Special Olympics Vermont



Special Olympics Vermont staff is comprised of a dedicated and excellent group of individuals with broad corporate and non-profit experience.  The staff supports the ongoing growth and development of programs throughout Vermont including all competitions, fundraising activities and brand management.  Athletes and families are vital to the mission of SOVT and the staff provides a variety of services for them.

Photos by Heather Glenn

Lisa DeNatale_SOVT Lisa DeNatale
President & CEO

College:  Boston College, BS Marketing

Fun fact:  I was a gymnast for 12 years.   I used to be able to do multiple flips.

Accomplishments:  Co-Founder of the Champlain Valley Down Syndrome Group.

Greatest Special Olympics moment?  Watching Steve Smiel learn that he won gold at the 2013 Golf Tournament.

Family:  Married to Steve Boutcher, Mother of Harrison and Emma



daniel-square-750 Daniel Favand
Operations Manager

Education: MSC, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland; BA, Geneva College, PA

Accomplishments: Completing a master’s research project

Family: A fantastic partner working on a PhD in Montreal

Pet Peeve: Bad public transit networks




Sasha FisherSasha Fisher

Events Manager

Education: BA, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA

Accomplishments: Playing D1 College Tennis and surviving my first Vermont winter!

Fun Fact: I am a triplet from Bermuda

Greatest Special Olympics moment: I know there will be many, but attending my first Unified Soccer tournament and helping to drape medals over athletes with the biggest smiles.



Michelle Gates_SOVTMichelle Gates
Senior Vice President

College:  Virginia Tech

Fun fact:  Started out studying interior design, interned with a firm and won several awards for tile and rug design.  Favorite TV channel is still HGTV

Family:  Married to Rick, mother of Zachary and Nick, 2 cats: Oliver and Mike Wazowski (from Monster’s Inc)

Pet Peeve?  People who are intolerant of differences.





Justin Graham_SOVT

Justin Graham
Sports Manager

College: Lake Superior State University, BS Marketing & Management

Fun Facts: Runner; enjoy cooking and entertaining-serving as the host even when I’m at some else’s house, from the UP of Michigan (Yooper)

Accomplishments: LSSU School of Business Outstanding Baccalaureate Award recipient; Learned to create all of my meals gluten free and close to as delicious as they used to be!

Greatest Special Olympics moment:  Spending time with athletes and families at Winter Games; taking part in the magic that happens through competitive sports.



CJenkins_croppedCaitlin Jenkins
Community Development Manager

Education: Masters of Human Kinetics, University of Windsor, Canada

Fun Fact: Being featured in an episode of Degrassi Junior High

Accomplishments: Working with the Anti-doping team and volunteers at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games

Greatest Special Olympics moment: Volunteering at the Winter Games while in University

Family/Pets: Married to Adrian; soon to be mom to a little girl. One dog named cooper

Pet peeve: People who litter



WWendy Kenny_SOVTendy LaPine Kenny
Finance Manager

 College:  Champlain College

Fun fact:  I swam with a dolphin.  It was an amazing experience!

Accomplishments:  Amazing family and many friends.

Greatest Special Olympics moment?   The smiles, speeches, dancing and camaraderie.  I feel lucky to be part of this amazing organization.

Family:  I live in Jericho with my husband Marc,  son Logan and dogs Chumley and Peekachoo.




Liza Reed_SOVT

Liza Reed

Marketing & Partnerships Director

College: Middlebury College

Fun fact:  I love to play ultimate frisbee!  I play for a co-ed team that competes regionally all summer long.  Our mascot is a moose.

Greatest Special Olympics moment?  Draping medals for Unified snowshoeing.  An amazing display of teamwork and compassion.

Anything else people should know?  I love food and I love to feed people.  I love talking to people about growing, cooking and eating delicious healthy food.



Rachel Hamm

Rachel Hamm Vaughan

Data and Administrative Coordinator

College: Grove City College

Fun fact: Before Special Olympics, I was a teacher in the Burlington school district and in California.

Family: I’m getting married in August, 2015 and we have a dog named Pedro.





Elizabeth Cross
Office Support

School:  Burlington School District

Hobbies:  I like spending time with my family and friends and doing activities in the community.

Favorite Sport:  Swimming

Family:  Mom Patty and four brothers; Reg, Mark, Tom and Matt

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