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Leadership Summit - Save the Date: October 1, 2018

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Join community organizers and leaders working to improve the economies and quality of life in their communities! “Making It Happen” on October 1st at Castleton University will include:

  • 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!

Save the Date! Registration will open in August.



9:00 ~ Opening Plenary

9:30 ~ Panel: Leadership in Service of the Common Good

10:30 ~ Break | Leadership Fair
Breaks and Lunchtime will feature tables presenting resources and opportunities from key leadership programs and associations in Vermont.

11:00 ~ Breakouts: skills workshops, dialogs, community projects, and success stories (see topics below)

noon ~ Lunch | Leadership Fair

1:00 ~ Breakouts: skills workshops, dialogs, community projects, and success stories (see topics below)

3:15 - Break | Leadership Fair

3:30 ~ Summit Deliberation: “The Future of Community Leadership!”
Eight Group discussions evaluate the question: What should be done today to support, encourage, and inspire active and equitable community leadership throughout the state?

4:30 ~ Plenary Conclusions and Action | Each group shares two priorities for action

5:00 ~ Adjourn

5:00 ~ Reception with Food Truck and Cash Bar

5:45 ~ VCRD Community Leadership Award Presentation

6:00 ~ Keynote Speaker

Breakout session topics include:

Leadership Skills: Agenda Building & Meeting Management | Engagement, Invitation & Inclusion | the Art of Public Conversation | Managing Conflicts | Recruiting & Managing Volunteers | Community Placemaking | Fundraising for Community Projects | Setting Goals & Tracking Success | Running for Public Office

Group Dialogues: Youth Driving Change | Fostering New Leaders in Your Community | Advancing Women in Leadership | Organizing for Young Professionals | Expanding Diversity & Inclusion | Advancing Municipal & School Leadership

Driving Community Projects Forward: Creating Events & Building Community Connection | Advancing Energy Action & the Climate Economy | Engaging the Public in K-12 Education | Strengthening Agriculture & Food Systems | Revitalizing Buildings & Downtowns | Advancing Outdoor Recreation & Trails | Youth Driving Change: Stories of Leadership & Success

Community Success Stories: The Progress of Rutland | Vernon: Revitalizing the Village Center & Moving Forward under Pressure | Brighton: Recreation Programming & Downtown Revitalization | Bethel: Better Block Revitalization | St. Albans: Economic Development, Business Support & Downtown Revitalization | Craftsbury: Childcare, general store, community connection, & place-making | Winooski: Downtown & Business Development & Fostering Multi-Cultural Connections


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
Liz Gamache, Vermont Community Foundation
Thomas Hark, Civilian Conservation Corps, USA
Sue McCormack, Creative Discourse
Chuck Ross, UVM Extension Service
Tim Smith, Franklin County Industrial Corporation
Mark Snelling, Snelling Center for Government
Kate Stephenson, HELM Construction
Paul Costello, VCRD
Jenna Koloski, VCRD
Margaret McCoy, VCRD


Join Us as a Sponsor!

On behalf of the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), we invite you to partner with us as we encourage emerging and existing leaders! In democracy, all citizens are called upon to lead - where leaders step up, towns achieve great things. Local leadership is the key ingredient in building unity, setting direction, and achieving progress. The Summit will help support leaders, and identify what should be done to better encourage, inspire, and train leaders with the skills they need to succeed. Your business can be part of leading Vermont into a brighter future! Sponsors will receive recognition through a variety of channels, based on their level of sponsorship. Click here for more about sponsorship and entitlements.