Ellen Kahler became the Executive Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) in late 2005. She is a graduate of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania with a BA in Political Science and from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with a Masters in Public Administration.
Prior to joining the VSJF, Ms. Kahler was the Executive Director of the Peace & Justice Center in Burlington (1990 to 2002). Her most well known work through the Peace & Justice Center— the Vermont Job Gap Study and the Vermont Livable Wage Campaign — won statewide attention around the issue of basic family needs, livable wages, and under-employment.
After graduating from the Kennedy School for Government in 2003, Ms. Kahler created and directed the Peer to Peer Collaborative, an initiative that assists founder CEOs of small, Vermont-based manufacturing and natural resource based companies. For its first two years, the Collaborative was sponsored by the Vermont Business Roundtable. In January, 2006 the Collaborative became a core technical assistance program of the VSJF.
Ms. Kahler was a recipient of a three year leadership development fellowship through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (1994-1997) and was a member of the Snelling Center for Government’s Vermont Leadership Institute class of 1997. Ms. Kahler currently serves on the Board of the Sustainable Forest Futures, Energy Action Network, the Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council, and the Working Lands Enterprise Fund. She served on the Board of Directors for the Clean Energy Development Fund (2009-2011), Vermont Works for Women (2007-2011), the Vermont Community Foundation (2001-2009), the Advisory Board of the VT-Small Business Development Center (2008-2009), on the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Rural Vermont Energy Council (2006-2007) and as a Commissioner on the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (1998-2002).
Janice St. Onge
Deputy Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
President, VSJF Flexible Capital Fund, L3C
Janice St. Onge is Deputy Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and President of the VSJF Flexible Capital Fund, L3C. Janice brings economic and business development as well as financial expertise to the organization, having served in the technology and financial services industries, as well as higher education and state government sectors during her 25-year career. Ms. St. Onge has 10 years of experience at Peoples United Bank in Connecticut serving in retail management, commercial real estate lending (managing a $21 million portfolio) and organizational development roles during her tenure there.
During her career, Janice has served as the Director of the Vermont Business Center (VBC) at the University of Vermont and Technology Business Development Director for the Vermont Department of Economic Development. She received the 2001 National Tibbetts Award in recognition for her outreach work with the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in Vermont. Additionally, Janice was the Director of Human Resources and Senior Manager of Customer Service for Kea Technologies, an e-commerce fulfillment business in Williston, where she directed human resource strategic planning and policies, employee relations, performance management, employment law issues and company-wide recruiting efforts.
Janice is a graduate of the University of Utah with a B.A. in Marketing and is an alumni of the Snelling Center for Government’s 2004 Vermont Leadership Institute program. She serves on the board of the Vermont Investors Forum, the advisory boards of the Vermont Small Business Development Center, and True Body Products. A Stowe, Vermont resident, Janice is the co-founder of the Stowe Energy and Climate Action Network and a former International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup Freestyle Skiing Judge.
VT Agriculture Development Program Director
John Ryan joined VSJF in July 2011 as the Director for the Vermont Agricultural Development Program. As the Principal of a private consulting firm called Development Cycles since 1985, John has managed projects for public and private clients involving both large scale and small scale residential, commercial, tourism, agricultural, as well as community and neighborhood economic development efforts. John has performed community development and housing needs assessments for the numerous communities in Vermont and Massachusetts; feasibility and planning tasks for educational and resort clients including Shelburne Farms, the Stratton Mountain Corporation and the Mt. Mansfield Company; consulted on more than 100 residential and assisted-living care projects throughout New England; provided market feasibility and business planning services for over 30 individual farms as part of the MA Department of Food & Agriculture’s Farm Viability Program. John has performed commercial feasibility assessments for Grafton Village Cheese, Shelburne Farms and the Cellars at Jasper Hill. He has also provided training to non-profit housing agencies in Vermont at the request of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board. Experienced in hands-on development, John has managed the creation of three co-housing communities in Amherst and Northampton, MA and has assisted in the development of a residential community for disabled persons, family and staff at Crotched Mountain in Greenfield, NH.
