Session Details


Adam Grinold,

Executive Director, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation

Bill Colvin,

Executive Director, Bennington County Industrial Corporation

Summit Sponsors: Brattleboro Savings and Loan and The Bank of Bennington

8:45 - 9:15

9:00 am

9:20 - 10:20

Workforce Workarounds in a Tight Labor Market

With unemployment under 3%, employers have to meet the available workforce "where they are". Whether it's paying for that final year of classes, recovering from a physical or mental illness, finding affordable housing, or finding the community support systems needed to migrate to Southern Vermont, our potential future workforce face numerous barriers to employment.


This session will provide examples and ideas of workforce solutions that engage the right potential candidates in the right opportunities that can help solve your employment needs, now. 


  • Facilitator: Alex Beck, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation




    • Cindy Delgatto, Creative Workforce Solutions

    • Kevin Dailey, SWHC, Healthy Homes

    • Kristin Brooks, Keene State Internships Program

Room: Raponda West

9:20 - 10:20

Wired: Envisioning a Tech-Enabled Rural Economy

This session explores how connectivity and technology helps rural entrepreneurs stay competitive. From traditional  forestry and farms, manufacturing and health care, to tech firms and remote-based workers, learn about innovations shaping a diversified rural economy.

  • Facilitator: Richard Berkfield, Executive Director, FoodConnects


  • Farm and Food

    • Chris Callahan, UVM Ag Engineer​

    • Beth Hodge, Echo Farm Pudding

  • Laptop Living​​​

    • Teddy Martin,​

  • Co-working Space​

    • Dimitri Garder, The Lightning Jar​

  • Telemedicine 

    • Randy Anselmo,​

Room: Raponda Central

9:20 - 10:20

Development 101: Financing Great Community Projects

This session unpacks the ingredients of successful projects, from pro formas to partners. Focus will be on bridging the gap between project costs and final valuation, a gap typical in rural markets. This session provides an overview of the financial toolkit and public and private funding options to reach economic and community development goals like downtown revitalization, housing and job creation.


  • Facilitator: Bill Colvin, Bennington County Industrial Corporation 


  • Brooks House and Putnam Block

    • Skye Morse, M&S Development

    • Craig Miskovich, DRM

  • GS Precision, Chroma Technology, Long Falls Paperboard, Mocha Joes Co.

    • Adam Grinold, BDCC​

    • Kora Skeele, Mocha Joes

  • Black River Innovation Campus

    • Bob Flint​, Springfield Regional Development Corporation 

Room: Deerfiled South

9:20 - 10:20

"Brave Little Region": Lessons from Rural Regional Economic Development Efforts

This session was inspired by VPR's "Brave Little State" podcast. Journalist Angela Evancie will share stories and insights from getting to know hundreds of Vermont people and communities. She will talk about trends and shared challenges and provide context for presentations on "acting regionally." How can we leverage our assets and take on today's challenges like demographics and civic engagement?  Regional economic development efforts in Rutland, Southern Vermont and the Berkshires provide inspiration and strategies. 


  • Presenter: Angela Evancie, Host of podcast "Brave Little State" on VPR



  • 1Berkshire

    • John Butler, 1Berkshrire

  • Real Rutland

    • Mary Cohen, Rutland Chamber of Commerce  

  • Southern Vermont Zone (SeVEDS and RED):

    • Jason Dolmetsch, RED Group Chair

Room: Deerfiled North


Keynote Speaker

Joe Minicozzi,

Principal, Urban3

Urban3, LLC grew out of the successful revitalization of downtown Asheville, NC. Joe founded Urban3 to explain and visualize market dynamics created by tax and land use policies. Urban3 has helped rural towns and regions re-envision how smart investment can shape sustainable communities. 

10:30 - 11:15

Mapping the Dollars and Sense of Land Use Patterns

Keynote Sponsors: TPW Real Estate and Stevens & Associates

Room: Deerfiled South

Emerging Leaders of

Southern Vermont Recognition

Event Sponsors: Bennington Potters and VSAC

Join us in celebrating young professionals who are dedicated to their community and career

11:15 - 11:45

11:15 - 11:45

Lunch and Networking

Sponsored by: Green Mountain Power and VELCO

12:00 - 1:00

1:15 - 2:15

What is a Future Ready Workforce and How Do We Get it?

Demographic trends won’t change overnight but with long term strategies and collaborations, Southern Vermont can grow the size and quality of its workforce. This session focuses on employer-led initiatives and partnerships with high schools, colleges, and training organizations to build a 21st century talent pipeline for the region. 


  • Presenter: Jenn Jacobs, Human Resource & Organizational Consultant, EAP Counselor, Thrive, LLC.


