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Vanessa Mendillo Riegler

Executive Director

Vanessa Riegler is a thoughtful and inspirational leader who fosters community, nurtures talent, and helps those around her shine. These traits, along with a strategic vision and natural optimism, have led to an impact-filled career as a nonprofit leader. Vanessa became the Executive Director of the Aloha Foundation in 2020, following eight years as Director of Ohana Family Camp. Her work as Executive Director has been transformative, focusing on equity and inclusion, centering the needs of children and youth, strategic growth, and fostering collaboration across the foundation’s departments and camps.

Under Vanessa’s leadership, the Aloha Foundation has implemented several new initiatives aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Newly adopted programs have provided greater access to camp experiences, and helped to ensure that all people feel welcome and supported. Her strategic approach has involved revising existing policies, developing new training programs for staff, and creating partnerships with local organizations to broaden the foundation’s reach. Vanessa’s emphasis on strategic vision and long-term sustainability, ensures Aloha meets the evolving needs of the community while maintaining Alohas core values. Vanessa’s emphasis on collaboration has led to a more cohesive community and her ability to inspire has resulted in a more cohesive staff and programs that are stronger than ever.

Prior to her time at the Aloha Foundation, Vanessa worked with Outward Bound, where she excelled in designing programs and curriculum that expanded the organization’s mission impact. Her work involved reaching and engaging deeply with diverse communities and leading expeditions across the United States, including in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, and Omaha. Vanessa’s early career as the Chief Outdoor Educator and Camp Counselor for the South Shore YMCA in Sandwich, MA, provided her with a strong foundation in outdoor education and youth development. Vanessa attended Yale University and the University of Connecticut. She and her husband Nolan reside in Thetford, Vermont with their three children. When she isn’t at camp, you can usually find Vanessa on an outdoor adventure with her family and their poodle Gracie.

A landscape with a lake surrounded by a forest.

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