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Board of Directors


Laura Bowe

Board Member

Laura Bowe recently started a new career as a Realtor for Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman. Previously she worked in sales, marketing, management, and community development  for WCAX-TV, the Church Street Marketplace, and Chittenden Bank among others. She has volunteered for dozens of area nonprofits throughout her life. Laura grew up in Maine, moving to Vermont to attend St. Michael’s College and decided to make Vermont her home. Her journey with cancer started when her twin sister's daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia at age

2 &1/2 in 2001. She has been volunteering for nonprofits related to cancer causes ever since. 


Cari Kelley

Board Member

Cari Kelley has over 30 years of non-profit experience and is currently the Workplace Donor Relations Manager at the United Way of Northwest Vermont. She works with business and nonprofit partners in engaging in the Community Campaign and developing Workplace Giving strategies prior to United Way, Cari was at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and ran all Workforce Development and Training Programs, such as Leadership Champlain. In 2017, Governor Phil Scott appointed her to the State Rehabilitation Council, which she currently serves on and is a member of the Advocacy and Education Committee. 


Chris von Trapp

Board Member

Chris began sailing at the ripe old age of 8 years, with his family on their 19’ Lightening class sloop on Natrraganset Bay, RI. At times those outings were a bit frightening but inspite of that experience, he caught the sailing bug and has never looked back. More recently, Chris joined Lake Champlain Yacht Club and purchased his current sailboat, a 1978 Tartan 37 in 2013. During the years that SBC did not have their own dedicated sailboat, Chris hosted many sails on the SeavT to show support for the mission of Suzanne Johnson and Sail Beyond Cancer. When not on the water, Chris is a top-producing real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman. As the founder and lead REALTOR® of the Chris von Trapp Team, Chris has assembled a team of four highly skilled & licensed real estate professionals to provide clients with a seamless transaction experience. Chris is also a proud member of the internationally recognized von Trapp family, depicted in the classic movie, “The Sound of Music.” Like his grandparents, who settled their family in Vermont decades ago, Chris has raised his 3 children here and enjoys the outdoor life with his wife, Kelly.

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Whit Wales

Board Chair

Whit believes that resilience is fostered by acceptance and that acceptance often arises when an experience transcends our attachment to a given situation. He has come to understand that for many people sailing provides that transcendent experience. 

"In my involvement in Sail Beyond Cancer, I have had the privilege to share and document through photography and film people whose perspective on their physical and mental state, as well as their relationship with others, has been transformed - and for the better - by simply being able to breathe and break bread with family members and friends on a boat powered by wind, water and sail. As current board chair, I am determined to create greater awareness and to help bring as many people in this region as possible to a Sail Beyond Cancer experience." 


Dr. Peter Gunther

Board Member

Dr. Peter Gunther, MD is an internal medicine specialist in South Burlington, VT.  He currently practices at Good Health PC and is affiliated with University Of Vermont Medical Center. He served on the board of directors of the Community Health Center of Burlington and was the board chair of HealthFirst, Vermont’s Independent Practice Association. His clinical interests include comprehensive health care, prevention and health promotion.  


Peter Newman

Board Member

Peter joined Merrill in 2014, after 28 years working on Wall Street. His focus is on developing tailored strategies to help pursue short- and long-term goals for a select group of high-net-worth individuals, their families, and their businesses. Peter has been personally touched by cancer, has been a passenger on several of our mission sailing excursions, and absolutely loves our mission!

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Sail Beyond Cancer


Sail Beyond Cancer VT, Inc.
EIN 85-1000939 (501c3)
802.825.WIND (9463)
Mailing Address
PO Box 4068
Burlington, VT
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