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, age 63, has served as a director since 2008. Mrs. Kane-Stebbins grew up on the family dairy farm in Sheldon, Vermont. She and her husband, Gregory, became Farm Credit customers in 1976 when they financed their West Enosburg dairy farm with a loan from the Federal Land Bank of Springfield. In 1993 they purchased her parent's farm and added a neighboring farm in 2003. They also lease two additional farms for crop land. She and Greg established Stebbinshire Farms, Inc. in 2010. Mrs. Kane-Stebbins serves as Secretary/Treasurer and her primary responsibilities include bookkeeping, payroll, and tax preparation. Stebbinshire farm employs five full-time employees, including two of their sons, and four part-time employees. The dairy milks approximately 375 head and raises all replacements in addition to producing maple syrup from 10,000 taps and selling logs and firewood. Mrs. Kane-Stebbins recently retired from her full-time job as Director of Quality and Risk Management at Copley Hospital in Morrisville, Vermont, but continues to work part-time as their Project Specialist. She earned a B.S. from the University of Vermont and a M.S. from the University of Phoenix. She and Greg have four children and were recently blessed with their 8th grandchild. They are currently in the process of transitioning the corporation to their son, Sean and his wife, Sarah. Mrs. Kane-Stebbins currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Franklin County Farm Bureau, and of the Enosburg Economic Development Corporation.
Thomas J. Colgan, Vice Chairperson (Appointed Director)
Thomas J. Colgan, age 65, was appointed as a director in 2012. Since 1997, Mr. Colgan has served as President and 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, 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 had 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, age 58, has served as a director since 2007. 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 35,000 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. Mr. Bourbeau currently serves as St. Albans Cooperative Creamery Chair of the Audit Committee and Director on the Nominating Committee. He also has served nine years with the Swanton Planning Commission (seven as Chairman); 18 years as Franklin County Field Days Director.
Bryan E. Davis (Region 2)
Bryan E. Davis, age 63, has served as a director since 2010. He and his wife Susan have owned and operated Grand View Farm in Derby Line, Vermont since 1978. He recently sold his herd of 135 milkers in 2017 and the heifers in the spring of 2018. They now rent the tillable land to a neighbor. They have a small maple operation where they tap and boil sap from 4,500 trees. In June he accepted a job offer from Monroe Tractor, based in New York. He travels around Vermont, Northern New Hampshire and N.E. New York announcing Monroe Tractor's expansion to Vermont. Mr. Davis holds an A.S. in Forestry Management and Land Surveying from Paul Smiths College. He served on the board of directors for the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery for 22 years where he held 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 is Chair of the Derby School Board; member and past President of the Orleans County Farm Bureau; 40 year member of the Elks Club; and member of the Orleans County Sugarmakers and the Vermont Sugarmakers Association. He and his wife are enjoying their 4 grandchildren and feel fortunate that they all live in the Town of Derby.
Kenneth F. Deon (Appointed Director)
Kenneth F. Deon, 63, was appointed as a director in 2016. Mr. Deon grew up in Plattsburgh, New York and graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh. His career as a CPA was primarily at KPMG, which included 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 also was an Adjunct Professor of Accounting at Union Graduate School and at Saint Michael’s College. He currently lives in Greer, South Carolina.
David Folino (Region 3)
Dave Folino, age 63, has served as a director since 2018. He grew up in Essex Junction, VT, 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 with no experience, 100 battered buckets and a vintage evaporator. Like a lot of sugarmakers, 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 the late 1990s his publishing business was creating some the earliest electronic books. These concise books focused on business management skills, in 2003 he had an opportunity to sell his share of the publishing business and expand his maple business. Currently, he and his wife Sue own and operation a 15,500 tap maple sugaring business in Starksboro, Vermont. They focus on efficiency, frugality and direct marketing. Mr. Folino also teaches classes to other sugarmakers on maple economics and management, and serves on several other agricultural boards and committees.
