2022 CRAG-VT Board Member Elections: December 7th, 2021
PLEASE REVIEW THE NOMINEES!

Board Nominee Name: Phil England

Please share why you are interested in serving on the CRAG-VT board, what you hope to contribute to the organization, and any skills you’d like to offer:

I have been deeply involved in supporting CRAG-VT as a volunteer and member of the climbing community. I would like to step up beyond my capacity as a volunteer to contribute to the strength, longevity, and direction of the organization by helping in the decision making process, as well as carrying some of the weight and responsibility that being a board member entails. I can offer my knowledge and skills as an IT professional to help build and maintain whatever technological infrastructure CRAG-VT has or would like to have, and can provide guidance in navigating the landscape of modern technology. I’m also well versed in business process and organizational structure and can assist with defining and documenting those things for CRAG-VT. Basically I’m a huge nerd and we are quite expensive when we’re not doing the work for free.
Please share your prior involvement in the climbing community:
I’ve been climbing actively both indoors and outdoors on rock and ice for the past 6 years. I volunteer regularly for CRAG-VT and I have spent a good deal of time developing new sport, trad, and bouldering routes in the past 2 years.
Please Include a Short Bio: 
Phil grew up in the woods on a mountain in East Montpelier, VT where he developed his love for being outside and connecting with nature. He started climbing later in life, but immediately fell in love with the activity as a mental and physical challenge, a way to build community, and a great excuse to get outside all year round. His first significant outdoor climbing was on multi-pitch ice, so he developed a great respect for skill building and risk (and rope) management. He’s climbed all over Vermont, the northeast, southern sandstone, and even some California granite, and is excited to keep exploring the rocks of the world while keeping Vermont home base. Besides climbing, Phil is a registered yoga teacher, a network engineer, and a volunteer for a musical theatre company.

Board Nominee Name: Matt Severson

Please share why you are interested in serving on the CRAG-VT board, what you hope to contribute to the organization, and any skills you’d like to offer:

I’m interested in becoming a board member to help payback/pay forward the debt I owe to climbing and the climbing community at large. I hope to diversify, geographically speaking, the board and also represent the rural population of climbers in a state dominated by rural locales. My skills are mostly self taught, I have a strong DIY ethic to contribute, and can cook up a storm. Food, I mean.
Please share your prior involvement in the climbing community:
Member of CragVT for 5 years? Maybe 6…, and have attended a few meetings. The past 3+years I have been developing a few cliffs near my house, put up a few pitches at Marshfield. Before that it was mostly scrubbing boulders and clipping other peoples work.
Please Include a Short Bio: 
I am a 45 year old white dude, surprise surprise, who cooks for a living at a private school in central VT. My wife is a self employed illustrator and we moved to Corinth in 2014, built a house, built another house, and then made an Iggy. Originally from Duluth,MN, I got introduced to climbing by my best friend while living in Yellowstone NP when I was 19. When he relocated to Zion I followed, and so began my climbing story in earnest. I have now climbed in at least 23 states, but have always focused my attention on the rock closest to my doorstep. Other interests: music, both listening to and playing, gardening, cooking, foraging, building, walking, yoga, family and friend time.

Board Nominee Name: Charles P Collins IV

Please share why you are interested in serving on the CRAG-VT board, what you hope to contribute to the organization, and any skills you’d like to offer:
I’ve benefited from CRAG-VTs hard work and have watched CRAG-VT grow as an organization over the years. I was impressed with the organization at the 2021 festival and would like to give back to the community. I’m happy to lead Web / IT / Tech initiatives
Please share your prior involvement in the climbing community
I’ve only been a member / attendee / climber. Aside from helping out with cleanup at 2021 fest I’ve had little active involvement with the community. I’ve had a great time at the events though!
Please Include a Short Bio: 
I’m a lead front end developer and have been a professional developer of ~20 years. For many years I’ve enjoyed indoor climbing but only fell in love with rock climbing a few years ago here in VT. I’ve lived in Japan, shipped code from 5 countries, and have had fun in many more. I love analytics, user centric development, and teaching tech. Formerly volunteer TA with Girl Develop It! Burlington.

