Meet Generator's Staff
Meet Lars Hasselblad Torres: Generator’s Executive Director
Lars is an artist, educator and entrepreneur with a deep interest in the intersection of technology, community and economic development. He most recently served as the Director of Vermont’s Office of the Creative Economy within the Agency of Commerce. Prior to joining the Agency Lars served as Innovation Prize Advisor to the Office of Science and Technology at the US Agency for International Development; before that he led the design and development of the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge (http://globalchallenge.mit.edu).
Lars is a founding faculty member of the Booker T. Washington Public Charter School for Technical Arts (btwschool.org), founder of the Global Peace Tiles Project (peacetiles.net), and founder of Local 64, Montpelier’s coworking hub (l64.co). He currently serves on the advisory boards for project-based learning at Randolph Union High School, Vermont PBS Community Advisory Council, the Vermont Journalism Trust, the Vermont Technology Alliance, the Vermont Media Alliance, and AYWA International (aywainternational.org).
Meet Beth Robinson: Membership and Finance Manager
Beth helps the organization run smoothly. As the finance manager she is responsible for billing and accounts receivable, office administration, and record keeping. As a part of her membership management she is responsible for volunteer scheduling and training, member onboarding and coordination and communication. When Beth isn’t at Generator she is in her studio making fine art dolls. Check out her work at Strange Dolls.
Meet Annika Rundberg: Generator’s Communications Coordinator
Annika can connect you with the right member or staff. When she isn’t pushing things out through Generator’s media, she is taking photos or video and designing things for Generator. She has 2 years under her belt as a laser cutting technician. She has a BFA in metalsmithing, a practicing jeweler, an avid maker, and an all around addict to creative outlets.
Meet Karen Cornish: Generator’s Education Coordinator
Karen’s professional life began in inventory and operations management, moved through marketing and website design, and landed– where else? – in musical theater. Her interest in education stems from a determined desire to keep production and technical arts alive in our schools and communities. She is recruiting leading instructors that are experts in their field to provide small classes that are perfect for hands-on learning at Generator. Interested in teaching opportunities?
Shop Heads and Support
Ryan Melshanker: Generator’s Wood and Metal Shop Head
Ryan specializes in a wide range of skill developed in independent contracting and technician work. He is wicked smart in all things welding, casting, plasma cutting and fabrication. His skills also extend into the kitchen when it comes cookie making! Have questions about the wood or metal shop? Reach out to Ryan or find him at Generator during his “office hours”.
“Office Hours” Sunday 12PM-3PM
Alden Clemments: Generator’s Wood Shop Support
When Alden isn’t in a lab coat crunching algorithms, or whatever people do with PhDs in Chemistry, you can find him making beautifully crafted furniture in the wood shop or polishing his mad foosball skills in the Great Hall. Don’t be shy to say hello and reach out to him with your wood shop questions!
“Office Hours” Sunday 1PM-4PM
Eric Hall: Generator’s Electronic and IT Support
Don’t know Eric? Just follow the booming voice. Feel free to say hello and reach out to him with your electronics or computer related questions!
“Office Hours” Monday 5PM-8PM
Leisa Fearing: Generator’s Electronic Lab Head
Leisa is an interminable tinkerer, unabashed recycler, that strives to surprise and delight. Feel free to say hello and reach out to her with your electronic lab related questions!
“Office Hours” Thursday 6PM-9PM
Alex Swaisgood: Generator’s Rapid Prototyping Shop Support
Alex has been running around 3D scanning anything and everything! Catch him if you want to just say hello or need laser cutting, vinyl cutting, or 3D printing help!
“Office Hours” Saturday 12PM-3PM
Meet Generator's Board of Directors
Michael Metz is a materials scientist, a business consultant in precious metals technology, a photographer, and an active board member of BCA, The BCA Foundation, Champlain College, and the Vermont Community Foundation. He has extensive non-profit development, served as the chair of two successful multimillion-dollar capital campaigns, and has a long-standing interest in art, education and technology.
