Board of Directors

NASW-VT’s Board of Directors is a leadership body made up of members from across the state of Vermont. Elections are held annually and terms are two years.


Angela Paoli, LICSW

Angela Paoli Portrait

she, her, hers

I graduated from Columbia University in NYC with a Social Work degree and concentration in mental health. Since that time I have worked as a mental health provider at Housing Works, Riker’s Island Prison, and UVM’s Colchester Family Practice and am currently in private practice at the Stone House Associates. I am also a provider at Adoption Advocates serving private adoptions and work regularly providing evaluations for Vermont Surrogacy Network and Northeastern Reproductive Medicine.

I joined the NASW board to enjoy the benefits of collaborating with other amazing social workers and to help grow the organization through learning opportunities and membership drives.

Outside of the office I am part of the Pet Peace of Mind hospice program that allows dying people to remain with their pets. I am a huge dog lover and in addition to my 2 dogs have been a foster home for 55 dogs while working with local rescues.I am also an adoptions coordinator at NYC Second Chance Rescue.



Lisa Avery, MSW

Lisa Avery Portrait

Lisa is a recent graduate of the UNH MSW program and will be working for Umbrella, a non-profit domestic violence agency in St. Johnsbury VT. The focus of Lisa's graduate work has been macro social work and she has a passion for policy, social justice, and politics. She holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and after practicing in outpatient orthopedics, she retired to stay home and raise her two boys. Over the last 15 years she has worked with her family business but felt that she needed to become more involved in her community, hence attaining her MSW. Lisa's placement for her second internship was with NASW, which afforded her the opportunity to get involved in policy at the state and national level and see the key role that NASW plays in social justice issues.

Lisa is hoping to add a macro perspective to the VT -NASW board and increase support for issues around housing insecurities, domestic violence, and health and wellness of the perinatal population.

As empty nesters, Lisa and her husband relocated to live in St. Johnsbury VT with their dogs Bella and Baxter. Recently, she has taken up mountain biking on Kingdom Trails and she spends her quiet time gardening and reading. 




Kelli O’Neill, LICSW

Kelli O'Neil

Kelli O’Neill (nee Gile) received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Maine, Orono in 2012 and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Vermont in 2015. Kelli currently works as a private practice therapist located in Montpelier with a specialty focus on child sexual abuse. Kelli’s involvement with the NASW board includes a member at large position from 2015-2019 and as President from 2019-2020. Kelli’s other accomplishments include a member at large position on the Policy Council for Head Start Vermont, the mental health liaison for the multidisciplinary team of Washington County run by Our House – the child advocacy center in Central Vermont, and a member of the Vermont Children’s Justice Act task force.

In her off time, Kelli enjoys the outdoors such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and snowshoeing. Kelli is also an avid reader of Stephen King books and enjoys dancing to music by Prince.




Annemarie Conlon, Ph.D., MBA, MSW, LICSW

Annemarie Conlon, Ph.D., MBA, MSW, LICSW, joined NASW in 2000 as a student in the MSW program at the University of Houston. She interned at Legacy Community Health, working with people diagnosed HIV+. Upon graduation, she became a social work counselor in the MD Anderson Cancer Center inpatient thoracic unit, working with people diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. After four years, she was selected for the American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Social Work Grant and the Hartford Pre-dissertation Award to study lung cancer, stigma, and aging as a University of Texas at Austin doctoral student. Annemarie teaches social work foundation courses at the BSW level at Champlain College. She was honored with the 2023 Francine Page Excellence in Teaching Award this past May. Annemarie's interests include health care, autism, and aging.



Board Members At Large  

Judi Daly, LICSW

Judi Daly portrait


With a BSW from the State University of New York/Brockport, I moved to VT and graduated with an MSW in 1982 from Adelphi University when that was the only MSW program in Vermont and Northern NYS. I have worked in Vermont ever since, starting out with DCF ( then SRS), earned my LICSW and became a therapist with Community Health Plan, then was with Casey Family Services working with kids and families until 2012. I returned to being a therapist with a part time private practice until early 2020, and have been the social worker at a UVMMC dialysis unit since 2013.

