Board of Trustees

As a part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. The trustees come from all walks of life and have close ties to the communities SVHC serves. SVHC's board is a working board, requiring a considerable investment of a board member's time. Board members are not paid for that time; they serve as volunteers.

For Fiscal Year 2019, members of SVHC’s Board of Trustees are:

Chairman: Tommy Harmon, is president and CEO of Sonnax Industries in Bellows Falls, a firm that provides components for rebuilding automatic transmissions to the worldwide market. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial management of manufacturing firms and their operations. Mr. Harmon acquired Sonnax in 2005 and he sold 100 percent of the company to its employees in 2011. He has served as Chief Financial Officer and Controller for international manufacturers, including CFO for North America AGIE AG, a Swiss based machine tool manufacturer. He is an active volunteer in the community and has served on SVHC's Board of Trustees' Finance Committee, the Vermont Business Roundtable Board of Trustees, the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center Advisory Board, and the Manchester Vermont School Board. Mr. Harmon holds a bachelor’s degree from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Vice Chair: James Brown is president and CEO of The Bank of Bennington in Bennington, Vermont. He has more than 20 years’ experience in senior banking positions, responsible for loan portfolios, commercial loans, credit risk analysis, and strategic planning. He is a member of the Catamount Rotary, a Trustee at the Bennington Museum, a Director of the Bennington County Industrial Corp., and is active in coaching youth hockey and baseball. Mr. Brown holds an MBA from the State University at Albany, and a bachelor’s degree from Saint Lawrence University.

Secretary: Lara Shore-Sheppard, Ph.D., is a professor, researcher, prolific writer, and speaker. Currently she serves as Professor of Economics and Chair of the Program in Political Economy at Williams College and as a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Shore-Sheppard has been a visiting scholar, research fellow, or professor at universities across the country, including Princeton University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Chicago, and has presented her research at numerous symposia, conferences, and public lectures. Her work, which has focused on assessing the impact of Medicaid and other public programs on low-income families, has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Labor. She has volunteered in numerous administrative and student mentoring capacities and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for Ecu-Health Care in North Adams, MA. Dr. Shore-Sheppard holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.A. from Amherst College.


Richard Ader is the founder of U.S. Realty Advisors, LLC and a recognized real estate expert. He has acquired and operated more than 20 million square feet of office, retail and industrial property as well as 36,000 residential units throughout the United States and 5,000 hotel rooms during his career. Ader is a graduate of the University of Vermont and serves on the Board of the University of Vermont Foundation and as Chairman of the Advisory Board to the College of Arts and Sciences. He is the owner of the Bennington Tennis Center and has owned a home in Bennington for 18 years. He became aware of the hospital when a family member was a patient in the emergency department.


Brian Barefoot has an impressive background of experience in education management, financial management, investment banking, and investment management. He currently serves on the Finance Committee of Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Massachusetts; as vice chair of the Indian River Foundation in Vero Beach, FL; as a trustee of Burr and Burton Academy; and as chair of the Board of Trustees of Ekwanok Country Club. Brian and his wife Pam have a seasonal home in Manchester, VT, and also live in Vero Beach, FL, and New York. Brian's full list of experience can be reviewed on his Linked In profile.


Michael Brady, DDS, earned his dentistry degree at Columbia University in New York in 1972 and his bachelor’s degree at Villanova University in Pennsylvania in 1968. He started his career as a dental officer in the United States Navy stationed in Florida. He has performed general dentistry in the Bennington area for 43 years, specializing in children’s dentistry at Molly Stark Elementary for the last 18 years. He has been a member of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s medical staff since 1974.

 Carol Conroy

Carol Conroy, DNP, RN, CENP,  is a consultant at Healthcare Excellence Unlimited in Arlington, VT, a company she founded in 2017. She worked at SVHC as vice president for operations and chief nursing officer for 8 years. During her tenure, she led the nursing team to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition® twice and their acknowledgement as an ANCC Magnet Prize™ recipient in 2017. Previously, Conroy served in nursing leadership roles at Caritas Christie Healthcare, Nashoba Valley Medical Center, and Boston Medical Center, all in Massachusetts. She received her bachelor of science in Nursing from Cornell University School of Nursing in New York, her master of science in Nursing Administration and master of business administration (MBA) from Anna Maria College in Massachusetts, and her doctor of nursing practice from Regis College in Massachusetts. In addition to SVHC, she serves on the board of Southern Vermont College and the regional board of the Organization of Nurse Leaders. She serves as a Magnet® appraiser for the ANCC, surveying applicant organizations around the country for Magnet® designation.


Thomas A. Dee, FACHE, joined Southwestern Vermont Health Care as its chief executive officer in 2009. Since then, he has led SVHC to several national and regional recognitions, including as a four-time Magnet for Nursing Excellence designee, a Joint Commission Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, one of Vermont Magazine’s Best Places to Work, and one of the “Top 150 Places to Work in Health Care” as noted by Becker’s Hospital Review. Among the notable projects of the past three years, Tom has worked with his team to expand the health system’s partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, increase access to primary care, improve patient safety and experience, enhance employee engagement, and maintain a strong financial operation. Before SVHC, Tom worked for Health Alliance in Kingston, NY, an integrated health system of three hospitals. Tom was president and chief executive officer of the 222-bed Benedictine Hospital for more than 17 years. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a master's in Healthcare Administration, both from Xavier University in Ohio.


