Abbey Duke (she/her)
CEO & Founder, Sugarsnap
After an indirect career path (including work as a field biologist, a journalist and a content marketer), Abbey founded Sugarsnap in 2003 in Burlington as a prepared foods store with a farm in the Intervale. She has spent the last 18 years growing and adapting Sugarsnap to become the largest off-premise caterer in Chittenden County. She has focused on partnerships with other businesses and non profits. This includes creating Cookies for Good with COTS and Cabot, which has raised over $110,000 for homeless prevention programs over 11 years and being the exclusive catering partner at 4 venues, including ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.
You can find her gardening, playing tennis and cross country skiing. She lives in Burlington (where she is on the Parks Commission) with her spouse and two daughters ages 11 and 13.
Anore Horton (she/her)
Executive Director, Hunger Free Vermont
Anore Horton leads Hunger Free Vermont, a statewide advocacy, education, and technical assistance nonprofit dedicated to ending the injustice of hunger and malnutrition for all Vermonters. Before becoming the Executive Director, Anore spent 7 years managing Hunger Free Vermont’s nutrition initiatives. Anore spearheads the organization’s campaign for universal school meals, key collaborations with many Vermont and national organizations to protect and expand the right to food, and new partnerships with the Abenaki nation and other groups most impacted by hunger and its health consequences in Vermont.
Before joining Hunger Free Vermont in 2011, Anore worked in higher education for over fifteen years teaching the history of social movements and public policy in the U.S. and Latin America, and as a consultant to faculty and academic programs on course and curriculum design and assessment. She has also directed volunteer literacy and ESL programs for children and immigrants in California and New York.
Anore received her Masters in Teaching from the University of San Diego and her Masters in History from Princeton University. She lives in Williston with her spouse Felicia Kornbluh.
Dana Kaplan (he/him)
Executive Director, Outright Vermont
Outright Vermont is on a mission to build celebratory, affirming realities for young people of all gender and sexualities. Formed in 1989 by a handful of community members who had the heart, grit, and gumption to see to it that LGBTQ+ youth could always find their people, the statewide non-profit remains true to that vision today.
Dana got to know Outright as a volunteer facilitator fresh out of college in the early 2000’s, and well over a decade later, joined the staff as Director of Education. In 2017 he took the helm, and it’s been non-stop hope, equity, and power ever since!
Dana received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and a Masters in Mediation & Applied Conflict Studies, and that lens of question-asker, relationship-builder, and justice-seeker informs his way in the world.
He is the co-author of Trans objects: materializing queer time in US transmasculine homes, and plays in the local indie pop band, The Smittens. When not working, Dana can be found people watching, searching for the next best chocolate chip cookie recipe, and hanging out with his spouse and their two kids in and around Burlington. Born and raised in Manhattan, he’ll forever be a city kid at heart.
Frank Sadowski (he/him)
Principal, Sadowski Consulting Services, LLC
Frank Sadowski consults on projects that will help organizations, their employees, and their communities flourish within a healthy natural environment. His areas of expertise include compensation, recruiting, business ethics, and organization development. Current work focuses on gender pay equity, building a stronger economy in Vermont, and teaching business ethics at Champlain College.
His previous work included developing one of the first HR consulting practices in the Burlington area, then creating and leading the Human Resources Consulting Division at Gallagher, Flynn & Company for 24 years. Earlier work included serving as Human Resource Manager for Boise Cascade’s paper mill in Sheldon Springs, as Assistant to the President of the University of Vermont, and as Chief of Economic Development Planning in the Vermont State Government. Frank received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Cornell University, attended Harvard Divinity School as a Rockefeller Fellow, and earned a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. Outside the firm, Frank helped create Burlington’s Ronald McDonald House and the Lake Champlain Waldorf School. In 2014 he graduated from Episcopal Divinity School with a Master of Divinity degree, focusing on business ethics and issues related to faith and spirituality in the workplace. He also serves as a lay pastor at Christ Church, Presbyterian in Burlington.
Frank Sadowski joined Gallagher, Flynn and Company (GFC) in 1997 to establish the Human Resources Consulting Division, now Gallagher Flynn Human Resource Services, LLC, one of the largest human resources consulting and executive recruiting practices in Vermont. Prior to GFC, Frank was the Principal of Sadowski Consulting Services in South Burlington for seven years.
Mara Neufeld Rivera (she/her)
Executive Vice President, Head of People & Culture, Chroma Technology Corp.
Mara is a senior human resources strategist and executive business partner with a deep passion for helping organizations build best-in-class workplace cultures. Mara currently serves as Executive Vice President, Head of People & Culture at Chroma Technology Corp., a high-tech manufacturer for the scientific, biomedical, and photonics imaging industries and also an essential business in the fight against Covid-19. Chroma is 100% employee-owned, a Certified B Corporation, awarded the 2020 Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year, 2021 Vermont Business Growth Award, and recognized over several years as a Best Places to Work in Vermont and Best for Workers by B Labs. Mara also currently serves as the Vermont State Council Director–Elect for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Prior to these roles, Mara served as Chief Administrative Officer of PC Construction, Vice President of Human Resources & Communications for Simon Pearce, Principal Consultant at Mara Rae Consulting, and Director of HR with RSG Inc. Earlier in her career, she held HR leadership positions in the cosmetics and fragrance industries for 12 years in New York City. For nearly 30 years, Mara has held positions in a breadth of company structures ranging from multi-billion dollar global and publicly-traded enterprises to not-for-profit organizations, ESOPs, and small private firms. She has helped establish people and culture best practices in a variety of industries including luxury consumer goods, professional consulting services, biotech, general contracting, manufacturing, arts, and entertainment. She holds an MS in Human Resources Management from Milano Graduate School of Policy, Management, and Environment at the New School University and a BA in Communications from Queens College, City University of New York. She is also a graduate of Leadership Upper Valley. Mara is a Senior Certified Professional (SCP) with SHRM, and is a member of several national and local SHRM chapters. Her volunteer experience includes serving as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with SHRM VT State Council and as part of a Pay Equity Employer Cohort with Change the Story Vermont. Mara has also served on the Industry Advisory Board of Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and locally as an Employer Champion for the Working Bridges Program of Granite United Way, and as a member of the Corporate Workforce Development Committee of Vital Communities. Mara was recently named 2020 Vermont Human Resources Professional of the Year by the Vermont State Council of SHRM.
Mickey Wiles (he/him)
CEO & Founder, Working Fields, LLC
Mickey Wiles is the CEO and Founder of Working Fields, a mission-based staffing agency focused on second chance hires, predominately people in recovery from substance use addictions.
Mickey leads a staff of Account Managers and Recovery Coaches that provides a supportive model of employment and recovery. This innovative employment solution meets the needs of both those in early recovery as well as Vermont Employers seeking dedicated and reliable employees.
Noah Miller (he/him)
Co-Founder & Partner / Co-Founder & Chief Strategist, Calibrate Partners & Rho Impact
Noah Miller has over a decade of ESG consulting experience, working with organizations across industries, missions, and geographies. From global companies like Bloomberg, Hyatt, and Beyond Meat, to tech start-ups like Rho AI and Lob, Noah brings a wealth of experience in ESG strategic planning, implementation, and reporting.
Noah is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Rho Impact, which combines ESG advisory with proprietary software and technology tools to address the key barriers to ESG performance.
Noah is also the Founder and CEO of Calibrate Partners, a global network of boutique ESG consulting firms dedicated to helping organizations around the world adapt and thrive in the new normal of business.
Before launching Rho Impact and Calibrate Partners, Noah held multiple leadership roles in the ESG space – including serving as the Senior Director of Summit Strategy Group’s ESG Consulting Practice and serving as an interim ESG Director for several public and private companies. Noah has also been influential in ESG capacity-building at the industry level, leading the curriculum development for several industry-specific ESG certification programs, including collaborations with the Corporate Finance Institute, the Green Building Initiative, and Regennabis. Internationally, Noah serves as an advisor and liaison to North America for Net Zero Israel, an initiative launched by the Israeli business community in 2021.
In addition to his experiences as a corporate consultant, Noah is a former social entrepreneur in Israel and nonprofit advisor. Leading coexistence community development efforts between Israelis and Palestinians, Noah has deep experience in multi-cultural stakeholder engagement, consensus building, and program implementation.
Beyond his experience in the boardroom, Noah was an Israeli National team lacrosse player and commander in the Israeli army. In honor of Israel’s 66th Independence Day, Noah was recognized as one of “sixty-six heroes of Israel” for his contributions to Israeli society. Noah has been a speaker and project manager for Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, the United Nations, and various international cross-sector initiatives.
Noah’s formal education includes an MBA in Sustainable Innovation and a BA in Community Development & Applied Economics and English from the University of Vermont. Noah also holds an MS in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies from Champlain College and has received graduate certifications from The Centre for Inclusive Leadership in London and NGO Catalyst in Tel Aviv, Israel. Read more about Noah’s background here.
Robert Miller (he/him)
President and Chief Executive Officer, VSECU
Robert Miller is President and Chief Executive Officer for VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not-for-profit credit union in Vermont. VSECU serves over 70,000 members with nearly $1.1 billion in assets, 200 employees, and 9 branch locations statewide. VSECU is a purpose-driven financial organization that seeks to improve the social, economic, and environmental wellbeing of its members and their communities.
Rob graduated from the University of Vermont and started a career in financial services with Citibank in New York and Chicago. He relocated back to Vermont as a public servant working for the Vermont Department of Economic Development where he ultimately served as Commissioner. Prior to joining VSECU, Rob spent over a decade in executive roles in the institutional investment management industry with Dwight Asset Management and Conning.
He serves on the Board of Directors for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, Union Mutual Insurance Company, and several non-profit organizations focusing on community development and the environment. Rob and his wife Karyn live in Shelburne and have 2 college-age daughters.
Sascha Mayer (she/her)
CEO & Co-Founder, Mamava, Inc.
Sascha Mayer is the CEO and Co-Founder of Mamava, Inc. in Burlington, Vermont. Mamava designs solutions for nursing mamas on the go, and since 2015 has placed over 550 lactation suites in locations as diverse as airports, sports stadiums, automobile factories, and military bases.
Mission driven, women-owned, and a Certified B-Corp, Mamava created a category and is the leading expert in lactation spaces. Mamava’s smartlock enabled lactation suites and mobile app are designed with consideration of the biological, physical, and emotional needs of nursing mamas (and babies) on the go.
Sascha started with Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (Mamava’s birthplace) in 1995. She helped to develop the Living Brand®, Solidarity’s philosophy on brands and brand creation. As Strategy Director, Sascha participated in the creation of many brands, including HP, Levi’s, Lululemon, Merrell Apparel, Nike Women. Before joining Solidarity, Sascha worked for the office of Congressman (now Senator) Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), where she served as staff assistant and assistant press secretary. In 2018 Sascha and her Mamava co-founder, Christine Dodson, were the SBA’s Small Business Persons of the Year from Vermont.
Beyond her work life, Sascha was a founding board member of Mobius Mentors, and she sits on the marketing committee for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and loves to spend time outside with her husband, two children, nine chickens, and her rescue dog Cletus.
Tina de la Torre (she/her)
Marketing & Business Planning Consultant, Tina S. de la Torre, LLC
Tina’s passion for marketing strategy, business planning, and community relations led to her success with local, regional, and global organizations. The common thread throughout her career has been a triple-bottom-line mindset. She is a systems thinker and servant leader who has received recognition for community leadership with several Vermont non-profit organizations. Having worked for VBSR member organizations – including Merchants Bank, Northfield Savings Bank, Champlain College, United Way, and Vermont Gas – Tina whole-heartedly believes in VBSR members’ collective power for positive impact.
To enhance her ability to deliver successful outcomes, she earned a Master’s degree in Managing Innovation, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and holds professional certifications in Project Management Professional (PMP) from PMI, Digital Marketing Strategies from Northwestern University/Kellogg, Strategic Planning from SHSMD, and Strategic Social Responsibility from Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship.
Tina moved from the Midwest to the Northeast after her first visit to the area, having fallen in love with the beautiful mountains and lakes, and now resides in Burlington, VT. When not tending to her clients, she is most likely renovating her house, nurturing her perennial gardens, or biking along the lake.