WOODSTOCK TOWN SMILER, ARTIST
Adrian Tans is a painter, illustrator, and sculptor living in Woodstock, Vermont. As a self-taught artist, he has appreciated success as an oil painter for galleries throughout New England and as a children’s book illustrator. Over the years he has also developed a passion for impermanent art through his work as an internationally award-winning snow sculptor; and more recently, through his ongoing public art project, The Woodstock Town Smiler.
“The Smiler”, as is it has come to be known, is a free-standing chalkboard in the center of the village where Adrian has been creating large detailed chalk pastel drawings every few weeks for the last few years. It has come to be something of a group exercise in non-attachment in the community, which Adrian finds to be a continual source of interest and inspiration. Adrian works as the director of youth services at The Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock and lives with this son and two dogs in the village.
WEIGHT LIFTING RECORD HOLDER | BODY NEUTRALITY EXPERT
Bon Allen is a coach and Body Neutrality expert who has overcome absolutely insurmountable odds on her own journey to become one of the most inspirational and unique female figures in fitness.
Despite not discovering how much she actually loved fitness until she was in her 40s, she now thoroughly embraces her lack of fear of failure and uses it to inspire others to understand just how enjoyable movement can be and just how accessible fitness is for everyone.
Whether it’s hauling a sled marathon distance or deadlifting 100,000kgs in 10 hours, she is determined to show that it is never too late to explore just what you are capable of, you just need to start.
AUTHOR OF BERNIE'S MITTEN MAKER
Jen Ellis was a teacher and crafter when the mittens she sewed for Senator Bernie Sanders became the inspiration for millions of memes. Originally from South Portland, Maine, Ellis’s teaching career spanned nearly two decades in the public schools of North Carolina and Vermont. She is a songwriter, beekeeper, and still sews the occasional pair of mittens for local non-profit fundraisers. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Vermont. This is her debut publication. Ellis lives in Essex Junction, Vermont with her wife and daughter.
FOUNDER, THE MARS HILL GROUP
Jermaine Moore is the founder of The Mars Hill Group where he specializes in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching and Communication Training.
Jermaine is an international speaker and educator who has captivated audiences from Harvard University to Eliot Elementary School. He has led DEI discussions in almost every imaginable sector of business, from retail, to biotech, to Supreme Court Justices.
He is an active instructor for University of New Hampshire’s Professional Development program, a trustee for Berwick Academy, the Diversity Director for SHRM’s NH State Council and is a board member for the Diversity Workforce Coalition.
Jermaine is originally from a suburb of Philadelphia. In 2006 he relocated to Southern Maine where he and his wife raised their four children. They now split their time between Maine & Puerto Rico. He enjoys boating, traveling, art & music. He can be found cheering on his beloved Philadelphia sports teams.
CBS NEWS REPORTER
After 44 years in the news business in California, Mike and his wife moved to Brooklyn 7 years ago to help take care of their new grandkids. Both of their sons were there. Last year after an operation, he became paralyzed in the ICU. That threw their lives into the cement mixer.
DIRECTOR / SCREENWRITER | UPCOMING FILM LILLY
Film & television, writer & director RACHEL FELDMAN just completed LILLY, a feature film starring Patricia Clarkson, based on the life of fair pay activist Lilly Ledbetter. The screenplay won the Athena List, was a Breaking Through the Lens Cannes selection.
Feldman has directed episodes and pilots for a myriad of networks and channels. Her script KINKS won the ScreenCraft Best Pilot prize, was chosen as WGA Best Spec Pilot and as a Drama Queens winner, and was the US selection for CannesSeries at MIPTV.
Feldman is former chair of the DGA Women’s Steering Committee and an outspoken activist for women directors. She has been interviewed in docs: ""This Changes Everything,"" produced by Geena Davis, ""Half The Picture,"" and Bloomberg TV’s ""Celluloid Ceilings"" discussing gender equity in Hollywood. With an MFA in directing from NYU, an undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College, Feldman has taught directing & screenwriting at the USC School of Cinematic Arts graduate program.
