Laura Cavin Bailey

Climate Economy Program Manager
[email protected]

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.

Margaret Gibson

Operations Director
[email protected]

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]

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]

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.

Brian Lowe

Executive Director
[email protected]

Brian joined VCRD as Executive Director in 2021. Prior to joining the team, he held a number of roles with the City of Burlington, including serving as COVID-19 Response Leader (where he led the city’s pandemic response, overseeing multiple cross-departmental teams and partnering with community leaders to address emerging challenges), Chief Innovation Officer, and Chief of Staff to Mayor Miro Weinberger. Before that, he worked at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, with different organizations in Syria and Afghanistan, and served in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He lives in Burlington with his wife and three children.

Jessica Savage

Director of Community Collaboration
[email protected]

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.

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.


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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
VCRD Board and Staff - 2023