Kim Fountain, Executive Director
Kim has spent nearly twenty years working in the LGBTQ movement. In her various roles, she has taken to the streets in protest with other queer activists; provided direct services to LGBTQ survivors of violence; successfully advocated with government agencies for LGBTQ full inclusion; worked on LGBTQ legislative campaigns; has been published in academic journals and community based reports on LGBTQ community building and issues of violence; and helped to represent LGBTQ concerns on numerous government and community based task forces and committees. Kim is a cultural anthropologist who focuses on issues of violence within and against the LGBTQ communities.
Mike Bensel, Health and Wellness Coordinator
Mike is unbelievably excited to be working with RU12? and more specifically with GLAM. He has a strong queer programming background working with Outright Vermont, SafeSpace and serving on the founding board of RU12?. Having a rich history with the RU12? Community Center allows Mike to have a strong connection to the mission and values of the organization. As a queer man committed to social change, he is closely connected to the importance of HIV prevention within our community. Because of the RU12? Community Center’s collaborative culture and commitment to social justice, it has been a longtime personal objective to work toward shared success with such a dedicated team.
John Chagnon, Health and Wellness Coordinator
John grew up in Burlington and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Champlain College. He holds a deep love for the Burlington community in all its diverse flavors, and has a passion for helping others break through shells of oppression to embrace their own identity.
Over the years, he has been a part of many LGBTQ events across the area and served on the Pride Vermont planning committee. Professionally, he tends to focus on Marketing and Event Planning projects, having worked for various mobile media apps and Pride events from NYC to Los Angeles and many places in between.
He is thrilled to be able to use his professional talents in addition to his deep ties within the Burlington community to further a wonderful cause as Health and Wellness Coordinator: Providing resources that will help others live happily and healthily, while establishing great relationships through our GLAM program and events!
Brenda Pitmon, SafeSpace Program Coordinator and Direct Services Advocate
Brenda graduated from UVM in 2007 with a Masters in Social Work. She has been with RU12? since 2006 and specializes in working with LGBTQ survivors of violence. Over the past two years, she has expanded this work to include advocating with and for LGBTQ individuals with disabilities. She is currently the president of the Vermont Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and an adjunct faculty member in the Social Work Department at the University of Vermont. She is also an active member of the National Coalition of Anti Violence Programs and writes the Vermont section of the NCAVP national reports on LGBTQ Domestic Violence and Hate Violence. Prior to moving to Vermont she lived in New York City for 20 years working as an actress performing in Europe and NYC and was a founding member of Synchronicity Theatre Group in SoHo. Brenda is always looking for opportunities to combine social work with artistic expression as a way of creating new dialogues between communities.
Jean Sienkewicz, SafeSpace Program Coordinator
Jean Sienkewicz is an MSW social worker and educator who, prior to working at RU12?, spent the bulk of her professional career working with homeless/marginally housed populations and teaching. She is currently a Lecturer in UVM’s Department of Social Work and an established adjunct instructor for the CCV’s College of Education and Social Sciences.
Jean's current role is with Safespace, RU12?'s social change and social service program working to end physical, sexual, and emotional violence for LGBTQH individuals. She provides support and advocacy to LGBTQH-identified survivors of violence and is also working to create SafeSpace’s Anti-Violence and LGBTQH cultural competency training curricula to provide education for law enforcement personnel; client, staff and volunteers at community resource agencies and programs; students, staff, and instructors on college campuses; and conference attendees.
Jean is also in the process of working collaboratively with RU12? staff to create Lifespan programming that includes social, support and educational events for LGBTQ families (with and without children) and elders.
Board of Directors