Board of Directors

Dana Lawrence
Board Chair
Montpelier


Dana’s long history of youth work began in high school as a youth leader at the local YMCA.  His career with Vermont’s child welfare agency spanned 43 years – as a residential counselor, special educator, supervisor, administrator, and program manager.  During much of that time he worked closely with WCYSB and joined its board when he retired in 2019. He has spent his life helping youth and is happy to continue this work together with WCYSB and its leadership.

Dana has a BA in history, special education certification and MSW from the University of Vermont. When not serving as a church trustee, Green Mountain Club officer, Trout Unlimited camp instructor, or choir member, Dana and his wife Nancy Thomas can be found pursuing adventures in the outdoors and visiting family in Vermont, Alberta, Seattle, and Finland.   

Earl Kooperkamp
Treasurer
Barre


As Pastor at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Barre, Earl speaks with deep understanding and compassion about the youth we serve, the challenges they face in their lives and the importance of the services that WCYSB provides to help them change the paths of their lives. Originally from Louisville, KY, Rev. Kooperkamp attended the Union Theological Seminary in New York. He served parishes in Harlem and the South Bronx and worked as a community organizer in New York City before relocating to Vermont. He is a board member of Vermont Interfaith Action and organizer of the Poor People’s Campaign in Vermont.

Linda (Tomasi) Babic
Barre


Linda’s life has revolved around children – with her family, her career, and as a community volunteer. Now retired, Linda worked as a Multiple Family Therapist at the State Hospital and as a School Counselor both in Burlington and Barre City for 30 years.  She served on the boards of Our House of Central VT, Orange County Mental Health, VT Association for Mental Health, and the Central VT Chapter of the American Red Cross. She actively supports Barre Rotary projects, volunteers at schools and is a Vision Screener for the Lion’s Club. She and her husband Tom have four children and have been foster parents. They continue to be great advocates for children and now have the luxury of enjoying their grown kids and grandchildren.

As a School Counselor, she worked with WCYSB to co-facilitate substance abuse prevention groups, run a mentoring program at the school and serve on the school’s advisory committee for WCYSB’s after school programs. Linda is pleased to continue her support for youth in our communities as a member of the WCYSB board.

David Batchelder
Barre Town


David’s entire career was in middle and elementary school education. First a middle school teacher, and then co-principal at Barre City Elementary School and Middle School, his school career spanned 39 years – all in Barre City. David first became acquainted with Washington County Youth Service Bureau through the Cityscape afterschool program that WCYSB ran at his school in the 1990’s. After seeing hundreds of children’s lives enriched through this program, he enthusiastically joined the Youth Service Bureau’s board of directors. David has previously served as board chair, and still enjoys “being part of an organization that does so much for so many young people.”

David has a BA from Johnson State College and a Master’s degree from the University of Vermont. He lives in Barre Town with his wife, Sandra, and Labradoodle, Charlie. They enjoy a very active life that includes hiking, cycling, camping, golf, snowshoeing and skiing. 

Vesta Bovair
Williston

Originally from Toronto, Vesta has had a financial services career that led her around the world before she planted roots in Vermont. She is passionate about the work of the Washington County Youth Service Bureau because of her experiences as a child. She understands the stigma that food and shelter insecurity can create and how, in the face of adversity, youth can develop resiliency and courage with support from caring adults. As a WCYSB board member, she wants to help raise awareness of the impact of COVID-19 on youth and strengthen families.

She is the Treasurer of the Greater Burlington YMCA, a member of the ReSOURCE board, and the Vermont Foodbank board. Vesta has an MA from Brown University and an MBA from the University of Toronto. Vesta lives in Williston with her husband and two young adult children. They love all the outdoor activities Vermont offers.

Paul Richardson
Montpelier


Paul Richardson is a photographer, publisher, and author of over a dozen books, most recently Resilience: Life Stories of Russians Born in the Year of Revolution. He is the founder and principal owner of StoryWorkz, which offers creative and marketing services to companies and nonprofits. A graduate of Central College (Pella, IA), Richardson received an MA (Political Science) and Russian Area Studies Certificate from Indiana University, Bloomington. He and his wife of 34 years, Stephanie Ratmeyer, have lived in Vermont for 30 years. They have two grown children. Paul got involved with WCYSB because he believes there is nothing more important to protect and invest in than our children.

Bob Sheil
Montpelier


Bob is a longtime advocate for youth in our community, having served for 27 years as the supervising attorney in the Office of the Juvenile Defender. Now retired from that position, Bob serves on several non-profit boards, locally, statewide and nationally. In addition to the WCYSB he is on the boards of Voices for Vermont’s Children and the Institute for Professional Practice, Inc. He is a member of the Children and Family Council for Prevention Programs and the Northeastern Regional Chair for the Coalition for Juvenile Justice. Bob resides in Montpelier and enjoys travel, canoeing, cooking and spending time on Vermont’s lakes.