Pictured: Pictured: Top Row (L to R): Peter Paggi, Avery Schwenk, Leanne Hadsel, Steffen Gillom, Becky Gilbert, Chris Parker, McKenna Hayes. Bottom Row (L to R): Kelly Clarke, Cat Bryars, Lori Langevin, Alex Beck, Emma Stewart. Not Pictured: Jonathan Cooper, Ashley Havreluk, Marissa Hutton, Sarah Kovach, Beq Lendvay, HB Lozito, Brian Maggiotto, Diane Michalczuk, Mel Motel, Carson Thurber, Josh Unruh.
Vermont Business Magazine 23 Southern Vermont Emerging Leaders were recognized at the 3rd Annual Southern Vermont Economy Summit on May 23rd. Southern Vermont Young Professionals and the Shires Young Professionals co-hosted the third annual recognition event which celebrates young people from the Bennington and Windham regions. Individuals were nominated based on their work as community leaders and volunteers, and for their professional accomplishments and commitment to serving the region.
McKenna Hayes of Food Connects, one of the young professionals recognized during this event, commented that “It’s incredibly humbling to receive this recognition - although I am a native Vermonter, I'm new to this area of the state, and my experience thus far has been delightful and inspiring. We all know Vermont is a very special place; that's why we're here, right? The fact that I get to live in this state, while working to build resilient systems and partnerships that protect and expand our working landscape and unique way of life - now that's truly the dream.”
The Emerging Leaders event was sponsored by the Vermont Student Assistance corporation (VSAC), and by Bennington Potters which provided a special gift for each recipient. Awards were presented by Adam Grinold and Bill Colvin, Directors of the Windham and Bennington Regional Development Corporations (Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and Bennington County Industrial Corporation).
“It is a privilege as a young professional in Southern Vermont to have the opportunity to further develop a flourishing community through hope, education, and action. It is exciting to be a member of this emerging population of working professionals, who plant their roots here and continue their educational and professional pursuits, while responding to the evolving needs of the populace and respecting the diversity and the unique vibrancy of the region. Southern Vermont is rich with resources, intelligence, grit, and hope. It is an honor to work and grow among this community and to be recognized as an emerging leader who is committed to fostering the success of this region and its people” stated Leeanne Hadsel, a Behavior Interventionist at the Vernon Elementary School, another young professional recognized during this event.
Sarah Lang, Coordinator of BDCC’s Southern Vermont Young Professionals and Matt Harrington, Director of the Bennington Chamber shared a quote from each recipient about what Southern Vermont or “SoVermont” means them. One person said “Southern Vermont is neighborly and community-oriented, with community members developing unique solutions to unique problems”. Another described SoVermont as “a place where individuals matter. This is an area where one person’s energy, enthusiasm, or excellence can legitimately make a difference in the community, which coming from a more densely populated area has been a huge cultural shift for me. This is a special place, to say the least”. Several said simply “SoVermont is home.”
All of the 2019 Southern Vermont Emerging Leaders will all be nominated for the Vermont Rising Star awards. Please visit the www.SoVermontSummit.com for a complete photo gallery.
