The VMBA Board of Directors has four (4) open board seats to appoint to a three-year term beginning April 1st, 2023. Per VMBA Bylaws, the current Board of Directors has nominated a slate of candidates for the membership to consider and vote on before the VMBA Annual Meeting on March 23rd. Board Members help steer the direction of VMBA and are vital in setting the strategic plan. The current Board is particularly interested in adding individuals with fundraising and finance expertise and those passionate about helping VMBA advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Please find below statements from each candidate, and if you are either a 2022/23 or 2023/24 VMBA member, follow the link below to cast your ballot by the end of the day, March 20th!
Abby Crisostomo, Jeffersonville
Hi! I’m Abby Crisostomo (she/her) and I’m excited to be considered for the VMBA Board of Directors. I’ve been biking since I was young on the trails in the woods near where I grew up in New Hampshire. Once I moved to Boston for high school and college my cycling experience looked a little bit different, working as a bike messenger and then commuting via bike in the city. After moving to Vermont in 2015 I took up mountain biking and have had an absolute blast doing it since! I love to ride in the Stowe area and I’m looking forward to exploring more and more trail networks throughout the state. My professional background is doing development and fundraising work for non profit organizations, I’ve worked for the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Green Mountain Club, and in 2020 I co-founded Unlikely Riders, a Vermont BIPOC collective mobilizing our community to find joy and healing in the mountains. Our work is to reduce barriers to entry to snow sports while also creating a community for BIPOC folks on snow. Thank you for your consideration and I hope to see you on the trails this year!
David Dore, Burlington
I am actively seeking opportunities to leverage my nonprofit financial management and operational experience, spanning over fifteen years, to be of service to Vermont. My love of beautiful outdoor spaces and exploring them by mountain bike has led me to offer my passion and professional experience to support and advance VMBA’s mission. I greatly appreciate my fellow members’ consideration.
I most recently held the role of Chief Financial & Operating Officer for uAspire, Inc. a Boston based nonprofit, helping students throughout the country find an affordable pathway to a post-secondary education. I helped steward the turbulent growth of an annual budget of $3 million that largely relied on a revolving line of credit, to an annual budget of over $9 million stabilized by healthy operating reserves. Through this growth, which more than tripled the staff size, I led the creation and maintenance of financial tracking and reporting systems to support strategic decision making, enhanced planning and budgeting practices, strengthened revenue forecasting and ensured operational flexibility and responsiveness. My educational experience includes an undergraduate business degree and MBA from Boston College and a Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting from Suffolk University.
I currently reside in Burlington with my wife Kathleen and daughters, Nora (8) and Linden (6). We love Vermont and the unique outdoor recreation its landscapes provide. Mountain biking and downhill skiing are our top passions. Serving as a VMBA Director and gaining a closer connection to a sport we love in the place we love to do it would be an honor.
Sasha Dietschi-Cooper, Burlington
I was raised in the village of South Strafford on the eastern edge Vermont. There, I developed a lifelong passion for adventure in the outdoors – riding bikes of all shapes and sizes, trail running, sliding on snow in any form possible, and traveling to warm places in the winter. From an early age, I have had a thirst for new experiences, leading me on outdoor adventures and professional pursuits. Despite that, I’ve always returned to Vermont, home for my family and me.
After earning a BA in History at Colorado College, I studied Wilderness Emergency Medicine to become a Wilderness certified EMT. I then spent several years guiding Mt. Bike trips, teaching snowboarding and bandaging up friends in the backcountry of Colorado and Utah.
After managing a specialty snowboard shop for several years, I began my career in Sales & Marketing in 1998. In 2004 I moved to Seattle to establish the regional agency for Burton in the PNW. In 2009 I moved back to Vermont to lead Burton’s North American Sales team as the VP of Sales for Western Hemisphere. In 2015 my family and I moved to California where I led global sales for prAna, before returning to Vermont in 2018.
Since returning to Vermont, I divide my time between running Method Outdoor Collective, a Vermont based global go-to-market agency and serving as a founding board member & Vice President for Burlington Football Club, a community-based, values driven, non-profit soccer club based in Burlington.
I spend my free time chasing my wife Sarah and our 3 children thru the woods, on bikes on snow or on foot and typically with at least a few dogs in tow.
