Board and Staff

The Friends of the Winooski River is led by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Allen Banbury is a retired mathematics teacher with a passionate interest in rivers in general and the Winooski river and watershed specifically. Their health, and their utilization to enhance life in the communities they pass through are his main interests. A native of California, who came to Marshfield via Hawaii, Colorado and Pennsylvania, he lives on the banks of the Winooski and fishes and canoes its waters. He is also on the Marshfield Conservation Commission and spends part of his time involved with the mathematics program at Twinfield Union school.

Jared Carpenter moved to Vermont in 2007, having grown up in Connecticut and lived in Colorado and Washington, DC. He attended Vermont Law School, receiving both the Master of Environmental Law and Policy degree and the Juris Doctor. At VLS, he focused on water quality and watershed conservation. An avid fly fisherman, he spends his free time exploring the state’s rivers, particularly the Winooski and its tributaries, looking for quiet places to catch big fish. A resident of Montpelier, he is also a Board Member of the local chapter of Vermont Trout Unlimited, the MadDog Chapter.

Tad Dippel is a retired middle school science teacher with a passion for trout fishing in the Winooski River. This passion has lead to his appreciation of the river and all of the life that it supports. He is particularly interested in the benthic macro invertebrates that inhabit aquatic ecosystems. He very much enjoys fly tying and fly fishing for game fish here in Vermont and on the Atlantic coast. He has a B.S.in Environmental Science from Stockton State College in New Jersey and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching from UVM. He is thrilled to be a part of the Friends of the Winoosk Riveri.

Kris Hammer was introduced to paddling growing up in Minnesota and taking extended canoe trips in the Boundary Water Canoe Area and Quetico Provincial Park. He spent 15 years in the Northwest paddling rivers in Oregon and Washington and sea kayak trips in Puget Sound and SE Alaska. Since moving to Vermont, he has enjoyed canoeing and kayaking on Lake Champlain, the Maine coast, and most recently the Winooski River. Kris served for 15 years on the Montpelier Park and Conservation Commissions, worked for 8 years for Vermont Land Trust and is currently working for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. When not on the water, Kris plays tenor sax in a swing band, oboe with the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra and enjoys gardening, beekeeping, biking in all seasons and Nordic skiing (when there is snow!). Kris lives in Montpelier next to Hubbard Park with his wife Nancy and miscellaneous animals.

Linda Henzel has had a longstanding appreciation of rivers since designing a rivers curriculum for her M.S. degree in Natural Resource Planning at the University of Vermont. As part-time staff for the Lewis Creek Association for 10 years, she coordinated riparian restoration projects and led field trips for students in area schools. She also organized and trained volunteers to conduct water quality sampling for Lewis Creek and the other watersheds in the Addison County Riverwatch Collaborative. She has lived in the Winooski watershed for more than 20 years and began volunteering on the Huntington River. She coordinated macroinvertebrate sampling and riparian projects there while serving on the Huntington Conservation Commission. More recently she prepared the headwaters fact sheet for the Friends and authored Living in Harmony with Streams, which was produced by the Friends and Natural Resource Conservation Districts. She lives and works in Montpelier, is excited to be on the board and being involved with “all things Winooski.”

Jeanne Keller lives in Burlington, and all her life has valued living on Big Waters. She grew up on the Missouri River in Montana . From there to the San Francisco Bay area (for university), to the big bend in the Mississippi at New Orleans (as a VISTA volunteer), to the Potomac (to work for Legal Services Corporation), and finally to the Winooski River, living in Montpelier (as Executive Director of VPIRG from 1979-1982) and now Burlington (starting with City Hall in the Sanders Administration). She considers the Winooski River in Burlington to be our too-often overlooked “other waterfront.” She has been a strategic communications consultant, project manager, policy analyst, compliance analyst, director of non-profits, and is now looking forward to retirement. She has served on the board of Vermont Public Television and currently is Vice-Chair of the Board of PH International (formerly “Project Harmony”), an international NGO focused on civic engagement, and on educational, professional and community development in the digital age. She’s a canoeist, kayaker, and fly fisher, and was introduced to the Friends by the Winooski Sojourn in 2012.

