VIA’s Executive Director is Rev. Debbie Ingram, an ordained minister who pastored two successive congregations in California and worked as a freelance communication consultant in Bangladesh for seven years, writing, producing and directing award winning videos for poverty alleviation projects. Since moving to Vermont, Debbie has served as temporary pastor for numerous United Church of Christ congregations and as the Development Coordinator for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. Debbie is a graduate of Stanford University and Fuller Theological Seminary and completed a fellowship at Cambridge University, England. Debbie also currently serves as a State Senator for the Chittenden District.
Melissa Battah has been with VIA since May 2011. She has two decades of professional experience in the NGO sector focusing on Economic Justice, Housing Insecurity, Cultural Education and Ethnic/Racial Equity. Melissa mentored middle school girls for two and half years in West Palm Beach, FL before moving to Thailand where she was the short-term team coordinator for a faith-based sustainable development program for four years. Prior to VIA, Melissa spent nine months working with a community organizing group in Nazareth, Israel who focused on education, agriculture and women’s issues. She received her B.A. in Religion at Palm Beach Atlantic University and her master’s in Conflict Transformation and Sustainable Development from SIT Graduate Institute (a program of World Learning). Melissa lives in Barre Town with her husband and two children.