Staff and Leadership

Staff Collective

From an early age, Jaiel Pulskamp loved the outdoors. So it’s no surprise that she chose to become a farmer and works with 350Vermont as our Solutions Organizer. Jaiel is the owner of a small-scale organic fruit and vegetable farm, Kettlesong Farm in Worcester, VT and is excited to focus on building new alternatives to the fossil fuel industry.

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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Other Staff

Heather Buckner is the organizer for Mother 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 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.

 

Interns

Anna Hodson is the Fundraising and Communications Intern for Spring 2022 at 350VT. She is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Vermont studying Biological Science and Community and International Development. She has done work researching the effects of anthropogenic noise pollution on marine communities in Panama, and helped write a policy proposal regarding transitioning subsidiaries away from the meat and dairy industry towards a more sustainable option, kelp farming. Anna is excited for the opportunity to help educate others on sustainable alternatives to harmful industry practices and organize the people to work for progress in the climate justice movement. Outside of 350VT, Anna is a member of the Vermont Rowing team at UVM and enjoys watching a good K-drama.

 

Erin Mackenzie is an organizing intern at 350VT supporting the Just Transition campaign. Erin is currently finishing her Master of Social Work graduate degree, hoping to specialize in environmental social work and help to further develop social work practice at the intersection of social and climate justice. Erin is inspired by the regenerative nature of relationships, especially the qualities of relating that encourage deep listening, compassion, and reciprocity. Erin was a professional visual artist for many years, and brings with her a passion for cultivating vision, creativity, and storytelling within her work. Erin also has a background in community mental health having worked at a land-based therapeutic school serving marginalized youth. When Erin is not busy with grad school or work, Erin is usually somewhere in the VT forest with her dog, Willow, in one of their favorite sit spots meditating and contemplating the mysteries of nature. Erin also enjoys writing poetry.

Kate Gannon

Kate is a graduate student at the University of Vermont, working towards a MSW. The Social Work Department at UVM cares deeply for social justice and climate justice. She’s excited to learn everything she can about the intersection of the two. As well as climate justice, 350VT is working towards a #JustTransition, and it’s amazing to see them in action! She has always felt a magnetism towards the natural world, and has cherished it all her life. A MSW isn’t traditionally used for pursuing environmentalism, but like many things, that’s changing. We need social workers who know how to support people with climate anxiety, and who are empowered to act on climate solutions that build community resilience in a just way.

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.

 

 

 

Connor Wertz spends most of his time in Middlebury, Vermont, where he is a junior studying Environmental Justice. He has been part of the climate movement since high school, but through mentorships and friendships with both student and adult organizers (many from 350VT!) has deepened his commitment to climate justice. In the past few years, Connor has been a founding member of Sunrise Middlebury, worked with the college’s Sunday Night Environmental Group (SNEG), and served as a training and organizing intern last summer for 350VT. He is excited to work together to continue advancing movements for justice in Vermont!

 

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.