Kathleen Fisher is head of the Wealth and Investment Planning at Bernstein Private Wealth Management in New York City. In this role, she leads the team responsible for developing and communicating asset allocation advice and investment strategies for the firm’s high-net-worth clients. Fisher joined the firm in 2001 as a senior portfolio manager and member of Bernstein Private Wealth Management’s Private Client Investment Policy Group. She was appointed a National Managing Director in 2009. She worked in key leadership positions at J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley earlier in her career.


Dimitri Garder is co-founder and CEO of Global-Z International, a data management company serving global brands for the past 30 years. In his work, he has developed and implemented complex global data quality assessment and improvement solutions for many Global-Z clients, ranging from small companies to Fortune 100s. His 30 years of experience with complex global data makes him one of the leading experts in the data management industry. His approach to data quality is pragmatic, statistically focused, and metrics driven. He believes in solving complex problems through simple, clear, analytical thinking. Dimitri is active in community development in Southwestern Vermont. He is co-founder and a director of The Lightning Jar, a co-working space and business incubator located in Bennington. He founded The Bennington Idea Fund, a micro-grant fund focused on economic advancement and poverty alleviation projects. His board positions include Bennington County Industrial Corporation, Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, Bennington County School and Workforce Council, and the Vermont Business Roundtable. He is also an investor in the Bennington Redevelopment Group, a team of local investors who are revitalizing the downtown Bennington economy. Dimitri holds a bachelor of arts in Music Theory from the University of Vermont, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Wayne Granquist is graduate of Tufts University and Harvard Law School. His career in government included posts as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff (1964 – 1969) and as Associate Director of the US Office of Management and Budget in the Carter White House (1977 – 1981). His business experience includes positions as a Vice President of the Connecticut Bank and Trust Company, President of the Fairfield County National Bank of Connecticut, co-owner and President of the Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont, and partner and managing director at Manchester Capital Management, from which he retired in 1996. He is currently a consultant to non-profit organizations on strategic planning, governance, and management/board relations, and was named by the Governor to chair the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone Committee in 2015. Granquist serves on the Board of Directors of Vermont Public Radio and is a Trustee and Chair Emeritus of the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, where he leads the company’s current $13.5 million capital campaign. He was a Trustee of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center from 2000 – 2012, and chaired that Board from 2007 – 2012. He and his wife Deborah live in Weston, VT, where he is Town Moderator.


Kristyn D. Harrington is the owner of KDH Counseling PLLC, which provides mental health and substance abuse evaluations and treatment. For nearly 20 years, she worked in various positions at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, including as a school-based clinician, a clinical coordinator, and the assistant principal. In addition, she was a school board member for 5 years, serving both Union District #23 and the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Ithaca College in New York, her master’s in social work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, and a master’s in education leadership from Castleton State College in Vermont.


Connie A. Jastremski, CNRN, CNAA, CHPN, NP, BSN, RN, has nearly five decades of nursing experience. She received her diploma from Presbyterian-University Hospital School of Nursing in Pittsburgh in 1969, her bachelor's in Nursing from University of Maryland School of Nursing in 1980, her master's in Nursing from University of Maryland School of Graduate Studies in 1982, and a post-master’s certificate for Adult Nurse Practitioner from the College of Nursing, SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse, NY, in 1998. Her special certifications include those in neurosurgical nursing, nursing administration, and hospice and palliative care. In addition, she holds a master's in Business Administration from Syracuse University. From 2003 until 2014, Jastremski worked in various nursing administration positions, including as the chief nursing officer and vice president for Patient Care Services, for Bassett Healthcare Network, Cooperstown, NY. During her last year at Bassett she also worked as a Nurse Practitioner on the Pain and Palliative Care Service until her retirement in 2015. In addition to consulting work, she has also held academic teaching positions within the State University of New York system, including SUNY IT, College of Nursing in Utica and the SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse, College of Nursing. She has published nearly 100 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and has served on the editorial boards of journals including Critical Care Medicine, the Journal of Trauma Nursing, Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, and others.

 KellyStephen140W Stephen Kelly works as the Chief Financial Officer for The Boma Project, a 106-employee international non-profit headquartered in Manchester, VT working to relieve poverty in East Africa. In the past, he served as Chief Financial Officer for Meals on Wheels of Rockland and as president of Heron’s Ghyll Builders, a custom home builder, both in New York State. He lives in Andover, VT. 

Sue Maguire, a native of Hoosick Falls, NY, has lived in North Bennington, VT, for nearly 40 years. She recently retired as principal of Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington and a leader in the full-service community school model, in which health care services play a significant role. She has presented on the full-service school to audiences at Harvard University; to the American Youth Policy Forum in Washington, DC; and on ABC News. In addition, she is the author of Inside Full Service Community Schools, 2002, with Joy Dryfoos. During her career, she secured more than $1 million in grants to develop services including preschool, mentoring, health services, child care, and parental involvement initiatives.

