Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund announces staff and board news

Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund is a non-profit organization created by the State of Vermont to help develop Vermont’s sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and forest product market sectors. Executive director, Ellen Kahler, announces the following Board of Directors and staff updates:

Will Stevens has been named to the VSJF Board of Directors. Stevens co-owns Golden Russet Farm with his wife Judy, a certified organic vegetable farm and greenhouse plant operation in Shoreham since 1981. He has been Shoreham’s Town Moderator since 2004 and served as a State Representative from 2007-2014, where he was on the House Agriculture and Forest Products Committee.

Jake Claro has been promoted to Farm to Plate project manager, a new position responsible for working with the Farm to Plate Network to bring projects to fruition to help reach Vermont’s statewide Farm to Plate goals to increase economic development and jobs in the farm and food sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters. Claro joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in 2012 as Farm to Plate network assistant. Previously he served both Vermont Natural Resources Council and the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network as an AmeriCorps member. Claro resides in Barre.

Stephanie Smith has been named Farm to Plate network assistant. She comes to the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund from the Central Vermont Planning Commission where she served as an AmeriCorps member. Smith is responsible for supporting Farm to Plate Network groups and projects and administrating the Vermont Food Atlas website. She resides in Montpelier.

Ellen Kahler has been named to the Vermont Department of Labor’s State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) for a three year term and joins state economic and workforce development leaders to support the ongoing public engagement process to help identify and develop Vermont’s workforce education and training needs. Kahler joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund as executive director in 2005 and currently serves on the Board of Red Tomato, Vermont’s Energy Action Network, the Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council, and the Working Lands Enterprise Fund. She resides in Starksboro.

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), located in Montpelier, Vermont, is a non-profit organization created by the Vermont Legislature in 1995 to accelerate the development of Vermont’s green economy. VSJF provides early stage grant funding, technical assistance, and loans to entrepreneurs, businesses, farmers, networks, and others interested in developing jobs and markets to strengthen Vermont’s working landscape. The current focus is strengthening the intersection of renewable energy (in the form of biofuels), agriculture, and sustainable forest products. VSJF coordinates the Vermont Farm to Plate Network, Vermont Bioenergy Initiative, Vermont Agriculture Development Program, Harvest for Use Initiative, Peer to Peer Collaborative, and manages both the Vermont Food System and Energy Atlas’. Investments in green economy companies are provided through the Flexible Capital Fund, L3C. More information is available at