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Operations Team

Working Lands Operations Team

The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative operates out of the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. 

Image of Lynn Ellen Schimoler with purple background

Lynn Ellen SchimolerAgency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, 802-622-4477
Lynn Ellen Schimoler works in the Agriculture Business Development Division at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets. Schimoler manages the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Program, working closely with the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Board and food, farm & forest businesses throughout Vermont. Schimoler has many years of experience in the private sector, having managed markets in the US on both coasts. She brings project management, store operations and product development expertise to her role at the agency. Schimoler has collaborated with National Cooperatives Grocers on organizational development, category management and store expansions for retail co-ops in New England. Schimoler has been featured in Edible Green Mountains and Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine. Schimoler is a trustee for the Vermont Land Trust, serves on the Vermont Women's Fund Council, and is on the Executive Board of the Real Organic project. Schimoler attended Bennington College and enjoys a part-time Dance Lecturer role at the University of Vermont.


Image of Clare Salerno

Clare Salerno, Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, 802-917-2637

Clare Salerno is an Agriculture Development Specialist in the Agriculture Development Division. She grew up in Johnson, Vermont and studied sociology and environmental studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She worked for several years in Washington, DC prior to returning to her home state. During her time in the nation's capital, Clare conducted research related to housing, food, and climate policy at The Urban Institute. Clare has experience with evaluating federal housing programs, partnering with communities across the US to advance food and housing security, and conducting research on the social aspects of climate change and resilience. She is passionate about serving rural communities and also enjoys running the back roads of Lamoille County, browsing the stacks at her local library, and watching soccer.


Portrait of Randall Szott

Randall Szott, Agency of Commerce and Community Development, 802-622-4257

Randall is an Economic Development Specialist for the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. In that role, he is the Partner Program Liaison supporting Agency collaborations with the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. Prior to this, he worked as a town administrator, state legislator, and public library director. He serves on the Vermont Humanities Council Board of Directors and has been invited to discuss socially engaged arts at conferences and institutions around the United States. He’s taught college courses at several universities including a course on civic infrastructure and public space for Green Mountain College. He earned a BA in Liberal Arts from the University of Central Florida, an MA in Interdisciplinary Art from San Francisco State University, and an MFA in Art Critical Practices from Ohio State University.


Image of Diana Ferguson with gray backgroundDiana FergusonAgency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, 802-622-4094

Diana is a Grants Specialist, helping to administer grants and provide overall support for the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion with a minor in Consumer Foods from the University of Georgia. From ten years in the nonprofit sector, Diana brings expertise in resource development, organizational management, and program coordination covering topics such as food accessibility, youth engagement, and a range of community health issues. In her free time, you can find Diana hiking, swimming, hunting for wild mushrooms, catching a live music show, or visiting a Vermont farmers’ market.