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Southern Vermont Economy Summit

May 12-14th, 2021

Session Details

Wednesday, May 12 

 

9-11

AM

The Future of Federal Rural Policy

Keynote Speaker: Tony Pipa, Brookings Institution, Senior Fellow - Global Economy and Development, Center for Sustainable Development

Introductions: Secretary Lindsay Kurrle, Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Closing: Debbie Boyle, Senior Vice President of People's United Bank

Sponsored by People's United Bank and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development 

With a new administration and growing focus on the needs of rural America, what’s possible? Hear from rural policy expert Tony Pipa about changes coming to rural programs and funding, and what this means for communities like ours.

 

12-1

PM

New to Vermont Lunch Series: COVID Newcomers: Here to Stay?

Host: Keith Marks, Next Stage Arts Project, Putney

Panelists: Michael Henaghan, Filmmaker, Wilmington

             John Getchell, Blue Benn Diner, Bennington

             Zelda Beckford, New Chapter, Amherst, MA

             Heather and Zach Brubaker, Putney

Sponsored by Green Mountain Power and VELCO

The #1 objective of our regional economic plan is to increase population - this means retaining young people, regaining “returners” who left, and attracting newcomers. But what does that really mean? In this lunch series, we’ll look at demographic growth from three angles and talk with real people, your new (or returning) neighbors.

In today's session, we'll focus on those newcomers who moved to the area because of COVID-19. The pandemic has brought the greatest influx of newcomers since 9/11. Lots of questions have been asked like who are they, will they stay, what is the opportunity and what is the impact? Thanks to efforts in Putney and the Deerfield Valley, we have a chance to connect with some of them directly and learn what attracted them to Vermont, and what’s next.

 

2-4

PM

In Conversation with Governor Scott and Lt. Governor Gray: Envisioning Southern Vermont's Future
& The Future Talks Back: Young Professional Town Hall

Special Guests: Governor Phil Scott and Lt. Governor Molly Gray

Interviewer: Mike Cutler, Catamount Access TV

Introductions: Senator Becca Balint

Town Hall Facilitator: Representative Emilie Kornheiser and Olga Peters

Young Professional Panelists: Alex Figueroa, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

                                         Beth Wallace, Bennington County Head Start

                                         Alyssa Pelow, Trend Business Solutions

                                         Bob Davis, Brattleboro Savings & Loan

                                         Amanda Normand, The Richards Group

                                         Tatiana Abatemarco, Bennington College

As the 2021 Legislative Session winds down, hear from state leaders on what’s next for Vermont and what this means for our region. 

  • Part One: pre-recorded interview hosted by Mike Cutler of Catamount TV. The Governor and Lt. Governor will address questions from young professionals about the future of our economy. 

  • Part Two is a discussion about our regional economic future, among young professionals in a town hall format, facilitated by Representative Emilie Kornheiser.

  • Everyone is welcome to attend this session.

THURSDAY, May 13 

 

9-11

AM

Reframing Growth, Vetting our Values

Facilitator: Ted Brady, Vermont League of Cities and Towns and Catlin O'Shaughnessy Coffrin, Captivating Co.

Presenter: Jonathan Cooper, Bennington County Regional Commission

Panelists: Virginia and Peter Vogel, Backroads Granola

              Elizabeth Buckley, Vishay Intertechnology

              Michael Alexander, Recycle Away

              Elise Di Feo, Two One Ceramics

Sponsored by the Vermont Futures Project

 

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to talk about economic growth in Vermont without raising concerns about development sprawl, pollution, corporate greed, and capitalism run amok. Join us for a look “under the hood” at some of the region's fast-growing businesses to learn what they do, and how Vermont Values frame their approach, like investing in people, innovation, and quality workmanship that sets their products apart in the global marketplace.

