Meet the new CVFRS Corporate Board

Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services Corporate Board: Top row, left to right, Julian Kulski, Bryan LaBarge, Meg Gilbertson. Front row, Dick St. George, Fritz Tegatz, Tom Cosinuke, Frank Koster and Devin St. George. Courtesy photo.

Corporate President Tom Cosinuke grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from Westtown School and Gettysburg College. Tom has been lucky to live in Vermont for the past 35 years. He is married to a seventh-generation native Vermonter Annie Kelton but is nevertheless still a flatlander. Tom joined Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services (CVFRS) three years ago. In addition to consistently attending local training programs he has also attended three Addison County and Lamoille County fire schools. Tom is also certified in both water and ice rescue. In addition, he has passed the CPR for health care workers program. By day, Tom is a chartered financial consultant and is part of team of financial planners and investment advisors serving clients in 18 states.

Corporate Vice President Meg Gilbertson joined CVFRS in 2010. She is a volunteer emergency medical technician and has certifications in ice and water rescue. She has served in a number of roles with CVFRS, including secretary, assistant chief and chief of rescue and is currently vice president of the corporate board. She works full time as the aquatic invasive species management coordinator for the Lake Champlain Basin Program and New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. Meg coordinates management efforts to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species in the basin with federal, state, provincial and local partners in Vermont, New York and Quebec. She has worked for LCBP since 2003. Meg has a B.A. in environmental studies and geology and a M.A. in public administration from the University of Vermont. Meg grew up vacationing on Lake George every summer, has a great love for water, the great outdoors and fieldwork and lives in Burlington with her husband and son and their dog, Osa.

Corporate Treasurer Frank Koster joined CVFRS in 2016. He moved to Charlotte in 2009 to assume the role of chief investment officer for Dwight Asset Management in Burlington. Dwight was sold to an out-of-state institution in 2012, and Frank has elected to end his 38-year career as an institutional asset manager by starting a private equity fund, focused on Vermont, with his next door neighbor here in Charlotte. Although a native flatlander (Cincinnati, Chicago and Milwaukee), he and his family love Vermont and all things outdoors.

Community Member Julian Kulski has served as a CVFRS community board member since 2014. He graduated from SBHS and UVM. He and his wife, Lisa Boyle, have lived along Charlotte’s southern frontier since 2001. They also share common town roots, having lived in Charlotte as children and as Thompson’s Point camp dwellers. Julian volunteered with Charlotte Fire in the 1990s, while Lisa served in the 1970s and ‘80s as EMT and crew chief on Charlotte Rescue. Julian has worked as an airline pilot since 1979, currently flying Boeing 777 for United Airlines.

Corporate Secretary Bryan LaBarge has been a member of Charlotte Fire since February 2013 and of Charlotte Rescue since April of this year. Bryan is certified in Fire I, Fire II, airport fire fighter, hazmat, water rescue tech, ice water rescue tech, incident command systems 100-800, aircraft rescue and firefighting operator, mobil water supply, pumper operator, public telecommunicator I/II, fire instructor I, and emergency medical technician and has spent several hundred hours in training in various other classes for emergency services. Bryan currently is serving with the Vermont Air National Guard as a fire fighter for the United States Air Force and is working full time as a state fire fighter at the Burlington International Airport. Bryan has been a resident of Charlotte for many years, attended CCS and graduated from CVU in 2003. Bryan currently lives in town with his girlfriend, Sarah Willette, and their two dogs, Maddie and CoJack, who he enjoys spending his free time with.

Member at Large Devin St. George is a Charlotte native, who attended both CCS and CVU. He has also earned a B.S. in electrical engineering technology from Vermont Technical College. Devin has served with CVFRS since 2003, when he started as a junior firefighter. He has since risen to the rank of captain with the Fire Department. He holds the certifications of firefighter II, fire instructor I, extrication technician instructor, ice rescue instructor and water rescue technician. He also serves as a volunteer rescue member, where he is in the process of earning his EMT certification. He is currently working as an electronics repair technician at United Technologies Aerospace in Vergennes.

Fire Chief Dick St. George joined the department in 1982 while still in high school as a third-generation member alongside his sister. Several years later he left CVFD but served on other area departments until he moved back to Charlotte in 1995. He has served the department and community in every position from firefighter to chief. Dick is a nationally certified fire instructor in multiple fields, including water and ice rescue, thermal imaging, motor vehicle extraction, large vehicle extrication and compressed air foam. He also works bloodhounds for search and rescue operations. Dick works for a family-owned construction company, which allows him the flexibility to respond for calls and trainings. He has five children who also have served on Charlotte Fire as firefighters and officers and on Charlotte Rescue as EMS personnel. His wife, Dawn, is a member of the department auxiliary.

Rescue Chief Kevin Romano has served since September of 2016 and lives here with his wife and daughter. His career started in fire and rescue in 1999 in Shapleigh, Maine, as a firefighter/EMT where he moved through the ranks up to chief. Throughout the years he went through multiple educational programs; by doing so he obtained certifications and degrees that include a degree in fire/science with a focus in fire/EMS management and a degree in paramedicine while obtaining a paramedic certification. He has also obtained other operational certifications like firefighter 2, fire instructor 3 and fire officer 1, along with many technical rescue and EMS instructor certifications to include some from the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Other jobs held in the field of public safety include working in four different states as a paramedic and paramedic supervisor. He has also held ranks from lieutenant to chief in other services throughout Maine. He is very proud of serving as a task force leader for EMS through FEMA through a sub-contracted service. All in all, he has seen a lot in his career, but if he had to choose he would stay with the small-town department because “that is where you see the most passion from your members.”

Selectboard Liaison Fritz Tegatz said in an effort to make more educated decisions in this position, he joined the department as a member. “Being an active member gives me a more accurate perspective on the operations to better represent the taxpayer as their representative on the board. I look forward to continuing participation in this role.”