Facets: Zach, Outreach Associate/Programs Director at Sustainable Woodstock


Submitted 8 months ago
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Worth Knowing

Meet Zach. He's knocked on more than 100,000 doors.  

Zach grew up in the Woodstock area with his 2 sisters, brother and stepsister. His parents gave the kids lots of freedom, and the outdoors was their playground. In school, he participated in talent shows and choir concerts. He played 3 sports and was a Rotary Foreign Exchange Student who lived with a family in Lille, France for his junior year. He played the trumpet and the ukelele. Zach's first job was haying for a neighbor. It was hard work - hay is really pointy and prickly and leaves all sorts of messages on your bare arms. He worked at the Woodstock Inn during multiple summers. And he made quite a name for himself locally when at 15 he and his buddies built a house they aptly named The Hole. It was underground. Seriously underground. The Hole had a mudroom and a 10 x 20 foot living room with reinforced walls and you had to climb in and out of it and . . .  Unfortunately, Zach and his construction gang didn't really think about property lines. When a neighbor politely demanded that Zach remove the portions of The Hole that sat on (beneath) his land, what took 3 months to build took only 3 hours to tear down. The Vermont Standard published 2 stories about The Hole.

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Years later, Zach spent 2 summers working for the National Park Service as a bilingual interpreter. While working for VPIRG in college, he discovered that he was passionate about grassroots organizing, which we'll come back to. After college, Zach was a commercial fisherman in Alaska whose captain stranded him on Kodiak Island with $8 in his pocket. He's sold vacuum cleaners door-to-door and been a line cook. Then he got involved in grassroots organizing in Syracuse, New York, primarily focused on raising awareness about the dangers of fracking. He's done different types of grassroots organizing work in Ohio and other parts of New York. Zach has knocked on over 100,000 doors doing grassroots outreach and organizing.   

Zach moved back to the Upper Valley in 2016. He works as Outreach Associate and Programs Director at Sustainable Woodstock. His job is to educate the community on issues relating to the environment, the economy and social responsibility. He thinks you should weatherize your home, and he'll help you get started. Zach lives in Hartland. He is a true millennial - he has a man bun and drives a Prius. He's 30.  

Favorite month: August

Worst job imaginable: any desk job

You're reading Facets, a blog that features brief portraits of the people (and occasionally animals) and the places that collectively comprise the Upper Valley. Each one of these people (and animals) and places is a facet of the Upper Valley. If you'd like to read about more facets, subscribe here.

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