The award is a custom Woodzie from Better Wheel Workshop in Newfane, which will be shipped to each Emerging Leader’s home.
Vermont Business Magazine Thirty-one young professionals are being recognized as Emerging Leaders of Southern Vermont by the Southern Vermont Young Professionals and the Shires Young Professionals. This recognition celebrates young people from the Bennington and Windham Regions, based on their work as community leaders and volunteers, and for their professional accomplishments and commitment to serving the region.
The Emerging Leader recognition was created to increase visibility and support for young leaders in the region, and to increase statewide recognition of southern Vermont’s young leaders. Nominations come from friends, colleagues, and fellow volunteers.
Typically, the Emerging Leaders are announced and celebrated at the Southern Vermont Economy Summit, which happens every year in late May. Due to COVID-19, the Summit, and therefore the Emerging Leaders award ceremony, is not able to happen in person.
The award is a custom Woodzie from Better Wheel Workshop (www.betterwheelvt.com) in Newfane, Vermont that will be shipped to each Emerging Leader’s home. Additionally, a highlight reel is available featuring each Emerging Leader and details on the career and community accomplishments they are most proud of. You can find the highlight reel at www.sovermontzone.com/emerging-leaders
Hannah Cofiell of Butter Mountain Bakery in Wilmington, who lives in Woodford, said "I'm really excited to receive the Emerging Leader award! I consider myself a hard worker, and as the owner and only employee of the bakery, I find myself working extra hard because it's all on me to do things right, while also balancing married life at home with a toddler. Being recognized for this award by others in my community has given me a chance to step back and reflect on my success, especially during these uncertain times." Jay DeGregorio, Senior Environmental Educator at The Nature Museum in Grafton, touches on what it means to receive this award: “Serving my surrounding community as an environmental educator has always meant a lot to me, especially in my work with youth. Receiving this award shows me that my work is noticed and is impactful. I feel grateful to receive this and it helps encourage me to keep doing the work that I do for our community.”
One of the questions asked of Emerging Leaders is “What is SoVermont to you?” Christopher Lukasik, a Victim Advocate at the Windham County State’s Attorney’s Office says “Southern Vermont is an area of inclusion and potential. We have a lot of good energy coming from a lot of different areas: students and young people have a big voice here, social equality organizations frequently organize and hold informational protests here, and the majority of people are willing to sit down and have a conversation about how to push our community to be better.” Jedediah Popp, a Case Manager at HCRS, says “[SoVermont is] a place where we can lead the way in creating new models & setting new examples for other communities to follow by.” Jennie Rozycki, Library Director of the John G. McCullough Free Library, says “SoVermont is my adopted home: A beautiful place full of creative, curious, resilient, and perhaps most importantly, kind people.” Several said simply “SoVermont is home.”
"We want Southern Vermont to be recognized around the country as a place of opportunity, diversity and prosperity for all people especially young adults," comments Matt Harrington, Executive Director of the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce which oversees the Shires Young Professionals group. "This list of emerging leaders is a testament to that vision. These hard working, diverse, community-minded individuals are the future of Vermont. We hope this recognition encourages them to remain vigilant in their civic, family and career goals. We're excited to see where they go next in their Vermont life!"
All of the 2020 Emerging Leaders of Southern Vermont will all be nominated for the Vermont Rising Star awards. Last year 7 Emerging Leaders from southern Vermont became Vermont Rising Stars.
Emerging Leaders of Southern Vermont | Class of 2020
Aaron Dickie | Vermont Department of Labor | Bennington, VT
Ain Thompson | Out in the Open | Brattleboro, VT
Alex Figueroa | Southwestern Vermont Medical Center | Bennington, VT
Alyssa Pelow | Adaptiva HR | Brattleboro, VT
Alyssa Todd | National Children's Alliance | Brattleboro, VT
Amanda McCullock | Flatter Me Hair Salon & Self | East Dummerston, VT
Austin Bevin | Brunswick Dental Associates | North Bennington, VT
Charles Soucy | Hermit Thrush Brewery | Brattleboro, VT
Christopher Lukasik| Windham County State’s Attorney’s Office | Bratttleboro,VT
Christine Abdelnour | Christine Abdelnour: Allstate Insurance | Westmoreland, NH
Danielle Lacroix | Green Mountain Gardening | Dummerston, VT
Elizah Temple | Grace Cottage Hospital | Putney, VT
Eva Westheimer | Out in the Open | East Dummerston, VT
Hannah Cofiell | Butter Mountain Bakery | Woodford, VT
Henry DoRosario | Outpatch and Dartmouth - Tuck Business School | Brattleboro, VT
Jared Newell | CDM Smith and Bennington Area Trail System | Old Bennington, VT
Jay DeGregorio | The Nature Museum | Brattleboro, VT
Jedediah Popp | Health Care and Rehabilitation Services | Brattleboro, VT
Jenifer Prouty Hoffman | Hoffman Real Estate | North Bennington, VT
Jennie Rozycki | John G. McCullough Free Library | North Bennington, VT
John Kim | Grace Cottage Hospital | Brattleboro, VT
John Pritchard | Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C. | Brattleboro, VT
Jordan Leonard | Vernon Elementary School | Greenfield, MA
Justin Thompson | Wantastiquet Hall | Hinsdale, NH
Kim Kunkle | Vernon Elementary School | Vernon, VT
Lauren Mabie | Vermont Law School and 22 Mile March | Brattleboro, VT
Lauren Wilcox | Project Against Violent Encounters | Manchester, VT
Matthew Schibley | Health Care and Rehabilitation Services | Brattleboro, VT
Melissa Walker | Grace Cottage Hospital | Stratton, VT
Rebecca LaPointe | Grace Cottage Hospital | Townshend, VT
Sarah Perrin | Green Mountain Concessions and Bennington Select Board | Bennington, VT
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: www.brattleborodevelopment.com/sovtyps/
About Shires Young Professionals
The mission of 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 www.ShiresYP.com