SeVEDS Board of Directors
Avery Schwenk – Hermit Thrush Brewery, Chair
Avery is a manager and founding member of Hermit Thrush Brewery in Brattleboro. His has a wide array of skills relating to medicine and creative problem solving. He recently moved to Southern Vermont and previously worked as a paramedic and Mentor Program Coordinator for the Delaware County Memorial Hospital Paramedic Department in Media, Pennsylvania. He has volunteered for over a decade with he international creative problem-solving organization Destination Imagination and is a former International Challenge Master, Instant Challenge Writer and consultant.
Ashley Havreluk- Mount Snow – Vice Chair
Ashley Havreluk is the EB-5 and permitting manager at Mount Snow. In 2014 Ashley worked for the Southern Vermont Deerfield Valley Chamber of Commerce as the project manager for the Vermont Wine & Harvest Festival before joining the Mount Snow team. Mount Snow has a $52 million EB-5 project with more than 100 foreign investors and is working on a $94 million residential development at the base of Carinthia at Mount Snow. Ashley joined Mount Snow in 2014 and is responsible for all document coordination and correspondence with investors and attorneys. She also works with NES Financial, a financial technology company, managing and tracking investor funds. Additionally, Ashley assists with marketing, EB-5 project development, state and local permitting, and investor relations. Ashley earned her BA in Business Administration and came to Mount Snow with a background in sales, event planning, and small business management. Ashley grew up in Jacksonville and currently lives in Wilmington.
Bill Colvin- Bennington County Regional Commission, Treasurer
Bill Colvin is the assistant director of the Bennington County Regional Commission and the director of that organization’s Sustainable Community Development Program. Bill has worked in the community and economic development field in Southern Vermont, in both the public sector and the private sector, since the early 1990’s. While working as an economic development specialist in Wilmington and Dover, Bill became part of the early effort which ultimately led to the creation of SeVEDS. Bill is a ninth-generation Vermonter and he received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College. Bill later went on to attain a Masters in Business Administration. He lives in Bennington with his wife, Jessica Chapman, a professor at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Gary Fox- Development Director, Town of Rockingham – Secretary
Gary Fox is the development director for the Town of Rockingham, executive director of the two local development corporations in Bellows Falls and development associate at New England Center for Circus Arts.
After nearly 20 years of business experience in natural and organic food distribution, Gary has worked as a development professional in both the public and private sector for 15 years with experience at the local, regional and state levels. Past public service work for Gary includes 3 years as Secretary for the Rockingham Conservation Commission, 2 years as Secretary of the Trustees of the Rockingham Free Public Library, 2 years as Secretary and economic restructuring chair of the Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance, 2 years as infrastructure chair of the Great Falls Food Hub Working Committee, 10 years as Rockingham Historic Preservation Commissioner, 5 Years – 4 of them as President of the Southeastern Vermont Community Action Board of Directors, and 4 Years- 3 of them as President of the Vermont Community Development Association Board of Directors. Gary attended McGill University and Lesley College Graduate School earning a BSc. In Management Studies.
Gary and Jackie live in Bellows Falls in the house where their children, Ari 22 now studying in Boston MA and Ali 19 now studying in Gambier, OH were born. Family activities include skiing, biking, hiking, and cooking; kids have headed into sky diving, cooking and rock climbing for one, music, circus and ballroom dance for the other.
Meg Streeter- Meg Streeter Real Estate
Meg is a 12th generation Vermonter and a realtor in the Mount Snow area (Meg Streeter Real Estate). She had previous careers in Boston, Baltimore, Washington, DC and El Paso, Texas in fields as various as anti-poverty organizing work with young mothers, sorting mail by memorizing 4250 street addresses and hiring scientists for the Food and Drug Administration. Always involved in community projects and start-ups with a passion for the non-profit organizations SeVEDS and Girls on the Run. Meg is currently enthusiastically working to transform Wilmington High School (her alma mater, along with Bates College) into a vital community center.
Josh Druke – WW Building Supply
Josh has been at WW Building Supply for the last 11 years, his family purchased about that long ago. He has done just about everything there and am now stepping into a more administrative role alongside his father. Josh is actively involved with all aspects of marketing, business development/ sales team and some human resources, information technology. He recently headed up a project of opening ourdesign center in Wilmington.
Over the years Josh and his wife have participated in Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Cheshire County, and currently serve and is president of the advisory committee of the River Valley Technical Center in Springfield Vermont. He has been involved with that program for the last 6 years in different capacities. Josh is also serves on the Board of Director for the Vermont Retail Lumberman’s Association, member of the legislative
committee, and will be vice president in 2017 and president in 2019.
Adam Grinold – Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
Adam is the Executive Director of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation. A graduate of Wilmington High School, Adam received a BA with honors in History Education from Castleton State College in 1995. Adam was the general manager of his family business, The White House of Wilmington until successfully selling the operation in 2008. Adam currently lives in Wilmington with his wife, Karen and their two children, Owen age 13, and Grace age 9. Boomer, their chocolate lab is all bark, no bite. The family enjoys skiing and snowboarding in the winter and camping and boating in the summer months. The summer is a busy time for the family and their restaurant, Wahoo’s Eatery now in its 16th year of operation.
A life-long resident of Southern Vermont, he enjoys contributing to the vitality of the local community. During the past 20 years he has served on; The Wilmington Planning Commission, Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce, Twin Valley Facilities Committee, Bi-Town Committee, SeVEDS, Wilmington Works, and been elected to the Pettee Memorial Library Trustees, Wilmington School Board and Twin Valley School Boards. After selling the family business, Adam focused on running his other family business, Cleo’s Property management until 2011 when he accepted the position of executive director of The Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce. In 2014 Adam took on a contract to serve as the executive director for Wilmington Works, the newly created Downtown Designated Organization for Wilmington.
Mary Ann Kristiansen – Hannah Grimes Center
Mary Ann Kristiansen is Founder and Executive Director of the Hannah Grimes Center, based in Keene, NH, with a mission to help business and the community to innovate, connect, thrive and give back. Hannah Grimes provides business educational programs; a 22-office business incubator in the downtown business district of Keene; a retail marketplace for over 270 businesses with locally made and grown products; financing support; and community projects that foster a supportive environment to advance entrepreneurship. Hannah Grimes has over 40 instructors and coaches who volunteer their time and produces 5 monthly e-newsletters targeted to different business sectors. Ms. Kristiansen’s concept for Hannah Grimes Marketplace and subsequently the Hannah Grimes Center emerged from her own home-based business, Buckminster Farm in Roxbury, NH, making soap and other hand crafted goods sold. Ms. Kristiansen holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from New York University Graduate School of Public Administration in New York, NY, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications – Public Relations and Geology from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.
Sue Westa – Windham Regional Commission
Westa joined the Windham Regional Commission in January 2019 and is the new Community Development lead at WRC, including the Brownfields program and the regional plan update. Susan comes to WRC from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in western MA where she was working with Planning Boards reviewing large scale solar applications and helping develop marijuana zoning bylaws. She also led the development of a Joint Land Use Study with the Westover Airbase and surrounding communities.
Drew Richards – The Richards Group
Drew is Vice President and Principal at The Richards Group, headquartered in Brattleboro, VT. The Richards Group has over 90 employees and 11 locations throughout Vermont and New Hampshire and provides insurance, employee benefits and Retirement Plan solutions to clients in the tri-state area of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Drew heads up the general business operations, including finance, marketing, IT and acquisition related activities. Prior to joining The Richards Group, Drew worked as an Investment Associate at Capital Resource Partners in Boston where he assisted in making $20 – $30 million debt & equity investments in growing middle market companies with $20 – $300 million in revenue. Before Capital Resource Partners, Drew was an Investment Banking Analyst in the Leveraged Finance Group at Citigroup in New York where he supported private equity and corporate clients in their financing of leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations through bank and high yield debt transactions.Drew received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Economics from Williams College and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He was born and raised in Brattleboro and currently serves as President of the board for the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and as a board member of Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies.
Luke Stafford – Mondo Mediaworks
Luke Q. Stafford is the owner of Mondo Mediaworks, a marketing agency based in Brattleboro. He is also a member of the Newfane School Board and the Vermont Media Alliance Board. He lives in Williamsville with his wife, an elementary school art teacher, and two daughters.
Peter Carvell, Brattleboro Savings & Loan
As a banking professional with over 22 years’ experience, Peter has lived in the Brattleboro community for 41 years. He is currently serving as the Vice President-Senior Commercial Banking Officer at Brattleboro Savings & Loan (BS&L). Before joining BS&L in 2008, he gained experience serving as a teller, personal banker, branch manager, consumer lender, and small business lender, working for Vermont National Bank and Chittenden Bank. Industry-specific education includes the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania, the New England School for Financial Studies at Babson College, and the Mass Bankers Association School for Commercial Lending. Peter has received extensive training in business development, financial statement analysis, SBA lending, leadership, and commercial relationship management. Outside of work he has volunteered his time serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, President of the Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Club, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Holton Home, and Board Member of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce. Peter and his wife Toni, have two grown children, Kyle and Brett, who both serve in the U.S. Army. He and his wife reside in Brattleboro with their two rescue dogs, Lola and Rosie. An avid basketball player for over 44 years, Peter continues to play three times a week at 5 a.m.
Wendy Harrison, Town Manager, Rockingham
Wendy Harrison has been the municipal manager of the Town of Rockingham and the Village of Bellows Falls since July 2018.
Harrison’s background includes a bachelor’s degree in economics, with a focus on Environmental and Urban Economics. She previously worked for the City of Philadelphia, the Village of Tequesta, Fla., Martin County, Fla., and the Town of Jupiter, Fla.
Since moving to Vermont in 2015, Wendy has worked for the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and Retreat Farm, joined the board of Southeast Vermont Transit and has been appointed to the Windham Regional Commission and the State Transportation Board.