Susanne Parent, Executive Director
As a native Vermonter of several generations, Susanne brings a diverse background to our camp. As a freshman at Castleton University, Susanne was President of the Social Issues Club, working with the Dismas House in Rutland as well as organizing food and winter gear drives. She was a student committee member on the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, helping to bring Maya Angelou and Taj Mahal to the CU campus. Susanne was a double major in Sociology and Social Work with a concentration in History, graduating with a Bachelors of Social Work. From there, Susanne held many roles from payroll to hiring to conducting training with the Care Connection, the private duty side of the Visiting Nurse Association. At Associates in Dentistry, Susanne was an account and office coordinator.
Currently, with the Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District, Susanne’s abilities are as vast as her positions. Many years she could be found dismissing students as the after-school secretary. For several years, Susanne helped with the development of a new center within the school, providing support to students. Susanne assisted with the implementation of a new support program for children, PBiS. As a para-educator, she worked with students with autism and collaborated for many years with special education teachers. She segued into the Special Services Department at MMUUSD as a Preschool Administrative Assistant as well as a specialist in Time Documentation. In her free time, Susanne likes to spend time outside walking, hiking, or gardening.
Wendy Frink, Program Director
Wendy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Wendy has been working for OCCC since 2009. She was one of the founders of the camp. She has a long history of caring for children and families. Wendy always has a song, activity, art project, or story suited for every child. She has a keen eye for pulling out children’s strengths
and providing activities that foster children’s talents and interests. Wendy has an easy way of
demonstrating strategies to help campers be set up for success. Wendy organizes the scheduling for all camp activities. Everything from field trips, art, music, cooking, and Unicorn tracking. She’s especially happy when she can get some extra playtime in with the campers. Wendy has long been a steady and dependable presence for our camp. Since 2007, Wendy has been Co-Director and Co-Teacher for Hinesburg Nursery School during the school year. She oversees all aspects of pre-school operations, from licensing to developing and implementation of curricula. Wendy and her family live in the neighboring town.
Grace Butler, Assistant Program Director
This is my 7th year with OCCC. This fall I will be a Junior at the University of Vermont. I am majoring in English with a minor in Psychology. My favorite hobbies include reading, cooking, and dance! I’ve been an Irish step dancer for years, and am currently the treasurer of UVM’s Irish dance team the Celtic Cats. I am looking forward to seeing all our wonderful campers again, and watching the lasting OCCC bonds of friendship form.
Buddy Dubay, Music Director
I’ve been with OCCC for a lot of years (not sure how many!). I received my bachelors degree in Elementary Education from UVM in 1984. I just got a puppy and love her. She’s a handful. I’ve nicknamed her Chewie Louie! It’s a good thing she’s cute. I’m looking forward to being with everyone and making music.
Brian Letizia, Art Director
Brian comes to Our Community Cares Camp with 15+ years of experience working in the visual arts. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the University of the Arts located in Philadelphia, Brian worked at the Sandy Webster Gallery advocating for African American artists in the national art community. Along with his continued interest in social justice issues and the history of art, Brian has enjoyed diverse professional experiences working in studio and production environments as an artist and teammate. He has developed products, built larger than life installations, and facilitated logistics and design in arts festivals such as Coachella, Bonnaroo and Lallapalooza to name a few. His love for the outdoors has brought him to Vermont, where he aims to pursue a career as an arts educator. He believes that creative practice has a profound effect on human development, and wants to help others realize their unique gifts and potential. He spends his free time painting, cooking, birding, canoeing, and enjoying good company.
Sofie Carfaro, Virtual Camp Director
Sofie Carfaro is excited to join the OCCC team this summer! She grew up in Richmond Village and graduated from MMU but now she spends most of her time as a student in Chicago so she’s happy for the opportunity to work for such an integral part of her hometown community.
Julie Riddell, Head Chef
Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is deeply committed to the children and families of our community and is a resident of Jericho. She has been involved as Head Chef for OCCC for many years. What sets OCCC apart is the level of high quality homemade, from scratch, nutrition-packed meals. Diligently she develops and plans healthy and exciting menus. Julie is fiscally minded while strictly following the State of Vermont Summer Healthy Guidelines. On any given morning, you can find her making fresh from scratch muffins, egg, and cheese on whole-wheat English muffins or fruit smoothies and always preparing a variety of fresh fruit. For lunch, she could be making; Beef Tacos, black beans, mexi-rice, chicken with garlic bread, quesadillas, pasta, sloppy joe, 100% beef burgers or 100% beef hotdogs, pastabilities local crust pizza, fresh salad, fresh fruit and veggies and so much more. We are an offer vs. serve organization, educating and encouraging children to try something new. Julie sees first hand how a fresh, healthy meal sets the tone for the day and best healthy self. She is passionate about combating food insecurity. She has a connection with many of children served by OCCC year-round. Since 2015, Julie has worked as a chef at Browns River Middle School and Jericho Elementary. She was awarded the Golden Apple Award by the BRMS Principal, for outstanding performance. Julie brings twelve years of experience and skill to this position.
Kathy Davis, Bookkeeper
Kathy lives in a nearby town in South Burlington. She has her own consulting business for 11 years. Works to maximize profits and assists with profit forecasting. She also manages accounts for several other nonprofit organizations. Kathy has helped us set up and implement a new payroll system through PayData. She manages our QuickBooks account and donor management system. Kathy is heavily involved with Kids on the Ball, a 501 ( c )( 3 ). She is on their Board of Directors and has been their treasurer for seventeen
years. Kathy has a deep love for children and tennis. She is a wonderful addition to OCCC’s administrative team as the organization’s bookkeeper.