The Team

Hailing from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Washington, meet The Space’s Board of Directors. The board, as well as area advisors, provide the necessary framework, expertise, support, and guidance for The Space On Main, Inc. to be successful. The Board of Director members currently have a combined 32 years of grant management experience in addition to experience in nonprofit management, leadership, development, fundraising, event coordination, marketing, web design, communication, public policy, hospitality management, finance and accounting, customer support, member services, community organizing, video production, engineering, graphic design, project management, and teaching (elementary through university). Scroll down for more information and links.

Monique Priestley

Monique Priestley

President & Founder
Samuel Drazin

Samuel Drazin

Vice President
Lia Venner

Lia Venner

Treasurer
Chelsea Lynes

Chelsea Lynes

Secretary
Renee Look

Renee Look

Director
Suzanne Krohn

Suzanne Krohn

Director
Dr. Kenneth Rufo

Dr. Kenneth Rufo

Director
Alison Fiorito

Alison Fiorito

Director
Alex Lange

Alex Lange

Director
Monique Priestley

Monique Priestley

President & Founder | Bradford, VT

Monique is a designer, gamer, geek, and connector. She graduated from University of Washington’s Master of Communication in Digital Media program and holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media and an Associate of Science in Graphic Design from Northern Vermont University – Lyndon. Monique has been working in technology related positions since 2001 doing network administration, database management, web design and development, social media marketing, digital communication strategy, and customer support. Monique telecommutes from Bradford, Vermont as the Director of Digital for CampusCE Corporation in Seattle, Washington and freelances locally under MEPriestley, LLC. She founded The Space On Main as a nonprofit in 2017 and opened it in 2018 in hopes that it could promote a greater sense of community and connection for people living and working in the Cohase Region (Northern Upper Valley) of Vermont and New Hampshire. (Watch the ribbon cutting ceremony.)

Monique believes strongly in being involved in the community. Monique serves as a Justice of the Peace and Chair of the Boards of Civil Authority & Abatement. She is also President of the Cohase Rotary Club; Vice Chair of the Bradford Conservation Commission; Secretary of the Bradford Public Safety Commission, Cohase Chamber of Commerce, and Green Mountain Gamer boards; Trustee of the Bradford Public Library; Director serving on several other boards including the Vermont Council on Rural Development, Global Campuses Foundation, Little Rivers Health Care, Bradford Business Association, Bradford Planning Commission, and Bradford Young Makers Club; and mentor for Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley.

Monique is currently enrolled in the 2018–2019 cohorts of Leadership Upper Valley (Vital Communities) and Vermont Changemakers’ Table (VBSR & High Meadows Fund). She received Cohase Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Citizen of the Year Award and was featured by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office as March (2019) Vermonter of the Month.

When she is not at work or board meetings, she can be found exploring nature, restaurants, live music, new tech, and anything quirky she can find in her travels.

Samuel Drazin

Samuel Drazin

Vice President | Bradford, VT

Sam Drazin is a certified elementary educator and former elementary school teacher. He holds a Bachelor of Education from Goddard College. Currently, he is the Founder and Executive Director of Changing Perspectives. Sam was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome – a rare congenital disorder resulting in both facial anomaly and hearing loss. Sam underwent seven surgeries as a child while attending his local public school. Sam’s experiences, both as a student with a disability and as a teacher working in an inclusive classroom, made him recognize the importance of improving awareness and understanding of disabilities. Sam continues to be amazed by the positive impact that disability awareness initiatives are having on students and teachers around the country.

Lia Venner

Lia Venner

Treasurer | Monkton Ridge, VT

Lia is a native Vermonter, now living in Addison County. She has many years of accounting, financial, grant management, and banking experience, including years spent at Opportunities Credit Union. She began her college experience at Trinity College in Burlington, then graduating magna cum laude from CCV with an A.S. in accounting after the closing of Trinity. Lia has worked as a volunteer at many non-profits, including 13 years at The Ronald McDonald House in Burlington, 5 years at The Haunted Forest, and minor projects for Vermont Center for Independent Living. She has donated 7+ gallons of blood, and is a registered marrow donor. She has tirelessly donated many hours to assist friends and family with financial/accounting needs, and/or computer hardware/software support. She believes that the good karma from these acts, no matter how small, will help lift everyone.

In her rare bouts of free time, Lia can be found kneading bread dough or playing board games with friends.

Chelsea Lynes

Chelsea Lynes

Secretary | Newbury, VT

“I earned a Bachelors of Arts in Biology from Hope College and headed outside to spend my time hiking for a change. Continuing my love for all things botanical, I became a member of the Newbury Conservation Commission when I moved to the area with my wife a few years ago.

New to the area and changing careers, I realized how valuable it would be to telecommute. Access to internet was essential for me to re-train, and allowed me to gain new marketable skills. Broadband Internet access and a space for fostering computer literacy would be electrifying for this community and I’m excited to be a part of it!”

Renee Look

Renee Look

Director | Seattle, WA

Renee has been involved in the nonprofit world for over 20 years, and has specifically honed her skills in development over the last 14 years. She earned Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University and Bachelors in Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Painting from Wright State University. Renee states, “I love producing art. However, what I excel at is providing strategic leadership, implementing management techniques that enable staff, board and volunteers to thrive, and creating fundraising opportunities that inform and engage donors and prospective donors to participate more fully.”

Renee is currently expanding her leadership skills in the development department and in the organization as a whole as the Development Director at Hearing, Speech & Deaf Center (HSDC). In addition to working with the development committee and running the development department she also manages marketing and volunteer coordination. She works closely with the board, as well, encouraging organization engagement through building relationships with their networks.

In her previous position, Director of Individual Giving at Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), she was responsible for fundraising from over 1,500 individual donors, managing over 6,400 members and overseeing nearly 60 special events year round all to support SIFF’s mission. In her time at SIFF she tripled membeship and grew individual donations outside of membership more than five times over in her six years at SIFF. She was key in assisting the Board in completing the $2.8 million goal for a capital campaign. She also was the development staff liaison to the Board of Directors and lead the Development Committee. Through her leadership of special events and managing the expectations of the board and development committee she grew SIFF’s annual fundraiser, SIP for SIFF, 42% in five years.

Suzanne Krohn

Director | Auburn, NH

Suzanne Krohn grew up in West Newbury, Vermont before eventually settling in Southern New Hampshire. She is a graduate of Cornell University’s Hospitality Management and has spent her working years between restaurants, hotels, and nonprofits. She has managed websites, marketing programs, and conferences, and now runs an entertainment blog dedicated to books and comics and serves as an author’s assistant. Most of her work has been digital/remote since 2012, part of which took place in a co-working environment. She looks forward to helping the Upper Valley move into the digital future and bringing opportunities to the region.

Dr. Kenneth Rufo

Dr. Kenneth Rufo

Director | Kenmore, WA

“I am, for lack of a better description, a professional grokker. I read, I listen, I digest information, then pick out the most salient pieces and figure out how they go together. As Director of Communications at Emphatic Thinking, I typically do this for tech companies, assisting with strategy, communications, marketing, and sales enablement.

I hold a Ph.D. in Communications, with an emphasis on argument, rhetoric, and media ecology, the last of which is the study of how and why technologies succeed or fail, what sort of content works best in which media, and how these different media environments shape social reality.

I am also surprisingly good at Halo.”

Ken holds a B.A. in Communication from Wake Forest University, an M.A. in Speech of Communication from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Georgia. Ken taught for the University of Washington’s Communication Leadership program until 2016. The Communication Leadership Program at the University of Washington is a terminal degree program offering Masters of Communications degrees with a focus on either Digital Media or Communities and Networks. He taught courses on Media Disruption, Network Analysis, Gaming and Game Design, and the Ethics of Digital Media.

Currently, Ken is a principal at Emphatic Thinking, a consulting agency that solves Go-to-Market problems. There he runs the Positioning and Strategy practice group, as well as the Research practice group, Emphatic Research, which focuses on understanding Go-to-Market challenges.

Alison Fiorito

Alison Fiorito

Director | Seattle, WA

Alison Fiorito is a video producer in Seattle, Washington. Alison has served as a Producer & Project Manager for several of Microsoft’s largest products including Xbox, Skype in the Classroom, Bing in the Classroom, and currently Windows 10 Education. Her experience includes working in various production capacities at a national level on commercials, entertainment, and marketing campaigns; perhaps most notably the 2004 Emmy Award Winning opening sequence for Six Feet Under and the 2013 Xbox One launch campaign. Before that, Alison produced more than 70 documentary-style marketing pieces for the Microsoft Corporation, including videos used in keynote speeches for Bill Gates and other leaders at Microsoft. Her specialties include pre-production, crafting client stories, interviewing executives, overseeing editing through post-production, and the strategic inclusion of videos and commercials on web, television, at conferences and events.

She is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Master of Communication Digital Media program and holds a BFA in theater from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Alison is originally from Arkansas and still has family there, however she has made Seattle her home for many years. Alison has worked in film and video production for most of her career, and has a passion for education, environmentalism and the arts. She is also the coach of her son’s robotics team, Error 404: Page Not Found. The team builds competition robots during the fall and winter and underwater robots during the spring and summer. Alison’s version of Orpah’s favorite things list are being with her family, hanging out with her dogs, coaching the robotics team and hiking.

Alex Lange

Alex Lange

Director | Seattle, WA

Alex is a maker, gamer, and cook in Seattle, Washington. She is working toward a degree in Environmental Science at University of Washington Bothell, after several years in restaurants and software. She currently works for Elliott Bay Engineering, where she enjoys drafting, procurement, soldering, and final assembly of custom engineered electrical control products.