Inaugural Women In Leadership Luncheon celebrates women of the region

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Sat, 05/14/2022 - 3:55pm --

State Representative Kathleen James and three other women from southern Vermont were honored May 11 at the inaugural Women in Leadership Luncheon at the Wilson House in Dorset, sponsored by the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Berkshire Bank.

James, a Bennington Democrat, was presented with the Outstanding Leader and Advocate for Women in Recovery award. She was unable to attend the luncheon and accepted the honor via video.

Other winners included:

  • Carolyn Blitz, founder of Old Mill Road Media, who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award, which recognizes a woman who, throughout her lifetime, has made outstanding business/nonprofit leadership contributions to her community, while inspiring other women through mentorship and support.
  • Kaiya Kirk, a 2020 theater and Black studies graduate of Bennington College, who received the Young Woman in Leadership award, given to a woman between 21 and 40 for outstanding leadership and service in the community.
  • Susan Plaisance, advertising director for the Manchester Journal and Bennington Banner, who accepted the Woman of the Year award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to her organization, community and career.

“This event was about celebrating the many great women of the region and the sacrifices for career, family and community they have all made," said Matt Harrington, executive director of the chamber. "It’s time we celebrate the amazing women in our region and the wealth of knowledge, talent and insight they bring to our businesses and organizations.”