Joseph Kraus, 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., Vice Chair
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.
Denise A. Clark, Secretary
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.
Mary M. Beerworth, MD, FACOG
Dr. Mary M. Beerworth is the former Medical Director of Rutland Women’s Healthcare and Section Chair of Rutland Women’s Healthcare, the obstetrics and gynecological department of Rutland Regional Medical Center. Dr. Beerworth is a graduate of the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont OB-GYN Residency Program. She graduated Magna cum Laude, with Phi Beta Kappa honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and received her MD from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Memberships and distinctions include Fellow, American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Vermont State Medical Society, New England Society of OB/GYN, Vermont Council for New England OB/GYN Society.
Dr. Beerworth enjoys spending time with her family – husband John of 40 years and their three energetic grandchildren.
S. Patrick Bender, MD, MSHS
Dr. Bender is currently the interim Vice President for Quality and Operational Effectiveness at the University of Vermont Medical Center. He is an Attending Physician for both Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, and splits his clinical time between the OR and the Surgical ICU. He is an Associate Professor for Anesthesiology and Surgery within the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. Dr. Bender graduated with honors from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2000 and received his M.D. from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 2004. He completed his residency in Anesthesiology at The Ohio State University Medical Center, followed by a Fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. In 2019, he completed his Master’s in Health Care Quality from George Washington University. Dr. Bender serves on the Board of Directors for the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists and is an Examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology. He and his family reside in Richmond, VT, and have family throughout the Rutland area.
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.
Mr. Courcelle serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Community Care Network (Rutland Mental Health Services, Inc. and Rutland Community Programs, Inc.); he has been with CCN for 13 years and was named CEO in 2015. Immediately prior to CCN, he was Chief Financial Officer for Vermont Achievement Center. Mr. Courcelle was Director of Public Relations for Killington Ski Resort, where he was also responsible for establishing the resort’s marketing research program. Following Killington, he served as the first Executive Director of Downtown Development Corporation (dba Downtown Rutland Partnership), where he led a new organization that spearheaded the economic revitalization of Downtown Rutland. After 10 years with DDC, he worked for Central Vermont Public Service Corporation as a manager in two of its subsidiaries, where he led teams to develop plans for expanding markets and services.
Mr. Courcelle has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Castleton, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Vermont, and additional graduate coursework in Finance from Saint Michael’s College. He holds a Professional Certificate in Leadership and Management from UVM. He has taught Marketing Management in the graduate program at Saint Michael’s, and also undergraduate management courses at the College of Saint Joseph.
He has served on the boards of Crossroads Arts Council, Vermont Achievement Center, Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, and Rutland Redevelopment Authority. Mr. Courcelle currently serves on the Finance Committee for his church, and is on the Executive Committee of the Vermont Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services. He was elected to the Rutland City Board of School Commissioners in 2006 and serves as President of the Board. He has been married for 20 years to his wife Sharon, and has two children, Delaney and Ian. He has coached youth basketball, football, and softball, and his many interests include hiking, snowshoeing, golf, music, and reading.
Dan Doenges is the owner and general manager of the award-winning Vermont Sport & Fitness Club located in Rutland, VT. He is member of the Rutland Young Professionals where he volunteers with Employer Relations and Community Outreach. He also represents RYP as board ex-officio for the Rutland Economic Development Corporation. There he serves on the joint marketing committee and nominating committee. Through REDC, he has joined both the steering and creative committees for the progressive Rutland Marketing Initiatives Real Rutland Campaign.
Mr. Doenges graduated with honors from Assumption College in 2007 with a BA in Marketing. He grew up in Mendon, VT and now lives in Rutland with his wife and three children. He enjoys spending time with his family, taking on new challenges and having a healthy and productive lifestyle.
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.
Ms. Gamble 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.
Ms. Gamble 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.
Ms. Gamble 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.