2019 Emerging Leaders of Southern Vermont
Alex Beck, Workforce & Education Program Manager, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Brattleboro, VT
Cat Bryars, Regional Planner – Community Planning Program Manager, Bennington County Regional Commission, Bennington, VT
Kelly Clarke, Architect, Centerline Architects, Bennington, VT
Jonathan Cooper, Community & Economic Development Specialist, Bennington County Regional Commission, Bennington, VT
Becky Gilbert, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Clinician (LCMHC), HCRS Clinician II/EFS Clinician/Brattleboro Primary Care (BPC) Consultant & Clinician/Per Diem Crisis Screener, and Entera Catering, Brattleboro, VT
Steffen Gillom, President of the Windham County NAACP, VPR Commentator, and Disability Services Associate at SIT Graduate Institute, Brattleboro, VT
Leeanne Hadsel, Behavior Interventionist, Vernon Elementary School, Vernon, VT
Ashley Havreluk, EB-5 Manger, Mount Snow, West Dover, VT
McKenna Hayes, Food Hub Operations Manager, Food Connects, Putney, VT
Marissa Hutton, Executive Director, Dorset Theatre Festival, Dorset, VT
Sarah Kovach, Brattleboro Literary Festival, Brattleboro, VT
Lori Langevin, Assistant Business Manager/ HR Support, Windham Central Supervisory Union, Townshend, VT
Beq Lendvay, Field Production Coordinator, Catamount Access Television, Bennington, VT
HB Lozito, Executive Director, Green Mountain Crossroads, Brattleboro, VT
Brian Maggiotto, General Manager, The Inn at Manchester, Manchester, VT
Diane Michalczuk, Psychologist Psychologist-Doctorate Geriatric Neuropsychology, The Memory Clinic, Bennington, VT
Mel Motel, Executive Director, Brattleboro Community Justice Center, Brattleboro, VT
Peter Paggi, Director of Real Estate Development, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, Brattleboro, VT
Christopher Parker, Food Service Director for WCSU, West River Education District (WRED), Vernon, VT
Avery Schwenk, Co-founder, Hermit Thrush Brewery, Brattleboro, VT
Emma Stewart, Housing Support Coordinator, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, Brattleboro, VT
Carson Thurber, Fundraising/Development Director, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Bennington, VT
Joshua Unruh, Digital Marketing Specialist, New England Newspapers, Inc, Brattleboro, VT
About the Southern Vermont Economic Summit
The Southern Vermont Economy Summit is a daylong learning and networking event for municipal, community and business leaders that focuses on the long term development of Southern Vermont’s economy. This year’s theme is Investing in Southern Vermont’s Future – strategies for planning, focus, and developing the economy. The day will highlight entrepreneurial projects and strategies that are currently being employed in Southern Vermont with an eye toward learning and collaborating on future planning focus’ and development support efforts. The Summit is a joint effort of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategy (SeVEDS), Bennington County Industrial Corporation (BCIC) and the Bennington Regional Economic Development Group (RED Group).
About Southern Vermont Young Professionals
The Southern Vermont Young Professionals is a workforce initiative of Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) and the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC). Our mission is to attract, retain and support Young Professionals in Southern Vermont by providing engaging opportunities and networking through social and educational events, and volunteer opportunities. The YP initiative is increasingly important to Southern Vermont’s businesses and communities as a strategic approach to growing the region’s workforce and increasing the number of younger households. For more information please visit: brattleborodevelopment.com/southern-vermont-young-professionals/
About Shires Young Professionals
The mission the Shires Young Professional group is to help young professionals and families create deep roots in our community that encourage them to stay and build a prosperous life in the Shires of Vermont. The SYP looks to engage, emerge, and empower young professionals throughout the region. Our young professional’s events, programs and gatherings are open to all people, but we do focus on the 21 to 40-year old age range. More information at
About BDCC and SeVEDS:
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) is a private, nonprofit economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for industrial and commercial growth throughout Southeastern Vermont, including Windham County and the towns of Readsboro, Searsburg, and Weston. BDCC serves as the State of Vermont’s certified Regional Development Corporation (RDC) for the greater Windham County area. BDCC is one of 12 RDCs throughout Vermont. For more information visit: https://brattleborodevelopment.com/
Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) is an affiliate of BDCC that grew from a 2008 grassroots effort, initiated by BDCC, to reverse the economic decline of the Windham Region and plan for the economic impacts from the closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. In 2014, after multiple years of regional input, education and data gathering, SeVEDS submitted the Windham Region’s federally recognized S.M.A.R.T. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for federal approval. For more information visit: www.seveds.com
Source: June 3, 2019 Dover, VT – Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce