Emerging leaders recognized at summit


DOVER — Twenty-three Southern Vermont professionals were recognized as Emerging Leaders at the third annual Southern Vermont Economy Summit on May 23. Southern Vermont Young Professionals and the Shires Young Professionals co-hosted the recognition event, which celebrates young people from the Bennington and Windham regions. People were nominated based on their work as community leaders and volunteers, and for their professional accomplishments and commitment to serving the region.

The Emerging Leaders event was sponsored by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, and by Bennington Potters, which provided a special gift for each recipient. Awards were presented by Adam Grinold and Bill Colvin, directors of the Windham and Bennington regional development corporations.

"It's incredibly humbling to receive this recognition," McKenna Hayes of Food Connects, one of the young professionals recognized during this event, said in a media release. "Although I am a native Vermonter, I'm new to this area of the state, and my experience thus far has been delightful and inspiring."

Sarah Lang, coordinator of BDCC's Southern Vermont Young Professionals, and Matt Harrington, executive director of the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, shared a quote from each recipient about what Southern Vermont or "SoVermont" means them. One said, "Southern Vermont is neighborly and community-oriented, with community members developing unique solutions to unique problems." Another described Southern Vermont as "a place where individuals matter. This is an area where one person's energy, enthusiasm, or excellence can legitimately make a difference in the community, which coming from a more densely populated area has been a huge cultural shift for me. This is a special place, to say the least."

All of the 2019 Southern Vermont Emerging Leaders will all be nominated for the Vermont Rising Star awards.

2019 Emerging Leaders of Southern Vermont:

Alex Beck, workforce and education program manager, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Brattleboro

Cat Bryars, regional planner - community planning program manager, Bennington County Regional Commission, Bennington

Kelly Clarke, architect, Centerline Architects, Bennington

Jonathan Cooper, community and economic development specialist, Bennington County Regional Commission, Bennington

Becky Gilbert, licensed clinical mental health clinician, Brattleboro

Steffen Gillom, president of the Windham County NAACP and disability services associate at SIT Graduate Institute, Brattleboro

Leeanne Hadsel, behavior interventionist, Vernon Elementary School, Vernon

Ashley Havreluk, EB-5 manager, Mount Snow, West Dover

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McKenna Hayes, food hub operations manager, Food Connects, Putney

Marissa Hutton, executive director, Dorset Theatre Festival, Dorset

Sarah Kovach, Brattleboro Literary Festival, Brattleboro

Lori Langevin, assistant business manager/ HR support, Windham Central Supervisory Union, Townshend

Beq Lendvay, field production coordinator, Catamount Access Television, Bennington

HB Lozito, executive director, Green Mountain Crossroads, Brattleboro

Brian Maggiotto, general manager, The Inn at Manchester, Manchester,

Diane Michalczuk, psychologist, The Memory Clinic, Bennington

Mel Motel, executive director, Brattleboro Community Justice Center, Brattleboro

Peter Paggi, director of real estate development, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, Brattleboro

Christopher Parker, food service director for WCSU, West River Education District (WRED), Vernon

Avery Schwenk, co-founder, Hermit Thrush Brewery, Brattleboro

Emma Stewart, Housing Support Coordinator, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, Brattleboro

Carson Thurber, fundraising/development director, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Bennington

Joshua Unruh, digital marketing specialist, New England Newspapers Inc., Brattleboro


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