The Board of Directors
Eric Skovsted, Chair
Eric with his wife, Mary, owns and operates Joe’s Brook Farm in Barnet, which they founded in 2009 and is certified organic, and he is manager of the Littleton Farmers’ Market. Prior to farming, Eric worked at jobs ranging from carpenter to middle-school teacher to photographer. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Eric fell in love with Vermont (and Mary) while attending Middlebury College, where he received a degree in geography.
Jay moved to Vermont in 1974 and since 1975 has worked to organize and advance the arts and film in the Northeast Kingdom. In 1975, he started Catamount Arts. It was first a film series that expanded to include performing arts Presentations. In 1991 he left Catamount to start Kingdom County Productions to make movies, and since then has made 10 feature films, 6 documentaries, 4 radio variety shows for Vermont Public Radio, and an Emmy-winning comedy TV series for Vermont Public Television. Jay has also taught cinema studies, directing and screenwriting to college students as a tenured professor. In 2009, he led the re-establishment of a Northeast Kingdom performance series (KCP Presents). In 2015, forged a partnership for the series with Catamount Arts. I also direct the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (since 2014) and the Woodstock Film Series (since 2018) at the Billings Farm and Museum. He has served on the following boards: The Riverside School, Haymarket Peoples Fund, and the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. He has also consulted on organizational development and planning with Burlington City Arts, The Onion River Arts Council and more than fifty northeastern community arts organizations.
Jay believes that the establishment of a fabulous food co-op in St. Johnsbury is the single most important next step for the town – that is showing new signs of life but still needs more critical mass, especially downtown.
Katy Smith, Secretary
Katy grew up in St. Johnsbury. She graduated from Colgate University in 2003, earned her Master’s in Education/Human Development–with an emphasis on teaching diverse learners–from George Washington University in 2020, and she loves her job teaching ELL at St. Johnsbury Academy. Katy is a community volunteer and particularly treasures her role as a wish granter for Make-A-Wish Vermont. She enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, writing, yoga, and playing and watching sports. Katy and her husband have three sons and live in St. J.
Hannah is originally from Indiana but has also resided in Ohio, Argentina, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Colorado. She arrived in the Northeast Kingdom 3 years ago and has really taken to the area and its people. In her job with the United States Department of Agriculture, Hannah works with farmers and landowners to address natural resource concerns on their land. She has been involved in the Saint Johnsbury Shambhala Center as well as the Center for Restorative Justice. Hannah spends the rest of her free time gardening, fixing things around her house, and exploring the trails in the area by foot or by bike.
Adam was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii and represents the 7th generation of his family to live on the islands. His first real adventure came as he went away to college at Syracuse University, where he met his now wife, Susanne. While he wasn’t sure what he was going to do with his life, she was going to become a music teacher and graduate on time. Adam made the decision to pick a major that would allow him to graduate from college when she did, which is why he has a BA in Russian Language, Literature, and Culture.
My interest in where my food came from started at a young age. As I entered high school I took a deep dive into veganism and organic foods. In college, I volunteered at a local urban garden and started a Fair Trade Café on campus with fellow students. Farmer’s markets were a weekly shopping destination for my friends and I where I grew up in Lancaster, PA. Now as an adult, local and organic foods are a true passion. My husband Lucas and I decided to make the move north, seeking a much-desired life in the mountains. We found a small alternative boarding school for students who needed a change of pace from the traditional high school experience. A class we taught that stood out to me focused on food systems and composting, in which I brought students to local farms throughout NH to learn about where our food comes from. Additionally, I believe that my time at the Fairbanks Museum as Development Coordinator and then Director of Education, suggest I have much to offer the Caledonia Food Co-op Board. I have helped to manage donor databases, provided support for a capital campaign, coordinated development mailings, created monthly e-newsletters and blog posts, and assisted with social media. I would love this opportunity to aid our community and support our local farms, by bringing a food co-op to St. Johnsbury.
Margaret Healey is a retired Foreign Service Officer. She worked for 25+ years for the U.S. Agency for International Development at U.S. Embassies in Asia and Africa as the chief administrative officer. She received a BA in sociology and an MBA in finance, both from Rutgers University, and is a certified management accountant. She supports the community with her work as a volunteer in a number of organizations in the Northeast Kingdom. She and her husband live in Saint Johnsbury.
Eli Emerson lives in St. Johnsbury with his wife, Lisa, and two children, Olivia and Jacob. He is an energy lawyer at the law firm of Primmer Piper Eggleston and Cramer, working out of Littleton, NH, and Burlington, VT. He was born in Brattleboro, VT, and attended the University of Vermont and Vermont Law School. He grew up very close to his grandmother who was from Felitto, Italy, and learned to love cooking with simple, fresh local ingredients. He cannot wait until there is a local food cooperative where he can continue this passion.
James and his family moved to St. Johnsbury from Seattle 2 years ago. He is currently the chief technical officer of a family run chocolatier, with a decade working with all facets of technology: infrastructure and the integrations for multiple retail locations, e-commerce and on the production floor. He has selected, deployed, and managed the technologies for all of the behind-the-scenes systems, ensuring productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction. “Doing my job right means everyone else's focus can be where it should be - on products, relationships, service and the community.”