As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Downstreet relies on a volunteer Board of Trustees to work with the Leadership Team in efforts to continue a sustainable and effective company. The Board is comprised of one-third public members, one-third general members and one-third resident members. Board Members are elected annually by the Downstreet Membership at our Annual Meeting in the spring.

Any resident of Washington, Lamoille or Orange counties can be nominated for election to the Board.

Downstreet Board Members
Auburn Watersong

Resident Board Member

Auburn currently serves as Associate Director of Public Policy at the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. As an ordained minister, she also works at Christ Episcopal Church in Montpelier, where she lives with her two children. Auburn recently purchased her home in Montpelier with the help of the Downstreet Down Payment Assistance Program.

Carl Hilton VanOsdall

Public Board Member

Carl and his wife, Gina, have lived and worked in Central Vermont for the past 15 years. In addition to pastoring the First Presbyterian Church in Barre, Carl has a small psychotherapy private practice and has been involved in community work related to hunger relief, community organizing, restorative justice, offender re-entry, homelessness and housing.

Charles Merriman

General Board Member

With a background in residential construction and development, Charles moved from his native Cleveland to Vermont in 1991 to attend Vermont Law School. Following law school, Charles worked as an assistant attorney general for eight years before entering private practice, which includes a healthy dose of municipal law.

Daniel Barlow

Secretary and Public Board Member

Dan is the public policy manager and lobbyist for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. He previously spent more than 10 years as a journalist for newspapers in Vermont and New Hampshire. Dan lives in Barre with his partner, Phayvanh Luekhamhan, and their black cat.

Deborah Kahn

Resident Board Member

Deborah has a master’s degree in Library & Information Science from McGill University in Montreal and works at the Warren Public Library. A resident of Downstreet’s Verd-Mont Park in Waitsfield, Deborah produces handspun yarn and knitted items that she sells through stores and at craft fairs when she’s not spending time with her two grandchildren…

Gwynn Zakov

General Board Member

Gwynn has a law degree from the Vermont Law School and her background is in land use planning, urban planning, zoning, and law. Gwynn works as the Municipal Policy Advocate for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT), where she advocates on behalf of local government in Vermont.

Jamie Spector

Vice President and General Board Member

Jamie is a social worker, community organizer and long time supporter of community land trusts. Before moving to Vermont, she became the second staff member of the newly formed San Francisco Community Land Trust (SFCLT). Currently, she works full-time at Maplehill School and Community Farm and lives in Plainfield with her family.

Jeanne Richardson

Resident Board Member

Jeanne is a retired career civil servant having started as a social worker trainee and retiring with 30 years credit as the deputy director of Medicaid. Previously a Downstreet rental unit tenant, Jeanne became the owner of a River Station Condominium in December with the help of the Downstreet Down Payment Assistance Program.

Kevin Ellis

Public Board Member

Kevin is an award-winning former journalist who provides strategic counsel to companies and nonprofits nationwide in message development, crisis management, PR and social media. Kevin serves on Downstreet’s Board in order to better understand what it takes to create vibrant communities, and to help with strategic communications and development strategy.

Kevin Lunn

General Board Member

Kevin is a mortgage underwriter for Northfield Savings Bank and holds a degree in economics from St. Michael’s College. He has served on numerous boards, including the Green Mountain United Way Board of Directors. Kevin lives in Montpelier with his wife Bethany and dog Murphy.

Michael Simmons

Resident Board Member

Michael works for Blue Cross Blue Shield and is a resident of South Main Apartments, where he lives with his wife and baby daughter. Michael wants to serve on the Downstreet Board because he supports our mission and would like to “give back” to the community.

Tom Stevens

President and Public Board Member

Tom Stevens serves as State Representative for the Washington-Chittenden District comprising the towns of Waterbury, Bolton, Huntington and Buel’s Gore. He has served on the General, Housing and Military Affairs committee and has championed affordable housing legislation over the past two bienniums. Tom and his family live in Waterbury Village.