Colin McCaffrey (President) is a professional songwriter, performer, and record producer. He is an avid trout fisherman and amateur biologist with a passionate lifelong interest in habitat preservation and improvement in Vermont’s waters. He was born and raised by the Connecticut River and now lives on the Kingsbury branch of the Winooski River in East Montpelier, VT. In 2006 – along with fourth grade students at Union Elementary School in Montpelier -- Colin combined his love of songwriting and the river to produce a full length recording and publication entitled THE RIVER GIVES TO ME: Vermont History Through Song and Story. The recording is a celebration of our rivers from the past into the future and their central role in our lives as Vermonters. Colin hopes to continue using his public profile to educate and inform area residents of the work being done by Friends of the Winooski River.

Noah Pollock hails from Burlington and holds degrees in Natural Resources from Cornell University and the University of Vermont. Since 2007, Noah has worked with the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, planning stewardship projects and helping coordinate their summer intern and volunteer programs. In addition, Noah also works with the Vermont River Conservancy, managing riparian conservation and river access development projects across the state, including the Connecticut River Paddlers Trail.

Abbey Willard currently lives in Montpelier and is the Local Foods Administrator with the VT Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. Her work focuses on increasing local food procurement in Vermont and supporting community-based food system collaborations within the state and New England region. Abbey spent 10 years developing conservation education, watershed stewardship and agricultural technical assistance programs with Vermont’s Natural Resources Conservation Districts. She was District Manager for the Winooski Conservation District for 7 years and worked collaboratively with Friends of the Winooski River to create the Winooski Headwaters Community Partnership focused on restoration and protection of the Winooski River resources in the headwaters region. She also worked on various innovative stormwater management and implementation efforts in the lower Winooski watershed. Abbey earned a Master’s of Science in Environmental Studies and Conservation Biology from Green Mountain College in 2009. She has an undergraduate degree in Soils & Environmental Science from Montana State University in 1999. Abbey previously managed a small, diversified pasture-raised meat, egg, and vegetable business in Randolph Center from 2008- 2013.

Staff

Ann Smith (Executive Director) is currently the Executive Director for the Friends of the Winooski River. In this role, she is responsible for all aspects of the primarily volunteer organization including project development and implementation, fundraising, education and community outreach. Prior to moving to Vermont, Ann was the Director of Watershed Programs for the Southeast Regional Office of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) from 1998 to 2004. In that role, she was responsible for a variety of PEC programs and projects dealing with watershed planning, protection and education. It included the facilitation of several watershed partnerships that include a range of stakeholders such as state environmental agencies, municipal officials and local grassroots organizations to focus on common goals with respect to resource protection and restoration. Ann earned a Master of Science in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan in 1997. She has an undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1981. Prior to graduate school, Ann worked in the private sector as an Account Executive for a health care related software and consulting firm.

Shawn White (Project  Manager) has felt a deep connection with rivers since the age of 2 when her parents started taking her exploring along the willow- and aspen-edged streams in Colorado. Her work with the Friends involves education and outreach to volunteers, schools, and community groups; management of riparian restoration, water quality monitoring, and stormwater mitigation projects; and data analysis. Prior to joining the Friends, Shawn taught environmental science and biology courses at Norwich University in Northfield, VT, Green Mountain College in Poultney,VT, and the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN. She has been active in several environmental organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, Greening the Great River (a Mississippi River organization), and the Four Winds Institute, and is a member of the Montpelier Conservation Commission. She holds a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Georgia and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Texas. Shawn lives with her husband in Montpelier where she enjoys gardening, playing classical piano, and introducing her two sons to the beauty of the natural world.

Larry Montague (Communications and Outreach Coordinator) grew up across the Lake in the Adirondacks. His work with the Friends consists of public outreach and education, website and media management, and volunteer coordination. Prior to joining the Friends, Larry held a similar position with the North Olympic Salmon Coalition on Washington's Olympic Peninsula and worked to restore and protect some of the most beautiful salmon-bearing rivers and streams in the world. His work in the field of environmental communication over the past five years has taken him all over the country, including to Denali National Park in Alaska, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho, Olympic National Forest in Washington and, much closer to home, the Adirondack Mountain Club in New York. Larry earned his undergraduate degree in Forestry from Paul Smith's College. He recently moved to Huntington with his wife, Jamie, and daughter, Francesca.