Staff

Laura Cavin Bailey

Climate Economy Program Manager
[email protected]
802-234-1646

Laura strives to continually engage with systems thinking and community-based initiatives to advance collaborative, healthy, energy efficient, and adaptable places. Laura’s diverse work experience includes solar electric system design and installation, biodiesel production, a research fellow at the Energy Studies in Buildings Lab (ESBL) at the University of Oregon, an instructor at Yestermorrow Design/Build School, and as a practicing architect of net-zero energy buildings. Laura serves as the president of the Vermont Green Building Network and can be found exploring the forests and rivers around her home in Fayston by foot, bike, boat or skis with her husband and two young children.

Lauren Brady

Community & Policy Associate
[email protected]
802-227-2673

Lauren’s interest in community engagement started with her first experiences as a farmer connecting with new people and with the land. Prior to joining VCRD in 2023 she worked with Knoll Farm in Vermont and First Light in Maine, and on farms in Maine and Vermont for 10 years. Lauren is an alum of College of the Atlantic. She lives in Montpelier with her partner, is a member of the Debt Liberation Lab, and loves to garden, read, and knit with friends.

Margaret Gibson

Operations Director
[email protected]
802-223-6091

Margaret joined VCRD in 2008 after 20 years in non-profit office management and communications at River Network and River Watch Network. She grew up and still lives in Central Vermont, has 2 grown boys, and is a graduate of UVM.

Alyssa Johnson

Community Visit Program Manager
[email protected]
802-222-6896

Prior to joining VCRD in January 2021, Alyssa served as the Economic Development Director for Revitalizing Waterbury. Alyssa graduated from UVM and lives in Waterbury, where she serves as a member of the Selectboard.

Jenna Koloski

Community Engagement and Policy Director
[email protected]
802-232-2513

Jenna joined VCRD in 2015. Prior to the work here, she worked in several Vermont organizations focused on outdoor recreation, community development, and food security. Jenna studied Conservation and Biodiversity at McGill University and holds a master’s degree in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. Jenna serves as the President of the Vermont Community Development Association. She lives in Huntington with her husband, daughter, and son, and serves on the Conservation Commission and Trails Committee.

Jessica Savage

Director of Community Collaboration
[email protected]
802-227-2790

Jessica joined the VCRD staff in 2021 after 15 years in the public sector mainly in the natural resources and recreation management fields. She has an MPA from UVM, is an avid outdoorsperson and a mom to two young children.

Charlie Smith

Interim Executive Director
[email protected]
802-222-0263

Charlie joined VCRD as Interim Executive Director in September 2023. In recent years, Charlie has provided transitional leadership to many Vermont non-profit organizations including the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and Vermont PBS to name a few. Prior to that, he served as Secretary of Human Services and Secretary of Administration for Governor Jim Douglas and was the Vermont President for KeyBank.

Board of Directors

One of 40 Councils nationwide, the VCRD is an independent non-profit with a 24 member Board of Directors representing federal, state, local, private, and non-profit partners working together to promote the progress of rural Vermont.

Federal

  • John Roberts, USDA Farm Services Agency
  • John Sinclair, Green Mountain & Finger Lakes National Forest
  • Sarah Waring, USDA Rural Development (Vice Chair)

State

  • Tayt Brooks, Agency of Commerce & Community Development
  • Xusana Davis, Racial Equity Director, Agency of Administration
  • Julie Moore, Agency of Natural Resources (Chair)
  • Anson Tebbetts, Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

Local

  • Shannon Barsotti, Town of Bennington
  • Ted Brady, Vermont League of Cities & Towns
  • Erika Hoffman-Kiess, Green Mountain Economic Development Corp.
  • David Snedeker, Northeastern Vermont Development Association

Non-Profit

  • Harry Chen, The Nature Conservancy
  • Judy Geer, Craftsbury Outdoor Center; Concept 2
  • Joyce Judy, Community College of Vermont
  • Aly Richards, Let’s Grow Kids
  • Dan Smith, Vermont Community Foundation

Private

  • Eun-Young Denny, Vermont Economic Development Authority
  • Rob Miller, Vermont State Employees Credit Union (Treasurer)
  • Curtiss Reed, CRJ Consulting Group
  • Lisa Ryan, Vermont Law School (Secretary)
  • Travis Samuels, Zion Growers

Non-Voting Liaisons

  • Rebecca Ellis, Senator Welch’s Office
  • David Scherr, Congresswoman Balint’s Office
  • Kathryn Van Haste, Senator Sander’s Office

If you are interested in serving on the board, or have a recommendation, feel free to email us at [email protected] to be added to the list for future consideration.

VCRD Board and Staff - 2023