Labor of Love Honorees – Short Bios Posted
The Labor of Love exhibit is designed in recognition of working women as part of Vermont Works for Women’s upcoming 25th anniversary. As part of developing the fall exhibit, our honorees gathered on Saturday, May 5th (10 am – 4 pm) at Spaulding High School in Barre where they were interviewed by a team of high school girls. Their interviews focused on understanding what work means to each honoree, as well as discerning its particular challenges or opportunities.
You’ve been asking to learn a little more about our honorees for the Fall 2012 Labor of Love Exhibit. Here are some short bios excerpted from the nominations. We are really excited about the interviews and photos that will become part of the multimedia exhibit set to debut on November 9th.
Cristina is the Producing Artistic Director and CEO of Vermont Stage Company. She has the ultimate responsibility for all aspects of Vermont Stage Company theater productions, and also for financial and administrative management of the company. Her responsibilities range from making truly “artistic” decisions like casting; to prosaic, “production”-oriented tasks such as negotiating rehearsal space and accommodation for actors; and to overseeing all accounting, sales, and fundraising. Cristina also has another role that is not articulated in her job title, but that is extremely important: she serves as Vermont Stage Company’s ambassador to the many different members of our community who care about theater, from the major donors who help sustain our company to young actors and playwrights hoping to become involved in theater for the first time. Moreover, her efforts are judged in a very public forum – on the stage, by the audience, and in the media. It takes an unusual person, with a rare combination of vision, tenacity, humor, poise, and guts, to carry off a Producing Artistic Director’s job well. We at VSC are incredibly lucky to have Cristina in this role.
Lucie is a leader in technology integration in schools – she helps teachers integrate technology into their work with students. Lucie works with elementary, middle and high school students; she does professional development with educators; she teaches graduate courses; she is a Google-certified instructor; she is creative in finding new and exciting ways to get people involved with technology in education. She is especially adept at helping girls find ways to relate to and use technology in their school work and in their lives.
For nearly 30 years Lucie has worked in schools across Vermont. She has been on staff in a few schools, and has provided technical assistance and consulting to many, many more. Lucie has directly impacted thousands of students through her teaching and summer camps. She has taken hundreds of students to conferences to have them present to attendees, showcasing their work in technology. She takes it SERIOUSLY that girls need to be part of all aspects of technology, including design, creativity, hardware and systems, software and games. Lucie is also unique in that she takes technology to very young children, rather than just older students. Additionally, Lucie knows how to work with adults in learning settings, and can provide assurance and reassurance to educators who may start out being phobic about technology. Lucie is also knowledgeable about the hardware aspect of technology, rather than focusing solely on applications.
Carina is the Founder of the Vermont Woodworking School. She also has the official title of Programs and Site Director at Vermont Woodworking School for Burlington College. She founded the Vermont Woodworking School in September of 2007 with Blake Ewoldsen (Facility and Materials Management), Bob Fletcher (Instructor). She has provided the leadership to bring the school into existence and to ensure a solid future. Carina brought the necessary resources together, found investors, led the development of the curriculum, recruited faculty and students, marketed the program and managed the staff and faculty. She has also applied for and received the designation of “Vermont State Craft Center,” the only one of its kind for education.
Carina’s work has impacted the community of wood manufacturer’s, wood artisans and hobbyists, and the aspiring next generation of woodworkers and furniture-makers. The school was founded at the beginning of a recession, and at a time in the wood industry that was floundering. The Vermont Woodworking School has been part of the beginning of a resurgence of investment and restoring faith in what the Vermont Wood Industry is capable of in Vermont. Through private investment, the school has a beautiful home in a restored, late 19th century dairy barn turned modern woodworking facility. The school is financially sustainable and promises to serve the wood industry through training of the Vermont’s next generation of furniture-makers and woodworkers.
KIM FURLONG AND CAROLYNN DICICCIO
Kim and Carolynn have owned and operated the Barnard General Store here in Barnard, Vt. for “many years”, in fact it is one of the “oldest running store in Vermont. Their title is not “just one” but one of “many”, they just do it all. They are the hardest working people I have known in my years here in Vermont, I know hard working people, I have been in the construction trades for over 30 years. They live and work this store 24/7. There genuine love for each human person is just admirable, they somehow hold a very special place in their heart for each and every person in this community as well as for those who walk through the doors of the Barnard General Store where as you as a individual feel there warmth and their love and happen to make one feel very special. This is a very unique quality of both of them. I feel we all look up to them for this quality.
