Kristi Chester Vance (she/her) joined TREC in 2017 as part of our team of coaches and leadership trainers, energized by the opportunity to leverage her passion for community, creativity, and connection. Celebrating every person’s unique truth and power is at the core of Kristi’s orientation, something she has honed through more than 500 hours of coaching leaders and the co-creation of a TREC’s new flagship Leveraging Leadership program that integrates equity and inclusion throughout.
Serving as a co-director of TREC, a self-managing organization, is an expression of Kristi’s commitment to TREC’s brave and visionary team, dedicated and passionate clients, and to the ongoing evolution of an environmental movement where everyone is welcomed. As co-executive director, Kristi will partner with and support TREC’s team while also continuing to work with clients, bringing her orientation of shining a light on the leadership of everyone around her to all that she does.
Kristi is relentlessly motivated to do her part to live into adrienne maree brown’s inspiring dream:
I have a vision of movement as sanctuary. Not a tiny perfectionist utopia behind miles of barbed wire and walls and fences and tests and judgements and righteousness, but a vast sanctuary where our experiences as humans who have experienced and caused harm, are met with centered, grounded invitations to grow.
Kristi brings 15+ years of senior leadership experience to her role as TREC’s co-executive director, and a lifetime of activism with deep experience in frontline work taking on industries and governments with fierce compassion to demand accountability for our collective well-being.
Kristi is a certified professional coach and holds an executive certificate in non-profit management from the Harvard Business School as well as a certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Cornell University. She is also certified in Embodied Social Justice. Working with white people who are committed to build their skill and will to stand for racial justice is a core part of Kristi’s practice. With many years of training in mindfulness, she also specializes in supporting passionate leaders to develop skills to nourish their purpose and joy while actively resisting burnout.
Kristi graduated with a JBA from the University of Wisconsin Madison in journalism, advertising and Spanish, and completed a portfolio program in design and art direction from the Creative Circus. She is a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program.
In addition to her professional work, Kristi is chair of the board of HAVEN, an organization dedicated to supporting survivors of domestic abuse and sex trafficking, and is a co-founder of Project Connect, a group created to support the safety and well-being of students in her beloved community of Bozeman, Montana. She is also a co-founder of the Gallatin Valley chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ.) Her serial social entrepreneurism has included co-founding MOMS, an organization dedicated to stopping the chemical contamination of children, and Half-Full Communications, an award-winning design studio devoted to creating a more powerful voice for environmental and social justice advocates.
When Kristi is not engaging in work of the heart with her community, she is most likely on a mountain in Montana, peering down a painted alley in San Francisco, water-coloring, making almost anything, eating chocolate and cherishing time with her two teenage daughters, her partner, and her very, very naughty dogs.