I have joined the NASW Board of Directors in order to give back to the profession and to be part of the work we need to do to keep social work and this chapter vibrant and relevant for Vermont social workers.





Sara Diane Nolan

Sara Diane Nolan Portrait

Sara Diane holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from the State University of New York at Albany and a Bachelor’s of Science from SUNY Oswego. For the past fifteen years she has been in private practice in North Bennington; prior to this, she held several different positions within Bennington county at United Counseling Services including Outpatient Clinician and Crisis Outreach Specialist. For eight years, she also worked at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center as a per-diem Emergency Clinician. Additionally, she has taught as an Adjunct Faculty at Southern Vermont College and The Community College of Vermont in their Bennington location.

Sara Diane is honored to serve on the board of the Vermont chapter of the NASW. She hopes to increase visibility for the field, as well as continuing to advocate for those we help in our work. In her spare time, she can be found in the garden during the summer and on snowshoes in the winter.




Elliott Buelter

Elliott Buelter Portrait


Elliott moved to Vermont from Rhode Island in 2018. He earned his B.S. in Sociology from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC in 2007 and his MSW from Rhode Island College in 2016. Elliott earned a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Child and Adolescent Trauma while at RIC. He has worked in multiple environments including child and adolescent psychiatric facilities, residential facilities, schools, community mental health, college wellness, and most recently in his own private practice. Elliott’s practice focuses on supporting LGBTQ+ individuals with a special focus on providing gender-affirming care.
Elliott joined the NASW board to connect with other like-minded social workers and help create change in Vermont for the clients he serves on a daily basis.
Elliott enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter exploring Vermont by hiking, biking, swimming, and finding new places to eat.



Kelly Melekis

Kelly Melekis

Dr. Kelly Melekis, Associate Professor and MSW Program Coordinator at the University of Vermont (UVM), received her BSW from UVM, MSW from the University of California at Berkeley, and PhD in Sociology and Social Work from Boston University. She holds a Certificate in Gerontology and is certified as an End-of-Life Doula.Dr. Melekis teaches courses on social work practice, research methods, and death, dying and bereavement. A gerontological social worker, her research and scholarship focuses on improving the life conditions or experiences of vulnerable older adults, such as those experiencing homelessness, abuse and/or neglect. She conducts primarily community-based research, with an emphasis on collaborative, participatory methods. Kelly has practiced as a clinical social worker in geriatric mental health and substance use, and taught social work practice, policy and research at Boston University, University of Hawaii, Skidmore College, and University of Vermont.A U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Melekis was recently a Visiting Lecturer in Social Work at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania.

In addition to precious time singing, dancing and laughing with her two daughters, and cooking yummy vegetarian food with her husband Mark (also a social worker!), Kelly loves traveling, reading memoirs, live music, the original Star Trek series, and maple lattes.






Linda Lai Nga Li

Linda Lai Nga Li

Linda Li, LICSW was born and raised in Hong Kong. She speaks Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. She came to the United States in 1997. She became an interpreter in 2004 after coordinating a translation project with Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. After 4 years of dealing with the medical and legal system with vulnerable immigrants, she decided she wanted to do more. She obtained her MSW from University of Vermont in 2010. She devotes her practice to multicultural and multilingual individuals and families, especially cultural conflict within the family system. She is a trainer and Child/Family Therapist at NFI. She continues to train interpreters on mental health topics and provide training to providers on how to work with interpreters and cultural humility.

During her tenure with NASW, she created the JEDI (Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion) Committee. Through this platform she hosted many anti-racist conversations with members and non members. She led the NASW through Covid and the board to create a strategic plan for the next 5 years.

Linda loves cats. She has two feline children and a human child. She loves traveling around the world. While she's not traveling, you'll find her in the kitchen cooking, in the mountain snowboarding, and at Champlain Valley CrossFit sweating.




Ethics Committee Chair



MSW Student Representative

Open Position


BSW Student Representatives

Taylor Cohen - Vermont State University Castleton

Mackenzie Leonard - Champlain College

Allie Cohen - University of Vermont