United Way welcomes Gerald Coleman, Yael Friedman, Marie Houghton, Michell Langlais & Michael Posternak to board of directors

South Burlington, VT: Beginning a three-year term on April 1, 2019, five new board members recently joined United Way of Northwest Vermont:

Gerald Coleman

Gerald is an advocate for the principles and values of UWNWVT. His department has been a Working Bridges site for seven years. As the Director of Custodial Services at the University of Vermont, he leads a staff of 225 individuals, most of whom are from underrepresented demographics. He also demonstrates a high level of strategic thinking, integrity and strong decision-making skills. For example, during his two-year tenure at UVM he has led the department through strategic initiatives such as a rebranding effort and an organizational culture change while simultaneously improving processes and procedures. His financial acumen has resulted in reducing operating costs by approximately $45,000.

"I am excited to join the board to help United Way continue its impactful success of program offerings throughout Northwest Vermont,” said Gerald.

Yael Friedman

Yael is Senior Development Officer at UVM Medical Center and currently serves on the boards of Mercy Connections, Leadership Champlain, and was an active board member with Spectrum. Over the past 10 years, Yael has been involved with UWNWVT’s Health Impact Team, served as a Campaign Ambassador, and is currently on the Women United Steering Committee, working to help working women achieve financial stability. She strives to help the UWNWVT message, share its accomplishments and celebrate its partnerships. She views UWNWVT as a direct benefit to our community and will use her development expertise to help UWNWVT transition its campaign to major, individual and corporate partnerships.

“United Way of Northwest Vermont has its finger on the pulse of our community and can efficiently raise funds to meet pressing needs while also strengthening initiatives that will improve the wellbeing, health and vitality of individuals and families well into the future. I’m honored to join the board of directors and be of service to our region through this amazing organization,” said Yael.

Marie Houghton

Marie has worked with UWNWVT for more than 25 years, beginning as a Loaned Executive while employed at IBM. During her tenure, she served as Corporate Citizenship Manager and was responsible for developing community partnerships. Throughout Marie’s career, she has partnered with Senator Leahy to bring technology to seniors across Vermont, participated in the Employee Diversity Network, rural library technology initiatives, and most recently was the president of the Vermont chapter of AARP. Marie has served on the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Adult Learning, VABIR, and the Vermont Council on Rural Development. She has served as a member of the UWNWVT Community Investment Committee since 2007. Marie’s relationships and networks add tremendous value to the work of UWNWVT.

“I am grateful for the work that United Way does with nonprofits, businesses and government to strengthen our communities and improve the lives of everyone in our three Northwest Vermont counties. I am honored and excited to be part of the process,” said Marie.

Michell Langlais

Michell is Director of Sales and Marketing at Westport Hospitality, a hotel group that includes Hotel Vermont and The Courtyard Marriott. She previously served two terms on the board, has chaired the service unit of UWNWVT’s Community Campaign, and led the 2011 campaign as chair. She has also been a member of the Resource Development Committee, Foster Grandparent Program and RSVP Advisory Council, and an instrumental leader of Women United, a group she currently co-chairs. Michell brings her passion for her community to her workplace at Westport Hospitality, winning a Campaign of the Year award in 2013.

“I choose to Live United and be a part of the United Way community in all aspects of my life,” said Michell. “I want to make a difference in someone else’s life. And in order to do so, I know I need to be engaged and generous with my resources.”

Michael Posternak

Michael is the Burlington Branch Manager at NBT Bank. He recently relocated to Vermont and comes to UWNWVT with experience as a board member and treasurer at United Way of Cornwall, Ontario, where he was active in their annual campaign. He has also served as the board chair at Samaritan House in St. Albans.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the United Way board, because of my longstanding belief in, and dedication to, the impact the United Way has in the community that we live. I believe that United Way provides immeasurable support and opportunity to so many citizens within the community, many of whom may go through life never realizing that they may need United Way’s services,” said Michael.

The board of directors are volunteers who live and work in various communities in Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties, and who work to provide oversight and governance to UWNWVT’s operations. For the full board roster, please click here.


Alison DeFisher