Meet our Executive Board:
Community and Partner Agencies Coming Together
Community and Partner Agencies Coming Together
President: Jackie Myers
Owner, Lil Peeps Playschool, Shaftsbury Early Childhood Center, and Schools Out Children's Center
Jackie wanted to be able to stay home and raise her own children, and in 1993, she opened an in-home childcare program providing childcare to 6 children. In the last 20 years, that program has blossomed into what is now “Lil Peeps Playschool” in Shaftsbury VT, providing preschool and other services to 30 children and their families. “Schools Out Children’s Center” in Bennington VT is also Jackie’s project and provides a safe place for school-agers to attend before school, after school, snow-days and vacations. While growing her businesses, she became interested in offering safe, affordable and quality care to all families. Thus becoming a specialized care provider and working with many service providers in the community to help families in the community.
In 2001, she joined into a partnership with Bennington County Head Start and now provides 13 preschool slots to Head Start eligible families. Her program has worked hard to become a 4 STAR accredited program with the State of Vermont. She also takes a great deal of pride in her ECO Healthy Status in hopes of making the world a greener place to live one child at a time. Jackie became a board member in January 2012. She takes pride in advocating for children as well as being active in the community. She feels she is able to accomplish both by being a Board member.
Vice President: Beth Sausville, MA
District Director, DCF-Family Services
Beth has worked for the Bennington office of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for nearly 17 years. She spent three and a half years as a Juvenile Services Caseworker, and six and a half years as a Juvenile Services Supervisor. She was recently appointed District Director, in June 2011. Beth has always been passionate about working with children/youth and families, and she has much experience as well.
Beth has been on the CAC board since it's inception. She says that attending a conference in which Anne Lynn (Project Director, Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center) was the speaker, ignited her interest in the CAC approach to working with child victims and their families. What keeps Beth interested in being a board member? "The passion of the work of the CAC and the close role that DCF has in the work".
Secretary: Erica A. Marthage
Bennington County State's Attorney
Erica has worked as an attorney for the State of VT since 2001. She was elected as the Bennington County State's Attorney in 2006. Erica has been a member of the Board since 2007.
Erica is interested in being a board member because, "the organization fills an important need within our community and gives me a sense of professional purpose. The individuals that work as part of the CAC/SIU are such dedicated professionals that it is a pleasure to be a part of the team".
Treasurer: Christopher Oldham
Executive Director of the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless
Christopher Oldham is a native of Bennington and a graduate of Mount Anthony Union High School. He attended Castleton State College where he focused his studies on human services relative to social problems, cultural diversity, and communities in American societies. He also minored in political science. Christopher returned to Bennington after college to begin what he describes as a mission to serve his community and to bring new hope, opportunity, and compassion to those who face adversity. At 22, he ran for a position on the Bennington Select Board and served for nine years. He has worked for Vermont Center for the Deaf & Hearing, United Counseling Services, and was the Associate Director of the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless before becoming the Circulations Sales & Marketing Manager for New England Newspapers Inc. He has served on several community boards including Applegate Housing Inc., Better Bennington Corp., CareNet Pregnancy Center, Bennington Free Library, Bennington Rescue, and Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless among others. Currently, Christopher is the Executive Director of Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless, a position he accepted in March of 2015. Since accepting his role at BCCH, Chris has resigned from all of his board commitments to focus on BCCH; that is until recently. He gladly accepted the offer to serve on the BCCAC because he strongly believes in their mission. Chris is interested in being a board member because "BCCAC's work has changed the lives of many people and serves as a support system for those who have experienced the unthinkable. Personally, this mission holds a special place in my heart and I am happy to serve, support, and promote such a valuable community program."
Joy Kitchell, ex officio member
Executive Director BCCAC/SIU
Joy spent 25 years as an elementary school teacher and principal within the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union. Joy is committed to what is best for children. During her tenure in public education, Joy became increasingly aware of how important a collaborative approach to supporting victims was and realized she wanted and could do more. In July 2012 ,she was honored to accept the position of Executive Director of the BCCAC/SIU."I have worked with many of the agencies that provide support to victims and their families. When I was first introduced to the MDT and CAC/SIU, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that team and what they offered our community."
Tambra Johnson Reap
Retired Community Member
After raising two sons and working for over 30 years in the Federal government in the museum and exhibition field Tambra retired from the Library of Congress in late 2015, and she and her husband moved to Sandgate from the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
In retirement, she wants to become actively involved in her newly adopted community, especially in the area of children and families. To that end, while working to become a Guardian Ad Litem for Bennington County, she was inspired by the incredible team surrounding the CAC/SIU during a presentation, and was motivated to join the board and assist in any way possible.
Bernadette "Bunny" Thompson
Retired Community Member
Bunny Thompson is recently retired from the VT Department for Children and Families (DCF), where she was employed for 32 years. Bunny is a graduate of Southern Vermont College with a Bachelor's degree in Human Services. One of the original investigators in the Bennington DCF office, she moved on to become Supervisor of Intake and Investigations, and most recently the Supervisor of the Child Protective Services Unit.
Bunny's insight helped develop the Bennington County Association Against Child Abuse program in 1993, now the Bennington County Child Advocacy Center and Special Investigations Unit. She also co-founded the Bennington County Multidisciplinary team (over 40 professionals contribute to the MDT), and has been the Chairperson since its formation in 1989.
Bunny was the first Board President beginning in 1993, and held that position until her retirement in June 2011. Bunny will continue to sit on the Board because she is a believer in the mission and concept of the CAC/SIU.