Who We are:
Museum Volunteers make up the backbone of the Museum. Wheather it's driving up the mountain on a snowy afternoon to feed birds, or educating the public at an exhibit at a local festival, they are always on hand to help out. Over the years, the Museum has been fortunate to encounter so many people in so many stages of their lives and careers it is impossible to name them all. It is just as impossible to leave them out. Thanks to all of the past, present and future volunteers!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
As with any non-for-profit organization, the Board of Directors is key to fulfilling our mission. The individuals listed below donate their time and efforts to making it all happen. If you are interested in supporting them in their good work or joining the team, please reach out to Edward Metcalfe
JACK WIDNESS is a former academic pediatrician and researcher who lives in Wilmington, Vermont. Since retirement, Jack has become active in conservation work, including service on the following boards: Trout Unlimited (Connecticut River Chapter); Hogback Mountain Conservation Association (Vice President); and the Federation of Vermont Lakes and Ponds. During summers, Jack supervises the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Greeter Programs at Harriman and Somerset Reservoirs. He is an also active member of his local Lake Raponda Association in Wilmington.
Edward Metcalfe is the owner of Vermont Distillers, Inc. in Marlboro,
VT. Ed has extensive business experience and is a longtime advocate of environmental education. He served for five years on the Whitingham Planning Commission, three as its chairman and served nine years on the Whitingham School Board and six years as School Board Chair of the Twin Valley School District. He is a licensed pilot in Sailplanes, Hot-Air Balloons, and Airplanes; is a certified scuba diver and is a past EMT and fire department member. He has been a member of the Whitingham-Halifax Lions Club for 33 years. He now serves on the board of the Hogback Preservation Commission, the Trust for Wildlife and is the founder of the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum. Ed is currently serving as Acting Director of the Museum on a volunteer basis.
John Greene has worked in his family's automotive business for over 55 years, the past 30 years running the business. He has been a part of the Wilmington planning commission, Valley Vision 2000 committee, and a long-time member of the Wilmington trails committee, developing and connecting regional hiking trails. As a member of the local Masons, he is the caretaker for the 200-acre Pool Farm property which adjoins the Museum's Mountainside facility. John is looking forward to developing trails at Mountainside.
Wanda Walkowiakhas been employed as a Physical Therapist for 30 years and is an active volunteer in her community. She took much pride and involvement with VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Science) Environmental Learning for the Future program, managing the local program for 7 years, and she has been an active community service volunteer and organizer with the Deerfield Valley Lions Club.
When it was founded in 1997, the Museum was the unpaid labor of love for Edward Metcalfe who ran the operation by himself. Over the years he took on a few volunteers, eventually an assistant director was hired, and by 2023 we were operating with 3 paid staff and up to 4 contract staff at a time. This is only the beginning and we are looking forward to a future Museum on par with the biggest attractions in the state! Are we hiring now? Take a look here to find out.
managing director, michael clough With a career in environmental and non-traditional education spanning 25 years, Michael has been at the Museum since 2009 when he started as a volunteer raptor trainer. As Director of Operations and Programs he oversees volunteers, social media and facilities needs and is the primary educator for the Museum's off-site and Mountainside programs.
office manager, kristine sweeterAmong many unofficial roles, Kristine serves as the hub for most Museum activities. She helps with grant writing and administration, program development, promotions and most importantly scheduling and billing for our over 250 presentations a year! As Director of the local Whitingham Free Library Kristine is also in a great position to provide a different viewpoint to our education activities and facilitate the Museum's relationship with libraries around the State.
animal care manager, rhys seiffertWith a focus on providing our education animals with top-quality care, Rhys joined the Museum staff with a strong background in that area. Building off a degree in Captive Wildlife Care from unity College, Rhys has continued in the field working with a variety of domestic and exotic animals with a focus on husbandry. Their work with the Forest Park Zoo has also included some education, so watch for Rhys participating in Museum programming in the future!