United Way of Northwest Vermont
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Community Leaders

A photo from the side of Joe Halko with his hand out talking to staff and board members.

Board of Directors

  • Adrianne Johnson Ross
    UVM Health Network Home Health & Hospice

    Adrianne Johnson Ross

    UVM Health Network Home Health & Hospice

    Adrianne is the President & COO of University of Vermont Home Health & Hospice and serves on its board of directors.  Before being named President and COO, Adrianne was Hennepin County Medical Center’s patient access director and served as Interim CEO for Pheno Health Technologies, Inc. Adrianne is a social entrepreneur and dedicated to eliminating preventable patient harm through artificial intelligence. She is focused on health equity, health advocacy and health policy.

    Adrianne actively serves on the VNA’s of Vermont Board, Medical Center Foundation Board, and NHPCO CEO Steering Committee.

    MHA, summa cum laude, George Washington University, 2017
    B.S. Georgia State University, 1996

    “As President and COO of UVM Health Network Home Health & Hospice, our vision is people thriving in healthy communities. Like United Way, Home Health & Hospice is a mission-driven organization. I am honored to be chosen to serve on the Board of Directors for United Way of Northwest Vermont.  Together, our work focuses on building vibrant and healthy communities so every person who resides in Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties can thrive. Working in partnership ensures we can improve people’s lives in a cohesive way.”

  • Adrina Walker
    UVM Medical Center and UVM Health Network

    Adrina Walker

    UVM Medical Center and UVM Health Network

    Adrina Walker is associate vice president of Human Resources for the University of Vermont Medical Center and University of Vermont Health Network. She brings with her a wealth of human resources, education, and communications, operations and diversity equity and inclusion expertise. In her current role, Adrina leads the UVMMC Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP), Employee Relations, and Human Resources Operations teams in elevating all employee lifecycle experiences, including day-to-day engagement activities. As Director, one of her first priorities was to address UVMMC efforts to intentionally grow transformational leaders by executing and developing strategies to recruit, retain, and upskill employees.

    Adrina joined UVMMC from The Estee Lauder Companies (ELC) where she served as Executive Director, Employee Engagement. In this role, she was responsible for setting the strategic direction of global employee retention initiatives, engagement programming and cross-functional communications. A significant part of Adrina’s role, focused on Environmental Social Governance-related matters, including Human Resources, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity, Global Communications, Global Citizenship & Sustainability, Global Public Affairs and Global Talent.

    While with ELC, Adrina led the curriculum design, implementation, and facilitation of the award-winning Value Chain Conscious Inclusion Series, which focuses on creating and supporting conscious inclusive leadership behaviors and culture within the workplace. Additionally, Adrina served as Co-Chair of the Women’s Leadership Network providing mentorship, sponsorship, philanthropy, business alignment, and professional development to drive women’s leadership equity.

    Prior to ELC, Adrina held various human resources and retail operations leadership roles at CVS Health, Vitiello Communications Group, Follett Corporation and Target Corporation. She is an expert in people development and transformational leadership. Adrina is dedicated to fair and equitable experiences for everyone she encounters.

    Adrina holds an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership and Training from Liberty University, a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership & Behavior and a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Rider University.

  • Andrea Patrick-Baudet
    Homestead Senior Living

    Andrea Patrick-Baudet

    Homestead Senior Living

    Andrea Patrick-Baudet, MBA,RN,CHPN,CHPCA, is the Executive Director of Homestead Senior Living in St Albans, leading a talented and dedicated team committed to enriching the lives of residents and their families.
    Andrea has worked in healthcare since 1992 in a variety of patient care and leadership roles. Most recently she served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Franklin County Home Health Agency. She was previously Chief Clinical Officer at Granite VNA in Concord, NH, leading the agency’s Hospice and Palliative Care programs, including a ten bed Hospice House, and overseeing the Education, Quality, Paraprofessional and Provider teams.

    Andrea is certified as a Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse (CHPN) and a Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator (CHPCA).She served multiple terms on the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Quality and Standards Committee. She currently serves on the boards of Northwestern Counseling and Support Services and the Franklin Homestead and Carriage House.

    “I am excited to join the United Way board because I wholeheartedly support the organization’s mission of improving the well-being of our communities. I have deep respect for the United Way’s efforts to amplify overlooked voices and engage with the community to ensure their needs, wishes and values are at the center of the work.”

  • Cathy Davis
    Lake Champlain Chamber

    Cathy Davis

    Lake Champlain Chamber

    Cathy Davis is President of the Lake Champlain Chamber, leading the organization in its mission to create economic opportunity by celebrating business ownership, promoting a robust, diversified visitor economy, cultivating community leadership, and nurturing emerging talent. Prior to joining the Chamber, Cathy worked for former U.S. Senator James M. Jeffords. In addition to her service on the United Way of Northwest Vermont board, Cathy presently serves as the president of the Board of Hunger Free Vermont. She lives with her family in Jericho.