Kelly Dolan, Waitsfield
I am a big believer in playing outside at every age, and started mountain biking in 2020. Beyond facilitating access to the outdoors, VMBA is a “place” for growing community. I am excited by the possibility of joining this board. During the day, I am the Network Manager for Vermont Farm to Plate. My job is to bring farmers, professionals, and community members together on complicated issues by building relationships, creating connections and developing meaningful projects. Understanding how to build a successful network through trust and shared experiences is central to the work I do every day. VMBA’s advocacy work including responsible land management is a strong interest and knowledge area of mine – Understanding the balance of preserving both conserved and privately owned land, as well as the pressures of migration and development are key to ensuring future access to the trails we all love. Apart from this, I am a firm believer in making access to the outdoors more equitable. We are all happier, healthier and better off when we get to play outside together. Appreciate being a part of this community and your consideration!
Jed Nelson, Waterbury
Hi, I’m Jed. I work at Union Bank as VP of Marketing and live in Moretown, a mile from the Perry Hill trailhead. Trail sports have always been my thing.
I applied to the board because, for me, there’s nothing more exciting than the progression of mountain biking in VT, principally under the direction of VMBA, chapters & partners. Initiatives like Velomont, Adaptive Riding & “Common Ground” are super impactful to quality of life.
I’ve been fortunate to work with non-profits & state agencies including VMBA, Vermont Adaptive, Flyin Ryan, Ski Vermont, Ag and Tourism. In my previous role as Marketing Director of local brewery, I helped raise funds for these organizations through programming and events, including six years of directing the brewery’s efforts for an annual charity bike ride that drew ~ 600 riders.
I championed a corporate partnership between the brewery & VMBA, gaining a deep appreciation of the organization and worked closely with VMBA leadership on sponsoring a Naming Grant project.
At the bank I continue to collaborate with non-profits (150+) and recently commissioned a team of five Dartmouth MBA’s for a research project involving ESG and DEI.
I consider myself to be pragmatic, diplomatic and operate with a sense of urgency. That is a big part of what I would bring to VMBA. Thanks!
Anthony Staples, Bolton
My name is Anthony, I am a resident of Bolton Valley, VT, and I currently work as the bike department buyer for the Outdoor Gear Exchange. My life has been dedicated to my outdoor pursuits for as long as I can remember, and while passions have ebbed and flowed from one activity to the next, my appreciation for the lands we play in and access to them has remained consistent. You’ll find me outside year-round, whether mountain running, riding bikes, climbing rocks, paddling, or splitboarding.
I have two primary motivations for my application to join the VMBA board of directors and those are to give back to a community that has given me so much and to use industry knowledge and connections to help expand the reach of the organization. I am grateful for access groups like VMBA that made it easier for me to find healthy outlets and like-minded people while I was beginning a journey to recovery nearly seven years ago. I would like to encourage others to see their potential as members of active communities and to help shape those spaces so that everyone can experience a sense of belonging within them. Secondly, as an active participant in Vermont trail running, I see opportunities to expand the reach of the organization to include many of the folx already using VMBA network trails as multi-use areas. I believe that through outreach, connection, and education, all trail users in Vermont can co-recreate these areas more successfully. Of course, increased membership and buy-in make it easier to preserve access, manage lands and support the organization’s community-based programming – a win for all.
Annie Strout, South Burlington
Annie Strout is a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley where she holds the titles of Associate Vice President, Corporate Retirement Director, and Financial Wellness Director. She also is a Qualified Plan Financial Consultant and a Financial Planning Specialist.
Annie loves anything with two wheels and would love the opportunity to become a board member and help give back and contribute to an association that she not only believes in but also has benefited her over the years. Annie found mountain biking about 7 years ago and has been hooked ever since. She is originally from MA but fell in love with all that Vermont has to offer and has called Vermont her home since graduating from UVM more than a decade ago. Although Annie doesn’t personally have any direct experience with DEI work–being a minority and female, she does hope she could bring another perspective to the table if elected as a board member.
Annie enjoys biking, skiing, running, and the outdoors and lives in South Burlington with her husband Chris and their two dogs Jack and Baxter.
Once you’ve reviewed each candidate, and if you are a 2022/23 or 2023/24 VMBA member, follow the link below to cast your ballot by the end of the day, March 20th!