Ms. Jones is currently employed by UBS Financial Services where she and her team strive to create customized solutions through financial planning for her clients as a CFP and Financial Advisor.
Ms. Jones left her managerial position at the Discovery Channel in Washington DC to become a Financial Advisor in 2008 so she and her husband could live in Vermont. She became a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) in 2011. She holds her Series 7, 66 and Insurance licenses across numerous states. She holds a Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University and she graduated cum laude from Connecticut College with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies. All that aside, her greatest achievements are her three children: Henry, Lucie and Finn.
Ms. Jones is an active member of her Vermont community. She is a former board member of the Rutland County Boys and Girls Club and Vermont Folk Life Center and is currently a member of the Rutland Young Professionals and the Rutland Regional Medical Center's Investment Committee. She grew up on the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona and spent every summer swimming, sailing and boating on Green Lake, WI with her grandmother and large extended family. She and her husband, Jeffrey Goelz, enjoy skiing, travel, board games, and the outdoors with friends and family.
Sara C. King, is the CEO of the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region. King, a 20-year employee of the agency, is a graduate of Russell Sage College with a BS in Accounting and has extensive experience in home health and healthcare administration. Her expertise includes implementing successful transitions to Federal and State reimbursement systems, mergers, business development, electronic medical record implementation, and operations management. King serves on the Board of Directors for the VNA Health Systems and VNA’s of Vermont (serving as Treasurer).
Edward J. Merrens, MD
Edward J. Merrens, MD, has been at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) since 1998, where he worked initially in General Internal Medicine as a general internist and Director of Inpatient Medical Services. He developed the Hospitalist service at D-H in 2004 and, in 2005, established the Section of Hospital Medicine, where he served as its inaugural section chief from 2005-12. Merrens served on the D-H Boards of Trustees from 2006-12 and currently serves on regional affiliate hospital boards. He continues to practice as a hospitalist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH.
Dr. Merrens served as Chief Medical Officer from 2012-16 when he assumed the role of System Chief Medical Officer. In October 2016, he was named Chief Clinical Officer for D-H. In this capacity, Merrens works closely with the CEO and Chief Officers, as well as the system integration team to develop, coordinate, and enhance clinical operations, service lines and care across the D-H system, from D-H’s academic tertiary care hospital, across the D-H Community Group Practice and D-H affiliate hospitals as they work to deliver efficient, high-quality care across the region.
Dr. Merrens is a 1988 graduate of Dartmouth College, and a 1994 graduate of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He completed his internship and residency in medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle in 1997. Dr. Merrens then served as the inpatient chief resident at University of Washington's Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. In 2013, he graduated from the Masters in Health Care Delivery Science Program at Dartmouth and the Tuck School of Business.
He has a long-standing involvement in international sports, serving as team physician and medical director for the U.S. Biathlon Association from 1998-2014, as well as a team physician with the U.S. Olympic Committee for Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, USA (2002), Torino, Italy (2006), Vancouver, Canada (2010) and Sochi, Russia (2014). In 2017 he was named to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Board of Directors.
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.
Bob Riley, Ph.D., MPA, MS, currently serves as the Chairperson of the Community Health (CHCRR) Board of Directors. Prior to becoming the Chair, Bob served on both the Finance Committee and Governance Committee of Community Health. Prior to joining Community Health, Bob served as the Executive Director of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), the recognized credentialing organization representing more than 15,000 recreational therapists throughout the Untied States and Canada. In addition, Bob served as an academic administrator and university professor for over 25 years holding an array of academic positions at several institutions. His research interests include health care outcomes, systems evaluation, and professional credentialing. He is most noted for his contributions to quality assessment, standards of practice, and credentialing exam development. He has also worked in child psychiatry, geriatrics, and with individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Bob is an avid runner, golfer, and cyclist. He and his wife Maria enjoy extensive hikes throughout Vermont and New England. They have lived in Vermont for over 40 years and currently reside in Middletown Springs.