Howard Center Welcomes New Board Members and Elects Officers

Howard Center hosted its Board of Trustees annual meeting in November and elected new trustees and officers and elected several current trustees to new three three-year terms. We are pleased to announce Howard Center has appointed new members Andrew Collier, Jodi Girouard; and Mat Robitaille; to its Board of Trustees for three-year terms.

Andrew Collier was recently appointed deputy commissioner at the Department of Liquor and Lottery after. spending the last 11 years serving the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in a variety of roles. He grew up in Colchester, Vermont, then moved to Westfield, Massachusetts, before returning to the Green Mountains. Now a resident of Chittenden County, he serves on his local Town Development Review Board and State Natural Resources board (NRB). Andrew and his wife and daughters live in Westford.

Jodi Girouard is a Vermont author who this year published a memoir entitled Living With the Neighbors. It is a work of her journey to heal, to accept, and to survive her mental illness. She has also published a collection of essays, Much Madness, released in November 2019. She has previously published two books of poetry, won several writing contests, and has been published online. Jodi has a website where she writes poetry daily.

Jodi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and English and has previously taught. She has a poetic movement to inspire hope in people she uplifts with poetry. It is her ambition to change despair into peace one poem at a time. Jodi lives in South Burlington.

Mat Robitaille is a Vice President and Sr. Business Banking Relationship Manager at KeyBank, based in Burlington, Vermont. Mat graduated from Northern Vermont University at Lyndon with a B.S. in Business Administration in 2000. He is a graduate of the Leadership Champlain program and a recipient of the Vermont Business Magazine Rising Star Award. Mat has served as a Board Member for the Milton Community Youth Coalition and as a Mentor Family for the University of Vermont Neonatal Clinic. In his spare time, Mat enjoys flying hot air balloons and camping with his family. He and his wife and twin sons live in Milton.

The following board officers were elected for one-year terms:

Meg O’Donnell will serve as president. An attorney by profession, Meg’s career focused on health care law and policy, and included working for state regulatory agencies as well as the University of Vermont Medical Center, where she was Director of Government & Community Relations until her retirement in early 2018. Meg has extensive experience teaching health policy, and has served on a number of boards, including the Vermont Board of Bar Examiners, the Community Health Centers of Burlington, and New England Federal Credit Union. Meg lives in Shelburne.

Kelly Deforge will serve as vice president. Kelly is a parent and a passionate and dedicated advocate for accessible mental health services. She is the co-chair of Howard Center’s Family Advisory Council and a tireless advocate for children and families. Kelly, a mortgage loan officer with Union Bank, also serves on the loan committee for Champlain Housing Trust. Kelly lives in Essex Junction.

George Philibert will serve as treasurer. George is the president of GHP Advisors, PC, a practice focused on the tax and business advisory needs of closely held businesses and their owners, business valuations, litigation support, and family accounting and advisory services. George participated on the 1994 merger committee that helped create the current Howard Center. He is a co-founder and past board president of Vermont Jump$tart for Personal Financial Literacy, Inc. George served as a past-president of Howard Center’s board and also served on the Baird Center board prior to the merger. George lives in South Burlington.

Cyndee Cochrane Sturtevant earned an MBA from the University of Vermont, worked as an auditor and accountant for a Burlington CPA firm, as an instructor of business courses at Community College of Vermont, as a business/human resource manager for Salzburg Seminar in Middlebury, Vermont, and as a high school German teacher in rural Maine. Cyndee was elected as secretary to the Howard Center Board of Trustees and also serves on the finance and audit committees. She is a Trustee for the Vermont Foundation of Children and Families. Cyndee also serves on the Lund Board of Trustees as treasurer, and on Lund’s finance and executive committees.

The following board members have been renewed for another three-year term: Kathy Connolly (Burlington), Michael Couture (Colchester), Meg O’Donnell, Ann Pugh (South Burlington), and Cyndee Cochrane Sturtevant (Shelburne).