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.

Want to join our team?

Jennifer Crockett

Sustainability and Operations AmeriCorps VISTA

Jen has had multiple roles with the VYCC. Her first stint was in the summer of 2012 where she worked on a Conservation Crew for 4 weeks. After graduating high school, she completed her first year of college out in Salt Lake City, Utah before transferring to Suffolk University in Boston, MA where she received her B.S.  in Environmental Studies with a minor in Philosophy. While finishing school she was a Pathways Intern with the U.S. EPA in Boston in the Site Assessment section of the Superfund program. She found her way back to Vermont and the VYCC in the summer of 2018 as a part of the Leadership Development Crew 2 at the VYCC Farm. She is now an AmeriCorps Vista serving as the Sustainability and Operations AmeriCorps VISTA where she is using her mix of knowledge, experience, and skills to analyze the farm’s operations and systems and further develop resources for environmental literacy.

Her hobbies include reading, watching anime, playing video games, art, photography, and playing with her chocolate lab Lula.

Pronouns: She/Her

Jennifer.Crockett@vycc.org

Laura DeMaria

Administrative Manager

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.

Pronouns: she/her

Laura.Demaria@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 200

Justin Geibel

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.

Pronouns: he/him

Justin.Geibel@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 133

Naomi Galimidi

Naomi joined VYCC’s development team in 2012. In working alongside crews and talking with alumni, Naomi is inspired by the deep and lasting impact VYCC has on each and every Corps Member.

Naomi took a “gap year” of sorts from VYCC to dabble in the marketing agency world and returned to the Corps in January 2019. Her professional experience also includes nonprofit management in Vermont and beyond.

Forever looking ahead to the next cohort of Corps Members, and looking around at the evolving needs of our youth, her work with VYCC’s remarkable community of supporters is at once purposeful and fun!

She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University at Albany, is an avid snowboarder and music lover.

Pronouns: She/Her

Naomi.Galimidi@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 112

Jeremy Gerber

Development Coordinator

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.

Pronouns: he/him

Jeremy.Gerber@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 113

Anna Jordan

Finance Administrator

Anna is a native Vermonter who has lived in many other beautiful places from Maine to Alaska. Descended from Vermont farmers, and public servants (she is the great granddaughter of Senator Ralph Flanders and Helen Hartness Flanders), she came home to Jericho to raise her three children Darius, Helen and Karl. Anna studied the philosophy of science and environmental science, but ended up majoring in studio art at Wesleyan University. Her interest in art and geology lead her to her current passion for sculpting in stone.

Anna joined the VYCC team in 2018 as Finance Administrator. She was drawn to the VYCC mission of developing personal responsibility, skill building through meaningful work, and a sense of teamwork in young people. Anna brings a wide range of experience include restaurant management, event coordination, professional administration, and running her own baked goods business (Anna’s Oatcakes). In each of these positions she has always “followed the numbers” and decided to focus on accounting as a career path.

When she is not crunching numbers, you will find her carving stone, barefoot walking through forest and meadow with her dog Lilly, or enjoying time with her family in Danville and Pittsford.

Breck Knauft

Breck Knauft

Executive Director

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.

Pronouns: he/him

Breck.Knauft@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 110

Claire Londagain

Health Care Share Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA

Claire grew up in Portland, Oregon where she first found her passion for food through the bountiful farmers markets of the Willamette valley and diverse local eateries of the city. After working for a small scale vegetable CSA and a stone fruit orchard in the Pacific Northwest, she ventured east and completed a BA in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems from Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. During her undergraduate studies she focused on education, nutrition, and international development. While in Vermont for school, she built skills in community organizing and education through work with several community gardens in Rutland County and with the Vermont Community Garden Network where she supported educational outreach initiatives. Following graduation Claire returned to her home state to complete a FoodCorps service term in Central, Oregon. There she worked with three Title I elementary schools as a garden and nutrition educator, built community support systems for school gardens, improved farm to school initiatives, and developed school gardens. Claire is excited to continue working in farm-to-institution and serve as the Health Care Share Coordinator for the VYCC, to improve Vermonters access to fresh, nutritious, tasty, culturally appropriate foods.

When not working to improve food security Claire can be found cooking and eating, practicing yoga, playing music, or exploring new foods, landscapes, and cultures.

Pronouns: She/Her

Claire.Londagin@vycc.org

 

Pilar Lopez-Gomez

Conservation Program Manager

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.

Pronoun: she/her

Pilar.Lopez-gomez@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 111

Hapy

Hapy Mayer

Chief Financial 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 many rescued dogs 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.

Pronouns: he\him

Hapy.Mayer@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 134

Hans Melhus

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.

