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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. Faced with a global pandemic, Vanessa was charged with shepherding the organization through the suspension of summer programs for the very first time; a significant loss in tuition revenue, and a reckoning of core values and what it means to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Thanks to her leadership and skillful collaboration, the Aloha community and its programs emerged stronger than ever.

Prior to her time at the Alohas, Vanessa spent ten years with Outward Bound designing programs and curriculum, expanding mission impact, while reaching and engaging deeply with communities and leading expeditions to many places with people of all ages. Her work took place across the United States—San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, and Omaha—and overseas with time in South Africa and Singapore. Early in her career, she also served as the Chief Outdoor Educator and Camp Counselor for the South Shore YMCA in Sandwich, MA. Vanessa holds degrees in English from Yale and Biology from the University of Connecticut. She and her husband Nolan reside in Thetford, Vermont with their three children.

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