Mountain Women History - 2005 to 2017

In the fall of 2003, the Hospitality Committee of the Mountain Homesteaders Association, chaired by Kate Allenbach and including Jean Bertelsen, Sue Tiller and Joan Stemmler, discussed how to welcome newcomers to the mountain.  They sought to determine how to identify permanent residents living on the mountain, and how the women on the mountain could get together to relieve the tediousness of the long winter.  Slowly the idea of “Mountain Women” took hold and ongoing discussion, research and planning culminated in a first meeting on February 4, 2005.

The meeting’s purpose was to determine whether there was an interest in establishing a network of mutual support for women living on the mountain, especially during the winter months.  Kate Allenbach, Kathy Knowles, Joan Stemmler and Irma Graf planned the event. More than thirty women attended and expressed their overwhelming support. 

Out of that meeting grew the essence of what Mountain Women is today: a networking and social support group with mechanisms to accommodate special interests, communication and neighborhood cohesion, as well as to contribute to the vitality of the greater Wintergreen community.

Four geographical neighborhoods were designated and each developed a telephone tree for immediate communication needs: Blackrock, Devils Knob, Laurel Springs and The Springs.  A survey was conducted to determine members’ needs and interests, and a Welcoming Committee was formed by Lynnda Gilliam, Kate Allenbach, Nancy Neville, Gloria Daly and Jean Bertelsen.  This committee later disbanded when the organization developed a Steering Committee and Neighborhood Chairs.

By the second meeting, March 11, 2005, the survey was completed and a decision made to meet monthly on the second Friday at 10 a.m.  Meetings would be a combination of social and planned programs as well as a business session. Preferences were compiled for interest groups that included: Book, Food, Garden, Handwork, Scrapbook and Shakespeare.   

Neighborhoods would rotate hosting the meetings and the meeting place would be Trillium House in inclement weather and Chestnut Springs Pool Pavilion in warmer weather.  Dues of $2 per month would be voluntary to cover the cost of room rental and expenses. This amount has since been increased to $3 per month.

By April 2005, the Steering Committee was formed to include Joan Stemmler, Kate Allenbach, Irma Graf, Martha Misker and Angela James and the telephone tree captains – Mary Ellen Condon-Rall, Jean Bertelsen, Kathy Knowles and Helen Eisenhart.  Irma Graf often led a hike after the meeting for those who were interested.

After its initial ten months, Mountain Women noted its accomplishments:

  1. Provided a structure for Mountain Women to meet on a monthly basis.
  2. Provided social opportunities and a mechanism in which new arrivals can meet residents.
  3. Formed four geographical neighborhoods with chairs who organize three meetings per year.
  4. Organized a Steering Committee consisting of three founding members, four neighborhood chairs, a treasurer and an email/secretary.
  5. Provided three interest groups: Garden, Handwork and Book.
  6. Provided a venue for the introduction of topics of interest to the community.
  7. Provided a forum for members to present action suggestions and enlist the help of interested parties.
  8. Established a dues structure and treasury to fund rental of meeting site and refreshments.
  9. Transcribed and distributed minutes for members on a monthly basis.

Steering Committee members also noted that the organization still had to achieve:

  1. A working telephone tree.
  2. A structure/schedule for rotating the Steering Committee and positions.
  3. A mission statement.

In 2006, most of these remaining concerns were addressed by an active Steering Committee.  Bylaws were created, offices were identified, Steering Committee position descriptions were written, and an orderly transition of three-year Steering Committee terms for nine members was established with elections to be held each December. All of these documents and actions were approved in early 2007. 

Over the years traditions have been established that the membership continues to support including periodic reports from the leadership of WPOA and WPI and other important Wintergreen constituencies, a summer performance by the Wintergreen Performing Arts Academy students, and the much anticipated holiday brunch in December. 

More recently, Mountain Women have taken leadership roles in communicating vital information updates in emergencies created by water issues and other situations.  Our convening of a WPI/WPOA Meet the Candidates program in 2009 followed by a more formal forum in 2010 proved so popular that a new expanded communitywide candidate forum was held in September 2011, with the support and help of its originator – Wintergreen Mountain Women.

Our expanded web site provides contacts and meeting information as well as volunteer opportunities and community links.

The membership - now 150 strong - is grateful for the thoughtful leadership provided by our founders and the subsequent Steering Committees for their ongoing contributions to the vitality of Wintergreen.

2006 Steering Committee


Joan Stemmler

President

Cindy Coy

Vice President

Martha Misker

Communicating Secretary

None designated

Recording Secretary

Hazel Griffith

Treasurer

Mary Ellen Condon-Rall

Blackrock Neighborhood Chair

Jean Bertelsen

Devils Knob Neighborhood Chair

Irma Graf

Laurel Springs Neighborhood Chair

Helen Eisenhart

The Springs Neighborhood Chair

Sylvia Stafford

Member At-Large

2007 Steering Committee


Cindy Coy

President

2009

Sylvia Stafford

Vice President

2009

Martha Misker

Communicating Secretary

2007

Mary Ellen Condon-Rall

Recording Secretary

2008

Hazel Griffith

Treasurer

2009

Sue Carlson

Black Rock Neighborhood Chair

2010

Jean Bertelsen

Devils Knob Neighborhood Chair

2007

Irma Graf

Laurel Springs Neighborhood Chair

2008

Joan Stemmler

The Springs Neighborhood Chair

2008

2008 Steering Committee


Cindy Coy

President (term ends December 08)

2009

Sylvia Stafford

Vice President (assume presidency Jan 09)

2009

Joan Stemmler

Communicating Secretary

2008

Mary Ellen Condon-Rall

Recording Secretary

2008

Hazel Griffith

Treasurer

2009

Sue Carlson

Black Rock Neighborhood Chair

2010

Cindy Coy

Devils Knob Neighborhood Chair

See above

Vera Jones

Laurel Springs Neighborhood Chair

2010

Carolyn Barkley

The Springs Neighborhood Chair

2010

Barbara Porter

Member At-Large

2010

2009 Steering Committee


Sylvia Stafford

President

2009

Barbara Porter

Vice President

2010

Cindy Coy

Communicating Secretary

2009

Carolyn Barkley

Recording Secretary

2010

Hazel Griffith

Treasurer

2009

Sue Carlson

Black Rock Neighborhood Chair

2010

Cindy Coy

Devils Knob Neighborhood Chair

See above

Vera Jones

Laurel Springs Neighborhood Chair

2011

Helen Eisenhart

The Springs Neighborhood Chair

2011

Barbara Marker

Member At-Large

2011

2010 Steering Committee

Barbara Porter

President

2010

Marti Szczar

Vice President

2012

Chris Casey

Communicating Secretary

2009

Carolyn Barkley

Recording Secretary

2010

Barbara Marker

Treasurer

2011

Sue Carlson

Black Rock Neighborhood Chair

2010

Cindy Coy

Devils Knob Neighborhood Chair

2010

Vera Jones

Laurel Springs Neighborhood Chair

2011

Yvonne Behm

The Springs Neighborhood Chair

2012

2011 Steering Committee

Marti Szczur

President 2012

Camille Kurtz

Vice President 2013

Chris Casey

Communicating Secretary 2012

Carolyn Barkley

Recording Secretary 2013

Barbara Marker

Treasurer 2011

Terri Brooks

Blackrock Neighborhood Chair    2013

Cindy Coy

Devils Knob Neighborhood Chair    2012

Vera Jones

Laurel Springs Neighborhood Chair 2011

Yvonne Behm

The Springs Neighborhood Chair 2012

2012 Steering Committee

Marti Szczur

President

Camille Kurtz

Vice President

Chris Casey

Communicating Secretary

Carolyn Barkley

Recording Secretary

Ellen Hampton

Treasurer

Terri Brooks

Blackrock Chair

Cindy Coy

Devils Knob Chair

Sylvia Stafford

Laurel Springs Chair

Yvonne Behm

The Springs Chair

2013 Steering Committee

Camille Kurtz

President

Mary Ellen Condon-Rall

Vice President

Maria Spence

Communicating Secretary

Mary Carlson

Recording Secretary

Ellen Hampton

Treasurer

Terri Brooks

Blackrock Chair

Anne Marie Goss

Devils Knob Chair

Sylvia Stafford

Laurel Springs Chair

Michelle Clark

The Springs Chair

Your 2014 Steering Committee

Mary Ellen Condon-Rall

President

Joyce Tate

Vice President

Maria Spence

Communicating Secretary

Mary Carlson

Recording Secretary

Ellen Hampton

Treasurer

Jo Ann Armstrong

Black Rock Neighborhood Chair

Anne Marie Goss

Devils Knob Neighborhood Chair

Joyce Claman
Martha Misker

Laurel Springs Neighborhood Co-Chair
Laurel Springs Neighborhood Co-Chair

Michelle Clark

The Springs Neighborhood Chair

Your 2015 Steering Committee

Mary Ellen Condon-Rall

President

Joyce Tate

Vice President

Maria Spence

Communicating Secretary

Mary Carlson

Recording Secretary

Terri Brooks

Treasurer

Jo Ann Armstrong

Black Rock Neighborhood Chair

Bev Holloway

Devils Knob Neighborhood Chair

Joyce Claman
Martha Misker

Laurel Springs Neighborhood Co-Chair
Laurel Springs Neighborhood Co-Chair

Hilary Partridge

The Springs Neighborhood Chair

Your 2016 Steering Committee

Joyce Tate

President

Barbara Porter

Vice President

Jo Ann Armstrong

Communicating Secretary

Mary Carlson

Recording Secretary

Terri Brooks

Treasurer

Marti Szczur

Black Rock Neighborhood Chair

Bev Holloway

Devils Knob Neighborhood Chair

Joyce Claman

Laurel Springs Neighborhood Chair

Hilary Partridge

The Springs Neighborhood Chair

Your 2017 Steering Committee

Joyce Tate

President

Barbara Porter

Vice President

Jo Ann Armstrong

Communicating Secretary

Mary Carlson

Recording Secretary

Terri Brooks

Treasurer

Marti Szczur

Black Rock Neighborhood Chair

Sally Singletary

Devils Knob Neighborhood Chair

Joyce Claman

Laurel Springs Neighborhood Chair

Mary Ellen Thompson

The Springs Neighborhood Chair