Favorite Part of Job? Meeting Vermonters running mission-driven organizations. It is so inspiring to learn about the work that they do, dive into the heart of their purpose, and help them measure their impact.
Most Inspiring Mentor: My mom is the most tenacious person I know. I learned how to lead by watching her manage our family and her team at work. She is also the queen of great mantras, "start on time, end on time," "participation is the key to life," and "one recipe, no more than 5 ingredients."
Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: I've traveled through Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru volunteering and organic farming. I thought that I would return with conversational Spanish, instead all I brought home was a really pervasive infestation of fleas.
Favorite Hobby: I perform stand up comedy all over New England. Being a comedian gives me an incredible new perspective on bad days - the more terrible things are, the funnier they will be performed on stage.
Favorite Vermont Escape: I grew up in the Northeast Kingdom and I love going home. Hiking Wheeler Mountain, swimming in Willoughby Lake, and eating a chocolate creemee constitutes my perfect day.
Favorite Social Media: Is Pinterest social media? I could lose entire days pinning ideas and accomplishing nothing.
Favorite Website: Google Maps. How did anyone get anywhere or plan anything before Google Maps?
Vermont Business Person you would like to have lunch with: Jeff Weaber, founder and owner of Aqua Vitea Kombucha. Firstly, I want to talk about the company's triple-bottom-line. Secondly, I'm interested in how he prevents getting grossed out by an entire warehouse full of kombucha mushrooms.
-Leading a wilderness crew with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps in the rainy summer of 2008- the community development, learning, and dedication changed my life and career path.
-My first show as a stand up comedian, or, the scariest five minutes of my life. Eventually becoming a member of the Vermont Comedy Divas and Divas Do Good. Touring New England helping raise money for nonprofit organizations.
-Designing a mentoring program that matches 3rd to 5th grade students with adult mentors. The program is still going strong.
-Working with community members in Milton to address walkability, bikeability, and access to healthy foods. We revitalized the farmers market, created walking maps of the community, and instituted community dinners that became a model for other Vermont towns.
-Earning my masters degree: MS in Management, Mission-Driven Organizations.
-Presenting at conferences nationally and internationally: In October 2014 I went to South Africa to teach about the work that we've done with accountability in Vermont.
Community Involvement: Mentoring is quickly becoming the most important way that I am involved in my community. I've been matched with an elementary school student for just about three years and it's amazing how the connection has changed both of us. Mentoring reminds me to stay in the moment and to have fun, and my mentee gets to have experiences she wouldn't have otherwise.
I've always volunteered with the LGBTQ community - starting in college as the president of the LGBTQ club on campus. After college I facilitated youth groups in Burlington and Seattle, and most recently I began serving a term as the Co-Chair of the Board at the Pride Center of Vermont. It's amazing to be on the board and help set the direction for the center. I'm proud of all that we've accomplished this year with a new name, logo, mission and vision statement, and programs that address disparities in health among LGBTQ individuals.