Board and Staff
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The RETN Board of Directors is comprised of appointed representatives and volunteers from the RETN Service Area.
Gary Lambert, President
Gary Lambert has been a cinephile all his life. He has taught production at Champlain College, Burlington College, and UVM, where he also worked as a producer and director at the Video Studio. He served as Media Coordinator at Champlain Valley Union High School and is currently the Electronics Recording Arts instructor at the Burlington Technical Center. A 7th generation Vermonter, Gary currently lives in Burlington, Vermont.
Jessica Wilson, Vice President
Jessica Wilson joined the RETN board in 2009. She is currently the Technology Integration Specialist at the Hinesburg Community School and the Chittenden South Supervisory Union central office. Jessica graduated with an Elementary Education degree and teacher's license from Hofstra University in New York. She also holds a Masters of Technology Education from St. Michael's College. Jessica is passionate about helping teachers transform their classroom through communication, collaboration and problem solving, in order to help students become 21st century learners and active contributors to our global society. Outside of school you will find Jessica traveling around the world, cooking international foods, and participating in variety of outdoor activities.
Alan Levi, Treasurer
Alan Levi has been a board member of RETN since 2007 and the treasurer since 2009. He serves as a community-at-large member from the business sector. Alan graduated from Syracuse University with a BA in Psychology. He has pursued a career in retail and has been the owner of several children’s department stores and e-commerce enterprises over the last 30 years. He also serves as a consultant to product designers and manufacturers of baby products. Alan resides in Williston with his wife, Dande. Besides his passion for his business career, Alan is an avid gardener, coffee & beer lover, foodie and movie buff.
Bonnie Birdsall, Secretary
Bonnie Birdsall is the Technology Integration Specialist for the Williston, VT School District. During her years in that position, Bonnie has worked with teachers, staff, and students about how technology can be integrated into the curriculum in natural and meaningful ways to enhance learning. She has taught courses and workshops to Vermont educators about integrating Google Apps into the classroom and Building Personal Learning Networks. Prior to assuming her current role, Bonnie was an elementary level teacher in Williston. Bonnie holds a Master's degree in Technology in Education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, worked in a technology-driven national school reform project, and taught in Boston. Bonnie believes that as educators we are all learners and we should use today's technologies to connect, grow, create, and learn. In her spare time, Bonnie enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband and sons, reading, and cooking.
Chris Dissinger joined the RETN board in 2014. He is currently the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Fleming Museum of Art at the University of Vermont where he handles all aspects of marketing, publicity, graphic design, photography, as well as social and electronic media. Prior to moving to Vermont, Chris was publisher and editor of two daily newspaper in New Mexico for 15 years. A graduate of Towson University, Chris holds degrees in both History and Journalism. Chris believes that technology is a core component of growth for public institutions and, through its use, can reach and be relevant to wider and more diverse audiences. Chris lives in Underhill with his wife and daughter and enjoys skiing, ice and rock climbing, cycling and water sports in his spare time.
RETN’s staff has more than 100 years of combined experience in video production. Meet some of the dedicated professionals and interns that make RETN possible.
Jess Wilson, Executive Director
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Jess joined RETN in December 2012 as Director of Production after spending 13 years as an Executive Producer and Channel Director with CCTV/Channel 17 Town Meeting Television in Burlington. During her time at CCTV, Jess produced, shot and edited documentary style videos for CCTV's non-profit clients. She also managed video production and live webstreaming for events and produced Channel 17's election coverage. Prior to her work at CCTV, she served as executive director of LCATV in Colchester and as News Director of WDEV AM & FM in Waterbury. Jess is a co-founder of the Saints and Poets Production Company, a theatre company devoted to promoting the puppetry arts through theatre and film.
Gin Ferrara, Community Engagement Manager
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Gin considers herself a "multimediator" -- a person who helps folks use media to tell their own stories and connect to their communities. She is the founder of Wide Angle Youth Media, a Baltimore media nonprofit, and provides communications strategy and multimedia design for nonprofits through her company Spindle & Widget. Having been a mediamaker since the days of splicing and 3/4 inch tape, she is pretty thrilled to be making movies on her iPad, and looks forward to what's next. When not making or teaching, Gin is baking bread and hiking with her family.
Drew Frazier, Content Manager
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Drew endeavors to bring order and understanding to an otherwise unruly local media information environment. Having joined RETN in the mid-2000s, he has worked through many industry transitions, including analog to digital, SD to HD, and the transitioning to IP-based infrastructures. Drew spends most of his time away from the office playing shakuhachi, listening to music and getting lost in the analog world of literature.
Jackie Marshall, Production Manager
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Connor Vandagriff, Production Coordinator
Jim Kelty, Production Coordinator for Facilities
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Jim Kelty joined the RETN staff in 2007 after working for the organization on a freelance basis for several years as a video editor and field producer. He now works closely with community producers and camera crews that record local events such as public lectures, school board meetings and music and dance performances. He was initially drawn to RETN by the alternative viewpoints he found on Channel 16, which carried "Al Jazeera: Newshour" for several years and carries "Democracy Now!" as well as documentaries and other programming seldom found in the mainstream. An avid reader, Jim tries to stay informed about important issues confronting the human race. He counts Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen, Arundhati Roy and Dmitry Orlov among his strongest influences. He also works at Vermont Community Access Media and co-produced "Occupy Burlington Update," a live show about the local Occupy movement, that was seen weekly on Channel 15. He studied video production at Champlain College and has a BJ from the University of Missouri.
Ross Ransom, Education Coordinator
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Ross Ransom is the Programming and Education Coordinator at RETN. From Katonah, NY where he spent years working with various artistic media, his interest in media education started in his years studying at Champlain College. His passion for community media was solidified during a senior-year internship with RETN. In order to make media more accessible to his community, Ross works with RETN productions, marketing, programming, and trainings. Ross enjoys biking, reading, camping, swimming, playing guitar and believes in local, dissenting, unfettered, informative and accessible media productions, as well as good beer.
Patrick Heltz, Distribution Coordinator
Patrick Heltz is a Vermont native and graduate of the University of Vermont where he earned a degree in history. He has spent summers working at historic sites in Vermont and New York. During his previous video production experience, Patrick specialized as a sound technician. He joined the RETN staff as the Distribution Coordinator in 2017.
Wilbur, CTO - Chief Treat Officer
Wilbur joined the RETN staff in December 2012 when he decided it best to follow Director of Production, Jess Wilson. He began his career of begging for treats and receiving belly rubs at CCTV/Channel 17 Town Meeting Television. A big supporter of free speech and community media, Wilbur has also taken on short-term assignments at Lake Champlain Access Television in Colchester. In his free time, Wilbur likes to eat, nap, swim, harass Simon (his cat), bark at squirrels and attend theatre rehearsals.
Ernie, Field Unit - Canine Productions
During his 7 years on staff, Ernie has produced, directed, and starred in the award-winning titles THE ART OF THE 22-HOUR NAP (2012), FILTHY FORAGERS (2014), and A CORNUCOPIA OF CADAVERS: RECIPES FOR ROTTING FLESH (forthcoming). Ernie brings several skills to RETN, including and limited to: sleeping, eating, and the killing of lesser mammals. We’re not sure how this helps us.
Network and Computer Support
Field Producers and Editors
FORMER INTERN VIDEO PROJECTS
RETN Interns have worked on video projects spanning a wide variety of topics, including food education, ipads in schools, spoken word art, and more. CLICK HERE to watch videos produced by or featuring former RETN interns.