Board of Directors


Kate Bentley – Executive Director

While born and raised in Georgia, Kate has lived in the Vermont Five Town area for the last ten years. She calls Lincoln home, along with her child and Siberian Husky. She owns a ceramics studio in Bristol, Vermont, where she makes small-batch pottery and is also a weaver.

During her time in Vermont, she has run a successful private practice as a massage therapist, herbalist, and Chinese Medicine Practitioner. During the pandemic, she switched gears to focus on art. Her passions include spending as much time in the Vermont landscape as possible, reading good books, gardening, and learning new crafts.

She brings her many years of small business experience and creativity in marketing and storytelling to support fellow business owners in the Bristol area.

Valerie Capels – Bristol Town Administrator

Valerie Capels joined the Town of Bristol as the Town Manager in October, 2017. She has over 20 years of experience in municipal planning, community development, project management, and town administration, including eleven years as the Town Administrator in Waitsfield and also as Director of Planning and Community Development of the City of Montpelier.

In her capacity in Waitsfield, she secured a Village Center Designation for historic Waitsfield Village, and in Montpelier, she initiated the downtown revitalization program and qualified Montpelier as a Certified Local Government amongst a long list of other economic and community development projects.


Ian Albinson

Ian Albinson is a co-founder of Albinson Design, a design and animation firm he runs with his wife in Bristol.

Ian has been involved with Bristol’s downtown organization, the Bristol Downtown Community Partnership, since 2009, and served on the Design Committee and Board. In 2015 he became the Executive Director of the non-profit group, and engaged in significant restructuring of the organization into Bristol CORE. In July 2021 he returned to a board member position in the organization.

Ian has lived in Bristol for over 14 years in an eco-friendly home, with his wife Raedia, and sons Max and Finn.

Maura Donnelly

Bio coming soon.

Kelly Hamshaw

Kelly joined the Bristol CORE Board in 2017. She and her husband, Scott, moved to Bristol in 2009 after falling in love with the historic downtown and village center. They’ve been slowly renovating a 1922 craftsman bungalow in the village ever since.

The vitality of rural communities is at the heart of her work at the University of Vermont, where she is a Lecturer in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics as well as a researcher with the Center for Rural Studies. Students from Kelly’s Local Community Initiatives classes have partnered with Bristol CORE through service-learning opportunities for several years.

Kelly is also a board member of The Watershed Center, a local community-based land trust that conserves nearly 1,000 acres in the northwest corner of Bristol.

Aidan Lenihan

Aidan was born and raised in Bristol, and currently resides in the Village with his wife and two daughters. A professional musician, he can be found playing pedal steel and guitar throughout New England. When he’s not behind the guitar, he’s behind the soundboard for his company Mad River Valley Light and Sound.

After music, his other passion is gardening and during the summer and fall months he fills his daytime hours working at Rockydale Gardens as their groundskeeper.

Aidan joined the board in 2018 and brings his knowledge of music and event coordination to the Bristol CORE team.

Meridith McFarland

Meridith, the Bristol Recreation Director since May 1, 2018, is a native Vermonter who grew up in Starksboro.  To be more involved with the community, Meridith joined the Bristol CORE soon after starting her position as Director.

Meridith comes from many years in  Resort Management from running programs, hosting events, teaching skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking at Sugarbush Resort.

Meridith also volunteers as the Regional Coordinator for Vermont’s SheJumps, an organization that promotes women of all ages in outdoor sports, and is a Vermont Mountain Bike Association Ambassador.

Alicia Standridge

Alicia lives in the village with her (one) husband, two daughters, and three cats. She co-owns Your Home on Main Street and also its cousin store in Middlebury, Your Home Too. Her downtime is spent with friends, yard sale-ing, gardening, and painting furniture. 

Taylor Welch

Bio coming soon.