Bernadette Pierson

CEO & Co-Founder

Bernadette is Stefan’s mom and also the mother to three other children. She works at IBM creating Intellectual Property strategies for IBM’s businesses. Bernadette has program management skills and currently manages the corporate- wide Innovation Council for IBM. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, house projects, knitting, cooking, and spending time on the water. She wishes she had more time to travel and in the future she hopes to be the owner of a puppy who will keep her cat company.

You can read in her own words why The Stefan Pierson Foundation is important to her:

It was very difficult losing Stefan to cancer, but as sad as I am that he is no longer with us, I want to celebrate his life by continuing to positively impact the lives of others – just as Stefan did. My hope is that seeing the smiles on the faces of those we help, will allow me to continue to experience Stefan’s infectious smile and ease the pain of missing him. One thing life has taught me is every trial or challenge introduces you to amazing people. It will be an honor to meet and contribute in some small way to these young adults, who are living with cancer and continuing to make a difference by how they live. I know this is what Stefan would be doing if he were still here and I’m sure he will be looking down on us and smiling.

    Don Pierson

    Treasurer/Secretary & Co-Founder

    Don is Stefan’s dad (and father of the aforementioned three other kids). He recently retired from IBM as a Project Manager, and now is the Production Manager for an innovative tech company in Vermont. Don is never far from a project around the house, and is usually trying to create, finish, or repair something. Having been raised on a farm, Don knows hard work, but also enjoys fun outdoor activities like camping, boating, skiing, and hiking. He wishes his wife will take him traveling with her and will probably be working on a dog house project in the future.

    Here is Don’s words explaining the connection with The Stefan Pierson Foundation:

    After Stefan passed, I realized that throughout his battle with cancer, Stefan wasn’t dying… Stefan was LIVING. And he did it with class, selflessness, and with an amazing smile. The life’s lesson he taught me in the manner he lived his struggle was far more significant than anything I taught him as his father. I want to play that important lesson forward, enabling The Stefan Pierson Foundation to help others in situations like Stefan, smile, conquer the day, and live life at their highest level.

      Harrison Flynn

        Seth Pierson


        Seth Pierson is Stefan Pierson's oldest sibling. He is an engineer with a passion for all things technology. As a contrast to all of the technology, Seth also enjoys outside activities such as skiing and sailing, and snowmobiling ( Stefan also was a fan of these activities). He is also getting into the (wallet diet program) hobby of off-road 4x4ing in his Jeep.

        Many others have described Stefan's influence with greater eloquence than I am capable of. My prime motivation for being involved in Conquer the Day is to take all of that positive energy that the community gained from Stefan and focus it onto something that can be shared and passed along to help others facing similar trials as Stefan did.

          Advisory Board

          Dr. Heather Bradeen, MD

          Pediatric Hematology Oncology
          University of Vermont Medical Center

            Leigh Cole, Esq.

            Shareholder and Director
            Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C.

              Peter Judge

              Founder and VP
              Judge Development Corp

                Ken Kowalewitz

                Financial Advisor


                  Alex Saunders

                  Event Coordinator

                  Alex Saunders is a friend of Stefan’s. She lives in Boston, MA, and works at Massachusetts General Hospital as a Clinical Research Coordinator. Alex has fundraising experience from her help with the start-up of “Stefan’s Wish”, which helped raise money to send Stefan to the World Cup in 2014. In her free time, Alex enjoys skiing, running, biking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Alex is proud to be a part of Conquer the Day and is excited to help give deserving young adults a meaningful and memorable experience.

                  Below, she talks about her connection with Stefan and why she chose to become a part of Conquer the Day:

                  I had the privilege of knowing Stefan for about eight years. He joined the Alpine Ski Team during our sophomore year of high school, and we quickly became good friends. Stefan was and is truly one of the most amazing people that I have ever met. He was kind, adventurous, genuine, and he was unbelievably strong. Stefan’s courage and positivity throughout his battle with cancer were incredible. My friendship with Stefan has shaped who I am today in many ways. My hope is that, through Conquer the Day, we will be able to give many young adults a ‘Stefan experience’.

