Emily Alger, Executive Director
Coming from a long line of Vermont farmers, storekeepers and teachers; and raised in an old school house in Grand Isle, Emily is guided by strong sense of place and deep commitment to her community. Emily joined SHLT in 2009, working as Programs Director for 6 years before being appointed Executive Director in 2015. Emily’s particular interest is the connections that people form with the landscape in which they live. Emily values engagement with agriculture and natural areas, access to local (and delicious) foods, community gathering spaces, and gardens. She very pleased to be able to promote these passions within the community through her work with South Hero Land Trust.
Guy Maguire, Program Director
Guy grew up in Oregon and fell in love with the outdoors at a young age. Following his passion for nature led to a career in conservation, where he worked for the past decade protecting both farmland and natural areas. Guy and his wife Danielle, a Vermont native, moved to the Champlain Valley in early 2017 with their two dogs Zorro and Matilda. Guy joined South Hero Land Trust as Programs Director shortly after.
Bob Chutter, his wife Karin, and their two children Gaelan and Hillary moved to South Hero in 1993. Bob engaged in the local community from early on, by serving on the school board and organizing and coaching teams in the local Island Soccer Club for many years. His interest in land conservation began from a hunting trip in 1991, with a relative who had conserved his land in the Mad River Valley. Bob is a Software Manager and Engineer at BioTek Instruments and an avid gardener of vegetables and small fruit trees.
He currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of South Hero Land Trust.
Dick Heilman is believed to be the first and perhaps still the only “off island” (summer resident) board member of SHLT. Though “from away” he was never very far from South Hero. He bought a summer camp on the southwest shore in 1964 while still in training at UVM and has summered there for over fifty years.
He arrived in VT in 1959 as an intern at the then Mary Fletcher Hospital, having graduated from the medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and earlier, Amherst College. He did a year of a medical residency at UVM in 1960-’61 and was then was drafted into the US Navy and served for two years at sea as the only medical officer on ships operating at high latitudes (Arctic and Antarctic). He returned to Burlington on discharge from active duty, and eventually became a faculty member at the UVM College of Medicine and a practicing radiologist at the UVM hospital until he retired in 2001 after a 40 years relationship with medicine in Vermont. He is married to UVM graduate (Class of 1962) Barbara Davis and has two daughters, each working and living in Vermont. Melissa Burroughs and her husband Jeff work at the St. Johnsbury Academy and Erica Heilman is an independent Radio Documentarian living in East Calais. He and Barbara have four grandchildren. The family treasure summers in South Hero and all are committed to the mission of the SHLT.
Dick currently serves as Secretary of the South Hero Land Trust Board of Directors.
Christine Mack is a lifelong resident of South Hero, where she raised her three children and now runs a business, Cook Sisters Cafe and Catering. She loves supporting local farmers and is a regular at the Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market- shopping for her home kitchen and the cafe. She deeply values the work South Hero Land Trust does to support local farmers and connect the community to the natural landscape.
South Hero is a special place and Lisa is grateful that land conservation is an important part of her community. Her greatest passion is spending time with her two teenage kids and her husband. Skiing, sailing and traveling are their favorite family pastimes. Lisa is the Managing Director of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation. While she is not directly involved in making ice cream, she has an appreciation of what goes into making something that people enjoy while also giving back to the community. In addition she is thankful to the many farmworkers who pick the good food we put on our table.
Lisa currently serves as Treasurer of the South Hero Land Trust Board of Directors.
Bob Reese and his wife Sandy, a landscape artist, moved to South Hero 9 years ago. Lifelong Vermonters and small business owners, they were attracted to the island's open landscape, close community and surrounding waters. Their interests are in supporting local farmers and conserving our natural resources for future generations.
Steve Robinson is a dairy farmer here in South Her. He farms with his wife of 32 years, Kelly, and their boys Patrick and Anthony. The whole family was born her and they all attended Folsom School. They milk 70 cows and care for young stock, which are fed locally grown feed. Steve and Kelly have been managing the farm since 2002, and with the help of South Hero Land Trust, Vermont Land Trust, and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, they were able to conserve and purchase the farm from Steve’s parents, Henry and Patricia. As Steve says, “hopefully with luck, good health, and the support of our neighbors, a long time from now I will be able to proclaim, ‘I have been farming here all my life.’”
Kathleen Swanson was a founding board member of South Hero Land Trust and has now served the organization in that capacity for 20 years. She and her husband Rob raised three daughters in South Hero, and she is committed to keep the community strong and vibrant. Kathleen has worked in journalism, public relations and owned a community-focused market and cafe in the Village of South Hero for 4 years. She is now the Development Director for the Common Good Vermont Program, a project of CCTV Center for Media & Democracy.
Kathleen currently serves as Vice President of the South Hero Land Trust Board of Directors.
Reina T. Warren, a professional teacher and environmental educator, has lived in South Hero since 1993. She joined the board of SHLT in 2001. In 2002, she created The Lands, The Farm and Me, a partnership program between farmers, teachers, parents and community members designed to teach Folsom School students, first hand, about the value of the local agricultural and natural resources. Reina, in conjunction with other parents and in partnership with SHLT has designed and led hundreds of field trips and in-school programs on a wide range of ag and natural resource topics. She brings her passion for working with elementary and middle school students and the land to her role on SHLT’s board.
Peter Zamore is a long time resident of South Hero and has been on the land trust board since shortly after it was founded. He retired in 2016 from a career as a lawyer. He is very interested in ways to preserve and maintain the sustainability of open land.
Peter has served as both Treasurer and President of the South Hero Land Trust Board of Directors.