Scott Sawyer, PhD
- Research & Evaluation Director
- (802) 828-0404
Scott Sawyer joined the VSJF in 2003 and is responsible for researching, creating, and evaluating VSJF projects and programs. He created the Renewable Energy Atlas of Vermont, a map-based website that identifies existing and potential renewable energy sites. He also serves as lead author and editor of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan and developed the Vermont Food System Atlas.
Scott has bachelor's degrees in Environmental Studies and Sociology from Pitzer College, a master's degree and Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington State University. His Ph.D. dissertation was titled, "The Politics of Reliability: A Sociological Examination of the State of Vermont's Response to Peak Oil and Climate Change."
- Bioenergy Program Director
- (802) 828-0040, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Netaka White has been the Bioenergy Program Director at the VSJF since May, 2008. Prior to joining VSJF, he was the co-founder of Vermont Biofuels Association and served as its Executive Director from 2004-2008, providing leadership and organization to Vermont's emerging biofuel sector.
As the Bioenergy Program Director, Netaka has been actively involved in sustainable biofuels policy and in planning and implementing the Vermont Biofuels Initiative (VBI). The VBI began in 2004 and continues today to provide technical assistance and grant making in three main areas; biofuels research and demonstration, biofuel infrastructure development, and biofuels education and outreach. Netaka is a member of the Board of Renewable Energy Vermont and serves on several other agricultural and energy advisory boards. Between 2002 and 2004 Netaka worked as Director of Marketing for Vermont Family Forests, developing value-adding opportunities for local forest products. After attending Southern Oregon University, Netaka began his entrepreneurial career starting and managing several small businesses, both wholesale and retail. He lives with his family in Salisbury.
Farm to Plate Program Director
Erica Campbell is the Farm to Plate Program Director at Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. Over the past fifteen years her work has spanned many integrated areas, including food systems, sustainable community development, education, transportation, and climate change. Prior to joining VSJF, Erica was a regional food systems planner at the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, where she led the development of the Regional Food System Plan for Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. She was also an associate with Resource Systems Group, Inc. where she assisted state and regional planning agencies throughout the country. Erica is a co-founder and active member of the Waterbury-Duxbury Food Council and serves on her local planning commission. She holds a Master of Science in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont. Erica lives with her husband and children in North Duxbury.
Director of Finance & Administration
Anthony Mennona joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in November 2012 as Finance Manager. Anthony has handled the financial management, grant administration and human resources for several Vermont nonprofit organizations over the past six years. From 2009 through 2012 he was the Director of Finance & Administration at the Biomass Energy Resource Center (BERC). Prior to his work at BERC, Anthony was the Controller at the Central Vermont Community Land Trust (CVCLT). In addition to his nonprofit experience, Anthony has worked in finance at various private businesses. Anthony currently serves as Treasurer for CVCLT and is also a member of the Montpelier Bike Path committee. He has a BS in Business Administration and lives with his family in Montpelier.
Sarah joined VSJF in August, 2012 as the Farm to Plate Network Manager. In this role, she will grow VSJF’s capacity to coordinate this strategic initiative. Prior to joining VSJF, Sarah worked for more than six years at the Biomass Energy Resource Center (BERC), focusing on community-scale biomass energy issues in Vermont. While at BERC, she conducted numerous feasibility studies and fuel supply assessments, assisted with estimating the availability of biomass fuel in Vermont, and drafted many reports and fact sheets. When she's not outside, Sarah contributes to several publications on outdoor recreation. She holds a BS in biology and lives with her family in Marshfield.
Farm to Plate Network Assistant
Jake spent the last year as an AmeriCorps member serving with the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) and the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network (VECAN) as the Community Energy and Climate Action Organizer. At VNRC, Jake worked closely with town energy committees across the state on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy planning issues. Before returning to Vermont, where he grew up, and serving with VNRC, Jake received a Master’s of Science in Environmental Policy from Bard College. His thesis focused on the value of ecosystem services from farmland in Vermont. Jake has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Fordham University and still enjoys, time permitting, waxing philosophical. He lives in Montpelier with his partner.