- Who We Are
- What We Do
The Foundation maintains two offices—one in Denver, Colorado and one in Middlebury, Vermont—that work closely together to manage projects in both regions. Our staff specializes in community development and land use planning, leadership, communications and storytelling. We’re that good.
John brings nearly 30 years of experience in the publishing world to the Foundation. He was raised in a small New England village (pop. 2,500), and those formative years shaped his values and interests. After graduating from college in 1977, John was a reporter for a small daily newspaper. Over the following 12 years he worked for several national magazines, including Fly Fisherman, Blair & Ketchum’s Country Journal, Horticulture, and Harrowsmith Country Life.He then turned to book publishing, acquiring and editing nonfiction works first at the Atlantic Monthly Press and then at W. W. Norton & Company, both in New York City. Most recently he was Editor in Chief of Chelsea Green Publishing, an independent press committed to publishing books on the politics and practice of sustainable living. John’s interest in community development was sparked in 1996 when he co-founded Citizens for Middlebury, a grassroots group formed to oppose big-box strip development. John has served on his town’s Planning Commission since 1998, and as Chair since 2002. He has also served on the town’s Committee for Economic Development Initiatives and on the Board of Directors of the Champlain Valley Greenbelt Alliance, a nonprofit devoted to protecting view sheds along U.S. Route 7 in Vermont. He lives in Middlebury, Vermont, with his wife, artist Kate Gridley, and their two sons, Charles and Angus.
Carol joined the Foundation in September 1998 after working for seven years as a legal secretary. She received her Bachelor's, with honors, in business finance from the College of Saint Joseph. She is a native Vermonter currently residing in Brandon with her husband and their son.
Marjo began at the Orton Family Foundation in the summer of 2011, bringing 15 years of experience in community development and planning. Marjo has extensive experience in public process design, facilitation and training. Prior to working at the Foundation, she spent five and-a-half years at the Sonoran Institute working predominately with rural western communities struggling with social tensions resulting from rapid demographic changes. She has been a planning consultant in New Mexico and spent five years directing an AmeriCorps program for the Enterprise Foundation. Throughout her career as a planner and facilitator, she has worked on a broad range of planning issues including public safety, youth development, land use, water and watersheds, community engagement, visioning, wildlife and conservation, energy sustainability, local foods and ranchland protection. The common thread across all these efforts has been the need to build community capacity to work collaboratively in order to develop local solutions. She received her Master’s in Community and Regional Planning and her Bachelor’s in Political Science and Studio Art from the University of New Mexico. She lives in Denver, Colorado and when not at work, enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains by bike, kayak or skis.
David and the Foundation met through their mutual friend Community Viz, and quickly learned that they shared similar passions for bringing people together to find creative and practical solutions to local challenges. Born and raised in New England, David’s love for the
diverse landscapes and communities of the Northeast was firmly in place when he stepped onto the Appalachian Trail in northern Maine and then walked to the home of his intended girlfriend (and now wife) in western Vermont. Two decades later, David and his family moved back to Vermont and settled in Middlebury. David brought to the Foundation several years of community design and planning experience, a wealth of skills such as mapping and charrette facilitation, a Master’s in Landscape Architecture, and several awards from the Canadian and the American Societies of Landscape Architecture, the Canadian Institute of Planners, and the Planning Institute of British Columbia. Now a Senior Associate for Northeast Projects, David offers decades of nuts and bolts, get ‘er done know-how that carries over from his years as a carpenter, a planning consultant, and a father of two. David also teaches community design at the University of Vermont, is a Senior Associate with EcoPlan International, and is the co-founder and former director of Community Studio, a non-profit community design center in Vancouver, BC.
Having moved to Vermont from Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he served as Executive Vice President of Dane Technologies and President of its subsidiary, LEVO USA, David brings to the Foundation extensive experience in the education, non-profit, government and private sectors. At Dane Technologies and LEVO USA—a combined $20 million company he helped found in 1997—David developed new products and domestic and international distribution channels, and led company growth and sales. His broad experience spans the fields of community revitalization, rural economic development and citizen engagement in Minnesota as Executive Director of the non-profit Southwest Minnesota Initiative Fund and then as Governor Arne Carlson’s principle liaison with Minnesota community stakeholders. He also served Governor Carlson as Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development. David has sat on a number of non-profit boards, including the GMC Business Innovation Center, Minnesota’s Inventor’s Congress and the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, and as Board Chair of Bridges to Learning. In his non-profit work in Minnesota, David launched programs for business development, job creation and community revitalization by engaging the wisdom and innovation found within the people and the communities where he worked. His first career was as a public school teacher in Ohio and Brazil. After moving halfway across the country, David now lives in Vermont with his wife, Susan, and daughter, Grace, and looks forward to visits from his Boston-based daughter, Sara.