Board Nominee Name: Sean Neely

Please share why you are interested in serving on the CRAG-VT board, what you hope to contribute to the organization, and any skills you’d like to offer:
I would very much like to serve on the CRAG-VT board, to give back to CRAG-VT and the VT climbing community, from whom I have received so many benefits. I have been wanting to become more involved with CRAG-VT and to serve on the board for several years. Due to other commitments and pursuits in my life, I have not had the time available to commit to serving on the board, until now. I am incredibly grateful for the Vermont climbing community and all of the work that CRAG-VT has done, and continues to do, to make and keep climbing accessible in Vermont. I want to give back, help protect VT climbing areas for generations to come, while promoting inclusivity, accessibility, stewardship, and positive community relations. I understand the responsibilities and expectations of a board member and I am able to commit to those duties for 12 months. I would be happy to serve on any of the CRAG-VT Committees, especially the Access Committee or Stewardship & Education Committee.
I hope to contribute my skills and experience wherever helpful, particularly in working with landowners, the public, and government agencies to build and maintain good relationships. As a civil engineer (on my path towards licensure), focused on sustainable transportation and land use, from longer-term planning and scoping, through all stages of design, construction, and operations, I regularly work with landowners, government agencies and others, to meet the needs of various projects and stakeholders, while minimizing impacts to the environment, property owners, and the public. I also have experiencing supporting communities at the interface between outdoor recreational resources and infrastructure (e.g., parking, trailheads, pedestrian/bike access and safety issues). I am also fortunate to have developed relevant skills during my bachelor’s degree in environmental science and policy, with foci in community planning and geographic information systems (GIS); my masters degree in civil and environmental engineering, focused on transportation; and my certificate in graduate studies focused on sustainable transportation and planning.
I am skilled in communicating and engaging with diverse groups (public speaking and facilitation); receiving, processing, and communicating input received from various stakeholders; writing, preparing maps, slides, and other presentation materials.
I also have skills in budget planning and other administrative tasks, as well as event planning.
Please share your prior involvement in the climbing community
In 2018, when CRAG-VT was looking at ways to provide parking access to Bolton Dome, I contributed some time and expertise in assessing the feasibility of building an access drive up to the Dome, along with a small parking lot. I worked with Kris Fiore during that brief time, sharing with them some suggestions to pursue a parking solution, and suggesting that it would make more sense to work with a small local engineering firm that was more suited to that scale of project than the larger firm that I work for. I have also attended fundraising events held by CRAG-VT over the years, as a participant, though not as a volunteer. I have maintained my CRAG-VT membership dues for several years. I have also been able to help some others grow in their own climbing skills, experience, and ethic, as many others have helped me over the years.
Please Include a Short Bio: 
Sean started rock climbing with friends in 1996 at Pawtuckaway State Park, NH, after years of outdoor experience developed in Maine and New Hampshire through Scouting. After a few years on top-rope and boulders, Sean started sport and ice climbing in NH during college. Later, Sean found his real passion in multipitch trad climbing, honing those skills in the Gunks, Dacks, and Whites, with the help and support of the Syracuse University Outing Club (SUOC). Sean then moved to San Diego, exploring the local crags and beyond, with much time in Joshua Tree. After deciding to move back to the Northeast to be closer to family, Sean used geographic analysis to select a new home town. Estimating the number of climbing routes within a day trip of several small cities, it was an easy decision. With access to the White Mountains, Adirondacks, and everything in VT, as well as a great group of friends already living there, Burlington rose to the top. Sean moved to Vermont in 2012 and plans to stay, at least until retirement. When not climbing, Sean can be found hiking, snowboarding, sitting still, or laughing with friends.

Board Nominee Name: Francisco Sandoval

Please share why you are interested in serving on the CRAG-VT board, what you hope to contribute to the organization, and any skills you’d like to offer:
I admire what CRAG-VT has done for climbing access in Vermont. I never thought I could provide anything useful to the board, but I have a background in Software Engineering and I’d love to give back! I would also love to add diversity to the board. I think different backgrounds and cultures add representation to the community and offer different valuable perspectives. I guess I can translate stuff from/to Spanish? I’m not sure how valuable that is but hey, you never know.
Please share your prior involvement in the climbing community
Other than supporting different climbing areas via memberships and donations, I haven’t really done much. I would really like to change this.
Please Include a Short Bio: 
Born and raised in Mexico, I moved to the US at the age of 27 and didn’t start climbing until my early 30s. After my first experience lead climbing @ the Red River Gorge and swearing I would never climb again, I fell head over heels for the sport and its community. I moved to Detroit due to work, then moved to Colorado where I met my Fiancee; a Vermont native. I’ve been enjoying the sweet and varied climbing in Vermont since 2019 and I can’t help but be impressed by how amazing it is; truly a hidden gem. Through moving around in the US, I’ve learned that I can always count on the climbing community to meet truly amazing and genuine people.

