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Making It Happen: Vermont Community Leadership Summit

Over 500 current and emerging leaders from towns and cities throughout Vermont came together at the Making It Happen! Vermont Community Leadership Summit on October 1, 2018 at Castleton University to learn new skills from each other and statewide experts, to address key community issue areas, and to frame new ways Vermont can systematically support community progress. New, young, and emerging leaders participated along with veteran school and select board members, planning and conservation committee participants, local project organizers, students and all who are working to improve the economies and quality of life of their communities.

Here are links to Summit resources:

1 hour 30 minutes. Includes opening remarks by VCRD board chair Megan Camp; Castleton President Karen Scolforo; and Vermont Governor Phil Scott; followed by a panel on the "Future of Vermon Leadership: Assets, Challenges, and Vision" moderated by Paul Costello (Vermont Council on Rural Development). Panelists include Tiffany Bluemle (Change the Story VT), Hal Colston (Story Truths, LLC), Thomas Hark (CCC US), Mitzi Johnson (Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives), and Dan Smith (Vermont Community Foundation).

Summit Features Included:

  • Skills Workshops and Community Success Story Panels on meeting facilitation, trails and outdoor recreation, community events, managing conflict, economic development strategies, downtown revitalization, community placemaking and more.
  • Group Dialogues on diversity and inclusion, fostering new community leaders, advancing women in leadership, and youth taking the lead.
  • Leadership Fair with resources from Vermont leadership programs.
  • Deliberations on the “Future of Community Leadership in Vermont” to build unity and momentum and identify ways to better encourage, inspire, and train citizens with the leadership skills they need to succeed.

In democracy, all citizens are called upon to lead – where leaders step up, towns achieve great things. Local Citizens Make It Happen!


Planning Partners

Erica Campbell, Senator Sanders Office
Susan Clark, Slow Democracy
Hal Colston, Partnership for Change
Lauren-Glenn Davitian, Center for Media and Democracy; Common Good VT
Thomas Hark, Civilian Conservation Corps, USA
Susan McCormack, Creative Discourse
Chuck Ross, UVM Extension Service
Katherine Sims, NEK Collaborative
Dan Smith, Vermont Community Foundation
Tim Smith, Franklin County Industrial Corporation
Mark Snelling, Snelling Center for Government
Kate Stephenson, HELM Construction Solutions
Paul Costello, VCRD
Jenna Koloski, VCRD
Margaret McCoy, VCRD