Staff and Leadership

Staff Collective

Lily Jacobson joined 350VT’s staff in 2017, and since the organization began shifting to a shared leadership model in 2019, Lily’s main focus has been tending that. She also works on trainings and education, especially the climate justice zine project. For the past 14 years, Lily has been involved in communities and study focused on permaculture, nonviolent communication, intentional communities, earth-based spirituality, and collective liberation. She lives in Burlington and gets to the lake and into the woods as often as she can. She loves making music and is notorious for getting people to sing together.

 

JF Carter Neubieser (he/him) serves as Lead Fundraiser at 350VT. Carter’s roots in movement organizing stem from his time working on Senator Sanders’ 2018 & 2020 campaigns and running Progressive electoral campaigns here in Vermont. Most recently he served as Deputy Development & Operations Director for NH Youth Movement.

 

 

Vanessa Rule has been organizing for climate justice since the fall of 2006 when she saw An Inconvenient Truth and decided to find people in her community of Somerville, MA who also wanted to do something about the problem. Since that time, she has connected with many passionate and dedicated people and worked with them to catalyze a just transition off fossil fuels. Her journey has included co-founding and co-leading Better Future Project and 350 Massachusetts and Mothers Out Front, a national organization focused on building the power of moms to address the climate crisis. She moved from Somerville to Strafford, VT 9 years ago with her two children Isabelle and Cedric.  She has a passion for ensuring all voices are at the decision-making table and for developing the leadership of others so we can build the collective power we need to create the change we want.

 

Sonia Silbert runs 350VT’s training programs and works internally on organizational development and finances. She is an experienced trainer, facilitator, and organizer who prioritizes using experiential and popular education techniques to train activists and organizers. She has over 15 years experience working in social justice movements, including as the Executive Director of the Washington Peace Center in DC and board member of Training for Change. Originally from New York, she now lives in Brattleboro, VT, where she supports local racial justice organizing, plays in the woods, and tries to keep up with a very energetic puppy.

 

Other Staff

Heather Buckner is the organizer for Families Rise Up Montpelier. She grew up in Minnesota, and has since lived and worked in many places both in the U.S. and abroad, finally settling with her partner in the beautiful mountains of South Royalton. She has spent much of her career creating and managing programs for young people centered around resource conservation, permaculture, social and environmental justice and building leadership skills. Heather currently wears many hats, including youth coordinator for Voices for Vermont’s Children, permaculture designer, gardener, herbalist student, and after the birth of her first child last November, mother! She is excited for the opportunity to help families find meaningful ways to connect to each other, heal, and make collective change.

 

Maeve McCurdy (she/her) is the Operations Manager at 350VT. She grew up in Barre, VT and has been involved with the climate justice movement here since middle school. Maeve is a recent graduate of Smith College. While there she was a lead member of Divest Smith College, a student-led group that successfully pushed the college to divest from fossil fuels in October 2019. Maeve is excited to continue working towards justice for all.

 

Connor Wertz (he/him) is 350VT’s newest staff addition, serving as a community organizer. He has recently graduated from Middlebury College with a major in Environmental Justice. Connor has been part of the climate justice movement since high school, and was involved with Middlebury’s successful divestment campaign, as well as a founding member of Sunrise Middlebury. After a few years as volunteer, intern, and board member for 350VT, he is incredibly excited to join the staff team and further the climate justice movement in Vermont! He currently spends most of his time in Middlebury, VT, where he reads, runs, and cuddles with his cat.

 

Summer Fellows

Claire Greenburger is a 350Vermont Summer Fellow. Claire grew up in New York City and is a current student at Middlebury College, studying environmental justice and creative writing. She has been involved in environmental activism and grassroots organizing since high school. Claire is passionate about building a more inclusive climate justice movement that addresses the disproportionate impacts of the climate crisis on minority and lower-income communities. As a writer and artist, she is passionate about how storytelling can engage more people in the movement and build bridges across differences. At 350VT, Claire will be helping with social media, writing blog posts, and outreach to community members. 

 

Una wearing glasses and a purple shirt sitting in a fieldUna Fonte (she/her) first became interested in climate organizing at 14 when she went on 350VTs next steps climate walk. Most recently, she has been discovering global climate justice at an international school in Germany, while organizing schoolwide sustainability efforts such as a sustainable purchasing policy. She is excited to continue learning as a freshman environmental science and policy major at Smith college and as an organizing fellow with 350 Vermont. She will be working on sustainable and accessible public transit in Vermont this summer. Part of her transportation work includes community outreach to understand what an ideal transportation system for people and the planet in Vermont would look like.

