The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) announced today that Jon Copans has joined the organization as Director of its Climate Economy Model Communities Program. The Program, starting in 2017, will work with Green Mountain Power and other utilities, Efficiency Vermont, and state, federal, non-profit and private sector service partners to help Vermont communities advance economic opportunities while reducing their local carbon footprint. Jon will lead in developing and coordinating services in two communities annually to help them build and implement plans modeling state-of-the-art rural development in an age of climate change. The ultimate goal is to create “climate smart” communities throughout Vermont and brand them, leveraging rapid change by implementing comprehensive efficiencies efforts, transportation system improvements, energy generation, entrepreneurship and business incubation to spur economic progress.
Jon brings a depth of experience to VCRD from his recent leadership on energy policy and planning as Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service and previous roles at the VT Department of Environmental Conservation and Office of Congressman Peter Welch.
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is a non-profit organization charged by the federal farm bill to act as a neutral convener at both the local and policy level supporting the progress of Vermont communities.