Mike Solimano, Chair
Michael Solimano is the President and General Manager of the Killington/Pico Golf & Ski Resort where he oversees all operational aspects of the largest resort in the Eastern United States. Prior to his position, he was Vice President of Finance at Killington/Pico Resort. Mr. Solimano also served as Vice President of Finance and Operations for Skis Dynastar, managing sales, marketing and distribution for North America, and Audit Manager for Deloitte & Touche. He graduated with honors from Niagara University in Business Administration and earned his CPA certificate in 1992. Mr. Solimano is also serving on the board for Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT, Killington Mountain School, and Ski Vermont. Mr. Solimano resides in Killington, VT.
Joe Kraus, Vice Chair
Mr. Kraus is currently the Chairman of Project VISION. In addition, he has served on a variety of local boards including the Paramount Center, The Rutland Regional Field House, and the Mentor Connector. Mr. Kraus worked for Central Vermont Public Service from 1980 until its sale in 2012. During his tenure he served as Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, oversaw many of the Company’s unregulated ventures and played a large role in the development of renewable energy projects in North America and Europe. Later in his career there, he was responsible for all of the Company’s Operations. Mr. Kraus, a resident of Rutland, VT, graduated from Heidelberg University in 1977 and from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1980. Mr. Kraus resides in Rutland, VT.
Mark Foley, Jr., Secretary
Mark is the fourth generation owner of Foley Services, the leading linen, uniform and materials rental company in Vermont. Mark is also the owner of MKF Properties, a real estate management company which owns and manages commercial properties, primarily in Rutland’s Historic Downtown. Mark is active in the community, serving on several Boards, including the Rutland Economic Development Corp (REDC), the Vermont Business Roundtable and the Paramount Theatre. Mark lives in Rutland Town with his wife Kelly, and their three children.
John R. Butterly, MD
Dr. Butterly is a Cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and The Dartmouth Institute of Health Care Policy & Clinical Practice. Dr. Butterly is presently the Director of Cardiovascular Physiology for the first year medical students at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He attended Cornell University where he received his AB in Biology (Ecology/Marine Biology). He received an MA in Biochemistry at the University of California at Berkeley, followed by his MD degree at the University of California, San Francisco. He did his post-graduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to coming to Dartmouth he practiced at the Lahey Clinic, where he served as the Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Chairman of Medicine, and Medical Director of Network Development. In 1999 he came to Dartmouth where he served as the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Medicine and the Executive Vice-President of Medical Affairs for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health Care system. Dr. Butterly resides in Norwich, VT.
John W. Casella
John W. Casella has served as Chairman of Board of Directors of Casella’s since July 2001 and as Chief Executive Officer since 1993. Mr. Casella served as President from 1993 to July 2001, and as Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1993 to December 1999. In addition, Mr. Casella has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of Casella Waste Management, Inc. since 1977. Mr. Casella is also an executive officer and director of Casella Construction, Inc., a company owned by Mr. Casella and Douglas R. Casella. Mr. Casella has been a member of numerous industry-related and community service-related state and local boards and commissions including the National Recycling Coalition, Board of Directors of the Associated Industries of Vermont, The Association of Vermont Recyclers, Vermont State Chamber of Commerce and the Rutland Industrial Development Corporation. Mr. Casella has also served on various state task forces, serving in an advisory capacity to the Governors of Vermont and New Hampshire on solid waste issues. In 2017, Mr. Casella was inducted into the National Waste & Recycling Hall of Fame for his lifetime contributions to the industry.
Mr. Casella holds an Associate of Science in Business Management from Bryant & Stratton University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from Castleton State College. Mr. Casella resides in Rutland, VT.
Ron J. Cioffi
Mr. Cioffi is the CEO of Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice, where he has been employed for the last 31 years. Mr. Cioffi is a Registered Nurse and received his degree from Castleton State College in 1975. He has served on a variety of Boards including the Rutland Country Club (serving as President), PACE Vermont (served as Vice President), Vermont Assembly of Home Health & Hospice Agencies (serving as President), VNA Health Systems of Vermont, Rutland Regional Medical Center and Rutland Health Foundation. Mr. Cioffi resides in Rutland, VT.
Denise A. Clark
Ms. Clark is a registered pharmacist at Wilcox Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy in Rutland, Vermont and an attorney. She earned her B.S. degree in Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a registered pharmacist in North Carolina and Vermont. Ms. Clark was an adjunct professor at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Services where she taught Vermont Jurisprudence. Ms. Clark earned her J.D. degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Vermont.