Board Nominee Name: Andrew Hampson

Please share why you are interested in serving on the CRAG-VT board, what you hope to contribute to the organization, and any skills you’d like to offer:
I have been an active part of the climbing community here in VT since I started climbing in 2015, especially the last 3 years. I really enjoy the care taking and improving of crags. I would love to get involved with helping organize and orchestrate trail crew or development.
Please share your prior involvement in the climbing community
I’m a manager at Metrorock, which means I’m in the climbing community all day everyday. I know most of the regular climbers there and am able to share info about local rock if it’s access or conditions or even just beta. I’ve frequently been involved in local events like Reel Rock and the crag climbing festival. Most recently I have been trying to keep Marshfield in better shape since it doesn’t see enough traffic. I replaced the jugging line in the spring and have just taken it down do the winter.
Please Include a Short Bio: 
Hello! My name is Andrew I have been an avid climber for the past 5 years. I am most at home on ropes, especially sport and am honing in my trad skill. I started my journey on becoming a guide this past spring and have been excited by what possibilities this opens up. I am originally from Ohio but have been living outside Burlington since 2012. In the winter I can most likely be found out skiing with my pup ellis, or training for the coming spring rock season. I’m super excited about getting more involved!
What does a board member do?

A CRAG-VT board member should have a passion for climbing, an interest in sustainable conservation and land use, and seek to make the Vermont climbing community one that is welcoming and accessible to those who wish to enjoy climbing here. Board members meet on the first Tuesday of every month, and volunteer throughout the year across a broad range of initiatives. Board members generally contribute 2 – 10 hours per month, as our efforts fluctuate seasonally. We are currently seeking new board members with a range of skills, outlined below.

 

Board Member Responsibilities:

  • Attend all board meetings and vote on board initiatives
  • Review and understand distributed board documents
  • Serve as the Chair or Secretary of at least one committee (see below).
  • Volunteer your time at or in preparation for Events, Stewardship Days, and the VT Climbing Festival
  • Table at a Monthly Member Meetup 1-2 times per year
  • Participate in a weekend long board retreat
  • Contribute one 1-2 page article for the CRAG-Rag, CRAG-VT’s outreach publication

2022 Skills we’re after:

  • IT Support, web development, Google Workspace
  • Building and maintaining relationships with landowners & government agencies
  • Accounting, budgetary planning, administrative tasks
  • Event planning

Nominations/Election Information:

To submit a letter of interest to be on the CRAG-VT board, please fill out this form with a summary of why you are interested in serving on the CRAG-VT board, what you hope to contribute to the organization, and any skills you’d like to offer. If you know someone you think would be a good board member, encourage them to self nominate. Prospective board members must be endorsed by a current CRAG-VT Board Member, although previous relationships with the board are not required and we encourage newcomers to reach out and connect with us!
Nominations are due by November 29th at 5pm. Board elections will be held virtually on the evening of December 7th. Any current CRAG-VT member in attendance can vote. We will use rank choice voting.

CRAG-VT Committee Descriptions:

Access Committee
The Access & Acquisitions committee guides development of climbing access and conservation advocacy work on private and public lands. This includes maintaining existing climbing areas managed by CRAG-VT & associated relationships, identifying new opportunities to broaden Vermont’s climbing resources, working with stakeholders to create and maintain climbing access, writing and reviewing climbing policy recommendations with the state, and supporting CRAG-VT’s relationships with neighbors.

Stewardship & Education Committee
The Stewardship and Education Committee works to cultivate an ethic of stewardship in the Vermont Climbing community. They do so by organizing and leading trail work and cliff area improvement efforts as well as understanding and communicating evolving best practices for supporting long term ecosystem health and community (neighbor) relationships at climbing areas.

Events Committee
CRAG-VT hosts events throughout the year that foster a sense of community amongst Vermont climbers, offer educational opportunities, and support broader fundraising efforts. The Events Committee leads the way in dreaming up and organizing CRAG-VT events, including the Vermont Climbing Festival, Member Meetups, Film Showings, Speaker Series, Clinics, and beyond.