  • Recruiting strategies:

    • Angela Earle Gray, Chroma Technologies

  • Apprentice program:

    • Forest Weyen, Bennington Rescue Squad

  • Training programs:

    • Beth Demers, CCV

  • High school partnerships:

    • Lyle Holiday, WSESU

Room: Raponda Central

1:15 - 2:15

Import/Export and Accessing Global Markets

How are changing trade policies and tariffs impacting local companies? What are the resources and tools available to help grow international sales and improve global supply chains?


Hear from trade experts who have helped Vermont businesses compete globally. Learn what is happening now and explore new opportunities for SoVermont companies to tap into global markets.

  • Co-Presenter: Susan Murray, Director, Vermont US Export Assistance Center, US Department of Commerce

  • Co-Presenter: Tammy Hetrick, Senior Trade Advisor, A.N. Deringer Freight Forwarding and Customs Brokerage  

Room: Deerfield North

What Makes for a Resilient Community?

1:15 - 2:15

This session zeroes in on tangible and intangible characteristics that make for great Vermont towns and villages where people want to live. What is common to all? What sets towns apart? This session will provide a framework to assess community strengths and needs, and present specific strategies to get started.



  • Bethel and a natural disaster:  Rebecca Stone, Community Workshop LLC

  • Arlingtion and a local tragedy:          Holly Bakke, Arlington Area Renewal Project

  • Manchester and dying downtown: Janet Hurley, Director of Planning and Zoning at the Town of Manchester

  • Bellows Falls and a declining village: Robert McBride, Rockingham Arts and Museum Project

Room: Deerfield South

1:15 - 2:15

Regional Economics 201: Master Class

If you can’t wait to see what the DOL economists are presenting each year, this session is for you! Drill down into the economic and demographic data that is shaping conditions and forecasts, with time for Q&A with the state and region’s top economic experts.



  • Kevin Stapleton, Vermont Department of Labor

  • Jonathan Cooper, Bennington County Regional Commission

Room: Raponda West


2:30 - 3:30

"Exit Stage Left": Succession Planning For Owners, Founders, and Business Leaders

When you are ready to walk away, who will grab the reins? Is your organization ready for that transition? Experts in business transitions provide advice to prepare for and execute succession.  This session is for entrepreneurs thinking about or ready to sell their business. Those who are to considering business ownership are encouraged to attend.


  • Facilitator: RT Brown, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation  

  • Presenters:

    • Tammy Richards, Country Business​

    • Don Jamison, Vermont Employee Ownership Center

    • Josh Roberts, Edward Jones 

Room: Raponda Central

2:30 - 3:30

Funding Small Business Growth in Southern Vermont

Improving access to capital is critical to rural economies. This session brings together key institutions that help make new and expansion projects come to life in Vermont. It will also provide information on new and emerging investment tools like Opportunity Zones.


  • Facilitator: Rich Grogan, Executive Director, Community Capital of Vermont


  • Windham Movement Apparel

    • Francesca Bourgeault

  • Shapeshifters

    • ​Eli​ Coughlin-Galbraith and Krista Coughlin-Galbraith

  • The Miller's Toll Dinner Club and Lounge

    • John Redding​



    • Greg Huysman​

  • Brattleboro Savings and Loan

    • Dan Yates​

  • The Bank of Bennington​

    • Kelley Legacy​

State Resources:

  • Agency of Commerce and Community Development

    • Ted Brady​

  • ​Procurement Technical Assistance Center

    • Ed Williams​

Room: Deerfield North

2:30 - 3:30

Redevelopment ROI

This session highlights short and long term benefits to communities from making strategic investments in infrastructure and redevelopment.  From housing and space to welcome new people and businesses, to improving grand list value and balance, every local decision can impact ROI. Focus is on benefits of well-planned projects.

  • Facilitator: Josh Hanford, Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development 


  • Data mapping of Vermont land use and revenue 

    • Tim Terway, Vermont Center for Geographic Information​

  • Changing dynamics in grand lists​

    • Doug Farnham, Vermont Department of Taxes​

  • Incentives and tools for redevelopment​

Room: Deerfield South

2:30 - 3:30

Not Your Grandfather's Chamber: Redefining the CoC for a New Generation

Helping Vermont businesses and employers thrive has always been the core mission of the chambers of commerce. Hear from two young professional chamber leaders who head up traditional business organizations. They will discuss the changing role of these institutions, and what their members are asking for today. Matt and Caitlin will also share about tactics they've used to boost their organization's profile and impact, and share a new and compelling vision for the chambers.


  • Presenters:

    • Matt Harrington, Exectuive Director, Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce 

    • Caitlin Christiana, Executive Director, Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce 

Room: Raponda West

2019 Southern Vermont

CEDS Celebration and

Project Announcements

The Southern Vermont region submitted over 70 projects to the 2019 CEDS report. Join us in celebrating all the forward-thinking projects happening in our region and see which projects have been designated as vital by the CEDS Project Review Committee

3:30 - 4:00

Reception and Networking

The perfect time to meet up with those you  met earlier in the day to discuss all that you learned during your favorite sessions.

Exchange contact information and laughs.

4:00 - 5:30

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