20 Southern Vermont Emerging Leaders recognized

Vermont Business Magazine 20 Southern Vermont Emerging Leaders were recognized on May 12th during day one of the Southern Vermont Economy Summit. Southern Vermont Young Professionals and the Shires Young Professionals sponsor the 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.

“Even though we had to do the recognition virtually this year, we had a massive increase in nominations,” said Sarah Lang of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, home to SoVTYPs. “Fifty-three outstanding young leaders were identified from which the final 20 were selected.” Locally-made gifts were provided by Better Wheel Works in Newfane.

Once nominated, each Emerging Leader was asked to submit an application which described their career and community service accomplishments. Many focused on the intersection of their work and their community. Lani DePonte-Disorda, Partner and Vice-President of Pangea Restaurant said, “I am most proud of the shift towards equity in our wine list. I do not view it as an accomplishment but as an overdue necessity that I will be continuously advocating for.”

Conor Floyd, Manager of the Farm to School Program at Food Connects said, “Heading into spring now with the pandemic end in sight, we have new, stronger community partnerships, thriving programs in schools, and a revived energy around school meals as everyone has come to appreciate their necessity for a healthy and well-nourished community.”

Tai Morse, Teacher at Vernon Elementary School celebrated their students’ accomplishments; “At the beginning of the school year, my students came up with the idea to learn sign language as a way to communicate during COVID. Being able to learn alongside my students has been an authentic way to build our classroom community and grow together.”

Samba Diallo, Harm Reduction Specialist at the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont emphasized the importance of his involvement outside the workplace. “Although I get to help people as part of my job, the one thing that I’m proud of and enjoy doing for my community is volunteering… Whether it is helping new asylum seekers or delivering food ...Volunteering and seeing others come together… is what drives me.”

Emerging Leaders were also asked “What is SoVermont?”. Beth Wallace, Family and Community Partnership Manager at Bennington County Head Start / Early Head Start said, “SoVermont is a place of opportunity and creative solutions… for me, it is a refuge. When so much on the national stage can be disappointing and frustrating, I take solace in the strong community connection and accessible leadership in this corner of our ‘brave little state.’”

All of the 2021 Southern Vermont Emerging Leaders will be nominated for the Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Rising Star awards. Please visit www.sovermontzone.com/emerging-leaders for a complete look at this year’s, and past year’s, Emerging Leaders.

2021 Emerging Leaders of Southern Vermont
Beth Wallace, North Bennington
Brittany Schmidt, Brattleboro
Conor Floyd, Bellows Falls
Dane Whitman, North Bennington
Danielle Salway, West Dover
Eric Durocher, East Dover
Frances Huntley, Brattleboro
Ian Goodnow, Brattleboro
Ian Hefele, Vernon
Jake Stone, Bennington
Juliette Carr, South Newfane
Lani DePonte-Disorda, North Bennington
Maribeth Fonda, Brattleboro
Mikaela Lewis, Shaftsbury
S. Luella Strattner, Newfane
Samba A. Diallo, Brattleboro
Sarah Wiggins, Northfield
Shannon Wheeler, West Dover
Tia Morse, Keene
Zach Rounds, Vernon

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 www.ShiresYP.com

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: Southern Vermont – Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation 5.24.2021