Founder / Editor VTDigger.org. When Anne was laid off as an editor /journalist at The Barre Times Argus, she set out to create a non-profit, online only, news organization. Unlike the Green Mtn Daily (liberal) and VT Tiger (Conservative), Anne set out to produce hard news relevant to Vermonters. She picked up the slack in the disappearing legislative press corps and began writing in earnest about policy and issues relevant to Vermonters. A year later, she came to the attention of the nascent VT Journalism Trust (modeled after Pro Publica) and we merged. The extraordinary accomplishment of VT Digger and its steady increase in readership has been recognized by decision makers and policy people throughout the state.
VT Digger now reaches as many as 30,000 Vermonters a day, especially during the legislative season. The moderated comments which must be signed often yield conversation threads that add depth and expanded intelligence to the articles about which readers are writing. Anne runs articulate and credible opinion pieces from all ends of the political spectrum and serves many agencies, non-profits and businesses by running relevant press releases as well.
As Executive Director of Girls on the Run (GOTR) Vermont, Nancy provides focused support for a physically active lifestyle to thousands of girls and their families. Twelve years ago Nancy began GOTR Vermont with fifteen young women. Participating girls in grades 3-8 engage in fun, age-appropriate lessons about positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development while training to complete a 5k run/walk event. In 2011 GOTR Vermont managed over 110 10-12 week program sites and hosted two major 5k events for over 3000 runners.
Nancy radiates with positive energy, creative ideas and clarity about the specific needs of youth physical activity education in Vermont. For example while other GOTR programs outside of Vermont charge participants $140; Nancy has worked strategically to engage funding partners thus reducing the cost in Vermont to a maximum of $70 per girl. In addition, Nancy has participated in formal review and revision of program curricula, and regularly attends meetings with the GOTR International. Nancy also serves as a board member of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. In June 2012, she received the Community Leadership Award from the President’s Council on Fitness. Finally, as a committed runner herself Nancy clearly exemplifies an active, committed community member.
Tara Kelly is the Executive Director of the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL), a community development nonprofit working to revitalize the Rutland region through local farm and food initiatives. Tara is an advocate for sustainable local agriculture and healthy, thriving food systems on the local, statewide, and regional levels. She is a founding member of RAFFL and the organization’s first executive director.
As a founding member of RAFFL, Tara has enthusiastically led and championed the local food movement in the Rutland area. While Tara is focused on agriculture, she views her work as multidisciplinary and never isolated. Thus, she works toward “big picture” goals that connect farming with health and nutrition initiatives, sustainability movements, and economic development efforts. She actively forges new partnerships between different community organizations and stakeholders to build a stronger, more dynamic movement that fixes root problems—not with band aid solutions—but with real transformation.
Through her grassroots work, Tara has also become a resource for other nonprofit and local food organizations throughout the state. Tara regularly presents at conferences, workshops, and classes on topics ranging from local food distribution to nonprofit board management. She is actively involved with the Vermont’s Farm to Plate ten-year strategic plan for local agriculture and served on the allocations committee for the Vermont Community Foundation’s Farm Disaster Relief Fund following Tropical Storm Irene. Thanks to Tara’s enthusiasm and thoughtfulness, Rutland and Vermont’s food systems are stronger because of her leadership.
Sandy Lincoln is owner of Sandy’s Books and Bakery a combo Bookstore and Bakery (restaurant/cafe). She works long hours and rarely gets a day off – mostly her days away are spent taking the books on the road to different Fairs and Festivals. She manages a staff of about 12 people doing a variety of tasks: bakers, counter staff, dishwashers, bookkeeping, book shelving, etc. She prepares the schedule, makes lists of tasks to complete (completes those tasks after the doors close at night if left undone),pays the bills, orders food ingredients and books, and you can find her doing any and all of the jobs that she expects her staff to do and many more things as well. You can even find her outside in the garden (another vocation of hers) weeding and harvesting the produce that will soon be a meal.
Sandy provides a unique gathering place for the community – an oasis of culture and discussion and education. She nourishes and nurtures everyone with her healthy food and generous nature. She supports many local farms and artistans (many of them women)- and is responsible for employing many local people including teenagers getting their first job. Customers come from as far away as California and Sandy’s Bookstore and Bakery is on their list of destinations for vacation.
