Board of Directors & Staff

Leadership

 

 

Suzanne Johnson
Founder, Executive Director, and Licensed USCG Captain

Suzanne is a survivor. Not just spinal meningitis and cancer, but in many others ways in her personal life. Being challenged over and over gave her the opportunity to really understand ‘priorities’ in life and what truly is important. ‘Giving back’ and making a difference in someone’s life with a sense of purpose IS what is important to Suzanne.

With a strong vision, Suzanne founded HealingWindsVT.org a new non-profit using sailing as a safe, fun and therapeutic experience to ensure that cancer patients, caregivers and family members have the opportunity to take a break from their challenges of everyday life of living with the uncertainty of cancer.

Suzanne lives in Shelburne, Vermont with her three children.  She can often be found engaging in a variety of outdoor activities, including sailing, skiing, group fitness, kite boarding and more.

 

 

Board of Directors

 

 

Mark Perkell
Board Member

Mark is a legal and business adviser who offers his services to business clients primarily in start-up to mid-stage development. He advises and guides business people and entrepreneurs on a wide array of critical topics including: strategic business development, intellectually property, regulatory and strategic partner/joint venture relationships, business entity formation (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC’s), contract drafting and negotiation. Mark currently serves as a board member of R.O.C. Inc., the Kids Rehab Gym and Healing Winds. Easily recognizable in a crowd for his signature hats, Mark can also frequently be seen with a camera around his neck photographing owls and such. He lives in South Burlington, VT with his artist wife Suzanne Clark and their two felines fur persons: Fume’ Blanc and Lily.

Dwayne Williams
Board Member

16 years ago, Dwayne’s family lost a son, brother and a friend to many. Jarred Williams passed away from a brain tumor on his 13th birthday. For ten years Dwayne’s family dedicated their lives to assisting other families who had a child with a chronic and life threatening illness. (2002-2012)

Wanting to continue to support cancer patients, Dwayne’s family has spent the past few years volunteering, advocating, and being there in any way they could.

June of 2017 changed Dwayne’s life, he met Suzanne Johnson on the Burlington Bike path, and with support of his family, he is dedicating time and effort in continuing to support the many families affected by this terrible disease through Healing Winds Vermont. As he personally knows, cancer affects so many people in different ways.

Deana Rock
Board Member

Deana Rock is a serial entrepreneur that has been entwined in both the analog and digital spaces. She launched a printer supply business in 1995. Eventually, Deana was partnered with North America’s largest mail order company which propelled her business ahead. In 2009 she left analog for the digital world, initially landing in WiFi. Shortly after learning about WiFi in public spaces, she co-founded a digital marketing company that included mobile apps, digital signage, social media, analytics, and web marketing. She now has a small digital marketing business called SoteDesign in Burlington, VT.

Darrel Depot
Board Member

Darrel Depot has owned and operated PuroClean for over 13 years and Co-Owner of CMD Construction Company. Darrel previously worked in industrial automation, manufacturing, organizational performance and executive level business consulting. Darrel has a wife and two children residing in Hinesburg, Vermont. PuroClean Managed Services is a locally-owned and family-operated fire, water, smoke and mold professional restoration company and CMD Construction assist clients in the need of repairs and rebuilding after a catastrophic event.

Jeff Barron
Board Member

Jeff was born in St. Johnsbury, VT and is  the youngest of 5 older siblings. He went to Rice High School (’82), and then went on to UVM to get and undergraduate degree in Computer Science (’86) and an MBA with a concentration in Finance (’89).

Jeff is the Director of capital forecasting and analysis at National Life Group in Montpelier, VT. He is a seasoned financial professional with experience across a wide range of industries in multiple capacities, including corporate FP&A, mergers & acquisitions, treasury, credit & collections, asset management and investment management.

Dennis Madigan Jr.
Board Member

Dennis has worked at TD Bank since 2010.  He has held multiple leadership roles and currently serves as the Retail Market Manager for Northern Vermont.  He oversees 19 branches and responsible for the employee development, retail, small business, commercial, and wealth activities for the region. 

Originally from New Jersey, Dennis has lived in Vermont since graduating from UVM.  He also has a Masters in Management with a focus in Banking and Finances from New England College.  Dennis currently lives in Essex Junction with his wife Karen and their two children Mackenzie and Jameson. 

Adele Forbes
Board Member

My experience in non-profit development spans 15 years and I have over 15 years in for profit marketing. I am most successful when I have an aggressive challenge that needs a creative solution.

Last position, I used my professional experience in fundraising, events and major gifts along with public relations and marketing at the National MS Society in Vermont as Director of Development representing the National MS Society throughout Vermont. 1 in 400 Vermonters have MS and today there is no cure.

Non profit experience includes National Kidney Foundation of N. CA and Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara County. Corporate background is United Airlines.

Robbi Handy Holmes
Board Member

I grew up working in my family’s diner, Handy’s Lunch in Burlington. I have learned a strong work ethic and the importance of customer service from my late father. I realized my desire to make the best of every situation. I attended Champlain College with a degree in Business and furthered my education at Trinity College of VT with a degree in Elementary Education. Currently, I live in Colchester and stay actively involved in our community through the Ronald McDonald House, Colchester Schools, Northwestern Board of Realtors, Healing Winds USA and other local organizations. I have become a Certified Real Estate Specialist. (CRS) is the highest credential awarded to residential sales agents, Accredited Buyers Specialist (ABR) , achieving Centurion given to the top 2% internationally by Century 21 for production, and Quality Service Award. In 2017 I was awarded Realtor of the Year by Northwestern Vermont Board of Realtors.

Sylvia Oblak
Board Member

Sylvia comes to Healing Winds bringing her expertise in management and organization. Her business, A Little Luxury: home services, operates in and about the Chittenden area. After an in-depth consultation regarding their priorities, Sylvia oversees the professional organization and cleanliness of client homes and offices, helping them to live their very best lives.

A philanthropist at heart, with over twenty years’ experience volunteering for non-profits, Sylvia has developed a unique skill set of communications, volunteer management, event coordination and organizational systems.

Cancer touched Sylvia on a very personal level when her mother was diagnosed with Leukemia, when a close personal friend of her children died in her early 30’s from uterine cancer, and when a beloved aunt died of pancreatic cancer within months of diagnosis. Sylvia is committed to helping others challenged by cancer to have one of the best days of their life, on a Healing Winds sailboat with their loved ones.

When she is not bringing the luxury of organized, cleaned homes to her clients, Sylvia can be found in her art studio, Sylvia Oblak Studios in Essex Junction, or out and about photographing Vermont’s beauty, or playing with her grandson. Sylvia resides in South Burlington with her husband of 30 years and daughter Anna, the youngest of their five children.

Staff

 

 

Mike “Spike” Hendrickson
Captain