Who We Are
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 was the instructor for the Electronics Recording Arts program at Burlington Technical Center, and is currently the Media Integrationist and Media Education teacher at Champlain Valley Union High School. A 7th generation Vermonter, Gary currently lives in Essex Junction with his wife Jane and their three cats.
Jessica Wilson, Vice President
Jessica Wilson joined the RETN board in 2009. She is currently the Digital Learning Leader for the Williston schools. 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 Director of Digital Learning and Communication for the Champlain Valley School District. Prior to taking on that role, Bonnie worked in the Williston Schools both as a primary classroom teacher and as the digital learning leader. She has taught courses and workshops to Vermont educators about integrating Google Apps into the classroom, Building Personal Learning Networks, and Assessment and Technology. 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.
Charlie McFadyen is the technology integration specialist at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, VT, USA. He is also a musician and composer, a husband and father, lover of problem-solving and crossword puzzles.
Keith Oppenheim has been an instructor at Champlain since 2014. His courses in Broadcast Media Production include Video Storytelling, News Writing and Production and Video Field Production. In addition, seniors in the broadcast major work with Keith on their capstone project, a series of documentaries that air on local cable television. Before coming to Champlain, Keith was a broadcast journalist. He worked in local markets for 12 years, followed by 11 years at CNN where he was a correspondent based in Chicago. Keith taught at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan for 5 years, then made the move to Vermont. Keith is currently a regular contributor to Vermont Public Radio's commentary series.
Jason Raymond is the instructor of the Digital Media Lab at the Burlington Technical Center (BTC). Prior to working at BTC, Jason worked for several years as a community media educator at Tualatin Valley Community Access (TVCA/TVTV) in Beaverton, OR teaching field and studio production workshops and coordinating media productions with community volunteers. He has also taught middle school Broadcasting in Little Rock, AR, developing collaborative projects with the Little Rock Film Festival, AETN (Arkansas Educational Television Network-PBS), the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, and the PBS Student Reporting Lab. He holds Master’s degrees in Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, with a specialization in copywriting from the Texas Creative program. Jason was also an undergraduate of Bennington College, with a focus in creative writing and media studies. Jason is interested in engaging youth in a collaborative exploration of the creative possibilities of filmmaking, electronic music, and emerging technologies.
Shelagh Connor Shapiro hosts a show called Write the Book on our affiliate community radio station, WBTV-LP. Write the Book features interviews about books for writers and curious readers. Her novel, Shape of the Sky, published in 2014, was nominated for the Vermont Book Award. Her stories have appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, The Baltimore Review, Short Story, Gulf Stream and others. Her story “somewhere never gladly” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Shelagh lives in South Burlington, Vermont with her husband, Jerry. They have three sons: Bennett, Connor, and Aaron. Shelagh's involvement in community radio has allowed her to learn many new skills: interviewing, audio editing, and broadcasting among them. She loves being a part of community radio, which offers people with or without broadcast experience a voice on their local airwaves, participating in conversations about music and the arts, news and politics. Community radio encourages participation and story sharing. It brings people together
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 has taught videomaking to young people and community members across the country, and is thrilled to call Vermont home. Gin enjoys creating new projects, and is the co-founder of Baltimore's Wide Angle Youth Media, the nonprofit communications company Spindle & Widget, and the Burlington story community Storytelling VT. 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 strives to bring understanding and curation to an often unruly local media information environment. Having joined RETN in the mid-2000s, he has worked through many industry changes, including analog to digital, SD to HD, and the transitioning of seemingly all things to IP. Outside the office, Drew plays shakuhachi, practices tai chi, and retreats into the world of literature whenever possible.
Connor Vandagriff, Production Assistant
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Connor joined the RETN staff in October 2016 as the Production Assistant. Up until then, he worked for two years as a freelance videographer, director and editor. After residing in Glendale, California for nearly 20 years, he moved to Richmond, Vermont and attended Saint Michael’s College where he received a BA in Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts. With a critical eye for media production, Connor hopes to provide the community with the tools and information to venture through today’s ever-increasing and complex media landscape. In his free time, Connor collects vinyl records, photographs historic car racing events around the country and plays a plethora of percussive instruments.
Ross Ransom, Education Coordinator
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Ross Ransom is the Education Coordinator at RETN. He first started producing video while in school in New York. Ross' passion for teaching community media was solidified during a senior-year internship with RETN. Ross strives to help the community tell their stories by making it simple and fun to learn videomaking. Ross enjoys a variety of outdoor activities year-round, making music, and believes in local, dissenting, unfettered, informative, and accessible media productions.
Wilbur Wilson, CTO - Chief Treat Officer
Wilbur joined the RETN staff in December 2012 when he decided it best to follow his meal ticket, Jess Wilson. He began his career of greeting visitors and begging for treats at CCTV/Channel 17 Town Meeting Television. A big supporter of free speech and community media, he 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 cats, bark at squirrels, and attend theatre rehearsals.
Our producers and guest artists bring technical skills and broad life experiences to our media community.