Our Leadership

VEIC was conceived by co-founders Beth Sachs and Blair Hamilton in 1986 with friends and colleagues gathered around their kitchen table. Almost three decades later, VEIC has grown into a national leader in the design and implementation of energy efficiency services for residents and businesses. The VEIC leadership group forms the foundation of the organization—setting our vision and driving success through empowerment of our staff, partners, and customers.

2027

Our 20 year goal is to remove 20 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Learn More.

Scott Johnstone

Executive Director

Scott brings a depth of experience in leading complex organizations in the private and public sectors. With a commitment to public service and good governance, Scott has made significant contributions to improving the quality and effectiveness of the organizations he has led. His past positions include Executive Director of the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and the Director of Public Works for the City of Burlington, VT. Scott joined VEIC in 2008, and since that time has led the organization through a period of strategic growth with a focus on results, measured in increased energy savings. Under his leadership, VEIC launched two new energy efficiency utilities in Washington D.C. and Ohio, expanded its scope of services to include transportation and biomass, and gained statewide recognition as an employer of choice. In addition to setting the strategic direction and leading business development at VEIC, Scott serves on several boards of directors, including the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership,  ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, and the Greater Burlington YMCA. He also served on the Vermont Governor’s Commission on Energy Siting until May 2013, and participated on the Commission on Climate Change. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Maine and also holds a Professional Engineer certification.

Our Leadership Team A-Z

David Barash

Director, New Business Ventures

David oversees the development and expansion of VEIC’s entrepreneurial work, including the creation of new business models to advance its sustainable energy work with a focus on social justice. Prior to this role, he was responsible for leading the DC Sustainable Energy Utility start-up team, establishing VEIC’s Business Development function, and launching Commons Energy L3C. David joined VEIC in 2009 with 35 years of experience in growing social enterprise businesses. He has held executive and senior operating positions with Ben & Jerry’s, Burton Snowboards, Autumn Harp, and Shelburne Farms. In addition to starting two of his own businesses, David has been a senior advisor to social enterprises that have created non-traditional business models, and currently serves on VEIC’s Executive Leadership Team. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont, and a Master of Arts in Administration from the Graduate School of Business at Saint Michael’s College.

David Cawley

Director, Efficiency Smart

David is one of VEIC’s longest serving employees, having joined the organization in 1988 as a Senior Energy Analyst. He has been a member of VEIC’s senior management since 1995, and has led the operations of the organization’s key enterprises, including Efficiency Vermont and the launch of Efficiency Smart. Today, he continues to serve on the Executive Management and Executive Leadership Teams. David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from American University.

Scott Comeau

Chief Financial Officer

A seasoned financial expert committed to serving mission-based organizations, Scott has more than 20 years of experience aligning financial strategy with mission and goals. His propensity for managing multiple lines of business toward a singular objective has helped VEIC remain profitable, stable, and mission-centered throughout our rapid expansion and will ensure our sustainability for years to come. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Ithaca College and a Masters in Business Administration from Bentley University.

Rebecca Foster

Director, Commons Energy

With over 15 years of experience in energy efficiency, Rebecca brings a strategic mindset, operational savvy, and financial expertise, as well as deep knowledge of energy efficiency programs and technologies to her work on Commons Energy. Prior to joining Commons Energy, Rebecca led VEIC’s Consulting practice for 3.5 years where she grew the client base to include progressive municipalities like the City of Fort Collins, Colorado, large complex utility programs like the one offered by Consolidated Edison in New York City, and consumers’ advocates working to improve the benefits that energy efficiency programs deliver to low-income customers. Prior to joining VEIC in 2011, she worked for over a decade at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency where she led residential sector initiatives and helped improve savings at 135 member energy efficiency organizations across the US and Canada. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Boston University and a Master of Business Administration focused on nonprofit organizations and corporate social responsibility from Simmons College.

Liz Gamache

Director, Efficiency Vermont

Liz brings a strong commitment to public service and community development to her role as Director of Efficiency Vermont where she leads the organization in delivering energy savings to all Vermonters, while fostering relationships with partners throughout the state. Her commitment stretches beyond her work at VEIC, as well. Currently serving a third term as Mayor of the City of St. Albans, Vermont, Liz is leading an unprecedented downtown revitalization effort that has transformed the Main Street district, filling vacant storefronts while attracting jobs and private investment. Over the course of her career, Liz has served in leadership and managerial roles in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, and as an entrepreneur. Prior to joining VEIC, in January 2015, she served for seven years as Manager of Corporate Services at Vermont Electric Cooperative, the state’s second-largest distribution utility. Liz holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Vermont, and an Excellence in Executive Leadership certification from Champlain College.

