Meet the Norwich Community Collaborative Board

Carolyn Frye, a resident of Norwich since 1971, has been a mother, teacher, professional weaver, event planner and hobby sheep farmer. She has served on a variety of non-profit boards in the Upper Valley including ten years on the Willing Hands board and 25 years on The Prouty Steering Committee. She has supported community through her work with various organizations: production manager of Revels North, founder with Milton of the Norwich Christmas Day Buffet, gleaning leader for Willing Hands, and co-founder of the Norwich Solid Waste Program in 1987. She and her husband, Milton, share their home in Norwich with international students and refugees. Carolyn is excited to be involved with The Norwich Community Collaborative and to imagine the historic Grange building becoming a center for community activities in the spirit of the Grange.

Michael Goodrich, a 9th generation Norwich native, owns a custom building, cabinetmaking and design business, which he started in 1985 after earning a degree from UVM in architecture and art. Growing up in his grandfather’s workshop, Michael learned to appreciate the fine craftsmanship and work ethic required to create classic spaces that would hold up for generations. Michael’s dedication to the community extends to his many volunteer activities–coaching and officiating youth sports, coaching Hanover High School baseball, setting up the Norwich Nearly New Sale, handling myriad tasks for the Norwich Christmas Pageant, and piloting elderly passengers for Cycling Without Age. When he’s not working or volunteering, you’ll find him biking in the woods or enjoying time with his wife and three grown children, two of whom live in Vermont. Helping restore the Grange building is a wonderful endeavor that will enable so many groups to continue to gather in a central Norwich location.

Olive Isaacs is the Director of Community Fundraising Events for Dartmouth Health Children’s and CHaD. After growing up in Norwich, Olive and her family returned in 2022. With a career in community engagement, two young children and a great appreciation for the incredible environment Norwich offers families, Olive was inspired to join the Norwich Community Collaborative. She sees great potential in what this project will bring to the town and its residents – the longtimers, newcomers, and returnees!

Emily Myers: I was born and raised here in Norwich. After 20 years of service in the Air Force, both on active duty and as a military spouse, my family and I moved back to our ancestral farm. We are not only happy to raise our kids as the 6th generation in our home, but we are thrilled to raise them in Norwich, a community that is so special to us. I am passionate to be working with a dedicated team to restore and preserve this historic building as a central location for our community to learn, grow together and create lasting bonds.

Robert Parker: Born in New Hampshire and 10 days letter, crossed through a covered bridge to live on a beef farm on Main Street, Norwich. With parents active in the Grange, I, too, joined in 1951 and had the pleasure of being Vermont’s 1960 International Farm Youth Exchange delegate to Costa Rica. My Army days saw duty in Alaska. With a degree from UVM and graduate credits from Castleton I had a career teaching junior high Social Studies in Chittenden, Vermont, enriched with my travel employment country wide with Vermont Transit / Greyhound lines, finishing off 8 years with Advanced Transit and now retired on Main Street, Norwich.

Jess Phelps is the Associate General Counsel at The Lyme Timber Company and is an adjunct professor at Maine Law School and Vermont Law and Graduate School (teaching topics related to land conservation). He is also on the board of the Vermont Land Trust and serves on the Norwich Historic Preservation Commission. Jess has lived in Norwich for four years and has three kids at Marion Cross. Jess has experience with historic preservation efforts and is really excited to be able to help with a project in his own town (and to see how this project can help build a deeper sense of place and community for Norwich).

Lucy Rojansky grew up in Norwich and has fond memories of pancake breakfasts, haunted houses, and pageant angels at the Grange. After living in Washington, DC for many years, she, her husband Matt (a volunteer firefighter for the town), and their three kids, relocated to Old Coach Road and have quickly adjusted to the wonderful pace of life in town. Lucy serves on the board of the Norwich Baseball Association, is a member of the Norwich Women’s Club and Norwich Historical Society, and a volunteer with the Marion Cross PTO. You will often find her cheering and coaching on the sidelines of her kids’ many sporting events. She has loved reconnecting with longtime Norwich residents who serve on the Norwich Community Collaborative’s board, and looks forward to working with them to bring the community together to restore and revitalize the Grange.

Sarah Rooker is the Director of Norwich Historical Society and also administers The Flow of History, a professional development program for history teachers. Sarah lived in Norwich and her children attended Hanover High. She now lives in Lebanon, NH. She is an experienced grant writer and administrator and has a passion for developing programs and experiences that build community resilience. Sarah firmly believes that the Norwich Community Collaborative can serve as a hub for Norwich’s nonprofits, bringing together groups to collaborate and serve the community.

Wendy Thompson: I grew up on my family’s farm in Bath, NH, a very small town where my ancestors were among the earliest settlers. It was an idyllic time and my love for history and preservation were borne of it. My husband and I raised four children amidst the restoration of three historic houses and eventually moved back to the Upper Valley. The village of Norwich and the Marion Cross School became home. I taught at the school for 30 years sharing my love for the village and its history with hundreds of young children. Every spring for years, Main Street was lined with third graders carefully drawing the historic houses and buildings of Norwich. The whimsical, yet faithful drawing of the University Grange on our website is one of those drawings. The opportunity to be involved in the restoration of this wonderful old building and to return it to its role as a community gathering place was irresistible to me, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Andy Williams: I moved to Norwich during the summer of 1989 with my wife Deb and our three children. I had recently become the Director of the Aloha Foundation’s Hulbert Outdoor Center, and we were looking for a community and a school to call home. Norwich felt right then and still does. Our three children graduated from Marion Cross and went on to Hanover High. Although our careers at the Outdoor Center and later at the Ohana Family Camp in Thetford kept us away from Norwich, it was always good to come home to a place where people knew us, and we knew them. Now retired, I am a frequent volunteer at Dartmouth Hitchcock and the Jack Byrnes Center for Palliative & Hospice Care. I am pleased to be part of this dedicated group as we work to ensure that this historic gathering space will be available to the Norwich Community long into the future.