VHCB Leadership Project

  • 2018-19 Leadership Group

    With support from the Vermont Community Foundation, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board has invited leaders representing 25 non-profit organizations and state agencies to participate in the VHCB Leadership Project. VHCB’s Leadership Project aims to build and strengthen collaboration among those leading the future of housing and conservation work in Vermont. Four day-long events over the next 18 months are designed to create a learning community and provide training on topics including social justice, equity, inter-generational communication, the legislative process, and leadership. The new group got together for the first time in late April.

     “We’ve only had one meeting so far, but it’s already clear how enriching it will be to connect with housing and conservation leaders from throughout the state - it’s an incredibly talented group. Learning about each other’s work and the movement’s history will help us all build the energy, relationships, and perspectives we need to keep Vermont in the lead when it comes to sustaining our land and communities, and I’m very grateful to VHCB for the opportunity." -- Kate McCarthy, Sustainable Communities Program Director at the Vermont Natural Resources Council

    “Finding the time and resources for meaningful professional development is hard. With VHCB’s help, the Leadership Academy provides housing and conservation professionals with opportunities to build their skillset and grow their professional network.” -- Mike DeBonis, Executive Director, Green Mountain Club

    An inaugural group of 20 individuals completed VHCB’s Leadership Project in 2016-2017. In addition to the group activities, VHCB provided mini-grants to encourage collaborative projects featuring innovative new ideas. One mini-grant was awarded to The Trust for Public Lands for a project to provide opportunities for children from affordable housing developments to visit conserved lands and learn about the natural world. 

    Barre Town Forest
    The Trust for Public Lands is using a mini-grant from the VHCB Leadership Program to organize outings to natural areas for children living in affordable housing, like this one to the Barre Town Forest.

    A second group, led by Mike DeBonis, Executive Director of the Green Mountain Club, designed an on-going Leadership Academy to promote continued connection and information sharing among the initial group of participants

    Mike said, “Finding the time and resources for meaningful professional development is hard. With VHCB’s help, the Leadership Academy provides housing and conservation professionals with opportunities to build their skillset and grow their professional network.”

    Times Argus Article -6/9/2018
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    2018-2019 Participants

    Colby Benjamin, Director of Property Management, Addison County Community Trust
    Jason Buss, Director of Finance, Green Mountain Club
    Megan Chapman, Conservation Project Manager, Upper Valley Land Trust
    Nick Charest, Property Manager, Shires Housing
    Alli Compagna, RCPP Project Coordinator, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation 
    Allison Dudley, Chief Financial Officer, Downstreet Housing & Community Development
    Ginger Gaudette, Property Manager, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust
    Gustave Goodwin, Conservation Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy 
    Bob Heiser, Champlain Valley Regional Director, Vermont Land Trust
    Anna Herman, Community Relations Specialist, Champlain Housing Trust 
    Kerrie Lohr, Public Relations Manager, Lamoille Housing Partnership
    Guy Maguire, Programs Director, South Hero Land Trust
    Quin Mann, Environmental Officer, ACCD
    Kate McCarthy, Sustainable Communities Program Director, Vermont Natural Resources Council
    Lydia Menendez, Assistant Director, Vermont Rivers Conservancy
    Brian Pickard, Chief Operating Officer, Rural Edge 
    Ari Rockland-Miller, Senior Agricultural Development Coordinator, Agency of Agriculture 
    Lisa Ryan, Field Services Representative, Preservation Trust of Vermont
    Eric Schmitt, Vice President of Asset Management, Housing Vermont
    Nikitta Seagren, Operations and Occupancy Coordinator, Housing Trust of Rutland County 
    Shelby Semmes, Vermont/New Hampshire Program Director, Trust for Public Lands
    Kate Sudoff, Vermont Department of Forest, Parks & Recreation 
    RJ Thompson, Executive Director, Vermont Huts Association 
    Kathryn Titus, Administrator, Cathedral Square Senior Living
    Matt Williams, Executive Director, Catamount Trail Association 

    2016-2017 Participants

    Liz Genge, Downstreet Housing & Community Development
    Leah Sare, Vermont State Housing Authority
    Amy Wilson, Shires Housing
    Elise Shanbacker, Addison County Community Trust
    Laura Wilson, Cathedral Square Corporation
    Trisha Ingalls, Rural Edge
    Elizabeth Bridgewater, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust
    Helen Hong, Twin Pines Housing
    Steve Comolli, Downstreet Housing & Community Development
    Cara Hansen, Downstreet Housing & Community Development
    Miranda Lescaze, Cathedral Square Corporation?
    Rob Leuchs, Champlain Housing Trust
    Melissa Disorda, Housing Trust of Rutland County
    Kate Wanner, Trust for Public Lands
    Emily Alger, South Hero Land Trust
    Amy Kelsey, Catamount Trail Association
    Mike Debonis, Green Mountain Club
    Sarah Waring, Center for an Agricultural Economy
    Douglas Brown, Upper Valley Land Trust
    Jason Berard, Upper Valley Land Trust
    Jared Duval, Energy Action Network
    Jeremy Hoff, Richmond Land Trust, Lamoille County Habitat for Humanity
    Jane Lazorchak, Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
    Sam Smith, Intervale Center
    Noah Pollock, Vermont River Conservancy
    Caitrin Maloney, Stowe Land Trust 
    Kristen Sharpless, Stowe Land Trust 
    Chelsea Bardot Lewis, Vermont Community Foundation
    Stephanie Lane, Shires Housing
    Samantha Dunn, Housing Vermont
    Katie Michels, Vermont Community Foundation
    Katherine Sims, Green Mountain Farm to School