FEATURED MEMBERS

Margaret Overman - Communications VP

Why did you join the JLCV? 

 I joined the league with the hopes of making new friends while volunteering and giving back to our community.  Growing up in Florida, where the Junior League had a strong presence, I knew that I would like to join the league some day in order to be a part of an organization of women with strong roots-- and having moved to Vermont from out of state I was eager to find a way to both connect to other women and get to know the community, so the time was right!

What's your favorite part of being in the league? 

My favorite part of the league is getting to know other women in the area while making an impact in our community.  It's been fun to see how our small league has been able to make a difference and have fun at the same time!  

What are some other activities you do outside the League? 

I work full time supporting school-age children with hearing loss and hearing disorders. When I have free time during school breaks you will find me in a hot yoga studio or enjoying the Vermont outdoors with my husband and our two boys. 

What brought you to Vermont? 

My husband and I graduated with our doctorate degrees the same year; he was the first to land a job offer (cough.. male privilege!) and we thought Vermont would be a great place to raise a family.  The beauty of this state swept me away, but it was a tough transition for me to become a stay-at-home mother, find a job that felt fulfilling, and to find a community of friends.  It only took me 3 years to realize that the JLCV existed! 

What’s your go-to restaurant? 

American Flatbread has been my go-to restaurant for an awesome dinner out that includes the kids. For date-night in town we love Leunigs, but when we get the chance venture out we usually choose Blue Paddle Bistro or Starry Night Cafe!

What are you passionate about?

 I'm passionate about being a "helper" and trying to live an authentic life filled with love and kindness (That sounds like I've definitly settled in to the Vermont culture, right?!).


Nicole Lafko Breslend - Communications VP

Why did you join the JLCV?

I joined JLCV to get more involved in the community and to meet other community-minded women. I have lived in Burlington for ten years, but most of my community involvement was tied to UVM, where I  went to college and then graduate school. 

What's your favorite part of being in the league?

I have met some of the most incredible women in this league and made so many lasting friendships with people that I never would have met otherwise. I love watching the league grow and change and the powerful impact that women can make on our community. 

What are some other activities you do outside the League?

Most of my activities these days revolve around keeping my two-year-old son, Michael, busy. You can often find us at Echo or at the park running around! We also love to hike and boat. 

What brought you to Vermont?

I grew up in Springfield, Vermont and then moved to Burlington for college. 

What’s your go-to restaurant?

I love Blue Paddle Bistro, The Kitchen Table, and The Guild! 

What are you passionate about? 

I am a developmental psychologist so I am very passionate about creating environments for optimal child development. Specifically, I study forms of bullying that are most typical among girls and women and I truly believe that organizations like JLCV that encourage women supporting and motivating each other is our first step toward creating a kinder society. 


Monica McFarland


Why did you join the JLCV? 

I joined in 2004 in Jacksonville, FL b/c I wanted to get more involved in my community.   Since then, I've been in a member in 4 different states and have really enjoyed seeing the differences in size, programming and priorities in various communities.

What's your favorite part of being in the league?  

I really enjoy spending so much time with such interesting women and being exposed to things I wouldn't normally be involved in.

What are some other activities you do outside the League?  

I'm very involved in leadership within my church and serve on another non-profit board.  And I'm the steering committee for the Barnstormers group at Shelburne Museum.  I also work at Magic Hat Brewery as an Human Resources Business Partner - so I drink a lot of beer.  And I love to do just about anything outside - hiking, cross country skiing, taking my dog and husband for long walks.

What brought you to Vermont? 

6 years ago, my husband took a job with Seventh Generation moving us from Michigan to Burlington. 

What’s your go-to restaurant?  

I love Farm House Tap & Grill - particularly the basement where it is super cozy to have a drink in the winter by their fire place.

What are you passionate about?  

I would love to leave the world in better shape than I found it.  I like to think the time I spend with the various organizations I'm involved in works to that end and I'm always seeking to educate myself on my personal impact but I always feel like there's more to do and learn.  So I guess I'm passionate about learning and about trying to improve the lives of the people and planet that I encounter.

Nancy Warner


Why did you join the JLCV?

I joined Junior League because I was looking for organized service with people like myself. After relocating to northern Vermont, I struggled to find meaningful volunteer opportunities in my area and a hometown friend suggested I check out the Junior League because she found her league experience rewarding.

What's your favorite part of being in the league?

I like working with others to achieve something larger and the general feeling of support from other women in the league. It is nice to be around a group of motivated individuals.

What are some other activities you do outside the League?

