Staff

The Foundation maintains offices in Arvada, Colorado and Shelburne, Vermont, that work closely to manage Community Heart & Soul® projects and training throughout the country. 

Orton Family Foundation

Carol Bertrand

Director of Finance and Human Resources

Carol joined the Foundation in September 1998. She holds Master of Business Administration and bachelor's degree in business finance from the College of Saint Joseph. She is co-owner of Ridgeback Properties, LLC, a rental property business.

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Carol joined the Foundation in September 1998. She holds Master of Business Administration and bachelor's degree in business finance from the College of Saint Joseph. She is co-owner of Ridgeback Properties, LLC, a rental property business. She serves as vice president of the board of Dinners with Love, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps hospice agencies partner with local restaurants to care for patients and their families by providing free, delivered meals. Carol is a native Vermonter currently residing in Brandon with her husband, Shannon. Together they look forward to visits from their Connecticut-based son Matt. In her free time she enjoys family, friends, bicycling and kayaking.

 

 


Caitlyn Davison

Associate of Programs & Communications

Caitlyn first joined the Foundation as an Orton Fellow and transitioned to a full-time staff position working in both the programs and communications departments.

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Caitlyn first joined the Foundation as an Orton Fellow and transitioned to a full-time staff position working in both the programs and communications departments. Her experience in community planning, public participation and non-profit marketing includes working as Assistant Planner with Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Caitlyn holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado. She also earned a master’s degree in community planning and development from the Muskie School for Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Capstone Award for her work co-writing a white paper on commercial strip redevelopment. Caitlyn is an active member of the New Gloucester Land Management Planning Committee and serves on the board of the Treehouse Institute.  She lives in New Gloucester, Maine, with her husband, Ben and the newest member of their family, Lowell Harper Davison.


Alexis Halbert

Senior Associate of Programs

Alexis Halbert joined Orton from rural Paonia, Colorado, where she was the associate publisher at High Country News, an award winning non-profit news magazine covering social, political and environmental issues in the American West.

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Alexis Halbert joined Orton from rural Paonia, Colorado, where she was the associate publisher at High Country News, an award winning non-profit news magazine covering social, political and environmental issues in the American West. Alexis wore many volunteer hats, too, including president of her local Chamber of Commerce, and board member for the Colorado Renewable Energy Society. She was also project coordinator for the North Fork Heart & Soul™ project.

 

Alexis received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in globalization and natural resource management, and holds a certification in project management from San Francisco State University.

 

Alexis has called many places home including the Bahamas, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area and a 90-acre farm in Oregon. She loves to cook, grow food, listen to and play music, and has a special connection with animals and the natural world.

 


David Leckey

Executive Director

David joined Orton Family Foundation in 2013, bringing with him extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, and a rich background in community engagement.  Before joining Orton, he was Executive Vice President of Dane Technologies and President of its subsidiary, LEVO USA—a combined $20 million company he helped found in 1997.

 

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David joined Orton Family Foundation in 2013, bringing with him extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, and a rich background in community engagement.  Before joining Orton, he was Executive Vice President of Dane Technologies and President of its subsidiary, LEVO USA—a combined $20 million company he helped found in 1997.

 

In his non-profit work, 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.

 

He was Executive Director of the non-profit Southwest Minnesota Initiative Fund and served as Governor Arne Carlson’s principle liaison with Minnesota community stakeholders. He also served in the as Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development.

 

David’s board appointments include the GMC Business Innovation Center, Minnesota Inventors Congress, the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, and Bridges to Learning, where he was board chairman. His first career was as a public school teacher in Ohio and Brazil.

 

David holds a master's degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. as well as a master's in educational administration from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. His bachelor's degree in education is from Defiance College, Defiance, Ohio, where he graduated magna cum laude. 


Sara Lightner

Senior Associate Programs, Training

Prior to joining Orton, Sara served as Director of Programming and Training at United States Peace Corps/Eastern Caribbean and Peace Corps/Vanuatu in the South Pacific.  She was also a Program Officer for the Australian Agency for International Development's  Governance for Growth program in Vanuatu. 

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Prior to joining Orton, Sara served as Director of Programming and Training at United States Peace Corps/Eastern Caribbean and Peace Corps/Vanuatu in the South Pacific.  She was also a Program Officer for the Australian Agency for International Development's  Governance for Growth program in Vanuatu. 

Sara's core expertise includes training and facilitation, intercultural communication, working with diverse groups, and curriculum development. She grew up on a farm in Lohrville, Iowa.

Sara attended Brown University and studied urban studies and history where she earned her bachelor’s degree.  She earned her master’s degree in Pacific Islands studies from the University of Hawai'i-Manoa and the East West Center in Manoa.

Sara is a member of Returned Volunteers of Iowa, and the National Peace Corps Association. She enjoys traveling, being near the ocean, and spending time with family.


