Meet the Board
The VBSR Board of Directors are responsible for hiring and supervising the executive director, establishing policies, establishing committees, and generally overseeing VBSR. The bylaws authorize a board of up to twenty members. The board meets four times a year. The spring meeting is typically a daylong retreat. Board members serve three-year staggered terms. All VBSR members are eligible to serve on the board.
Every year the Board-appointed nominating committee manages the nomination process.
Brian Dunkiel (2013), Founding Partner/Attorney, Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand
Chair of the VBSR Board
Brian serves as a trusted legal advisor to some of Vermont’s leading businesses and nonprofit organizations. He has a proven track record of working with clients to resolve complex problems and disputes, providing regulatory, land-use, environmental, and corporate-governance counsel to help them evaluate options and achieve their objectives in a cost-effective manner. Brian’s clients operate in a wide range of areas, from real estate and renewable energy, to agriculture and food products, green consumer goods, and publishing. What they share is the desire to pursue projects, products, and missions that are truly pioneering and often unusually challenging— demanding an innovative and creative approach to meeting their legal representation needs. He is licensed to practice law in state and federal courts in Vermont and Washington, DC. Brian lives in Burlington with his wife Leslie Halperin, daughter Ella, and son Isaac.
Lawrence Barber, CFM (2014), Merrill Lynch Global Private Client Group,
Vice Chair of the VBSR Board
Lawrence (Larz) Barber, CRPC®, CFM, ChFC® is an Assistant Vice President with Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management in Burlington and specializes in socially responsible investing and comprehensive financial planning for individual, corporate and non-profit clients. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch in 1997 Larz helped start and grow many SR companies in Vermont including Northern Power Systems (where he was VP of Field Services), Ski Tuner/Grindrite, Vermont Ginseng Products, Mad River Rockets, and Maya Computer.
Russ Bennett (2015), Northland Design & Construction
Russ is the owner/founder of Northland Design & Construction, since 1978. Northland has a long history of designing and building energy efficient high end residences, as well as working with businesses of all kinds (restaurants, food production, manufacturing, retail) to design and build them the facilities they need to grow and continue to be successful. Northland also works on the planning and design and artistic direction for the largest outdoor music festivals in the country. Russ is a landlord and past owner of Scoop Shops. He has served on many boards and was a Director and President of the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce and the chairman of the Waitsfield Planning Commission. He played a vital role in procuring funding for public bus service in the Mad River Valley.
David Blittersdorf (2013), AllEarth Renewables
David is the founder of NRG Systems, his first entrepreneurial venture that grew into an internationally recognized leader in wind measurement technology. In 2004, David stepped down as CEO of NRG Systems to start AllEarth Renewables, a company dedicated to the development, manufacture and deployment of residential-scale, grid-tied renewable energy systems. David has been active with the VBSR Policy Committee on energy-related issues and has worked on energy- and healthcare-related legislative issues. He currently serves on the boards of the following local and national organizations: the Distributed Wind Energy Association, Renewable Energy Vermont, the Small Wind Certification Council, the Energy Co-op of Vermont, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the UVM Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center, the Canino School of Engineering Technology at SUNY-Canton, and the U.S. division of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas. Prior to 2010, he served for 16 years as treasurer and one year as president of the American Wind Energy Association. He currently lives in Charlotte in a home completely powered by renewable energy sources.
Geof Brown (2015), Head of Human Resources, Phlanthropy and Facilities, The Vermont Country Store
Geof Brown is part of the senior leadership team at The Vermont Country Store and heads up the Human Resources, Philanthropy and Facilities departments. His 25+ year corporate background has been primarily in Human Resources where he has worked for several venerable New England and New York based companies, including the former Jordan Marsh Company, Macy’s, the former BankBoston and BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts. Geof has also worked as a consultant in the areas of change management, business process improvement and employment transition both domestically and internationally. Geof started his college life at Middlebury College and ultimately earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston University. Originally from the north shore of Boston, Geof moved to Vermont in 2001 with his partner and started The Williams River House, an inn and event business in the Chester/Rockingham area. In addition to his work and home life, Geof has been active in his community, currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Manchester and the Mountains Chamber of Commerce as well as on the Board of Directors for the Rutland Area Food and Farm Link. Previously, he served as board secretary for the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce and was a former trustee of The College of Saint Josephs in Rutland.
