United Way welcomes new leadership and members to its Board of Directors
United Way of Northwest Vermont (UWNWVT)—an organization dedicated to improving lives in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties—elected new leadership to its Board of Directors and welcomed six new board members in May.
Michell Langlais and Phet Keomanyvanh were unanimously elected to serve as the president and vice president of UWNWVT’s Board of Directors, respectively.
Langlais, vice president of sales at Westport Hospitality, is a founding member of United Way’s Women United – a powerhouse of diverse women working together to create change in Northwest Vermont. This is her second tenure on UWNWVT’s Board, having previously served from 2010-2016. Langlais also serves on the Board of Trustees for Mercy Connections and RunVermont and volunteers for COTS’ Capital Campaign.
“I have been involved with United Way for 20 years and have seen it grow from a ‘community chest’ of resources to a committed organization bringing together business, government, nonprofits and individuals to create lasting change in Northwest Vermont.. I am both proud and honored to play an integral part in United Way’s mission to improve lives by building a healthy and strong community for all,” Langlais said.
Keomanyvanh is acting director of Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at the City of Burlington and previously worked in Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office. She is a co-founder and board member of the Vermont Professionals of Color Network. This is Keomanyvanh’s first term on the board but she is no stranger to United Way having previously been on staff as a volunteer coordinator.
“It’s an honor to have such a rich history with United Way of Northwest Vermont from my start as a staff member to serving on the board. I’m pleased to be part of an organization that continues to be a movement to transform communities and enrich lives for the better,” Keomanyvanh said.
UWNWVT’s board also welcomed seven new members that will bring new perspectives, strengths, and talents to support United Way’s work.
“United Way of Northwest Vermont is 100 percent community-driven and we are incredibly grateful to be guided by volunteer board members who are truly representative of the communities we serve,” said UWNWVT CEO Jesse Bridges.
Newly elected UWNWVT Board members include:
Gamal Alsalahi, Branch Manager at Citizens Bank in Burlington: Alsalahi says he has always had a great passion for nonprofit organizations. Having watched nonprofits work for years to deliver aid and medical care to people in war-torn Yemen, his home country, Alsalahi decided he wanted to volunteer to help nonprofits improve lives in local communities and is honored to join United Way’s board.
Lauren Dees-Erickson, Technical Advisor with FHI360: The majority of Dees-Erickson’s career has been spent on US government-funded projects that fall within democracy, governance, civil society, and peacebuilding. An active member of her community, she is Vice Chair of the St. Albans City Planning Commission, Chair of the St. Albans Democrats, and a delegate to the state Democratic committee.
Joe Halko, Director of Community Relations at Northwestern Counseling & Support Services (NCSS): Halko has been with NCSS for over 22 years and first began his association with the United Way as Campaign Co-Chair in 2005 for the former Franklin-Grand Isle United Way and served as Board President from 2010 -2012. Halko also serves on the boards of Northwest Access TV, Rotary Club of St. Albans, Franklin-Grand Isle Community Partnership, and the Northwestern Medical Center Board of Directors Nominating Committee.
Adrianne Johnson Ross, President & COO at University of Vermont Health Network Home Health & Hospice: Johnson Ross is a community health leader who is passionate about health equity and policy. She joined UVM Health Network Home Health & Hospice in December 2020. She serves on the boards of the VNAs of Vermont and the Medical Center Foundation. Previously, she served as interim CEO for Pheno Health Technologies, Inc., in Minneapolis.
Andrea Patrick-Baudet, CEO of Franklin County Home Health Agency: Patrick-Baudet is certified as a Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse and Administrator and has worked in nonprofit healthcare settings since 1992 in a variety of patient care and leadership roles. She serves on the board of the VNAs of Vermont and is a member of the St Albans Rotary Club and Franklin County’s 100 Women Who Care.
Sarah Russell, Special Assistant to End Homelessness for the City of Burlington: Russell is developing and managing homelessness initiatives and policies to ensure homelessness is rare and brief in Chittenden County. She previously worked for the Burlington Housing Authority, COTS and CVOEO. She is Co-Chair of the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance and resides in Charlotte with her husband and sons.