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BDCC Staff Profile: Santina “Sunny” Leporati

Sunny Leporati hiking with her niece.

BDCC Staff Member Name: Santina “Sunny” Leporati

Position Title: Southern Vermont Economy Project Manager

Program(s):Southern Vermont Economy Project, USDA RCDI grant

Where were you born?  Peterborough, NH

Where do you currently live? Winhall, VT

What did you do before you came to the BDCC? Worked as Director of the Green Mountain Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), a Senior Corps program connecting volunteers 55+ with nonprofits serving seniors in Windsor, Windham, and Bennington Counties.

What inspires you about your current work? For the first time, my sole focus will be to create a network that looks at the big picture. That tries to solve a community problem and helps individuals and organizations doing work in economic and workforce development to develop capacity, work better together, increase communication, and serve more people in the southern VT region. I have previously worked in nonprofits or startups where I ran into issues of capacity, time, lack of systems, etc. I would have to go in and clean up. Because of my background with an MPA, I knew there had to be a solution on a larger scale. So it is really about doing smarter work, not having to recreate things that are already being done well. It may sound simple, but I love to help people help other people in smarter, more impactful ways.

Tell us about the hobby/activity from your photo, what do you love about it? I love to get outdoors and hike. It’s my favorite thing to do. This is a picture of my niece Jayden and me hiking in Colorado. It really captures what I value greatly: family and nature.

What is a unique fact about you that people might not know? I grew up (till 9th grade) in Hampton Bays, Long Island and. Hampton Bays has 3 Bays that connect and the Ocean. We were very rooted in the water and clammed, fished, and sailed all of the time. Now I connect with the rivers, living in VT and still head down to the ocean to visit my brother on Long Island at least once a year.