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

 

 

Stew Jensen
Board Member

Stew is Vice President / Partner in nxtConcepts, ltd., a digital marketing agency with a focus on outdoor recreation clients all across the U.S. My mother was one of the most avid cruising sailors I have ever known. On Friday nights my father would get home and she would have the car already loaded and would be waiting by the door rushing him to get going. The sailboat was her happy place and she cherished every minute on the water. She was lucky to be able to continue sailing with us for two summers after her diagnosis with lung cancer. When she passed away, I vowed in my eulogy for her that I would find a way to bring her love of sailing to others. I don’t think it was chance that Healing Winds Vermont came to being so close to my home port. I am thrilled and honored that I can play a small part in the mission of the organization and do so in Margaret Jensen’s memory.

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.

Kathie S. Weibust
Board Member

Kathie retired from UVM the summer of 2014 after 37 years as Associate Director of Admission. She and her family enjoyed volunteering (Make-A-Wish Foundation wish granter and event volunteer, Women Helping Battered Women weekly hotline volunteer, food server at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving Day) and had planned to look for meaningful volunteer work. Instead, Kathie was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and had her right lung removed. After a winter and spring of chemo and recuperating from surgery, she heard about HWVT and has been volunteering there ever since! That fall she was asked to become a member of the Board. Kathie is very passionate about Healing Winds and believes she gets as much personally as she gives, especially since the return of cancer in her other lung. There is nothing more healing than time on the lake sailing; being powered by the wind and breathing in the healthy air! Kathie has 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and her King Charles Cavalier Lucy.

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.

Erin Centonze
Board Member
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.

Sally Conant
Board Member

Sally is a business owner and educational professional. She is a speech language pathologist/learning specialist at Westford School and owner of SConant Staging and Beyond. She co-founded the original Net Result Fish Market and co-owned the Black Bear Inn. Tenures at Wake Robin and the Stern Center for Language and Learning connected her to not for profit organizations. Her three daughters, grandchildren and large extended Vermont family are a focus and passion in her life. She personally knows how cancer has long term effects on individuals and their family and friends.

 

 

Staff

 

 

Mike “Spike” Hendrickson
Captain