JDEI Committee
The JDEI Committee serves as a guide for the staff, board and all working groups in support of the integration of justice, diversity, equity and inclusion principles into CRAG-VT’s work. The JDEI committee works with other committees to ensure the work we do and the events we offer are through a lense of inclusivity and accessibility.

Development Committee
The Development Committee supports the ED in fundraising through memberships, the major donor program and corporate sponsorships, and solicits in-kind donations for raffles, auctions and other fundraising opportunities.

CRAG Vermont
Board of Directors
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Lauren Greco
Executive Director

Hailing from the midwest, Lauren got her start climbing on the bullet hard sandstone of Southern Illinois 12 years ago. There, she fell in love with climbing as a movement and mental practice, a container for her closest friendships, and a way to feel a part of the landscape. Never having developed much aerial awareness, she prefers to stay on rope, and loves tip-toeing across thin crimps as well as jamming her way up cracks of all shapes and sizes. Lauren has a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.S. in Community Development & Applied Economics from the University of Vermont. She is especially motivated by the opportunity to foster a culture of stewardship within the outdoor recreation space and is overjoyed to be joining CRAG-VT as the new Executive Director!

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Kris Fiore
President

Kris (they/them) is entering his fourth year with CRAG-VT after serving two years as Vice President. A rare breed of climber, Kris hardly feels the need to leave the Green Mountain State to climb and spends most of their time weeding out new cracks and hammering in bolts in search of new first ascents. Kris is also an AMGA-certified Single Pitch Instructor. Aside from climbing, Kris coaches high school ultimate at Colchester High School and is the Director of a youth summer camp in the Adirondacks. You will most likely find Kris and their trusty 50-pound climbing partner, Knuckles wandering in the woods up at Bone Mountain, come say hello some time and they’ll try to convince you it’s, “well worth the hour and a half stroll up to the cliff.”

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Mischa Tourin
Vice President

Mischa found his love for climbing 20 years ago when the Burlington Rock Gym opened in Essex and his father took him to climb Thin Air on Cathedral Ledge. Since then, Mischa has pursued a career in outdoor education and continued to climb in Vermont, out West and around the world. Mischa is certified as a AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, a Wilderness First Responder and a NOLS Outdoor Educator. When he’s not climbing, Mischa guides at-risk youth through social and emotional struggles as the Outdoor Program Director at an alternative high school. Mischa’s favorite climbing memories include learning trad in Red Rock Canyon, traversing granite alpine ridges in the Wind River Range, hand jamming in Indian Creek, projecting routes in Catalunya, Spain, and exploring alongside the wonderful community of climbers in Vermont.

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Andrea Charest
Treasurer

Andrea is Petra Cliffs’ Co- Owner and Jill of all trades.  Andrea began working for Petra Cliffs in 2002 as a birthday party facilitator, and has moved through each and every position along the way to proprietorship.  Andrea is committed to providing a high quality climbing center and offering its visitors, members and employees a positive environment and valuable education. She gets outside as much as possible as a rock and ice climbing and backcountry ski guide, and when she’s not working… she is climbing or skiing.

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Rob Fleming
Secretary

As talented of a Secretary as Rob is, he is far less adept at sending the webmasters of this site his biography, so we decided to just wing it. We would love to tell you more about Rob but he seems to be an elusive character who spends his time chewing granola at the climbing gym while cursing at the younger generations of climbers who can hangboard longer than he can and stroking his beard intimidatingly. When he gives us his bio, you’ll know more about our Secretary, but if he sends rock like he sends bios, don’t trust him anywhere near you. He probably topropes 5.4 with crampons while pulling on trees and complaining about his nagging back strain. Cheers.

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Roderick Russell

A native of New England, Roderick first roped up on a whim, ice climbing on a glacier in Alaska as part of a guided trip.  He knew immediately that he needed to make climbing a priority and it has since overtaken his life (despite several “why do I do this?” moments). While he’s enjoyed climbing all over the United States, Roderick’s true love is the gritty, gnarly nature of New England / Northeast adventure climbing, and Vermont in particular has no shortage of adventure. When not finding his way up rock or bushwhacking through the backcountry, Roderick makes his living touring the country as a professional sword swallower and speaking about fear, focus, flow and how to perform your best while at the edge of your comfort zone.

