Carol McQuillen: Directing Chair
In 2008, Carol McQuillen and a team of community members founded Common Roots. Carol’s belief that nutrition education is at the core of health goes very deep, and Common Roots brings her passion for food education and access into action. Carol began her career in special education at the University of Buffalo and continued with a Masters of Education at The University of Vermont. She is a kindergarten/first-grade teacher at Orchard School in South Burlington and is actively involved in the community. Carol served as a founding board member of Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity. She enjoys time with her family and friends, cooking, gardening, and the outdoors.
Eric Ayers: Treasurer
Eric Ayers is a father of three children in our community and works for a small accounting and tax firm in Williston, Vermont. He is committed both as a father and as a contributing member of his community. He and his family especially treasure their long-time tradition of vacationing on the Cape each summer.
Peter Cole is the founder and President of Cole Consulting, an organizational development and leadership coaching company, with offices in the New York Metropolitan area and Northern Vermont. Peter has served on the South Burlington School Board, the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators and the Essex/Burlington Tech Center Board. He has six adult ‘children’ (three of whom are Certified Permaculturalists) which keeps him quite busy when he’s not trying to keep up with Carol.
Joyce Hendley: Advisor
Joyce Hendley specializes in food writing and recipe development for people with healthy appetites. A contributor to Eating Well magazine and former Food Editor of Weight Watchers Magazine, she also develops products, recipes and flavors for several Vermont-based food companies and blogs regularly at glutenfreely.com. She and her husband Henrik live in South Burlington, where they are both actively involved in school and community issues. They are parents of two occasionally picky eaters and keeping track of two very dog-like cats.
Stephanie O’Brien: Advisor
Stephanie is a lifelong resident of South Burlington, grew up on the family’s dairy farm, and is a graduate of Plymouth State College in Plymouth, New Hampshire. She brings over 20 years of her business, land use and board experience to Common Roots. In addition to her work with Common Roots, Stephanie was appointed by Governor Jim Douglas to the State of Vermont’s Liquor Control Board — the first female in the history of the board to serve as a member. In 2011, Governor Peter Shumlin appointed Stephanie as Chairman of the board. Stephanie also serves as a board member of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, on Congressman Peter Welch’s Business Advisory Council, and is an ambassador to the annual fund raising effort of the United Way Campaign. Additionally, Stephanie is a real estate Broker and holds several certifications through the National Center for Housing Management. She is the former President & CEO of O’Brien Brothers Agency and her prior board experience includes service on the executive committee of the Vermont Housing Managers Association and to the Vermont Housing Council, the latter being an appointment by former Governor Howard Dean. On the weekends you will find Stephanie out on the slopes skiing, hiking or out on an adventure with her daughter Grace and husband Roger.