Karen Glitman

Director, Policy and Public Affairs

Karen brings more than 20 years of experience to her role as Director of Policy and Public Affairs where she leads policy strategy and development for the organization. Karen joined VEIC in 2011 as its first Director of Transportation Efficiency where she established the strategic direction for all transportation efficiency efforts and the development of a Transportation Efficiency Utility. Prior to joining VEIC, Karen served as the Director of the University of Vermont’s National University Transportation Center and interim co-Director of its Transportation Research Center. She served as the Vermont Clean Cities Coalition Coordinator; held the positions of Director of Policy and Planning, Deputy Secretary, and Acting Secretary at the Vermont Agency of Transportation; and served as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont and was admitted to the Vermont Bar in 1990.

Beth Sachs

Founder

Beth Sachs co-founded VEIC in 1986 with partner Blair Hamilton, and served as its Executive Director for twenty-two years. She continues to foster stewardship of the mission, values, and goals that have set VEIC apart and made it a successful and valuable part of the community, as well as furthering our education, advocacy, and business development goals. As a leader in energy efficiency and passive solar work for more than forty years—a career spanning several oil embargoes, a couple of wars fought at least partly over natural resources, and increasingly cataclysmic weather events— Beth has made it her life’s work to (quite literally) save the planet. She serves on the Boards of Vermont Works for Women, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, and the Energy Co-op of Vermont, is Secretary of the VEIC Board, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Antioch College.

Erika Schramm

Director, Administrative Services

As a career human services professional, Erika knows how important employees are to the success of an organization. From March 2008 through October 2012 she served as the Human Resources Manager and led VEIC’s efforts to attract, motivate, and retain the highest quality staff. Prior to joining VEIC, Erika was the Director of Human Resources for Northern Power/Distributed Energy Systems. As the Director of Administrative Services, Erika oversees human resources, sustainability and asset management, and strategic technology services. Erika holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and she serves on the Lake Champlain Workforce Investment Board.

Ted Trabue

Director, DC Sustainable Energy Utility

As a fourth generation Washingtonian, Ted has dedicated his career to strengthening the DC community. As the Director of the DCSEU, he leads the organization in meeting its economic, environmental, and job creation goals. Prior to joining VEIC, Ted served as the Executive Director of the Green Builders Council of DC. He also served as the President of the District of Columbia State Board of Education from 2010-2011, and as an at-large member until January 2013. Ted received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Dartmouth College, and a law degree from Howard University School of Law.

Maria Varela Brown

Director, Communications

Maria brings more than 15 years of experience in marketing and communications to her work at VEIC. In the role of Director of Communications, she oversees the Marketing, Consumer Insights, Public Relations, Creative and Digital Services, and Customer Support teams. Prior to joining VEIC, Maria worked for Kelliher Samets Volk in Burlington, Vermont, as well as in the magazine publishing industry in New York City (Conde Nast, Time Inc., and Meredith Corporation, among others), managing and producing innovative brand, marketing, advertising, and public relations campaigns. Maria's broad knowledge of energy efficiency practices and technologies supports her expertise as a writer, designer, and strategist in effectively communicating complex technical concepts and programs to both commercial and residential customers. Maria holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bucknell University, and a Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School.

Everett Woodel

Director, Midwest Regional Office

Everett brings more than 16 years of executive leadership experience in both state and federal government roles, as well as business development management in the architecture and engineering industries to his role as Director, Midwest Regional Office where he oversees operations and business development for Efficiency Smart. His federal service includes acting as a Communications Director and a District Director for Ohio congressional representatives. Within state government, Everett has served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Industrial Commission of Ohio and the Director of Public Affairs for the Office of the Treasurer of the State of Ohio. His federal accomplishments include leading collaborative efforts with key stakeholders to address pollution and water diversion issues on Lake Erie and the Great Lakes. An Ohio native and US Army Veteran, Everett holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and Political Science from Bowling Green State University and a Masters in Business Administration from Ohio University.