for growing, cooking, and eating food stems from her childhood growing up on a farm in Iowa. Shortly after graduating from undergrad at Iowa State University, she began her first Conservation Corps experience and was hooked! This eventually led to serving an AmeriCorps term in Montpelier, where she quickly fell in love with Vermont’s natural beauty, agricultural landscape, and food culture. Knowing the hard work and growth that come from an AmeriCorps term, she is excited to watch the impressive accomplishments made by the VYCC team each season.
With an MS in Food Systems from UVM and a background in nutrition education, food security, and food access, Katie is ready to share her passion for food with anyone willing to listen. When not in the kitchen, you can find her spending time with her partner Zach and their two dogs, Arlo and Sage.
The VYCC board includes a rotating 1-year staff position as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. To learn more about Katie, see her staff bio here.
Julius Rosenwald has lived in Pownal, Vermont, for over fifty years.
Upon graduating from Williams College, he began teaching grades one through three in a two-room schoolhouse in Woodford. He then moved on to Buxton School in Williamstown, MA, where he taught courses at the high-school level. A change of direction landed Julius in the restaurant business and ultimately he moved on to the job of freelance journalist. Over many decades, he has remained devoted to his adopted town of Pownal. He served on the Select Board, oversaw the implementation of a public water system, and continues to be a board member of the town’s Solomon Wright Public Library. In addition, he is on the boards of Shires Housing in Bennington and Second Chance Animal Center in Arlington.
A constant in his life has always been the bicycle. His curiosity and fascination with the unknown have taken him via two wheels to all parts of the world. From the beginning, he realized how much his values and those of VYCC dovetailed: stewardship, cooperation, self-reliance, and common sense.
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.
Blake is an entrepreneur and recovering New Yorker whose work has crossed the industries of film, tech, marketing, and events. He grew up on a sheep farm in central Virginia where early experiences in farming and adventuring set the tone for many of his interests in life. Middlebury College somehow let him attend their institution, where he received his degree in the decidedly liberal-arts combination of Eastern Religion and Film. Blake started his first company while traveling abroad in India, Tibet, and Nepal during his junior year in college, importing art and decor from various parts of Asia and later opening an art gallery in Bali, Indonesia.
The dingy streets of Brooklyn drew him to New York City, where he joined the tech start-up Vimeo.com in 2007. Blake rose through the ranks quickly, helping ideate, create, develop, and market most of the core features and revenue-generating products on the site. Blake left Vimeo as VP of Creative Development, with the products he helped co-create accounting for over 20mm users and $30mm in gross revenue. After 13 years in Brooklyn, Blake finally came to the conclusion that he enjoyed mountains and rivers more than ones and zeros and left Brooklyn to travel the world for a year, eventually settling in Vermont. He now advises and invests in early-stage start-ups and is currently developing a boutique lodge and wellness retreat in the mountains of Stowe.
Blake is an avid adventurer, traveler, skier, photographer, and sauna enthusiast. He hopes to write a book one day so he can lead this bio with that seemingly impossible accomplishment.
Advisors to the Board
We are appreciative of the insights of these key leaders in their fields. Their advise to our board and organizational leadership help us move mountains.
Dr. Dan Goodyear
State Senator Ginny Lyons
VYCC Directors Emeriti
VYCC is better for having the following community leaders be part of our organization’s leadership in past years. We are forever in debt to them.
DAVID CONARD (1961 – 2013)
DORIS “DOT” EVANS (1916 – 2011)