Vermont Conservation Voters

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Staff

Lauren Hierl
Executive Director

Lauren Hierl joined Vermont Conservation Voters as Political Director in 2014, and was promoted to Executive Director in 2018. Prior to that, Lauren worked for two years as Environmental Health Advocate at the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG). She previously worked as an environmental advocate in Washington, DC at National Audubon Society and Alaska Wilderness League. She also conducted climate change research in Kruger National Park in South Africa, and oversaw a land and endangered species conservation assessment in San Diego.

Lauren received her Master of Environmental Management and Master of Public Policy degrees at Duke University, and a Bachelors in Environmental Studies and Ecology at Dartmouth College. She is currently serving her second term as a Montpelier City Councilor.

Justin Marsh
Political Outreach Director

Justin Marsh joined VCV in 2022 as Political Outreach Director bringing a decade’s worth of communications, conservation, and campaign experience with them. In 2012, they ran for the state legislature and have worked on several historic campaigns since. They are a published editor (Tasteful Traditions, Red Barn Books, 2014), and have held or currently serve in several positions on local non-profit and municipal boards. In 2016, they helped write the grant known as The Silo Project, which transformed two abandoned concrete silos on preserved land into the largest outdoor public art installment in the state of Vermont. In 2020, as chair of Cambridge Conservation Commission, they were instrumental in the conservation of 51 acres of land now known as the Peter A. Krusch Nature Preserve. Prior to joining VCV, they were the lead organizer of the Pride Vermont Parade & Festival as well as Director of Communications & Development at Pride Center of Vermont. They are an alum of Vermont State University and currently reside in Cambridge on their family’s farm and sugar bush.

Erika Faulkner
Organizing Fellow

Erika Faulkner joined VCV in the summer of 2022. As Organizing Fellow, her work involves issue-based organizing and connecting with Vermont voters. Prior to VCV, Erika was an AmeriCorps VISTA at Vermont Energy Education Program, supporting their climate action projects and general capacity building, as well as being a mentor to Vermont’s Youth Lobby. Erika holds a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies from Dickinson College, and she lives in Burlington.

Board of Directors

Linda Gray
Chair

Linda has been a Vermonter since 1986, after moving to Norwich from the Washington, D.C. area. She has been active with town affairs, serving on the Norwich and Dresden school boards from 1998 to 2008, and since then on the town energy committee, which she chairs. She was appointed an Alternate Commissioner with the District 3 Environmental Commission in 2012. Her paid work, centered on administration and event organizing, includes as a staff person for a U.S. congressman, as conference organizer and administrator for the American Wind Energy Association, and as volunteer coordinator at the Montshire Museum. Linda lives in Norwich along with two dogs, a cat, and two guinea fowl. She is lucky that her two adult daughters also live in town.

Michael Fisher
Secretary-Treasurer

Michael serves as Vermont’s Chief Health Care Advocate at Vermont Legal Aid. Previously, he served as an outreach social worker for the Addison County Parent/Child Center working with Teenage Parents and their children. He received his undergraduate degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., and his Masters of Social Work from the University of Vermont. He was a Member of the Vermont House from 2001 through 2014, including as Chair of the Committee on Health Care. He lives in Lincoln with his wife, son, and daughter.

Kelly Coleman

Kelly is the Program Director at Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) a nonprofit based in western MA, where she oversees the organization’s grants and manages programs in the areas of building markets, farm to consumer, infrastructure, and public issues and education.  She received a master’s degree from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and spent several years promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting environmental causes in California before moving back to her native Northeast.  From 2012 to 2021, she served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC).  Kelly lives in Brattleboro with her husband and two children.

David Deen

From 1991 to 2019, David Deen represented Windham-4 as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives, where he spent fourteen years as Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife. Prior to that, he was the first Democrat to be elected to the Vermont Senate from Windham County. Formerly a River Steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council (now the Connecticut River Conservancy), David has a long history of advocacy for clean water protection in the State of Vermont.  An avid fisherman, he owned and operated Strictly Trout, a professional fly-fishing guide business, for nearly three decades.  He also worked on issues of poverty, weatherization, and housing as Executive Director of Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA).   David lives with his wife Allison in Putney.

Iris Hsiang

Iris Hsiang is a senior at Essex High School. They are one of the student representatives on the Essex Westford School District (EWSD) Board  of Directors.  In this role, they have worked on the EWSD equity policy, the raising of the Black Lives Matter flag, and the general operations of the district. Iris is the youth member on the Vermont Climate Council and serves on the Agriculture & Ecosystems and Just Transitions subcommittees. Previously, Iris was a page at the Vermont State House, worked on various candidates’ campaigns over the years, and interned with legislators. Iris is active in the community through her involvement in various organizations. Though they don’t find themselves with a lot of free time, when there is some, Iris loves cooking and baking and tries to get outside as much as possible!

Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes is a Senior Strategist at the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG).  Prior to joining VPIRG, Tom worked in the solar industry as CEO of Sunward Systems and president of Neuton Power Equipment.  He also served as executive director of Democracy for America, New Hampshire Field Director for Dean for America, campaign manager for Doug Racine, deputy finance director for Gore 2000, and executive director of the Vermont Democratic Party. He worked on the White House advance team during the Clinton-Gore Administration and on advance teams for the Dukakis-Bentsen and Obama-Biden campaigns. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from UVM in Political Science and is a graduate of American University’s Campaign Management Institute.

Helen Riehle

Elected to her fourth term in 2021, Helen is currently serves as Chair of the South Burlington City Council.  She was formerly the Executive Director of the Champlain Valley Area Health Education Center (AHEC) from 2011 to 2015, and Executive Director of the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care (VPQHC) from 2000 to 2010.  Representing Chittenden County as both a state representative (1983 to 1992) and state senator (1993 to 2000), Helen chaired health and welfare, administrative rules and health access committees in the Vermont legislature, and started her career as a middle school teacher. Helen has been active on numerous non-profit and higher education boards including the University of Vermont, Burlington College, and Vermont Public Television.  She is a graduate of the University of Vermont (B.S.) and lives in South Burlington with her husband Ted.

Kinny Perot

Kinny is the founder and former President of the Friends of the Mad River (FMR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to stewarding the Mad River Valley’s healthy land and clean water for present and future generations.  She currently serves the organization as Secretary of the Board of Directors. Previously, Kinny represented the towns of Granville, Fayston, Warren and Waitsfield in the State Legislature from 2000 to 2004. She has served her community as a Warren Select Board member and Warren representative to the Mad River Valley Planning District as well as having been active on the Warren school board, Warren PTA, the Warren library commission and the boards of the Vermont Festival of the Arts and the Yestermorrow Design/Build School.

She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and did post graduate studies in botany, and forestry and environmental studies at Connecticut College and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, class of 1980. She has two grown sons. She and her husband, Richard Czaplinski, are working “to do less with less,” fostering energy conservation and sustainability and experimenting with permaculture in Warren village.

Mary Sullivan

Mary Sullivan is a former Vermont state representative having served from 1991-2001 and 2015-2021, the majority of the time serving on the House Natural Resources Committee (chair, 1999-2001). She served on the Transportation Committee in the last biennium. She served as co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus for three years. She was the communications director at Burlington Electric Department from 2000-2015. She started her professional career working for Sen. Patrick Leahy in Washington. She also spent ten years in journalism. She’s a graduate of Trinity College of Vermont (B.A.) and Boston University (M.S.).

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