  • Denise Smith
    Northwestern Medical Center

    Denise Smith

    Northwestern Medical Center

    Smith currently works as the Program Manager and Quality Improvement Facilitator for the Blueprint for Health in the St. Albans Health Service Area focused on improving the health of Vermonters.

    She has a long history of service to others, having joined the Peace Corps shortly after graduating from the University of Vermont. As a Peace Corps volunteer, she worked in Mali.

    More recently, she led Northwestern Medical Center’s Rise VT program, a multi-pronged approach to improving public health and reducing chronic disease by working with employers, schools and communities. Her volunteer work has included serving on the board of Samaritan House and the Healthy Roots Collaborative Advisory Committee.

    “I am so honored to be joining the United Way Board of Directors,” said Smith. “This incredible organization has been at the forefront of community change initiatives in both Franklin and Chittenden Counties for more than 75 years, and I have had the privilege of working with United Way for many years as a staff member and volunteer. I am excited about the systems change and authentic community engagement work that United Way is embarking on and look forward to helping United Way continue to lead transformative initiatives throughout our region.”


  • Dr. Mark Levine
    Vermont Department of Health Commissioner

    Dr. Mark Levine

    Vermont Department of Health Commissioner

    Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Levine became a familiar face to Vermonters as he coordinated the state’s widely-praised response to COVID-19. Prior to becoming Vermont’s health commissioner, he was a professor of medicine at the University of Vermont where he held multiple leadership positions.

    In his own practice, Levine focused on health promotion and disease prevention, preventative health screening, nutrition and chronic disease management.

    His expertise in prevention and interest in creating a culture of health will be especially valuable for UWNWVT, which has made working with partners to meet the basic needs of Vermonters in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties a focus of its work.

    “I am excited to contribute to United Way’s work to make our communities stronger and healthier. Through strategic and creative investment in our communities and with a focus on prevention, a time-honored public health approach I am passionate about, I believe we can help improve Vermonter’s lives together,” Levine said.

  • Gamal Alsalahi

    Gamal Alsalahi


    Gamal Alsalahi is the Area Retail Leader at KeyBank.

    Gamal is a Fulbright Scholar alum and has a background working in higher education as a professor and writing coach. He holds a master’s degree focused in TESOL from Saint Michael’s College.

    Having watched nonprofits deliver aid and medical care to people in war-torn Yemen, his home country, Alsalahi decided he wanted to volunteer to help nonprofits improve lives in local communities and is honored to join United Way’s board.

    “I am from Yemen, a war-torn country. Yemen is going through the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, and nonprofits have been working tirelessly to bring aid and medical care to people in Yemen for years. For that, I have decided to volunteer and help nonprofits in their dignified missions in helping their communities. Being a board member with United Way of Northwest Vermont is an honor for me.”

  • Gerald Coleman

    Gerald Coleman


    Gerald is an advocate for the principles and values of UWNWVT. His department has been a Working Bridges site for 10 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.

  • Joe Halko
    Northwestern Counseling & Support Services

    Joe Halko

    Northwestern Counseling & Support Services

    Joe Halko is the Director of Community Relations for Northwestern Counseling & Support Services (NCSS). Halko has been with NCSS for over 23 years and in his current role for the past 17 years.

    NCSS, is a private, non-profit, human services agency serving Franklin and Grand Isle Counties. NCSS provides intervention and support to children, adolescents, and adults with emotional and behavioral problems; a mental health diagnosis; adolescent substance use; or an intellectual or developmental disability. Staff help nearly 4,000 people each year in collaboration with community partners. NCSS’ 24/7/365 emergency services team and mobile outreach is available to meet the needs of Franklin and Grand Isle County children, adults, and families in crisis.

    Prior to NCSS, his experience included general and marketing management for growth organizations ranging from women’s sports apparel to footwear and the automotive aftermarket.

    Halko hosts a monthly television show, NCSS Here for You, which has earned the People’s Choice Award and Best Non-Profit Show on Northwest Access TV. He has also been asked to speak about marketing at various functions such as, the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations – World Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Western Educators Marketing Association Conference in Las Vegas and, at the University of Maryland.

    Halko also serves on the boards of Northwest Access TV, Rotary Club of St. Albans, Franklin-Grand Isle Community Partnership, and NMC Board of Directors Nominating Committee.

    Halko first began his association with the United Way as Campaign Co-Chair in 2005 for the former Franklin-Grand Isle United Way and served as Board President from 2010 -2012. He has been a staunch supporter of the United Way since 2005.

    “Being a member of the United Way board will allow me to continually gain a greater understanding of the complex challenges facing the community and to address priorities collaboratively by investing in initiatives that have a positive impact on the health and well-being of the people of Northwest Vermont.”

