VCRD's 2022 Community Leadership Summit August 10

-A A +A

VCRD is thrilled to announce the 2022 Vermont Community Leadership Summit! The event will take place on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vermont.

In 2018 and 2019, hundreds of Vermonters joined together at VCRD’s Community Leadership Summits to explore ways to support local leadership and democracy. We have seen tremendous challenges and change since our 2019 Summit, and VCRD has heard from thousands of Vermonters the need to come back together to renew, connect, and continue to lead positive change as we transition into a post-pandemic world. VCRD has convened a diverse planning committee of experts from across the state to bring a broad and inclusive event to present Vermont leaders with the 2022 Community Leadership Summit.

The Summit agenda will include skills workshops, networking opportunities, community project panels, and forum discussions. Leaders of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences will come together to:

  • Reflect on challenges, opportunities, and successes of the past two years;

  • Share highlights of local leadership, community initiatives, and civic engagement;

  • Network and connect with leaders across Vermont;

  • Learn critical community engagement and project development skills;

  • Identify strategies to support and advance a diversity of local leaders to renew civic engagement, trust, civility, and community connection.

This event will be an all-inclusive summit aiming to bring new and established voices together from across Vermont. Anyone who is serving on local commissions, taking the lead or taking a stand in their community, or who is engaged in advancing a positive future for their town, city, or state is encouraged to join the conversation. Speakers and participants will represent the full diversity of Vermont community members and leaders including youth, municipal leaders, community organizers and volunteers, people with lived experience with critical challenges facing our communities, experts and technical assistance providers, regional leaders, and more.

The staff at VCRD are looking forward to seeing you on August 10 at Vermont Technical College!

Learn more about the 2022 Community Leadership Summit →

VCRD is currently seeing an AmeriCorps VISTA to boost diverse and inclusive engagement in communities across Vermont to identify and implement critical projects for the future. This VISTA position will work with the VCRD Community Visit and Leadership team to improve and expand outreach strategy in our community engagement processes to ensure invitation to historically marginalized communities. This position will play a key role in carrying out in depth outreach and invitation in communities across the state and will develop a set of templates and protocols to deepen future outreach strategy.
Meet VCRD's Community Engagement & Policy Director, Jenna Koloski!
"Being part of the team at VCRD, it is easy to stay motivated and driven when you are always finding yourself inspired by the dedicated community members and leaders in Vermont that put themselves on the line for the communities that they love. Though we spend late nights on the road, I always leave community-wide meetings feeling energized thanks to the dedication, energy, and passion that we always encounter in town halls and schools around Vermont - I feel lucky to be a part of it!"
Jenna joined the team at VCRD in 2015. Prior to this work, Jenna worked in several Vermont organizations focused on outdoor recreation, community development, and food security. She studied Conservation and Biodiversity at McGill University and holds a master's degree in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. Outside of work, Jenna serves as the President of the Vermont Community Development Association, a member of the Vermont Creative Network's Steering Team, and a Board Member of the Remedial Herstory Project. She lives in Huntington with her husband and daughter.
Whether it is affordable housing, community development, conservation and recreation, or food resilience, the 4-Town Coalition consists of movers and shakers making things happen in Royalton, Sharon, Strafford, and Tunbridge. 
The 4-Town Coalition is a grassroots and volunteer initiative that came to life originally in response to an out-of-state developer who planned to build the New Vistas project in 2016, a gated community at the site where the four rural towns of Royalton, Sharon, Strafford and Tunbridge meet. A local organization, the Alliance for Vermont Communities (AVC), formed to band together to fight this development. Once it was clear that the development was unlikely to go forward, AVC, in collaboration with the Selectboards and Planning Commissions of the 4 Towns reached out to the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) to facilitate a community-led process to envision what the four communities wanted their future to be.
“The Alliance for Vermont Communities (AVC) was delighted to work with VCRD on the 4-town visioning process. We had been working hard to bring together the four communities in fighting New Vistas and VCRD helped us focus on a positive vision for our communities moving forward,” explained Jenn Hayslett, Vice President of Alliance for Vermont Communities.
In 2019, community members from all four towns came together, for the first time, as part of VCRD’s Community Visioning Process, and set three priorities to work on: Housing and the senior community, conserving natural resources & building an agricultural network, and supporting economic development.
Wednesday, May 25
Brownington community members are coming together in a 4-month long Community Visit Process, facilitated by VCRD, to identify and implement key priorities for the future. On May 25, members of the community will come together for step 2 of the process to review, discuss, and vote to prioritize ideas for action they shared at their April forums. Attendees will sign up to join local task force groups that will move their chosen priorities forward.
Tuesday, May 24
Community members in Highgate, Vermont are entering the third and final stage of VCRD's facilitated Community Visit Process. On May 24, the community will come together to begin implementing their chosen task force groups and network with statewide leaders for resources to begin moving their priorities forward.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 9:00am