Staff and Board

The VGN team delights in spreading the promise and practice of growing food. Together with a strong network of partners, garden leaders 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.

To reach us email first name (at)


Michelle Gates, Executive Director
Carolina Lukac, Garden Education Manager
Cedar Schiewetz, Garden and Nutrition Program Manager
Angela deBettencourt, Partnerships & Engagement Manager 

Mailing address:
Vermont Garden Network
PO Box 713
Essex Junction, Vermont 05453

Interns & Service Learning Partners

Board of Directors


Michelle Gates joined VGN as Executive Director in January of 2018.  She brings 20 years of nonprofit leadership, program delivery and resource development experience, and is committed to helping the organization grow and expand its statewide reach. With a passion for helping all people perform at their best, Michelle is excited to be part of a team increasing food access and wellness benefits through gardening, especially as we recognize the need for better nutrition and increased physical activity to prevent and reduce critical health challenges for people of all ages.  Michelle was born in Washington DC, and grew up moving around the country.  She moved to Vermont in 2010 with husband Rick and two sons, Nick and Zachary, and settled in Westford where she enjoys tending her own garden, cooking, home design projects, hiking, cycling and connecting with family and friends.

Carolina Lukac joined VGN as the Garden Education Manager in February 2015.  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, immersed in a culture with a strong food heritage. Carolina cofounded and directed the first urban gardening non-profit in Mexico City, responsible for creating numerous community gardens. Through her experience facilitating gardening workshops and community events, Carolina honed her skills as an educator and became immersed in designing school garden programs for bilingual schools. She holds certifications in garden-based learning, permaculture, Waldorf education, folk herbalism, organic gardening, and honors the lessons she has learned from her own garden as her greatest teacher.  Carolina currently lives in Burlington where she grows abundant gardens to nourish her partner and 5 year old son.


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 into growing them on a more intimate scale and is excited to continue learning from the garden. 

VGN Apprentices, Interns, and Service Learning Partners

We work with an impressive group of apprentices, interns, and service learning teams who play an important role in supporting the state’s network of community and school gardens, teaching people how to grow food, and reducing hunger. Internships are open to undergraduate and graduate students from any college or university. Apprenticeships are open to college graduates. Click here for a list of internship opportunities.

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 Michelle Gates, Executive Director.

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

Joseph KieferVice 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 MeyerDirector
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 or 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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