  • John St. Hilaire
    Green Mountain Credit Union

    John St. Hilaire

    Green Mountain Credit Union

    John is the Chief Financial Officer of Green Mountain Credit Union (GMCU) where he leads and mentors the accounting/finance team in their daily operations and plays an integral role in developing and implementing the organizations strategic initiatives.

    John is a strong supporter of credit unions in providing financial opportunities to members who cannot find, or do not qualify for, solutions at other financial institutions. Previously, John served on the GMCU board for 24 years with 13 of them as Chairman.

    John enjoys the educational experience and holds a Masters of Science degree in Administration from St.Micheal’s college as well as undergraduate degrees in Accounting, Business Management, Computer Programming, and Mechanical Engineering Technology. John is also an adjunct professor at Champlain College where he has taught Managerial Accounting.

    John first volunteered with the United Way many years ago when he participated on the Allocations Teams. More recently, John serves on the United Way finance committee.

    “The United Way has a long history of helping our community and positively impacting individuals and families in need. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the board and support the United Way teams and volunteers who make it all possible”

  • Katherine Meyers
    Vermont Energy Investment Corp.

    Katherine Meyers

    Vermont Energy Investment Corp.

    Katherine Meyers is a CPA specializing in nonprofit finance and is committed to serving mission-based organizations. She is currently director of finance at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), and has been with VEIC for more than 9 years. Katherine has particular interest in financial planning, reporting, and analysis, having started and built out an FP&A function at VEIC over the last several years. Prior to VEIC, she worked as an auditor at JMM & Associates in Colchester, VT, focusing on audits of local nonprofit organizations. Katherine has previously served as a member of the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association Finance Committee and the Burlington Chamber Orchestra board of director. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Hamilton College, a Master’s in Music Theory from Boston University, a Professional Certificate in Advanced Accounting from Champlain College and is a graduate of Leadership Champlain class of 2011.

  • Marie Houghton
    Community Volunteer

    Marie Houghton

    Community Volunteer

    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
    Westport Hospitality

    Michell Langlais

    Westport Hospitality

    Michell Langlais, a native of Vermont, is vice president of sales at Westport Hospitality. She has worked as both a General Manager and Director of Sales and was awarded Marriott’s General Manager of the Year Award in 2005. Her primary responsibilities include achieving top line sales, market share growth, revenue management, sales creation and implementation, and strategic positioning of the hotels. She is driven by her desire to succeed and is committed to obtain financial results for associates and investors.

    Michell is a founding member of Women United – a powerhouse of diverse women working together to create change in Northwest Vermont. This is her second tenure on UWNWVT’s Board, having previously served from 2010-2016. Langlais also serves on the Board of Trustees for Mercy Connections and RunVermont and she volunteers for COTS’ Capital Campaign.

    Michell is an exercise enthusiast and also enjoys running. She has two grown children, Connor and Stephanie and resides in Colchester, VT with her two dogs, Eli and Zena.

    “I have been involved with United Way for 20 years and have seen it grow from a ‘community chest’ of resources to a committed organization bringing together business, government, nonprofits and individuals to create lasting change in Northwest Vermont. I am both proud and honored to play an integral part in United Way’s mission to improve lives by building a healthy and strong community for all.”

  • Owen McClain
    Sheehey, Furlong, & Behm

    Owen McClain

    Sheehey, Furlong, & Behm

    Owen McClain is a law partner at the Burlington-based firm of Sheehey, Furlong & Behm. Owen’s law practice is focused on energy law, utilities, telecommunications, regulated entities, and construction law. He represents regulated utilities and other entities before state agencies, including the Vermont Department of Public Service and Vermont Public Utility Commission, and provides general counsel regarding regulatory compliance, energy innovation, customer service, contract negotiation, and a variety of matters that effect regulated entities and the interests of their clients and customers.

    Owen also advises general contractors, sub-contractors, clients, and owners regarding a wide-range of construction law issues, including litigation in federal and state courts, before the Vermont Transportation Board, and other state agencies. As a former general contractor himself, Owen understands the interests and priorities of his clients in the construction business and focuses his general counsel on practical and cost-effective solutions to the many simple and complex issues that can arise before, during, and after a construction project.

  • Phet Keomanyvanh
    REIB, City of Burlington

    Phet Keomanyvanh

    REIB, City of Burlington

    Phet Keomanyvanh is acting director of Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at the City of Burlington and previously worked in Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office. She is a co-founder and board member of the Vermont Professionals of Color Network. This is Keomanyvanh’s first term on the board but she is no stranger to United Way having previously been on staff as a volunteer coordinator.

    “It’s an honor to have such a rich history with United Way of Northwest Vermont from my start as a staff member to serving on the board. I’m pleased to be part of an organization that continues to be a movement to transform communities and enrich lives for the better.”


