The COTS Team

COTS leverages the time and talents of 44 full-time, plus part-time staff members, at our shelters, IMG_7895
prevention and housing programs, as well as our administrative office. Wrap around support services provided by case managers and shelter staff is critical. Shelter staff help provide safe and decent shelter to guests while case managers help people stabilize their lives and move back into housing. We are a service site for the AmeriCorps program, as well as a field placement site for graduate students in UVM’s School of Social Work.

COTS board members represent our broader community through a diverse group
of skills (management, finance, real estate, development, human services, faith community, etc.) and maintain a high profile of community support. 


Rita Markley, Executive Director

Denise Danyow, Operations Director

Johnny Quezada, Director of Programming and Social Services

Becky Holt, Development & Communications Director

Brenda Cheeseman, Human Resources Director

Jonathan Farrell, Facilities Director


Jeffrey Nolan, Chair
Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C.

Tom Torti, Vice Chair
Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce

Debra Royce, Treasurer
Chief Financial Officer
Select Design

Paul Lekstutis, Secretary
Vice President
L.N. Consulting, Inc.

Brigitte Ritchie, At-Large
Director of Community & Public Relations

Beth Anderson, At-Large
Chief Innovation Officer
City of Burlington

Sean Collins
Cahill Collins Consulting

Laurie Gunn
VP of Human Resources
University of Vermont Medical Center

Catherine Dingle
Murphy Sullivan Kronk

Michael H. Lipson

Shelley Richardson
Retired Vice President for Advancement
Champlain College

Jeff Martin
Licensed Psychologist

Bob Steis
Business Communications Services

Andrew Hanson
Senior Associate
Champlain Investment Partners