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Seth Maciejowski

Seth Maciejowski is a Vermont native who has been rock and ice climbing in New England and around the world for over 20 years.  He has a penchant for exploring the ugly, dirty and loose on both rock and ice.  Over the years he has served CRAG-VT as secretary and president.  In his non-climbing life, Seth serves as a electrical design engineer for Allearth Renewables and hikes and bikes with his wife Allaire and two kids, Phoebe and Ephraim.

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Travis Peckham

A native of the Green Mountain State, Travis Peckham has been exploring northeast climbing for over 25 years. Climbing trips west and abroad have brought him to 15 states, 8 countries on 4 continents, but one of his favorite places to climb has always been right here at home. He has been on the board of CRAG-VT since its inception, serving as president from 2005 to 2010. During this period, CRAG-VT acquired Upper West and the Carcass Crag, and coordinated with the Vermont Land Trust to conserve the 82 Crag. He has a degree in computer science from Boston University which he puts to use at his day job, working for a medical software company. He has a beautiful wife, Nancy, and two terrific children Phoebe and Flynn. When he’s not climbing, he enjoys trail running, mountain biking and snowboarding.

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Anna Gutwin

My first experience climbing was through Outward Bound in high school. I was terrified of heights (and still am) and got totally hooked. From there I spent 6 years learning to climb in the Gunks. Having my formative years be focused on learning the art of trad climbing has given me such a great foundation and I am very grateful to my mentors. When I transitioned from trad climbing to sport I realized that I really enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something that initially felt impossible. I’ve been fortunate enough to chase that feeling on bouldering and sport climbing trips throughout the US. While traveling is nice, I love sinking my teeth into a quality route near home. I also ice climb occasionally in the winter and have learned how to aid climb, so all that’s left to learn is big wall climbing!

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Hunter Hedenberg

Hunter began climbing as an underfoot gym kid at Petra Cliffs over 15 years ago, and has been on and off the walls ever since. As a Vermont native, she has spent most of her time on boulders and bolted lines in Vermont and around the Northeast, but has also climbed some of the greats in Wyoming, Colorado, and the Southeast. When not climbing or training, she can often be found cajoling kids into being active in her role as a high school P.E. teacher. Hunter also has 7 years of experience as a climbing coach, working with athletes of all ages in the hopes of making climbing a lifelong passion for them. She would like to blame her lack of trad climbing experience on the expense of purchasing a whole rack of fidgety things, but it can more accurately be attributed to a crippling fear of heights.

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Sam Hayden

Sam grew up in Vermont exploring the hills of Pittsfield, Killington, and Chittenden. Exploration has always been what has driven him. From a very young age he was climbing, hunting for edible mushrooms, collecting rock specimens, and mountain biking the trails with his father, mother, and younger sister. When he started climbing at the age of ten, his urge to explore immediately melded with this newfound passion. Soon, every rock, ledge, and boulder was an opportunity to explore vertically. Since then, Sam has dedicated much of his time to developing climbing areas in Central Vermont and has put up first ascents in Colorado, Utah, Norway, and Puerto Rico. He loves to share his discoveries with others, especially the huge untapped bouldering potential of Vermont.

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Steve Charest

Steve is Petra Cliffs’ co-owner, Program Director and Head Guide. He has been professionally guiding rock, ice, mountaineering, and ski mountaineering programs since 2001. Steve has a degree in Outdoor Education from Johnson State College and completed a NOLS Outdoor Educators Course for Mountaineering & Rock to kickstart his career as a mountain guide and educator.  Steve is involved with the following organizations: IFMGA Aspirant (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations), AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association)

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Christian Skalka

Chris has been exploring the Green Mountains in various ways his whole life. Rock and ice climbing became two of the main ones a bit more than a decade ago. Although he enjoys traveling to mountains and deserts across the world, the scrappy adventure of VT rock climbing and awesome beauty of its ice cascades keeps him settled. He lives in Burlington with his wife Susan and is passing on his climbing knowledge to his two children. Chris has been a Professor at UVM since 2002 and is now Chair of the Computer Science Department.

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Pete Clark

Pete Clark has been a climber in the Northeast for nearly two decades and has been involved with local climbing advocacy for about as long, having served on the board of directors for other organizations such as the Western Mass Climbers Coalition. He is a PhD candidate in natural resources and is one of only a handful of scientists who have studied cliffside ecology. Check out his semi recent paper titled The effects of rock climbing on cliff‐face vegetation. Seemingly in contrast to this, he enjoys doing first ascents and has done a few throughout Vermont and the Northeast. His dog is also named Peaty (like the moss, and the human).