AWARD WINNING AUTHORS | MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATES
Rachael Siddoway is an award-winning author. Her first book, An Impossible Life, is a best seller and an Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Winner. Rachael has been interviewed in all 50 states on local and national news, including CBS This Morning and The Tamron Hall Show. She has traveled the country speaking with organizations, mental health advocacy groups, and media outlets about her family’s personal experiences with mental health struggles and about the stigmas surrounding mental illness. She is an author, keynote speaker, and mental health advocate. Rachael is now writing her own story which outlines her triumph over dyslexia and overcoming the effects of being raised by a bipolar mother. A lover of cats and poetry, she lives in Texas with her husband, Brett and daughter, Indigo.
VIDEOGRAPHER | LOCAL FOOD ENTHUSIAST
Rocket is a videographer, a local food enthusiast, a rising 3L at Vermont Law, and a member of the Hartford Selectboard. Originally hailing from California, Rocket is an alumnus of The Putney School ('10) and Middlebury College ('14). He is the lead producer behind both the acclaimed local food brand "Eat Vermont" and the popular video series "Rocket in Vermont". Rocket is passionate about the power of storytelling to build empathy and relentless in his pursuit to foster stronger connections across the state of Vermont.
ARTIST, AUTHOR & PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL
Shanta Lee is an award winning artist who works in different mediums as a photographer, writer across genres, and a public intellectual. Shanta Lee is the author of the poetry collection, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, winner of the 2020 Diode Editions full-length book prize and the 2021 Vermont Book Award. Shanta Lee has an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MBA from the University of Hartford and an undergraduate degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality from Trinity College. To learn more about her work, visit: Shantalee.com.
MUSICIAN, FOUNDER OF OLOX ECOSYSTEM
SNOW RAVEN - SUOR was born in one of the most remote and cold inhabited places in the world—the Republic of Sakha—Yakutia (arctic Siberia). She was three years old when she started to learn the language of birds and animals. Her voice takes its breath from traditional Sakha culture and is truly an instrument. She is the OG of “arctic beatbox” - the reindeer breath and the founder of OLOX ecosystem: Of Many Believes Common Truth.
SNOW RAVEN, participant of America’s Got Talent 2020, headlined Lightning in the Bottle, Lost Lands, The Elements, Lucidity Festival, Beloved, Sundance Film Festival and played multiple shows at Burning Man. SNOW RAVEN also took part in Bioneers ECOconference, the international forum Arctic Circle-2015 in Iceland, in the French-American Arctic expedition Pax Arctica (DeLong Islands) sponsored by the Prince Monaco Foundation and in the International Beatbox Championship as a special guest.
MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE, KEYNOTE SPEAKER, AUTHOR
Sonja is a suicide survivor with over 30 years of lived experience with mental health challenges. Her award-winning and best-selling book, An Impossible Life, which details her struggles with mental illness, was featured on CBS This Morning as a story of hope. Sonja has been an op-ed contributor in such publications as The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, Oprah Daily, and others. She is a member of Newsweek Expert Forum. Sonja is a devoted mental health advocate. Oprah Winfrey graciously participated virtually in one of Sonja’s mental health book clubs’ discussions at Central California Women’s Facility, the world’s largest women’s prison. Sonja is passionate about helping individuals and organizations create open, inclusive, and educational conversations around mental health.
MIDDLE EAST PEACE ORG | SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR
Tomer Cohen, Co-Founder & Chairman of Tech2Peace, is an social entrepreneur who was selected lately to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Israel.
Tech2Peace, the winner of the UN Intercultural Innovation Award, connects Palestinian and Israeli young leaders through tech, dialogue, and entrepreneurship training (partners with Google, Microsoft, MIT, McKinsey, U.S. Dep. of State, etc.)
Tomer is currently studying for his MBA at Northeastern while working at Wellington Management LLC in Sustainable Investing Policy.