Vermont Business Magazine After 21 years at the helm of the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), Paul Costello is stepping down from his role as Executive Director. Over these years Costello has engaged communities throughout the state to help them set priorities and connect to resources, led a dozen policy council efforts to advance local opportunities, developed a score of statewide summits to build unity and common purpose to answer key rural needs, and worked in myriad ways to bring people together for the common good of their communities and for Vermont.
Costello shared the following reflections: “In so many ways this is the best job in Vermont. At VCRD we have a window into communities like no other. Our role of listening, learning, and helping to move ideas toward action in communities and in policy circles is endlessly interesting and rewarding. I want to thank all the incredible people I’ve been able to work with in this role, from board members to state, federal, and non-profit leaders, experts in all aspects of rural issues, and especially the local leaders who do the hard work of lifting up their communities and building progress. Working with you all has been the greatest honor.”
During Costello’s tenure, VCRD has led initiatives to advance broadband and the digital economy, boost Vermont’s working landscape enterprises, promote in-state energy development and the climate-solutions economy, and other issues of rural import, but is best known as a neutral facilitator that helps communities line up for action and drive priority projects forward.
ANR Secretary Julie Moore, Chair of the VCRD Board, said the search for a successor is already under way.
“Paul Costello is a Vermont treasure, Moore said. "Our state has benefited beyond measure from his wise counsel to everyone from governors to select board members to community leaders. We look forward to celebrating all of his accomplishments. The VCRD Board is committed to finding a new executive director who will continue the Council’s long tradition of focusing on our communities to build an even brighter future for our state. A national search has begun to do just that.”
Costello will step down on September 30th. The Board of VCRD has engaged Eos Transition Partners to manage the search for its next leader.