FOUNDATION BOARD

The success of the SVHC Foundation is made possible only through the efforts and guidance of many dedicated volunteer leaders. They provide ideas to improve our health system, serve as ambassadors in the communities we serve, provide opportunities for others to learn of our health system's exciting work, organize and host events, and drive the success of our fundraising efforts. 

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 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 its endowment. Ziegler and his wife Nancy are members of the Dorset Field Club and the Green Mountain Horse Association.

John Larkin is an attorney with over 40 years’ experience, admitted to practice in NY in 1966. Upon completion of active duty in the US Army, he joined an established law firm in New York City where he specialized in professional liability defense of law firms and accounting firms. He retired from equity partnership in the firm at the end in 2013. He and his wife Deborah maintain a home in North Pownal. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College (’63), JD from Albany Law School, Union University (’66) and an MA in English Literature from Hunter College (’13). He was previously a member of the Union League Club in NY and served on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Re, a subsidiary of what today is ING, B.V.

Robert Van Degna  grew up in Niskayuna, NY; attended Cornell University; served in the U.S. Army; graduated from Harvard Business School; and worked for Fleet Bank, where he spent 15 years as the managing director of the company’s private equity group. Bob is an aspiring artist, working primarily as a photographer and documentarian of Turning Pages. In addition, he is a board member of the Southern Vermont Arts Center. He and his wife Mary-Anne have four children and six grandchildren.

Kathryn Ewald Brooks draws on rich experience in advertising and sales. She founded, owned, and operated Cat Country Radio and cofounded Vermont Wood Pellet manufacturing plant in Rutland County, VT. In addition to her work on the SVHC Foundation Northshire Regional Advisory Board, she has served on several community boards and advisory boards, including The Women’s Business Owners Network, Manchester Parks and Recreation, Riley Rink, The Collaborative, Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning, The Dorset Theatre Festival and the Rutland Regional Chamber of Commerce.
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.
Crista Gannon, a marketing executive with more than 25 years of experience in solutions marketing at Unisys and IBM. Most recently she was responsible for strategy, messaging, and marketing plans in support of the IBM’s Global Government division. Gannon is currently Co-Owner of Happy Dog Farm LLC, in Wilmington, Vermont. She is vice chair of the Wilmington Trails Committee and a member of Deerfield Valley Rotary Club. Gannon also served for six years as Commissioner of Youth Lacrosse in Falls Church, Va. and has volunteered with numerous community organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar.
Roby Harrington, III, earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1951 and served as a Marine officer during the Korean War. He began his business career in brand management at Procter & Gamble and joined Young & Rubicam, the international advertising agency, in 1961. After 31 years, he retired as chairman of the United States company and sat on its Board of Directors. He has been married for 64 years to Carol Whitney Harrington and has four children and ten grandchildren. Roby serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including the Southwestern Vermont Health Care Foundation Board of Directors, and supports quality health care, education, and arts organizations region wide. Roby is an avid golfer, voracious reader, a happy traveler, and a proud grandfather. He and his wife live in Manchester Village, VT, and Boca Grande, FL.
Charles La Fiura grew up in Ridgewood, NJ, a suburb of New York City, where he met his wife, Judy, while they attended the public high school. Judy and Charles have two sons and three grandchildren and in July of 2016 celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Charles graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and in 1968 with a juris doctor degree from New York University Law School. Following active duty service with the U.S. Army reserves, he began a 40 year practice of law as a partner with law firms in northern New Jersey. He advised businesses and financial institutions on a broad range of commercial and business law matters involving mergers and acquisitions, day to day business operations, raising capital, securities law compliance, corporate governance, real estate acquisitions, tax exempt bond financing, and commercial lending. In 2005, Charles and Judy retired to East Dover, Vermont where for a few years Charles continued to practice law on a limited basis for his New Jersey law firm. In Vermont, Charles has been active in community affairs, serving on the Board of the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity as the chairman of its real estate acquisition committee, on the Dover and Wilmington Bi-Town Economic Development Committee, and as the President of the Rotary Club of the Deerfield Valley.
Stephen D. Majetich joined Southwestern Vermont Healthcare in 2010 as its Chief Financial Officer. He has a Bachelor's degree from St. John’s University in Jamaica, NY. He is a Certified Public Accountant. Stephen has nearly 35 years’ experience in the Healthcare industry both in public accounting for nearly 10 years and the remaining in senior financial officer positions in small stand-alone hospitals in and in regional and multi-state health care systems.
Michael McKenna is a financial advisor at D.B. McKenna & Co., Inc. in Bennington. Michael graduated from Mount Anthony Union High School in 1983, and went on to earn his bachelor's degree in business administration from Bryant College in Smithfield, RI. He spent six years as a district manager and major account district manager for Automatic Data Processing, Inc., before joining D.B. Mckenna & Co. in 1994. He serves his community as a director for the Bennington Chamber of Commerce, and is a director of the Bennington Catamount Rotary Club. Past community positions include president of the local Dollars for Scholars chapter, president of Hospice of Bennington County, Inc., director of Bennington Lions Club, and director of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Michael resides in Bennington, Vermont, with his wife, Susan, and two boys, Michael John and Peter.
Caren McVicker is co-founder of PowerWeek Workshops, a social media and business productivity consulting group in Dorset, VT. Caren has been self-employed for more 25 years. Her consulting career began as a software documentation and training consultant on Wall Street. Working with clients such as Lipper Analytical Services (now a Reuters Company), The Associated Press, Goldman Sachs, Frito Lay, and Nabisco, she developed her passion for training and development. She now brings that enthusiasm to small businesses and nonprofits in Vermont and Massachusetts. Currently, McVicker is consulting as the operations coordinator at Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester as well as working with GNAT-TV, KURA Project, and The Dorset Chamber of Commerce. McVicker has served on the SVHC Northshire Regional Advisory Board since 2016. She lives in Dorset with her husband Joe and their two sons. She sings in the Dorset Church choir. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with bachelors in communication arts from Southern Methodist University.
Dr. Keith Michl is an internal medicine physician in private practice in Manchester, VT, and a member of the Department of Medicine at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.  He is an affiliate of MDVIP, a network of physicians providing personalized primary care medical and wellness services. He attended Middlebury College in Vermont and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio. He completed his residency at George Washington University in Washington, DC, and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Michl is particularly interested in geriatric medicine and aging management, preventive cardiology, nutrition and weight management issues, and integrative health.   
Arlene Palmiter holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and business and a master’s degree from Boston University in dietetics. During her graduate degree, she interned throughout the Boston Medical System, including at such institutions as Dana Farber and Mass General. She tackled the challenges related to health care access in rural communities in her master’s thesis. She started her career in health care administration as department manager at Humana Health Systems in Anchorage, AK. After moving to Vermont, Palmiter founded Palmiter Realty Group in Wilmington with her husband. Through this and other business involvement, she gained experience in development and building, in addition to real estate. After nearly 30 years, Palmiter sold the real estate business, which had been the highest volume real estate office in sales and maintained the largest rental business in the Mount Snow area for a decade. She enjoys spending time with her family and working on community service projects as a charter and current member of the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club and as a member of the SVHC Deerfield Valley Regional Advisory Board, to which she has belonged since 2008.
Scott Seidel divides time between Arlington, VT and Springfield, NJ. He has been a commercial real estate broker and developer with Cardinal Land Properties, his family company, since 1979. He also has been a licensed real estate broker in Vermont since 1993. In addition, he is the emergency management coordinator for the Town of Springfield. In that role, he oversees the town’s emergency operations plan; heads the auxiliary police unit and other volunteers; and coordinates police, fire, department of public works, and administration resources and chairs the Fourth of July committee. He is a founding member of Springfield H.O.P.E., a non-profit that aims to provide financial aid to those in need, and the chairman of the Springfield Mayor’s Day at Baltusrol committee, which provides scholarships to high school seniors in Springfield. He is a trustee of the Arlington Rescue Squad Board and serves on the board of the Battenkill Valley Health Center.
Themarge Small, MD, FACOG  is an obstetrician and gynecologist at SVMC OB/GYN. She received her medical degree at the University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine. In addition, she earned a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Vermont and a post-baccalaureate certificate in premedical studies from Mills College in California. She completed her residency in OB/GYN at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. Dr. Small served as the chair of the department of OB/GYN in 2014 and 2015 and as the vice president of the medical staff from 2016 to 2018. She is currently president of the medical staff. In addition to her role at SVMC, she is a clinical assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine. Dr. Small is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FACOG).
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.
Alan N. Wiegand is a retired sales and marketing executive with over 25 years of experience in the fixed income capital markets division, primarily at Paine Webber and Prudential Securities. Wiegand was responsible for the sales and marketing of municipal bonds to the retail sales force. He also designed and presented a training for all capital markets fixed-income products for domestic and international financial advisors. He is a member of the SVHC Foundation Board and was the chair of the Northshire Regional Advisory Board from 2004 – 2016. He has spent the last 15 years working for not-for-profits, including serving on the executive committee of the Green Mountain Academy of Life Long Learning, which offers adult educational programs. He has a bachelor’s in English from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA, and a master’s in Education from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY.