Deborah has spent a lifetime advocating for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities. She is currently the Administrative Services Manager at UVM’s Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, she has been the director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living, a teaching professor at UVM’s Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, an advisor to state agencies on disability rights and many other roles in her long career.
Deborah is one of the handful of individuals in Vermont whose name is consistently mentioned when the subject of disability rights is discussed. She has been and continues to be a driving force in this battle which is, in essence, a civil rights battle. Vermont laws are better, our practices are more inclusive and our relationships with our community members with disabilities are more respectful because of Deborah’s work. She has a particular interest in advancing the careers of young Vermonters with disabilities, establishing mentorships and programs to support their growth in both community life and employment. Many of the rights that Vermonters with disabilities now take for granted were hard fought for and secured by Deborah’s work. The right to attend local schools in regular education classrooms, the right to supported employment, the right to live in typical homes with assistance versus placement in congregate settings, these are all battles Deborah has fought to secure equality for people with disabilities.
Meredith is a tattoo artist. But she is so much more than that. She helps people work through terrible times they have had in their lives and gives them art work to constantly remind them of how they came through changed, powerful, strong. She holds people who are grieving, and create beautiful images to commemorate that person, a symbol to remind those that are left, that they are never alone or without the love they held their lost one with.
She celebrates life and accomplishments with her art, her talent. And then she steps outside of her tattoo studio and creates events that gather people from all her surrounding towns together, to celebrate, to honor loved ones lost, to help unite and work to save the little part of the planet we live on.
Meredith’s work in this community has spread so far, people travel to have her art grace their bodies. They gather up friends to help with events she is planning. The come together to help friends who were hurt by the flood, or job loss. She is always working, not for her, but for her community, a community to which she has given her heart to. She has created jobs for people others wouldn’t hire, seeing beyond their life experience and looks, to spirits willing to love and help others, to work hard and create beauty where they go. Just like she does.
Ita Meno is the Code Enforcement Inspector at City of Burlington’s Code Enforcement Office. Conduct inspections of rental property, assess compliance with the City’s Minimum Housing Code. Conduct complaint and patrol inspections to determine compliance with a variety of Burlington ordinances relating to property, zoning and/or environmental or health and safety regulations; Issue orders, tickets, fines and penalties; prepare affidavits and other documents, appear as a witness in legal proceedings associated with rental housing; serve as Deputy Health Officer investigating health complaints and carrying out enforcmetn actions under the direction of the Health Officer.
As a Code Enforcement Inspector, Ita works collaboratively with other city departments and community organizations to ensure all rental housing in the city of Burlington is safe and habitable. She is making a major difference in people’s lives. Home is personal, home is supposed to be comforting and safe, yet for many people it is not. These people may or may not understand their rights, they may see their landlords as holding all the power, they may feel scared (of eviction), and they might have anywhere else to go. Ita is there to listen to them when they have concerns and to ensure that their house can be a home. She gives them hope.
Barbara E. Murphy is the president of Johnson State College, a position she has held since 2001. Prior to that, she was at Community College of Vermont for eighteen years where she advanced from an academic advisor to academic dean and finally to president, a position which she held for six years. Her career has been dedicated to education—in many ways—as a VISTA volunteer in the mid 70s who directed the Vermont Legal Aid taxpayer renter rebate program, as a director of after-school programming at the YMCA, and as part of a research team at the University of Vermont who investigated successful outcomes for low birth rate babies.
Public higher education is the door through which many Vermonters walk toward opportunity. Barbara has been a key player in the Vermont State Colleges since 1983. Even in her early days at Community College of Vermont, when she was an academic advisor, she piloted and developed a network of writing and skills support centers throughout the state to assist students who otherwise could not have succeeded in college. She was one of the first to drive home the point that students did not have ‘a right to fail’ but had instead ‘a right to succeed.’ This is by no means a subtle point. Once a college accepts its responsibility for helping students succeed, it must make vigorous efforts to take students from where they are academically to where they can succeed and graduate. This is a value imbedded in both CCV and JSC because of Barbara’s efforts.