Since moving to Vermont in 1999, Ms. Clark has been very involved in her community. She has served as a Director of the Rutland Downtown Partnership and as a Director on the Vermont Achievement Center Board. Additionally, she served as a Mendon School Board Director and Barstow School Board Director for six years. During her tenure as school board director, Ms. Clark was appointed as Chair for one term, served as a member of the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union Board, and on the Executive Committee of the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union Board. Currently, Ms. Clark is a Director of the Vermont Pharmacy Association and sits as a Committee Member of the Governor’s Health Care Workforce Committee. Ms. Clark resides in Mendon, VT.
Michael R. Dick, DMD, FAGD
Dr. Dick is a general dentist who has practiced in Rutland for 35 years. He is a native of Rutland and graduated from Rutland High School. He received his bachelor's degree from Hobart College in 1970 and his dental degree from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine in 1975. He has achieved fellowship status in the Academy of General Dentistry.
Dr. Dick was a member of the Rutland City School Board from 1978-1984 and 1990-2006, serving as Board President for 17 of those years. He served on the Board of the Northeast Delta Dental Corporation from 2002-2011. He was also a board member and President of The Rutland Community Cupboard for seven years.
Dr. Dick and his wife, Susan, live in Rutland, VT. They have three daughters. Sarah is the front desk coordinator in the dental practice. Laura is a pediatrician in Atlanta, and Lindsey is a reading specialist in the Rutland City Public Schools.
Mr. Gallo has owned and operated Rutland’s Magic Brush Painting, one of northern New England’s largest commercial painting contractors, servicing four states. Paul is passionate about his community work and has been involved in numerous community projects such as the redevelopment of Center Street Marketplace, the creation of the Rutland Creek Path and the Wonderfeet Kid’s Museum. He has served as a Board member with Rutland Free Library, Rutland Head Start, the Paramount Theatre (VP), the Rutland Creative Economy (Chair), the Italian-American Club and numerous advisory committees for local non-profits. He is a proud graduate of Mt. St. Joseph Academy and serves on many committees at the local high school including chairing MSJ Diversity Committee. He received an Associate’s degree from Champlain College and a Bachelor of Science from Castleton University in Business Management and Marketing. He resides in Rutland Town with his wife, Ingrid and their teenage daughter, Lucia.
Joan Gamble is a strategic change consultant who helps organizations and teams thrive through difficult transitions. Through skilled assessment, facilitation and coaching, she helps organizations develop a clear motivational vision, focus on their key strategic goals, organize themselves with key action steps and accountability, and achieve high levels of employee engagement.
Joan was previously the Vice President of Strategic Change and Business Services at Central Vermont Public Service. In that capacity, she was directly responsible for a $37 million budget and 75 employees covering strategic planning, information technology, human resources, organizational development, market research and planning, corporate facilities, environmental and other support services. During her 23-year tenure at Central Vermont Public Service, she: co-led the integration planning for the merger of CVPS & Green Mountain Power, oversaw the company’s $62 million smart grid project, oversaw the company’s transformation and 33% reduction of workforce to prepare for industry restructuring, and led several successful negotiations with the union and with multiple entities when initiating efficiency programs and considering industry restructuring.
Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in Environmental Studies focusing on Energy Issues from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She also completed Tuck Business School Executive Program.
Joan has lived in Rutland for 30 years and served on a variety of Boards and Commissions, including: Rutland Regional Medical Center, the Bowse Health Trust, the Vermont Women’s Fund, the Rutland Free Library, Vermont Achievement Center, Vermont Public Television, and the Vermont Judicial Restructuring Commission. She and her husband, Chip Paison, enjoy outdoor activities of all types and have two grown sons.
Robert G. Hedden
Bob is the President of the Hedden Company, a full-service management consulting, research, and education firm specializing in Efficient Home Heating.
Bob is the Board Chair for the Community Heath Centers of the Rutland Region and Education Director for the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA). He served as the Executive Director for the Oilheat Manufacturers Association from 1993 to 2014.
He served on the Vermont Thermal Efficiency Task Force, and is a consultant for the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Above Ground Storage Tank Inspection Program. He is an instructor for the Vermont Fuel Education Center and serves on the Board of Directors for Harriett's Energy Services Inc. in New Jersey.
Bob has written three technical training manuals for NORA: Oilheat Technicians Manual, Efficient Oilheat – a Guide to Energy Conservation, and the new Gold Certification program's Advanced Efficiency workbook.
He teaches customer service, leadership and management, sales and marketing, and technical courses for energy and HVAC companies, trade associations, technical schools, and colleges in the US and Canada.
He graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA with a dual major in Economics and Sociology. Bob lives with his wife Linda in Danby, VT.
Mr. Jones is a Vice President at People’s United Insurance Agency, Inc., a subsidiary of People’s United Bank. He has been working in the insurance industry since 1985 and specializes in commercial property and casualty lines of business. Mr. Jones is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and an Accredited Advisor of Insurance (AAI). He is also a board member of the Rutland Health Foundation and is Chairman of the Rutland Regional Medical Center Ambassador Council. Mr. Jones is an Alpine Technical Delegate with the United States Ski Association. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Vermont Achievement Center from 2001 to 2009, serving as Chairman from 2005-2007. He lives in Mendon, VT, and also served on the Town of Mendon Select Board from 1987 to 2000, serving as Board Chairman from 1996 to 2000. Mr. Jones graduated from Montana State University with a BS in Marketing in 1985. Mr. Jones resides in Mendon, VT.
Michael Kenosh, MD
As a physiatrist, or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctor, Dr. Kenosh focuses on optimizing his patient’s function across a spectrum of musculoskeletal and neurologic diagnoses. His excellent training through the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals in Seattle has been enhanced by continuing education and training through numerous professional organizations. He is an accomplished electro-diagnostician, and has been performing fluoroscopically guided spinal injections for sixteen years. His ultimate goal is to help patients navigate through a complex landscape of medical information and opinion, provide education and empowerment, and develop an individual and personal plan to gain control and mastery of their problems. Dr. Kenosh began practicing in 1996 in Cody, Wyoming. He moved to Rutland in 1997 to assume the directorship for the Rehabilitation Services line at Rutland Regional Medical Center. He was Medical Director for the Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit from 1997 until its closure in 2012 and Director of the Occupational Health/Employee Health program through 2012. Dr. Kenosh is strongly committed and dedicated to providing comprehensive rehabilitation services to the greater Rutland community. Dr. Kenosh resides in Rutland, VT.
Stephen Leffler, MD
Stephen Leffler, MD, is Chief Medical Officer at the University of Vermont Medical Center and a professor of surgery at the UVM College of Medicine. Appointed in 2011, he is responsible for medical staff affairs; the Jeffords Institute for Quality, technology management and ethics; and also participates in strategic planning and leads continued development of a regional integrated system of care, drawing upon his experience working with other hospitals and physicians in the area. Dr. Leffler served as Medical Director of the Emergency Department at the University of Vermont Medical Center, until October 2011 and served as President of the Medical Staff at University of Vermont Medical Center from 2010 to 2011. He has served on numerous clinical committees during his more than two decades as an emergency medicine physician, and has been a key collaborator on significant organizational initiatives, including UVM Medical Center’s regional STEMI project, an innovative program to ensure heart attack victims receive life-saving care as rapidly as possible. A past president of the Vermont Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Dr. Leffler received his medical degree from the UVM College of Medicine and completed residency training in emergency medicine at the University of New Mexico before joining the UVM/Fletcher Allen faculty in 1993. Dr. Leffler completed his Masters in Health Care Delivery Science at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in 2016. Dr. Leffler resides in Hinesburg, VT.
Michele Nelson is VELCO’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Since joining VELCO in 1995 she has advanced and served in several positions which have included Forecasting and Assistant Treasurer, Manager of Accounting, Treasurer, and Vice President of Finance. Prior to joining VELCO, Ms. Nelson was an Internal Auditor at Central Vermont Public Service Corporation from 1990 to 1994. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Ms. Nelson resides in Rutland.
T.J. Sabotka, CPA, MST
Mr. Sabotka is a Certified Public Accountant at O’Brien Shortle Reynolds & Sabotka, PC in Rutland, VT. He started with the firm in 1995, became a partner in 2001, and now serves as the manager of the Tax Department. He also does extensive work in various types of audits for commercial and non-profit entities. Mr. Sabotka graduated from Siena College with a BA in Accounting in 1995. He then went on to the Bentley College McCallum Graduate School of Business and completed his MS degree in Taxation. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and Vermont Society of CPAs. He was born and raised in Rutland, and has stayed very active within the community. Mr. Sabotka was a member of the Board of Directors for the Paramount Theatre and is the current President of the Summit Futbol Club. He is a current professor of accounting at the Community College of Vermont, having been on the adjunct faculty since 2007. He has also been coaching basketball and football at Rutland High School since 1995. He remains very active with the area of youth sports. Mr. Sabotka lives with his wife, Traci, and their four children in Rutland, VT. He enjoys spending his free time with his family, living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.