Kent resident Vincent D. LaFontan has been appointed to serve as the next executive director of Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust in Woodbury.

LaFontan previously served as director of Extended Care and Learning for Farmington Public Schools.

LaFontan began his tenure with Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust July 1, succeeding Arthur Milnor who retired after 22 years as executive director.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve as the next executive director of Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust,” LaFontan said. “I understand the value and importance of keeping children, families and adults connected to the natural world.”

“I have a passion for conservation, science and natural resources education and a deep understanding and appreciation of the agricultural traditions of New England,” he said. “I hope to do my best in advancing the mission and vision of Flanders.”

LaFontan said he will use his “experiences in non-profit administration, recreation, social services and out-of-school education based programs to protect, maintain and expand Flanders Tradition of being a principled destination for thousands each year.”

LaFontan is an author of numerous national publications on best practices in after-school programs.

Most recently LaFontan published his second children’s book, “The Farmhouse Ladybug.”

He was also the co-editor of “Innovations in Child and Youth Programming,” a special issue of the Journal of New Directions for Youth Development, The Program in Education, Afterschool & Resiliency at Harvard University.

He is the former chairman of the Connecticut After School Network and former vice chairman of The National After School Association in Washington, D. C.

LaFontan has been a member of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, as well as a member of the Tunxis Community College Early Childhood Advisory Council. Since 1998, he has been an active consultant to youth serving organizations with an emphasis on: program development, sustainability, and best practices for school and municipal administered Before and After School Programs.

LaFontan has extensive experience in non-profit budget administration and is a strong advocate of the “enterprise fund” concept of budgeting for non-profit programs. He has extensive public speaking experience from his many years as an elected public official in his own home community, as well as while administering youth and family programs.

Following his active duty service in the United States Marine Corps, LaFontan began his career in Connecticut (1994-2004) serving in varying positions, including assistant director at the Youth Agency in New Milford.

In 2004, he was named director at Farmington Extended Care and Learning, a part of the nationally recognized Farmington Public Schools, in Farmington. IN 2016, he was appointed to business administrator.

LaFontan earned a B.S. in family studies and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Connecticut. In 1999, he earned a master’s degree in health administration from the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University.