Pronouns: he/him

Hans.Melhus@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 135

Llu Mulvaney-Stanak

Officer of Community Engagement

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

Caitlin Perrier

Program Services Administrator

Caitlin, a FEMA Corps alum, joined the VYCC in 2018 serving as the Program Services Administrator. Caitlin, who grew up in the small town of Enfield, NH where you would often find her on the Field Hockey or Softball fields, grew up making frequent visits to see family in Shelburne and always felt drawn to the greater Burlington area. After attending college in Beverly, MA where she studied both Psychology and Criminal Justice, Caitlin dedicated her time to serving with the first group of FEMA Corps members in 2012 where she spent time in Mississippi, Alabama, and finally Staten Island, NY following Super Storm Sandy. Following her service, Caitlin went on to start her professional career as an Anti-Money Laundering Analyst for financial institutions in Boston and later making the move to do so in Vermont in 2015. Given her years long passion in food quality and policy and her desire to expand her knowledge of how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, Caitlin felt drawn to the VYCC and its mission. She is excited to use her administrative, analytical, research, and organizational skills in order to provide Program Support for the organization.

A self-professed nutrition nerd, Caitlin is passionate about real food and believes in the concept of food as medicine. Caitlin lives right in Richmond and truly feels at home in the greater BTV area. Simply put – she loves the culture. Also of note, she is a plant lover, sunshine junkie, and enjoys simple walks and many varieties of yoga. She likes to spend her time outside of VYCC either the kitchen whipping up her next back of granola bars, or meandering around local farmer’s markets.

Pronouns: She/her

Caitlin.Perrier@vycc.org | 802-434-3969 x130

Patrick Pfeifer

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.

Pronouns: he/him

Patrick.Pfeifer@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 141

Jennifer Seredejko

Conservation Operations Manager

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.

Pronouns: she/her

Jennifer.Seredejko@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 148

Daniel Schmidt

Officer of Programming

Daniel began a career in conservation and education way back in 1997, teaching sailing on a small lake in the Midwest. Over the next twenty-some years, Daniel has helped millions (ok, probably not that many) of young people become leaders in conservation and environmental stewardship. As the Chief Program Officer, Daniel helps create dynamic education programs, enhances the corps member experience, and is an invaluable snack connoisseur.

Daniel grew up in Wisconsin and moved between coasts, working as in conservation and science education. He has led research programs in Panamá, taught high school students in Oakland how to dig a latrine, and, most recently, helped build VYCC’s watershed program. He and his wife, Jen, have also spent several years living out of cars, bikes, boats, and backpacks, but always seem to come back to Vermont where the maple syrup, and people, are the sweetest.

Top Vermont experience: swimming in a river, after a long bike ride, but before eating a huge creemee. Can’t be beat.

Pronouns: he/him

Daniel.Schmidt@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969

Greg Switz

Logistics Coordinator

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.

Pronouns: he/him

Greg.Switz@VYCC.org | (802) 434.3969 ext. 121

Kyle Weatherhog

Food and Farm Program Coordinator

Kyle spent the majority of her life in the small town of Middletown Springs, Vermont where her interest in nutrition and food systems began. Kyle graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in Food Systems, with a minor in Nutrition and Food Science and Environmental Studies.

In 2016, between her sophomore and junior year in, Kyle began working at the VYCC in the Food & Farm Program as an Assistant Crew Leader and has since served as a Field Assistant and Crew Leader.

Kyle believes strongly in the mission of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps of teaching youth personal responsibility and workforce development skills. Beyond serving youth, Kyle has a deep commitment and passion for the Health Care Share project of serving fresh foods to local Vermont medical patients. Kyle is excited to continue to work with the Farm at VYCC and looks forward to future seasons!

Pronouns: she/her

kyle.weatherhogg@vycc.org

Bailey Whelchel

Marketing & Development AmeriCorps VISTA

Bailey was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to Brattleboro, Vermont at three years old. He is a self-described Vermonter. He is fresh off the 2018 season leading a long-term young adult AmeriCorps conservation crew that did assessment on the Long Trail and many other parts of Vermont.

Bailey went to University of Maine Orono and NHTI Concord’s Community College for Engineering and Game Design, respectively. He is a VYCC alumni who completed two seasons before. His other skills include, cheese-mongering, machining, and team management.
Pronouns: he/him

Bailey.Whelchel@vycc.org

Andrew Whitehead

Food and Farm Program Manager

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.

Pronouns: he/him

Andrew.Whitehead@VYCC.org | (610) 955.3766

Nora Woolf

Recruitment and Member Services Manager

Nora grew up playing and exploring the woods of Vermont. As an adult, she does the same! Nora’s career in conservation started as a teenager with the Green Mountain Conservation Camps (run through VT Fish and Wildlife). Since then, she has been playing and working for environmental organizations throughout the county. Nora attended undergrad at Clark University where she studied Global Environmental Studies and worked for a community dialogue forum and a local environmental justice organization. Since then Nora’s directed summer camps and help Vermonters go solar! Nora’s passions for deep connection with the natural world, climate change justice, local food movements and building community brought her to the VYCC team in late 2018. She’s excited to get back to working with youth and the conservation movement! When not at work, Nora spends time on her homestead with her family, hiking, biking, woodworking, and finding some live music to dance to!

Pronouns: she/her

Nora.Woolf@VYCC.org | (802)434.3969 x131

Thomas Hark

Thomas Hark

President Emeritus

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.