Staff & Board
Elena Gustavson, Executive Director
(802) 417-1528, ext 5
Elena Gustavson joined RAFFL in early 2014 to run its food and cooking education program before taking on the role of Communications and Community Programs. In August of 2016, she stepped into the role of Executive Director. Elena has worked for the last 12 years directing programs, outreach, business management and communications for a variety of organizations and farms throughout Vermont's Northeast and Central regions, including the Center for an Agricultural Economy, the Vermont Food Venture Center, Sterling College and Pete's Greens Organic Farm.
In her free time, Elena loves to cook and hang out with her teenage kids while enjoying the lovely hiking, running and ski trails Vermont has to offer.
STEPHANIE JONES, LOCALLY GROWN GUIDE
(802) 417-1528, ext 2
Stephanie coordinates RAFFL’s annual Locally Grown Guide. As a child growing up in Central New York, Stephanie witnessed the rapid transition from a working landscape to sprawl; this experience has made her a strong proponent of local agriculture. During the growing season, Stephanie works at Radical Roots Farm in Rutland Town. She is also a yoga instructor and teaches classes throughout the greater Rutland area. In her free time, Stephanie practices yoga, dances for enjoyment and as part of two performance groups, gardens, spends as much time in the water as she can, and is a voracious reader, knitter, and lover of cats.
Phil Gurley, AmeriCorps vista, Marketing Coordinator & Community Engagement
(802) 342-1528, ext 0
Phil is an Americorps VISTA volunteer serving our Marketing and Outreach team. He graduated this past spring from Elon University in North Carolina with degrees in International Studies and Spanish. Phil has strong interests in sustainable agriculture and nutrition and wants to expand food access to the rural communities surrounding Rutland. Phil enjoys hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and Game of Thrones.
Amanda Landry, communications
After over five years managing a diverse organic vegetable farm in Vermont, Amanda completed her two-year service for Peace Corps as a Sustainable Agriculture volunteer in Kolda, Senegal. Along with her passion for community development and agriculture, Amanda also enjoys yoga, Irish Step Dancing, and drawing.
Mara Hearst, Farm business adviser
(802) 417-1528, ext 4
Mara serves as RAFFL’s Farm Services Advisor, a liaison for bringing statewide and nationwide resources to Rutland region’s agricultural and food community, as well as providing educational opportunities for Vermont farmers. Mara started farming in Vermont when she was in high school and has farmed in Vermont, Ecuador, Wales, and Washington, while also finishing a self-designed agriculture and entrepreneurial business degree through UVM’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her passion is in growing food and understanding how farming can become more viable of a business. When not working at RAFFL with farmers statewide, she is farming with her partner in Dorset, VT, helping to run his gamebird business.
GRACE DAVY, EVERYDAY CHEF COORDINATOR
802-417-1528 ext. 707
As the Everyday Chef Coordinator, Grace Davy offers workshops on fast and thrifty, nutritious and easy cooking around Rutland County. These group cooks are offered to a wide variety of communities, over hot plates and in commercial kitchens. She also likes animals, gardening, dairy products, and art in all forms all day every day.
MCKENNA HAYES, FARM FRESH CONNECT MANAGER
(802) 472-1528, ext 1
McKenna coordinates the logistics, marketing, and customer service for the Farm Fresh Connect Program. A native Vermonter, McKenna completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont in 2012 and recently graduated from Vermont Law School with a Master's Degree in Food and Agricultural Law and Policy. Deeply interested in the intersection of food access and community health, McKenna believes that strong, local food systems foster strong, local communities. In her free time, McKenna enjoys yoga, snowboarding, hiking, swimming, and attending concerts and music festivals.
Mary Bilecki, americorps vista, glean team
Mary is an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer serving as the Glean Team Coordinator. She graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2016 with degrees in International Development and Anthropology. She strongly believes that everyone, no matter their socioeconomic status, deserves access to healthy, locally grown produce. Vermont and the Glean Team is the perfect opportunity to to put these passions into action. Mary also enjoys cooking (eating) and exploring the outdoors with friends and family.
Mike Raymond, FINANCE
(802) 417-1528, ext 0
Mike works part time at RAFFL, serving as their Financial Director. He brings over forty years of experience working in the management and programming of non profit organizations. When not working, Mike enjoys taking advantage of all the outdoor recreational opportunities Vermont has to offer.
Tara Kelly - A Founding Member of RAFFL and Former Executive Director
Tara has been actively involved in community development for over twenty years. She is a founding member of RAFFL and the organization’s first executive director. Tara focuses on strategic thinking, program planning, administrative management, statewide cooperation, local collaboration, and fundraising. Tara served as RAFFL's Executive Director from 2009 to 2016 and is currently Planning Director for the City of Rutland.
Board of Directors
Kara Soulia, President
Vermont Country Store
Larry Courcelle, Vice President
Vermont Roofing Co.
Nancy Mark, Treasurer
Mettawee School Principal (retired)
Maria Reade, Secretary
Food Anthropologist, Green Mountain College
Agency of Natural Resources
Haven Hill Farm
South Londonderry, VT
Vermont Country Store &
Williams River House