bill colvin

Bill Colvin has been named to succeed Jim Sullivan as executive director of the Bennington County Regional Commission.

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BENNINGTON — Bill Colvin has been named as the next executive director of the Bennington County Regional Commission — replacing his boss, Jim Sullivan, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Janet Hurley, chairwoman of the BCRC Executive Committee, said in a statement that Colvin, now the assistant director and coordinator of the commission’s community and economic development programs, was chosen after an extensive search process.

Colvin is expected to step into his new position in late October, with Sullivan remaining with the agency in an advisory capacity through the end of the year.

“Bill has been instrumental in helping to shape the BCRC as a key resource for local governments, businesses, and residents of the region,” Sullivan said. “Bill’s deep knowledge of the area and the relationships he has developed over his years of community service make him the ideal person to work with our outstanding staff, commissioners and community leaders to advance a shared goal of improving the region’s economy and the quality of life for all residents.”

Sullivan is retiring after 30-plus years at the agency, including 12 years as executive director.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected by the BCRC Executive Committee to lead the organization in the coming years,” Colvin said. “With his retirement later this year, Jim leaves very big shoes to fill. Jim has been a marvelous steward of the BCRC and was instrumental in raising its profile and broadening the support it provides to our region’s municipalities and businesses.”

Colvin added, “Our work in bringing together the planning and community and economic development functions under a single umbrella present us with many opportunities to further support our communities, businesses and those who live here. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to work with the talented professionals at the BCRC in my new role.”


Colvin has been with the agency for more than 10 years, having been hired by Sullivan to launch an economic development initiative to serve the region’s 17 participating communities.

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“Under Colvin’s direction, that effort has grown and diversified, leading to partnerships with economic development interests locally and across Southern Vermont,” according to the BCRC statement.

Colvin has been involved in community, economic and real estate development work in Vermont since 1999.

He will be paid $100,000 as executive director, within the amount budgeted for the post.

The agency is one of 11 regional planning commissions in Vermont and one of only two to serve as the regional development corporation, as well.

The commission is governed by appointed representatives from each member town and village, together with commissioners representing interest groups such as economic development, public health, energy, housing and transportation.

Bennington Select Board Chairwoman Jeannie Jenkins said she was pleased to hear that Colvin was named to the position.

“Bill has an incredible skill set that will serve the town and the county well in his new role. His deep understanding of the ways economic and community development work hand in hand is important for where we are in Bennington’s trajectory. I also admire Bill’s commitment to equity and his ability to use economic development tools for the betterment of the full community. His appointment will allow the good work already being done at BCRC to continue and grow.”

Most visibly in recent years, Colvin has served as the point-person for the large-scale Putnam Block redevelopment project over 4 acres in the center of Bennington, the first phase of which restored three historic structures at the Four Corners intersection.

The three-phase project is being developed by a consortium of local organizations, businesses and individuals.

Jim Therrien writes for Vermont News and Media, including the Bennington Banner, Manchester Journal and Brattleboro Reformer. Email


Jim Therrien reports for the three Vermont News and Media newspapers in Southern Vermont. He previously worked as a reporter and editor at the Berkshire Eagle, the Bennington Banner, the Springfield Republican, and the former North Adams Transcript.


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