- President: Richard Watts, Hinesburg
Director of the Center for Research on Vermont and Assistant Research Professor at the University of Vermont in the Department of Community Development & Applied Economics.
Richard has been on the board in the past, including having earlier served as Vice President before taking time off the board to pursue several research projects. He returned to the board June 2013. Richard brings to the organization extensive experience in public policy and political campaigns, as a campaign manager, journalist and consultant to government agencies, business groups and non-profit organizations. He is the author of numerous research works, including Public Meltdown, which chronicles the role of grassroots communication in Vermont’s battle to close Vermont Yankee. Richard began his professional organizing career in New York with the New York Public Interest Research Group, and served as a VPIRG trustee from November 2002 to June 2011. Much of that time he was Vice President of the organization.
- Vice President: Chris Miller, South Burlington
Social Mission Activism Manager, Ben & Jerry’s
Chris is the Social Mission Activism Manager at Ben & Jerry’s, a unique position within the corporate world. He is responsible for development and execution of the company’s issue advocacy campaigns that are rooted in its progressive values. Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of running campaigns on issues like mandatory GMO labeling, marriage equality, money in politics, and climate change. Before joining Ben & Jerry’s, Chris led the sustainability work at Seventh Generation, the leader in natural non-toxic household and personal care products. He also directed Greenpeace USA’s national climate change campaign and served on the staff of then Congressman Bernie Sanders. Chris also serves as the chair of the board of directors of Car Share Vermont and is vice-chair of the board of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.
- Secretary: Crea Lintilhac, Shelburne
Director of the Lintilhac Foundation
VPIRG board member since 1998. A graduate of Skidmore College with an MA in Geology from the University of Vermont, Crea serves on the Lake Champlain Advisory Council at UVM and is involved with Lake Champlain research studies at UVM and Middlebury College. Crea serves on the Conservation and Research Foundation at Connecticut College and is involved in historic preservation, conservation and education projects and programs in Vermont. Crea is a Director of the Lintilhac Foundation.
- Treasurer: Dori Wolfe, Strafford
Owner and Principal, Wolfe Energy
Prior to launching Wolfe Energy, Dori co-founded groSolar, a national distributor and installer of renewable energy systems. She managed nearly all aspects of the company at different times since its inception in 1998. She has been an active member of the Strafford Energy Committee since 2006. Dori is currently serving on the Governor’s Council for Energy & the Environment, and has just completed her tenure on ReSource Vermont’s Green Jobs Council. As former clerk of SolarFest, the largest renewable energy fair in New England, she helped lead the organization to a stronger position in education and outreach. Prior to forming groSolar, Dori was a Senior Engineer at Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers. Dori has a BSME degree from Cornell University.
- Ashley Orgain, Burlington
Manager of Mission Advocacy and Outreach, Seventh Generation
Board member since 2014. At Seventh Generation, Ashley Orgain is responsible for the development, implementation and management of the Company’s issue advocacy campaigns and outreach. In 2010, she became the first Executive Director of the Seventh Generation Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to promoting social and environmental progress through education, conservation, research and advocacy. Formerly, she served as the Company’s representative in developing the curriculum offered by the Kaplan-Seventh Generation Sustainability Institute. Ashley received her Green MBA in Environmental and Organizational Sustainability from Antioch University New England. She is an active member of her community, serving on the Wellness Committee for her son’s pre-school and formerly sitting on Hinesburg’s Planning Commission. She credits her move to Vermont in 1998 to valuable time she spent working on VPIRG’s summer canvass.
- Barbarina Heyerdahl, Montpelier
Mother, educator and activist
A VPIRG board member since 2011, Barbarina is a citizen activist, lobbyist, and funder engaged in climate change, sustainable agriculture, and community resilience projects. She is particularly interested in how citizens and government can work collaboratively to address challenging environmental problems. Her love of nature and interest in humanity’s relationship with the natural systems that support us was enhanced by her BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic. For the past few years her “day job” has been full- time mother of her four children, but over the past 25 years she has worked at environmental organizations, run an organic vegetable farm, and been a parenting educator and fundraiser at Waldorf Schools in Maine and Vermont. Her activism includes giving public talks, organizing awareness raising events, and lobbying the US Congress and Vermont Legislature. She is a member of the Democratic National Committee’s National Advisory Board and a founding member of Climate Champions, a group of politically active funders lobbying the US Senator to pass climate legislation. She is also a member of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Global Leadership Council and Action Fund Board. In addition, she is active in the international grassroots Transition Town movement which helps individual communities reduce their energy usage and carbon footprint. She lives in Montpelier, Vermont with her husband and four children.
- Biff Mithoefer, Dorset
Author and Yoga Teacher
VPIRG board member since 1995. Biff Mithoefer has taught yoga at Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, and at workshops in Vermont, Hawaii, and California. He is a 500-hour Yoga Alliance registered teacher, and has studied shamanism. Previously, Biff was the President of East Mountain Environmental Services, engaged in the development of large-scale organic waste composting projects and is the former President and owner of East Mountain Transport, a solid waste handling, transportation, and recycling company.