                    Allison Judge


                    Allison Judge is a Vermont native, a UVM graduate in Nutrition, and a mom to three children that she raised along with her husband, Peter, in her home state. Allison served on Board of Directors and Secretary of Dragon Heart Vermont from its beginnings for 7 years, as well as working on the festival committee each year. Dragon Heart is a cancer survivor (and supporter) dragon boat team whose annual festival on Lake Champlain has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, all kept within the Vermont community. Allison stepped down from the board in 2010 when she had her 3rd recurrence of cancer to attend to her health and go in a different direction. Prior to joining The Stefan Pierson Foundation she supported the Emily Lyman Foundation “Inspired by Emily” another nonprofit in the area.

                    Allison speaks about her connection to Stefan and why she is a part of the foundation:

                    The connection I have to Stefan Pierson 1st developed as I watched him play club and then later high school soccer along with my sons, but more specifically as a friend of my son Will. Over the years I learned something of what Stefan was forced to confront during treatments. I was also able to see him in action during his remission while they were roommates at school. I have grown to know Stefan’s courageous family as they all faced his disease with its roller coaster effects. I continue to be humbled, inspired, and changed by their fortitude. Cancer has touched my life personally, and – like many of us has also touched some family and friends as well. From where I sit, this foundation is poised to bring great joy in the midst of great anxiety. I am proud to be a part of bringing Conquer The Day to our VT community to help young, local individuals live each day better than they think they can in the midst of their cancer journey.

                      Coletta Greenbaum

                      Media and Printing Coordinator

                      Coletta Greenbaum, is the owner of Home School Fitness, who travels to clients providing Personal Trainer and specializes in corrective exercise. She loves any activity that provides her the opportunity to be outside. Loves creating……from painting, to attempts at building things. She has a love of music and is fortunate that her kids bring her their latest playlist when they visit.

                      Why being part of the Stefan Pierson Foundation is so important to Coletta:

                      As the mother of Connor and Ian Greenbaum, who were lifelong friends of Stefan’s, I had many opportunities to be a part of Stefan’s life. He was as much a part of our home as my kids were in his. Having witnessed what an incredible athlete he had always been, it was hard to imagine how he was going to be able to adjust to life, without his ability to rule the slopes, or dominate on the soccer field. However, he taught me a few things about humility and the substance of character. His grace, determination and warmth were what you saw and felt, regardless of what he was going through. He never gave up, never yielded to the cancer that invaded his body, though it did slow him down, just a bit, he never let it win. I am so excited to be part of this foundation to take those character traits forward and use his spirit to encourage other young people in difficult times, to live life the Stefan way.

                        Connor Greenbaum

                        Marketing Coordinator

                        Connor is a friend of Stefan and his family. Currently in his final semester at UVM as a business major. He will be graduating in May with a double concentration in finance and entrepreneurship and a minor in resort management. Future plans are unknown at this moment but the hope is to travel and see the world, while working. In his spare time Connor enjoys being active and outdoors via skiing, fishing, hiking, boating, camping, and cooking. He also enjoys giving back to his community and is a weekly volunteer at the UVM medical center in addition to being a member of this non-profit.

                        I met Stefan on my first day of the second grade. I’m not sure what we connected over, but from that day forward we began a friendship made of gold. Through our childhood and after we went on countless adventures and spent almost every day together. We played on the same soccer teams and skied side by side at our favorite mountains. Life was simple and good. During my freshman year Stefan was diagnosed with cancer. It quickly started to effect his life and would change its course forever. Throughout his battle with cancer he inspired and impressed everyone around him. I learned a lot about Stefan, humanity and myself. He dealt with this terrible disease with courage, grace, and herculean strength. He refused to give up the life that he loved, and did everything he could to keep living the active, passionate life he always had. He took it upon himself to conquer each and every day, regardless of the adversity he faced. After he passed away, we all came together and decided that his death would be marked by the birth of this non-profit. Stefan was always the first person to offer up his help to anyone who needed it. So in this way we can keep Stefan’s spirit alive and help other young adults who are battling for their lives.