Bess O’Brien is one of Vermont’s leading filmmakers and creative artists. She is the Executive Director of Kingdom County Productions, a non-profit media arts organization. For more than 20 years, Bess has produced documentaries, feature films, and theatrical work that explore and illuminate the fabric, landscape, and culture of Vermont. She has produced a touring theatrical production called The Voices Project about teen bullying as well as the film Shout it Out about the same subject; Here Today, a documentary film about heroin abuse in VT; Ask Us Who We Are about foster care in Vermont, as well as many other important and award-winning works.
Bess’s work has had enormous impact on raising awareness of social issues and needs in our state. Through her exhaustive efforts to distribute her work through screenings in public venues, at the state house, in schools, prisons, churches and more, she has involved and engaged parents, educators, social workers, teens, legislators and others in addressing these issues. Just to give one example, her theatrical production The Voices Project involved a year of research listening to teens, soliciting writing and original poetry and music, community meetings, and more. Many teens felt empowered through this process. After the research phase, the production toured to 12 VT towns and played to sold out audiences, each involving discussion among community members following the shows. The play was then made into a film that played throughout the state and is now on DVD and is accompanied by a curriculum package and other educational materials.
Nari Penson is entering her 30th year as a teacher at The Schoolhouse, a private, non-profit elementary school. Nari is licensed to teach children age 3 through grade 3. Nari brings with her to this task of teacher a depth of experience that few in Vermont can claim. The artist daughter of a Reverend and the head librarian at Tuskegee Institute during the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she has broadened the cultural understanding of many Vermonters through such projects as Kwanzaa Women’s Percussion Ensemble, service on scholarship boards, etc. Nari deserves recognition for the way she demands justice in the fairest way possible, the way she teaches her charges with great love and equanimity, and for her graciousness through the many years of melt-downs and other challenges that she has finessed.
DIANA V. PEREZ
Diana co-coordinates Women Helping Battered Women’s Legal Program with me. She provides direct service to victims of domestic violence, largely to seek relief and protection in Family Court, and ensures the program is running smoothly. When not at Women Helping, she is a Chinese Medicine practitioner.
Diana uses the ideas and practices of healing modalities to help women not just get through their court processes and make short-term decisions about their future, but to come out stronger on the other side. She goes above and beyond to provide emotional support, to find a lawyer for someone who really needs one for their case, to help her colleagues enhance their cultural competencies. She has also introduced the notion of active self-care to our staff at Women Helping. Doing crisis work, you can forget how much you take out on yourself or your colleagues, and she has created space and focus on our own needs so that we may better help those we serve.
Mary Powell currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Green Mountain Power Corporation. Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2008, Mary was the Chief Operating Officer for the company and had held that position since February 2001. Mary joined the company in March of 1998. Mary initiated, developed, and held corporate responsibility for the implementation of a strategic and comprehensive restructuring program that dramatically transformed Green Mountain Power in 1999. This corporate transformation focused on restructuring the work of the organization while also beginning the process of a dramatic culture shift.
Mary currently serves on the boards of Vermont Public Radio, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, VELCO, Green Mountain Power and Champlain College, where she now serves as Vice Chair. Mary also serves as Vice Chair of the Vermont Business Roundtable and serves on the boards of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and the Vermont State Chamber. Mary also served at the request of Governor Douglas as Co-Chair of Building Bright Futures and Co Chair of the Vermont Institute for Government Effectiveness, a group charged with making recommendations to improve effectiveness of state government. In June 2012, the board of directors of the Vermont Business Roundtable is presented her with its Vision Award
Mary started and has owned two small businesses, a company called HRworks, Inc., and Spot the Dog LLC (founded in 1992), a company that manufactures and sells protective outerwear for animals.
Annie is presently employed at Spectrum in the dual role of Associate Executive Director and Clinical Director. As such, she oversees all of the programs at Spectrum, including our mental healthy/substance abuse counseling unit; our substance abuse prevention program in schools; our drop-in center for homeless and at-risk teens; our residences for homeless and foster youth; our domestic violence intervention and prevention programs.
The biggest difficulty I have now is the fact that so many experts in the field of substance abuse/mental health treatment want Annie to come and address them. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in Washington, D.C. in particular frequently requests her presence in panels there. And this past November a briefing was organized by the Hurricane Irene Coalition and by the office of Congressmen Peter Welch. Annie was one of six presenters at the briefing, which was entitled Disaster 201: The Role of Public Health in Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. In April she as named 2011 Woman of Achievement by Burlington Business and Professional Women.