Katherine McQuade

Director of Marketing and Communications

Kat’s background includes executive leadership in marketing for companies in the global tech sector and teaching organizational leadership on the university level. She served as Director of Marketing for Renewable NRG Systems in Hinesburg, Vermont, a leader in the sustainable energy industry that manufactures wind measuring devices.

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Kat’s background includes executive leadership in marketing for companies in the global tech sector and teaching organizational leadership on the university level. She served as Director of Marketing for Renewable NRG Systems in Hinesburg, Vermont, a leader in the sustainable energy industry that manufactures wind measuring devices. While there she headed up efforts to expand the company into emerging markets internationally and led the company through a major rebranding. She also worked closely with engineering, sales and technical support to launch new products. Her experience includes serving as marketing manager for Hypertherm, in Hanover, New Hampshire, a global leader in plasma and laser cutting systems and market development manager for Philips Medical Systems in Andover, Massachusetts. 

 

Most recently, she was assistant professor in the School of Business at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, and adjunct instructor in the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont.

 

She holds a Ph.D. in organization and management from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a master of business administration from Rivier College in Nashua, New Hampshire and a bachelor's degree in education from Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.

 

A native of Lake Placid, New York, Kat recently completed her Master Gardener certificate and, together with her husband, operated a farm and orchard in Vermont that faced the Adirondacks, in her home state.  In addition to gardening, Kat also loves running, skiing, hiking, biking and kayaking.      

 

 


Ben Miller

Marketing Associate

Ben joined the Foundation after earning a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where he majored in journalism and minored in economics management. He held several leadership positions at the university including arts and entertainment editor of the Transcript student-run newspaper.

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Ben joined the Foundation after earning a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where he majored in journalism and minored in economics management. He held several leadership positions at the university including arts and entertainment editor of the Transcript student-run newspaper. Ben gained experience with social media, marketing, and event management through working in the university’s Communications Department and planning student and alumni events.

 

Ben also has experience in youth engagement, having been a counselor and then director of a summer parks and recreation camp in Middlebury, Vermont, for four summers.

 

Ben grew up in rural Vermont in the town of Cornwall (pop. 1,200) and was excited to come back to the Green Mountain State. He currently lives in Winooski, Vermont, and enjoys running, golf, and skiing.


Alece Montez-Griego

Director of Programs

Alece joined the Foundation in 2009, with 11 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. She was raised in the small town of Lafayette, Colorado, 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 were sacrificed for new, unfamiliar developments.

 

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Alece joined the Foundation in 2009, with 11 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. She was raised in the small town of Lafayette, Colorado, 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 were 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. As a student, Alece won an AICP award for work done with the Denver Regional Council of Governments examining urban sprawl and large-lot developments. While earning her master’s degree in Public Administration, she volunteered for a local fire department as a high angle rescuer and traveled across the U.S. and beyond assisting Air Force bases in comprehensive planning efforts. Her projects have won merit and honors awards from the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence and Air Mobility Command. In 2013 Alece completed a PLACES (Professionals Learning About Community, Equity, and Smart Growth) fellowship program on community equity and social justice and is now part of the PLACES network. She lives in Arvada, Colorado, with her husband and children and they love discovering new places together.

 


Rachel Moyer

Office Manager

Rachel is a native Vermonter with extensive experience working for education-focused  nonprofits, most recently at Burlington College, Burlington Vermont where she was registrar.  Rachel grew up in the northwestern Vermont city of St. Albans.  She lives at the foot of the Green Mountains in the village of Starksboro (pop.

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Rachel is a native Vermonter with extensive experience working for education-focused  nonprofits, most recently at Burlington College, Burlington Vermont where she was registrar.  Rachel grew up in the northwestern Vermont city of St. Albans.  She lives at the foot of the Green Mountains in the village of Starksboro (pop. 1,777) with her husband, son and two chocolate Labradors. 


Gabrielle Ratté Smith

Senior Associate for Strategic Partnerships

Gabrielle comes to the Foundation having served as a founding member of the Heart & Soul project in Essex Junction, Vermont. Being immersed in community engagement and collaboration was a natural for Gabrielle, who has spent the past several decades doing just that in small towns and cities in Vermont and Wisconsin.

 

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Gabrielle comes to the Foundation having served as a founding member of the Heart & Soul project in Essex Junction, Vermont. Being immersed in community engagement and collaboration was a natural for Gabrielle, who has spent the past several decades doing just that in small towns and cities in Vermont and Wisconsin.

 

After moving to Vermont in 2005, Gabrielle worked as a prevention and wellness consultant in the local school districts.  A highlight of her work was helping to initiate a Farm to School program that provides fresh, locally-grown food to the districts’ 2,800 students. In addition, she was appointed by the governor to serve on the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board representing the K-12 educational community. 