Being a mom of two and a business owner keeps me moving. I like to garden, & cook for others. I practice yoga, enjoy running, & love snow sports.

What brought you to Vermont?

My husband and I moved to Vermont from Florida so he could attend Vermont Law School in 2009.

What’s your go-to restaurant?

I am a huge fan of sushi and live in Stowe, so I frequent Sushi Yoshi. 

What are you passionate about? 

I am passionate about access to food, food education, and how to combat the stigma around hunger need. 


Jill Everett - President 2018

Why did you join the JLCV?

I joined Junior League as I was looking to join an organization outside of my professional life. I wanted to volunteer more and I wanted to meet other women who were interested in volunteering. I am so glad that I joined the league.

What's your favorite part of being in the league?

The members. I have met and continue to  meet fantastic women through this organization. I love my JLCV Village. I also love meeting members families. I love being able to volunteer and support our community.

What are some other activities you do outside the League?

I am distance runner. I run 3 to 4 half marathons a year. I love yoga, skiing, camping and hiking. I love spending time with my family.

What brought you to Vermont?

I went to UVM and moved back in 2007 because I just love the Burlington area so much!

What’s your go-to restaurant?

I love Pascolo and Pizza Verita.

What are you passionate about? 

I am very passionate about helping others, being a team player and supporting others to achieve their life goals.


Dr. Gillian Stearns


Why did you join the JLCV? 
I was still relatively new to town and looking to meet people outside of where I worked. I’d heard about Junior League being from down South and thought I’d look into it. 

What's your favorite part of being in the league? 
Meeting the women who have varied backgrounds and experiences than mine, and also finding out I’m not the only closet lover of Hallmark that exists in Burlington. 


What are some other activities you do outside the League? 
Outside of urologizing, I love to spin at Rev, I bake a lot, drink wine, and think about learning to love snow related activities. 

What brought you to Vermont?
My job


What’s your go-to restaurant? 
The Kitchen Table

What are you passionate about?
 
Medical care for more marginalized communities, in particular the transgender population; educating my residents


Cindy Miner O'hara


Why did you join the JLCV?

I joined the JLCV because I moved here from Portland, ME. I was a member there and met some amazing women and made some great friends. Being new to the area, and not knowing too many people, it has been great having a group of friends to lean on for advice and adventures.

What's your favorite part of being in the league?

My favorite part of being in the league is the opportunity to learn new things. In my previous league I was trusted to work as Treasurer (with no prior Treasurer experience). In this league I've been trusted to lead the Festival of Wreaths fundraiser (despite never having attended the event). If you jump in with both feet, and aren't afraid to ask for help, you'll do just fine.

What are some other activities you do outside the League?

I've been an avid skier in Maine and now Vermont.  The last two winters have almost made me reconsider, but true New Englanders just sharpen their skis and buy hand-warmers. On the other hand, I took up Stand-Up Paddle Boarding this summer and I'm super excited for the weather (and the water) to turn warm again!

What brought you to Vermont?

I came to Vermont for my new job. My fiance and I were living in Maine, but he was working remotely for the state of Vermont. It made more sense to move here. When an opportunity came up, we jumped at it (we both grew up in Vermont though, so it wasn't a stretch!). 

What’s your go-to restaurant?

I'm not going to lie. I had a hard time answering this one. Since moving to Vermont, we've been saving for a wedding and a house so we haven't really explored the Burlington scene. I'm going to lean on my Portland, ME history and say Timber. It's a locally-owned steakhouse and rotisserie restaurant with an amazing happy hour and the best whole chicken I've ever hard. Plus, deep fried bacon. Who says no to that?  

Erin Evarts

Why did you join the JLCV?

I joined the JLCV because I have always been interested and active in community service and this gave me a "grown up" avenue to make an impact in a measurable way.  I also wanted to join a group that was new to me - new people, new goals, new ideas and the Junior League provided all those things and more.

What's your favorite part of being in the league?

My favorite thing about being in the League is that I have met amazingly talented women from all walks of life - who are all committed to something bigger than themselves.  I've found it refreshing and exciting to work with people towards a common goal outside of work.

What are some other activities you do outside the League?

Outside the League I have been a long time member and volunteer with Lyric Theatre Company where I have been fortunate enough to have produced and directed shows for the Flynn Mainstage.  I'm also a single dog mom and devoted Auntie to a nephew and two nieces.

What brought you to Vermont?

I am a born and raised Vermonter.  After time in both Orlando and Boston, I am thrilled to be back home in the Green Mountains.

What’s your go-to restaurant?

Picking one restaurant in the area is hard - but I'd have to say Pizzeria Veritas, nothing beats their homemade mozzarella.


