Board of Directors
The VSJF Board of Directors consists of eleven members; eight independent members, the Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (or designee), the Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets (or designee), and one member appointed by the Governor.
Nick Richardson (Chair) is the Vice President for Enterprise and Finance at the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), where he oversees long-term financial strategy and supports VLT’s work on economic development strategies related to working lands enterprise. Prior to joining VLT, Nick served as the Director of Operations at Encore Redevelopment, a Vermont-based renewable energy development company. Nick lives with his family on a dirt road in Jericho Center, surrounded by green fields and happy livestock. Nick feels a deep connection to his adopted home state, a connection that was fostered from an early age through visits to family on Windham Hill, in Norwich, and in South Pomfret. Nick received his MBA in 2008 from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, where he was the inaugural recipient of the James Allwin Award for Community Service.
Will Stevens (Vice Chair) co-owns Golden Russet Farm in Shoreham with his wife Judy. They have made this certified organic vegetable farm and greenhouse plant operation their livelihood since 1981. In addition to his farming activities, Will serves as Shoreham’s Town Moderator (2004 – present). He was a State Representative from 2007-2014, during which time he served on the House Agriculture and Forest Products Committee. In addition, he was a visiting professor for two Middlebury College January Terms (2005-06), a graduate of the Snelling Center for Government’s Vermont Leadership Institute (2005), and a graduate of Woodbury College’s Mediation/Conflict Management certificate program (2004).
Cairn Cross (Secretary/Treasurer) is a co-founder of FreshTracks Capital and serves as a Managing Director of the Fund. Cross presently serves on the boards of FreshTracks portfolio companies Vermont Teddy Bear, NativeEnergy, Faraday and Budnitz Bicycles. From 1996 to 2000 he owned and operated Cross Vermont Financial, a strategic and financial consultancy to Vermont banks and growth businesses such as Collector Online, Otter Creek Industries, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and the Merchants Bank. From 1996 to 1998, Cairn was the Assistant General Manager of Green Mountain Capital, L.P. From 1991 to 1996 he was a Vice President and Corporate Loan Officer for the Howard Bank, preceded by five years of service in various positions for Vermont National Bank including Commercial Loan Officer.
Andrea Cohen currently serves as Manager of Government Affairs and Member Relations for Vermont Electric Cooperative in Johnson Vermont. Previously she was Public Policy Manager (2006-2010), and then Executive Director (2010-2015), for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. Before joining VBSR, she worked for 16 years at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources in a variety of positions involving pollution prevention, resource conservation, and solid waste management. Andrea holds her M.A. in Environmental Science from Antioch University and her B.A. in Psychology and Economics from Vassar College. She lives in Montpelier with husband Matt Chapman, General Counsel of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, her teenage son, 2 cats, 1 puppy, and 1 resilient goldfish.
Sara Gilbert is an assistant director at Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC). Before joining REDC, she was director of business development at NeighborWorks of Western Vermont. Sara co-founded Rutland Young Professionals, which launched the Young Professionals Summit of Vermont in 2015. She currently serves as secretary of the board. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds a Master’s degree in Political Geography from the University of Washington, where she was a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow. She is a proud Rutland City resident, a member of Project VISION, and a supporter of the I Love Rutland campaign. Sara lives in Rutland, Vermont.
Nate Hausman is a project director for Clean Energy Group and the Clean Energy States Alliance, where he primarily works on solar energy policy. Nate is a licensed attorney and previously served as an associate attorney for the Austin Legal Group and as a visiting attorney for the Environmental Law Institute. Nate sits on the Board of Directors of Montpelier Alive and the R&R Foundation. He has served on the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club’s Executive Committee and has chaired the Chapter’s Energy Committee. He holds a J.D. with a certificate in Environmental & Natural Resources Law from Lewis & Clark Law School and a B.A. from Colorado College. Nate lives in Montpelier, Vermont.
Jared Duval has been the Economic Development Director at the Vermont Department of Economic Development since mid-2014, where he provides business support for Vermont’s working lands and green economy sectors. He also manages Vermont’s Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) economic development and infrastructure grants program, serves as the Agency of Commerce & Community Development designee to the Working Lands Enterprise Board, and serves on the Board of Vermont's Clean Energy Development Fund. He graduated from Wheaton College with a double major in Economics and Political Science and holds two masters degrees -- one from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in Public Affairs (M.P.A) and another from Cambridge University in England in Philosophy.
Shelly (Martin) Severinghaus is an experienced, environmentally focused professional with a passion for educating organizations about the impacts of their choices and their products. While guiding organizations towards more sustainable solutions, she helps improve their triple bottom line, create a competitive advantage, enhance their brand and lower risks. She is a project manager for EARTHSHIFT, a leading sustainability consultancy, focused on life cycle assessment (LCA) and business sustainability, working with Fortune 500 companies, government bodies and institutional clients. She splits her time between conducting LCAs and critical reviews, overseeing EARTHSHIFT's training program, as well as teaching and developing applied LCA courses. Shelly serves on the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment Certification Board and resides in Morristown, Vermont.
William (Bill) Murray is a Realtor with Berkley & Veller Greenwood Country Realtors and a licensed broker in Vermont and New Hampshire. In 2004, he was named Realtor of the Year by the Southern Vermont Board of Realtors. Through his real estate career, Bill has developed a strong interest in green design, energy efficiency, historic preservation, and sustainable land use. Bill has worked with the Vermont Land Trust and Windham Regional Planning Commission to preserve Vermont’s working landscape and thoughtfully plan for Vermont’s future. Additionally, Bill has served on the boards of the Brattlboro Food Coop and Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. [Appointed by Governor Shumlin]
Anson Tebbetts was appointed Vermont's Secretary of the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets by Governor Phil Scott in Jannuary 2017. Prior to his appointment, Tebbetts spent more than twenty years as part of the WCAX new team, serving as the station's news director since 2009. From 2007-2009, he stepped away from his role at WCAX to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Agriculture, under the Douglas Administration. An avid bird enthusiast, he co-hosts "For the Birds" on WDEV & WLVVB radio. Tebbetts, a graduate of Emerson College, is a native Vermonter with deep agricultural roots. He was born and raised on his family's farm in Cabot, where he continues to reside with his wife Vicky and their two children. In 2001, the Vermont Farm Bureau honored him with their Friend of the Farmer Award.
Robin Scheu has over 30 years of business experience in both large and small organizations, in the corporate, nonprofit, and municipal sectors. She is currently Executive Director of the Addison County Economic Development Corporation where she works with businesses of all stages to support their growth. She was a commercial lender and senior manager at Bank of Boston and Bank of Vermont for fifteen years, and ran her own consulting business for several years. Locally, she ran the Addison County Solid Waste Management District, the Middlebury Area Land Trust, and was Treasurer of the Middlebury Natural Foods Coop. She chaired the Mary Hogan School Board and was a member of the Addison Central Supervisory Union Board. She has also been on several statewide boards, including the Vermont Land Trust and Smart Growth Vermont. Currently she is President of the Board of the United Way of Addison County, and a member of the Porter Medical Center Board and the Working Lands Enterprise Board.