 

Gabrielle established her coalition-building and community engagement expertise during her career in Wisconsin, where she worked for state government as Associate Director of the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth.  She coordinated and supported more than 100 local member coalitions to promote positive youth development and prevent high risk behaviors.

 

Gabrielle co-founded Little Free Library of Essex to promote literacy and connect neighbors by building and installing small libraries (that hold 20-30 books) in yards and businesses throughout Essex. She lives in Essex Junction, Vermont, with her husband and twin son and daughter.

 


Fran Stoddard

Communications Consultant

Fran Stoddard is a communications consultant who has been involved in education, public relations and media production and strategy for 25 years.  A national award winning producer/director of video programs, Fran served as producer/host of Vermont Public Television’s weekly “Profile” interview program for more than a decade.  She was also host of a health care program “Vital Signs” a

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Fran Stoddard is a communications consultant who has been involved in education, public relations and media production and strategy for 25 years.  A national award winning producer/director of video programs, Fran served as producer/host of Vermont Public Television’s weekly “Profile” interview program for more than a decade.  She was also host of a health care program “Vital Signs” and Vermont Public Radio’s call-in program, “Switchboard.”  Stoddard has served as an adjunct associate professor of media studies and production at Champlain College, where she developed and ran the media communications program. She frequently serves as moderator/host for community events and has served on numerous non-profit boards including the Hunger Free Vermont, the Vermont Journalism Trust, Vermont Mozart Festival, Burlington City Arts,Vermont International Film Foundation, and Vermont Public Radio.  


Leanne Tingay

Senior Associate of Programs

For the past two decades Leanne Tingay has coordinated non-profit, local and state downtown and neighborhood revitalization programs. Prior to joining Orton, she coordinated the National Main Street® Network affiliated Designated Downtown program for the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

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For the past two decades Leanne Tingay has coordinated non-profit, local and state downtown and neighborhood revitalization programs. Prior to joining Orton, she coordinated the National Main Street® Network affiliated Designated Downtown program for the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. In that role she provided leadership to two dozen communities by providing training, technical assistance and meeting facilitation in addition to assembling resources and networking with the directors, board members and volunteers of the downtown organizations.

 

Leanne’s experience also includes serving as Director and Chief Executive Officer of Erie Downtown Improvement District in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she worked with the Erie Redevelopment Authority on several mixed-use projects including artist live work space, creative neighborhood initiatives and the redevelopment of Erie’s Waterfront District. In addition, she was Executive Director of Warren Main Street in Warren, Pennsylvania, where she initiated several signature events for downtown, developed a comprehensive streetscape master plan and successful funding strategy, recruited business to downtown and created a successful downtown incubator program that spun-off new businesses.

 

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She works out of Orton’s Vermont office.

 

Leanne lives in Barre, Vermont, with her husband and two cats and enjoys driving her fire engine red Volkswagen Beetle convertible with the top down in the summer.   

 


Cindy Vong

Associate of Programs

Cindy joins Orton after gaining experience in a wide variety of planning projects through internships and her graduate school studies. 

 

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Cindy joins Orton after gaining experience in a wide variety of planning projects through internships and her graduate school studies. 

 

Previously, Cindy was an intern for Clarion Associates in Denver, Colorado,  where she gained experience in zoning and land use analysis and code writing. As a student she was a member of project teams working on various projects including, a walkability analysis for WalkDenver, an updated neighborhood plan for Denver's Capitol Hill Neighborhood, a redevelopment proposal for Boulder, Colorado, and a charrette design and presentation for Housing Colorado.


She also has experience in the solar energy sector from her time at a multi-national sustainable energy company serving as an assistant in quality and environmental management.

 

Cindy is completing her Master's of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Colorado, Denver. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies from Binghamton University, State University of New York. Cindy is a member of the American Planning Association and the Congress for the New Urbanism.

She hails from Gunnison, Colorado, a Rocky Mountain town located in the center of the state. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cultural arts, and playing with her Corgi. 


Leslie Wright

Communications Associate

Leslie came to the Foundation from Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont where she was manager of public relations and marketing, promoting exhibitions and programs at the state’s largest art museum.

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Leslie came to the Foundation from Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont where she was manager of public relations and marketing, promoting exhibitions and programs at the state’s largest art museum. Prior to that she was a reporter at the Burlington Free Press in Vermont and the Columbia Daily Tribune in Missouri, where she got a first-hand look at the workings of small cities and towns while covering city government, politics, and business.

 

A native Vermonter, Leslie is also a contributor to Vermont Life magazine, where she often writes about the colorful individuals and small towns that contribute to the unique character of the state.  Leslie keeps involved in the local community both as a ski instructor and through the work of STRiDE, the nonprofit she founded that aims to empower girls through sports mentoring with local college athletes in skiing, mountain biking, and basketball.  

 

Leslie is a graduate of Middlebury College and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  When she’s not working she does her best to be outdoors chasing her dog through the woods, cycling, skiing, or riding her dirt bike.