Chuck Ross, Secretary of VT Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (Chair)
Ross has 16 years of experience as U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy’s State Director. Born in Burlington, Vermont, he graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in Geography in 1978 and from the University of Washington with an M.A. in Geography in 1982.
Mike Snyder, Commissioner of VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
Michael Snyder was appointed Commissioner of Vermont Forests, Parks, and Recreation by Gov. Peter Shumlin in January 2011. He served 14 years as Chittenden County Forester, providing land stewardship assistance to private landowners and municipalities. He received both his Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in forestry from the University of Vermont.
Lawrence Miller, Secretary of VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development
Miller founded Otter Creek Brewery in 1990. Following the sale of Otter Creek, Lawrence became involved with Danforth Pewter and moved into the role of CEO. Lawrence earned his undergraduate degree in psychology in 1987 from Reed College. In 1999 he completed the Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurial Leadership program at MIT, in Boston.
Kurt E. Zschau, Forester/Vermont Real Estate Manager at Fountains America, Danville, VT
Zschau works for Fountains America as a forester and real estate manager in the Vt. office. Zschau graduated from Sterling College with a degree in Natural Resources and the University of Maine with a degree in Forestry.
Emma Marvin, Butternut Mountain Farm, Morrisville, VT
Marvin has worked on managing the retail operations, marketing, and special projects of the family business since 2004. Prior to joining the family business she spent several years working for an environmental educational non-profit in northern Vt. Marvin is an honors graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Natural Resource Management.
Mike Rainville, Maple Landmark, Middlebury, VT
Rainville is the founder and president of Maple Landmark Woodcraft, a wooden toy and gift company located in Middlebury, Vt. Rainville graduated from Clarkson University in 1984.
Brian Kemp, Mountain Meadow Farms, Bristol, VT
Since age 10, Kemp has been working with animals. For seven years he worked at the University of Vermont Morgan Horse Farm as a Horse Specialist. Following, Kemp worked at Monument Farms Dairy. Kemp now works as the Farm Manager at Mountain Meadows Beef Farm where he is fully responsible for the day to day management.
Amanda Ellis-Thurber, Lilac Ridge Farm, Brattleboro, VT
Since 1996, Ellis-Thurber has been a co-owner and operator of Lilac Ridge Farm in Brattleboro, Vt. Ellis-Thurber, a native of Cleveland, OH, graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Plant and Soil Science.
Kathleen Wanner, Executive Director of the Vermont Woodlands Association, Rutland, VT
Kathleen Wanner is co-owner and vice president of Ghostwriters Communications, Inc., a marketing and communications firm in Rutland that serves the non-profit, natural and cultural resource sector in Vermont. Wanner graduated with a B.A. in English from Castleton State College and an M.S. in Technical Communications from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Eleanor Leger, Eden Ice Cider, West Charleston, VT
Eleanor left a successful 20-year business career to start Eden Ice Cider Company with her husband Albert Léger in April of 2007. Eleanor earned a B.A. cum laude in Economics from Harvard and an M.B.A. with Distinction from The Wharton School.
Robin Scheu, Executive Director of the Addison County Economic Development Corporation, Middlebury, VT
Scheu has been the Executive Director of the Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) since 2008. Prior to joining ACEDC, she was a commercial lender and senior manager at Bank of Boston and Bank of Vermont for fifteen years, ran her own consulting business, and was interim Executive Director of both the Addison County Solid Waste Management District and the Middlebury Area Land Trust. She has a BA in Biological Sciences from Smith College and an MS in Management from Antioch University.
Eric DeLuca, National Cooperative Business Association, Richmond, VT
DeLuca is the U.S. program manager for the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives through the National Cooperative Business Association. Previously, DeLuca was a program manager at Dialogos. He holds a B.A. from Brown University, and a CalArts M.F.A. in Integrated Media.
EX Officio, non-voting members include:
Jo Bradley, Manager of VT Economic Development Authority, Montpelier, VT
Bradley became Chief Executive Officer of the Vermont Economic Development Authority in February, 1997. She graduated with Honors from Johnson State College, earning a B.A., and from the Boston University School of Management with an M.B.A. in Finance. She also completed the Program for Senior Executives in state and local government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Ellen Kahler, Executive Director of VT Sustainable Jobs Fund, Montpelier, VT
Kahler became the Executive Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) in late 2005. Prior to joining the VSJF, Kahler was the Executive Director of the Peace & Justice Center in Burlington (1990-2002). She graduated from Bucknell University in Pa. with a B.A. in Political Science and from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with an M.P.A.
Gus Seelig, Executive Director of VT Housing Conservation Board, Montpelier, VT
Seelig was the founding Executive Director of Vermont Housing Conservation Board. As a direct result of Seelig’s leadership, Vermont now has some 325,000 acres of conserved land, including over 500 conserved farms, 9,800 units of permanently affordable housing and the infrastructure policies in place for the future.