ellen-with-surface-480pxWhat I do:
As the Executive Director of the VT Sustainable Jobs Fund, I have the pleasure of working with a team whose purpose is to accelerate the development of Vermont’s green economy. That means we focus on industry level, sustainable economic development in the areas of food systems, forest products, bioenergy and other forms of renewable energy, waste/nutrient management, and green technology development. We utilize a market development framework that applies the same fundamentals to advancing an entire industry as an individual business uses to advance itself over time. Initially established by the Vermont Legislature, as a 501c3 non-profit organization we are authorized to deploy loans, grants and technical assistance to assist innovative businesses and non-profits in our designated market sectors. We are firm believers in the power of networks and the Collective Impact framework to generate real systems level change. And we develop useful tools that can be replicated in other parts of the country (e.g., vtfoodatlas.com, vtenergyatlas.com, Oilseed Cost of Production Calculator).

My favorite book/author:
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

My motto(s):
“There is no spoon.” and “Not too tight; Not too loose.”

My greatest achievement:
It’s too soon to say …

My greatest extravagance:
Eating Vermont artisanal cheeses (especially Winnemere from the Cellars at Jasper Hill)

My favorite journey:
My whole KNFP Group 14 journey and most especially my learning plan journey to Ladakh, India

Five people (living or dead) I’d want to have dinner with:
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama; Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche; President Barack Obama; Pema Chodron; Vandana Shiva

The person living today who most inspires me:
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

The reason I get up in the morning:
To make a lasting contribution to building an economy fundamentally based on the notion of Care, Connection and Kindness.

My perfect day:
Being above tree line and hanging out on top of a big mountain with my wife, drinking cold, fresh spring water and eating fresh picked blueberries.

The talent I wish I had:
Having the patience and skill to make really good compost.

My best leadership advice:
1) Develop and practice some form of spiritual practice (such as meditation); 2) Develop true friendship with and gentleness and kindness towards yourself (this will enable you to be caring, gentle and kind to others); 3) Steadily build your confidence and bravery; and 4) Take the leap, live your values, and work for the benefit of all sentient beings!

Matusak Courageous Leadership Award
Nominate a leader at kfla.org/matusak »

Open until May 16, 2014

Matusak Award Winners
Previous Matusak Award winners Susan Sygall (KNFP-14), left, and Nancy Guarneros.
Susan was awarded in 2011 for her leading role as an advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and Nancy in 2012 for speaking out on behalf of undocumented immigrant students, while risking arrest and deportation.

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Martha's Letter
New Opportunities & A New KLFA Newsletter

Walk & Win
Join our Health Call To Action (and compete for a $5000 donation)

Some of the latest opportunities in the Kellogg Fellows Community

Fellow Spotlight
Check out this profile of Ellen Kahler (KNFP-14)

Book Nook
A moving & inspiring book from Susan Sygall (KNFP-14)

Featured upcoming events & gatherings


MAY 1, 2014 | Health Call to Action begins

MAY 16, 2014 | Nomination Deadline: Matusak Courageous Leadership Award

JUNE 2014 | Ann Arbor, Michigan
Hosts Betty Overton (KNFP-09), David Fike (KNFP-15), and John Burkhardt (KNFP-10) are planning a gathering of Kellogg Fellows in June, 2014. Contact Betty for details.

MAY - JUNE 2014 | Lansing, Michigan
Hosts Andrea Collier (FSPF-06), Maria Garcia Santana (KNFP-13), and Kevin Walker (KNFP-15) are planning a gathering of Kellogg Fellows in May or June. Contact Andrea for details.

JULY - AUGUST 2014 | Washington/Oregon Region
Host Larry Nyland (KNFP-07) is planning a gathering in late summer. Contact Larry for details.

JULY - AUGUST 2014 | California Bay Area
Hosts Dick Fletcher (KNFP-08), Dana Hughes (KNFP-15), and Bill Reckmeyer (KNFP-09) are planning a second Kellogg Fellows gathering in late summer. Contact Dana for details.

TBD | New Orleans, Louisiana/Delta Region
Host Barrie Stokes (KNFP-05) is putting together a gathering of the Delta region. Contact Barrie for details.

TBD | Washington, D.C.
Hosts Kathy Bonk (KNFP-09), Darryl Jones (KNFP-13), and Herma Williams (KNFP-07) are planning a gathering of Kellogg Fellows.