Board of Directors
Rick Davis is President and Co-Founder of the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children, and President and Founder of the Davis Company. He is currently a board member of Champlain College and the High Meadows Fund and is a past board member of the King Street Center and Mobius. He was named Vermont Philanthropist of the Year in 2006; won the Excellence in Philanthropy award from the Vermont Community Foundation in 2015; and won the Vermont Lifetime Leadership Award from the Vermont Council on Rural Development in 2016.
Rick is a former U.S. naval officer and an avid sculptor. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Colorado, Denver. He currently resides in Stowe, where he loves spending time with his grandson.
Tom MacLeay, a former President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of National Life, is currently Lead Director of the Board of National Life Group. He joined National Life in 1976 as a Security Analyst, rapidly advancing through the management ranks and serving in pivotal positions at critical times in the company’s growth and expansion. He became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1996 and in 2002 he was named Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. He retired as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2008. He stepped down as Chairman in 2017 and assumed the position of Lead Director. Mr. MacLeay is a past Chairman of the Board of Sentinel Group Funds, Inc., chairs the National Life Charitable Foundation, and serves on the Board of Directors of Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company, eSec Lending, Inc.
Prior to joining National Life, Mr. MacLeay served as a pilot as well as a management analyst and officer in the U.S. Air Force. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors, from Denison University in 1971 and earned a Master's degree in Business Administration the following year from the University of Denver.
Jennifer Williams is a Joint Venture Partner with Norwich Partners, a hotel development company that builds properties in New England and Florida. She is also Executive Director of the Children’s Fund of the Upper Valley, which benefits children’s’ charities in the local area. Ms. Williams worked in higher education fundraising for 13 years, 11 of them with Dartmouth College. She managed the College’s New York office for Special Gifts from 1990-96 and the Dartmouth College Fund from 1996-99; she served as Associate Director of Development from 1999-2003.
Jennifer has served as the overseer of the Hopkins Center for Performing Arts at Dartmouth College; Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Montessori School of Hanover, New Hampshire; Chair of the Working Group for the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth; Chair of the Advisory Board of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Upper Valley Region; Trustee of the Children's Literacy Foundation; Trustee of WISE; trustee of the Montshire Museum of Science; and Member of the Upper Valley Land Trust Advisory Committee. Jennifer graduated from Dartmouth College with honors in French in 1985 and holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.
Tom Johnson is President of The Johnson Family Foundation, and serves on the Board of Vermont Public Radio, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Green Mountain College, and Bethany College (emeritus). Mr. Johnson is past President of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar and of Media Study New York, a film and television production company.
Tom attended Williams College in Massachusetts where he discovered the great New England outdoors. During graduate work at Stanford University, he discovered the Sierras. After stints as a freelance journalist, filmmaker, media consultant, and a teaching position as Director of Media Studies at Antioch College-Baltimore, Tom settled down in New York City and co-produced and directed a series of documentary films for theatrical and television release. Tom now lives in Poultney Vermont with his partner Ina.
Cornelius (Con) Hogan of Plainfield Vermont, has served as a Senior Fellow with the Center for the Study of Social Policy, a Senior Consultant for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a faculty member of the National Governor's Association Center for Best Practice, A Director of Fletcher Allen Health Care, Chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson initiative for Strengthening Families through health care access, a member of the Advisory Committee for the National Center for Children in Poverty, and as a consultant to the Children's Defense Fund. Con served as Secretary of Vermont's Agency of Human Services from 1991 through 1999, a past President of the American Public Human Services Association, and is a Director of the Permanent Fund for the Well Being of Vermont's children.
Con holds a Master's Degree in Government Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Hogan earned his undergraduate degree at Rutgers. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Vermont and a Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Green Mountain College. He is also the author or co-author of six books.
Breena Welch Holmes, MD is the Director of Maternal and Child Health for the state of Vermont. After finishing her pediatric residency at Seattle Children’s Hospital and a chief resident year at University of Massachusetts Medical School, she had a pediatric practice in Middlebury, Vermont, focusing on adolescent health from 1997-2008. In 2008, Breena left her clinical practice to teach Health Literacy and Decision Making at Middlebury Union High School. In 2010, Breena became director of the Vermont Maternal and Child Health division. The Maternal and Child Health Division is part of Integrating Family Services as well as several other public health programs which focus on children and families.
Dr. Holmes is the chair of the Council on School Health for the American Academy of Pediatrics, on the pediatric faculty at University of Vermont College of Medicine and a school physician for several Middlebury area schools.
Lynette Fraga is Executive Director at Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) one of the nation’s leading voices on child care in policy, practice, and research. As an authority on child development, Dr. Fraga serves in an advisory capacity on a number of national panels and committees including the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Early Childhood (COEC), the Institute of Medicine Early Care and Education Collaborative, Healthy Kids Healthy Futures Steering Committee, NAEYC’s Power to the Profession Task Force, and the Early Care and Education Innovation Collaborative (ECE IC). In addition, she serves on the boards of Generations United, All Our Kin, and the Children’s Leadership Council (CLC).
Dr. Fraga began her career in early childhood as a teacher in infant, toddler and preschool classrooms. Fraga has since held positions at the local, state, and national level within the nonprofit, corporate, and higher education sectors. including Vice President of Early Care and Special Populations for Care.com, Chief Program Officer at ZERO TO THREE (ZTT) and several leadership roles within the Early Head Start National Resource Center.
Dr. Fraga holds a doctoral degree in Family Studies from Kansas State University, a master’s degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from the University of Arizona.
Felipe Rivera is Chief of Staff and VP for Strategy and Communications for the Vermont Community Foundation. His responsibilities include facilitating the CEO’s vision, working with the CEO and board to develop the Foundation’s long-term plans, and charting the Foundation’s communications initiatives.
Prior to joining the Community Foundation he worked for a national leadership development program for executive directors of nonprofits, where he was responsible for creating systems that helped organizations capitalize on their program and management skills and share them with others for the betterment of communities.
All told, Felipe has nearly 30 years of experience in the field of philanthropy, having worked in areas of grantmaking, program development, information technology, and communications.
He has a degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland and maintains an active interest in all things science- and technology-related.
Cheryl Mitchell is a consultant for NOFA (the Northeast Organic Farming Association) and the Agency of Education. She serves on the Boards of Nomadicare, Beacon Hill Friends House and Treleven. Previously, Cheryl worked at Mary Johnson Children’s Center, co-founded the Addison County Parent/Child Center, served as Vermont’s Deputy of Agency of Human Services, and worked at the University of Vermont and People of Addison County Together.
Cheryll attended Swarthmore College, UVM, and the Union Institute and University, but most of her learning has come from experience. She worked with others to create the Addison County Community Trust, several childcare programs, the Vermont Parent/Child Center Network, the local branch of CCV, the Addison County Farmworkers Coalition, and the Addison County Dental Clinic.
Buzz Schmidt is Chairman of the F.B. Heron Foundation and leads Retreat Farm, Ltd., a nonprofit that is conserving an historic institutional farm in Vermont and repurposing it to support sustainable lands-based enterprise. He founded and led GuideStar USA and subsequently GuideStar International over a twenty-year period. These organizations report the work of the world’s nonprofit organizations at online repositories in several countries.
Buzz was named US Nonprofit Executive of the Year by The Nonprofit Times in 1999; one of six visionary leaders in philanthropy by Time in 2001; and one of the 25 individuals who most shaped the nonprofit sector over the past 25 years by The Nonprofit Times in 2012. Buzz is a graduate of Princeton (AB-History) and Stanford (MBA and MA Education), and serves on the board of the Vermont Council on Rural Development.