Our staff exemplifies experience, dedication and a passion for doing the right thing. Whether we work in advocacy, education, or provide the terrific services Vermonters have come to expect, we all know that our work is all about making Vermont happier, healthier, and wealthier place.
Karen Yacos - Executive Director
Throughout my career, whether leading programs at nonprofits or corporations, I’ve been driven by a passion for creating sustainable and livable places. Now, I work with the Local Motion community (staff, board members, partners, volunteers, and the public) who share that passion and know that biking and walking is a way to get there. We need more communities where you can choose to not drive a car; where it is pleasant and safe to jump on a bike, a skateboard, into your shoes or onto a bus, and get where you want to go. Why not? Walking and biking as a mode of transportation are better for people’s health and for the planet. Imagine if we all burned more carbohydrates and less carbon.
3 favorite things: Skiing, exploring new places in VT and around the world, cooking amazing meals from local ingredients (including those found in the woods behind my house).
Allegra Williams - Livable Streets Program Manager
As a child, I rode to school on the back of my father’s bike and my own family has continued this tradition with our sons (most recently with our new cargo bike!) I have spent the past decade working in a variety of capacities as an urban planner, educator, and advocate for healthy and sustainable communities. Time spent abroad and living car-free has further fueled my passion for reclaiming streets as public spaces, and for creating greater access to those with limited mobility options. As Livable Streets Manager, I feel fortunate to be able to collaborate with municipalities, schools, and local advocacy groups across the state who want to make their streets safer, and their communities better places to walk and bike.
3 favorite things: Traveling to places with good urban design. Engaging in projects that involve art and community-building. Watching my sons bike, scoot, and play safely with their neighbors.
Jonathon Weber - Project Coordinator
As a kid, I spent a lot of time jumping my bike off the raised corners where driveway aprons met grass along my neighborhood street. And I just sort of kept riding, and finding more and more friends and community along the way—out in the woods building dirt jumps, suffering to the top of a grueling climb on a mountain bike, and cruising down the bike path. Now, I’m working to build bike community and culture as Local Motion’s Project Coordinator. By assisting with the implementation of our education programs, workshops, and communications strategies, I hope to move Vermont towards a more bikeable and walkable future. Someday, I hope everyone has a commute that’s as good as my 4-mile ride down the Burlington Greenway.
3 favorite things: Riding bikes with friends, riding bikes alone, eating ice cream.
Laurie Smith - Development Manager
A 4 ½-mile commute by bike from my front door along the Island Line Trail to work on the Burlington waterfront? Yes, thank you! When I’m not fundraising for Local Motion, my family and I take full advantage of the quality of life in Colchester – sailing, kayaking, bike-riding, hiking, skiing, concerts in the park … With a background in recreation and trails grants management for the State of Vermont and non-profit leadership in Waterbury, my path crossed Local Motion’s (pun intended) for nearly 3 decades before I finally had the opportunity to work here. It’s a blast to collaborate with my talented colleagues and to give our donors and mission partners opportunities to support the work that Local Motion does.
3 favorite things: Sunset from our sailboat on Lake Champlain. Spring arrival of great blue herons to Delta Park. Traveling with my family.
Leslye Dentch - Bookkeeper
Leslye is a transplanted New Yorker coming to Vermont for more snow! Walking, hiking and cross-country skiing are her main activities but she finds just being outdoors, in general, is good enough. She has a strong office manager and bookkeeping background and does her best to keep all of us at Local Motion free of the detailed, mundane and day-to-day tasks so we can concentrate on promoting people-powered transportation and recreation for healthy and sustainable Vermont communities.
Lynne Graves - Director, Finance and HR
I love to be active! I love to be outdoors! That is what attracted me to Local Motion- an organization with a mission to get people outside and moving. When not tending to finance and human resources needs at work, I can be found participating in a variety of activities such as running, gardening, rowing in my single, sailing, and skiing. As Dr. Suess reminds us, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” I try to inspire others to do the same.
3 favorite things: Family. Sunsets over Lake Champlain. Anything vanilla
Mary Catherine Graziano - Education and Volunteer Manager
Sandy Bender - Services Coordinator
As Services Coordinator, I work behind the scenes to help keep operations running smoothly with the Trailside Center, Bike Ferry, and Valet Bike Parking. Prior to joining the Local Motion team, I worked as a cheesemaker at several creameries around Vermont, and I enjoyed discovering the fun hidden gems throughout the state. From the rural Northeast Kingdom to the bustle of Burlington, Vermont has made me feel at home. In my off time, I am out enjoying Vermont - biking, hiking, swimming, and playing in my garden. I love biking because it helps get me moving, offers an alternative to driving around town, and it brings me the freedom to move under my own power.
3 favorite things: Cheese. Reading a good book in the sunshine. Fresh summer vegetables.
Sarah Illingworth - Communications Coordinator
Growing up in the countryside with no car meant biking to everything; sporting practices, the library, friends houses, work - you name it! My cruiser bike and I left track marks all over Quechee and the surrounding areas. My love of biking combined with my extensive background in communications and digital media, made Local Motion the best place for me! From designing graphic materials to developing social media content, managing our website to creating newsletters, I'm helping to support Local Motion as we work to make biking and walking the easier choice!
3 favorite things: Hiking big mountains. Competing in Spartan Races. Playing & coaching basketball.
Stu Lindsay - Valet Bike Parking Coordinator
It took just one bike ride in The Netherlands for Stu to realize the benefits of having a safe and secure place to leave your bike when you are shopping, going to a waterfront concert, or just about any other bike destination. After attending a Winning Campaigns workshop hosted by Local Motion, Phil Hammerslough and Stu revived the Valet Bike Parking program, going from only 150 bikes parked the first year to over 8,000 in 2018. Stu coordinates over 70 Valet Bike Parking events in a year, from the Burlington Farmers’ Market to the Waterfront Festivals – come by bike and say Hello! He won’t rest until we have a “Fietsenstalling” in Burlington- a safe and secure place for any cyclist- rich or poor, young or old to park their bike.
Tom Bennett - TC Mechanic
Tom likes bikes. He grew up riding bikes in Plattsburgh, New York and got his first "real" bike as a high school graduation present. Since graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2011, Tom has ridden his bike around China, Nepal, the western United States, and New England. Eventually, after riding your bike for so long, you need to fix it. Tom brought his love of bikes and years of riding and garage wrenching experience to Local Motion in 2017 and has since become the head mechanic at the Trailside Center. He oversees the maintenance of our Trailside rental fleet, which has expanded to close to one hundred bikes, and our Bike Smart fleet. He is always ready and willing to ride out to the causeway to fix a flat tire or answer questions about riding bikes in New England or anywhere else.
Tom Clark - Director, Services and Marketing
I’m passionate about bikes, boats and making things go.
My work here at Local Motion checks all those boxes for me. I oversee Local Motion services which include the Trailside Center bike rentals, the Bike Ferry, Valet Bike Parking and the organization’s marketing effort. Prior to coming to Local Motion, my career took me to lots of cool places, working with all sorts companies, big and small; always for profit.
And my reward after all those years?
I found my way to Local Motion and quickly learned the value of making things go for a cause rather than a profit.
3 favorite things: Spending time with family. Being outdoors on bikes and in boats. Camping and traveling.