Being an effective leader is an ongoing process, one punctuated by continual introspection, re‐evaluation, and personal development. Here in Vermont, we are fortunate to have not only a deep roster of dedicated citizens ready to step forward into leadership roles but also an extensive network of professionals committed to supporting and developing new and existing leaders. Below is a list of organizations that offer varying degrees of support for Vermonters looking to get things done. It is by no means exhaustive but is meant instead as a starting point to connect local movers and shakers to the support they need to take their work to the next level.
Snelling Center for Government: Vermont Leadership Institute
The Snelling Center for Government’s Vermont Leadership Institute (“VLI”) gives participants the information, tools and inspiration to make greater contributions to their organizations, to their communities and to Vermont. For more information, visit snellingcenter.org.
Common Good Vermont
Common Good Vermont is an organization dedicated to supporting the non‐profit sector across Vermont. They offer a number of resources and educational programs on topics including nonprofit management, fundraising, and more. For more information, visit commongoodvt.org.
Preservation Trust of Vermont: Preservation Retreats
Preservation Trust of Vermont is an organization committed to preserving and revitalizing Vermont’s historic buildings. They offer a range of supportive services for anyone working in this arena, including topic‐based retreats at the Grand Isle Lakehouse for 20‐25 participants to come together, network, and connect with state leaders and resources to help forward local projects. For more information, visit ptvermont.org/our-work/retreats/.
Agency of Natural Resource: Municipal Day
Offered annually every fall, Municipal Day is a day‐long conference hosted by ANR that offers training and ongoing support for local municipal officials. For more information, visit https://anr.vermont.gov/special-topics/municipal-day
Vermont League of Cities and Towns
VLCT is an organization committed to supporting municipalities in Vermont in a number of arenas. They offer training for municipal officials, workshops and ongoing support for municipalities through their Municipal Assistance Center (MAC). For more information, visit vlct.org/mac.
Marlboro Center for New Leadership
The Marlboro Center for New Leadership was discontinued in 2020 following the pending merger between its parent institution Marlboro College and Emerson College in Boston. Many of the courses offered as part of their program, however, continue to be available through Common Good Vermont. For more information visit, https://commongoodvt.org/videos/nonprofit-programs-at-center-for-new-leadership-marlboro-graduate-school/
Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce: Leadership Champlain
The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce offers a year‐long series of full‐day seminars and overnight retreats geared at sparking and supporting emerging and current leadership in the Champlain Valley region. For more information visit the Leadership Champlain homepage: vermont.org/chamber/programs-affiliations/workforce-education-training/leadership/.
Leadership Southeast Vermont
Leadership Southeast Vermont is an intensive, immersive year‐long multi‐session leadership program much like Leadership Champlain or the Vermont Leadership Institute, but with a focus on the Southeastern region of the state. For more information, visit leadershipsevt.org.
Vital Communities: Leadership Upper Valley
Vital Communities is a non‐profit based in White River Junction. They offer a similar year‐long cohort‐based leadership program for local change‐makers. For more information, visit https://vitalcommunities.org/leadership-upper-valley/
Northeast Kingdom Collaborative, Northeast Stewardship Center: NEK Leadership Institute
The NEK Collaborative is an organization committed to supporting a thriving and resilient Northeast Kingdom, including the three counties of Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia. Together with the Northeast Stewardship Center, they established the NEK Leadership Institute to support and foster leadership across the region. The program adheres to a similar model as other regional leadership programs, with 5 intensive day‐long sessions. For more information visit northwoodscenter.org/wordpress/outdoor-education/nek-leadership-institute/.
Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity
Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity is a relationship‐oriented training/consulting service with the social mission of making Vermont a desirable destination for all, particularly outdoor enthusiasts, tourists, conventioneers, college students, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists of color. They offer training and consulting as well as an annual conference to discuss issues of fairness and diversity and drive forward a vision of Vermont’s multicultural future. For more information, visit vermontpartnership.org/what-we-do/.
Vermont Council on Rural Development – Climate Catalysts Leadership Program
The Climate Catalysts Leadership Program brings together a cohort of 10 local leaders from Vermont communities for a year‐long process focused on building peer connections, strengthening leadership skills and providing project development support for specific local projects spearheaded by each participant in their communities. For more information, visit vtrural.org/climatecatalysts.
Vermont Changemakers Table
The Vermont Changemakers Table is a professional network for mission‐driven young Vermonters committed to the future of Vermont and positive change. A collaboration between Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) and the High Meadows Fund, the group meets quarterly for dinner, conversation and inspiration with Vermont thought leaders. vbsr.org/vermont-changemakers-table/.
Programs Designed for Youth
The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont
The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont are a series of accelerated, residential summer programs for high schoolers and young artists in Vermont to come together on college campuses across the state and dive deeply into a topic area of their choosing. For more information, visit giv.org.
UP for Learning
Up for Learning offers a number of program and initiatives designed to shift the youth‐adult relationship at the heart of education to partnership, and to increase youth agency. Learn more at upforlearning.org/initiatives.
University of Vermont Extension – 4‐H Youth Leadership Programming
The University of Vermont Extension 4‐H Program offers a number of Teen and Leadership programs to enable teens to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and aspirations needed for success in the 21st century. To find out more about their programs, visit uvm.edu/extension/youth/teen-leadership-program-offerings.
Green Mountain Girls State
ALA Girls State is a national program that occurs across the United States for rising high school Seniors. Delegates who attend are actively engaged for five days in their local and State legislative and political infrastructures. Attendees have the opportunity to campaign for office, act as an attorney in the judicial branch of “Girls State” government, have access to their legislators, and most importantly learn valuable leadership skills which will follow them into adult life. The Vermont program, American Legion Auxiliary Green Mountain Girls State’s (ALAGMGS) focus of the program is Vermont town, county, and state government. Throughout the session, delegates work on the current issues that affect young people and citizens of the United States, hear from speakers in various leadership roles throughout the state, and make life-long friendship
VEEP Youth Climate Leaders Academy
The VEEP Youth Climate Leaders Academy supports high school youth in planning and implementing projects that make a difference on climate change. Students gather together for a skill-building kick-off retreat and get ongoing support for their projects through the year. More info at https://veep.org/action/ycla