Jan is an electrician in central Vermont, and in addition to owning her own business she also teaches frequently at Yestermorrow Design/Build School and Barre Tech Center.
Jan is dedicated to passing along her skill and knowledge to others – teaching in formal settings with high school students, teaching homeowners how to safely work on electrical systems in their own homes, and helping to train future professionals in the trades, specifically mentoring other women.
Amanda is a single mother who works tirelessly to better her own life, the life of her son, and her community by being a therapeutic riding instructor for adults and children with special needs, be they physical or emotional challenges. Amanda cares for her own two wonderful horses, Tanner and Jackie, and encourages children to help out in whatever way they can to be with and care for her horses. She offers children who may not be able to afford her services to be involved for free, allowing them the opportunity to connect with and be a part of her outstanding program. With Amanda’s loving support and guidance, people’s lives are transformed by riding and caring for her horses. The impact is amazing, I have seen her work with autistic children who really open up and achieve in other areas of their lives because of her therapeutic riding instructions. It is truly heartwarming.
Amanda makes a point of including as many people as she can that are interested in her work with horses to be comfortable, willing, and accepted as a result of their connection to her work. She goes out of her way to not exclude anyone who has a desire to work with her animals to be able to reach their goals. It has been a dream of my ten year old daughter to be able to work and be around horses, and because of Amanda my daughter Kaylee Rose is closer to her dream of someday being a veterinarian or “animal rescuer”. The friendships that have been made with other children, as well as the horses, have changed her life for the better in so many ways.
Tracy is a Lieutenant with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, presently assigned as lead detective with the Special Investigations Unit. The SIU is part of a statewide initiative that focuses on investigating sex crimes, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect cases, and elder abuse and neglect cases. In addition, she does other types of investigations, acts as a Field Training Officer in training new police officers, investigates animal abuse and neglect cases, and does a lot of work with troubled and at-risk children. She has previously been a patrol officer, sergeant, and school resource officer. She was one of Vermont’s first DARE Officers and Dare Mentors. She has been honored as Vermont’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year twice. In addition to serving as a police officer, she has been an activist in working to improve Vermont’s DUI laws, and a resource for everyone from troubled families to community leaders and the Vermont legislature. She does a great deal of teaching and public speaking, on everything from law enforcement procedures to teaching classes in schools and for parent groups on topics ranging from substance abuse to DUI to bullying to internet safety. She has addressed local, statewide, and national audiences. She has been involved in the start-up and operation of a number of community groups such as the Vermont Safety Education Center, The Vermont Teen Leadership Safety Program, SADD, and others.
Dr. Karen Sokol is the founder and sole physician of At Home Physicians, PLLC, a home visit practice. She developed this practice because of her desire to spend more time with her patients. She sees all her patients, from birth to end of life, in their homes and in nursing homes, throughout Chittenden County.
The fact that Dr. Sokol chooses to see her patients in their homes provides a valuable opportunity for both patient and Dr. Sokol to establish a rapport which cannot be replicated in the limited time constraints of traditional physician office visits, where physicians must adhere to a schedule allowing for only brief appointments with patients.
Michelle is the Executive Director of Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, a non-profit education provider. As Executive Director, Michelle oversees several different programs that provide education and family support to adults and out of school youths.
The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont suffers from high unemployment. The dropout rate is also quite high. Michelle, through her contact with other providers as well as what she sees with our own students, has seen the impact these factors have on the community and has thought outside the box on ways to address these issues. While NEKLS has traditionally focused on adult education, her leadership has expanded that to include programs such as work skills classes which provide students with the skills they need, both academic and soft skills, to succeed in today’s job market.
Candace is the coordinator of events and educational programming at UVM’s Women’s Center. She supervises students, and plans many events for the women’s center including The Vagina Monologues, Women of Color Retreat, Women at Noon, and the Women’s Award Banquet. Candace is an ally to all the students who come in contact with the women’s center. These women come to Candace for advising and support with many challenging issues like rape, violence, stalking, incest, discrimination, and many other challenges that come with being a college student. She makes time for each and everyone, and empowers those she comes in contact with. She is passionate about what she does and as a survivor herself, is deeply emotionally invested in each case. More so Candace is a support person for women of color on the UVM campus. The work is draining, yet she continues giving of herself day after day, often working with administration and police to help her students. She has deep roots outside the community of UVM as well and works closely with community organizations like RU12, Women helping Battered Women, the Women’s Rape Crisis Center, The Winooski Judicial board, Restorative practices, and legal advocates in the community.