 O'Grady Brian

Brian O’Grady  has more than 20 years of health insurance leadership experience and serves as executive vice president of commercial and Medicare business and chief marketing officer for Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP®). He is responsible for initiating, developing and successfully executing CDPHP’s overall marketing and sales objectives and is accountable for the business performance of the commercial and Medicare business segments. He joined CDPHP in March 2014. Prior to joining CDPHP, O’Grady held various leadership positions at HealthNow New York, Inc., known as BlueShield of Northeastern New York, where he worked for 15 years from 1995 to 2006 and again from 2010 to 2014. Most recently he served as vice president of commercial group accounts. From 2006 to 2010, he was regional vice president of sales for Anthem BlueCross and BlueShield of New Hampshire. O’Grady earned an MBA in health care administration from Southern New Hampshire University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the State University of New York at Albany. He serves on the board of directors of the United Way of the Greater Capital Region.


Charles H. Salem, MD, FACS, is a general surgeon in the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) General Surgery department with more than 20 years of experience as a physician. He received his undergraduate education at Yale University in Connecticut and his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He completed his residency and internship at Maine Medical Center in Portland. He joined the SVMC medical staff in 1996. Since then, he has held many leadership positions, including as chair of the SVHC Institutional Review Board, as both president and vice president of the SVMC Medical Staff, and as a member of the Credentials Committee.


Eric Seyferth, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine physician in private practice in Bennington, providing comprehensive inpatient, office, rehabilitation, and nursing home care. His practice is certified as a Level III Medical Home. Dr. Seyferth is a long-time leader at SVMC. He has served as President of the Medical Staff and ICU Director, and currently is Chairman of the Department of Medicine. He is on the Cardiology Committee, ICU Committee ,and Medical Executive Committee. He serves as Chairman of the board of the physician-hospital organization, United Health Alliance. He is on the Board of Managers of One Care, a statewide accountable care organization. He has participated in international clinical trials in the office and hospital settings regarding hypertension and heart attack care. Prior to joining the staff at SVMC, he was an Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University. He completed his residency and internship at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester. He received his Doctor of Medicine from Albany Medical College and his bachelor's degree from Williams College.

 ThemargeSmall Themarge Small, MD, is president of the SVHC Medical Staff and a member of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Small received her medical degree from the University of California Los Angeles’ Geffen School of Medicine and completed the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’ s Geisel School of Medicine in Lebanon, NH. Dr. Small is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has been a member of the SVMC medical staff since 2008.


Stanley Stroup is a director of H5, a San Francisco-based company that provides e-discovery, technology-assisted legal reviews, and case preparation support to the legal profession. He retired in 2004 as executive vice president and general counsel of Wells Fargo & Company, where he was responsible for legal affairs and government relations. Prior to that Stroup was general counsel of Norwest Corporation in Minneapolis. He was a member of the Financial Services Roundtable in Washington, D.C., and was an adjunct professor at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn. Stroup received a history degree from the University of Illinois and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He lives in Manchester, Vt. and Hilton Head, S.C. 


Tom Ziegler retired after a 30-year career in commercial/corporate real estate. He worked for Texaco and GTE Corporation managing large-scale real estate projects domestically and internationally. He has worked in leadership positions at Cushman & Wakefield and JLL. In addition to his professional work, Ziegler served as chair of the Salisbury School Annual Fund and helped transform the fund in ways that led to $55 million in growth to the organization’s endowment. Ziegler and his wife Nancy are members of the Dorset Field Club and the Green Mountain Horse Association. 


David Meiselman, Esq., is a founder and senior partner at Meiselman, Packman, Nealon Scialabba & Baker P.C., a nationally recognized litigation firm located in White Plains, New York. After serving in Vietnam with the United States Marine Corps in 1968 and 1969, David went on to graduate Brooklyn College and New York Law School. After a few years honing his courtroom skills with some of New York’s finest law firms, David began his own law firm. Since then David has been consistently selected by his peers as one of the “Top Trial Lawyers in America” and as one of the “Super Lawyers in New York State”. David has held numerous leadership roles in professional societies as well as not-for-profit organizations. David currently serves on the Board of the Southern Vermont Arts Center and lives in Dorset with his wife Myra, also a partner in the firm.

David Meiselman, Esq., is a founder and senior partner at Meiselman, Packman, Nealon Scialabba & Baker P.C., a nationally recognized litigation firm located in White Plains, New York. After serving in Vietnam with the United States Marine Corps in 1968 and 1969, David went on to graduate Brooklyn College and New York Law School. After a few years honing his courtroom skills with some of New York’s finest law firms, David began his own law firm. Since then David has been consistently selected by his peers as one of the “Top Trial Lawyers in America” and as one of the “Super Lawyers in New York State”. David has held numerous leadership roles in professional societies as well as not-for-profit organizations. David currently serves on the Board of the Southern Vermont Arts Center and lives in Dorset with his wife Myra, also a partner in the firm.