Over 500 leaders from across the State attended the 3rd Vermont Community Leadership Summit on August 10th 2022 at Vermont Technical College to build their skills, share opportunities, network, and learn.

Participants included youth, municipal leaders, community organizers and volunteers, people with lived experience with critical challenges facing our communities, experts and technical assistance providers, regional, state, & national leaders, and others working to improve the economies and quality of life of their communities.

The Summit agenda was based in part on feedback over the past two years from thousands of Vermonters about the future of our state and the need to strengthen civic engagement and tackle shared challenges together. It offered opportunities to build leadership skills, share success stories, and connect to and learn from community leaders of all backgrounds working to advance projects in towns across Vermont. We also presented the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s 2022 Community Leadership and Lifetime Achievement Awards, and closed with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!

2022 Lifetime Leadership Awards

Sarah Carpenter Sarah Carpenter, a native of Burlington, was elected Burlington City Councilor in 2020 and serves on the Community Development and Neighborhood Revitalization Committee, the Charter Change Committee and as Chair of the Human Resources Committee. She also is Chair of the Vermont Rental Housing Advisory Board. Sarah served as Executive Director of Vermont Housing Finance Agency 1998-2018 and as Executive Director of Cathedral Square Corp from 1983-1998.

Brenda Torpy was a founder, and the Director of Champlain Housing Trust from 1991-2021. CHT is internationally recognized for iBrenda Torpyts leadership in community-led, permanently affordable housing, receiving the UN World Habitat Award in 2008. Brenda started as a community organizer in rural Vermont, worked as Bernie’s first Housing Director in Burlington, and at the VHFA on Policy and Program Development. She formed and led Northgate Non-profit to acquire, preserve and improve 336 at-risk affordable rentals on behalf of the tenants who govern it now. Brenda was a Ford Foundation leader for a Changing World, and has served on the Advisory Committees of the region’s Home Loan and Federal Reserve Banks and the Boards of the National CLT Network and successor Grounded Solutions Network. Brenda now leads TA\CHT providing direct training and technical assistance on these models across the US and internationally.

2022 Community Leadership Award

Pam ParsonsPamela Parsons was hired as the Executive Director of Northern Tier Center for Health (NOTCH) in 1999. Pam graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics. Her diverse interests and talents result in a broad employment history, including work at Franklin County Home Health, in education, and as co-owner of a construction company. Through Pam’s leadership, NOTCH has thrived – providing good jobs in a region of the state that has a large population with family income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Pam is actively involved in her community and has served on several Boards of Directors including those of OneCare VT, Bi-State Primary Care Association, Vermont Rural Ventures, Richford Economic Advancement Corporation, Richford Renaissance Corporation, and Pharmacy Network, LLC. Pam has committed herself to improving the health and welfare of area residents. Her involvement with multiple community partners epitomizes Pam’s collaborative and innovative approach for taking care of people.

Snapshot of the 3rd Vermont Community Leadership Summit

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