Jillian Bartolo

 

Why did you join the JLCV?

I wanted to meet people when I moved to Burlington and thought it would be a great way to get involved with local charity as well.


What's your favorite part of being in the league?

Having an organized options to volunteer for local charities including Ronald McDonald & The Community Health Center. I also very much enjoy our Holiday FOW event every year!


What are some other activities you do outside the League?

Work! Love my job for Peregrine Design/Build... meeting new people and designing homes and remodels with my clients. I also love to cook whenever I have the time!


What brought you to Vermont?

I was looking for a change from Boston and was visiting friends in Burlington and really loved the feel of the community and culture so decided to take the plunge


What’s your go-to restaurant?

Pizzeria Veritas! Local, casual, always yummy.


Charity Clark

Why did you join the JLCV?

I transferred from the Junior League of New York.


What's your favorite part of being in the league?

I really enjoy volunteering. I find serving our community's nonprofits and neighbors in need to be very uplifting.


What are some other activities you do outside the League?

Motherhood is my main activity! I have a 1-year-old daughter. I'm also an attorney and I am active at the Unitarian Universalist Church.


What brought you to Vermont?

I'm a native Vermonter, but was living in New York City for several years. When my husband and I learned we were expecting, we knew it was time to leave and Vermont just felt right.


What’s your go-to restaurant?

The Farmhouse Tap and Grill.


Amanda Herzberger

   

Why did you join the JLCV?

I had been an active member of the Hartford, CT league before moving up to Vermont and loved the opportunity it gave me to volunteer and meet new people. Working for myself I don't have the benefit of a built in social network through the office so have to be a bit more intentional in seeking it out. I was excited to see that a league existed in Vermont and it's been a fun change to be in a much smaller league.

What are some other activities you do outside the League?

My yellow lab Strider and I volunteer as a therapy dog team at Fletcher Allen Children's Hospital and Wake Robin. I work as a volunteer photographer for NILMDTS (an infant bereavement photography service) and Operation Love Re-United (which offers complimentary photos to deploying and returning military families). Personally my Husband Jeff and I love spending time outside hiking Mt. Philo, gardening, and hanging out with our two yellow labs Strider & Sage. I'm also an avid crafter (quilting and knitting mostly) and love reading!

What brought you to Vermont?

My Mother's family is in this area and we always spent summers and school vacations here growing up. I always knew I wanted to move back and it finally worked out with job logistics to be able to make the transition. We bought our house in Charlotte in July 2012 and have LOVED living here ever since!

What’s your go-to restaurant?

We love Bearded Frog or Starry Night when we don't feel like going far. 


Sarah Lenes

Why did you join the JLCV?

I wanted to give back to my community in a meaningful way beyond just being a resident of Chittenden County and I wanted to meet new people.

What's your favorite part of being in the league?

I love building relationships with other members and I love to have a positive affect on our community. Nothing is better than making someone else smile...Little gestures go a far way.

What are some other activities you do outside the League?

I like to take my dog Salty on long walks in the VT Mountains or take him swimming in Lake Champlain!

What brought you to Vermont?

I was born and raised in VT so, besides the four years I was in college (Wheaton) I never have left!

What’s your go-to restaurant?

Quick bite- Als

Special treat out is Hen of the Woods

Rebecca Smerek Monty


Why did you join the JLCV?  

I was looking to get involved in my community and make new friends.  I moved here in 2013 from NJ so it turned out to be a great way to learn about the opportunities for voluntarism and friendship that are here in northern Vermont!


What's your favorite part of being in the league?  

I like the camaraderie that is built between the members when we volunteer together.  We learn a lot about our community as well as each other.


What are some other activities you do outside the League?  

I have two 16 month old puppies named Crosby and Daisy, I love to go for a jog, hike, or snowshoe with them.  I'm also learning how to use my sewing machine so I can make all of my own curtains!


What brought you to Vermont?  

I met my husband a couple of years ago in San Antonio, TX at a work conference.  He lived in Richmond, VT and I lived in northern NJ.  We spent the summer visiting each other on weekends and falling in love.  Turns out, I loved visiting this area.  Tim asked me to move in and I did.  It's been amazing ever since.


What’s your go-to restaurant?  

Too many to chose!  For pub I love the Reservoir in Waterbury.  For a little up scale I love Leunigs.  For Asian - Single Pebble is so delicious.  There is such a variety of really good quality food here, you almost can't go wrong wherever you end up!

Junior League of Champlain Valley, PO Box 4418, Burlington, VT 05406 Email JLCV


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