Board of Advisors

The Innovation Works (I-Works) Advisory Board advises the Institute on its work and to help promote, review, and approve partnership opportunities that will provide nationally scalable economic development solutions. Additionally, the board will increase equity, diversity, and inclusion by helping the Institute identify partners and projects that represent the diversity of our state. Board membership is comprised of community and business leaders, and key UVM leaders.


Kirk Dombrowski, Vice President for Research
A cultural anthropologist by training, Dr. Kirk Dombrowski is an active researcher whose work straddles the social and behavioral health sciences. Dombrowski’s research has received funding from NSF, NIH, and numerous foundation sources, and his published work has appeared in social science, computer science and health science journals. Full bio here.




Roy Beckford, UVM Extension
Roy Beckford brings a global perspective and an impressive record of setting up successful outreach programs that make lasting, impactful changes. He has worked in agricultural consulting around the world, including service with the government of the British Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, as well as in Qatar and Belize. Full bio here.




Dr. Corine Farewell, UVM Innovations
Dr. Corine Farewell has a proven record of identifying innovative opportunities and aligning the necessary human and material resources to implement sustainable initiatives, especially in building relationships between the private sector and academia. Full bio here. 





Retired U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT (or Designee)
A separate $14 million USDA grant, secured by Senator Leahy, has allowed UVM to renovate the Joseph L. Hills Agricultural Science Building, now the Leahy Institute Building, on the UVM campus. Leahy also secured $11 million of federal funding last year to support UVM’s Food Systems Research Center, a collaboration between UVM and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), which will also be located in the Patrick Leahy Building. 



Public Members

Ted Brady, VLCT President (Community & Economic Development)

Ted Brady is the Executive Director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT). VLCT is a statewide non-profit, nonpartisan organization that serves and strengthens Vermont local government.




Joyce Judy, CCV President (Education, Workforce Development)

Joyce Judy has been president of CCV since 2009. A special focus of her work is on expanding access to higher education for all Vermonters, from high school students taking college courses to adult students seeking new career opportunities.




Michael Metz, Generator (Tech)

Michael Metz is a retired materials scientist/business consultant specializing in the development of precious metals for high-tech applications. Before establishing his consulting firm 25 years ago, he served as president and COO of Metz Metallurgical Corp, elevating it to a global leader in precious metals technology.




Mieko Ozeki, VT Womenpreneurs and Business Owner (Economic Development)

Mieko Ozeki owns Radiance Studios, a boutique event production, and marketing agency. She also advocates for women-owned/led businesses as cofounder of Vermont Womenpreneurs, a statewide network, and Vermont's agriculture.




Dr. Travis Reynolds, UVM Faculty (Education)

Dr. Travis Reynolds is an associate professor of Community Development and Applied Economics. His research areas include institutional economics, agricultural development, and payments for environmental services, with an emphasis on the links between agriculture, food security, community governance institutions and the environment. Full bio here.



Jessica Savage, VCRD and Working Communities (Community Development)

Jessica Savage joined the VCRD staff in 2021 after 15 years in the public sector, mainly in the natural resources and recreation management fields. Her current work focuses on community-driven economic development initiatives including the Vermont Working Communities Challenge and Climate Economy programs.




Sarah Waring, USDA-Rural Dev (Government)

Vermont native Sarah Waring serves in the Biden-Harris Administration as State Director for USDA Rural Development for the twin states of Vermont and New Hampshire, where she directs the agency's 74 grant and loan programs for economic opportunity and improved quality of life for rural Americans.




Carolyn Weir, McCLure Foundation and VCF (Philanthropy, Workforce Development)

Carolyn Weir is executive director of the McClure Foundation where she leads the organization's efforts to scale strategies that help Vermonters plan for life after high school and access Vermont's high-pay, high-demand jobs.