- Drew Hudson, Columbia, SC
Executive Director at Environmental Action and Founding Partner at PowerThru Consulting
A VPIRG board member since 2008, Drew describes himself as a cat-herder, wrangler of impossible coalitions, and developer of complex communications and field campaigns. His consulting confab specializes in helping candidates and campaigns identify the messages and tools to effectively mobilize people in pursuit of peace, justice and sustainability — from simple websites to massive voter mobilization and everything in between. Recent clients have included Greenpeace, TrueMajority.org, USAction and others. Drew built his skills in political organizing and communications as a fellow at MoveOn.org, Field Director for the Symington for Governor Campaign and at VPIRG, where he served as Field and Communications Director from 2003-2008. Before settling in Vermont, Drew worked for the State PIRGs and their affiliates in Maryland, Georgia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the Green Corps Field School for Environmental Organizing and New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
- Duane Peterson, Essex Junction
VPIRG board member since 1998. Duane is a social entrepreneur with an eclectic 35-year career in socially responsible business, campaign management, government service and community involvement. He moved his family from California in 1996 to Vermont where he worked as Chief of Stuff at Ben & Jerry’s for 12 years getting to execute Ben Cohen’s creative vision. Committed to advancing values-led business models, he’s a member of the national Social Venture Network, Vermont Venture Network and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. He also serves on the Boards of the HowardCenter and USAction. Duane co-directs SunCommon, a solar venture modeled after VPIRG’s highly successful solar communities program.
- Mark Floegel, Burlington
Senior Investigator, Greenpeace USA
Mark is a senior investigator in Greenpeace USA’s research unit. He has appeared widely in international, national and local mediaon numerous campaignc`and issues. He is also a prolific blogger on environmental and political issues. A former journalist, Mark has been working on public advocacy issues since 1987. During the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s, Mark was an organizer for CongressWatch in Washington, DC. He has worked with various Public Interest Research Groups – including VPIRG – and has worked with Greenpeace in both Washington, DC and Seattle, WA. He currently resides in Vermont, where he helped coordinate Greenpeace’s work in the effort to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. He is currently involved in the lawsuit Greenpeace is bringing against Dow Chemical, Sasol North America and two public relations firms for espionage against Greenpeace and other environmental groups.
- Mathew Rubin, Montpelier
President of Spruce Mt. Design
VPIRG board member since 1984. Mathew is the President of Spruce Mountain Design where he is engaged in run-of-river hydro project operations and energy conservation work. Mathew is also President of East Haven Windfarm, a small commercial wind energy project. He has previously developed, and continues to own and operate, three small hydroelectric power plants in Vermont, and has consulted on the development of numerous other hydro projects in New York and New England. Mr. Rubin has served on the boards of directors of a wide array of community and civic organizations including Renewable Energy Vermont, the Vermont Independent Power Producers Association, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.
- Dr. Michael Scollins, South Burlington
Retired Doctor of Internal Medicine
Dr. Scollins is a retired primary care internist who practiced medicine in Vermont for 35 years. He spent 20 years in his own practice at Aesculapius Medical Center in South Burlington, before joining forces with Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) – a partnership that lasted an additional 15 years. Mike is a former President of FAHC medical staff and spent time as one of their attending physicians. He also served as a Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at UVM College of Medicine. Mike has a special interest in cardiovascular prevention, adverse drug reactions, innovative models for health care delivery and cost control. He joined VPIRG as a trustee in 2010.
- Jane Stromberg, Burlington
Student at University of Vermont
Jane is a second year student at the University of Vermont. She’s double majoring in Environmental Engineering and Political Science, with a minor in Economics, and expects to graduate in 2019. She’s President of Renewable Energy Network, an active student group at UVM, and has also volunteered as an organizer with our VPIRG staff working on campus. She is deeply committed to the wide range of issues that VPIRG works on, with a particular interest in advancing our clean energy and climate work. She’s had personal and work experience with clean energy as her father runs a small solar business in New York. Jane would be excited to help represent VPIRG’s interests on campus, and to learn all she can as a student trustee.
- Jennifer “Jen” Kimmich, Stowe
Co-Founder of the Alchemist Brewery
Jennifer Kimmich co-founded The Alchemist in 2003 with her husband John. As Executive Officer of their brewery and distribution companies, Jennifer oversees financial planning, operations, marketing and distribution logistics. Jen has committed herself to growing and expanding the Alchemist Foundation which has been awarding scholarships to area students for 5 years.
Jennifer has a keen interest in all issues surrounding poverty, inequality and working families. She currently works on the public policy committee for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR). She is also the Board Chair for Main Street Alliance and has been appointed to the State Workforce Development Operating Committee.