I graduated from UVM in 1995 with a BA in psychology. At the time my plan was to go back to school to become a psychologist but then I started to learn a lot about the climate crisis. Suddenly the idea of working in therapy with people one on one didn’t match the magnitude of society’s challenges.
After waiting tables and tending bar at The Vermont Pub & Brewery I landed a job working for then-Congressman Bernie Sanders’ 1998 re-election. I spent two years driving around Vermont earning what I refer to as my “masters” in Vermont politics. I draw on those lessons every day I’m in Montpelier.
In November 2016 I was elected to the Vermont State Senate from Chittenden County.
Before coming to the Senate I served five terms in the Vermont House where I worked on several committees: House Commerce, House Government Operations, Health Oversight and House Health Care where I last served as vice-chair.
In 2012 I co-founded the Legislative Climate Caucus with Rep. Margaret Cheney (D-Norwich). Our goal was to elevate the threat of climate change and take the discussion beyond the silos that too often surround legislative committees. We have committees on agriculture, energy, taxes, government operations, transportation and health care – all of which will feel the impact of climate change. The caucus now has over 40 members and we are gaining traction.
My private sector experience for the past decade has been as a project management and communications consultant through my own firm: Pearson & Company. I’ve played a variety of roles for clients, mostly non-profit organizations, here in Vermont and nationally. The project I’ve worked on the longest is National Popular Vote.
In 2009 my long-term partner and I got married. Lacey Richards is a social studies teacher at Champlain Valley Union High School. We have two daughters who are currently three and five. What a hoot!