Paul B. Franklin, (Region 3)
Paul B. Franklin, age 66, has served as director since 2011. He 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 tax administrative 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.
Craig Giroux (Region 1)
Craig Giroux, age 58, has served as a director since 2018. He has been a member of farm Credit since 1984 when he and his brother Willie became shareholders with their father Roger, in Giroux's Poultry Farm. The Giroux's are a fourth generation family farm that has operated the poultry farm in Chazy, NY since 1960. Giroux's Poultry currently has 2 million laying hens, which includes both traditional caged, and cage free production. They market their eggs throughout New York and New England. Mr. Giroux is also a partner in Giroux Grain Farms, which grows corn on 7,000 acres of crop land in Clinton County NY. In 2010 the family purchased Chazy Orchards which has 1,000 acres of apple orchards. Mr. Giroux serves on the Board of Directors of United Egg Producers and Egg Clearinghouse Inc. He is also a member of the Chazy Central School Board of Education, the Town of Chazy Planning Board, the Chazy Youth Hockey board, and the advisory board for St. Anne's Shrine in Isle La Motte, VT. He has a B.S. in Business Administration from State University of NY at Plattsburgh and is married with five children.
Bradley N. Maxwell (Region 2)
Bradley N. Maxwell, age 63, has served as director since 2012. Mr. Maxwell grew up in Coventry, Vermont, on the dairy farm that his parents started in 1959. He currently owns and operates Maxwells’ Neighborhood Farm, LLC and Neighborhood Equities, LLC with his brothers, son and nephew. Mr. Maxwell and his family have been with Yankee Farm Credit for three generations. Over the years, the farm has grown from a 120-cow dairy to the current herd of 800 milking cows and 700 head of young stock. Ever-expanding and diversifying, Neighborhood Energy, LLC’s methane digester began operation in late 2008. Its newest ventures are a small sugaring operation and a greenhouse. Mr. Maxwell and his wife Jean have four children. Their oldest son, Matthew, began working on the farm as a full time employee in 2007. Neighborhood Farm employs seven other full-time employees. In addition to his work on the farm, Mr. Maxwell has been an integral part of the local and agricultural communities over the past 30 years, including coaching elementary and high school basketball, serving on the Coventry Select board, and serving as a director on the New England Dairy Promotion Board.
Rene M. Saenger (Region 3)
Rene Saenger, age 61, has served as a director since 2015. 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, age 45, has served as a director since 2017. 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 dairy farm in Tunbridge. From then to today, he, his wife and son Keenan own and operate the Farmstead at Falls Hill, LLC. From 2007 to 2011 their business included an organic dairy farm nationally recognized for their milk quality, genetics and organic management practices. In December 2011, they sold their herd to a beginning farmer, and have since focused on marketing, developing and breeding a small number of high quality registered dairy cattle for show, while also managing an organic hay business. They have developed nine All-American or All-Canadian nominations over the past several years. In 2013 a Guernsey cow they boarded was awarded the Grand Champion cow at World Dairy Expo and their Ayrshire aged cow was Honorable Mention Grand Champion that year as well. Mr. Thygesen is currently the Director for Milk Sourcing and Procurement for Stonyfield Organic, the nation’s largest organic yogurt company. He manages all of the milk sourced through their direct milk supply program. Since 2014 Stonyfield has grown the supply from 0 to 31 farm relationships throughout New England. Through this program eight farms started brand new operations, six generational transfer plans were completed and now a robust supply program is in place. This has been achieved through collaborative efforts with producers and industry service providers. Mr. Thygesen 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 were awarded the 2017 Ed Gould Memorial award by Vermont 4-H for their work with their 4-H club and support of the state dairy program.
Richard Woollams (Outside Director)
Richard Woollams, age 64, has served as a director since 2019. Originally from Ohio, Mr. Woollams got a BA in Political Science from Kent State University and a JD 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 and his wife Brenda Grassey live in New York City and Waitsfield, VT.