Two New Commissioners, Lavarnway of Northfield and Martel of St. Albans appointed to State Women’s Commission

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Wed, 04/10/2013 - 4:15am -- tricia

Speaker of the Vermont House Shap Smith appointed Danielle Martel of St. Albans to serve on the Vermont Commission on Women.
Commissioner Martel currently serves as President of Franklin County's branch of Business and Professional Women (BPW), which strives to achieve equity in the workplace through advocacy, education, and information. Commissioner Martel manages many different BPW committees, coordinates meetings and events, helps raise awareness and awards scholarships for community members.
BPW and the Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) have a decades-old working relationship. “BPW membership has worked hand-in-hand with VCW on issues of pay equity in Vermont, really moving the needle to close the wage gap.” Commissioner Martel said. “We were there with the Commission testifying back in 2002 on Vermont’s Equal Pay Act. Every year we partner together to educate policy makers on Equal Pay Day (April 9th this year) - symbolizing the time in the new year in which the wages paid to women catch up to the wages paid to men from the previous year due to the wage gap. I’m excited to enrich and inform that partnership and forward both organization’s missions by serving as a Commissioner.”
Commissioner Martel brings a wealth of experience and skills to the Commission. She is currently employed as a Machinist at Superior Technical Ceramic while pursuing two college degrees: one in Business at Community College of Vermont, and the other in Nursing at the University of South Dakota in Brookings. After graduating from Vermont Technical College’s LPN Program in 2006, she worked at Birchwood Terrace Healthcare in Burlington. During her high school and college years she worked as a Licensed Nursing Assistant at Redstone Villa in St. Albans. Commissioner Martel plans to open her own hospice and palliative care facility in the St. Albans area by 2020.
The Senate Committee on Committees, comprised of Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott, Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell and Senator Richard Mazza, appointed Nancy E. LaVarnway of Northfield.
Commissioner LaVarnway is Career Development Specialist at the South Burlington High School Career Development Center where she designs and implements programs providing educational experiences in both pre-professional (school-to-work) and community (Volunteers In Action) settings. She is experienced in all aspects of career development and experiential education in the public and private sectors including eighteen years in higher education, seven years in technical education and twenty-two in public (secondary) education.
Her work at the Career Development Center involves interaction between multiple sectors such as students, faculty, administrators, parents, businesses and the community at large. She has a passion for career development and the advancement of women and underrepresented populations. When asked what she hopes to achieve while serving on the VCW, Commissioner LaVarnway replied, “I hope that my breadth of experience will allow me to bring a fresh perspective to the Commission as we work to advance the status of women in Vermont.”
Prior to her work at the Career Development Center, Commissioner LaVarnway was the Academic Internship Coordinator at Saint Michael’s College. She also worked in Career Development and Cooperative Education at Norwich University. Commissioner LaVarnway operated her own consulting business, CDS - Career Development Specialists, specializing in career counseling to individuals, businesses and educational institutions.
Commissioner LaVarnway currently serves Vermont’s (At-Large) Director for the New England Association for Cooperative Education and Field Experience. A member of this organization since 1994, she was recognized in 2004 with an Outstanding Service Award and an Honorary Life Member Award. Commissioner LaVarnway holds a M.Ed. from Norwich University and a BA from Westfield State University, Massachusetts.
The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is a non-partisan state commission charged with reducing discrimination and encouraging opportunities for women. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and an advisory board of representatives from organizations concerned with women’s issues guide the VCW’s public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts.