Meet our Board of Directors
The Yankee board consists of 12 members: nine are elected by Yankee members and three are appointed by the board. As elected officials, directors are responsible for representing the best interest of the organization and its borrowers.
The Yankee election procedure includes a regional nominating process that ensures sound representation from throughout our lending area. Stockholders from each of our three regions vote for the open position in their region each year.
Celeste Kane-Stebbins, Chairperson (Region 1)
Celeste Kane-Stebbins has served as a director since 2008. Ms. Kane-Stebbins grew up on her family’s dairy farm in Sheldon, Vermont. In 1976, she and her husband, Gregory Stebbins, began farming on their own and became Farm Credit members when they purchased their first farm with a loan from the Federal Land Bank of Springfield. Over the years they have expanded their business through the purchase and lease of several additional farms, including the purchase of Ms. Kane-Stebbins’s parents’ farm where they now reside. Ms. Kane-Stebbins and her husband established Stebbinshire Farms, Inc. in 2010; their son, Sean, and his wife, Sarah, are co-owners. Sean serves as Vice-President and oversees daily operations. Stebbinshire Farms currently operates on 1500 acres of owned and leased land, milks approximately 500 head and raises all replacements. In addition, the farm has a maple sugaring operation with approximately 11,000 taps. Ms. Kane-Stebbins serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the corporation. Her primary responsibilities include bookkeeping, payroll, and tax preparation. Ms. Kane-Stebbins, a registered nurse, also continues to work part-time as a Project Specialist at two local community hospitals. Ms. Kane-Stebbins holds a B.S. from the University of Vermont and a M.S. from the University of Phoenix. She and her husband have 4 children and are anticipating the arrival of their 10th grandchild. In addition to currently serving on Yankee Farm Credit’s Board of Directors, Ms. Kane-Stebbins has served on the Community Health Center Board of Directors, and as a Sheldon School Director for 16 years. She currently serves on the board of the Enosburg Falls Economic Development Corporation, the Northwestern Medical Center Incorporators, and as a delegate of Franklin County Farm Bureau.
Thomas J. Colgan, Vice Chairperson (Appointed Director)
Thomas J. Colgan was appointed as a director in 2012. His current term expires in 2021. Since 1997, Mr. Colgan has served as CEO of Wagner Forest Management, Ltd., a timber management company headquartered in Lyme, New Hampshire. He previously worked for Scott Paper Company in Maine. Mr. Colgan holds multiple degrees from Duke University, including a M.S. in Forestry. He serves as a senior officer of Wagner Forest Management, Ltd. (a forest management company that serves as the manager for Bayroot, LLC, Wagner Energy, LLC, Merriweather LLC, Typhoon LLC and Yankee Forest, LLC), Wagner Wind Energy III, LLC, an electrical generation company, and Mirage Flats Holding, LLC, a real estate holding company. Mr. Colgan also serves on the Boards of Directors of North Country Procurement, a biomass procurement organization based in Rumney, New Hampshire and the National Alliance of Forest Owners, a trade association. Mr. Colgan is also a member of the Town of Lyme Conservation Commission. While Yankee’s second largest industry concentration is the timber industry, the association has not previously had a director from this industry. Mr. Colgan is the Association’s first appointed director, and the first director to represent the timber industry.
Alan J. Bourbeau (Region 1)
Alan J. Bourbeau has served as a director since 2007. His current term expires in 2022. Mr. Bourbeau owns and operates a third-generation farm located on Pond Road in Swanton, Vermont. Mr. Bourbeau and his wife Kimberly have been married for 36 years and have three children and five grandchildren. Mr. Bourbeau and his two sons operate Bourbeau & Sons, Inc., which has a 260 cow milking herd and raises all its own replacement livestock. In 2007, the Bourbeau family built a sugarhouse and expanded the sugar woods to 50,000 taps. In addition to managing Bourbeau & Sons, Inc., Bourbeau Farm LLP, and Greens Corners Maple Products, LLC, Mr. and Mrs. Bourbeau and buy and sell 700,000 to 1,000,000 pounds of syrup per year from other maple producers. He also has served nine years with the Swanton Planning Commission (seven as Chairman) and eighteen years as Franklin County Field Days Director.
Bryan E. Davis (Region 2)
Bryan E. Davis has served as a director since 2010. His current term expires 2022. He and his wife Susan have owned and operated Grand View Farm in Derby Line, Vermont since 1978. They sold their herd of dairy cows in 2017 and now lease the tillable land to a neighbor. They have a small maple operation where they tap and boil the sap from 4,500 trees. He works part time for Monroe Tractor, based in New York. He travels around Vermont, northern New Hampshire and northeastern New York announcing Monroe Tractor’s expansion to Vermont. Mr. Davis holds an A.S. in Forestry Management and Land Surveying from Paul Smith’s College. He served on the board of directors for the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery for 22 years where he held the officer positions of secretary and treasurer. He was chairman of the Quality Committee, and served on the equity and audit committees at the Co-op. He is the former chairman of the New England Dairy Promotion Board, and past director of The United Dairy Industry Association, both of which are involved in dairy promotion. Additionally, Mr. Davis served as chairman on the Derby School Board; is a member and past President of the Orleans County Farm Bureau; member of the Elks Club; Orleans County Sugarmakers and Vermont Sugarmakers Association.
Kenneth F. Deon (Appointed Director)
Kenneth F. Deon has served as a director since 2016. His current term expires in 2022. Mr. Deon grew up in Plattsburgh, New York and graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh. His career as a CPA was primarily at KPMG LLP, where Ken served as managing partner of the offices in Burlington, Vermont; Albany, New York; and West Palm Beach, Florida. Mr. Deon has over 30 years of experience providing audit and advisory services to clients in a number of industries, primarily focused in operations, processes, and technical accounting assistance, including business combinations, regulatory accounting, and financial reporting. His audit experience includes IPO/SEC and Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory requirements. He has served
as adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado, Union Graduate School and at Saint Michael’s College. He currently lives in Greer, South Carolina.
David Folino (Region 3)
Dave Folino, has served as a director since 2018. He and his wife Sue own and
operate Hillsboro Sugarworks in Starksboro, Vermont. Dave grew up in Essex Junction, graduated from UVM and later earned his MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, (RPI). As a kid he worked on dairy farms in Chittenden County. In 1979, after graduating from UVM, he started a small sugaring operation. Like a lot of sugar makers, his hobby kept growing and eventually turned into a small business. In the meantime, he spent the next 20 years in the publishing industry, working as a marketing director, general manager and co-owner. In 2003 they had an opportunity to buy an adjoining property to expand their maple sideline into a full time business. A decision was made to sell the publishing business, and they made the leap into being full time farmers. With the help of his wife Sue, they grew marketing along with production. They currently tap about 15,500 trees. They market throughout central Vermont, and worldwide through their website. Dave volunteers as a Director for the Vermont Maple Sugarmaker’s Association and serves on a committee with the Northeast Organic Farmers Association. Dave also teaches classes to other sugarmakers on maple economics and management. They have a thirty-five-year long relationship with Farm Credit.
Paul B. Franklin, (Region 3)
Paul B. Franklin has served as a director since 2011. His current term expires in 2023. Mr. Franklin grew up on a small dairy farm in Plainfield, New Hampshire. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire, Mr. Franklin and his wife Nancy started a pick-your-own (PYO) strawberry operation. Forty years later, with the enlisted help of their three children, they own and operate Riverview Farm in Plainfield, New Hampshire, a 45-acre fruit and vegetable operation specializing in PYO apples, blueberries, raspberries, and pumpkins. Mr. Franklin manages field operations and cider pressing, and Mrs. Franklin, with the help of daughter Amy, oversees the retail barn, PYO, and school tours. In addition, they own a 170-acre wood lot managed for timber and firewood production, recreation, and wildlife habitat. For 22 years, Mr. Franklin was a member and Chairman of the New Hampshire Board of Tax and Land Appeals, serving as administrative tax judge. Currently, he is Treasurer of the New Hampshire Fruit Growers Association, a Director of the New Hampshire Statewide Program of Action to Conserve our Environment, and the Plainfield Town and School Moderator.
Rene M. Saenger (Region 3)
Rene Saenger has served as a director since 2015. Her current term expires in 2022. Ms. Saenger has been a member of Farm Credit since 1983 when she and her husband, Paul, purchased their first farm in Weybridge, Vermont. In 1988, the Saengers moved to Shoreham and for the next 26 years operated Cream Hill Farm, a 1600 acre, 1600 head capacity beef feeding facility. From 2001 to 2014, she was responsible for the day to day management of Cream Hill Farm. In April 2014, the real estate containing the improvements and infrastructure for feeding cattle were sold to a young farmer. Ms. Saenger retains approximately 1000 acres of agricultural land, which is leased to neighboring farms. Ms. Saenger has a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Illinois and holds a 100 Ton Master Captain’s license. From 1986 to 1992, she owned and operated Farm Management Services, a forage analysis lab. Ms. Saenger currently volunteers at Neat Repeats in Middlebury, Vermont and works at Middlebury Indoor Tennis.
Kyle Thygesen (Region 2)
Kyle Thygesen has served as a director since 2017. His current term expires in 2023. He has been very involved in many aspects of Vermont's agricultural industry since moving back to Vermont with his wife Jennifer in 2000. In 2003,
Mr. Thygesen became a member of Yankee Farm Credit with the purchase of their farm in Tunbridge. From then to today, he, his wife Jennifer and son Keenan own and operate the Farmstead at Falls Hill, LLC. Currently, Mr. Thygesen is the Director for Dairy Operations for Vital Farms. In his role, Mr. Thygesen manages the entire dairy portfolio and ownership of its long-term growth. He enjoys working to serve the agricultural industry and develop its present and future generations. He is active in volunteer work for 4-H and FFA. He and his wife Jennifer were awarded the 2017 Ed Gould Memorial award by Vermont 4H for their work with their 4H club and support of the state dairy program.
Richard Woollams (Outside Director)
Richard Woollams has served as a director since 2019. His current term expires in 2022. Originally from Ohio, Mr. Woollams got a BA in Political Science from Kent State University and a J.D. from Cleveland State University. After a stint as a small-town lawyer, Mr. Woollams joined the insurance industry. He worked for The Travelers in Cleveland, OH and Hartford, CT and then the American International Group (AIG) in New York City in a series of roles over 30 years, the last of which was Global Head of Commercial Claims for AIG, in which his organization of 3000 employees managed $20 billion dollars in annual payments and $60 billion in reserves across 70 countries. Rick retired from AIG in 2016 and now acts as a consultant, expert witness and arbitrator for Property-Casualty insurance carriers on insurance and reinsurance issues. In his career in Property-Casualty claims, Mr. Woollams worked with companies of all sizes and industries in managing their largest insurance-related problems. Mr. Woollams is also an instructor for Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies as part of the faculty of the Masters in Insurance Management program. Mr. Woollams and his wife Brenda Grassey live in New York, NY and Waitsfield, VT.