Board

Lindsey smiling while wearing a hat and coat while she holds a chicken.Lindsey Berk is a local foods advocate, environmental activist and agritourism enthusiast living in Brandon with her partner, two cats and five chickens.  In 2015 Lindsey and her partner Matthew founded Origins of Food, a food justice focused agritourism company, working to reconnect people with where food comes from. Lindsey joined the ACORN Food Network in 2015 as the Marketing and Development Director and now serves as its Executive Director. Lindsey also consults for farms and non-profits, is part of her town’s Restorative Justice group, and a volunteer facilitator for the Good Grief Network.

 

Divya Gudur is a senior at Middlebury College studying Environmental Chemistry and Global Health. She is passionate about the intersections of health, chemistry, social justice, and the environment, with a particular focus on combining toxicology into community organizing. At Middlebury she is involved in organizing around youth empowerment in issues of climate justice, inclusive environmental activism and education, and was a member of Divest Middlebury. She was first drawn into climate justice organizing in Vermont when she was on the organizing team for the Next Steps Climate Solutions Walk and now enjoys working with youth organizers across the state to advocate for just systems changes.

 

Danielle Laberge, Co-Chair, is Technical Designer and Head of Sales for Grassroots Solar, specializing in solar and battery installation for grid-tied and off-grid systems. Her background is in ecosystem restoration biology. After two terms with the Student Conservation Association and AmeriCorps restoring Grand Canyon National Park and Hudson River Estuary flora to reduce impacts, she is using her environmental education and volunteer coordinating skills every day in her solar job and in her climate organizing work. Born in and recently returned to Vermont, she is happy to strengthen her connection to the home that instilled place-based values in her at an early age.

 

Beverly Little Thunder is a Two-Spirit mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and lifelong activist. She was involved in the American Indian Movement at its inception, is a founding member of the Two-Spirit Gathering movement, and continues to fight for human rights and racial and social justice. As an enrolled tribal member, Beverly was on the front lines Standing Rock’s “Mni Wiconi” Water Protector Movement. Beverly is also a published author of the memoir, One Bead at a Time and a chapter in Two Spirit People (1995).

 

Board member Abel Luna wear a red hoodie that says "Justicia Migrante." He is standing in front of a road with cars and leafless trees.Abel Luna grew up as a farmworker, working since he was 13 years old. He worked with the Rural Migrant Ministry in New York as an organizer fighting with farmworkers and allies to win groundbreaking legislative improvements for agricultural workers, including improving minimum wage laws. He is now an organizer at Migrant Justice, an organization based in Burlington, Vermont that was founded and is led by farmworkers. Since 2009, Migrant Justice has led a number of groundbreaking campaigns for human rights and economic justice, including Milk with Dignity, a worker-driven program to ensure human rights for farmworkers in the dairy industry.  Abel is an organizer with Migrant Justice and the Milk with Dignity program education coordinator.

 

Alex Messinger, Treasurer, lives in Burlington with his wonderful wife and two fantastic children. He feels incredibly lucky to be able to commute by bicycle to his job in information technology at the University of Vermont. His perfect weekend includes a pre-dawn hike in Vermont’s mountains. The high point of his climate change activism (thus far) was joining the crowd of 400,000 at the People’s Climate March in 2015, where he dressed up as a displaced penguin.

 

Andrea Stander grew up in a family that was active in the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War movements so grassroots organizing is in her blood. In the past 25+ years she has worked with The Canyonlands Field Institute educating visitors about the fragility of the high desert in Utah; with The Northern Plains Resource Council in Montana organizing farmers and ranchers to resist the negative impacts on their communities and water quality caused by international mining companies; with the Vermont Arts Council advocating for the artists who power Vermont’s creative economy; as a regional field organizer for Bernie Sanders’ first Senate campaign in 2006; with VPIRG on energy and consumer protection issues; and for the past seven years for Rural Vermont, first as Executive Director and now as part-time policy consultant. Rural Vermont advocates for a just transition to regenerative agriculture in support of family farms and food sovereignty and security.  She lives in Montpelier.

 

Jessica Van Oort is a writer and editor, and the social media coordinator for the Five Wits Press.  She lives in Pawlet, VT, where she is on the Planning Commission and the Selectboard.

 

 

 

K.C. Whiteley, Co-Chair, is a long time activist who lives in Montpelier. Retired from a career working with child development and family support programs at the community and statewide levels, she has worked as a writer/editor/researcher, music and environmental columnist.  For the past ten years, she has spent winters in New Orleans, which has become her second home, working with 350NOLA, Louisiana Bucket Brigade and others on a variety of frontline Gulf Coast issues. After first working with 350VT on the Tar Sands Campaign in the Northeast Kingdom in 2013, she joined the board and is grateful to be part of 350VT’s mission to continue her commitment to climate justice.