Staff and Board

The VGN team delights in spreading the promise and practice of growing food. Together with a strong network of partners, members and volunteers, we strive to make sure that every Vermonter has access to the space and resources to grow some of their own food, and the information and support needed to be successful.

We are currently hiring for three part-time, seasonal positions to support our Growing Foods, Growing Community program at affordable housing sites.  Please visit the Join Our Team page to learn more details.

Staff

T Hanson, Co-Executive Director, Philanthropy & Communication
Carolina Lukac, Co-Executive Director, Programs & Partnerships
Cedar Schiewetz, Garden and Nutrition Program Manager
Angela deBettencourt, Garden Education Manager
Katharyn Hassan, Spring Sowing Seeds Intern

To reach us via email: (first name)@vtgardens.org

T Hanson joined VGN in January 2024 as the Co-Executive Director; Director of Philanthropy and Communications. Most recently, as Executive Director at Cornell Cooperative Extension in upstate NY, T spearheaded a new land stewardship educational model.  She led a campaign to purchase a 107-acre farm and launched it as the new staff headquarters and demonstration site: Hilltop Community Farm.  The farm is used to demonstrate agricultural climate action techniques through improved soil health, cover cropping, rotational grazing and use of emerging crops like dryland rice and food forest edible nuts and berries.  Included is an agrivoltaics (sheep grazing under solar panels) system, a beginning farmer incubator program and a watershed management series of ponds and riparian buffers. 

After graduating from Boston University with a master’s in computer science, T started her career working for IBM as a Systems Engineer in Phoenix where she learned many business management skills.  Her IT path took her to Dallas for technology planning and architecture at American Airlines/SABRE. Motherhood found her home caring for her four children.  She found inspiration (and sanity!) exploring outdoor trails and parks where the kids could dig in the dirt and turn over rocks in nearby streams.  She became a Master Naturalist and started leading local hikes and plant talks.  T transitioned to non-profit work with National Audubon Society and Texas Trees Foundation acquiring many operational and fundraising skills.  In 2018, T made her transition back to her Northeastern roots and moved to the Mad River Valley. She worked in Development at the Green Mountain Club and was a board member for Community Harvest of Central Vermont exploring many local farms through gleaning. A self-professed tree hugger and locavore, T can most often be found experimenting with native plants, hiking/biking or at a local farmers market.  

T looks forward to helping VGN expand their state-wide presence and to connecting more community members to the land as they learn to grow food.

Carolina Lukac joined VGN in February 2015 and became the organization’s Co-Executive Director of Programs & Partnerships in October of 2023. She moved to Vermont from the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere, Mexico City, where she was born, raised and spent many years gardening on rooftops. Carolina co-founded and co-directed a nonprofit organization that became the point of reference and inspiration for the urban agriculture movement in Mexico. She honed her skills as an educator and became immersed in designing school garden programs for bilingual schools. In 2015, Carolina moved to Vermont to join her partner and explore agriculture in a very different landscape. 

Carolina’s work at VGN has focused on hands-on garden education programming. She managed our Gardens for Learning grant, taught the Community Teaching Garden for five growing seasons, piloted our first garden programming at affordable housing sites, structured our gardening with seniors program, and mentored many generations of interns and apprentices. During the past three years, Carolina has materialized a vision of shared gardening into what is now Seedsong Collective Garden. She is also responsible for managing our partnership with New Farms for New Americans and developing a farmer-to-farmer mentorship program and demonstration farm plot. 

Carolina holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Vassar College and numerous certifications in garden-based learning, agroecology, Waldorf education, and herbalism. She serves on the board of directors of NOFA-VT and The Family Room, and is very actively involved in parent councils at her son’s Waldorf school. 

Cedar Schiewetz joined VGN in Spring 2022 to fill the newly created position of Garden and Nutrition Program Manager. They come to the organization with over a decade of experience teaching science and ecology in both public, private, and alternative educational settings. They grew a passion for gardening as a young adult while attending college in the mountains of Arizona and working in a local farm-to-table cafe; which grew some of its produce (including prickly pear fruit) on its roof, something they still find amazing to this day. They’ve gardened for seven seasons in VT, and brought their passion for local and ecologically grown food to their work with students across the region, incorporating our chlorophyll filled distant cousins into many a lab and lesson. One of their favorite parts of gardening aside from the beauty of the plants is the diverse ecological community of pollinators and birds that a well planned garden supports.

Angela deBettencourt joined VGN  in Spring 2020 as the Apprentice for the Thriving Gardens Course (TGC), later becoming the Lead Instructor for the 2021 & 2022 seasons. In January 2023, she was hired full time to help connect gardeners across the state to gardening resources and each other in addition to teaching the TGC. Angela’s ties to VT started as a student at UVM where she focused her studies in ecological agriculture, receiving a Permaculture Certification and studying coffee ecosystems in Panama, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico. Since UVM, she has grown vegetables at organic, biodynamic, and hydroponic farms across the country from Martha’s Vineyard to CO to VT’s very own Intervale Community Farm and High Mowing Seeds. Angela leans heavily on the knowledge she gleaned while farming when she teaches, and is currently pursuing a certification in UVM’s Master Gardener Program. Her favorite part of gardening has been getting to know vegetables and everything that goes into growing them on a more intimate scale and is excited to continue learning from the garden. 

Katharyn Hassan joined VGN this season as the Spring 2024 Sowing Seeds intern. Katharyn is currently a student at UVM, focusing on ecological design and food systems. She is set to graduate this May with a BS in Environmental Sciences and minors in Agroecology, Community & International Development, and Green Building & Community Design. Outside of her work at VGN, she is currently conducting research on the cost of universal access to sustainable food and working as a peer mentor for UVM’s Think College program. She has experience working on UVM’s horticultural research farm and nonprofit plant conservation efforts at Holly Hill Farm in her hometown of Cohasset, Massachusetts. Her interest in plants extends to all stages of the food system, and she has spent the past two years involved with research projects in the UVM Plant and Soil Science department’s Crop Genetic Heritage laboratory. She is excited to work in the gardens this season and help VGN continue their mission.

Board of Directors

Vermont Garden Network is guided by a dedicated Board of Directors who provide leadership, governance, and fiscal oversight. VGN board members and staff partner in outreach, fundraising, and program evaluation. If you are interested in exploring Board Membership please contact Carolina, Co-Executive Director.

Hannah Harrington, President
Annual Fund Manager, Feeding Chittenden in Burlington

Joseph Kiefer, Vice President
Food Justice Consultant (state-wide), based in Montpelier

Meghan Tedder, Secretary
Program Director, Evernorth in Burlington

Caroline Aubry, Treasurer
Project Manager, Tetra Tech in Burlington

Christen Meyer, Director
Operations and Proposal Coordinator, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) in Burlington

Jessica Metcalfe, Director
President, Green Mountain Evaluation in Mount Holly

Vermont Garden Network is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age, or disability in employment, volunteer and board member recruitment, or the provision of services. VGN is committed to diversity among its staff, board, and volunteers.

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