Denise Shekerjian is an attorney and writer. She is the author of Uncommon Genius, a look at creativity based on a group of MacArthur Prize winners. She is also the author of literary essays, a blog and short stories. A new work on the creative process is underway. She is a longtime supporter of arts and education, and has longstanding friendships with BCA and Champlain College.
Steve Conant is serial maker who’s built a fun business to support his habit. Since establishing Conant Metal & Light, a job shop, manufacturer and retailer of custom metalwork in 1980, Steve has helped Burlington’s “South End” grow and flourish. Steve chaired the SEABA board for years and currently serves on the board of ReSOURCE. His Small business incubator complex, The Soda Plant, provides affordable space for makers to hatch and grow.
Doug Webster is an engineer, innovative thinker, and artist who supports a renewed culture of innovation and enterprise development. He founded the Champlain Maker Faire and host corporation, CMF Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to innovation education and advancing scientific research. He is past president of the National Association for Workforce Improvement, producer of the RETN TV Series, “A Renewed Culture of Innovation,” and works to strengthen STEAM education for the Vermont Agency of Education.
Chris Thompson is an artist and maker focused on art and technology with 20 years experience in corporate technology management, and four years as the curator at the BCA center where he organized over 30 exhibitions. Chris is also a member of Vermont Makers and is involved in the creation of maker space at Champlain College including the development of curriculum.
John Cohn is a fellow at IBM, Essex Junction, a founding member of the Vermont Makers, on the Board of Directors at the Echo Center, and all-around mad scientist, self-described but only because he beat us to it.
Dan Harvey is the director of operations for UVM’s Vice President for Research, as well as the assistant dean of the graduate college. Harvey arrived at UVM in 2005 after a twenty year broadcasting career at Vermont PBS. He currently serves as the president of Generator’s board of directors, and he also serves on the boards of Burlington City Arts and BTV Ignite.
Ken Howell is an Assistant Professor in Champlain College’s Division of Communication & Creative Media, where he teaches primarily in the MFA in Emergent Media Program. He is a founding member of the Vermont Makers, an organizer of the Champlain Maker Faire, and a lifelong artist and tinkerer. His longstanding interest in work that happens at the intersection of art, technology, and communication has informed all aspects of his creative and professional life. In addition to Generator, Ken is also working on a makerspace at Champlain College’s Emergent Media Center. The Champlain Maker Lab will be a place for creative exploration, interdisciplinary collaboration, and iterative design. It’s facilities are open for use by the Generator membership.
Doreen Kraft is the long-time Executive Director of Burlington City Arts and has overseen its impressive growth over the last 20 years. Doreen’s ability to shepherd projects through City process has resulted in increases in programs, staff, budget, and in the creation of studio and gallery space including the nationally-recognized, historically-preserved BCA Center.
Owen Milne is the Manager of Corporate Accounts for Red Thread’s operations in Vermont. In this role, he works with a variety of organizations to develop high-performing workplaces that help them to drive innovation. Prior to Red Thread, Owen was the Development Director for VT Businesses for Social Responsibility. He is currently a member of the board of directors at Leadership Champlain and the United Way of Chittenden County, as well as a commissioner for SerVermont. In the past, he has served on the boards of the VT Green Building Network and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, co-chaired a working team for Partnership for Change and appointed to the Governor’s Committee on Employment for People with Disabilities (GCEPD).
Justin McCabe is an intellectual property law partner at the law firm of Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand PLLC. Justin’s law practice has a heavy focus on assisting start-up ventures and entrepreneurs. When he’s not patenting inventions, he can usually be found building maple sap evaporators for his family’s new start-up venture, the Vermont Evaporator Company, located in Montpelier, VT.
Dave Gurtman is a business lawyer at Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew in Burlington. His practice focuses on representing entrepreneurs looking to growing their businesses and renewable energy projects. He can often be found late at night on the ice playing hockey with his pals or tinkering with model rockets in his basement with his two sons.