Meet Our Staff

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


Karen became our Executive Director in February 2018.  She has a passion for creating sustainable communities and brings an extensive urban planning, corporate sustainability and philanthropy background to her role. Working with staff, board members, partners, and volunteers, she helps advance Local Motion’s efforts to make walking and biking a safe, accessible, and enjoyable option throughout Vermont—improving the sustainability of communities and creating a better quality of life for everyone along the way. 

Karen previously led the Urban Water Program at Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization. Prior to that, she served as Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Keurig Green Mountain and worked at ICLEI, the Seaside Institute, and the Orton Family Foundation, always focused on creating livable communities and healthy ecosystems. A long-time Vermonter, Karen received her MS in Natural Resource Planning and her BS in Zoology from the University of Vermont. Karen enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, and just about any outdoor activity Vermont has to offer and shares these activities with her husband and two grown daughters.  


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Allegra Williams - Livable Streets Program Manager

allegra_williams_photo_sq.pngAs 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.


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Jonathon Weber - Project Coordinator


As our Project Coordinator, Jonathon supports Local Motion's outreach programs and initiatives with event planning, inventory management, and whatever else needs doing. He also likes to take on special projects, such as installing interpretive signs at rest areas. He comes to Local Motion with a background of bike industry experience, working as a manager at Skirack before he migrated west to spend a handful of years with a mountain-bike magazine called Bike. Jonathon loves the varied nature of his job with Local Motion and is proud to work towards a more bikeable, walkable and livable community.


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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.


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Leslye Dentch - Bookkeeper

Leslye.jpgLeslye 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. 




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Lynne Graves - Director, Finance and HR

Lynne_Graves.JPGI 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


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Mary Catherine Graziano - Education and Volunteer Manager 


I am the Education and Volunteer Manager--coordinating and scheduling a fleet of 4 20' trailers on their journey to delight kids throughout Vermont with loaner bikes, pretend roadkill, and tons of bike skills and bike safety games!  We also offer learn to ride classes, and work with schools anywhere in Vermont to help students discover the delights of walking and biking to school!  Sometimes, in order to help kids walk and bike to school more, we have to figure out how to make the area around a school safer for walking and biking, which calls for Allegra's expertise!
I love to walk and bike because, let's be honest, cars are convenient, but they're also enclosed.  You don't see, smell, hear and discover as much inside of a car as you do outside of it.  I love walking around my little island town, seeing neighbors outside, doing garden work, or reading a book, or enjoying the sunshine, and having little chats--all utterly impossible behind the windows of a car.  Walking and biking helps me slow down, discover community, and pay attention to the details that zip by in a car.
3 favorite things: Reading. Learning new things. Exploring the woods--basically, adventures of one kind or another.


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Ross Saxton (& Juniper) - Manager, Business and Program Development

Ross.jpgI joined Local Motion as our Business Partnerships Manager in August 2017, and today am the Manager of Business & Program Development.  I have a long history with bikes, starting when I would take his bike to go fishing as a young boy. Since then, I raced bikes with the University of Vermont cycling team and semi-professionally, and toured across many states. I still love my bikes for commuting, touring around the Green Mountains, and cruising on Vermont’s hundreds of miles of trails.



3 favorite things: Hunting. Fishing. Skiing.


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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.


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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. 


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 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

Tom1.jpgTom 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

Tom1.jpgAs Director of Services and Marketing, Tom oversees our Trailside Center, Bike Ferry operations, Valet Bike Parking program and our overall marketing strategy.  Tom joined Local Motion as our Services Coordinator in early 2017, assuming duties in both our Trailside Center and our Bike Ferry operations, and has brought to Local Motion extensive experience in business development and operational strategy. He has a talent for recognizing opportunity and understanding how best to leverage internal and external assets to gain market share. Tom’s career includes working for well known Vermont businesses The Vermont Teddy Bear Company and Vermont artist and author Stephen Huneck. He earned a degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in behavioral science from Rollins College. Tom lives in Shelburne with his wife.

3 favorite things: Spending time with family. Being outdoors on bikes and in boats. Camping and traveling.


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Peter Burns - Workshop Leader, Blogger & Master Bike Commuter

Peter Burns is a long time bike enthusiast, and one of the original year-round bike riders in Burlington.  He writes amazing monthly blogs and teaches a variety of bike workshops.  In addition to his work at Local Motion, he also works at a group home for people with Psychiatric disabilities, teaches classes for the Vermont Humanities Council, teaches swimming at the Burlington YMCA and is a regular host of Storytelling VT. 





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