Leslie Keefe has more than 25 years of marketing, management and strategic business consulting experience in the corporate and non-profit fundraising sectors. Keefe, who is a Vermont native, ran a successful consulting business focusing on organizational development, including strategic planning, governance, fundraising, training and marketing before joining Southwestern Vermont Health Care as the Vice President of Corporate Development in January, 2014.

Keefe, who lives in Manchester, has a long history of successful marketing and fundraising in Bennington County, raising several million dollars in annual, capital and endowment initiatives for several local organizations. As executive director of the Manchester and the Mountains Chamber of Commerce for seven years, she quadrupled membership and led a variety of successful economic development initiatives.

Keefe launched her career in the retail industry, completing the Bloomingdale’s executive training program in New York City before spending nearly a decade with San Francisco-based clothing chain, Esprit De Corp. Keefe oversaw the entire East Coast and Midwest operations, opening numerous outlet stores and managing over 200 employees and several million dollars in revenue.

Active in the both her local and statewide community, Keefe currently serves on the Board of the Southern Vermont Arts Center and served on the board of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation for several years assisting the organization with its vision of becoming a nationally recognized institution, as well as volunteering with various community organizations. She also serves an alternate commissioner on the District 8 Act 250 Commission, a position she has held since 2007.

SVHC Foundation Mission

The sole purpose of the SVHC Foundation shall be to engage in development and fundraising activities exclusively for the support of the Southwestern Vermont Health Care Corporation.


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