Accelerating the Development of Vermont's Green Economy

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Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund


Ellen KahlerEllen Kahler

Executive Director
(802) 828-5320; ellen (at)

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.

The VSJF uses early stage grant funding, technical assistance and near-equity loans to catalyze and accelerate the development of markets for sustainably produced goods and services in Vermont. Since 2009, at the request of the Vermont Legislature, the VSJF has led the Vermont Farm to Plate Initiative which includes authoring the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan (a 10 year road map for strengthening Vermont's farm and food economy), coordinating the Farm to Plate Network, and maintaining the Farm to Plate website.

Prior to joining the VSJF, Ellen 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, Ellen 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. The VSJF’s Vermont Agriculture Development Program builds off the P2P model by providing wrap around technical assistance and expansion capital mobilization to early stage value-added agricultural enterprises.

Ellen has received numerous leadership awards including: The Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial & Community Leadership from the VT Community Foundation (2015), the Arthur Gibb Award for Individual Leadership from the VT Natural Resources Council (2015) and the Jan Eastman Excellence in Leadership Award from the Snelling Center for Government (2010). Ellen was also 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. Ellen currently serves on the Board of Red Tomato, Energy Action Network, the Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council, the Working Lands Enterprise Fund and the Statewide Workforce Development Board. She served on the Board of Directors for Sustainable Forest Futures (2008-2012), 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).

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Janice St. OngeJanice St. Onge

  • Deputy Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund 

  • President, VSJF Flexible Capital Fund, L3C

  • (802) 828-0398; janice (at)

Janice St. Onge is President of the VSJF Flexible Capital Fund, L3C and Deputy Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. 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. Janis 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. 

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 Vermont Leadership Institute.  She serves on the board of the Vermont Investors Forum, the Vermont Small Business Development Center Advisory Board, the Energy Action Network Capitol Mobilization Group, and is a member of the State of Vermont Community Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Committee.  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.

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John Ryan

John Ryan

VT Agriculture Development Program Director
(802) 828-3753; vadp (at)

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.

Anthony Mennona

Director of Finance & Administration

(802) 828-0614; anthony (at)


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. 

Scott Sawyer, PhD

Scott Sawyer, PhD

  • Sustainability Director
  • (802) 828-0404; scott (at)

Scott Sawyer joined the VSJF in 2004 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 led the development of the Farm to Plate website to showcase food system and Farm to Plate Network activities. Featured on the Farm to Plate website are over 100 data visualizations he created to illustrate progress toward Farm to Plate goals.

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." 

Erica Campbell

Erica Campbell

Farm to Plate Network Director

(802) 828-3745; farm2plate(at)


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.

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Jake ClaroJake Claro

Farm to Plate Network Manager

(802) 828-5669; jake (at)

Jake joined the VSJF in September 2012 and has assisted in the development of the Food System Atlas, has written the Nutrient Management chapter of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan and supports a number of Farm to Plate Network groups.  Before he was hired by the VSJF, he was an AmeriCorps member in 2011-12 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 Barre with his partner and orange cats.

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith

Farm to Plate Network Assistant
(802) 828-5670; stephanie (at)


Stephanie joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in September 2014 to assist with administering the Farm to Plate website and provide support to the Farm to Plate Network groups. Prior to being hired by VSJF, Stephanie was an AmeriCorps VISTA serving at the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission (CVRPC) as the Community Engagement Coordinator. She holds a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she focused her coursework around community development and food systems. Stephanie lives in Montpelier with her husband, cat, and dog.


Rachel Carter

Communications Director

(802) 828-1121; rachel (at)


Rachel Carter joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in February 2013 as Communications Director to help raise VSJF’s organizational and program profiles. Rachel brings to the VSJF public relations, social media, and grassroots marketing expertise as an entrepreneur, having operated a public relations business for six years working with Vermont clients in agriculture, tourism, food, finance, education, small business, government municipalities, and non-profit sectors. She was recognized as the 2008 Vermont Young Careerist of the Year by Business & Professional Women and was a 2010 Vermont Business Magazine Rising Star in its inaugural year. Prior positions include the director of public relations at a Vermont marketing agency, a marketing director at an insurance agency, and a program manager with the Girl Scouts. 

Rachel is the co-author of VERMONT: An Explorer’s Guide, a freelance writer, and social media influencer (follow on Twitter). She has taught public relations courses at Champlain College and is a speaker and presenter with Vermont industry associations. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and Organizational Communication from Marist College. Rachel and her husband live in Plainfield, Vermont where they blog about their Vermont homesteading adventures.

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