Yola Carlough (2015), Business Development, B Lab
Yola joined B Lab in 2011. Her work in the area of Community Development facilitates entry into the B Corp community for businesses that commit to high standards of transparency, accountability and performance, and brings momentum, through membership growth, to the global B Corp movement that redefines success in business and builds a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable economy. She also manages a private consulting initiative in the field of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. From 2007 to 2011, Yola held the position of Director of Sustainability at Burt’s Bee developing, integrating and monitoring innovative strategies to achieve the brand’s sustainability/CSR goals. As Executive Director of the Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, Yola worked to create meaningful partnerships with non-profit organizations with a mission to drive innovative, positive change through systemic and replicable models that seek to eliminate the root cause of social and environmental problems. Prior to joining Burt’s Bees, Yola was Director of Social Mission at Ben & Jerry’s in Burlington, VT where she managed pioneering environmental and socially conscious directions for the company’s domestic and international business.
Mark Curran (2015), Black River Produce
Mark moved to Vermont in 1974 at the age of 20. In 1978 he opened a natural food store with Steve Birge called Black River Market. In 1978 the store morphed into a wholesale distribution co., Black River Produce which currently has about 150 employees. He is married to Margie Straub and they have raised four sons. He has served on numerous local and state boards including "Vermont Fresh Network."
David Epstein (2013), Partner, TruexCullins Architecture and Interior Design
David is a partner in TruexCullins (TC) Architecture and Interior Design, a long-time VBSR member and leader in sustainable design. At TC, he co-leads the Workplace and Education Design Studios, where he has developed an international practice designing K-12 schools. He served for six years on the board and one year as president of Vermont chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He also currently serves on the board of the Vermont Foodbank and as a member of the Shelburne Historic Preservation and Design Advisory Committee.
Pat Heffernan (2015), President, Marketing Partners, Inc.
Pat is President of Marketing Partners, Inc. a Burlington-based marketing and public relations firm that has been helping values-driven businesses and public agencies achieve their goals through effective communications since 1992. Pat was the founding president of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. She served for many years on the Governor's Commission on Women, and is afounder of Women Business Owners Network of Vermont & New Hampshire and the Vermont Women’s Foundation. In 2005, she was honored to receive VBSR's prestigious Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence. Pat delights in the outdoors as a winter trekker, kayaker and long-distance cyclist. She currently serves as a member of the UVM Advisory Board for the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, a member of the VBSR Public Policy Committee and as chair of the Nominating Committee.
Julie Lineberger (2014), Owner, LineSync Architecture
Julie Lineberger guides LineSync Architecture, focusing on innovative corporate environments, public buildings and unique homes. The combination of global sustainability, nonprofit humanitarian development, and for-profit earnings are the foundation of her firm. A leader in green building systems, LineSync Architecture has won awards for projects throughout the east coast and in California, London and the Sultanate of Oman.
Don Mayer (2015), CEO, Small Dog Electronics
Don Mayer is a graduate of Goddard College and lives on Prickly Mountain in Warren with his wife, Grace. He founded Small Dog Electronics in 1995 and now serves as CEO. Don's entrepreneurial background is varied, including: Founder of North Wind Power Company (now Northern Power Systems), 1974-1988; Founder of Maya Computer, 1988 to 1992; Founder of River Computer, 1992-1993; General Manager of Portfolio Software, 1993-1995; and Co-Founder and Board member of American Wind Energy Association, 1975-1988. From 1980-1986, Don was elected auditor of the Town of Warren. Don also is a member of the Board of Vermont Health Care for All and the Board of Common Cause of Vermont. He served as Chair of the VBSR from 2002 until 2007.
Chris Miller (2015), Social Mission Activism Manager, Ben & Jerry's
Chris Miller currently serves as the Social Mission Activism Manager at Ben & Jerry's, a unique position in the corporate world, where he develops consumer facing activism campaigns that support the company's progressive values. Before recently joining Ben & Jerry's, Chris led the sustainability work at Seventh Generation. In addition to his for-profit experience, Chris directed Greenpeace USA's national climate campaign and served on the staff of then Congressman Bernie Sanders. When he's not working, Chris enjoys the outdoors, eating lots of local food, and has recently tried his hand at running marathons. He currently serves on the board of Car Share Vermont.
Stephen Morris (2014), Editor and Publisher, Green Living Journal
Stephen is the co-founder of The Public Press, a book-publishing business that provides options for writers whose works are too specialized for traditional publishers. He is also editor and publisher of Green Living and the author of six books. He has been an active member with VBSR, attending and presenting at conferences and has been an active participant in many panel discussions. Stephen served on the board of Green America, and is active in Co-Op America and Author’s Guild, as well as a regular contributor to The Herald of Randolph, Vermont Magazine, Image Magazine, and Best of Burlington.