Endowment Accountant for UVM. Duties include tracking all the investment activity for the endowment funds which are valued over $300 million. Monitors the individual endowment activity and work with departments across campus to review the endowment activity and advise them on the utilization of their endowments. Interacts with the Controller, Assistant Controller, VP of Finance and Administration and the Investment Subcommittee of the Board of Trustees.
Marie chairs the Social Committee of the UVM Staff Council which plans and promotes events, activities and community service opportunities. Marie’s journey from welfare Mom to accountant for a $300 million endowment at University of Vermont is truly inspirational. She had the courage to leave a tumultuous marriage with 3 small children. She attended college part time so she could prepare for a better life and still concentrate on raising these children in a stable and loving home. Although she was on welfare, she refused to let herself or her children consider themselves poor; they were rich in relationships – both family and friends. Setting priorities and managing time she would take a nap after putting the children to bed and then get up and study until 1 or 2 in the morning. Money was tight, but they always had enough to eat. Having been raised in a large family where food was home cooked, she already had the skills to stretch the budget and she taught these to her children. The family shopped for groceries together and it was a fun outing. She taught the children how to price compare and allowed them to help plan the menus. And she instilled a work ethic in them by expecting everyone to participate in chores. Today she encourages other single mothers, mentors college students, is active in her church and passes-on her life-skills in multiple settings.
Over the last 30 years, Brenda Torpy has been a leader in the development of permanently affordable housing in Vermont. From its inception, Brenda has been a strong voice and guiding hand in creating the strong non-profit housing delivery system we have in Vermont today. For the past 20 years Brenda has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Champlain Housing Trust (formerly the Burlington Community Land Trust), providing homeownership and rental housing opportunities for over thousands of families and individuals throughout Northwest Vermont. She combines an absolute commitment to housing opportunities for low /moderate income families with a passionate vision of how the world can be a more just and compassionate place for all. Just as importantly, she inspires her coworkers and colleagues to do the same. Brenda grew up in Montreal and was one of the first in her family to attend college. She later became a citizen of the US and was registered to vote for the first time by Jesse Jackson in 1984. In her early 20s Brenda lived in an affordable housing community built and managed by the same private owner who built the Northgate development, which helped her understand both the need for affordable housing and how it feels when a landlord is not attentive to the basic requirements of the safe and secure housing. At that time, she worked for Vermont Alliance, a grass roots entity that organized community members around issues of concern. Never afraid to take on “the powers that be,” Brenda became an advocate for a different way of providing shelter to people with limited financial resources.
Rosina’s labor of love is being a dairy farmer. A person has to love the work they must do! She also works at the Cabot Annex selling the products of her labor. Vermont farming is Rosina’s life and she loves to share her farm and knowledge with schools and day care groups every chance she gets. She has a program where the children come for a visit at the farm to learn about Vermont dairy farming and to taste the health benefits that come from having farms in our state. Rosina is a leader in her field as she has served as President of the Washington County Farm Bureau and has been on the board at state level. Over the years she has volunteered at Vermont Dairy Day, and at the Annual Farm Show. Last but not least, many times she has been interviewed in regards to legislative matters related to farming.
HANNAH DEENE WOOD
Hannah owns and operates Talent Skatepark and Shop in South Burlington with her husband David. They opened Talent in December of 2001 and just celebrated their 10th anniversary. Talent is more than a recreation facility, it is a family. Hannah has helped create a place where kids can come to practice what they love and stay off the streets and out of trouble. She shows them love and support every time they walk into the door of the building. Hannah has also become and licensed Zumba® Fitness instructor and teaches 3 regular classes a week. Last November she became licensed in Zumbatomic® which is a version of Zumba® Fitness designed for children. Again her love for kids shines bright. She has taught Zumbatomic® at many local elementary schools as a part of enrichment programs and also a class for special needs children.
Talent Skatepark is more than just a recreation facility. Hannah has helped create a place where kids can go, be safe and practice what they love. Hannah knows and cares about each and every person who walks in the door. She has kids that started skating at Talent 10 years ago now still hang out and/or work at the park and shop. They see Hannah as role model and respect her tremendously.