Carol McQuillen: Founder, Program Director
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 served as a founding board member of Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity in the early 80’s. Carol has transitioned from working with children over 40 years including her 20-year tenure at Orchard School, to volunteer directing Common Roots. She enjoys time with her family and friends, cooking, gardening, and the outdoors.
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.
Deb Parente: Board Chair
Deborah Parente has worked in Information Technology for her entire career focusing on system strategy, development and project management. She has been employed in industries such as telecom, banking, entertainment and healthcare. Deborah believes in giving back to the community and as such has spent significant time volunteering for the American Heart Association, Habitat for Humanity and Children’s Literacy. She also believes in the importance of leading an active and nutritious lifestyle which is why she is drawn to the mission of Common Roots. In her free time, Deborah loves to participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and skiing with her husband and friends, and also pursuing her interests in music and photography.
Alec Buzzell: Trustee
Alec Buzzell graduated from the University of Vermont in 2017 with a BA in Film and Television Studies and a focus on international cinema and creative writing. He works at his alma mater as a Student Services Representative in the College of Arts and Sciences. Alec began as a volunteer Sous Chef with the Common Roots Farm to Fork program early in 2019. He enjoys running, creating short films and traveling home to New Hampshire to visit family.
Bailey Rowland: Trustee
Bailey is a passionate sustainability advocate. After receiving her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, she stayed in Philadelphia working for a non-profit local food distributor. She moved to Vermont in 2019 and started working with UVM’s Gund Institute for Environment and CGIAR’s Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture & Food Security. She has experience in database management, training and development, budgeting, non-profit finance, and accounting. firstname.lastname@example.org
Theresa Ferreira: Trustee
Theresa Ferreira works as a Health Coach and Registered Nurse. She is also a Reiki Master and Massage Therapist. Theresa grew up in Rhode Island and attended Salve Regina University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She also graduated from Bancroft School of Massage Therapy and Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Theresa recently moved to Vermont where her passion for a healthy environment, local fresh organic food and educating people regarding healthy living is enhanced. She loves being active with running, biking, swimming, hiking, paddle boarding and trying new adventures.
Liz Spitler: Trustee
Liz Spitler, a recent graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, has always had an appetite for Health and Wellness. Possessing an artist’s sensibility, Liz spent 20 years working for The local NBC Affiliate, WPTZ-TV specializing in creative marketing and storytelling. Liz now works part-time with Retromotion Creative in Burlington developing video content. As a passionate advocate for Food Insecurity in Vermont, Liz has raised thousands of dollars in donations by coordinating numerous farm-to-table dinner events. Living in The Green Mountains for over 25 years Liz looks forward to every flavorful season and every future nourishing endeavor.
Justin is a Director of Education at Google. In his role, he leads a team that helps people use Google’s business products more effectively. Justin lives in South Burlington with his two children who, for many years, have come home with Common Roots recipes. He especially loves the kale pesto! He’s seen first-hand the impact that common roots can have on kids and is excited to help as a board member. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his kids, skiing, backpacking, cooking, and reading.
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 served as a board member of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, on Congressman Peter Welch’s Business Advisory Council. She is the former President & CEO of O’Brien Brothers Agency. 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.