Press Releases
October 19, 2016

Vermont Community Foundation Names James G. Wheeler New Board Chair

Middlebury, VT – The Vermont Community Foundation has named James “Jake” G. Wheeler, Jr. chair of its board of directors. Wheeler was elected to the board in 2009 and has served as vice chair for the last two years. The Vermont Community Foundation Board of Directors is elected by the Foundation’s 150 members. 

“We’re thrilled to have Jake serve as board chair,” says Community Foundation President & CEO Dan Smith. “Throughout his years of service on the Foundation’s board, his insight and passion for Vermont have been deeply valuable. Jake’s leadership will help the Foundation and the board maintain strong momentum as we move forward together.”

Wheeler has practiced law with Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC since 1974 and has been a member of the firm since 1978. His practice focuses principally in the areas of corporate governance, transactions, and financing; complex real estate acquisitions and financing; and trusts and estates. He graduated from Harvard University in 1970 and Boston University School of Law in 1974. He is a member of the Caledonia County Bar Association, the Vermont Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.

Wheeler’s community involvement includes serving as a member of the Board of Managers of Community Financial Services, LLC; a director of Community National Bank and of Community Bancorp; a trustee of the Michael Anagnos School and Foundation; a fellow and past board chair of the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium; and a member of Trout Unlimited and the Atlantic Salmon Federation. He is a past board chair of Burke Mountain Academy and of the Riverside School. Jake was a founding director of Kingdom Trails Association.

Wheeler and his wife, Cathie, live in East Burke and have two grown daughters.

To learn more about the Vermont Community Foundation, visit


The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of hundreds of funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make giving easy and effective. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing and connecting philanthropists to multiply their impact, and by keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments in the community.

Visit or call 802-388-3355 for more information.


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