Our Team

Board of Directors

Tinotenda Charles Rutanhira
Photo by Deedee’s Pix

Tinotenda Charles Rutanhira

Co-Founder & Board Chair

Tino Rutanhira was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. He completed university studies in South Africa before immigrating to the United States.

Tino is currently employed at Dealer.com. He also sits on the Board of The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as the Board of The Janet S Munt Family Room. An Entrepreneur by heart, over the last 5 years Tino has; produced and hosted his own podcast called “On The Shoulders of Giants”, co-founded, owns and operates Best In VT Tours & Charters, acted in a play at the Flynn called “The Call”, and performed Standup Comedy at the VT Comedy Club. In 2019, he co-founded the Vermont Professionals of Color Network.

When not working or creating, Tino enjoys listening to music or podcasts, and watching or playing in competitive sports. He loves to play and watch football (soccer), and most Saturdays he can be seen in his beloved Liverpool FC jersey yelling at the TV!

Most importantly, Tino is a single parent of the most beautiful, intelligent, amazing, (insert glowing adjective here …) 15 year old daughter. Parenting is by far his biggest source of pride and joy.

MORE ABOUT TINO
Phet Keomanyvanh
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Phet Keomanyvanh

Co-Founder & Board Member

Born in Laos, during the height of the Vietnam War, Phet Keomanyvanh parents’ fled with her and her younger sister to Thailand where they lived in the Refugee Camps for 3 years until being sponsored and resettled in St. Johnsbury Vermont.

Phet grew up in the Northeast Kingdom and graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy. She went on to obtain her B.A. in Anthropology at The University of North Carolina-Greensboro and then her M.A. in Public Administration at The University of Vermont.

Phet has over 20 years of experience in non-profit community based organizations and currently sits on the United Way of Northwest Vermont Board of Directors. She currently works for the City of Burlington as the Economic Equity Analyst in the Racial, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Department to further economic development opportunities and address structural barriers for BIPOC businesses.

When not working, Phet enjoys spending her time with family, friends, hiking, foraging with her dog Moo, and practicing yoga.

MORE ABOUT PHET
Belan Antensaye
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Belan Antensaye

Board Member

Belan is a lifelong Vermonter dedicated to her equity in her community. Since receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Sociology from Cornell University, she has focused her personal and professional efforts on community development and public policy through a strict equity lens. She has worked for the Community and Economic Development Office working to close opportunity gaps in educational and career opportunities faced by BIPOC youth and families, particularly within immigrant and refugee communities. Concurrently, Belan worked to restructure and expand the City of Burlington Equity Report, measuring disparities in the city and offering data-based policy recommendations to promote equity across various domains such as public health, education, and housing.

Currently, she is a Public Policy and Research Analyst for Burlington’s Racial Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Department. Her work focuses on race, racism, and how it intersects with City policies and practices.

When not at work, Belan enjoys creating and enjoying music, cooking meals with loved ones, and spending time outside! She also serves as the Board of Directors for Up for Learning and as a Corporator for Northfield Savings Bank.

Beth Awhaitey
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Beth Awhaitey

Board Member

Beth is originally from Ghana and grew up in Burlington, Vermont. She graduated from Burlington High School and continued to obtain a B.S from Colby Sawyer College and returned to her hometown of Burlington to pursue a Masters in Public Health from the University of Vermont. Beth served as an Americorps member with the Community and Economic Development Office and enjoyed serving her community and addressing the barriers of youth of color to promote a safe and healthy community. She has a background in outreach and epidemiology.

Since 2007 Beth and her family have been serving the Burlington community through their business Mawuhi African Market. Providing Vermont with authentic African goods from art, foods, beauty supplies and clothing.

When she’s not working or serving, Beth enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking, hiking, and decorating!

“It takes a village to raise a child”
– Originally a Nigerian proverb

STAFF

Photo by Deedee’s Pix

Weiwei Wang

Co-Founder | Director of Operations & Development

Weiwei Wang immigrated from Beijing, China as a child and grew up in Vermont, California, and Utah. After completing undergraduate studies at Connecticut College, she worked in various roles in higher education, fitness, event management, international shipping logistics and trade, project management, and research. Through all of these experiences, Weiwei has focused on access to community as a source of self- and community empowerment, and community building as a source of grounding and inspiration. This has driven her work within the Burlington community and has been fostered through her work as a founding member of the VT Professionals of Color Network. As Yuri Kochiyama said, “Life is not what you alone make it. Life is the input of everyone who touched your life and every experience that entered it. We are all part of one another.” Community is vital.