Sara Newmark (2013), DIrector of Sustainability, New Chapter
Sara is the Sustainability Manager at New Chapter, a certified organic manufacturer of whole-food dietary supplements. Her job is to ensure that all actions by New Chapter live up to its high standards of ecological stewardship, from product sourcing and packaging to New Chapter’s philanthropic efforts. Sara established the southern Vermont VBSR Circle group, and New Chapter has been a supportive VBSR member for many years, hosting several successful VBSR events. Sara also serves on the board of the international Sacred Seeds Project.
John Norton (2014), COO, NRG System, Inc.
John Norton is currently the COO of NRG systems and has had broad experience in socially responsible businesses with tenures at Wall Goldfinger, North Wind Power/Northern Power Systems, Controlled Energy Corporation and now with NRG systems. In addition to his role as a leader and innovator in corporate responsibility, John has been active on energy/climate issues in his local community, at the state level on the Joint Climate Change Oversight Commission, and currently serves on the boards of the friends of the Mad River and the Yestermorrow Design/Build School, where he is the current president.
Leslie Nulty (2014), ValleyNet - ECFIber
Leslie Nulty provides financial and management consulting advice to co-ops and small businesses. At present she is working with ValleyNet and East Central Vermont Community Fiberoptic Network, bringing a municipally-owned fiberoptic telecommunications network to the residents, businesses and community institutions of the participating towns. Leslie was formerly the General Manager of Hunger Mountain Co-op in Montpelier, VT, and, prior to that, Controller of a venture capital fund in Central Europe. Leslie earned her M.Sc. in Economics from Cambridge, University and has more than 25 years’ professional experience in financial analysis and business restructuring. She is the current VBSR Treasurer, a member of the Executive Committee and also a member of the Public Policy Committee. Leslie lives with her husband in Jericho Center, Vermont where she cultivates a substantial organic garden in the summer, and skis in the winter.
Jacob Park (2014), Professor, Green Mountain College
Jacob Park is Associate Professor of Business Strategy and Sustainability at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. He is currently serving on the VBSR Program, Events, and Education Committee and has served on the Strategic Planning Advisory Board. He specializes in the teaching and research of global environment & business strategy, corporate social responsibility, and community-based entrepreneurship with a special expertise in Japan, China, and the Asia-Pacific region. He has a wide range of business experiences, including Ethical Research Consultant with Green Cay Asset Management and Senior Research Consultant specializing in Japanese and Asian equities in the Governance and Socially Responsibility Investment Group of ISIS Asset Management (now F&C Asset Management), a London-based investment company. He resides in West Pawlet.
Avram Patt (2013), General Manager & CEO, Washington Electric Co-Op
Avram currently works as the General Manager at Washington Electric Co-op, a consumer-owned rural electric utility that has been an early leader in promoting energy efficiency and developing local and renewable power supply sources. Washington Electric Co-op has sponsored the VBSR Legislative Reception in the past, and Avram has attended the VBSR Conferences and has also been active in energy policy meetings. He currently sits on the board of the Northeast Association of Electric Co-ops, the Goddard College Board of Trustees, and the Worcester Board of Civil Authority. Avram was a prior board member at Hunger Mountain Co-op, and Energy Co-opportunity. He enjoys playing in a Klezmer band in his free time, and represents an 11-state region in the resolutions process of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Markey Read (2013), President, Career Networks
Markey has worked for the past twenty years providing leadership development, team building, and professional employee development services to employers and individuals throughout Vermont with the company she founded, Career Networks. She has been a member of VBSR for twelve years, and has attended and spoken at VBSR Conferences. Markey is a current member of the VBSR Program Committee and throughout her involvement at VBSR has participated on various other committees. She currently serves on the board for the VT Association for Psychological Type and the VT Consultants network. Markey is also the chapter coordinator for WBON in Williston, and is a member of the American Society of Training and Development.
Beth Sachs (2013), Founder, Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
Beth Sachs has been in the field of sustainable energy - energy efficiency and renewable energy – for more than 35 years. She co-founded the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, a mission-driven, non-profit organization that provides energy policy, design, management, and implementation services to clients around the world. VEIC's largest initiative is delivering the services of Efficiency Vermont, which it has been doing since its inception in 2000. From VEIC’s creation in 1986 until 2008, she served as its Executive Director, with overall responsibility for all aspects of the health of the organization – planning, finance, advocacy, marketing and culture. She continues to work at VEIC in the role of Founder, working on a variety of activities, including organizational culture, social responsibility, workforce development, and low-income energy issues.