Ariana joined the Foundation in 2008, bringing years of experience in economic and community planning in the Northeast region. Ariana worked for the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council from 2004-2008, where she was the staff lead on several initiatives focused on developing a place-centered approach to economic development. Her project work included the Borderlands Project in Connecticut and Rhode Island, in which the Foundation is a partner. Ariana also worked on the One River Project, a collaborative initiative with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) that seeks to advance waterfront development integrating natural systems, economic opportunities, cultural heritage and public access. Ariana earned a bachelor's degree in International Relations at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and she received her Masters of Community Planning in 2004 from the University of Rhode Island, where she concentrated in environmental and land use planning. She received an American Institute of Certified Planners Award for outstanding achievement in the study of planning. Prior to graduate school, she worked in the Boston office of the Conservation Law Foundation. She lives with her family in Middlebury, Vermont.
Alece comes to the Foundation with more than 10 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. She was raised in the small town of Lafayette in the historic coal mining district. Her passion for planning began as a child when her mother expressed concerns that small town heritage and culture was sacrificed for new, unfamiliar developments. In college, Alece served on Lafayette’s Board of Adjustments and worked to mobilize residents of the city to be active at City Council meetings. She has a BA in Environmental Design, Urban and Regional Planning with two minors, sustainable environments and human geography. Alece won an AICP award for work done with the Denver Regional Council of Governments in examining urban sprawl and large lot developments. While earning her Masters in Public Administration, she volunteered for a local fire department as a high angle rescuer and traveled all over the U.S. assisting Air Force bases in comprehensive planning efforts. Her projects have won merit and honors awards with the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence. Alece lives in Lafayette, Colorado with her three children, Stephen, Xochitl and Soloman.
Betsy has 20 years of experience in the field of community development, including resource development, capacity building, project management and citizen engagement. She has most recently worked as a private consultant with experience organizing and implementing Burlington’s Sustainable City Initiative—a multi-stakeholder community planning effort in Vermont’s largest city. Betsy has been a partner in numerous education initiatives involving sustainability, working to establish an international “environmental learning cities” exchange and helping to draft and pass Vermont’s first Farm to School bill. Prior to that, Betsy worked for over ten years in the Burlington Community Economic Development Office on waterfront development. She co-directed the creation of Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center, which transformed a Navy Reserve Training Center into a lake science center and aquarium, and she now serves on the Echo Board. Betsy holds a Masters in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University. She lives with her family in Burlington, Vermont.
Lorraine comes to the Foundation with more than 15 years of experience in business coordination and office administration. She began with a career in social services and later joined the corporate world at IDX Corporation, where she was business coordinator for IDX Institute of Technology. Lorraine also managed her own business for many years, which allowed her to home school her son. She served as an outsourcing resource for local and national companies, providing them with administrative and coordination support on various levels. Lorraine brings to the Foundation many years of office organization, project management and coordination skills honed in a diverse set of organizations. Lorraine lives in New Haven, Vermont with her son Ryan.
Prior to founding Placeways, Doug was Managing Director for the CommunityViz project at the Orton Family Foundation, guiding the development and distribution of the tool from its first general release in 2001. Doug’s enthusiasm for CommunityViz and its mission stem from a lifelong passion for connecting people and technology. His career experience includes a wide variety of roles from systems engineering to senior executive leadership positions at major high technology firms. At Placeways, which he started in 2005 with a group of former CommunityViz colleagues, Doug continues to work closely with the Foundation and plays a major role in supporting CommunityViz and its vigorous research and development program. In addition to advanced business management certification, he holds a Master’s Degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor’s Degree in physics with honors and distinction from Carleton College. He is a member of the U.S. Transportation Research Board's Committee on Visualization and consults, teaches and lectures widely on visualization technology. He lives with his family near Boulder, Colorado and returns frequently to his home state of Vermont.