Currently, she serves as the Director of Operations and Development for the VT PoC Network, and is a co-founder of the Vermont Health Equity Initiative. Weiwei serves on the boards of Public Assets Institute, The Governor’s Institute of Vermont, Champlain College Stiller School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, UVM Cancer Center’s Community Advisory Council, and the State of Vermont’s Racial Equity Advisory Panel. She is an alum of Vermont Changemakers Table (’18), New Leaders Council – Vermont Chapter (’20), and Leadership Champlain (’22).

When not working, Weiwei loves to work. For “fun” she likes to give herself anxiety by performing stand-up at the Vermont Comedy Club. She has recently successfully completed two obedience training classes with her dog, Don Covito “Vito” Corleone. Vito is very proud of her accomplishments.

Email Weiwei
Photo by Isora Lithgow Creations

Krystal Sanchez-Williams

Project Manager
Krystal Sanchez-Williams (she/her) is an educator at heart who is committed to creating positive social change. Her interests are influenced by her identities as a queer, Puerto Rican, first generation student, and non-black Womyn of Color. She hopes to use her expertise in curriculum development and cultural competency to dismantle systemic inequities facing BIPOC individuals in Vermont.
Originally from Miami, Florida, you can find Krystal outside almost every day in the summer and fall. She enjoys snuggling with her pets and playing Animal Crossing during the winter, and is accepting tips + tricks for living a Vermont life to the fullest.
Email Krystal
Charlotte Graf
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Charlotte Graf

Marketing Specialist

Charlotte is originally from Newburyport, Massachusetts. She moved to Burlington in 2017 to attend the University of Vermont, where she studied Political Science and Environmental Studies.

She started as the Communications Intern for VTPoC in spring of 2021, and continued working for the organization after her graduation from University of Vermont in 2021. She now works remotely for VTPoC as the part-time Marketing Specialist, in addition to her role as an Executive Assistant at Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.

Outside of work, Charlotte loves to hike, ski, bake, and spend time with friends and family! She finds such joy in working for VT PoC, in part because it is carrying on a tradition in her family of uniting and celebrating BIPOC. In 1983, her Lolo (grandfather) started the Filipino American Association of Central New Jersey, with the purpose of bringing together Filipino Americans.

Email Charlotte

DeVonna Sydnor

Communications & Events Coordinator

DeVonna Sydnor is grounded by her family and is Kentucky bred and raised!

“Sure tough women come from New York, and sweet women come from Georgia, but us Kentucky girls, we have fire and ice in our blood. We can ride horses, we can be a debutante, throw left hooks, all while making sweet tea, darlin’, and if we have an opinion, you’re going to hear it!” – Ashley Judd

DeVonna is a jack of all trades, don’t tell her she can not because she will prove that she can!

She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Murray State University in Criminal Justice with a minor in legal studies. She uses her background in criminal justice to help empower the community to stay educated on their rights. It is important to stay educated on these topics because a lack of knowledge can leave us, as BIPOC individuals, in an unsafe place. DeVonna has previously served her hometown community and college community and is excited to bring her experiences and knowledge to VT PoC.  She relocated to the New England area with her partner and dog-kid, in pursuit of a career. Her passion for BIPOC individuals, building community, creating a positive change, learning, growing and networking led her to the VT PoC.

Outside of being a professional you can find DeVonna anywhere near water, she’s a fire sign so the water keeps her grounded. Also, she’s a food enthusiast and is always interest in new restaurants to try!

All in all the best summarization of DeVonna comes from a quote by Maya Angelou, “My mission in life is not to merely survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style!”

Email DeVonna

Alex Majmudar

Events Intern
Alex Majmudar is currently a senior studying Communications with a Minor in Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He is a part of the Delta Chi Fraternity there. He is excited to be spending the summer in Burlington, Vermont, working as the Events Intern for VT PoC!

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