12-1

pM

New to Vermont Lunch Series: New American to New Vermonter

Host: Kate Paarlberg-Kvam, Community Asylum Seekers Project

Panelists: Maira Tungatarova, SIT World Learning

             Dora Urujeni, Community Asylum Seekers Project

             Beatríz Gutierrez, Community Asylum Seekers Project (C. Carretero, Interpreter)

            Samba Diallo, AIDS Project of Southern Vermont

Sponsored by Green Mountain Power and VELCO

The #1 objective of our regional economic plan is to increase population - this means retaining young people, regaining “returners” who left, and attracting newcomers. But what does that really mean? In this lunch series, we’ll look at demographic growth from three angles and talk with real people, your new (or returning) neighbors.

In today's session, we'll focus on attracting newcomers who originally hail from outside of the US. Workforce demand is as high as ever, with regional jobs unfilled in many sectors including medical, manufacturing, logistics, and construction. With a new administration re-starting immigration, and the Governor’s stated commitment, how can Vermont’s gateway region take this new opportunity to provide a welcoming place for those New Vermonters to land?

 

2-4

pM

Applying an Equity Lens to Vermont: Structural Solutions for Structural Problems

Keynote Speaker: Xusana Davis, Executive Director of Racial Equity, State of Vermont

Introductions: Steffen Gillom, President, Windham County NAACP

                    Mia Schultz, President, Rutland County NAACP

From the legacy of historic barriers to property ownership, to ongoing tension about who is a "Vermonter", inequity based on race, ethnicity and origin impact us all in substantive and subtle ways. Since being named Vermont’s Executive Director of Racial Equity in 2019, Xusana Davis has been working with state agencies to identify structural solutions to structural barriers to equity. Xusana applies an "equity lens" to look at three key areas: fiscal impact, equity impact and operational impact.

friday, May 14 

 

9-11

AM

Small Scale Changes to Strengthen Our Towns

Facilitator: Danny Lichtenfeld, Brattleboro Museum and Art

Panelists: David West, Town of Danby, NY

             Paul Stewart, Oswego Renaissance Association

             Patrick Fisher, Erie Arts and Culture

             Raude Raychel, Indonesian Community Connect

Four inspiring stories of initiatives that have engaged community members to overcome negative expectations to create new beauty, value, energy, and investment. Our guests will highlight planning, arts and culture, diversity, and social capital in their projects, hailing from Oswego, NY; Tompkins County, NY; Erie, PA; and Somersworth, NH. 

 

12-1

pM

New to Vermont Lunch Series: How New People Generate New Opportunities for Our Communities

Host: Peter Case, Fishhook Communications 

Panelists: Bill Anton, Windham Central Supervisory Union- On Schools

              Gretchen Havreluk, Town of Wilmington- On Municipalities

              Matt Harrington, Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce- On Businesses

Sponsored by Green Mountain Power and VELCO

The #1 objective of our regional economic plan is to increase population - this means retaining young people, regaining “returners” who left, and attracting newcomers. But what does that really mean? In this lunch series we’ll look at demographic growth from three angles and talk with real people, your new (or returning) neighbors.

In today's session, we'll focus on how newcomers and returners are helping our communities thrive. From childcare and food systems, cultural organizations to startups, these folks are playing a vital role in every aspect of the region’s economy. Hear from local leaders whose organizations and businesses are being recharged by your new neighbors.

 

2-4

pM

Community as Corporation: Talent-Retention in Low Status America

Keynote Speaker: Majora Carter, Social-Enterprise Pioneer, Majora Carter Group

Introductions: Skye Morse, M&S Development

Closing: Jason Dolmetsch, President, MSK Engingeering & Design

Sponsored by MSK Engineering, Stevens & Associates, and M&S Development

"Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one.” These words, etched on the walls of the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington D.C, were spoken by Majora Carter, real estate developer, urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. Carter focuses on vision and strategies for talent-retention to reduce Brain Drain and transform low-status communities into thriving local economies. Majora Carter will close out the Summit on Friday.

Summit Hosts