Fran Stoddard


Fran Stoddard was the co-host of Switchboard.

Steve Schmida met his wife Nazgul Abdrazakova in Kyrgyzstan where they worked for foreign assistance programs. Nazgul had never heard of Vermont when Steve suggested they move here, but its values have worked for them. Together, they run a company that helps bring the financial power of the private sector into partnership with government agencies and NGOs to alleviate poverty and increase security in more than 60 countries. Matchmaking common goals is key to their success.

Shelburne Farms is a beloved local institution, with connections and influence far beyond Vermont’s borders. For 25 years the Farm’s vice president and program director, Megan Camp has focused on helping teachers prepare students to be caring global citizens for a better world, at home and abroad.

In his office in Shelburne VT, Bill Ryerson, founder and president of Population Media Center or PMC is unassuming, as he jokes about a foot-high stack of folders on his desk he still needs to deal with at the end of the day, before resuming a relentless travel schedule.

When we turn on the faucet in Vermont, we expect clean water.  But for a third of the world, safe drinking water can’t be taken for granted. Native Vermonter, Carolyn Meub is Executive Director of Pure Water for the World, a non profit run out of Rutland that’s been tackling this issue in Central America and Haiti.

(Meub) They don’t have what we have; don’t have clean, safe drinking water; they don’t have a toilet in or outside their home. It’s not that they don’t want it, it’s that they don’t have the means and they may not even understand the importance of it. 

Business man, farmer, global thinker Will Raap calls himself a “restorationist”, one who restores degraded and eroded lands, from backyard gardens to international watersheds.   It all began in his native California where, as a young man, he was disturbed by the changing landscape.

(Raap)  What I saw was these places that had a legacy, a history, a community of agriculture, strong local economies all being depleted by essentially pressures outside of themselves coming to bear… so they all ultimately became suburban development communities and mall communities…

As a young staffer to Mayor Bernie Sanders in the 80’s, Brenda Torpy recommended a unique model for permanent affordable housing in Burlington. Now Torpy leads the Champlain Housing Trust, the largest community housing trust in the world, holding 24 hundred homes in northwest Vermont.

Megan Epler-Wood is a pioneer in the ecotourism world who continues to think big. 22 years ago, she founded the world’s first organization dedicated to making tourism a tool for sustainable development when she made the link between conservation, tourism and the well being of the local people.

Stoddard: Rick Peyser

Mar 28, 2013
Peyser with coffee farmers.

(Stoddard) Green Mountain Coffee Roasters began in 1981 as a small cafe in Waitsfield. Now it's the largest Vermont based business. With annual revenues reaching nearly $4 billion and 5 % of its pre-tax profit granted mainly to coffee farmers, Green Mountain's impact on coffee growing communities and influence on the industry as a whole is significant. Overseeing this work, is Rick Peyser, Director of Social Advocacy and Supply Chain Community Outreach. To assess the needs of the coffee farmers, he began talking to them individually. Vermonter_100312_Stoddard_I'm Fran Stoddard.mp3