                          Connor Riley

                          Event Coordinator

                          Connor is a friend of Stefan’s. She works at North Country Federal Credit Union and also has a small massage business on the side. In her free time she enjoys being active at the gym or enjoying the company of friends.

                          Below Connor describes why she chose to be an active member of the foundation

                          I didn’t know Stefan for more then a few years, but in that short time Stefan managed to impact my life greatly. He never took a moment for granted whether in pain, tired, or anything; he smiled each day and lived it to the fullest. My favorite memory of Stefan was every night him asking me for a massage and just talking. Stefan was so knowledgeable and his ability to speak to anyone about anything was mesmerizing. Stefan gave me the confidence in myself to get my massage business off the ground without knowing it. He really taught me about life and how to embrace the moment, no matter what the situation. His memory is carried with each of us everyday as he smiles down on us all. I proudly represent a foundation that is based upon everything that Stefan embodied; helping others and encouraging others to live their life to the fullest.

                            Louise Coles

                            Tournament Organizer

                            Louise has always been a soccer fan, from cheering on her brother in HS, to playing on the first women's soccer club team at her college, to following her son, Will, through his years of school soccer (playing with Stefan at SBHS), Nordic Soccer and WNE University Club soccer. Her whole family, which also includes husband Mark and daughter Michelle (2017 Stefan Pierson Tournament Director) now settle on watching EPL soccer. Louise currently is a certified Mentor for SCORE, helping small businesses to succeed. She also owns her own business as a Certified Professional Coach (concentration on Leadership Development and Organizational Performance). Her previous life was spent at IBM working in various Engineering and Engineering Management positions in Semiconductor Product Development.

                            Having had lost a father to cancer while I was in grad school, then watch what the Pierson family was going through in the final years of Stefan's life, I felt the need to help this organization to raise funds for others stricken so young with this awful disease. Having an extensive background helping run the Nordic Cup for many years, I felt I could have a value add to really make The Stefan Pierson Memorial Soccer Tournament a success for the foundation. Stefan had a lot of drive and didn't let the disease beat him in all he wanted to do. To offer other young adults with cancer to do something enjoyable is an honor.

                              Maria Pierson


                              Maria is Stefan's youngest (and only) sister. She is currently studying at Nichols College, majoring in communications and integrated marketing. Future plans are unknown as of right now, but when she is home you can find her at Wally's bagel place serving you your food, or skiing at Smuggs. She attended South Burlington High School, following the footsteps of Stefan and participated on the soccer team and alpine ski team as well. She enjoys jet skiing, writing, and giving back to the community.

                              "I look to Stefan as my hero in life, along with many others. I got to watch my brother grow into the man that he became. Over the years we were always fairly close and as the years would pass I would come to realize that I looked up to him more than anyone. As he was battling cancer, he would only spread positive energy to the others around him. Cancer was almost just another obstacle to him, rather than a setback. I admired that, the idea that he was able to overcome anything thrown his way. The week before his passing, I noticed the amount of love and support that flowed through the house. I never realized how much of an impact my brother's life had on others until that very moment. I'm a member of this foundation, not only because Stefan is my brother but because I believe anyone who is battling cancer should still be able to live life to the fullest and impact other lives around them while doing so."

                                Nikki Sturges

                                Outreach and Medical Support

                                Nikki is a Registered Nurse at University of Vermont Medical Center and a friend of Stefan's. Nikki is a Castleton University graduate and is passionate about caring for others. She enjoys outdoor activities, taking photographs, and spending time with friends and family.

                                I had the pleasure of meeting Stefan in our 3rd and 4th grade class at Folsom, there we became fast friends. Stefan was the kind of person who could light up a room no matter the age of the audience. Throughout our friendship Stefan taught me many important life lessons and helped shape me to be the person I am today. Not only did Stefan overcome adversity with serious style, but he also helped guide his friends and family through their battles. Stefan was always up for an adventure, and he showed me that no matter what your situation is you can still love life. I am proud to be a part of Conquer the Day and to help pass on Stefan’s strength and philosophy of life. I feel honored to have known Stefan and my hope is that we can remember him by sharing his sense of adventure with others.