  • Sarah Russell
    Special Assistant to End Homelessness for the City of Burlington

    Sarah Russell

    Special Assistant to End Homelessness for the City of Burlington

    Sarah Russell is the Special Assistant to End Homelessness for the City of Burlington, developing and managing homelessness initiatives and policies to ensure homelessness is rare and brief in Chittenden County.  Previously, Sarah was employed as the Director of Housing Retention and Services at the Burlington Housing Authority, administering innovative programs to support homelessness prevention.  In addition, Sarah has worked for CVOEO and COTS to support vulnerable families throughout the region with access to housing and essential early intervention services. Sarah serves as the current Co-Chair for the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance, was recognized as the 2022 UVM School of Social Work Field Instructor of the Year, and resides in Charlotte with her husband and three active sons.  


    “Serving on the board of the United Way is an honor for me.  For years, I have witnessed the impact this agency and staff have on our community through leadership, convening, and funding.  I am excited to engaged in important dialogue around community investment, strengthening connections and partnerships, and sustaining crucial efforts to support United Way’s initiatives throughout Northwest Vermont.”    

  • Seth Bowden
    Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR)

    Seth Bowden

    Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR)

    Seth Bowden is the President and CEO of the Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR), utilizing employer-led public policy to create a stronger and more resilient future for Vermont’s economy and communities. Prior to joining VBR, he was the Executive Vice President of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation. Seth and his wife, Whitney, live in South Burlington. He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Vermont, with minors in Economics and English.

  • Virginie Diambou

    Virginie Diambou


    Diambou is the Racial Equity Director at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO), a UWNWVT partner. Diambou brings a long history of working with communities of color in Vermont as well as her experience in health care to the board.

    Born in the Republic of the Congo, Diambou fled war there, resettling in the U.S. A radiologist, she worked at the Vermont Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment Disabilities program at the University of Vermont Medical Center where she worked intensively with community members of color, screening and assessing individual risk for substance use and mental health disorders.

    Prior to joining the board, Diambou volunteered with United Way’s Community Impact Team. She is also a member of United Way’s Racial Equity and Justice Strategy Committee.

    “I strongly believe in United Way’s mission,” Diambou said. “As a former Community Impact Team member, I witnessed firsthand the organization’s tremendous impact on community members through its various programs. United Way’s work also has had direct effects in narrowing the disparities observed between races in many areas of life, providing the people served with the necessary tools to ameliorate their social determinants of health.”

  • Yael Friedman
    Yael Friedman
    Foundation Fighting Blindness
    Yael Friedman

    Yael Friedman

    Foundation Fighting Blindness

    Yael is the Senior Director for Philanthropy at Foundation Fighting Blindness and has over 20 years of experience in donor development, project and event management, and diverse staff leadership. Over her 12-year tenure at the UVM Medical Center, Yael raised millions of dollars, started multiple programs to address critical needs, and partnered with faculty and nurses to improve the health of our community. Yael is active in the Burlington community and has served on the boards of Spectrum Youth & Family Services and Mercy Connections. A 2007 graduate of the Lake Champlain Chamber’s Leadership Champlain Program, Yael also serves on that board and continually promotes personal and professional development aligned with community engagement. Yael is a Corporator for Northfield Savings Bank and served on their Foundation Board for six years, the last two as Chair. Yael was named one of Vermont Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars for her professional growth and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce presented Yael with the prestigious Rising Star Award, an honor given to a young professional who has grown within their career while continually giving back to their community.

    “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.

Partner Funding Team

Partner funding recommendations are provided by our Partner Funding Team, a citizen committee of volunteers who review funding applications and monitor program performance.

  • Christopher Bernard
  • David Butukanga
  • Moira Daly
  • Amanda Froeschle
  • Elise Genereux
  • Barbara Geries
  • Sam Graulty
  • Suzy Haas
  • Kate Laddison
  • Cindy MacKechnie
  • Thomas Moore
  • David Nagel
  • Pacifique Nsengiyumva
  • Kimberlee Phelps
  • Mary Lynn Riggs
  • Wendy Saville

Community Investment Committee

Volunteers serving on our Community Investment Committee oversee and direct all community investments for approval by our Board of Directors.

  • Virginie Diambou
  • Carol Durett
  • Barbara Geries
  • Jane Helmstetter
  • Chris Jarvis
  • Adrianne Johnson Ross
  • Dr. Mark Levine
  • Jaye O’Connell
  • Kristin Prior
  • Larry Rudiger
  • Sarah Russell

Data Insight Team

Volunteers serving on the Data Insight Team support United Way’s data-informed investment decisions and evaluate and communicate the impact of our work.

  • Lisa Grefe
  • Penrose Jackson
  • Kate McInnis
  • Melanie Needle
United Way of Northwest Vermont*** September 14, 2022