Board of Directors
President: Stephannie Peters
Executive Director, Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless
Stephannie grew up in Shaftsbury, and has spent her career working with children & families in various human services and educational positions. Most recently she worked at the Southwest Vermont Career Development Center for 20 years teaching Human Services and as the School Counseling Coordinator. Stephannie is currently the Executive Director at the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless. She also is an adjunct instructor at CCV and VTC. Stephannie earned a dual bachelors degree in Criminal Justice/Human Services with a minor in Child Development from Southern Vermont College, a masters in counseling psychology from Vermont College of Norwich University, and a doctorate in Educational Administration from Northeastern University in Boston. She is committed to serving on the BCCAC Board because she believes in its mission and wants to support the amazing team who provide such incredible services to children and families impacted by sexual abuse.
Vice President: Kyle Hoover
Unit Supervisor, Family Services Office, DCF
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 Park-McCullough Historic Governor's Mansion
Christopher Oldham is a native of Bennington and a graduate of Mount Anthony Union High School. He attended Castleton College, where he focused his studies on human services relative to social problems, cultural diversity, and communities in American society. 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 New England Newspapers Inc. He also spent 16 years working with Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless in various capacities, including five years as the Executive Director. He has served on several community boards including Applegate Housing Inc., Better Bennington Corp., CareNet Pregnancy Center, Bennington Free Library, Bennington Rescue, CAT-TV, Bennington Free Library, and Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless among others. Currently, Christopher is the Executive Director of Park-McCullough Historic Governor's Mansion, a position he accepted in September of 2019. 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."
District Director, Family Services Office, DCF
Director of Youth & Family Services
and Northshire Services, United Counseling Services
Julie is responsible for the clinical and administrative oversight of the agency’s Northshire Office located in Manchester. The programs offered include Adult Outpatient and Substance Abuse services and Youth and Family Services. Julie is also responsible for all of the agency contracted School Based Services with the Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union, Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union and the Southern Vermont Supervisory Union. The office is home to the Northshire Head Start program and Mentoring at UCS. Providers from the CRT program and the Developmental Services programs have recently increased their presence to provide more services to people in this area. Julie joined UCS in 1999 as a school based clinician moving to the position of Community Services Manager in 2005 and is a member of the Local Inter Agency Team (LIT) and the Integrated Family Services (IFS) Team of Bennington County. She has a BA in Sociology from Clark University and a MA degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Stetson University. Julie has enjoyed working in the social service and mental health realm for almost 30 years in both State and private agencies.
Bernadette "Bunny" Thompson
Retired Community Member
Bunny Thompson is 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 was the Chairperson since its formation in 1989 until her retirement.
Bunny was the first Board President beginning in 1993 and held that position until her retirement in August 2011. Bunny will continue to sit on the Board because she is a believer in the mission and concept of the CAC/SIU.
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."