Special Olympics Vermont

Staff

Staff

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.

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

Chris Bernier
Director of Marketing and Development

College:  BS, Saint Michaels College; MBA, Champlain College

Fun fact: I love driving places.  I’ve driven across the country multiple times.

Accomplishments:  5 marathons and 2 half ironmans.

Great Special Olympics moment? Watching 3 of our Vermont athletes stand on the podium at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in the Republic of Korea.

Anything else? Married to Abbie and we have a black lab named Maple and 3 chickens (currently).

Michelle Gates
Director of Programs

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.

Liza Reed
Special Events Manager

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.

Accomplishments:  I was recently asked to coach the Middlebury College women’s ultimate frisbee team.

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.  My dream job is to become a lunch lady so I can teach young people about growing and eating delicious healthy food.

Wendy 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.

Chris Langevin
Sports Manager

College:  Springfield College;  Currently attending Southern New Hampshire University pursuing a Master’s in Sports Management.

Can you juggle?  I do not have many hidden talents. I am definitely willing to learn how to juggle though.

Accomplishments:  I was selected as one of the 10 guest presenters to the New England Sports Management Symposium to present my public relations and budgeting projects.

Greatest Special Olympics moment?  The first time I ever volunteered for Special Olympics Missouri.  The sense of accomplishment and joy that the athletes had regardless of how they finished stuck with me.

Family:  I am the youngest of 4 children.  My sisters are Jenn, Amy and Stacey and my parents are Marie and Marvin.  We have a Jack Russell named Jack Jack that is a huge fan of rides (boat and car).

dustystaffphotoDusty Haselton
Operations Manager

College: Saint Michael’s College

Fun Fact: I have an identical twin, and one of us is the evil one.

Accomplishments: Helping to secure funding for medical services and HIV/AIDS treatment for children living at an orphanage in a rural village in ​Tanzania; the birth of my daughter, Kaia, on February 12th, 2014.

Greatest Special Olympics moment:  Watching an athlete competing in the snowshoe event at the 2014 Winter Games run the entire last leg of her race with a giant smile and her fists in the air as the crowd roared. It’s not everyday that you get to witness pure bliss.

Anything else? When not with his family or managing SOVT’s data, Dusty can be found on random trails throughout Vermont with his trusty and neurotic sidekick, Izzy (a Beagle/Bluetick Coonhound).

J GrahamJustin Graham
Athlete and Families Coordinator

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.

Becky 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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