The Vermont Community Foundation announced that Liz Gamache, Chelsea Bardot Lewis, and Kevin Wiberg will join the organization’s grants and community investments department, which is responsible for overseeing the programs that distribute grants and mission-related investments throughout the state.
The three join the Foundation at a time when the organization is focusing a significant part of its resources on helping Vermonters overcome the so-called “opportunity gap”—the structural challenges that exist across communities and affect the aspirations, achievement, and opportunities facing low-income families and youth.
Liz Gamache joins the Foundation as vice president for grants and community investments. In the role, she will direct the Foundation’s approach to grantmaking, community engagement, and Vermont-based mission investing and help put the Foundation’s charitable capital in all its forms to work in local communities. Over the course of her career, Gamache has served in leadership and managerial roles in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, she was director of Efficiency Vermont at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), where she led a nationally recognized energy efficiency program that delivered statewide economic and environmental benefits by reducing the costs to individuals and businesses of using energy.
Gamache is also currently serving a third term as mayor of St. Albans, where she has helped lead a downtown revitalization effort.
Chelsea Bardot Lewis will join as senior philanthropic advisor. In the role, she will facilitate, promote, and ensure that the Foundation’s efforts to strengthen communities are successful at the local level while also supporting donors in their grantmaking. Lewis most recently served as business development section chief for the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, where she led a team to promote economic development through support of Vermont’s farm, food and forest sector businesses. Among other duties, she administered the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, a program designed to offer technical and financial support to entrepreneurs at the forefront of Vermont’s working lands economy.
Kevin Wiberg also joins as philanthropic advisor for community engagement, ensuring that the Foundation’s efforts are successful at the local level while supporting donors in their grantmaking. He worked most recently for Housing Vermont as manager of HV Connections, an initiative to improve social and economic outcomes for residents, partnerships, and communities. In the role, he identified resident needs, developed community resources and best practice strategies, and built effective partnerships across agencies and sectors.
Wiberg’s background includes 14 years as the director of program development for Capstone Community Action in central Vermont and several years with the University of Vermont’s Center for Rural Studies and UVM Extension in both research and outreach capacities.
“We are thrilled to welcome such a talented group of individuals to the team,” says Vermont Community Foundation President & CEO Dan Smith. “All three bring a wealth of experiences working with Vermont communities, which will be invaluable to us as we roll up our sleeves to address the challenging work ahead. We’re fortunate to have them on board to help us direct our work and align philanthropy to help all Vermont communities thrive.”
Gamache, Lewis, and Wiberg will begin their work at the Foundation later this summer.
The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of hundreds of funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make giving easy and effective. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing and connecting philanthropists to multiply their impact, and by keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments in the community. Visit www.vermontcf.org or call 802-388-3355 for more information.