The Board:
Our board of directors consists of a diverse and motivated group of women committed to the success and vibrancy of girls in our community. Their wide range of expertise is instrumental in achieving the overall goals of GEMS.

Kristin Chandler


Kristin is an attorney who works as the Coordinator of Team Two, a training program for law enforcement and mental health crisis workers that fosters collaboration in responding to mental health crises. Kristin is also an adjunct professor at Norwich University where she teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Evidence. She coaches the J.V. girls basketball team at Randolph Union High School. Kristin is a Randolph resident. She resides with her two children.

Laura Rochat

Laura is an educator by training and a gardener and outdoors enthusiast by vocation. She serves on the regional School Board and as a Guardian ad Litem advocating for children in court. She previously served in the Peace Corp in Haiti and taught public school in Vermont.  She has been a soundboard and an encourager for GEMS founder Katie Jickling.   

Emily LeVan


Originally from Oklahoma City, OK, Emily graduated from Bowdoin College with a BA in Spanish and Environmental Studies and from the University of Cincinnati with a MS in Nursing.  She works locally as a Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department at Central Vermont Medical Center.  A former national and international competitive marathon runner, she continues to enjoy running and other outdoor athletic pursuits.  As a parent of a past GEMS participant, she is committed to the mission and vision of the organization and to helping offer girls opportunities to achieve their potential.  She lives with her husband, 13-year-old daughter, Border Collie, and two draft horses.  

Kara Merrill


Kara is in her 10th year as a school counselor at Randolph Union High School. She has been involved with GEMS since its infancy when Katie Jickling received a grant from Hamilton College to work with middle school girls on summertime goal setting. Kara is a firm believer in the power of summer programming from her years as both a camper and counselor at Lotus Lake Summer Camp in Williamstown, VT. In fact, those summer experiences were formative for Kara’s career journey. Kara loves the Randolph community and her work at the high school. She is one of the first people to get to know students as 7th graders and remains in touch right up until she helps them work on their post-secondary planning, Kara enjoys watching kids grow and mature as humans. RU has been an amazing place for Kara to begin her school counseling practice, and GEMS is a way to be involved in the greater community. Kara lives with her husband and two small children in Warren, VT. Kara and her family spend lots of time skiing, hiking, swimming and just enjoying the outdoors. Last summer was exciting as Bridan, Kara’s oldest daughter, was old enough to attend Lotus Lake!

Rebecca Thomforde Hauser


Ms. Thomforde Hauser is the Associate Director of Domestic Violence at the Center for Court Innovation in New York, NY.  As the Associate Director, Ms. Thomforde Hauser assists jurisdictions nationally to plan and implement Domestic Violence, Integrated Domestic Violence, and Youthful Offender Domestic Violence Courts. At the Center, Ms. Thomforde Hauser provides training to judges and court stakeholders on a variety of domestic violence issues, has created domestic violence risk factor guides for civil courts and self-represented litigants; facilitates site visits to model courts, and provides on-going technical assistance to courts and stakeholder agencies.  Additionally, Ms. Thomforde Hauser was the Domestic Violence Accountability Coordinator for the state of Vermont, overseeing the certification process of batterer intervention programs, providing training and technical assistance to batterer programs and working with the Department of Corrections in Vermont to craft policies and procedures that enhance victim safety and offender accountability. Before coming to the Center, she was a Victim Witness Advocate at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, providing crisis intervention, case management, and court advocacy to domestic violence victims as well as other victims of violent crimes. While in Boston, she also worked at Safe Havens: The Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence, creating curricula and coordinating a year-long training domestic violence education program for clergy and laity from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim congregations throughout the greater Boston area.

Rebecca McMeekin


Rebecca retired in 2014 after serving as Chandler Center for the Arts’ Executive Director for sixteen years. She continues to volunteer for Chandler as the overall coordinator of the New World Festival. Becky was instrumental in the inauguration of Randolph’s PoemTown celebration in 2013, and she continues to serve in a volunteer capacity as a project organizer. In addition to serving on the GEMS board, she is a member of the Vermont Arts Council Board of Trustees and is on the board of the Central VT Chamber Music Festival. Becky lives in Braintree with her husband Charlie; they have three grown children.