Photos from “Power of Connection”

Below are some photos from our annual event, at the beautiful Hula event space on Lakeside Avenue in Burlington, taken by a Women’s Small Business Program graduate, photographer Barbee Hauzinger. Mercy Connections staff, Board members, donors, and sponsors gathered together on June 7th, 2022 to celebrate the amazing contributions to our community by the Vermont Sisters of Mercy. We also heard from participants of our programs. Learn more about the event »


The welcome table, covered with nametags, waiting for in-person guests to arrive.

People mingling.

Sisters of Mercy, staff of Mercy Connections, and board members mingle before the event begins. Michell Langlais, a longtime board member, is in the center of the photo.

Pastries & coffee

Some of the Vermont Sisters of Mercy, including Sr. Ann Duhaime (who facilitates weekly support group programming at Mercy Connections) in the flowered shirt, enjoy coffee and pastries at Hula before the program begins.

Sr. Mary Boiselle & Scott Boardman chat at Hula, before the event begins.

Sr. Mary Boiselle & Scott Boardman chat at Hula, before the event begins.

Mercy Connections' participants and executive director

Mercy Connections’ participants Danielle Braverman, Empress Williams, and Mellisa Cain, with Mercy Connections’ executive director Lisa Falcone.

Staff of Mercy Connections

Staff of Mercy Connections, left to right: Joanne Nelson, Alana Shaw, Maeve Keating, Melissa Lang, Caroline Olson, Kelly Moran, Claire Wheeler, Lisa Falcone, Heather Gilbert, Raquel Aronhime, Kim Norman Mercer, and Marissa Strayer-Benton

Supporters and Board members connect after the program is over.

Supporters and Board members connect after the program is over.

Vermont Sisters of Mercy

At the organization’s annual celebration on June 7th, the Sisters of Mercy were honored for their service to Vermont, including the founding of Mercy Connections.

Sr. Lindora Cabral

Sister Lindora Cabral, founding executive director of Mercy Connections and current Board member, accepted the honor and spoke on behalf of all the Sisters of Mercy of Vermont. “Aristotle said, ‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” And I believe that Mercy Connections, in their hospitality of welcoming people into the family, educates the heart first,” Sister Lindora said. “And then, after the heart, people are ready to listen to the possibilities and the skills that they could gain. And they come and stay.”

an original work of art, titled “MERCY,” created by Maribeth Ros

The Vermont Sisters of Mercy were presented with an original work of art, titled “MERCY,” created by Maribeth Rose, one of the Mercy Connections’ participants. The inscription on the artwork reads: ‘In honor of extraordinary service, leadership and vision for a more just and compassionate world, this recognition is presented to the Vermont Sisters of Mercy. June 7, 2022.’

Marie Teme

Watching the presentation is Marie Teme, a graduate of the Women’s Small Business Program.

Lisa Falcone

Lisa Falcone addresses supporters at the “Power of Connection” event on June 7th, 2022

Leandre Waldo

Board member Leandre Waldo opens the program by welcoming guests in person and online.

Audience at the event

The Sisters of Mercy of Vermont look delighted during the program of “Power of Connection”

Empress Williams, Mercy Connections' participant

Empress Williams, a participant who has taken multiple personal growth programs, tells the audience how grateful she is for the support she’s found at Mercy Connections.

Empress Williams

Empress Williams tells the audience that Mercy Connections has “loved her like cooked food” — a Jamaican saying that expresses true kindness.

Mellisa Cain

Mellisa Cain graduated from the Women’s Small Business Program several years ago where she gained the practical skills she needed to launch a successful business.

Mellisa Cain

After completing “Start Up”, Melissa Cain launched Iceberg Consulting, LLC, “because we’re looking under the surface to meet the needs that aren’t obvious.” She credits Mercy Connections for assisting in making that a reality.

Danielle Braverman

Danielle Braverman bravely tells the crowd her story involving addiction, incarceration, and rebuilding her life to have a successful career, a stable home, and solid relationships, with the help of the Vermont Women’s Mentoring Program.

Audience laughing

The audience at Hula cheers for the speakers during Mercy Connection’s annual event on June 7th, 2022

Board member Michell Langlais

Board member Michell Langlais wraps up the program by thanking the speakers and inviting supporters to make a gift to Mercy Connections.

People talking and laughing

Former board member Yael Friedman and participant Empress Williams chat with two of the Vermont Sisters of Mercy after the program ends.


Mercy Connections’ participants Mellisa Cain, Danielle Braverman, at Empress Williams pose for a photo after the event, where each shared their personal story of strength, hope, and resilience.

Mercy Connections’ four executive directors share stories after the program ends. Left to right: Lisa Falcone (2018-present), Betsy Ferries (2006-2011), Sister Lindora Cabral (2001-2006), and Dolly Fleming (2011-2018).